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Sunday, November 02, 2008


And now it begins!


You certainly deserve a break and all of our thanks for shepherding, via Beerleaguer, this crazy herd of cats known as PHans during this incredible run.

Maybe Clout can cover for you.

That is the thing with a blog that really gets legs and requires timely/interesting posts to keep up with events. It basically becomes a "thing" that requires constant attention and time invest which is a real bear if you are doing it solo.

There's no real reason to think that Amaro won't be a competent general manager. The issue is that people flat-out don't like him, and it's not hard to figure out why. The phrase being thrown around the festivies at CBP the other day was that "the Phillies are a family." For better or for worse.

Sophist, thanks for posting the list of where Pat Burrell ranks the last 4 years.

So......1)how many of them are outfielders, 2) how many of them are available, and 3) how many of them would be less expensive than Burrell?

Ask those three questions andthat list ets much, much smaller.

"gets" much, much smaller.

Manny – 152
Vlad – 143
Holliday – 136
Alou - 135
Magglio - 133

are the RHB outfielders that might be available.

Manny and Vlad would cost way, way more, Holliday would be a one-year rental and would thus cost way too much in talent for the Phils FO to swallow, Alou is an injury waiting to happen, and Magglio is 4-5 yrs older than Burrell and would cost talent in a trade as well as money.

Re-signing Burrell, if it's financially feasible, seems to make the most sense.

Congrats to Amaro.

Enjoy you break Jason.

I'm still on a world series hangover too and I'm going to keep it going as long as I can. The hot stove is slowly beginning to interest me though.

@RSB - Even Doug Glanville is pushing the "Philly is Family" take in his NYTimes editorial this weekend.

BTW, never have I cared less about the Eagles. I anticipate at least four weeks before I start complaining about them again. :)

We won the championship. Who cares if Amaro is GM. We have five years before we can think about complaining about anything. MG and clout were like Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer yesterday. We're the champions. Of course the posts aren't gonna be thoughtful. Everyone is in cloud 9 mode, like they should be.

Actually if you do want to complain about something, it can be Buster Olney and his ridiculous "the world series needs to be at a neutral site bc a game get delayed bc of rain once very 50 years" argument, when in reality these guys just want to get flown somewhere warm like football writers do. Anyone who saw the crowd in the Philly games is crazy to think this WS would've been better off in Arizona.

I hope Amaro doesn't suck. The only good thing he's done for the organization to date is getting traded for all-star Heathcliff Slocumb back in the day.

Do we think Mike Arbukle will stay in the organization? I haven't heard anything to the contrary but I was just wondering. Would he get a new title maybe? Also, does anyone know what Amaro's role in the draft room is? If you can't tell I'm a little worried about Amaro.

Vonderful: From what I've read, Arbuckle resigned from the Phils upon hearing the news.

I don't blame him. He's been a loyal guy, and just can't get any higher within the organization. Best of luck to him.

I have no problem with Reuben Amaro as GM.

Hopefully he does'nt get sentimental and over pay to keep Pat Burrell. Amaro was around in '93 when the Phillies re-signed a bunch of dead weight during the after-glow of the'93 season.

I just read the late posts from the last thread (read the board stupid!). That's really a shame. Arbuckle is just the type of mgmt. that we cannot have leave. His draft picks were the core of the team. What was Amaro's role in the draft process? Do we know what type of player (college, high school, tools, a Moneyball guy?) he likes?

Does anyone know Ruben Amaro has ever explained and/or apologized for his devistating negligence and/or lack of due dilligence at the threshood of the Freddy Garcia fiasco?

"Does anyone know Ruben Amaro has ever explained and/or apologized for his devistating negligence and/or lack of due dilligence at the threshood of the Freddy Garcia fiasco?"

Was'nt Gillick responsible for that?

mikes77phillies: No... Amaro made all the stupid decisions. Pat Gillick only made the smart decisions that won us a World Series. Each loss this season can likely be attributed to a mistake Ruben Amaro made just as each win is attributed to either Gillick or Arbuckle.

This team is doomed with Ruben Amaro at the helm.


Jimmy Rollins won the Fielding Bible award for defense. That makes him the best feiding Shortstop in the Major leagues. He finished 6th last year. His defense must have improved since last year.

Brian G - Agree with you passionately on the Buster Olney disagreement. What a terrible idea. Not only has a rain suspension only occurred once in the history of the game, and do those weather contingencies provide drama to the game itself (this one, the bugs in Cleveland last year, the fire in the Cleveland dug-out in the past), but Olney is proposing the World Series become more like the meaningless, overly commercialized, fan-free zone that is the Super Bowl. These proposals only serve to cheapen the event and slight the representative cities.

