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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Good for them!

When I saw "Breaking News", I was hoping for a trade.

baxter: One problem with trading J-Roll and replacing him with Donald is that Donald cannot play SS on an everyday basis at the major league level, from what I've read. Good arm, lacks the range. Fine as a backup at the position and possible starter at 2B or 3B. On a team that is used to a SS with great range (despite what the goofy range factor numbers say, J-Roll has excellent range), the pitchers would quickly get sick of a SS with below-average range.

"Jimmy Rollins' MVP season: 118 OPS+
Pat Burrell's career OPS+: 120"

wally et al, not that I want to encourage these speculations, but there is a difference between 120 OPS+ production from a corner OF spot and from SS.

Rollins' ability to put up those numbers from SS probably make him more valuable. I think they should both be career Phillies though. The idea that Burrell won't play his full career here because of guys like Eaton, Jenkins, and Feliz is pretty damn annoying. He's the longest tenured athlete in this city.

To further Sophist's point, a SS batting lead off vs. a corner outfielder batting 5th.

Will this silence some of the critics of the Phillies farm system??

March H: No. And it shouldn't, unless a possible gold medal in the Olympics is as satisfying to you as a World Series championship.

A good farm system doesn't = a World series, but it does help, for sure.

When they get back, is it time to see what Donald and Marson can do in Triple-A? Donald is 24 soon.

At that point, it's about time for a Sept callup for at least Donald.

BB: Beat me to it. You're right. They should do it.

I'm curious to see how he'd look in a few ML at bats. Could be a nice right hand option off the bench.

If I recall, didn't Donald get some key hits in a ST for the Phils? I could be "misremembering".

2 HRs, right?

Pat Gillick's trade history, courtesy of

Donald had 1 ST game with 2 homers.

BB: Yep.

Didn't realize Gillick traded Garcia to the CWS. Makes sense since he likes to re-acquire guys.

Someone on the last thread mentioned the possibility that the Giants could trade Matt Cain. Based on everything Brian Sabean has said, that strikes me as highly unlikely. I know their offense is woeful, but I think they're committed to trying to rebuild the team around a great young starting rotation, of which Cain is a core part.

And if they did decide to trade Cain, I sort of doubt we'd be Abel to get him.

BAP: Nice pun. You're on your game today, I see.

I saw a funny thing on The 700 Level--a poster said the site had more errors today than Dan Uggla. I'm going to start using that line but doubt my non-sports loving friends will get it.

doubleh: Thank you. If I'm on my game, it's because, unlike 95% of the Beerleaguer population, I didn't have to stay up til 2:00 a.m. to watch the end of the All Star game. Oh, and also because jason threatened to send me to the Iron Pigs blog if I didn't start posting to my potential.

Great news for them, this is such an honor... I suppose it's a sigh of relief for the Phillies if they don't want to bring them up this year... but this is the last year of baseball in the Olympics, it'd be great for them to bring it home.

SJ native Blaine Neal makes the team, as well. He could often be spotted at PJ's in Haddon Twp.

Who's to say they would replace Burrell with Golson? I'd assume they'd find a cheaper alternative a la Werth/Jenkins/Victorino platoons this year replacing Rowand. And Burrell, like it or not, is MUCH, MUCH more replaceable than J Roll. Outfielders like Pat Burrell are not that hard to find. Shortstops like Jimmy Rollins are not even remotely easy to find. And I haven't even gotten into the projected drop off in defense.

sorry, this is in reference to Baxter's post on the last thread.

TK: I wouldn't overstate how "replaceable" Pat Burrell is. His consistent production from the right side has been very rare over the past couple years.

I'm a big Pat Burrell fan, but the idea that he is a better player than Rollins is laughable. Equally laughable is the idea that Rollins is the more dispensable, because we already have a ready replacement in Donald. If Donald can play SS, he could certainly play the far less defensively challenging position of left field -- as could countless other guys who could be acquired in free agency or by trade.

I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't resign Burrell, or that he would be easy to replace. I'm merely responding to the notion that we should trade away a speedy, power hitting, Gold Glove shortstop, who is signed for 2 more years at well below market value, in order to retain a slow-footed, defensively weak, one-dimensional left fielder. This notion is absurd.

On the other hand . . .

