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Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Well, at least we won't have to worry about the burden of being labeled "Division Favorites" this year. Come on fellas - No Excuses, Play Like Champions!

While there's definitely a little something to Hofmann's column, it's a shame that opening up a spot on the bench is going to cost us $4.5 million and a .288 OBP. Everyone but Conlin seems to be grabbing at straws when you ask them to justify this signing.

And clout - "At least we got Pedro Feliz!" has a much better ring to it than "Goosebumps."

Maybe this will be good enough to put another chip on their shoulder. That even after winning the division they have to deal with not being taken seriously in their division. The Mets acquiring santana could be this years Rollins' "why not us". Something to put that chip on their shoulder and play like the NL East Champions.

I have read Beerleaguer for over a year now and this is my first post. I have been reading the posts for the past two days and want to thank Jason for finally putting some sense into it by looking beyond what is out of our control. So what if the Mets got Santana, he does not play everyday and can be beat from time to time. The Phillies need to worry about themselves and they will be fine. I will embrace this team no matter what. They won the pennant last year without several of their stars for long stretches and a bad pitching staff. They have made some off season moves to make them better than they were last year period. I have every reason to believe that they will be better. The Phillies could have landed Santatna and in typical phan fashion, we would be claiming that they gave up too much. I look forward to summer battles with the Mutts. While Santana will help the Mets, they still have to play the games and who knows. The Mets have their share of problems well beyond the pitching, particularly in team chemistry. Wait until Wagner begins dividing the clubhouse again. I am looking at all the positives with this team...
1) better pitching than last year
2) an everyday third baseman
3) team chemistry
4) potent offense again
5) team experience

And yes, I drink the kool aid on a daily basis.

Hi Jason, I just wanted to say thanks for the hilarious picture you made of Santana. It perfectly captured my emotions on hearing the news, plus made me laugh which I really needed!

Yeah, let's all settle down a little. Feliz is at least a better option we had before, when we were faced with the following options: crappy defense, marginal left-handed bat, or extra crappy defense, marginal right handed bat, or ok defense, offensive black hole. so now we've got some good glovework, and a decent stick who can hit a couple bombs. imagine if nunez had the capability to hit 20+ home runs, because it seems like that's what we have.
i also love the "i hate this team" crowd after the santana trade. well, we clearly have zero pieces to make a trade, and the free agent market was doo-doo. would you rather we overpay by 25-50% for any of the trash available this winter? every team has a window, and ours ain't closed yet. hopefully, we can have another young arm or two available at some point (happ, outman, etc.) that can get us by. this team scores runs, we don't need to run out koufax, 80s gooden, 90s clemens, and bob gibson just to be competitive. let's take a deep breath, settle it down, and see what happens. i was ready to post the suicide hotline on here the other day.

That is funny about the Mets fans bumping up your hits. This is a great blog and you deserve it. I am still optimistic too. I think Feliz making the bench more versatile is something the folks here are greatly overlooking. Now Dobbs can go back to being a lefty PH, which he is most valuable at. Now Bruntlet, who is supposed to be a good PH, can be available instead of needing to be a defensive replacement every game. I think the Phillies bench is being greatly overlooked now as it seems really good. Yes, there are plenty of question marks with the pitching staff, but that holds true with most teams out there. We have a 1-2 punch in the starting rotation most teams would kill for, we are strong up the middle, we have a great bench, we have speed, power and defense, our guys are young and hungry, the team will at least be exciting to watch so there is a lot to be optimistic about. I also can't see the rash of injuries we had to go through last year so that right there will make the team better. If Lidge can go back to old form we are in pretty good shape and free agent years tend to do that to guys.

Sure, the Mets made a big move to get Santana. But didn't getting Pedro guarantee a World Series ring, or at least an appearance a few years ago? And Tom Glavine? And Carlos Beltran? I'm still waiting to see that personally.

Yes, the Mets appear to be the best team in the division in some accounts, but the Phillies (and Marlins and Nationals) always play the Mets really well and I don't exactly see that changing yet. Santana is the best pitcher out there, but I still have questions about their overall rotation. Let's see Pedro not get hurt, let's see the John Maine and Oliver Perez perform consistently before we move aside for the Mets. The Phillies may actually be better than they were last season. It all remains to be seen.

The more time I have to digest the Pedro Feliz signing the more I like it. I don't think he's a fantastic player, but he does help this club for defense alone and the limiting of Manuel's "who do I play/switch" decisions is key too. Also, I have to think that his stats will slightly improve with a better supporting cast around him and a more kind home field for hitters.

I'm a mets fan and I have to say this blog is pretty awesome.

Question, anyone remember Duaner Sanchez? Who is reportedly in amazing shape now?

Lights out gentlemen, we have 7/8 spot madman, then wagner.

Remember Wagner?


Remember Burrell?

It's funny that a Mets fan would ask anyone on this blog if he remembers Wagner. Don't you realize all our memories of Wagner are fond memories, fool?

Remember? I think Burrell hit about 900 feet in homeruns against your boy Wagner last year.

Jay Chill smells of bandwagoner: dropping all the new taglines about the newly invincible Mets but displaying zero understanding of the battles our teams have waged over the last few years.

He is right on one count: this blog is the tits.

I'm not giving up on the Phils.

Their starters should be better because: 1) they'll be deeper with a full season from Myers, and; 2) fewer trips to the DL -- all but Moyer lost time.

