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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The HR notwithstanding, Rollins is killing us these days. Watching him you'd think the entire object of the game is to put the 1st strike in play.

Inevitibly, Chase will be invited to the HR derby at the AS game. He should ask Myers to be his pitcher.

Rollins has been swinging at a lot of first pitches lately and making outs.

Ryan Howard continues to do the on a game off a game trend.

Brett Myers went from "#1" starter to questionable/replaceable 5th in a hurry.

In today's DN, Monty gives a strong indication that the Phils will try to upgrade before the trade deadline.

I agree with Alby and numerous other posters who say the best place to upgrade is the rotation. While this rotation is capable of winning a World Series, the odds against it happening are very long. Add C.C. Sabathia to it, however, and the odds grow quite a bit shorter.

Would you trade Myers, Golson & Donald for a half-season rental of Sabathia? (I doubt that package would get it done but just throwing it out there).

I hate the Fish...I really do. I think I hate them more than the Mets.

clout: Would you trade Myers, Golson & Donald for a half-season rental of Sabathia?

If it won us a World Series Yes...if it didn't, I'd probably be mad after the fact.

clout: If I had an inkling that the Phillies were not going to put serious effort into resigning Burrell, Lidge and Durbin, yes. If that's the case, then this is the year. End of story. Like you keep saying, no one can replace Burrell, and the way the pen looked the last few years, no one who's likely to be available replace what those two pitchers have given us, either.

I want to correct an extremely ill-informed comment from Wes Chamberlain on the last thread who declared "nearly every team has at least one regular who fails around 72% of the time."

Um, not even close, Wes. Other than your fave, only one other everyday player in the NL failed 72% (or more) of the time last season: The end-of-career Craig Biggio.

IF the Phils acquired CC, without giving up Myers, and resigned him, at the cost of not resigning Burrell, how would phans feel?

BedBeard: Excellent question. But, pray tell, how do you get CC without giving up Myers and more?

Clout: Fair point, but we're figuring other teams actually want a hot head/overpriced(maybe) starter who wants to be a reliever. If we'd make a serious effort to resign CC, i'd consider Cardenas.

Bed's Beard: If you're asking whether I would rather sign CC Sabathia or Pat Burrell in the offseason, the answer is CC Sabathia. I love Pat Burrell, I think he's a huge part of this team and this offense, but considering I think it's already 50/50 he's gone anyway, I would be perfectly ok with having Sabathia here for the next 5 years instead of him. Not a question.

My roommate, a burly, passionate Cleveland-er, insists that Shapiro will want a "Colon-esque" deal for Sabathia. "Colon-esque" meaning Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips. I'm not sure if anyone even has a package that good to offer, but I'm sure that we do not.

Clout, I'm not sure how there is any legit comparison between a full season, last year and 66 games into this year. But I'll stick to comparing 66 games of 2008 to 66 games of 2008.

Just did a very quick check of the top teams in the NL for everyday players who fail near Pedro's 72%.
Pedro .295 .410 .248

S. Drew .309 .487 .268
E. Byrnes .285 .388 .219


F. Pie .286 .286 .222
J. Edmonds .284 .309 .209
(I don't follow the Cubs too closely, but I am pretty sure that Edmonds was brought in to replace Pie, so they are basically like one regular here)

A. Kennedy .307 .282 .248

Without looking at stats for the rest of the league, I think it is fair to say that if all the top teams have everyday players who fail around 72% of the time, then the rest of the league probably does too.

So I guess this makes every GM in the league a moron for not being able to put together a team where every starter hits .300 with a .400 OBP.

My roommate, a burly, passionate Cleveland-er, insists that Shapiro will want a "Colon-esque" deal for Sabathia.

worth noting that Colon was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA when he was traded to Montreal. Sabathia is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA. (Colon was also signed for 2 seasons as opposed to 1.)

Edmonds is actually hitting .265/.321/.449 for the Cubs...