TK states "Outfielders like Pat Burrell are not that hard to find." Really? Name 5. Now, of those 5, name 1 who will be available in this year's FA market. Now name 1 who will be available in this year's FA market and will be signable for less than the $14M per year that we're currently paying Burrell. Take all the time you need.

bap: You said everything I would have. Jimmy Rollins, considering age, production, name recognition and contract is virtually impossible to replace. Which makes Pat Burrell much easier to replace... except for the fact that considering production, Pat Burrell is really, really hard to replace.

Burrell IS a better LF than JRoll...


If Adam Dunn gets a Carlos Lee type deal he'll actually be making close to, although a little over, 14 mill a year.

And if he gets JD-Drew level, he'll be making 14 million a year.

Not to say that Pat Burrell is easy to replace, but perhaps unfortunate year to ask for an underrated, defensively challenged, low-BA, high-OBP, high SLG, LF with a career OPS+ over 120 free agent besides Burrell.

per Rotoworld, it is interesting to note that Donald will apparently be playing 2B, not SS, for the Olympic team.

BAP: Adam Dunn will be a free agent and gives you similar production to Pat Burrell. Him and Howard in the lineup together, however, would make someone like Taylor Tankersley a very rich man.

Burrell isn't easy to replace. But I'd think he's easier to replace than Rollins. To find a LF with below average defense and 120 OPS+ the pool of players is every player capable of 120 OPS+ production.

Beltran is a 123 OPS+ player so far this year and his OPS is .839 in a slight pitcher's park. There are 83 players with OPS of over .830 this year.)

To find a GG-caliber SS (rocket-arm, good range, one of the most efficient base-stealers this decade) who's capable of 110-120 OPS+ production, take that list of Burrell replacements and shrink it to 4 or 5 people I'd think (Rollins, Reyes, Furcal at least. Ramirez probably makes the list bc his offensive skills over-ride his current defensive deficiencies.) There are only 6 SS with OPS greater than .830 this year.

Sophist: Right, Burrell is easier to replace. Although the pool of players to choose from doesn't present many options. So Burrell is really hard to replace, but Rollins is virtually impossible to replace.

Available OF next year:

Bobby Abreu NYY
Moises Alou NYM
Garret Anderson LAA (team option)
Rocco Baldelli TB
Willie Bloomquist SEA
Emil Brown OAK
Pat Burrell PHI
Endy Chavez NYM
Adam Dunn CIN
Jim Edmonds CHC
Juan Encarnacion STL
Cliff Floyd TB
Ken Griffey Jr. CIN (team option)
Raul Ibanez SEA
Jacque Jones DET
Mark Kotsay ATL
Rob Mackowiak WAS
Kevin Mench TEX
Craig Monroe MIN
Jay Payton BAL
Scott Podsednik COL
Manny Ramirez BOS (team option)
Juan Rivera LAA
Rondell White MIN

Wait, I thought that baseball was eliminated from Olympic competition? I thought that was the purpose of the World Baseball Classic? Maybe I was listening to the same sources that are reporting the Burnett rumors, but that is what I thought I heard.

BTW: I'm becoming increasingly cynical of media reports involving trades/other sports rumors. I would have previously thought that this was an impossibility, however they have consistently failed to meet even my complete lack of expectations lately.

NEPhan: Assuming the Sox re-up Manny, outside of Dunn & Burrell that's a pretty sorry-assed list. And Dunn doesn't work at all for the Phillies because he's a lefty. So unless the Phillies have a brilliant trade strategy in mind, their best bet for a LF replacement next season who can produce Pat Burrell numbers is: Pat Burrell.

The other option is to go cheap and find the righty equivalent of Jenkins, but you can kiss the playoffs goodbye in 2009 if they choose that route.

clout: I agree completely...that's why Burrell will get such a huge payday this winter.

Yes, there's something to be said for having complementary lineup pieces, and -- despite all his walks and homerusn -- I don't think I want Adam Dunn & Ryan Howard in the same lineup. Unfortunately, does anyone seriously think the Phillies are going to resign Burrell? I certainly don't.

Nope...I could see something like Juan Rivera though.


All this Burrell talk begs the question:

If next season is a rebuilding year because of an imminent Burrell departure, should there not be increased emphasis on obtaining pitching for this season to compete for the playoffs?

Maybe Donald should get some reps in LF? We could platoon him with a free agent maybe.

Parker: Yes. Unless they surprise us all and extend Burrell, they will not be able to replace his production, and they will be even more vulnerable to left-handers than they are at present.