Their bullpen should be better because: 1) Lidge is an all-star caliber closer working for a new deal; 2) Romero will be on hand for a full season (not that I'm expecting him to post similar numbers to last year's effort); 3) Gordon and Madson will be back, and; 4) they got rid of a lot of fodder from last year, coupled with a few young pitchers ready to contribute.

In addition, the Phils' Big Three of Rollins, Utley and Howard is superior to the Mets' Big Three of Wright, Reyes and Beltran: Better OBP, SLG and OPS, and more homeruns, runs, doubles, triples, total bases and RBIs in 26 fewer games played.

Look at the supporting cast. Ruiz is better than Schneider. Burrell is better than Delgado. Victorino is better than Castillo. Jenkins/Werth is better than Ryan Church/Endy Chavez. I'll concede Alou, who only played in 87 games last year, over Feliz.

Throw in the Phils' resiliency and I like their chances. I certainly don't see the Mets walking away with the division, not with the aging cast they've got.

In baseball, a Big Three generally refers to the top of a strong starting rotation.

Neither the Phillies nor the Mets have a true Big Three, but the Mets just trumped the Phillies with this deal and pulled into a dead heat on paper.

Each has a formidable 1-2 punch with a great cast around them. But until one of them finds that magic #3 starter to round out a true Big Three, they will be post-season underdogs.

For now, the Red Sox Big Three reigns supreme. Other Big Three teams include San Diego, Arizona, Detroit and the Yankees.

Will the Phillies ever find a Big Three?

The Phils have had a much better off-season than the Mets. Yes, they made really big splash but take note: 1. The Phils will add another starter and reliever to go along with whatb they've already done. 2. If Santana wins only 15 next year that's only a couple more than Glavine won last year. Does anyone think that a probable investment of 120 million + 4 prospects is a good one for a 2 game improvemnt? Now Santana could win 18-22 very possibly. If he does, let's be concearned about it at that time.

Also, the Phils traded for Freddie Garcia before last year. He won 17 games in '06. We got 1 win out of him and paid him 10 million. Great work if you can get it. The Phils will be right there IMO.

Hopefully Utley will play all 6 months of this regular season...

DPatrone: "The Phils have had a much better off-season than the Mets."

Could you please explain that statement? Thanks.

Met fans assume: 1} All their players with good numbers last year will match or improve

2) All the players with off years will bounce back

3) Everyone stays healthy all year

4) All their new players will be good

It's easy!

Now, for the Phillies they assume:

1) Everyone who had a good year will get worse

2) Everyone who had an off year will stay the same or get worse

3) Probably some injuries too

4) Everyone they picked up stinks

You gotta love January!

Great write from my homeboy Jayson Stark on
If Johan Santana was good enough to carry a team to a World Series by himself, the Twins would have played in about five of them already. But now that we've got that away, no sane human would dispute that Santana is a contract extension away from changing the face of the NL East.

Two days ago, the Phillies were the clear-cut favorites in this division. It's safe to say they aren't anymore. But does that mean the Mets are a lock? Not necessarily, according to the baseball men I surveyed in the last 24 hours.

The case for the Phillies

This may come as a shock to all residents of Queens, but we did find several bright, rational NL executives who still pick the Phillies.

Remember, they did outscore the Mets by 88 runs last year, whomped 82 more extra-base hits and drew 92 more walks. In fact, if you go around the diamond, how many positions are there where the Mets are definitively better than the Phillies? I'd give the Mets two -- third base and center field.

The Phillies also catch the ball better. And would it really surprise anybody if the Phillies' top two starters -- Cole Hamels and Brett Myers -- won just as many games as Santana and Pedro Martinez?

Finally, keep in mind the reason that one NL front-office man picked the Phillies -- depth. The Phillies were deep enough last year to survive injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Hamels, Myers, Shane Victorino and Flash Gordon. And the Mets obliterated their system to make this deal, leaving them with "not much of an underbelly" if they have injuries. And everybody has injuries.

The case for the Mets

In case you hadn't noticed this, Santana is merely the best pitcher in the whole solar system. He's a franchise-changer, a season-changer, a league-changer.

Since 2003, the year he moved into the rotation, the Twins went 105-47 (.691) when he started, and only 335-323 (.509) when anybody else started. In other words, they played like a 112-win team when Santana pitched -- and like an 82-win team when anyone else pitched.

Now drop that guy into the middle of a team like the Mets -- a team that had an ERA a half-run lower than the Phillies' last year without him -- and you have a staff that one NL executive now ranks with the Padres' as potentially the best in the league.

The verdict

First off, just because we're having this fun little debate, it doesn't mean we're writing off the Braves. But the either-or format in the Hot Stove Heaters constitution means somebody has to get lopped off this discussion. So hold your e-mails. Thanks.

Now, back to the debate. I think this is a close call, but Santana represents such a gigantic upgrade over Kyle Lohse, Livan Hernandez or anyone else on the Mets' Plan B list (let alone their pre-Johan roster), he personally swings the balance of the division.

Just the fact that he's left-handed -- and last year had nearly twice as many strikeouts (62) as hits allowed (39) against left-handed hitters -- makes him Ryan Howard's and Chase Utley's worst nightmare. Then add in the fact that the Mets didn't give up anyone of major significance in 2008, and the Mets have to be the pick. But feel free to differ.

That's why we're here.

glad to see you're not pushing up the daisies.

Understand the Phils have to do but it but why do the Philly columnists/media have to polish a marginal signing like Feliz. Don't understand that.

good lord Patrone, I know you're in the tank for Phillies management, but ranking the Phils' offseason ahead of the Mets? you've got to be kidding.

