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Friday, January 04, 2008


Even with his recent injury, I too would think he would have had more value than any of the three others mentioned in this piece (Bohn, Ennis, & Garcia). Seriously, is there any one team that is going to claim an Ennis or a Garcia? They should have been the first ones axed in my opinion.

As I posted on the previous thread the Matt Smith move is fine with me because he can't pitch until late in the season, so it's unlikely anyone will claim him on waivers. Plus he's a very mediocre talent. Ennis and Bohn are healthy and could have value for a bad team. Garcia, on the other hand, is totally baffling to me. He's got no shot. Have to believe he's the next cut if the Phils add bullpen help.

Only Phils' diehards and Beerleaguer readers will know Matt Smith is gone. No loss.

I will say this - the back end of the Phils' 40 man roster is as poor as any team in MLB. Protecting guys like Garcia and Ennis. Ugh.

From the SF Chronicle today on the Swisher trade:

"That doesn't describe Oakland for the next year or two, but Beane reiterated that he didn't believe the A's could contend by standing pat, saying, "Our status quo going into next season was mediocrity at best, that's my opinion. The cost of indecision for us was probably a bigger mistake.

"We don't want to sit around and pretend. We knew the day was coming we were going to start over. If you do it when everyone thinks you should, you've waited for too long."

Isn't it refreshing to hear a GM that doesn't spout company BS and market spin for a change.

Gotta love that Abreu for Monasterios trade. (unless it turns out, in a couple months, to be the Abreu for Sanchez trade.) (Followed by the Abreu for "future considerations" trade.)

Or maybe there's a deal in the works. You know Matt Smith to the O's for a coupla fungo bats or something.

MG: it is refreshing, but how does Beane's strategy jive with the whole James/Neyer/clout philosophy that 'there's no such thing as a pitching prospect' and that the idea of trading for prospects in general is misguided? Just wondering. That isn't *my* contention, mind you. Beane's doing the same thing as the Beinfest with the Marlins, and if you have solid organizations and know what you're doing, this is a far better approach than striving for mediocrity in hopes that you clear 2 million in attendance. In his case, the A's know they have the new stadium deal in place, so it isn't a perpetually hopeless situation like Florida's. But you can't expect people in Oakland to get behind this plan, at the same time. I wonder, how do they feel now about Beane in the Bay Area?

Andy: It won't be the Sanchez trade. Neither of those guys were very good but Sanchez is a non-prospect. Good glove, no bat at all. He hit .208 for the GCL Phils. I doubt he lasts the season before being cut.

Monasterios is a nice one-pitch pitcher, mid-90s fastball. He tried to work on some offspeed stuff at Lakewood and the result wasn't very good. He turns 22 in March. He might get a taste of AA before his career is done.

RSB: Either you can't read or you included my name in there by mistake. I've never said there's no such thing as a pitching prospect. That's just plain stupid. I have said the failure rate for pitching prospects is quite high compared to position players. And I have pointed that some players described as good prospects are nothing of the sort.

Maybe the association with Neyer's extreme opinion of pitching prospects isn't accurate, clout, but you've long cited a profound skepticism for the value of propects vs. established major league talent, particularly in relation to trades. Being that you're also an ardent defender of Beane, I wonder what you think of his approach this winter.

RSB: I have a profound skepticism of idiots who think players like Roberson are prospects and who thought Abreu for Matt Smith was a great trade, yes. Beane has shown repeatedly that he and his staff is a better judge of young talent than most GMs.

Interesting that now that the Mariners can't get Bedard, they are now focusing their attention on Ian Snell.

I still think the Mets end up with Santanna or Blanton with along with Maine, Perez, Hernandez and Martinez and their pen will look pretty good versus our starting 5.

However, I still think we may end up with Lohse. I don't buy anything Boras says and Gillick won't play his game. Boras knows what the Phils will pay and if there was a 4 year, 40 mill deal on the table Lohse would have signed.

Unless, and hopefully not, the Mets acquire Santana or Blanton they really don't look very good at all. In fact, I look at their team as declining this offseason.

Phillies' mgmt since 1985:

2 playoff appearances, 1 WS appearance.

Oakland mgmt since 1985:

9 playoff appearances, 3 WS appearances, 1 WS title.

Since Beane was promoted to GM (1998):


1 playoff appearance


5 playoff appearances, 4 division titles.


AWH: Yeah, but Beane has a much bigger budget to work, scratch that.