Who could afford to take off work, buy tickets, and fly to some temperate, nuetral site? (Not that most average fans can really go to game 4.) The stands will be full of business-partners and other indifferent parties. The event will be less about the games and more about the surrounding activities (player arrivals, the money spent on peripheral activities.) This is money not spent in the representative city itself. As the team is a civic entity, its success should economically benefit philadelphia.

What Olney et al fail to understand, is the suspension was the lack of flexibility under the current television contract with Fox. It forced Selig to make stupid decisions (like not pushing up the game an hour) or postponing it a day. Since Tampa was ina dome, there was no big deal in moving games 6 and 7.

Rain happens. Look how beautiful the last couple of days were in Philadelphia. The day of the parade was absolute gorgeous. So the time of the year isn't that big of a concern for a Northeastern city.

It was a failure from top to bottom. The Emperor had no clothes and he was standing there dripping wet. And no one said a damn thing. That was the problem.

Of course the end result turned a disaster into a memorable experience with a 3 inning dash for the championship that was the best baseball played in that series.

To never have a World Series game played in Fenway or the New Yankee Stadium or in Philadelphia would be a travesty. Not having a World Series game in Wrigley or the New Shea will happen on their own merit.

Buster's argument about the crowds not filled with diehards but corporate crowds holds NO water. Especially in Philadelphia. I went to every home playoff game but one in the last 2 years and the stadium was filled with the diehards, and season ticket holders. The strangers I hugged in game 5, were average joes and janes.

That article was self-serving tripe. And would kill baseball.

"The stands will be full of business-partners and other indifferent parties."

Amazing that a well-paid corporate personality would speak for his class and not the average fan.

mike c - I'm sure you hugged many people who weren't joe the plumber as well. There are wealthy Philadelphians who are diehard fans as well. Many of these people would be hard-pressed to fly to Miami to see a baseball game as well.

I must be tired. I ended every sentence of that last post with "as well."

Amaro's first move needs to be another front-of-the-rotation starter, either AJ Burnett if available or Derek Lowe. If he makes the mistake of re-signing Moyer, then the 2009 rotation will be set, and the Phils will have missed addressing their #1 need. So, that will be the test of whether Amaro is up to the job.

Having a World Series game or three played in one's home city is an experience not merely for the--admittedly well-off--native fans in attendance but for the rest of the city's well. Come game time the stadium becomes like a heart, pulsing electricity through the city's streets and into every corner bar. To move the games to a neutral site is to rob every resident of the visceral communality that comes with close proximity to such a special event.

I do not think resigning Moyer would be a mistake by any stretch of the imagination... He only had a 3.7 ERA this year.

Forget Olney,he's a Bust.

Moyer is good for a 10-10 season for at least another year. For a 5th starter, we'll take that.

I think if Burrell is willing to come back for less money, then resign him. Otherwise I think we could work out a trade or sign another big time pitcher. Adding a Peavy or somebody like that could only improve a team which will challenge to win 100 games next year.

I honestly believe we never played our 'best' baseball this year. Everything seemed like a struggle, yet we're World "F'N" Champions. I can only imagine if we get solid pitching AND hitting throughout next year how dangerous the Phils could be.

By the way...our payroll is going to be steep as Howard will get another 10-12 mil, Cole will get PAID and signed long term, and even Victorino might get a contract. He should.

Winning for the next 2-3 years would make all of this even more sweeter. Hope Amaro doesn't F it up.

Actually, the best argument against the "neutral site" idea may be the games that the Astros and Cubs played at a "neutral site" because of the hurricane. It became very clear, especially to Houston, that Milwaukee was not very neutral.

It's a dumb idea.

(Which Sophist might agree to as well.)

One more thought regarding Burrell. I have some question, actually, whether Burrell, next year, will replace Burrell's production. Maybe I'm just over-reacting to his second half swoon, but this year, his walk year, was not very impressive within the corpus of Burrell years. Has he begun to decline? My gut (nothing like Chollie's famous one, of course) tells me "no;" Pat has another good year or two. But that review of his PECOTA (I think Sophist did that as well) projection for the next five years is not very encouraging.

I truly wonder if the money wouldn't be better spent on Derek Lowe.


Kudos to CJ on his attribution of all the wins to Gillick and losses to Rube. Priceless exemplification of beerleaguer logic.