From starks chat:

SportsNation Jayson Stark: No chance on Hernandez. They're still in on Lohse. But he's looking for $11m-plus a year, for three years with a vesting option. The Phillies' offer is $2m-3m less a year, and they prefer no more than two years. So he's going to have to get desperate.

Still sticking with what I said all offseason - the Phils needed more pitching help and didn't get it.

If they had gotten another starter and another legit bullpen arm then this offseason could have been called a success.

Stark's chat was pretty interesting, and while I don't share his optimism vis a vis the Phils, he at least talked me off the figurative ledge.

also very glad to hear that they're not interested in Livan. he's an Adam Eaton who goes deeper into games; giving him a rotation spot doesn't fix anything. I still wouldn't mind seeing Lohse back.


What impact would Bedard make to the Phils and would that impact be worth the lose of Ryan Howard??

I'll admit that I poured a bucket of gasoline on my head, lit in on fire, and jumped off the Ben Franklin bridge without a bungee cord.

I will say that I am looking forward to a matchup between him and King Cole. I like low-scoring games where every pitch counts.

Wow Lohse still thinks he is going to get $11+ for 3 years with a vested option now the Mets are out?

it's pretty hilarious that Mets trolls are still posting quasi-illiterate flames back on the "Breaking news" thread. can't imagine how depressing your life has to be if that's how you have to get yr rocks off.

Call me crazy, but NL or not, Johan locked up in a multi-year deal and not pushing for a trade will diminish his results. He had motivation last year (i.e. the big $ deal he's looking to finalize in the next 24 hrs or so). Not to mention the NY media. If a big name off-season splash made that big a difference, the Yanks would be looking to 3 peat this season. How many have they won since they "stole" A-Rod out from under the Red Sox? And he plays EVERY day.

Bold preseason prediction - Reyes will continue to not progress into the player that NY expects and will be involved in trade talks, maybe as early as the trade deadline this year.

What starter and reliever will the phils get in the next two weeks? What are you hearing....whats on the stove?

Preacher: someone on the starks chat compared reyes to juan samuel: all talent, no siubstance...i looked at the stats, and he may have been on to something.

Any more word on the Benson try out?

Could you imagine if we got Bedard?!! Thats a big 3 for ya. Thats at least 650K's from your top 3. Wow.

Reyes is Milledge with a slightly better start. Too early to stick a fork in him, but he certainly has not lived up to the early expectations. I didn't see a whole lot last year that made me believe that he has a radical uptick coming this year, either. He may be an infield version of Kenny Lofton (all speed, very little else to offer), but I don't project any HOF leaps coming.

On a more realistic note, what would it take to pry Snell from the Irates?

I can't take anything away from the Santana trade. It was pure gold for the Mets. Any time a team lands THE BEST pitcher in the league, and couples him with potentially 4 more 10+ game winners, then you have to be concerned. Still, I think the Cabrera/Willis trade trumps this one in terms of impact. With Santana, you have a pitcher who has the potential to win anywhere between 15-20 games this year (maybe a few more even). But, with Willis/Cabrera, the Tigers added a potential 13-17 game winner (if Willis recovers from his past year) AND a player that can hit over .300, hit over 30 home runs (even in that park) and drive in 130+ RBI's.

Granted, this means nothing to the Phils as Detroit is in the AL, but, it's merely my opinion.

Why do I think it's premature to crown the NYM's the champs of the NL? Guess it comes down to intangibles. You could make the case that 1-8, top to bottom, the Phils out produce 6 or 7 of the Mets everyday players. I also think our bench is MUCH stronger than the Mets. The Mets trump us in pitching (by far) but I don't think the Phils pitching staff is below average. At the same time, I don't think it's much above average. We're not trotting out the Pirates or Devil Rays starting 5 here, this rotation is capable of producing 3 (maybe 4, if Moyer's arm doesn't fall off) 10+ game winners. Closer-wise, Wagner does not scare me nearly as much as he did 2 years ago (We have first-hand evidence of that). I'll take Lidge over Wagner at this point.

Also, I think the Braves may have something to say about the Mets and Phils being the frontrunners in the division. No matter how you slice it, they find a way to stay competitive with both teams for all 162-games. This is a team that still has Smoltz, Hudson, Chipper, Texeria...

Simply put, I think it's premature to annoint ANY team in the NL as "frontrunners." But, what do I know, I just bleed white and red pinstripes like everyone else here. I know one thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to this years battles with the Mets and Braves moreso than I was last year, if you can believe that.

Thank you, Jason, from a phan down near DC. You all need to put your slide rules back in your pocket protectors, close windows on your spreadsheet, and just chill a bit.


On Santana: Any starting pitcher pitches, at most, every 5-6 days, meaning, at most, 30-some starts. (Ask yourselves, is it worth paying $25-million for some guy that can only play, at most, every fifth game? No, obviously.) Santana means, what, 6-8 more wins from the Mets. (PUT THAT SLIDE RULE BACK IN YOUR POCKET PROTECTOR!!) Come on, BIG DEAL. Y'all can cover that. Easy.

THINK POSITVE!! In all fairness to the Phils Mgt, they have done a superb job building a club that looks AL contender. Ooops, sorry, your beloved A's moved. Maybe y'all should be in a two club town, so you can get a grip on exactly how dominent the AL is right now. No one in the NL is going to win the World's Series anytime soon. Get a grip!!