Carson: No one was more skeptical of the Mets chances last year than I was, although it took a late season collapse to prove me right. However, to call them a declining team as we head into 2008 is a bit of a stretch. Consider: They get a healthy Pedro, which they didn't have last year (and he replaces Glavine). They get Castillo at 2B from the start of the season, a big upgrade over what they had last year. They improve their catching defense with Schneider and don't lose much on offense over LoDuca's poor season last year. Plus they add Rick Wise to the pen. In my opinion, the Mets are better than last year, not worse. But the Phils can still beat them if they get a quality bullpen arm who can take over the setup role when Gordon goes down.

formerly clout -
what I meant was that, after Monasterios is DFA'd into oblivion, Sanchez will be what's left (because you always need back-up catchers, even at A+). Shortly, thereafter, however, it will be the Abreu-"future considerations" trade.

clout- i live in Brooklyn and, sadly, watch more Mets games than i can Phillies. i disagree that they've gotten better. that's a rather rosy perspective to me. they're really more running place.

granted, their catching situation did get better. Schneider is indeed a better defensive catcher/human being, but Pedro will not be the innings eater to replace Glavine. he tired by the 7th in every one of his starts last season (which was 6, i believe). he'll be a dominant pitcher again for as long as he can stay fresh, but without an extended rest, i see him becoming a punching bag come August. they do add Castillo for the whole year in 2008, but mets fans were sorely disappointed in him last year. he was supposed to be an offensive upgrade, but his bat was equally anemic to Valentien and Gotay. he was supposed to add speed to the lineup, but he never showed that. and his defense, while very good, wasn't appreciably better than Gotay/Valentien. he may once have been a superior player, but his "balky knee," as the ever-obnoxious Keith Hernandez constantly referred to, kept him from showing it. Castillo is a player on the decline, like a lot of other Mets.
Alou was an extremely productive player, but he's too old to be a regular anymore. he missed two months with a quad strain. Howard came back from that in less than two weeks. Alou will decline this year, as will Delgado. he stunk the place up all last year. he's toast. Schoenweiss is a roids head who's off the roids, so look for him to continue his downward plummet. Wagner looked washed up too by the end of last season and not just on the mound. he complained of back spasms and refused to pitch in a late game against DC... what a team player that guy is! El Duque proved for the second straight year that he couldnt finish the season as a starter.

the Mets have a lot of holes to fill. and what they've done this off-season, except for the catching situation, has only kept them running in place, as opposed to taking steps forward. their starting rotation is missing a pitcher or two (unless you believe in Pelfrey and Humber, which we can assume most do not or Santana would already be wearing a Mets uni). their outfield has some holes. and their bullpen is in shambles. the addition of Matt Wise does not solve all their problems. counting him as a definite upgrade is a bit optimistic. he had some serious control issues in 2007. if he can fix his head, then perhaps he will make a significant contribution.

but hey! if Wise can fix his head, maybe Eaton can too...

CubeHostage: If all of your negative predictions come true, you'll certainly be right about the Mets. We shall see.

If only the A's stayed in Philly...

time will tell, clout.

clout--- when did "Rick" Wise come out of retirement? ;) I think the mets are an "older" team with some youth sprinkled in.. Oliver Perez is 26 as is John Maine.. They should get better. I think Pedro is on the downside.. and not just because of injury.. 36 w/ all those innings... Wright and Reyes are in the top 2 at their positions.. They're probably at the same level as last year..

cube - Agreed about the Mets. I don't think they are slipping substantially in anyway but they aren't going to run away with the NL East either in '08 either.

The one area where I do think the Mets have a clear advantage over the Phils is the bullpen. Mets' bullpen struggled down the stretch last year but that was primary due to overuse. Mets' have a better and much deeper pen right now than the Phils. It is one of the principal reasons why I would be surprised if the Phils are in front of the Mets by Memorial Day.