The Phils' rotation needs to be upgraded. We are going to lose Burrell, and whatever the strategy will be to fill the void is likely to be a downgrade. Yes, Moyer had an excellent year, but at 46 he is a bad bet to repeat and we don't need another #5 starter. Let's not be sentimental, or worse yet, begin to believe that we can stand pat and win it again. Myers is one of the most erratic pitchers in baseball. You never know what you are going to get from him. Happ looks promising, but remember Kyle Kendrick. Blanton, I believe, will be solid, but he was dreadful for the A's, so who knows. They need a solid, proven top-of-the-rotation guy. The Mets can get a whole lot better fast with the addition of Sabathia or Burnett, and/or K-Rod in the pen. Their problem is pitching, and you can safely assume they will address that matter big time. Santana and Sabathia would be a daunting prospect. The Phils can't look back and gloat about the past. We need a frontline pitcher, not just for the season, but also for the 2009 playoffs where it is all about pitching.

@sophist -- was making no commentary on the wealth of the average joes and janes... just meant these folks didn't seem to be that "corporate type" that olney suggests.

@klaus -- agreed on the following sentence:

"Come game time the stadium becomes like a heart, pulsing electricity through the city's streets and into every corner bar."

You said in one sentence the sole reason to argue against Olney's point.

Brian G: Why was my post a downer? I'm as happy as anyone that the Phillies won. It feels great. But I come to Beerleaguer for intelligent baseball discussion. Obviously some posters, like yourself, are incapable of that, but there are quite a few others who are quite good. I was disappointed not to see them around.

Andy- Good point about Burrell not being able to replicate his own numbers. It has been written on this site that not re-signing him would be a mistake since you can't replace his .950 OPS, but I don't see him as a .950 OPS type player in the future. What was Pat's second half OPS? He certainly looks like a declining player to me. If you can get him at a reasonable price for reasonable (like 2) years then fine, do it. I just don't see giving anymore than 2 years to a guy that can't run, isn't a very good defender and plays 7 innings most of the time.

flipper: I get that you don't like Pat Burrell. He made you look foolish last summer when he was hot and you predicted he'd have a great season while I predicted he'd revert to career norms. Rather than learn something about baseball, you just got mad. But you can't replace someone with no one. Who replaces his .950 OPS?

Why all the hating on Amaro. What does anyong know about his work to say he will not do well. He has been around a long time and has had the opportunity to work under a hall of fame GM for the last three years. We just won a world F___ing Championship, lets stay positive.

Vonderful: I have no problem at all letting Burrell walk, especially if he's in decline. But who replaces him?

fan: The Amaro hate is puzzling to me too. Did we deal for Garcia at his urging? Was the Eaton signing his idea? I'd love to see some factual evidence about why we should think Amaro is terrible, but I've yet to read any.

Hope SE: "Maybe Clout can cover for you."

Beerleaguer would have no readers at all by the time I was done.

Excellent post by MG in prior thread about how difficult it is to win back-to-back. We can all think of one play or one game that saved the season. Had it gone the other way, no playoffs or championship. Several players had near-career seasons and there were no serious injuries. Can that happen two years in a row? That's why it's so nice to be champions at least until Sept. 30, 2009.

Clout- I don't really see him being totally replaced number for number. If you can get 75% of his overall production I believe that would be the route they would have to take. Any replacement would be an improvement in defense (not a huge deal, but an improvement) and speed.

As for the other 25% of Pat's production that would leave, that would have to come from the others in the lineup. Another way to make up for the loss would be using some of the money saved with a lesser replacement to get more pitching. That might be twisted logic, but if you give up less runs as a team, in theory you would have to score less. You can never have to much pitching and this years Phillies proved that both in the regular season and the playoffs.

I know it sounds like I'm a total Burrell basher, I'm really not. If Pat would take 2 years I would do it in a second, but I just don't see that happening. The teams that contend year after year do a constant re-tooling of their teams and sometimes change the personality of the line-up to do it. Without Pat the line-up won't look, score or play the same, but that does not mean that they won't be able they won't be able to produce the same results.

Man can I ramble.

I meant to say the team would be able to produce the same results overall. Not just the offense.

Just to throw some other options on the table -- there's also the possibility of trades. Holliday aside, there may be some interest in Florida where a bunch of their younger guys are now arbitration eligible. Ross (.260/.316/.488, 110 OPS+) and Willingham (.254/.364/.470, 120 OPS+) are both RHB and arb-eligible for the first time this year, I believe.

What do we think about Willingham Sophist?

Hi all -- longtime lurker and admirer of all BL regulars here. Just a thought and a suggestion for Jason: the BL archives from each game of the magical 2008 season would make an amazing print product. I would not be surprised if you're already talking to a publisher, but if not -- get yourself an agent, man. This thing is already intro, a few asides throughout the season and maybe an expansion of your post-title could be on the shelves for Christmas!

06: .277/.356/.496, 26 HR
07: .265/.364/.463, 21 HR
08: .254/.364/.470, 15 HR

Had some injury problems this year. Fairly high K%, good BB%, can play catcher in a pinch (joking.) Looks from his hittracker that he can pull the ball.