Looking at that FA list, it's clear the Phillies must trade for Burrell's replacement. Who's the best of the rest among that rubbish?

We should submit this as a test to Ruben Amaro -- given this list, who are your top 3 choices on that list, in order, to replace Pat Burrell?

Maybe we should have resigned Rowand considering we will likely lose Burrell this winter. We could have moved Rowand to LF where his defense would be outstanding. Hindsight being 20/20

Team player Rowand only wanted to play center...

There's surely 5 LF with comparable career numbers to Pat Burrell. Whether I want any of those guys that NEPhillies fan listed, I'm not sure. So you're right that in the short term Pat the Bat would not be easy to replace.

But my point, which probably led to my exaggeration on Burrell's value, is that trading Jimmy Rollins cannot possibly EVER be an option for this team if they are gonna get a parade in this proclaimed 4 year window. If/when that happens, Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels will be in the first float. That's the essential core of this team. If they win it this year, Burrell will be there, too. And he may be hard to replace, but he's not irreplacable.

While this may lead some to question my loyalty, I will have a hard time watching any more Phils baseball this year if Gillick and the top-brass A) Use Myers as our 'big acquisition,' or B) Acquire a scrub like Joe Blanton. It is so quintessentially Phillies that my disgust level won't allow me to deal with it. Couple that with the seeming refusal to re-sign Burrell, and they'll no longer get any of my money through tickets, merchandising, etc. It's pathetic in a year that the league is up for grabs and pieces are out there to upgrade the rotation that they're going to try to fool us again by half-assing some BS trade and act like it addresses any of the problems the roster has. The fact that they've kept Eaton around so long without just dumping his ass, however, pretty much proves they could care less about the team's success.

A few ideas that may or may not be justified or reasonable:

Given the status of the Minor League system, is there any chance that in 5-6 years this team has immediate replacements for potentially departing marquee players? If not, does it not make sense to hedge your bets with the current team and make a run now? I say yes.

If you look at this team right now, they have several players that are once in 3 or 4 generation guys. I'll put Utley, Hamels, Howard, Rollins, and Lidge in that category. I'm tempted to put Burrell there as well, and even if he is not, he is (as stated above by numerous persons) not easily replaceable. It seems irresponsible on the FO's part to not make a charge with these guys.

You may catch lightning in a bottle once or twice in a decade in most cases, but the Phillies seem to have stumbled (and I mean that in the most sincere way) into a treasure infield. Most teams 1B, 2B, SS lineups for an entire decade (maybe 2 or 3) would not match the Phils as they are right now. Throw in that mix Burrell in the OF, and a sparkplug type like Vic, and a servicable platoon in RF and you have most of the OF makings of a WS team. Even if you consider 3B and C as a drag on the team, only C is a position that seems in immediate need of replacement (assuming that Jenkins plays anything at all like his career #'s would suggest).

I think the offense is maybe one minor piece away from being WS worthy, and may be even if nothing is done and there is simply a reversion to the mean.

If you can only fix one problem with this team, starting pitching is clearly the situation that is most in need of addressing. Hamels is a clear Ace, and can give you a chance against any of the best pitchers that any opponent can throw at you. After Hamels, one has to engage in a lot of speculation as to whether any of the rest of the ration would fit as a #3 starter in a playoff rotation. If you are debating that, and regardless of how you fall on that debate, all that is clear is that you do not have a # 2 starter.

The bullpen has several questions, particularly sustaining their current level of performance. However, with Lidge as the anchor, and a few guys having that career year, you almost have to ride it out.

This season seems like the perfect storm to me. The FO cannot just sit and leave the sails down. Lineup, Ace, Premier Closer, career year from some bullpen guys. The only thing missing, on paper, is a second starter.

With all the speculation about bareness in the Minor Leagues, the Phillies seem destined for some lean years coming up as some of the core departs in the coming years. Of course, this assumes that they don't make some moves in the meantime that change things. Either way, I would feel totally justified in wagering a few of the guys that "might" be part of the future in 2-3 years, for someone with immediate impact. In the end Minor's needs a massive overhaul, and the loss of a couple of guys is not going to bury it much deeper than the six feet where it currently sits.

For those that don't want to read my disheveled version of "War and Peace: Phillies Baseball Edition" above, I'll sum it up: GO GET A STARTING PITCHER!!