On Feliz: You folks REALLY THINK going from having the worst 3B combined, meaning offensively and defensively, to one that is dead average won't help? As I said, PUT YOUR DAMN SLIDE RULES AWAY IN YOUR POCKET PROTECTORS. You have an offense that far exceeds anything the Mets could imagine. In fact y'all probably have the best offense in baseball. The Mets have better pitching, but COME ON. Baseball is a 162 game season. It spans 8 months, if you include spring training and the postseason. "A lot can happen from now 'til October." That may be cliche, but it is true. Lighten up, folks. Go get a beer.

About me: Yes, I may have grown up in Philly, but lived most of my life in DC. Yes, as a (secondary) Nats fan. But frankly, coming from a guy who lives among "poli-wonks" (policy experts,) you all are absolutly destroying thins franchise by your consistent bickering. From my prospective, BIG PICTURE NOW, you want the best team in baseball if you want to be assured of winning the World's Series, maybe, two times out of three. If you even get in. Steady progress is good enough for y'all. That's puzzling.

We Nats fans were simply giddy that we didn't lose 120 games last year. Are you people SO STUPID that you can't accept a good thing when you see it? COME ON. Any way things turn out, you will be entirely entertained by the Phils next season. What's the problem?

What you need to understand is, yes, the AL is way better than the NL. Yes "the Muts," as one person affectionately called them, live in an AL city with the Yanks. Yes, the Mets are largely responding to what the Yanks more than they are responding to you.

GULP!! The Mets care more about the Yankees than the Phillies?


Look, all you pocket protector types need to get a life. Be happy, despite yourselves. Spend time with your children. Take your kids out to an unplanned and unscheduled Phillies game next year ehen they are on a ten game losing streak, because there is no way the Phillies can afford what you demand them to do without watching them on TV, listening to them on radio, buying their merchandise, and showing up for the games.

I am doing my part in DC.

agreed-Reyes' slg, rbi and hr all down significantl in a year when his power numbers should be improving. this will be an interesting year for him.

The sky is NOT falling. And this will cheer you all up... Podsednik's wife?!

I don't think the Mets are out of the Lohse sweepstakes.

God, I might love Philadelphia, but I also love being amongst the eternal nay-says in that town. Don't ypu people realize a good thing when you see it? Or all of you really that stupid?

To start sorry for the long post here but I just had a random thought and I'm sorry if this has already been talked about and dismissed I haven't had a chance to be reading much lately but what if Bonds is so desperate to play and no one wants him you think theres any chance of convincing him to be like an extra outfielder who can start the games against tough righties who Burrell would struggle against, or if Burrell has a stretch of like a month or two and he doesn't hit. How dangerous would Bonds be off the bench as well late in the game when they bring a righty in later in the game. I understand there is zero chance of this happening but I couldn't help but to think how dangerous our lineup would be when he plays.


With Bonds now hitting behind Howard it allows Rollins, Victorino, and Utley to steal almost whenover Davey Lopes tells them to go. When Howard comes up they have to pitch to him with Bonds behind him. With Howard having that protection he would get pitches in the strike zone to hit which with lower his strikeouts on the days with Bonds behind him.

At first I thought four lefties in a row would be no good because they could bring in a pitcher to face 4 hitters in a row but with Bonds hitting in the spot that Burrell most likely would be hitting in anyways and the fact that you could argue that Bonds might be more effective off a lefty than Burrell would. Against lefties last year Bonds hit .265 with an OPS of .991. Pat Burrell hit .255 with an OPS of .950. The big gain would be against the righties who would start who plan on pitching more than 3 or 4 innings (Hudson, Smoltz, Maine, Pedro) or late in the game a righty closer comes in and you know that he is going to face Bonds since they likely won't take their closer out of the game. Last year Bonds hit .283 with OPS of 1.073. Burrel in comparison hitting .257 with an OPS of .880.

Defensively we don't really lose that much. Burrell does have a much better arm and we would lose that on days Bonds starts, but as far as range, with Jimmy getting to alot of the pop ups and Victorino (who by the way I personally think will be awesome in centerfield) covering alot of ground we could tell Bonds to stand in one spot and catch what comes to him.

This would only work though if we could convince him to be a part time player obviously (which I doubt he would do) and he has zero other offers. This would be a very small deal maybe with incentives based on how well he plays when he does. Start at like 1 mil and give him a chance to earn up to 5 or 6. Not sure on the numbers obviously just throwing numbers out there. It would be a test to see if playing part time is better than retiring. Who knows maybe Jimmy can knock some sense into and make him be part of the team.

Again sorry for the long post but I had just couldn't help but think how he would help us when he could play. And if he ends up in jail we only spent a million bucks to try.

I'm puzzled to why you are so hostile to the Met faithful. Remember, we Met fans are not so different to Phillie fans. We support a team that, more so than not, disapoint us with mediocre play, downright sh*tiness and the occasional heartbreak.

Here's to a good season! In my biased opinion, the Mets win the East.
In Johan, they get the best pitcher they had since Doc Gooden.
If the Mets can find a way to beat Philadelphia in August & September, (just once) it's all gravy.

Good Luck!

MG: Jack's been polishing the Feliz signing for a week, since it was first rumored. See no reason why the writers and the team shouldn't do it too.

FILL---EEEEEEEEEEZZZZZEEE: Sounds like a championship!