The Mets just brought back outfielder Angel Pagan via trade. Now I'm really worried.

after seeing that, I like Jamie Moyer even more. Hope he brings that fire to the clubhouse of the 08 PHILS

reed:seeing Moyer raise the 12th man flag was extremelly cool. I'll never forget how he stepped it up for the Phills in the regular season final + the huge impact he had on Hamels. I hope the Phills eventually make him the pitching coach.
In regards to a previous post regarding hiring Leo Mazzone. I caddied for John Schmoltz a few years ago & he rolled his eyes when I brought him up. He said he wasn't upset to see him go. The bottom line is you need talented pitchers to make a coach look good. Baltimore found out quickly that Mazzone can't help when your pitchers are dogs. It's funny how having 3 Hall of Famers on your staff makes you a great pitching coach.
The same could be said for Joe Torre(fired 3 times but only became a good coach after given the #1 payroll in baseball. Bill Belichick went 36-44 while coaching Cleveland. Tom Brady is the reason Belichick became a success.

kells, how was Smoltz's tip? Was he a douche or non-douche?

I brought up Mazzone before just to throw it out there. He is not 100% responsible for the Braves pitchers or Orioles pitchers. I'm not a Dubee fan and I'm all for bringing in an ex-Brave, aka douche, for intel. Plus, he and Cholly would be one intersting sideshow. It would be the sequel to Deliverance.

Reid, schmoltz is a good guy but rarely talked. He's very serious on the golf course. On another occasion In 1999? I caddied in a 4 some of Brett Boone,Schmoltz,Glavine & maddux.
I caddied 36 years holes & made $450 dollars + tickets for a game the next day.
Brett Boone was a very cool guy. Maddux is the nicest guy you will ever meet + he talked baseball the whole day. Glavine initially was a good guy but started blaming me for his bad shots-uncool considering he was an average golfer compared to schmoltz & Maddux. I refused to carry his bag for the 2nd 18 holes. The bets these guys made were outrageous & for huge $.
All 4 were extremelly generous w/ their tips + Boone invited us out for drinks.

kells -

what course did they play?

from what i hear, smoltz & maddux are scratch golfers, right?

joe:they play Merion when they come to Philly. Smoltz shot a 74. I think Maddux shot a 78 on a tough course. Glavine around a 84.

Clout- the reason I suggest the Mets are declining is because Carlos Delgado was bad last year and at his age I don't see a vast improvement coming, Alou is old and getting older, Pedro and Hernandez are huge injury concerns, Billy Wagner may get booed in NY and I'm looking for a down season from him, Castillo is one of the most over-rated players of the last decade in my opinion...I just don't see how they've gotten any better.

The Mutt are a team in decline. There is much more to worry about with the Braves.

Carson: Then you have to believe LoDuca's 2007 season was better than Schneider in 2008, that the collection of guys they ran out there at 2B is better than Castillo and that Glavine was better than Pedro will be this year. You may well be right. But I don't think so.

formerly clout -
I have to go with the basic premise of Carson's argument. Delgado seems to be declining. Reyes and Wright will, no doubt, be good. Castillo will hit better, but field worse, than the guys that manned 4 for the Mets. Church probably does not really replace Green. Schneider, while a significant defensive upgrade, will not match LoDuca's OPS+. How much can anyone expect from Alou - at some point age will catch up to him.

As for the pitching, Martinez will be better in most categories than Glavine was - except for one: IP. Who will produce all the innings for their rotation? Hernandez? Perez? Pedro has gone over 200 IP just twice this millemium. And he is getting older.

Actually, though, what the Mets are doing this off-season is, for the most part, irrelevant for me. Even if (when?) the Phils win the division, they need to be much improved if they're gonna take even one step forward in the play-offs and, for instance, even win a game.

Even though Colorado's pitching looks like it may fall apart next year, look at the moves made by Arizona, San Diego and L.A. and you know the first round of the play-offs will include a very good-pitching west coast wild card. I do not see how the Phils can advance very far as they are currently configured.

We can talk about the still sucky Mets all we want (or maintain that they won't be all that sucky; whatever), but unless the Phils are poised to compete in the post-season it will mean very little.

Andy: Gomez replaces Green. Church is a 4th outfielder. Also, LoDuca OPS+ was 80. Schneider's was 77. Catching defense is way more important than corner defense and it's fair to say the huge gap between Schneider's defense and Lo Duca's more than offsets the 3 points of OPS+

My point isn't that the Mets are some juggernaut that can't be beat. My point is that the Mets HAVE improved themselves this offseason.

Regarding your last point, here's a prediction: Two teams in the West will finish with better records than the team that wins the East.

clout - not gonna get into a pissing match here, because my second point is the real point - and I agree. It might even be three WC teams with better records than anyone in the east.

BUT. Lo Duca's 80 was his worst ever for a full season. Schneider's 77 is about his career norm average.