Iceman wins my award for most descriptive Beerleaguer sentence of the month -- maybe even the year. In his words, aquiring Blanton would be "so quintessentially Phillies that my disgust level won't allow me to deal with it." William Shakespeare could not have put it better.

Why do people think this team has another 4-year window? If anything, this team's window of opportunity will close at the latest by 2010 and maybe even sooner depending upon what moves the front office makes.

Regardless of whether we're talking about off-season transactions or trade deadline moves, there definitely seems to be a recurring pattern on these Phillies acquistions. First, they name drop -- always choosing the choicest names, so as to let their fans think that they're really pounding the pavement to acquire a marquee player. Eventually word trickles out that they did indeed express interest in this marquee player but, invariably, they have a whole list of minor league prospects whom they regard as completely off limits (the fact that Greg Golson is apparently on this list tells you all you need to know about how deep this list must go).

With their underwhelming offers having been emphatically rejected (as the Phillies undoubtedly knew they'd be, all along), they then scale down their fans expectations by droppping new names. The new names are always a few rungs down from the names you heard before. For instance, instead of Sabathia, you hear about Burnett and Bedard. Or instead of Mike Lowell, it's Aaron Rowand or Mike Cameron. Then the same pattern recurs. If it's a free agent they're wooing, they are unwilling to give enough money; it it's a trade, they are unwilling to trade any of their best prospects.

Eventually a new name surfaces -- invariably a name so astonishingly mediocre that all long-time Phillies fans immediately and intuitively recognize that this is really their man. Past examples include guys like Abraham Nunez, Adam Eaton, Pedro Feliz, and Ryan Franklin. Joe Blanton very much feels like the next in line.

Exactly right BAP. It was and is ridiculous to get our hopes up about a borderline-marquee name like Burnett, because based on the ownership's decade+ history, it's all talk and nothing more. Essentially Arbuckle/Gillick will go to a team and say "We want to steal this player from you, here's the lowest possible offer" and hope they can get away with it. It's a joke to expect anything more out of these clowns.

The only silver-lining here is that because the Brewers and Cubs went out and got marquee starters so early, the FO felt compelled to at least make a SMALL attempt at getting what would be classified as an above-average starter. This, as we're seeing now, is being dissolved into talk of Joe Blanton.

If the aforementioned teams would have waited until the deadline to act, no doubt the Phils would have sat on their hands and we'd be stuck with both Myers & Eaton, instead of just 1 of the 2. Even I can concede that Blanton is an upgrade over Eaton, much like Britney Spears is an upgrade over Amy Winehouse. One disgusts you less than the other.

BAP: They cannot sell Joe Blanton to me. They also cannot sell me on Myers being the big addition, by lack of addition. It is really a sickening cycle of futility.

Every time I think about the potential FO moves, I can't help but think of the lyrics of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb":

"When I was a child I had a fleeting glimpse (Sabathia), out of the corner of my eye (Harden). I turned to look but it was gone (Burnett), I cannot put my finger on it now (Bedard).....The child is grown (My new realistic expectations: Joe Blanton), the dream is gone (World Series). I.....have become comfortably numb (Tortuous Tease Team)."

Parker -- that rendition of Comfortably Numb brought a tear to my eye (from laughter).

Comfortably Numb and White Rabbit references on the same day, I guess 7/16 is the new 4/20

Dave - as soon as I read "Phillies" and "Joe Blanton" in the same sentence, my bowl came out.

Why do people constantly crap on Burrell and worship Rollins as a god? Rollins has ONE SINGLE SEASON where he was significantly above average in OPS+. He is the definition of average and replaceable from an offensive perspective.

Burrell's career OPS+ is higher then Rollins best single season and he is demonstrating this year that he really truly is an elite outfielder. The notion that he is bad defensively is a crock, his FP% might be a little off league average, but his range factor is actually better then average.

Look, Rollins is not even in the top 3 SS in the NL east, he is good but not great. Burrell is one of the best corner outfielders in the entire NL. Its good to have both but if one has to pick then Burrell is the clear choice.

First PhillR says Victorino is 'actively hurting the team,' and now Rollins is 'replaceable.' This after claiming that because of a 9-game winning streak that the Mets' staff is 'borderline dominant.' I'd offer to pass him my bowl, but it looks like he's pretty much set.