Something else to consider, away from Dolphin Stadium he's a career



Sophist- Not to bad on Willingham. Your bringing up of arbitration made me go look at the list and Marcus Thames was on it. Last year in 316 AB .241/292/.516. He also hit 25 HR but only had 56 RBI. His 2008 salary was $1,275,000. Burrell went .250/.367/.507 with 33 HR and 86 RBI in 536 AB. Thames doesn't walk nearly as much as Burrell but his his other numbers look pretty good. Thames strikes out a ton (95 times, 33% of AB's) but I would say sporadic playing time contributes to that somewhat.

Just throwing another name out there. Don't know if Detroit would even trade him.

I believe that this winter will tell us a great deal about our new GM. Whether we can repeat will depend heavily on how he addresses both the pitching situation and the apparent opening in left field.

Large raises will be in order for Howard, Hamels, and Vic. However, our ownership group certainly can't plead poverty -- they made a ton of money this season, and we will need to get out the checkbook for a strong #1 or #2 starter and perhaps a little more help in the bullpen.

As Hitman suggested, Fred and Omar will not hesitate to get out the checkbook for the first season in their new stadium up in Queens. If Preppy Dave and the Mysterions believe they can basically stand pat, our Phillies will be in big trouble. To stay competitive, we will need to keep pace. Will Reuben Amaro have the moxie, clout and money to get the job done? I guess we'll all know soon enough. Keep your fingers crossed, Beerleaguers... this offseason will be telling and critical.

Clout: I think the Amaro hate is born out of the Phils rewarding loyalty over merit. Regardless of Gillick's good and bad moves, he came in and won a championship.

Ultimately, though, I agree with you that the hate is puzzling. He could be successful -- everyone's discussed that the Wade and Gillick eras are both responsible for the championship team.

Amaro was there for both. Let's hope he learned all the good stuff.

I'm really surprised by the posts here saying there needs to be a big outside acquisition. Didn't this season show exactly the opposite? The reality is that the team payroll is going to go up dramatically with all the arbitration-eligible folks, and I would be stunned to see a frontline free agent (other than possibly Burrell) sign with the team.

I don't think it's hatred of Amaro, at least not on my part.

Rather, it's lack of trust.

He hasn't been honest with the media or fans in the past on several occasions.

I believe honesty on his part would be a very good step toward rebuilding his relationship with the fans.

Frankly, it's Gillick and Chollie who have the currency (read that as lifetime passes from fans), not Amaro.

So if Ruben Jr. just gives the fans the straight scoop from the jump he'll probably be fine from a PR standpoint.

OTOH, lies or the Andy Reid style of press conference or interview will only serve to further hurt what he himslef might like to accomplish.

Eskin tonight reported on NBC that the Phils had a deal in place before the trade deadline to trade Ryan Howard to the Dodgers in exchange for James Loney and a few role players. According to him, they can't pay his contract and will be looking to unload him.

If Eskin's report is true -- and who knows if it is -- they sure as hell better get alot more than James Loney and some role players.

Dramatically more.

I'm the biggest Burrell fan out there, but Andy's right to say that the money would be better spent on Derek Lowe.

Eskin is a fool.

Joel G from Los Angeles: The Phillies did play their best baseball this year. They saved it for the end. You can't argue with 25-5 during the toughest part of the season.

Mike77Phillies: That's great to hear about J-Roll. His defense was stellar all year even when he was struggling at the plate. I watch a lot of Red Sox games and Rollins vs. Lowrie or Lugo is a no contest in the field. It makes you appreciate Jimmy's D that much more.

To whoever said re-signing Moyer is a mistake I couldn't disagree more. A lot of teams would love to have a Moyer as the #4 guys plus he makes everyone around him better and I am a fan of watching him pitch.

I thought Amaro was responsible for getting Shane Victorino for nothing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty should I read that he was behind Victorino. Also, didn't everyone think the Garcia deal was a good one at the time? Let's give Amaro a chance.

I would sign Pat The Bat if he would do two years, but if we do not sign him he will need to be replaced especially with our shortage of RH power bats. The Phillies might actually be looking to Marson for big things next year. I don't know if they think Marson can totally replace Burrell, but I know the organization loves Marson and expects huge things out of him. He's the wildcard in all this of how we can improve without going after any current stars.

Let's hope Eskin is wrong. That trade would suck. I'll take Kemp, Loney & Kershaw for Howard and some average prospect and I'd still have to think about it.

The one thing the Phillies can't afford to do is break up the nucleaus of this team. They are already losing Pat The Bat. You dump Howard too and all the good will is gone. Right now there is chance they will sell out every game and many (if not all) before the season even begins. There is no poverty to cry here.