Expalnation of my earlier post~

The re-signing of Romero, the Lidge trade, getting Jenkins and Feliz and the moves that are yet to be made I think collectively rank as a better off season than the Mets have had. Just my opinion mind you. I think we've got a shot to bring back Lohse, I think we will sign Benson to a minor league deal and I'm believing Helms is gone.

I am not in teh tank on Phils management. But I think this off-season has been Gillick' best. The Mets got Santana, made a trade with the Natas and re-signed Castillo at crazy money.

I do think Loshe will get desparate and return. He's said recently that it was dowwn to 3 teams, Mets, Phils and somebody else. Don't think the Mets are interested any longer. Loshe's options are dwindling. Not hearing anything special. Talked to someone I know on the West Coast when the Feliz deal was announced. He was listening to sports radio out there and Said the talk was the Giants will miss Feliz. If he fields like he capable of hits 20 HR knocks in 70-75 we should be happy.

Everyone who has follwed my posts is aware that I 've been a Gillick basher most of the time. But at the moment I can't complain because we really had no shot at getting Lowell, Schilling, Santana etc. What Gillick did is hopefully filled needs with the players he's aquired. OTOH for Arbuckle to come out any that they're satified with the Abreu trade is ludicrous. My friend has not relayed any new news except the fact that Helms will go which is really not news. He thinks the Phils will sign Benson on a make good minor league contract. If he's healthy, he'll be insurance for Eaton.

I'd rather have Nunez tying up a roster spot and grounding into DP's than have to think about entertaining Bonds for even a fraction of a season. Who would be paying for his personal cross-country flights to testify in front of grand juries????

Until they prove otherwise, we own the Muts. We have kicked their ass eight straight games!

I know he may not be the best pitcher in baseball, but the phils need to step up and re-sign lohse. Adam eaton may be the worst starter in all of baseball, and getting him out of the rotation is addition by subtraction.

You got that right SKi.

Lets go get Loshe and get the season going!

DPatrone: So, to recap, adding Romero, Lidge, Jenkins & Feliz is much better than adding Santana, Castillo, Church, Schneider & Wise.

Let me now ask you a question: If the Mets offered Santana, Castillo, Church, Schneider & Wise to the Phillies for Lidge, Romero, Jenkins & Feliz, would you turn that trade down?

Hey Phils fans! Your amigo East Fallowfield is having some fun tweaking us over at metsblog so I thought I'd just come over here and check it out. You've got a very nice blog, that cream colored background is much easier on the eyes than our white. When our fans our not busy calling each other names or poking each other in the eyes with sticks the posts here are polite, thoughtful and factual. Consider me a fan (of your blog and your discourse, not your team).

To me, it's a no-brainer to re-sign Lohse and to take a flier on Benson. Loshe could allow Myers to return to the closer role. It's my understanding that PG said on DNL yesterday that they'd rather have Myers in the 'pen. Is this true? If so, that tells me they're in the market for another starter.

At this point, why not sign Lohse to a one year 9 mil deal with major incentive clauses up to 11 mil. Let him prove himself with a big year for a winning team, and then go after the big bucks again next off season.
/ morty

Clout: Please find one example of where I said that Feliz would help lead us to a championship. You can't. I also said yesterday that we had overpaid for a slight upgrade at 3rd base.

Also, please find a quote where I "pushed" for the signing. I said that it would represent, based on last years stats, an upgrade at 3rd base when you factored in both offense and defense. I never once gave an opinion on whether it was worth the money except for to say yesterday that it was overpaying, but that overpaying at 4 million a year is not very much (not nearly as much as we are overpaying Eaton). I also said that I was skeptical of signing veteran free agent relievers, but that if this move prevented us from signing Lohse or another adequate starter, it would be a mistake. If I have been anything other than even-handed about this acquisition, I dare you to prove it to me.

Until you can provide a quote from me linking Feliz to a championship, your idiotic comments will ring hollow, like most of what you say.

Morty: Because Lohse won't take that deal. He "proved" himself down the stretch last year, putting himself at least in line for a 2 year deal. Why would he accept a 1-year deal?

He hates pitching at CBP and my last memory of him is blowing the game. That said, we need him.

Jack: Because it's January 30, spring training starts in 2 weeks, & he's out of a job right now. The fact that he hasn't found a team yet tells you all you need to know about the reasonableness of Lohse's demands.

I didn't see all that much being proved, myself. Let's see it for a whole year.

He wants a long term deal, but no one wants to give it to him, obviously, at this time. So make a bet on yourself, ya know? Sounds like a good deal for the Phillies, and a decent outcome from a bad situation for him.
/ morty

DPatrone: It may be a no-brainer to re-sign Lohse for this year, but is it really a no-brainer to committ 3 years and over 10 million dollars a year to a starter who has a career ERA+ of 95, and has essentially been league-average or below his entire career? I think he would upgrade our rotation this year, but to sign him to 3 years means possibly blocking Carrasco and Outman, who both could be better starters next year or the year after than Lohse. We did this last year with Adam Eaton and are now stuck with him.

Lohse is better than Eaton, and will help the team this year, but the Front Office has to take a longer-term view of things, whether you like to consider it or not.

His demands are unreasonable, but I'd be shocked if he doesn't get a 2-year deal, from us or from someone else.

Jack: Are you hallucinating again? Please find where I wrote that "Jack says Feliz would help bring a pennant."

I simply noted that in dozens and dozens of posts you've been defending management's decisions throughout the offseason, none more vociferously than Feliz.

You've argued that they had no shot at adding pitching because the pitchers didn't want to come here, the ballpark, the team has a budget, we shouldn't sign Kuroda because you never saw him etc. etc. etc.