Iceman, quick question. Straight up, who's rotation do you want at this point in the year? Mets, Phillies, or Braves? You can factor in gamers (Hamels) and nongamers (O Perez), but which would you take with 65 games left?

Since there are only 5 SS's in the NL East, I'd say the odds are pretty good that Rollins is, in fact, one of the top 3. He's probably 3 right now, but that would be considered in the top 3 if my math is correct.

I love Burrell, and would like to keep both. Neither will be easy to replace, but comparing them to one another is really apples and oranges when it comes down to it. Players like Rollins and Utley are people you build a team around--they are core pieces. Burrell was never comfortable in that roll as he showed a few years ago.

And I just get the feeling that the FO just wants to cut ties with him; I still feel that big piece on Burrell in the Inky last year was "commissioned" by the Phillies. That report that the offer they made to him was paltry wouldn't shock me, so I'm just trying not to get my hopes up (as usual).

Just thinkin. I someone wanted to compare the "replacibility" of two players, you'd think they'd compare their career stats to other players at their positions, respectively, not to each other.

How does that work out, PhillR?

Top 10 "Web Gems" of the first half on Baseball Tonight (ESPN). If anyone is interested.

Wally - subtract Eaton and add another starter, I take ours. Don't do that and I take yours.

Problem is, neither is 'borderline dominant,' which was PhillR's assertion.

Well, if you take Perez at his best, and Pedro from 2000, and Maine in the first half of '07, and...

Parker: I am watching the plays also. I like the blems best, but that's the schaudenfreude in me.

Wally, what is the incoherent point you're trying to make?

I would rather see the Phillies get Ian Snell than Joe Blanton.

Ah, a joke that failed. Considering a 'dominant' rotation for the Mets.

Gotta say, I think the Phillies go nowhere, NOWHERE, in the playoffs without acquiring another front line starter. I'm quite disappointed that they don't seem to be getting one, and felt that they should have traded any of their prospect to get one because (1) they aren't "star" prospects, and (2) you never know with prospects anyway.

That said, they do have a better chance of reaching the playoffs if they can acquire a pitcher who's better than Eaton.

Wait a minute. Is there a pitcher who isn't better than Eaton?

PhillR : Aside from things like FPCT, ZR, and RF (1st generation fielding stats) almost everything, scouts & stats, say that Burrell is pretty bad in the field. Maybe not as bad this year as the past few years, but no better than replacement level.

Wally, sorry I missed it. My bad. As I said earlier, I heard 'Blanton' and my bowl came out.

i'm not sure what the market value is for our prospects, but if someone like fuentes is the equivalent or slightly more than the equivalent of either marson or carrasco, we're not going to get either bedard or burnett unless our FO gets very creative in the structuring of the deal and comes away with a steal. so given the unlikelihood that we're going to get either bedard or burnett (i don't think burnett would be much of an upgrade from myers), i don't expect it to happen and i'm not going to blame the FO for not being able to acquire either. if no one's buying Phillies prospects for appropriate value, then the FO hands' are tied.

1) Donald and Marson may have made the olympic team, but since when did making the Olympic team or any US baseball team mean that you're a premier player in the world of baseball? These guys would have a tough time making it as subs on a number of other national teams.

2) PhillR - your argument that Rollins is not even in the top 3 SS in the NL East is crap. First of all, he's defensively better or AT LEAST on par with J. Reyes, and much much better than Han Ram. Offensively, this is a down year for him because of injuries and maybe a bit of MVP hangover. And saying that he's NOT EVEN in the top 3 in the NL East is retarded; J-Roll, Han Ram, and Reyes are 3 of the best SS in the entire bigs who just happen to be in the same division.

3) Say no to Joe. Joe Blanton could be a welcome addition, but only if comes for minimal cost. At the moment, we have 5-6 big league pitchers, and I wouldn't mind having one more in case Hamels gets dinged up; if Hamels is continued to be used like he has been this year, I have little doubt he'll be running on empty come October.

flipper: There is a pitcher worse than Adam Eaton this year, his name is Kris Benson. Although they aren't starters, I don't even want to imagine how bad Alfonseca or Mesa would be this year. Are they even pitching in the minors this season?

bob- This is not a down year for Rollins offensively. This is spot on career average, look:

As for 3rd best or worse, you are right. Guzman fell off a little. The two are essentially the same now offensively. Defensively Rollins is better FP%, Guzman is better range factor. Will Guzman maintain his offensive upswing? Maybe not. Still, just shows how when you strip the name Rollins is nothing special.