Also, teams have learned their lesson from deals like Colon's. No one is willing to give up a huge amount of top prospects anymore just for one impact player. 5 years ago, the Twins would have gotten significantly more than just Carlos Gomez and a couple mediocre pitchers for Johan Santana. Those sorts of trades just don't happen anymore. I'd be surprised if the Indians trade him, because they're not THAT far out of it, and in terms of value, a half season of Sabathia and 2 first-round picks as compensation is probably as good as any prospects they will get, considering that teams won't give up their best prospects for a rental.

Wes: I'm comparing Feliz LAST YEAR to the rest of the NL last year. Obviously, 66 games is a meaningless measure.

Jack: "considering that teams won't give up their best prospects for a rental."

I wouldn't want to bet on that. But I do agree the Indians won't deal him if they're close.

So I took the dive and bought the Extra Innings package yesterday (some may recall I posted a few weeks back whether or not I should keep MLB TV or go to Extra Innings). It will take some pressure off my aging computer, which is a plus. It's also a plus to simultaneously watch the Phils and then between innings change the channel and laugh at the Mets. I just hope Comcast doesn't consistently crap out on me.

I'm thinking 2 good prospects and a throw-in would be a asking price for Sabathia...something like Jaramillo, Carrasco, and Donald and possibly having to swap Jaramillo OR Donald out with either Marson or Cardenas respectively. Am I totally off base here?

Comparing Stephen Drew and Eric Byrnes to Pedro Feliz, in any scenario is outrageous. Drew is a 25 year old shortstop, and Byrnes, hurt almost all of this year, was one of the top 5 players in the NL last year.

I see Pujols left the game with a calf injury last night. I don't wish injury on anyone but I hope he recovers by just in time to get back in the line up next Monday. Also, I totally agree Jroll is killing us right now with his first pitch hacking. He looks like the old Jroll not the MVP.

I would trade 1 current starter not named Hamels, plus prospects for Sabathia or any other top flight starter that is available. You only get a shot at the World Series every so often (in the Phillies case)

Pujols is probably my favorite non-Philly to watch. Personally I think he's the best pure hitter in the game today, Sorry Uts, and his amazing career has simply been just that: amazing. I hope he has a quick recovery.

This ain't gonna happen, but they way Vic is hitting and his approach might work in the lead-off spot with JRoll moving to #2. JRoll's 1st pitch swinging kills me. His HR was after taking 2 pitches.

Hopefully Cole comes through tonight. He is awesome after a Phightin loss, aka Myers debacle.

If JRoll swings at AMiller's first pitch, he should be fined. MAKE HIM THROW STRIKES.

NEPP - Agreed on Pujols. His BB/K coupled with his BA and HR totals are flat out amazing. And, at 1B, he's not a liability.

At this point in time, I think the Myers, Golson, Donald package is a nice offering. Aaron Cook might be a better acquisition, but a Hamels-Sabathia tandem might get us through the first round at least. If Eaton keeps... (arrrrrr...Sorry, clout, I can't go there yet!)

I like Pujols, too. He should definitely take some time to rest and heal.

I saw last night's game as one of those where nothing went their way after a few games where everything was going their way. I watched a lot of hard-hit balls by the Phillies go right at Marlins players. A foot or two the other way on some of them and they win that game. Chalk it up to bad luck (and some mediocre starting pitching).

I love Cheeseburger Sabathia, but I doubt he'll be a Phillie. However, I do think we could piece together a package to get him...just not sure if that's the wise thing to do. Some combination of Cardenas, Bastardo, Happ, Marson, Taylor, Carrasco, or Donald (pick 3) would probably get it done. That's making a weak minor league system a lot weaker though.