And on the bullpen, you said the team was better off using its homegrown talent than signing a veteran free agent, all of whom you said were overpriced, and Affeldt and Clement wouldn't sign here etc.

Management has basically followed everything you suggest. You've listed every excuse about why they couldn't be expected to do more. Every time I've suggested management should sign this one or that one, you've responded by saying I'm wrong and explained why it's good management didn't add them.

Your posts speak for themselves, I'm afraid.

P.S. And I'm still waiting for your player by player run down of the D'backs defensive skills.

Jack, exactly. Thats why one year deal is best for both sides. Lohse gets the dollar amount he wants and the Phils get the year amount they want - its a compromise.

By the way, what a penny wise pound foolish strategy the Phils' have of not pouring money into the farm system and draft picks if they don't want to pay 25mil a year for quality pitching. How much did the Twins pay for 2 Cy Young awards from Santana?

I saw Montgomery at the Nutter inauguration, I should have punched him in the nose.

DPatrone - "Talked to someone I know on the West Coast when the Feliz deal was announced. He was listening to sports radio out there and Said the talk was the Giants will miss Feliz. If he fields like he capable of hits 20 HR knocks in 70-75 we should be happy."

I live in SF and listen to sports radio out here/read the paper. There is pretty much consensus that the Giants will stink this year but they won't miss Feliz. They saw enough of Feliz's offense futility.

DPatrone: I'm still waiting for you to answer my question.


I agree with you. It's a lot to commit to. But the price of pitching is sky-high. While Minnisota may have gotten a better package of prospects from another team, a minimum of 120 million is what it will take for the Mets to sign Santana long-term. He's 2-time Cy Young award winner and he has the credentials, so he may be worth it. Was Gil Meche worth 55 million? Or Zito 126 million? The only FA pitcher who gave his team a good return on their investment wwas ted Lilly for the Cubs. And he got 40 million. The Phils might be able to sifn Loshe for 3/25 to 27. If that's what it takes given the current market hen so be it.

Don't forget about the big contract A.J. Burnett signed with the Jays too.

Gil Meche pitched 216 innings with a 3.67 ERA, 128 ERA+, and 1.30 WHIP. (yes, he went 9-13, but if you're still assessing pitchers by W-L you need to take a step out of the 1950s.) I have a hard time seeing how paying $55M for him last year would not have been a good investment for the Phils.

Jack: Reasonable minds can debate whether Lohse is worth a 3-year deal. However, there is no need to be concerned that Outman and Carrasco would be blocked, if we gave a 3-year deal to Lohse. Neither Outman or Carrasco will be major league ready until at least 2009 -- and more likely, 2010. If either one of these guys sniffs the majors in 2008, it either means that we have some serious injury problems or some serious pitching problems -- in which case someone on our staff would either need to be put on IR, demoted, or waived (thereby opening a roster spot for Outman/Carrasco).

After 2008, Moyer's contract is up, so there will be a vacancy in our starting rotation, whether Lohse is here or not. Besides, in the extraordinarily unlikely chance that the Phillies end up with too many viable starting pitchers for 2008 or 2009, we always have the option of moving Myers back to the pen, where he prefers to be anyhow.

I'm sorry Clout, I just saw your question. My answer is probably not. I would not turn that trade down. But my contention is that the Phils are not done. The Mets lost Glavine and had to replace him.

Feliz does make our infield better. While he admittedly has some negatives, at this point, he was the Phils best option. Jenkins and Werth should/could off-set Rowand's #'s. Vic should fine in CF.

Loshe and a reliever for Helms should only make us better still. Collectively, I think the Phils are better than they were at the end of last year. And I think the Mets are too. Do I think the FO could have done better? Absolutely! But they could have done worse. And being the best team on paper doesn't mean a thing. You still have to play the games. What if Santana goes down for 2 months like Myers? What if the Phils have injury problems and the Mets don't? So it's all relative.

I think the Phils inf. and OF collectively is better than that of the Mets. I give the Mets the edge in Pitching collectively. ANd we all know pitching wins games. The Mets were supposed to win the East last year and didn't. This year maybe they will, maybe they won't. We'll see.

Clout: About Feliz, I simply argued that he would be an upgrade over Dobbs/Helms, based on last year's stats, and you disagreed. That was the argument. I'm sure that now every time we lose you will bring up Pedro Feliz, because you seem to be that type of guy.

We had a serious philosophical difference that we argued about- I believe defense matters and you don't. That was really the crux of our argument over Feliz, and that's fine. I never defended management's decision to pay 8.5 million to Feliz over 2 years, but I will say that it's not the worst thing they could have done.

I never once blamed our lack of pitching with guys not wanting to sign here cause of the park- many other posters did, I'm sure you confused me with them.

While I dislike ownership's stance on the budget as much as anyone, are you arguing that we don't have one? Interesting.

About the pitching I'll admit that they haven't upgraded it as much as I would like. I would've loved them to sign Ron Mahay, and Matt Wise would have been a decent pickup. They were both gone, as were Clement and Affeldt (who wanted to sign as starters, and di), at the time of the Feliz move, so you're equating signing Feliz with a lack of bullpen moves is disingenuous at best.

About using homegrown talent for the bullpen, which I suggested, you countered taht they tried it and failed last year with Matt Smith, Condrey, Sanches and Zagurski. If you think those guys are as talented prospects as Carrasco, Outman and Mathieson, well that tells me all I need to know about your talent evaluation skills.