And Gomez is a rookie, from the Mets over-hyped farm system. Who knows how he'll perform? To say that he's an improvement over Green's production is very premature. He could be Roberto Clemete. Or Kevin Mench. Or Chris Roberson. We'll see. If the Mets have improved, it is by not much more than the Phils have.

And, again, it will not matter in that first play-off series when whichever has to play a real play-off caliber team from the west.

Prospect guru John Sickels is out with his Top 20 prospects list for the Phillies. I have no complaint with his top 5: Carrasco,
Cardenas, Outman, Savery, Drabek.

I DO have quibbles with his next 5: Donald, Golson, Blackley, Happ, Marson.

He says he loves Golson's raw tools, but that's never been the issue. A K/BB rate of 49/2 is the issue. Until he begins to show a shred of plate discipline, in my book he's Reggie Taylor.

On Donald, I'm still not a believer despite the great numbers last season (age 22 in single A is a bit old), but if he can duplicate them at AA this year I'll come around. His glove is just average and he lacks speed, so if he's gonna make it, it's up to his bat.

I wasn't high on Marson either after his mediocre 2006 at Lakewood, but he had a nice season in the FSL at age 21, so I'm warming up to him. I would rate Happ & Marson ahead of Donald & Golson. In fact, I'd rate Mathieson ahead of them as well. Sickels had Mathieson 17th because of questionable health.

He had Drew Carpenter at #15 and I'd put him in the top 10. I want to see him go to Reading this season and maintain his numbers while reducing walks. He's a soft tosser and AA is the level where they separate the men from the boys among soft tossers.

Not in the Phillies Top 20 prospects: Jaramillo, Edgar Garcia, Javon Moran and D'Arby Myers. Myers, who was touted last year by SirAlden as a great prospect is nothing of the sort, so I would agree with Sickels on that one.

But Moran looked pretty good in Reading and if he can repeat those numbers in a half season at Allentown I think he'll be a decent reserve by the second half (if needed), a poor man's Michael Bourn. While I have no confidence in Jaramillo's bat, his glove is fine and he ought to have a place in the Top 20 at least. Finally, Garcia (who I posted about as a real sleeper last year) did nothing at age 19 in Lakewood to change my mind. He throws a mid-90s heater with a good changeup but is having trouble finding a third pitch. If memory serves there was a guy named Mario Soto who threw only those 2 pitches and made a pretty good career out of it. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what this kid does in Clearwater.

Clout: Any chance you can post the whole top 20 list for those of us who don't have access? Or is access free?

BTW, I agree wholeheartedly with Andy. I find the line of thinking -- "The Mets and Braves haven't improved much, so we don't have to, either" -- to be ultimately self-limiting. Jay Stark's last column led off with this -- that in the AL, teams must improve constantly or risk being left behind, while in the NL, the prevailing attitude is "we don't have to do much to win this weak league."

The fact that ours isn't the only front office thinking this way doesn't comfort me much. Many of us have noted that, with the proper application of an extra $10-$15 million, the Phillies could make themselves a perennial post-season team. Eventually somebody in the NL will make that choice; it's frustrating to know it won't be us.

The debate about the Mets is an interesting one. I have to preach agnosticism here. They could go either way.

Reyes should rebound, and Wright will get better (scary). Beltran should also give them a fine season.

However, many other players are question marks. Alou could stay healthy and give them a good season...or decline. And he's always an injury risk. Delgado could rebound or decline further. If Gomez is in RF he could turn into the second coming of Josh Hamilton or could underperform his tools like Milledge. They do know what they are going to get in Church - and a healthy Endy Chavez. Castillo has decent OB skills but very little power, but he's still an upgrade over what they started with last season.

What it boils down to with the Mets is pitching - same as the Phillies.

I agree with clout that Pedro is an upgrade over Glavine - when he's on the mound. Andy is correct in that they don't know how many innings they'll get from him.

El Duque is coming off of surgery so he's somewhat of a question mark, Perez has been erratic - could repeat '07 or '06, Maine will probably improve as he has every year - but could fall victim to a huge increase in IP last year, and they really don't know what they have in Pelfrey or Humber.

So, it could go either way for the Mets, depending on the age of their players and the injury factor.

clout is correct - on paper they've improved - so you have to say at this point they're better. However, the team age and injury risk are there.

How's that for straddling the fence?

Lastly....beware of Santana.

