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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Jason: It's kinda funny since the bar set for whether or not the trade would be a success was a World Series title. It was certainly unfair at the time... but many a poster suggested it was a terrible trade, UNLESS we won a title. Now that we won, it would be near impossible for anyone to suggest it was a bad trade. We're still waiting for his first loss in red pinstripes.

Cubs get Kevin Gregg. Marlins get minor league pitcher Jose Ceda.

As the saying goes, 'Flags fly forever'.

Funny thing is that the general concensus on here was that it was an upgrade at the time (basically a warm body was a potential upgrade over how poorly Eaton had pitched his last few times out) but Eaton and Eyre went on to be key performers down the stretch and in the playoffs for this team.

No doubt that this team likely wouldn't have won it all without these team guys on the team contributing in the matter they did.

Uh...MG? "Banton and Eyre?" maybe?

It is a crime that the Marlins continue to field a ridiculous payroll and make a decent profit even before the season starts.

If Selig wanted to really improve the competitive nature of the game, he would establish some kind of minimum spending threshold level that all MLB had to meet on opening day. It is ridiculous that team like NY and Boston have to pay a luxury tax and then have that money goes to teams (e.g., Florida) who refuse to spend it on payroll.

Huge typo. My bad.

Its not Marson's fault if sabermetricians cannot make sense of his statistics. Criticizing Marson for invalidating a conventional hypothesis is intellectually dishonest.

this is both untrue and nonsensical. statisticians can, of course, make sense of Marson's batting line. the simple explanation for a high BABIP and a low LD% is luck. statistics don't deny the existence of luck...claiming otherwise is, well, intellectually dishonest.

it is of course true that high BABIP isn't bad. but it's also invariably linked with high LD%. therefore, a player with a high BABIP and a low LD% was most likely very lucky. the far less likely explanation is that Lou Marson is a completely unique and unprecedented baseball player.

MG - I'd think that the owners would never agree to that without the addition of a salary cap & the players wouldn't go along with that.

Taking it a step further, if you had to have a $75M payroll on opening day, what would stop a team like the Marlins from making a ton of trades on the day after opening day?

The Fish are a joke. They pull in a crapload of money in revenue sharing and basically pocket it. How the hell can that guy own a team?

On the Blanton deal: Adrian Who?

WE WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! The deal was worth it.

MG - Since they are in our division, I have only mild concerns about Marlins' payroll driven roster decisions. Just wish they'd send us Hanley Ramirez for Greg Golson. We could let him play third base. Feliz could be the LF and our offense would improve.

Heck, I'd send them Golson, Donald and Jaramillo for Hanley.

ae: Good work in responding to what I'll call "the most well written dumb argument of the year" by Baxter.

Criticizing Marson for invalidating a conventional hypothesis is intellectually dishonest.

Oh please. First of all, who's criticizing? Second, it isn't a "conventional hypothesis" to say that a guy who hits a lot of line drives is probably going to get more hits than a guy who hits a lot of ground balls. It's just common sense. Third, while it is certainly possible that Marson is the rare hitter who is so efficient & disciplined that he can post a high average with a low line drive percentage, it sure isn't "intellectually dishonest" to wonder if that's NOT the case and if maybe he was just a little lucky last year. The only thing "intellectually dishonest" in this discussion is the blanket assertion that one good season at Double A "invalidates" all common sense about what types of hitters are likely to post high batting averages.

I had the highlights of game 4 DVR'd and just watched the Blanton homer. Ironically, I just checked into Beerleaguer. I'm watching the game 5 redux now. This will never get old.

"it is of course true that high BABIP isn't bad. but it's also invariably linked with high LD%."

Just wanted to point out an internal contradiction, since we're using phrases like intellectual dishonesty. "Invariably" is patently incorrect. See Marson, Lou.

Andy: I'd throw in Eaton and pay all his salary too. And to sweeten the package even further, I'd even sign CJ Henry off the minor league free agent list and then throw him into the deal too.

Brian G.
I once got a B- on a late term paper in grad school, written in true haste, with a faulty, misbegotten hypothesis, simply because it was "well written" (and the professor was giving me a break). (Which is to say, even a dumb argument is worth reading if it is, at least, well written.)

Vonderful & StJoeHawk, thanks for the interest and comments on where and when we can see the WS prized hardware!