In re: Rollins

He has been swinging at slightly more first pitches this year (20% versus 17% in 2007 and 19% in 2006), but not nearly as many as earilier in his career. His P/PA this year, however, has really fallen off (3.52 in 2008, vs. 3.86 in 2007 and 3.7 in 2006), which means even though he's not swinging overwhelmingly at first pitches, he truly is swinging early in the count and, importantly, making lots of contact (over 90% of the time). Unfortunately, either because he's getting bad swings or because he's getting snakebit, his BABIP has been abominable and declining (.056 in the last seven days). (Let me repeat that: .056. Either he has developed cataracts, or he needs to get Jobu a new brand of cigars.)

I am willing to be that the recent early pitch swinging is due to some rotten luck hitting - he's gotten frustrated and has decided that he's going to make sure that the first pitch he deems hittable he's going to hit. (A sub .100 BABIP can get into someone's head.)

The switch of him and Vic might be a good one simply because with Utley behind him he might get better pitches to hit. But someone still has to coach him to be more patient.

GM, I really don't think any combo of three would get the deal done. Baseball teams are putting more value in to prospects more than ever and Sabthia would command top of the line prospects that I don't think the Phils have other than Cardenas and maybe Carrasco. They'd have to trade at least 3 or more of their top of the line prospects which aren't that great and are still a few years from giving major league contribution. The farm system would have to become dryer than the Sahara if they even want to be in the discussion for CC. They'll be many teams that will be able to outbid the Phils unfortunately. I can only see maybe a 4th or 5th starter or bullpen help as trade possibilities right now.

I could see the Phils trading for Jay Payton of the O's. He has speed, can play D, and has far more pop in his bat than Taguchi. This is the type of bench guy I think Gillick will add. I don't think he'd make a huge difference, but GM's love tinkering with rosters around the trade deadline.

Clout said <>


Rollins has to regain his opposite field stroke. He's trying to pull everything tho he did make two outs last night the other way.


If the Indians could get Cardenas, Carrasco, and Marson for 3 months of Sabathia they should absolutely make that deal.

Marson is the guy I really don't want to part with. I like the idea of 1 more year of Chooch/Coste and then bringing Marson in as the Phils starting C.

My offer for CC would be Kendrick, Carrasco, and a throw-in (Happ, Jamarillo, etc.). Actually, I'd offer less to start but I'd be willing to make that deal.

The Phils will probably start by offering the 6 guys Carson mentioned and then throw in Myers for a CC and a backup minor league batboy.

Tim: This sentence is a logical contradiction. "Baseball teams are putting more value in to prospects more than ever and Sabthia would command top of the line prospects that I don't think the Phils have other than Cardenas and maybe Carrasco." The fact that teams value prospects more is why Sabathia would cost less. Other teams will be less likely to give up their top prospects so we won't be hurt by not having any.
But I agree with Jack, in that a half season of Sabathia and the draft picks when he leaves are more valuable to the Indians than any package that would make sense for a team to offer for only the half season of Sabathia.. if that makes sense.
Finally, our ability to resign Sabathia wouldn't change my opinion much. He's a giant man who's thrown a ton of innings, so any long term deal for him(over 4 years) would be a huge risk.

The Phils would be crazy to trade Marson for any rental player, no matter how good. The guy isn't even 22 yet and he's putting up MVP-type numbers at AA. Compare his minor-league numbers to Russell Martin's, look at Martin now, and that's the guy Marson could be in the near future.

you can also say relying on a bunch of #4/5 starters to win a World Series is a huge risk also...

someone needed to close that italics.

ignore the second "also" above...

Bed's Beard - Nuts. I was ignoring the first one.

Andy-i'll grant you a special dispensation to ignore either "also".

"a special dispensation"

Hmm... is that anything like "a box of donuts?"

"I hate the Fish...I really do. I think I hate them more than the Mets."-NEPhilliesPhan

Are you kidding me? There are no trolls in S. Florida, except for the transplants who don't even bother going to the ballpark. Hell, the Marlins should play day games only since their fans (both of them?) must all be still be out to dinner at the early bird specials. I find the Fish annoying, but it's not even close to Met-hatred.