"Eventually somebody in the NL will make that choice; it's frustrating to know it won't be us."

Alby - hear, hear!

As far as tha Mets bullpen is concerned, after Wagner, Heilman and Feliciano no one scares me.

Alby: here's Sickels' Top 20, in order:
Carrasco, Cardenas, Outman, Savery, Drabek, Donald, Golson, Blackley, Happ, Marson, Bastardo, Sampson, D'Arnaud, Spencer, Carpenter, Slayden, Mathieson, Mach, Mattair, Brown.

Savery, D'Arnaud, Mattair, Spencer, Mach and Sampson are all from the 2007 draft. It usually takes at least a full season to separate the wheat from the chaff so I take the later picks in this group (Spencer, Mach, Sampson) with a huge grain of salt.

Slayden, an 8th rounder in 2005, is one of the more bizarre cases I've seen. They've treated him like an 18-year old out of HS, starting him at low-A Batavia and going step by step each year (Lakewood in year 2, Clearwater in year 3 etc.) That means he joins Reading this season at the ridiculously old age of 25. At this pace he'll be a 27-year-old rookie for the Phils in 2010. But, the guy's numbers have been consistently good, so maybe they know what they're doing. I just can't recall a college position player being treated like this.

clout, one question about the prospect list:

If Mathieson is listed so low because of questionable health, why is Drabek listed so high?

Back after being stranded in a Lake Tahoe blizzard for several days.

I agree with the sentiment that it's dangerous to peg our off-season activity to the Mets'. Like the Phillies, the Mets have a core of star players, plus a large number of unknowns. If those unknowns shake out right, they could easily win 95 games. If they don't, the Mets could be a non-factor. Rather than trying to build a team that could beat out the Mets under either scenario, the Phillies are essentially just banking on the latter scenario to unfold.

Clout: I agree with you about Slayden. He has hit at every level & I am much higher on him than, apparently, the Phillies are. The problem seems to be his defense, which is reportedly terrible. One wonders, though, how terrible it can really be. Unless he's literally dropping routine fly balls with regularity, I wouldn't get too worked up over whether or not a left fielder can play defense. Can he really be much worse on defense than the Phillies' current left fielder?

BAP: The word on Slayden is that he has poor range and a weak arm, but LF at CBP might be the least important defensive position in the majors, especially with Vic in CF.

Hamels/Myers/Kendrick/Moyer/Eaton is NOT better than Pedro/Maine/Perez/El Duque/(Humber--Pelfrey)ON PAPER.. However if Pedro only throws 5.5 Inn per start and El Duque is not healthy for periods of time plus neither 5th starter works out, then the pendulum swings back to the Phils..The Phils have their OWN iffs...Eaton not being any better.. Hamels gettin hurt etc...But right now I give slight advantage to the Mutts..

AWH: Sickels didn't really say why he placed more emphasis on Mathieson's injury than Drabek's. I'm guessing he thinks Drabek, at age 19, is more likely to bounce back from TJ surgery at age 20 than Mathieson at age 24 from TJ surgery in 2006 plus ulnar nerve transposition surgery last year in the same (pitching) elbow. It does sound like Mathieson's elbow was more messed up than Drabek's.

On Sickel's top 20 Philly prospects:
Mathieson should higher -- perhaps top 5. Blackley seems way too high; not even sure he should have made the list. Carpenter should be higher -- top 10. Castro, Zagurski, and Jaramillo are likely to have at least minor roles in the majors (unlike some others on the list) -- although their ceiling is lower. Everyone does their prospect lists differently. Otherwise, not bad.

Billy Mac: Agree with you 100% on that.

Carrasco, Cardenas, Outman, Savery, Drabek, Donald, Golson, Blackley, Happ, Marson, Bastardo, Sampson, D'Arnaud, Spencer, Carpenter, Slayden, Mathieson, Mach, Mattair, Brown.

1) Golson has to be able to tell the difference between fastballs and offspeed stuff before he can even crack this list. Dom Brown should be higher than him on this list. Easily.

2) Blackley? You MUST be kidding.

3) Bastardo has been lights out at low levels, but that's all so far.

4) Edgar Garcia is the closer of the future - I'd say you'd heard it here first, but others know this already. He is a better prospect than many ahead of him.

5) I have no problems with Sampson on this list. Numbers and report wise he sounds like he might have been a steal at round 12.

6) Moose Mattair has a long way to go.