Burrell, when you forget the name and the press is one of the absolute best corner outfielders in the NL.

flipper - that's exactly right. To figure out how replaceable someone is, you look to people who could fill that position. No one is discounting what Burrell has done in saying that he is more replaceable. He's performed for years now an offensive production equivalent to the best year Rollins has had to date.

PhillR - I get it. You believe that Rollins had a career year last year. Some still think he's capable of more. There are good arguments to be made on both sides since there are plenty of mitigating factors to his performance this year (though he's certainly picked it up of late.) As an aside, I agree that 2007 was probably a career year. But, at his age, I didn't expect him to start producing like 2003-2006. I expecting something between 2007 and his prior years (PECOTA sides with you.)

But to say that Rollins isn't even one of the top 2 SS in his division isn't saying very much since the two best SS in the entire league are in the NL East.

Besides, you're failing to even make a relevant point to the debate over his replace-ability. Let's just take Rollins' recent numbers so as not to distort his value by his MVP season. His OPS+ and OPS since 2004, his age 25 season:

25-2004: 102 / .803
26-2005: 97 / .769
27-2006: 101 / .812
28-2007: 118 / .875
29-2008: 101 / .778

You say his norms; I say an injury-plagued half season in which his numbers have really picked up in the last few weeks. In any case, we're talking about a SS with a ~105 OPS+ / .810 OPS average, with GG-caliber defense, who's probably the most efficient SS of the last 10 years.

Do you know the number of SS in all of baseball this year with an OPS over .800?

3: Ramirez, Reyes, Hardy

Last year there were 5: Ramirez, Rollins, Renteria, Jeter, and Tulowitzki (with Tejada and Jack Wilson just a tad under .800.)

You throw in age issues (Jeter, Renteria and Tejada) and defense (Ramirez, though he probably makes up for it with his bat) and there are very few SS in all of baseball that do what Rollins does.

And don't even mention Guzman. He's 30 years old and has had one (1) full season with an OPS over .800 and it was in 2001. In 7 full seasons in the league, he had an OPS *under* .700 in 6 of them.

I don't mean to undervalue Burrell. This is about a player's value at their position.

"who's probably the most efficient SS of the last 10 years."

That should say, "most efficient base-stealer."

re: rollins

are you looking at this year only? well, you should also consider that rollins has been playing hurt and probably hasn't been able to lift heavy weights with his leg because of his ankle, which completely demolishes a hitter's base and strength. combine that with the fact that he usually improves in the second half by about 10 OPS+ points and we can expect bigger and better things. moreover, rollins had been progressively improving in various parts of his game. defense, OBP, power, have all come along nicely. i think his injury has a lot to do with this hiccup improvement; it is less a "return to career norms". on the other hand, reyes does better in 1st halves. ramirez, i will grant you is the greater offensive talent and threat, but rollins is better defensively so i'll take that tradeoff. in general, i agree that given their age, rollins is like a lexus compared to han ram's ferrari and reyes' bentley, but again, when most teams in the league are shuffling around with civics and saturns, i don't mind rollin' with Rollins.
and guzman is definitely having a career year.

as for burrell, there are few RH left fielders that are better. oh wait a second; there are only a few RH left fielders anyway...Ramirez, Holliday, Braun, Soriano, C. Lee, Bay, Delmon Young and now Quentin. And out of all of those, if money wasn't an issue, I'd rather have any of those guys over Burrell with the exception of Delmon Young, Bay and Quentin. Burrell seems to match up similarly with C. Lee, but Lee is an overall much more complete hitter than Burrell and has less holes in his swing. but the bottom line is that Burrell is a valuable commodity for the Phils because there's a HUGE drop off in the talent of right handed left fielders after guys like him, Bay and Quentin, and there's no way that the Phillies are going to be able to sign or trade for someone like Holliday or Ramirez.

Guzman OPS+ by year

99: 38
00: 70
01: 110
02: 79
03: 77
04: 78
05: 53
06: --
07: 124 (46 games)
08: 102

I don't know why we'd only be talking about this year. Then do we think that Ryan Ludwick is one of the best OF this year?

From 2004-2007, Rollins had an OPS over .800 in 3/4 seasons. There were only 3 other SS who did as well: Tejada, Young, and Jeter. Tejada and Jeter are old. I honestly don't know much about Young.