Now I'm realistic. They have to give a lot of big raises and they will probably have to let Pat go. I don't expect a major free agent signing. However, they have to keep this core together.

If they do sign another starter does anyone think a JA Happ and other prospects for a bigger bat is possible?

Also, over on today they had an interesting column about swapping bad contracts for bad contracts. It is worth taking a look at the list of outfielders and maybe sending Eaton somewhere for one of them. We definitely need to improve So Taguchi's 25th roster spot and maybe one of those outfielders with a bad contract will do the trick.

Sorry for three posts in a row, but I guess I just have a lot to say. I just wanted to add that I grew up in Boston idolizing Peter Gammons before he was HOF Gammons. There was nothing like his Sunday column of trade rumors and news. However, I lost respect for him for the first time when he raised this neutral site issue. What an absolutely stupid idea. What are people supposed to do? Book flights hoping there is a game 6 or 7? Book flights on last minute fares if their team makes it or book flights hoping that their team makes it? Nevermind hotel rooms, car rental, all that stuff. Are people just supposed to suddenly leave their job and lives behind and fly to Arizona for the World Series? Forget about the average guy like the one that wins the ticket lottery and gets the chance of a lifetime to go to a game. Is he suddenly supposed to buy a plane ticket and get a hotel? What if he wants to bring his kid?

I'm not even talking about ripping the World Series out of the city that supported the team all year and deserves it.

There are a million reasons why this is impractical and anyone who suggests it lives on some throne somewhere and has lost touch with the average fan.

Anyone know what the ratings were for the 3 inning game?

Clout: I'm still trying to get my tongue out of my cheek.

I foresee Burrell not being re-signed, and the Phils possibly trading for Maggy Ordonez. I doubt the Phils sign a starting pitcher, as I think they'll let Eaton, Happ, and Kendrick battle for the 5th slot (Hamels, Myers, Moyer, and Blanton 1-4). Bruntlett is probably as good as gone too with Jason Donald playing all over the infield in Arizona and hitting a ton. I truly hope Golson doesn't replace Taguchi, because the only upgrade there is speed.

Eskin really knows nothing about baseball. If they "had a deal in place," why didn't it happen?

A couple of weeks ago, another analyst (I can't remember who) threw out the possibility that the Phillies might move Howard. He had to retract after Phillie management told him that that would not happen. The Phillies certainly can afford a one-year deal with Howard.

Of course with what Eskin knows about baseball, he probably thought Kemp and Kershaw were role players.

Sounds like Eskin is carrying the water for the Eagles again.

Good Morning Phans~

In the afterglow of the team's triumph, let's look at what is happening. Amaro getting the GM's job and Arbuckle leaving...did anyone think this wasn't going to be the case? It wouldn't matter who the GM is. The owners always want a "yes" person in that role. What remains to be seen is will the owners allow Amaro to build on what is already here? If so, and if he can, he/we'll be fine. Obviously there's work to be done.

As far as Burrell goes, I'd like him to stay but I believe otherwise. If he really turned down a 2-year deal, then I believe he is gone. However the Phils most undoubtedly will offer him arb. He's a type A guy so we'd get 2 draft picks for him if he left. But he could accept. So we'll see.

The payroll is going to increase significantly and it all depends on what the owners' will allow Amaro to do as I said before. He may not be the most popular choice but at least he's been here. So let's give him a chance. He may do a better job than what we think.

clout - I have to disagree on the outcome of a week of clout headline posts. So many people would come out of the woodwork to bash whatever you wrote that the daily posts would look like play-off game chats. It might not be remotely edifying,but would be very entertaining.

From Burrell's POV, I think it would be best if he were to move on. Early in his tenure in Philly he become known as the player who never lived up to expectations. Then unlike any other athlete in this city (that I can remember), he won back the fans with what he could give us: consistent numbers over the long term and a knack for killing the Mets. Part of me wants Pat to stay, but it's only sentimental. If his numbers are to go south, that coupled with his defensive liabilities would leave a sour note to his career in Philly... I'd rather see him go out on top.

Salisbury just said Amaro is the one who talked Victorino out of leaving Philly back in the Rule V days (thanks to the Dodgers(?) for rejecting him, as well)

Randy Miller, not Salisbury.

eskin is an idiot. the dodgers can't afford 2 years of manny, let alone whatever they're gonna get killed for with howard's contract.

The proposed trade was made before the trade deadline and Eskin said it was before the Dodgers got Manny. He also said the Dodgers turned the trade down.

clout - you just can't help lying to cover your ass, can you? Go ahead and find where I predicted Burrell having a great season. Didn't do it.