7) Tyler Mach is a name to remember - he should be at least as good as Carl Henry some day.

It is a true indication of the Wade years that almost a third of this list is comprised of people from this year's draft. I wonder what Boston's list looks like.

On Slayden: Looked up his stats and he seems to have been underpromoted by the Phillies. He's hit at every level, but the Phils had him still in A ball at age 25 ? Was he blocked by our great outfield talent at Reading and Ottawa ? Seems he has the potential to be at least a useful lefty bat on the bench. Curious to see how he does this year against better competition.

Andy, in Wade's defense (yeah, I can't believe I'm typing this either) he was the GM when they drafted or signed Rollins, Utley, Howard, Madson, Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Ruiz, Coste, Burrell, and Victorino.

You are correct in that the lost draft pick from signing dreck like David 'roid' Bell and others probably cost them a player or two who would now be MLB ready.

Clout: Thanks.

"The word on Slayden is that he has poor range and a weak arm." In other words, he IS worse than Burrell. Say what else you will about him, Burrell's arm isn't weak.

On Mathieson, ulnar nerve transposition is a complication of TJ surgery; it doesn't mean his elbow was especially messed up. But the FO party line, that he'll be ready for spring training, seems rather optimistic; I understood a year was the recommended recovery time for pitchers. It would be stupid to rush him, IMHO.

As a quick aside, Davethom73 (I believe he was "going away" for a while) will be happy with the article on the Phillies' website:

The Ken Mandel article seems to indicate Coste will be the backup again in 2008.

Evidence is evidence. All I was saying was: 6 out of 20 "top" prospects were drafted in 2007. Out of the whole system. 30%. It just doesn't look like he did a very good job.

And I'm not sure I buy the argument that the reason there's no one left in the system is because they're all in the majors already.

The point with asking about Boston is that, no matter how many players Epstein (or Beane in Oakland, for that matter) brings up, there are always real prospects being developed.

Oh, and that 30% is players who really haven't played much. Which means that the other 70% is comparable (can be compared) to completely unknown quantities.

I know there's a couple different debates swirling about this thread, but I wanted to weigh in on the talk about the Mets:

I agree with several of the above posts regarding the importance of Alou last year for the Metropolitans. Moises will be turning 42 this upcoming season, and there's absolutely no shot he equals his .341/.392/.524 splits from last year.
I would also go out on a limb and say their offensive role players (Damion Easley, Ruben Gotay, Marlon Anderson) would be hard-pressed to equal their respective contributions from last year.
Meanwhile, it's clear on paper that a full season of Pedro, coupled with another season for Humber and Pelfrey, should improve the team somewhat. Still, I'm not convinced that Pedro will be fully healthy for an entire season. Nor is it a certainty, based on how awful they looked last year, that Humber and Pelfrey will amount to much in the majors (at least in the next season...)

Clout, though you make the argument that the Mets will be improved for next season, I think a very easy argument can be made positing that the Mets have taken a step or 2 backwards as of now...

Actually, I recommend readint eh Sickels report itself. His rankings are not that critical. He gives A to C- grades to the people on the list. Someone who's a C+ is in a virtual dead heat with someone else with a C+. The Phillies highest grade is a B (not even a B+), of which there are 4: Cardenas, Carrasco, Outman and Savery.

On the same page, down a bit, are the lists for the White Sox, A's and Dodgers. It makes for some interesting comparisons. The A's are going to have great prospects coming up in the next few years. Again.

The link:

Off topic, I know, but I found a cool list of free agents for next offseason...

I am glad that everyone is coming around now to see how important the minor leagues are for the future of the Phillies. In Pat Gillick's 3 years he will have 6 1st round and 1st round sandwich picks, vs. only 1 during Ed Wade's last three years.

The Phillies Minor Leagues are not perfect but they are being rebuilt. The 2008 AA Reading Team will be really fun to watch and root for. If they do well they will be in AAA in 2009.

Enjoy everyone.

Top 30 Minor League List

Top 50 Minor League List

SirAlden: You mean prospects you've declared "high quality" like D'Arby Myers?

Alden, people have extensively discussed here for well over a year the importance of minor league players and development, and the Phillies track record at doing so.

Your arrogant, snide "glad everyone is coming around" comment is an insult to all the knowledgeable posters who have engaged in said discussions, and educated those of us who are not as knowledgeable as they.