They could have the entire city of Reading for Hanley.

b-a-p: What about Monasterios and Jesus Sanchez? And we could maybe get Matt Smith back quick, just to sweeten the pot...

MG, typing Eaton instead of Blanton is one of the first signs of Alzheimers Disease. LOL!

touché, Hugh...

StJoeHawk - Yeah there are plenty of ways to game the system is you set a threshold. Marlins' owners just disgust me. They plead poverty and shakedown the taxpayers in Miami for a new stadium that has plenty of taxpayer dollars behind it. Additionally, they make a profit before opening day because of the luxury tax dollars/profit sharing they receive.

If the Marlins owners don't like owning an asset that can't make a profit, then sell. Disgusts me that there has been a real trend in baseball (and large sections of other American society) of socializing losses for certain individuals yet not sharing profit upside. It stinks.

Alzheimer's at 31. That is just sad.

Yankees get Nick Swisher for absolutely nothing. There's one more potential Burrell replacement off the table.

Clout: You asked why I and some other posters don't believe Burrell will be in high demand this offseason, and that his contract won't be in the 3yr/48mil range you predicted. My reasons:
1. I just don't think a lot of teams trust Burrell enough to commit that much or that many years. The reason for this are his health(feet), streakiness(and his most recent performance was a huge slump to end the regular season), and the unhappiness that Phillies fans/management had with him for most of the first 4 years of his contract(deserved or not).
2. His skill set limits him to a small OF and/or DH. That limits the number of suitors dramatically. And look at Jim Thome a few years ago, he was viewed as a strict DH with health issues(but with a higher ceiling) and the White Sox were only willing to take him at 3 years about 20 mil overall.
3. Biggest reason. The slumping economy will make teams less reluctant to commit a lot of money in general, moreso with a guy like Burrell that doesn't have potential for improvement from good to great. And considering the Yankees and Red Sox aren't involved... i just don't see a team like the Reds, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rangers, or Twins(some teams sophist listed) spending most of what resources they do have on a defensive stiff who may only have an .850 OPS the next 3 years.

I may be way off, but that's just the way I see things playing out.

given how little potentially decent players like Swisher and Willingham have gone for this season, it'll be real disappointing if Burrell walks and the replacement is Jenkins plus Generic Platoon OF #4.

Swisher for Jeff Marquez and maybe Betemit. The most interesting looking thing on Marquez is that Baseball Reference looks like it jumbled up 2 Jeff Marquez's stat lines. Betemit and a below meh minor league pitcher does seem cheap. It is Kenny Williams though and maybe he sees something in Betemit.

Sam Perlazzo added to coaching staff.

Brian G.~

Agreed on Burell. But the lack of negotiations with him is errily similar to the Rowand situation. They just aren't willing to pay the money or give the years Pat wants. I believe his greatest value is to the Phils, but they want him back only if he agrees to their terms. I see no compromise by the Phils in this situation. Hell, they haven't even re-signed Moyer yet and that should not have been difficult.

If Burrell and Moyer do leave it'll be interesting to see who'll replacwe them. Werth IMO will be the every-day LF'der and a RH bat will be brought in to platoon in RF. They could replace Moyer with Happ. One thing I'm certain of-they will not eat Eaton's 9 mill. salary by cutting him loose. Bet on that. One last thing, you know this team doesn't do anything quickly or what the Phans want them to. That's just the way they operate.

Utley just announced as Silver Slugger award winner.

Silver f*king Slugger!!!

DPatrone: I'm not sure they're comparable. Aaron Rowand was coming off a career year at age 29 and played "gold glove" center field defense. Pat Burrell is older and significantly worse defensively, limiting the potential teams that could sign him.

Also... Aaron Rowand went from a little over $4M with the Phillies to just under $10M with the Giants. Burrell's bidding will start at more than $10M.

"One thing I'm certain of-they will not eat Eaton's 9 mill. salary by cutting him loose. Bet on that."

Why should they? What would they gain from cutting him loose?

"One last thing, you know this team doesn't do anything quickly or what the Phans want them to. That's just the way they operate."

I don't know about that... I wanted them to win a World Series. So I'm pretty happy with how they operated.

Ozzie Guillen says he wants him team to get "younger and faster."

Um... Greg Golson for Carlos Quentin?