Our disagreement was about the odds that Burrell would have an above average oveall season given that he had a way above average first half. You, ridiculously, insisted that the odds dictated that he'd revert to the norm over the second half.

In other words, your argument was that the odds were that he'd have a much lower than average second half. Lol! The fact that Burrell did, in fact, have a below average second half doesn't change the fact that you, illogically, predicted that the odds were that's what would happen.

Man up, clout. Don't lie to cover your tracks.

As for who will replace Burrell's production - I guess you had trouble reading what I posted earlier? Basically, again, my view is very similar to Vonderful's.

There will be offensive production that will be lost if Burrell leaves - but I expect better offensive performance from any number of players among Rollins, Utley, Howard, Jenkins, Werth, Feliz, and Chooch. I don't expect any of them do so any worse than they did this year. Thus, outside of Burrell, I expect a net gain in offense next year. That would mitigate any loss of production from losing Burrell, although probably not fully compensate.

On the other side - it would be a definite advantage to have a left fielder that is more mobile than a coke machine, and that you don't have to constantly lift in late innings because he's a sloth on the basepaths.

I'd trade a defensive/baserunning upgrade for a, net, slight downgrade offensive performance next season -- if, the Phils take some of Burrell's salary to shore up the pitching - where I expect there will be a drop-off from this year.

AWH was right when he wrote: " don't think it's hatred of Amaro, at least not on my part. Rather, it's lack of trust. He hasn't been honest with the media or fans in the past on several occasions."

I'm not too happy about this, especially with Arbuckle leaving. You can have a fool in charge, as long as your no. 2 man is a good nuts and bolts guy like Arbuckle to do the work. With Arbuckle gone, Amaro is going to be exposed like a guy wearing a hospital gown.

This Saturday, I went to the LSU-Tulane football game and had nearly the worst seats in the house. I was in the uppermost upper deck on the minus 20 yard line overlooking the end zone, one row from the top. The players looked like ants. Despite this poor view, we had some a-hole, in the last row, yelling all game about blown calls. Mr. Magoo had a better view.

I feel our view of the Phillies front office may be like my view at the LSU game, pretty far away. We may not really know what Gillick, Amaro and Arbuckle did in the front office. Maybe our public view of Junior does not show the whole picture. In the euphoria of this Phillies World Series Championship, I'm willing to give Amaro a pass and a honeymoon period for him to do good for us.

@ phlipper~

It could be that Werth moves to LF Vic back to RF maybe and they pursue a CF'der. I don't disagree with your assessment.

What can't happen long-term is that Burrell AND Howard both leave. That's what worries me. I don't know if the Phils will put up the $$ for Howard. And Burrell? If you've follwed what I've posted about him, in their minds they didn't get the return they hoped for for the 50 million they already paid him. I believe that.

If Ruben, Jr. signs Burrell and Moyer then I think we have a good choice for GM. If not, fan resentment and distrust of the front office will return to pre World Series levels very quickly.

3-year deal for Amaro seems a little too long.

A 3-year deal seems like the right length for someone who needs some time to build a team. A 3-year deal seems like the right length for someone you're competing for.

It's only a year too long, but I hope we don't wind up regretting that third year.

We have Howard under our control for 3 more years, so he won't be able to leave until he's 32. No need to worry. Eskin is an idiot, he also in August that Cole was pitching with a broken arm.

By my calculations our payroll will be around 100 mil after arb raises. I say spend another 20 on Burrell and Moyer for 2 and 1 year contracts and we'll be at 120mil overall, with a chance to defend our title.

If you were Burrell, would you sign a 2-year deal knowing you are on the other side of your prime? As much as he likes it here, he is an MLBPA member and he is going to be coerced in to taking a longer-term, more lucrative deal from an AL team. Also, remember that he is 32 and on the other side of his peak. He will want security and so, I believe his days as a Phillie are over. If Moyer wants to come back on a 1-year deal, bring him back.

In terms of replacing Burrell's production, its going to be very difficult and I am not sure there is anyone in the market that can, except Manny but then he would disrupt the chemistry of this team.

"If you've follwed what I've posted about him, in their minds they didn't get the return they hoped for for the 50 million they already paid him. I believe that.

Posted by: DPatrone | Monday, November 03, 2008 at 10:48 AM"

Dom, that may be true, but whether they feel they got a return for their money in the past is irrelevant at this point.

What matters is how re-signing or letting him walk affects the team on the field in the future.

A I have posted, I am a P fan, but a Phillies fan first.

If the team can be improved by letting PB walk and replacing him with someone else then so be it.

I, like clout, am skeptical his production can be replaced at the same price it will cost to re-sign him.

Who? Manny? The Human Gameboard? both those guys have chemistry issues, and they certainly are going to look for long-term deals as well.