It's also an insult to everone else's intelligence to try to act as if we haven't been paying attention to minor league player discussions, and that you've somehow been the singular proponent of the importance of drafting and developing young talent.

Andy, relax. You have no disageement with me. There wasn't one thing I wrote that disagreed with your point.

The FA market has been really weird the past 2 weeks. I know it was the holidays but almost nothing has happened and their are still a few noteworthy FA on the market. I wonder if stuff starts to happen again this week now that everyone is back from holiday vacation.

you people HAVE to check out

MG, I think the lack of activity has to do with teams just not wanting to meet the prices that some of the free agents are asking, Lohse at 4/40 being a prime example.

It looked like Lohse was going to the Mets for sure..I wonder what happened there

AWH - Maybe but I also think the holidays played a pretty big part. Everybody out of the office really the last two weeks. This is really the first "real" work week in 3 weeks. Stuff will get done this week and I am betting that Lohse signs within next 10 days (not exactly a bold prediction).

There are some useful bullpen options out there but I don't think the Phils are going make any big additional moves unfortunately. I am predicting that they one or two veteran relievers to either the major league minimum and a slight boost if that pitcher appears on the major league roster/spring invites.

My crazy prediction - Gillick brings in yet another former player and will bring in Benitez for at least a look in spring training. If this actually does happen, I would actually have El Pulpo instead.

I definitely think Gillick brings in another well-traveled veteran reliever. My longshot is Benitez (because Gillick already brought in one of the key members of the '96-'97 Orioles pen back in '05 with the Rhodes trade) and a not ruling out a repeat appearance by El Pulpo.

Anybody else want to guess on who it will be?

JW - New post?

Interesting article about the arms of outfielders around the league, Victorino ranks among the top in the majors, Burrell ranks as average...

MG, there is a link on mlbtraderumors to an interview that Lohse did on XM radio.

He said that one of the holdups, for him anyway, was the ongoing Santana/Bedard trade talks.

I interpret that as the Mets have put a contingent offer on the table. That is, he's been told how many $$$/years they'll commit to if they can't get Santana.

He also said he was down to three teams, and said "winning" was important as well as security. It makes me wonder that if push comes to shove he'd accept the three yr. offer the Phils were reported to have made.

AWH - I am relaxed.
I realized after posting that what I wrote sounded a lot more "angry" than it should have. Sorry.

I have begun to wonder, regarding Wade and other Philly GMs, to what extent the problem with drafting and development rests at a higher level. It is possible that "budget restraints" have forced GMs and the scouting department into making overly retstrained or unwisely risky draft decisions.

Sometimes it pays off - when highly motivated players reach their highest projected upside: like Utley, Rollins and Hamels (or exceed that projected upside like Howard).

Other times, the Phils sit around hoping for a break-through (that no one else in baseball really expects to happen) with guys like Costanzo, Golson and (perhaps) D'Arby Myers. (I'm tempted to put Mattair and Savery into this last category until hard facts convince me that Savery's best position is pitcher and Moose can fix the holes in his swing.)

It all seems due, however, not to the skills, insight and talent of the GM, but the penny-wise mentality of the organization's top brass.

Otherwise, well, you know, I just like slinging mud at Ed Wade. It's a bad personal habit. Maybe I'll change to someone else this year.

I think the hold up for Lohse is his steep asking price.

DaveX - thanks for the HT article. I will sleep better knowing that A-Row has been replaced by a faster CF with a much, much better arm.

Carson - either that or no one really knows how to pronounce his name.

MG - I'll take a trip down to the Dollar Store and see who's in the Clearance Section of the Bargain Bin - the old, tired, hittable reliever with no command left who's marked "Half-Off last listed price"? That's our guy.

When I was in high school there was a girl in my class who's last name was Drabek and she sported a big rack. That must be why John Sickels rated Drabek so high, genetic memory.

Andy - You may have hit on it. It's hard to sell the fans or a Board of Directors, to enter a long term big bucks contract on a guy whose name can be pronounced "LOSE"!

In the Sporting News Fantasy mag written before last season, they state about Lohse: "Take away the "H" in his nameand that's what you'll do with him in your rotation"

sorry.. the previous post was ROB

My guess for Gillick's Bargain Depot selection would be Mark Hendrickson.. He'd be a swing man in 2 sports in Philly.. If he doesn't make the 25, we can send him to the Sixers for "financial considerations."

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EST. 2005

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