Overall, I think Gillick has done a decent job this offseason given the budget constraints (which again, I hate, but which do exist- regardless of whether you choose to ignore them or not). The Lidge trade was a good move, as was the Jenkins signing. The Romero signing was probably overpaying somewhat, but then that should be right up your alley, as he was a veteran middle reliever. The Feliz deal could go either way, but as it stands, the amount of salary (4 million) and the possible difference in production between him and Dobbs/Helms makes it really not that big a deal, as much as you want to blame him for us not winning a championship this year (although I wonder what you'll say about him if we do?)

PS- I already explained about the Arizona defense. I will trust The Hardball Times' stats over you judgement. Unless you're a pro scout; are you?

BAP: Good analysis. While I think that Outman will certainly be ready by next year, you're right that Moyer leaving and Myers going back to the pen are good options for opening up rotation spots. I hope that the Phillies don't do what they did for Utley and Howard and waste some of Carrasco and Outman's best years in their early 20's in the minors. They promoted Hamels and Myers pretty early, and that seems to have worked out well.

Anyway, I still would hope we don't sign Lohse to a 3 year deal, but a 2-year deal sounds good to me. He would be a help to our rotation this year.

ae: You're right that based on last year, Meche was worth that money. We would've been a few wins better last year had we signed him. We'll see whether he's worth it over 5 years, but after 1 year it looks like a deal we should've made. That said, we thought we had 6 quality starters going into last year. Not so much...

Jack: I don't think we have much disagreement. As I said, my point was simply that you've been the number one defender and excuse maker for management this entire off-season. This says it all, "Overall, I think Gillick has done a decent job this offseason given the budget constraints."

In fairness, Jack, both Hamels & Myers & even Kendrick had already succeeded at high levels of the minors (i.e., AA and up) before they were called up to to the show. Neither Outman nor Carrasco can say the same. All of their success has come at Single A or lower. Both struggled after being called up to AA last year.

The only pitching prospect in the Phillies' system who has already succeeded at AA is Happ. Unfortunately, he then turned around & struggled at AAA last year but, hopefully, that was injury-related. If the Phillies find themselves in need of another starter this year, I would be very surprised if anybody but Happ got the first call.

I think Feliz may be worth 1-2 wins over what we had last season. We are going from one of the worst defensive third basemen in the NL to one of the two or three best. Significant dropoff offensively notwithstanding, that will help. (Don't forget, last year Nunez had 283 plate appearances.) And Myers is getting some innings in the rotation that went last year to people like Durbin and Garcia and Lieber, so that will help too. But, given that Romero is sure to pitch worse than last year, given that our bullpen is even thinner now than it was before, given the potential for Lidge to be pretty inconsistent, given that Jenkins/Werth probably won't match Rowand's career year numbers, I just have a feeling that this team won't match last season's win total.

Based purely on optimism, I have to say that I see Cole Hamels being extremely motivated now that Santana is in NY. Just last year he set a goal of trying to win 20 games. Hamels is a great pitcher motivated by the quest for elite status. I think Santana really lights a fire under him. I also think Myers realizes how crucial he is as a starter now that there is real competition from the mets. I am also less annoyed by the Feliz signing than before, mainly b/c he did outhit the platoon last year (when they were at third) and we go from perhaps the worst fielding 3B to the best. I also am expecting big things from Burrell. That's it for my wave of optimism.

DPatrone: Thanks for answering my question. It sounds like we agree that the collection of players the Mets have acquired are superior to what the Phils have acquired so far this offseason.

BAP: Your analysis of the state of the pitching prospects is right on the money. Until they master AA, which they haven't, neither Outman nor Carrasco will be in the majors. Happ goes first, if healthy.

The Phillies need to sign Lohse and trade Helms, Gordon and either Bruntlett or a mid-level prospect (or trade all four if they can get a good starter to good good bullpen arms) for a good set-up man.

As for Santana, I wouldn't be surprised if he disappoints (or has one good yr then disappoints) like a lot of other big $$$ pitchers acquired in trades/free agency in recent years. I have a theory that Santana may pull a Freddy Garcia and is damaged goods. Santana's ERA is Sept was about 5.00 (4.94 to be exact) and his overall season was down from his previous years. Did he just have a down a year or is he hurt from throwing an average of over 210 innings a season for 5 seasons?
Santana being hurt could also be why the Red Sox and Yankees pulled their bigger deals and be why the Mets managed to get Santana for significantly less, not even their top prospect.

I don't get it typhoon, why would anyone want our expensive, washed-up, old players?

I'll give Gillick some credit. I mean the one player that was really worth breaking the bank for, Mike Lowell, they did make a big play for. It is unfortunate for the Phillies that Lowell is one of the few remaining guys that will take less money and less years to stay with his team. Gillick did the best he could with the fact he has no prospects in high demand and a limited budget. The holes on the Phillies team are holes on just about every team. I mean, how many teams are happy with their bullpen and starting rotation? It is just the state of the game now. I do think the ownership has to step up and stay in the Lohse race as long as he is at a reasonable price. If they can get him for 2 years, $20 million I think they need to pull the trigger. Otherwise, what do you really want Gillick to do with nothing to trade and no quality free agents out there?