Young has been consistently one of the best SS in the AL since ARod departed from Tex and the manager had to convince Young to take on the SS position. He's like Polanco and Ichiro in that he makes contact a lot, with a little bit more pop (pop that's fallen over the last year of so I believe due to injuries).
Speaking of Polanco, I'd love to see him back in a Phillies uni as long as he was ok with serving as backup to Feliz and Utley.

Well, Tejada's enhanced self had an OPS over .800.

actually, Young also reminds me of a Loretta when Loretta was making contact on a daily basis. Basically, a guy like Young, Loretta, Ichiro, Polanco, Pedroia, is exactly what this team is lacking in the 2nd slot in the lineup.

this may sound a little crazy, but what about picking up LoDuca? I'm not a big fan of his personality, but given how much he now hates the Mets, his knowledge of their pitching staff, the fact that he's a "contact" hitter, and is a catcher...he could fill several roles on this team....

Every time someone here discusses Polanco I get sick. He was such a great player for this organization, and he was sacrificed at the altar of Ed Wade.

Young's comparabless

1. Todd Walker
2. Carlos Guillen
9. Rollins

Through Age 30

1. Thurmon Munson
8. Kendall
9. Biggio

"Outfielders like Pat Burrell are not that hard to find."

TK, I read your overall point that

“trading Jimmy Rollins cannot possibly EVER be an option for this team if they are gonna get a parade in this proclaimed 4 year window”,

but you make yourself sound like an idiot when you make statements like the above that are not factually true.

bap did a decent job of refuting your statement, though I would have added the requirement the the OF be a RH hitter.

I haven’t checked, but RH hitting corner outfielders that produce the way Burrell does may be just as rare as shortstops with Rollins career OPS+.

As far as the 4 year window is concerned, you need to pay attention to what clout posted later:

“The other option is to go cheap and find the righty equivalent of Jenkins, but you can kiss the playoffs goodbye in 2009 if they choose that route.”

Hey clout, does that statement mean that you’ve come around to my position on the retention of Burrell in 2009?

As you know, my position on this board for weeks has been no Burrell (or the equivalent) in 2009 means the “window” closes at the end of this season. I’m not a huge PB lover, but I understand what the offensive falloff coupled with the lack of shutdown starting pitching beyond Hamels would mean.

isn't walker available a la lofton? can the phils sign one of those two, or perhaps DFA taguchi/sign lofton now, and sign walker when we can expand rosters?

I think OPS probably overstates Rollins' case. He plays in CBP and his OBP, the important part, is only average. While I agree he would be very hard to replace, he isn't Han-Ram with the bat.

Of course, you can't measure or replace a few things. By all accounts he is the clubhouse leader and he also signed a very team-friendly contract a few years back. I think this year was also his first trip to the DL.

OPS+ is a park-adjusted figure.

btw, just read in the NYT:

"Wagner spent Wednesday night in Washington, as a guest of President Bush at a White House dinner."

Bush is likely asking Wagner for tips on how not to close out and save his administration.

"While I agree he would be very hard to replace, he isn't Han-Ram with the bat."

No question, he's not Ramirez. But, Dave X, he's not what PhillR says he is, viz. "He is the definition of average and replaceable from an offensive perspective."

Rollins - SImilar batters through age 28

Ryne Sandberg (935) *
Alan Trammell (915)
Jim Fregosi (915)
Bobby Doerr (911) *
Roberto Alomar (900)
Edgar Renteria (900)
Travis Jackson (900) *
Larry Doyle (896)
Derek Jeter (891)
Carlos Baerga (891)

* signifies HOF

Among RH hitting outfielders, Pat Burrell ranks first in OPS, surprising even me.

Burrell ranks first in OPS this year. and as any philly fan knows, he's been raking for the past year now. if you look at the past 2.5 years, he also ranks highly in terms of OPS. other things he ranks highly in: Walks (by far #1) and Strikeouts. In that upper tier of outfielders, he's average with HRs. Amongst that upper tier, he also has one of the lowest batting averages. But none of this is new information (or all that surprising); pitchers throw him breaking balls out of the zone because he earned the reputation as someone who would wave at them. most of the time, he does (489 Ks), but sometimes he doesn't (380 BBs). This year, he's done a much better job of laying off and taking walks (69 BBs, 78 Ks). And thanks to his foot being healthy this year and pitchers adapting and throwing him stuff in the strike zone, he's hit doubles at a higher clip relative to years past; he even has 2 triples this year.