Trade for Magglio? He's owed 18MM in '09 plus a 3MM buyout or a 15MM '10 option. That's a minimum of 21MM for one season, or 33MM for 2. That's pretty hefty for a guy 35 years old with a bad knee.

Vlad just got his option picked up by the Angels, so he's off the board.

Matt Holliday? Love the guy, but he would deplete the farm system for a one-year rental. Besides, as someone pointed out during the season, Burrell actually has better numbers a Coors than Holliday does. (But, no, I don't think he's as good).

Take a look at Sophist's post on the last thread listing the OPS+ of all the RH power bats. It's not very long when you eliminate the guys who are available(i.e. who the Phils would actually pay for), and the guys who don't play the outfield. The list gets pretty short after that.

Maybe the route to go is to work like crazy to improve the pitching and do a minor tweak to the offense as some have suggested.

Or, how about Eaton for Adrian Beltre (contract dump by Seattle), and trade Feliz, who only has one more year, to a team looking for a short term solution at 3B. The cost to the Phils would be about the same. Nahhh, the M's would never do it.

Ankit: Point taken on Burrell, and I do think he'll take the most years/money. But it comes down to whether some team is going to pay him more than the 2 years 25-30 mil I think we should offer him. If he's an .850 OPS DH by year 3, what is that really worth? I think that, especially in an uncertain economy, there aren't going to be a ton of suitors looking to commit a lot of years to a guy like Burrell. Especially when we know off the bat that the Yankees and Red Sox aren't involved.
I certainly won't rule out some unknown swooping in, just saying I have a hard time figuring out who that will be.

Brian - I posted the named suitors from MLBtraderumors the other day: Angels, Royals, Blue Jays, A's, Rays, Braves, Mets, Reds, and Giants.

Someone mentioned this CF possibility in the reg season. I think it was Lopes. Jim Edmonds is a FA.


something I haven't seen mention of (maybe it's the BL cynicism), but the Phils have been mentioned (along with the Red Sox, Braves, Mariners, Pirates, Tigers, and Cubs) as suitors for Junichi Tazawa.

Seattle is definitely not looking to move Beltre in a salary dump. his numbers over the last three years are very solid (105-112-109 OPS+), he's an excellent fielder, and $12M for one year is hardly unmanageable. if the Phils could get him for only Eaton (who has literally zero trade value), you can bet someone would offer more.

Tampa Bay?

FWIW, I think Ramirez is the obvious choice for left field. I have a hard time seeing him getting more than 4 years, and I would be willing to take my chances with his age 37-40 years, especially since 1B could plausibly be open for the last 1-2 years of that span. I'm not at all convinced that he would create chemistry problems in the dugout--and besides, if any manager in baseball is suited to deal with Ramirez, it's Charlie Manuel.

businesswise, I see this as the best time for the Phillies to take on a big contract. winning the World Series represents a huge cash influx, and CBP will have no problems selling out for the forseeable future.

I'm not a Manny guy, but stuff surely is lining up for him to at least be interested in the Phillies. First is his relationship with Cholly. He may be one of the only managers that can handle his personality and mix it with this roster. Second is Ruben - new Phils GM and former Manny teammate on the Indians. Will Rube try to make a big splash as the new GM so that he can show that his was not a puppet to Ed Wade or Pat Gillick? Third, Mannny being Manny may want to find a way to stick it to the Red Sox. Why not sign with the defending WS Champs, help take them back to the WS in '09 where the AL team may be the Red Sox? I know it's far fetched, but so it seemed with a parade down Broad Street not too long ago.

Manny would only increase sales of Phils paraphernalia. Something the business minded Phils brass clearly is aware of. I don't know if it'll happen, but I don't think it's far fetched.

@bananagrabbers -- Why would anyone offer a GM less than 3 years? Why would anyone take a GM job for less than 3 years. It's ridiculous to suggest anything else. You need stability in the front office to win.

Right now, Manuel's contract is in place for 2009 and an option for 2010. In good faith, Amaro should pick up the option for 2010 for Manuel and extend him to the end of his term. You need to a reward a champion manager.

Regarding the Eskin "rumor" for Howard-Loney. The only way that deal would have made sense for the Phillies if Kemp and Kershaw were included, or we had the Ramirez deal in place. Why get Loney? Unless we were trading Burrell to the Red Sox for Ramirez.

Eskin is far removed from the Phillies at this point.

He is right, the Phillies don't want to pay AROD level money for Howard. But he's still under control and if they manage arbitration better they will be fine.