I would be very hesitant to make any of the deals we are talking about. I realize that if you have a chance to win a world series you go for it, but don't forget about our bullpen. We can win playoff games the same way were winning them now. We get 5 or 6 serviceable innings from our starters and then bring on the lights out pen to hold them while our offense goes to work.

I hate the thought of giving up any of our prospects for the pitchers that are available. I just don't think CC, Bedard, etc. would be worth it.

The debate on CC is very interesting. It really comes down to: How much are you willing to give up to increase your chances on winning a WS this season? I think most are unwilling to give up what it would take to get him. For those people, I ask, how much longer do you think this team will have a real chance to reach a WS?

Aren't there less expensive #2 pitchers out there?

I am entirely willing to make a trade of Myers or Kendrick plus prospects for a #1/#2. The window is the next 1-3 years. However, CC may be a bit expensive, and I know the CLE GM is way smarter than most.

What about Aaron Cook or AJ Burnett? These guys would be cheaper.

From Ken Rosenthal :
"The Phillies, lacking the prospect inventory to land an impact starting pitcher such as Sabathia, are trying to add another left-handed reliever to complement J.C. Romero. Another possibility for the Phils is to obtain another left-handed hitter for their bench. Chris Snelling, back at Class AAA, is too much of a physical question, and the right-handed hitting So Taguchi is batting only .203-.288-.271 in 62 plate appearances..."

I'd happily "settle" for Aaron Cook.

I would be hesitant to trade Myers and two decent players for a rental. Hopefully our farm will be able to bring us players with at least a couple of years on their contracts

I would be hesitant to trade Myers and two decent players for a rental. Hopefully our farm will be able to bring us players with at least a couple of years on their contracts

clout: that question really depends on how much Sabathia would increase our chances of winning a WS. Is it 10%, or 40%? I'd guess closer to the former. Sabathia isn't Randy Johnson in his prime, and in the playoffs last year he was more like Mark Redman. We'll have our core of Utley/Howard/Rollins/Hamels for another 3 or so years. Does the increase Sabathia provides this year hurt our chances overall in the next 3ish years by preventing us from plugging people in cheaply?

The fact that Clout even mentions Myers in a trade proposal is telling. If I'm reading him correctly, it's that with less than two years left, and a price tag that rises to $12 million next season, he's overpriced considering the way he's pitching and the other areas they need to commit to (Hamels, Lidge, Howard, Burrell maybe).

I don't know that Sabathia can happen with their prospects, plus Cleveland could hop back into that race. They have enough to trade to upgrade the bullpen however with a better lefty. Sabathia and Hamels would be a dream 1-2 in the playoffs.

"Lacking the prospect inventory" conveys all you need to know about the Phillies' chances at a significant mid-season upgrade. It won't happen - it can't happen. And regardless of what you think of Golson, clout, you can't seriously believe the Phillies would think of trading him, when they are potentially looking at huge holes in the OF in their near future.

Sabathia is the only one out there who would constitute a real upgrade, and they once again could not be taken seriously as a candidate to trade for him. If anything is going to happen, it's going to have to be along the lines of a patent-Gillick 'shrewd' move for an extra bench player or lefty reliever. Otherwise, they're stuck with what they've got.

And as far as Myers is concerned - they may well be able to sell him off as a closer to somebody, but not to a level-headed organization like Cleveland. I don't know why they'd want any part of Myers' act. And I can't even imagine that a team like Colorado would want him, seeing his propensity to give up homers and his increasing reliance on breaking pitches.

And by the way, Sabathia is hardly the type of guy for whom the Phillies would waive their little rule of not offering pitchers contracts beyond three years, and frankly nor should they. I can't imagine anyone, let alone a pitcher, who's that out of shape, can reliably or consistently sustain success or health over a four or five year period.

Jason: You read me exactly right.

RSB: "I can't imagine anyone, let alone a pitcher, who's that out of shape, can reliably or consistently sustain success or health over a four or five year period."