Tray, why would anybody want Adam Eaton, Rod Barajas, Wes Helms, or Pedro Feliz? It's hard to believe, but the Phillies aren't the only team to make bad trades/free agent signings. There has got to be some team out there who would think that Tom Gordon can still be a set-up man, that Wes Helms can rebound from a bad year or at least be a back-up infielder, that Bruntlett can be a defensive replacement/bench guy/pinch hitter, and that one of our prospects has more potential than reality (hey if the Mets can overhype some of their prospects, we can try to do it too).

clout, given the Phillies' self-imposed budget, and including the extra money they seemed prepared to spend on Lowell, what moves would you have made for them this off season? Would it have been possible for them to make championship quality moves, or does the budget simply limit the possibilities too much?
/ morty

WTF? Where is the revisionist history coming on the supposed offer to Lowell?

The only thing the Phils confirmed was that they made a last-minute offering to Lowell. They never disclosed the financial terms of the deal or the length of the deal.

In fact, it is not known if they even presented actual offer in writing to Lowell or if it was more based on back-and-forth communications.

I still stand by original opinion that the supposed Lowell offer was really BS and that this was primary a marketing ploy by the Phils. "We made the college try at the last second but couldn't get him." Story stank then and it does now.

Morty: The number that was tossed around here, and I think it ws MG who researched it, was that the Phillies had about $10M left to spend on free agents.

Here's how some of that money could've been spent: signing Affeldt, Herges, Wise or Matt Clement. That's a starter, a swingman and 2 bullpen arms that are better than the 11th and 12th relievers and the 5th starter the team now employs.

The Mets have a knack for acquiring guys after they have past their prime and overpaying them. Examples:
- Pedro Martinez
- Tom Glavine
- Billy Wagner
- Carlos Delgado
I would argue that none of these guys lived up/have lived up to their lucrative deals.
Is there any reason to expect this deal for Johan Santana to result in anything different for the Mets?
Wouldn't it be ironic if this turns into the Mets' version of the Freddy Garcia deal?

On possibility of resigning Lohse:

1. I see the Phils breaking it down on two angles - financial and PR with the financial aspect carrying about 80-90% of the weight behind the decision to resign him.

As for the financial upside to the Phils, I don't see that much on the front-end or back-end. Maybe resigning Lohse would help increase season tickets a bit but I really doubt it. Phils are already at 17.5k and stated they though they would get 20k before the season began. So basically resigning Lohse has almost zero impact on the front-end of revenue side for 2008.

Lohse resigning though may have more impact on the back-end though. If the Phils are still in the playoff chase in Sept., those games will have much better attendance. Still, I do a more detailed analysis but I can't imagine this would add up to more than $3-$4 million additional revenue total. Probably lower.

So basically the additional revenue generated from signing Lohse doesn't pay off unless the Phils make the playoffs again. Given how fiscally conservative the Phils' owners are, I am willing to bet they take a pass on Lohse unless his price does fall down into that $8-$9 M dollar range at 2 years.

As far from the PR perspective, maybe the Phils feel some pressure from the Santana move because they haven't done all that much this offseason. Doubt it though.

"Overall, I think Gillick has done a decent job this offseason given the budget constraints."

I'm no fan of Gillick, but this certainly seems to be a reasonable statement.

Moves like Gonzalez, Padilla ->nothing, Barajas, Helms, etc. were pretty much ripped at the time, but I see Lidge, Feliz, and Jenkins (and letting Rowand walk) as better signings than the normal offseason.

Now, I thought Garcia and Eaton would be decent too, so...

Clout, would you take the Mets collective additions over the Phillies collective additions if you were only getting Santana for one season?

I'm not implying at all that they will lose him after a year and am sure they will sign him long term, but the question is a lot closer when you look at what set of players you would rather have for this season coming up. You take the Santana side for the next 5-6 years because he's easily the one from the group you can build upon the most.

I'm not sure where I would fall if it were only for one year, but the question is a lot closer if you ignore Santana's long term impact and just look at year to year holes to fill.

Clout: If you think that I'm management's #1 supporter and "excuse-maker" fine, but I've stated multiple times they could've done a better job this offseason. I used "decent" to describe the offseason meaning that it could've been better, could've been worse. It was OK. I think it improved the team slightly, although not as much as the Mets have now clearly improved with Santana.

Congrats on being their #1 detractor though, you must be proud. I don't doubt you will be the first one trumpeting how right you were if we don't make the playoffs, and I'm sure that signing Pedro Feliz instead of Matt Herges will be the reason why. Does anyone else think we will miss the playoffs because we passed on Matt Herges and signed Pedro Feliz instead?

So Clout, you would rather have (Affeldt, Wise, Herges, Clement) than (Jenkins, Feliz, Romero, Taguchi and the other minor guys we signed)? Did you want Jayson Werth to play everyday in RF? Or maybe you were satisfied with Roberson out there.

kdon: with Clout, it's not about being reasonable. He doesn't do "reasonable"

Hibachi: The deal is contingent on Santana signing a long-term deal. If he doesn't the trade is off.

I'm well aware.

Jack: I just seem like a dteractor because you are an apologist for management.

I have praised them when I thought they were right and criticized them when I thought they were wrong.

Go look at this board on the day they signed Eaton and the day they sigtned Nunez and the day they traded Abreu. I was one of maybe 3 or 4 posters who criticized those mopves while everyone else praised them.

Jack: As usual you set up false choices. It was not a choice of Affeldt, Wise, Herges, Clement or Jenkins, Feliz, Romero, Taguchi and the other minor guys we signed.

I think the main problem here is that you're dishonest.

kdon: Now, now, just because your posts about the Phillies bullpen last offseason wound up making you look bad....

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