Top Priorties for Amaro:
1. Extend Manuel to end of Amaro's term.
2. Buy out Hamels arbitration years and extend.
3. Buy Hawaiian Shirt for GM Meetings
4. Offer Burrell a good faith 2 year deal with home team discount. Burrell looked like he would have signed a $1 lifetime contract after the World Series victory.
5. Clean out Pat Gillick's desk.
6. Offer Moyer 1 year plus 1 option.
7. Sign Blanton.
8. Find a taker for Eaton.
9. Promote Wolever or Lamar to fill Arbuckle's role.
10. Offer Chris Coste the Single A manager job.


I honestly donj't know what they'll do. They would be hard-pressed to replace PtB's production for the same money. And I agree, I would take improved pitching and sacrifice some offense, that's pretty wise too. I see Werth moving to LF. I thought Vic could go to right and they'd go looking for a CF'der. Cameron is now off the board, and there's not much else out there, so they'll probably bring in another guy to platoon with Jenkins in right and leave Vic in center. MLB trade rumors links them to not only Holliday but Atkins as well. And also Baldelli.

I would not mortgage the future on anyone. That's not worth it. If I could get Atkins and Baldelli (if healthy) and move Feliz (although I love his glove), I would.

I'm sure Amaro wants to do the right things here. Winning a WS certainly brings the proper attitudes out of everyone doesn't it? There is talent around baseball that can be brought in if all things can be worked out. I imagine there are a lot more players who'd want to play in Philly now. It will be a very interesting off-season, no doubt.

Manny & the Mets - Elton John called it first.
The Mets will spend like crazy with the new ball park and being second fiddle twice in row.
I think our best shot at signing a RF with power is to keep Pat for two years.

oops - meant LF

CBS sports store sent me an email talking about a 15% off sale. Followed the link and it says 20% on the Champions shirts I clicked on. Valid til 4 PM. (No, I don't get a cut or payment for this ad).

do you have the link?

Re: Eaton.

Nobody wants Eaton, not even the Phils. They are stuck paying his salary for one more year. They'll be paying him to stay away. It's no longer a priority.

I guess you don't need the link to get the dea, thanks EF.

They don't really have a good selection, I would have bought that black WS hat if they had it.

I agree with Hitman about the Jamie Moyer issue. Amaro's first decision as GM will be a tough one. Everyone loves Jamie Moyer -- the fans, the media, his teammates. And there's no denying that we would not have won squat without him this year. If Moyer were permitted to walk, Amaro would be the subject of at least 500 vitriol-filled Beerleaguer posts within the following 24-hour period (just as I expect to be the subject of at least 25 vitriol-filled posts for even bringing up the idea that maybe Moyer shouldn't be resigned).

But, as clout says, Beerleaguer sentiment is often a perfect predictor of what NOT to do. Fact: Moyer's 2008 season was an outlier, as compared to his performance of the last 5 seasons. Fact: 45-year old pitchers don't have breakout seasons. The 2009 version of Moyer stands very little chance of being like the 2008 version. At best, he will be like the 2004 to 2007 versions, which is to say a league average pitcher, possibly slightly below average. And, at 46, it's hardly out of the question that he could lose it altogether. Even Phil Niekro finally hit the wall at 46.

In short, Amaro's job is not to be popular with fans and it's not to live in the past. It's to make the best moves for the team going forward. Resigning Moyer would be a living-in-the-past kind of move that is calculated to win over the fans. It will be tough to let him go, but the best GMs are the ones who can make tough, unpopular decisions.

Think what you will of Eskin, but it's not like he just dreamed up the Loney/Howard trade proposal sitting on the toilet. It had to have come from somewhere. Yet I also recall seeing after the team had made the playoffs, in some national notes column or another, that the Phillies had reported that there was no chance of them trading Howard.

I don't think they'll do it. Monty is all about keeping it 'family' and he won't want to have the championship team broken up besides Burrell's departure. Given the circumstances, I can accept the notion that this isn't the best time to be looking to trade Howard. But I wouldn't be so quick to doubt that they'd have considered it in July. And Loney, by the way, is precisely the prototype I've been suggesting they could replace Howard with and not experience a significant dropoff in team performance. He's a durable, solid line drive hitter with alleys power and a terrific glove. And oh yeah, he's dirt cheap.

Obviously, if salary weren't an issue, you would take Howard's 48 homers over any of that, any day of the week. But it is. And even though they still have him under contract for a few more years, keep in mind it will be an increasingly expensive contract and an increasingly embittered player if they keep taking him to arbitration.

The Howard Question will continue to dominate hot stove discussion until they either give with a contract extension, or send him packing.

bap, is there any other FA pitcher out there who can give you 180 innings of low 5-high 4 ERA baseball for $5M a year? I really don't see anyone.

maybe the Phillies could take a chance on a Pavano or something, but the risk there is at least as much as with Moyer.

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