Bottom line: Burrell will be very hard, but not impossible to replace. Regardless, it's going to cost them. With Burrell, I'd load the contract with performance incentives and leverage the fact that he performs poorly when not 100%.

AWH: I thought clout agreed with you about the need to resign Burrell.

My own feeling is that they had better damn well resign Burrell. Their offense is already suffering from the loss of the 2007 version of Aaron Rowand. The loss of Burrell would be devastating. Could they lose Burrell & still compete for the NL East? There are too many unknowns to answer that question. It seems almost impossible that they could replace Burrell's offensive production. But if they found someone who would at least still be a plus offensive player (let's say Brian Giles, just to throw out a name), and they are somehow able to improve in other areas (for instance, catcher and starting pitching), and they stay relatively injury-free and get some big years from their core players, and the Mets, Braves & Marlins don't do anything to dramatically improve in the off-season, I don't think it's impossible that they could lose Burrell & still compete for the division next year. Of course, that's a whole lot of Ifs.

bap, you're right - that's a whole lot of Ifs.

I especially like the IF about the Mets, Braves & Marlins not doing anything to drmatically improve. I'm sure all three of them will "stand pat".

As far as improving the starting pitching is concerned, well, they've tried that going outside the organization the last couple of seasons - the results being Adam Eaton, Freddy Garcia and Moyer - at a combined cost of $25MM/yr.

They've had much better success improving the SP internally with KK.

And incidentally, wouldn't the Eaton and Garcia money be enough to extend Burrell?

The "oxymoron's" success at allocting their MLB capital has been spotty, particularly when you factor in Feliz and Jenkins.

Then there is the allocation of capital to the draft and Latin American and minor league development, but that is a whole different topic.

Oh, and one last point about the "window":

The bullpen has been stellar this year. I'll give the Phils credit for extending Lidge, but Durbin, Seanez and Gordon are all unsigned for next season.

Durbin will get his money. I estimate at least 3/9 if he keeps this up. Seanez has been good enough to get the same amount of money he was paid in '06/'07, or close to it.
Gordon will cost them an additional 4.5mm next season if they don't buy him out for 1mm, but I expect that they'll try to renegotiate an extension if they want to bring him back that takes his health into consideration. Madson will get a raise also.

In short, keeping the bullpen intact or at least the pieces they want to keep is going to be a lot more expensive.

They may not feel they have the money Burrell is likely to be offered elsewhere, but if they don't bring him back then 2008 is the year.

I just don't see how they're going to be able to improve the SP enough and keep the BP at the '08 level next year to make up for the lost offense (remember run differential).

I think most regular posters here understand that, hence the frustration with not seriously upgrading the rotation.

So let's enjoy this year and pray they get hot the last 2 months.

(Oh, and pray for a SP upgrade, other than Myers.)


In response to a much earlier post . . yes there is no more baseball at the Olympics after this year. Bit of a bugger for me because it means I don't get to see any decent players / prospects at London 2012

Inside/Outside Parker: Enjoyed your 8:54 PM "State of the Phillies-Mid-season 2008" post. So many ideas are debated here, it isn't hard to miss the forest for the trees sometimes. I thought you put together a good summary that hit the key points.

Some really interesting posts overall for an off day.

Rollins got a "D" for his first half performance from our local newspaper this morning. But the sun doesn't shine on the same dog's rear end all the time.

I (and others) felt for a while that the Mets were due to go on a roll, and they have. I think everyone here knew Chase Utley couldn't keep hitting a home run every other game all season long, and he hasn't. Similarly, I think Jimmy is due for a bounce back in the second half. I guess you never say never, but the idea of trading him boggles the mind.

AWH - Durbin might get paid that kind of contract if he keeps it up but no way Seanez or Gordon make big money next season. Seanez will be had for relative peanuts again due to his age (that is if he doesn't decide to retire).

Phils would be nuts to resign Gordon at $4.5M. Gordon will be likely to get a 1-yr base contract (say $500-$750k) with tons of incentive upside.

I do agree though that the Phils will have some tough calls this offseason about the pen including Durbin, Madson, and obviously Lidge. Why I hope that Outman or Castro can be slated to take at least one of these spots come next year.

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