Don't tell David Wells 2000-05.

RSB - I find this:

Sabathia is the only one out there who would constitute a real upgrade.

Pretty hard to believe.

"We can win playoff games the same way we're winning them now. We get 5 or 6 serviceable innings from our starters and then bring on the lights out pen to hold them while our offense goes to work."

No, we can't. Playoff teams usually have better-than-average pitching. In case you hadn't noticed, this team does its wrecking-ball act mostly against lousy pitching. Even average starters like Nolasco and Redding shut them down routinely.

Of course, if Myers is going to pitch the way he did last night, we're 2 pitchers short of a Big 3.

"regardless of what you think of Golson, clout, you can't seriously believe the Phillies would think of trading him, when they are potentially looking at huge holes in the OF in their near future."

You can't seriously think Golson will be ready to plug those holes in the near future. Can you?

Greg Maddux, anyone? The Pads don't look like they have what it takes to bounce back, and I think he's said before that he wants to play for a winner. He might only be another 6 IP guy, but if you want to talk about playoff experience, he's got it in spades (albeit often in a non-World Series-winning effort).

RSB, are you serious:

"And regardless of what you think of Golson, clout, you can't seriously believe the Phillies would think of trading him, when they are potentially looking at huge holes in the OF in their near future."

Do you really think Golson, as he is currently playing, is going to be capable of filling a hole in the outfield in the "near future"? (BTW, I interpret 'near future' as meaning within the next 12-18 months, but feel free to indicate if I am wrong.)

I wouldn't bank on that. I believe the Phillies are, which leads me to believe they really think they know more about this guy than the average fan can see and discern from his stats, or they're operating somewhere between wishful thinking and borderline delusional.

Golson may well be a good MLB player someday, but there is very little indication of that yet.

And as far as 'filling holes' is concerned, yeah, maybe he's great at tracking down balls in CF, but which 'hole' is he going to fill with his bat? The one left by Burrell if they don't re-sign him? There's no guarantee and lttle indication at this time that he can even fill a hole that would be left if they traded Victorino.

I don't know about Maddux, myno.

For one, he has a FNTC.

Alby: well, it's pretty evident that the Phillies are hoping and presuming he will, particularly in the otherwise wholesale absence of outfield prospects.

I would add Cook to the short list of those who would constitute an legitimate upgrade (and who may actually be available at the deadline) but I again can't believe the Phillies would be able to put together a package they'd take seriously. As I said, even as much as they need a closer, Myers' repertoire doesn't exactly translate to success in Denver.

You can talk all you want about the Phillies' "core," but that core isn't enough on its own to win a WS. This year, in stark contrast to last year, they've got a great bullpen and a very good bench to go along with that core. An upgrade to the rotation could be literally all they need. We can't assume that will be the case again, so I'm in favor of almost any trade for a better starter.

Again - this isn't so much about what I or anyone else thinks of Greg Golson. The bottom line is that they pretty clearly see him as a future long-term regular on this team. The Phillies are already one of the five oldest teams in the majors, and have precious few positional prospects in their system. I cannot see them trading someone like Golson for a three-month rental, period. Regardless of where you philosophically stand on that, my point is that I *can't see them realistically entertaining that notion*.

I think we should continue to bring up Snelling for 1 pinch hit appearance every 2 months. He's already given us 2 wins for it.
If Aaron Cook truly is a groundball pitcher as you all say, pair him with Kendrick in the middle of the rotation and get rid of AO/HR machine Myers.
After seeing Condrey deal last night, I honestly don't see an open spot to add a lefty in the pen unless they dropped a position player.

Matt, if you're still out there, I had the same perception about the liners right at people. Speaking of that, Burrell hit three absolute rockets last night. A line drive foul that nearly decapitated a little girl in the 3B side stands, followed by that bullet to left field that seemingly took about two seconds to get to the LF who lost it in the lights, and that moon shot of a home run. It looked like he was using an aluminum bat out there.

Sophist: Yes, but he's very likely to retire after this year (therefore will not cost much, in prospects or cash), knows the NL East quite well, and wants to play for a serious contender. If we keep playing quality baseball and a spot in the rotation opens up, he's a guy you wouldn't even have to give up Myers for.

And it would also be totally freaking sweet to have Greg Maddux.

"The Phillies are already one of the five oldest teams in the majors"

It helps to have Gordon, Seanez, and Moyer.

But Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Dobbs, Werth, Ruiz, and Madson are all under 30. Lidge is 31. As is Burrell.

Without talking contracts, these players - if together - have three years.

Not that it matters, but my eyes tell me that Myers is at a lighter weight than a month ago. Same for Howard.

When did Ken Rosenthal become the definitive authority on the Phillies? A number of high profile baseball writers would disagree with his assumption about the Phillies farm system. In fact, most people reading this could probably tell you more about the Phillies prospects than he could. A quick glance at Rosenthal's archive reveals a landfill of laughable recent predictions. I'll continue reading Ken's work out of a thirst for new content, but the tiresome "Rosenthal says our prospects are bad, so forget about getting anyone good" argument reeks of Philadelphia fan inferiority complex.

RSB: I think they value Golson, but only to a point. Otherwise, they wouldn't have used a couple of high picks to draft outfielders with similar skill sets. Also, check out Dominic Brown in Low-A Lakewood. He's younger, stronger and rated higher by scouts.

Speaking of Golson, he has not recorded a hit in the month of June (0-25) and is striking out a ton again.

What constitutes playoff team pitching? Only a couple of teams have outstanding #1 & #2 starters in the NL, let alone a strong #3. I wouldn't pass on a reasonable trade offer, regarding someone like Sabathia. But what are the odds that he can be signed beyond this year? Little to no chance. Gillick has never done a trade deadline deal like that in his career. What makes you think he is going out with a bang? Be prepared to only add a bench player or a LHP for the BP. I do like the idea of Maddux being added though.

I have the sense that Sabathia or Maddux are pipe dreams, but neat ones.

Sabathia scares me because of what he would cost us, but Maddux...The idea makes me smile. The 2009 Moyer on steroids.

I don't think Maddux has any interest in being a Phillie. I think he'd only really be willing to go to the Braves of Cubs, not some place totally new.


I'm with you. Granted, the Phils system has a way to go before it's one of the best, but to say they couldn't acquire a starter at the deadline, is a bit much for me. Sure, if it comes down to Boston vs. Phiadelphia trying to get CC, odds are Boston has better prospects and if that's what he means, fine. But, to completely dismiss the pharm right now is unfair.

Perhaps the Phils want you to think* they're really high on Golson (a la Yanks w/ Ian Kennedy) hoping to drive up interest/value.

* Probably giving them too much credit.

Better pitching would help, but I don't think we should be giving up tons of prospects for a half-season rental. If we get to the playoffs, it's going to be a crapshoot anyway. The Cardinals won the world series a couple of years ago on the backs of Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver. Oakland routinely went out in the first round back when Hudson, Zito, and Mulder were all pitching like aces.

Jason, I thought I saw that, too, about the weight loss.

Why, just the other day I said to my dear spouse that we appear to have upgraded from a blue whale to a humpback on first!

I suspect PG will go value village on us for the trade deadline. He won't pick up name players, but lesser lights from teams with losing records, guys like Lohse from last year, to plug in the holes on this team.

If you're looking for more evidence of Rosenthal's unquestionable expertise, look at what else he says we're looking for: "a left-handed bat off the bench". Oh Really? Does anyone buy that the Phils are really looking to TRADE for a "left-handed bat off the bench"?

I think Ken just needs to renew his Baseball America subscription. The Phillies farm system has made quantum leap this year, as evidenced by their frequent(7) appearances on Baseball America's ten pack. Their number of legitimate future major leaguers might've doubled in the past year. Although the Phils might be lack any top 25 prospects, they certainly have players of value. Ken should ask his interns to give him an update on the Phillies farm system, because his info is obsolete.

Does anyone deny that the Phillies couldn't top the Mets' package for Santana? Does anyone think the Indians will get significantly more for CC Sabathia? So how can anyone deny the Phillies ability to trade for Sabathia?

I'm not sure I'd want Sabathia, but thats a separate topic.

I think Myers or Kendrick would pretty much have to be part of any deal the Phillies could make for an impact starter. Kendrick might make a degree of sense for COL. Myers would not.

I agree with Dave X. The best-laid plans so seldom work as intended. How many deadline deals - especially for pitchers - actually work the way they're supposed to as opposed to the ones that either backfire or are ineffectual in the end ?

Sabathia was a great name for Cleveland to tout as his ace this year, too. Thing is, he's one of the biggest reasons why they're under .500 in the first place.

Even so, they aren't out of it by any means. The White Sox strike me as a classic hot-and-cold team who are primed for a fall in the second half. I think the Indians are better than the Twins. They might not be inclined to trade C.C. in the first place. But if they fall any further and are so inclined, here's my offer for him: Myers-Outman-Bastardo-Donald. Take it or leave it.

baxter: How do the Phillies farm teams rank in the standings in their various leagues?

The Phillies have a nice core of prospects, especially at lower levels. That core is surrounded by an ocean of crap. That is why so few of their prospects are in BA's Top 100.

Alby there are plenty of different ways to win games. Usually, what makes interesting matchups in the playoffs is that one team will have great pitching and defense and one will be good offensively. Rarely is a team so well rounded they have it all.

If the playoffs started today you would have the Phils, Dbacks, Cubs and Cards. I think the Phils matchup just fine with any of these teams. Is there room for improvement? You bet, but I would not empty the farm for any of the pitchers we have been talking about.

I am in favor of a lefty for the pen and the bench. Also, I don't think our window for winning is as short as some posters on here think it is.

Rather than morgaging the farm for a rental, I'd rather sell it for a pitcher that can stick around long-term.

This is how I'd rate our prospects, in terms of value. Marson is the only untouchable. I think every team in baseball would have some interest in these players. That doesn't mean they'd necessarily want to trade for them, but all these players represent value that can be traded.

A level: Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, Adrian Cardenas

B level: Jason Donald, Josh Outman, Michael Taylor, Joe Savery, Drew Naylor, Greg Golson, Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Drabek

C level: D'Arby Myers, Travis D'Arnaud, Jason Jaramillo, JA Happ, Brad Harman, Dominic Brown, Matt Spencer, Travis Mattair, Freddy Galvis, Julian Sampson

For those of us who are against trading top prospects for Sabathia, clout asked how many more years this team is capable of seriously contending for a WS.

My answer is that it largely depends on what they do with Burrell & Lidge. As I said the other day, the Phillies can either put all their eggs into 2008, by pursuing a win-it-all or bust strategy that probably won't work and will even further deplete their farm system, or they can try to expand their window of opportunity another 2 or 3 years by resigning Burrell & Lidge. I believe the latter strategy would be more likely to result in a World Series title though, obviously, the odds of it happening this year would be greater with the former strategy.

I could not agree more bap. I would also add Durbin or someone like him as a must sign. If you have a rotation like ours it is very important to have someone who can bridge the gap to the back end of the pen. He has been awesome.

BAP - Are those things mutually exclusive?

Couldn't the Phils re-sign Burrell and Lidge, and sell a non-Hamels SP + Prospects for Cook, Meche, CC, Burnett, or some other upgrade?

Burnett and CC would certainly be rentals in the sense that they're free agents after the year is up, but not all upgrades in SP would sell the farm, mean the Phils couldn't sign Lidge or Burrell, or be gone after the Fall.

actually- I think resigning Burrell and Lidge could potentially make that window smaller, if it uses funds earmarked for Howard and Hamels. I don't think anyone is arguing against signing any of those guys, they just don't trust these owners to make the necessary investment.

The "window" really depends on this team being sold, unless the current ownership suddenly drops their profit requirements. If the Phillies started spending in accordance with the size of their media market, the window would remain open indefinitely.

I'm still in the "when Montgomery said they're not selling for two years, he meant they're selling in two years" camp. Under different ownership, all these players would be retained and more would be added.

Rational thought and the recent past dictates that the Phillies will not shell out $12-13 million to Burrell, $10-11 million to Lidge and $2 million to Durbin, with built-in raises coming for Utley, Rollins and Myers and higher salaries for Howard (most likely) and Hamels (without question). There's probably a few other guys who hit arbitration or get raises, as well. If they bring everyone worthwhile back, I have to imagine that payroll would rise by at least $12-15 million. And that's without adding a single other piece. Does this seem likely?

And I am of the opinion that this team has no chance of winning the World Series without adding a piece - upgraded starting pitching.

Resigning Burrell & Lidge seem to be no-brainers for me. Of couse we have "no-brainers" in the GM office, so who knows??

I think once Mrs. Betz passes on, the team may go up for sale-from what i've read, her piece of the pie will be sold. Therefore, that's the best opportunity for someone *cough*Middleton*cough* to step in, b/c they'll all be together to discuss the Betz' piece.

I don't think Maddux has any interest in being a Phillie. I think he'd only really be willing to go to the Braves of Cubs, not some place totally new.

I don't know. Old players tend to welcome being traded to potential World Series winners. The worry with Maddux is that this year he hasn't been any good on the road.

sophist: I agree. There is ample room for middle ground between doing nothing and emptying the farm system for a 2-month rental. My comments were directed toward the latter scenario -- i.e., a Sabathia for Cardenas-Marson-Bastardo package (or something similar). To me, that type of trade would make sense only if we regard this as a one-year window of opportunity -- and, even if we DO lose Burrell & Lidge, I'm not sure I'm quite willing to leap to that conclusion.

Personally, I think we should be discussing Aaron Cook, not CC Sabathia. Cook is much more likely to be traded, and he comes with a cheap ($4.5M) team option for 2009. He'd be a very good fit for CB Park and, because he doesn't have the reputation that Sabathia has, it may well be within the Phillies' reach to get him. He is a solid No. 2.

If the Phillies cannot afford to retain Burrell and Lidge, they also cannot afford to trade prospects for pitching. Those prospects represent the best, cheapest replacements for the players we'll lose, not to mention the future of this franchise. I'd rather have five years from Carrasco, Outman and Bastardo than half a year from a struggling Sabathia.

Sabathia doesn't guarentee anything in the postseason. He sounds better, but his numbers aren't better than those of our current candidates. He's also an injury risk.

I'd rather have 5 years of good baseball than 3 months of slightly better baseball.

Myno: Of course they have a CHANCE to win the WS. Myers or Kendrick could get hot at the right time, as Jeff Weaver & Jeff Suppan did for the Cardinals a couple years ago. Or their bats could get hot and carry the team. Or they could catch Brandon Webb and Dice-K on a few off days. Or they could win games the way they've been winning them so far, with great bullpen work and some late inning comebacks off the opposing bullpens. As Billy Beane said in Moneyball, "My sh*t doesn't work in the playoffs." By that, he meant that he could build a team that would suceed over a 162-game season, but he couldn't account for the oddities of a short series.

Nonetheless, there's no question that, in a short series, the team with the better starting pitching has a decided advantage. I think there's a general consensus that the Phillies don't really have the starting pitching to match up with Arizona or Chicago or St. Louis in a short series. It would greatly bolster their playoff chances if they could find another top-of-the-line starter.

REALITY CHECK: The Phillies were unwilling to resign Kyle Lose for 4.5 million dollars. Lohse is 7-2 with a 3.92 ERA.

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EST. 2005

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