I think Swisher will bounce back. I would have taken that risk, especially since it took nothing to get him. He is locked up through 2011. Its a reasonable contract, but might have hampered the Phils interest.

man, the last couple days have been crazy for baseball fanatics. I can understand that Jacobs! Willingham! Gregg! Swisher! isn't going to suck in the average fan, but a lot of excitement so far.

Frankly, as a DC area phan, i'm looking forward to getting into bar phights with Scott Olsen.

"One last thing, you know this team doesn't do anything quickly or what the Phans want them to."

Are you saying the Brad Lidge trade wasn't fast?

As much as some people want them to sign Burrell fast, I think they don't want to be negotiating against themselves. They're probably curious to see what the market holds for him.

C Mauer / McCann
1B Morneau / Pujols
I'd argue for Youkilis over Morneau, but it's close.
2B Pedroia / Utley
should really be Kinsler over Pedroia.
3B Rodriguez / Wright
Wright over Jones is a travesty.
SS Jeter / Ramirez
astonishingly Jeter is the only 100+ OPS+ in the entire AL. really no good shortstops in the junior circuit.
OF Hamilton, Quentin, Sizemore / Braun, Holliday, Ludwick
AL looks good. Braun is a pretty poor choice IMO.
DH Huff
Huff was good. but Milton Bradley was definitely much better.
P Zambrano

Bed Beard: I've been saying that for awhile. They put an offer on the table... 2 years, $22M. That's the floor. The offers will go up from there. How high is totally dependant on the rest of the league.

Congrats to Chase. That is much deserved.

The Marlins are a joke. Anyone think Hanley Ramirez regrets signing that contract this year?

Good post Weitzel on the Blanton trade. I always liked the move especially since we have him for the next couple of years. It would be nice if we could acquire a better #3 and keep Blanton as a #4 or #5. If Blanton is a #4 you know we have a good rotation for the next couple of years. I think he'll perform better in the regular season than he did last season.

Shame to see these good outfield possibilities like Swisher and Willingham go for nothing.


I'm not comparing the players Rowand and Burrell. I'm saying that the lack of negotiations with the two are very simaler in nature. Both wanted to stay. They didn't even make an offer to Rowand and it doesn't appear that any negotiations with Burrell will pick up steam. Say what you want, but it will be hard to replace his numbers over the last 4 years with anyone, let alone a younger guy making less money.

And I'm not saying the Lidge trade wasn't done quickly, but Moyer returning should be a no-brainer and it should have been done and didn't get done, that's all. What are they waiting for? Guess what? No big-name pitcher is coming in. So who are they gonna replace him with if he leaves? Happ that's who. And while I think he will be a fine cog in their rotation some day, he's not a 16-game winner yet.

ST Joe Hawk~

What I'm saying is barring a trade of Happ or Kendrick, Moyer may move on. Eaton won't be traded or axed because of the salary.

I don't think the sky is falling, just yet. I think I ready today that they're talking to Moyer, who wants multi-years. Perhaps, they're thinking whether they want to do that or not. Patience.

It doesn't matter if he's traded or axed. They will be paying him to stay away, just like they did at the end of the season. That's all they can do now.

DPatrone: I don't buy for a second that Aaron Rowand wanted to stay. Not for a second. He had no real history with the Phils (just 2 seasons). He wanted the paycheck. Why else would he have signed with such a bad team? There's just no comparison between Burrell and Rowand. Burrell has spent his entire career with the Phils. He's not just out for the best paycheck... although, like most players, he wants to be fairly compensated.

The only similarities is that both played outfield and they're both free agents.

And are you saying a multi-year deal for a 46-year old pitcher is a no-brainer? Sorry... can't agree with that.

The Phils hire Sam Perlozzo, ex-O's skipper, to fill one of the vacant coaching jobs.

Chase Utley won the Silver Slugger Award for NL 2nd Baseman for the 3rd straight season.

Ex-Reds GM Wayne Krivisky is being looked at to fill Amaro's old job.

Jayson Stark has the Phils looking at relief pitchers Doug Brocail and Russ Springer.

GM: In that Stark column listing all 30 teams and their needs and plans... Burrell isn't mentioned once. Interesting.

Eaton WILL NOT be in the rotation, and will only be on the team as the last guy out of the bullpen, if at all. This isn't the old Phillies.

Brian G: Actually I said 3 years, $45M. I'm not sure the depressed economy hurts the rish teams all that much. But the biggest factor is scarcity. There just aren't high quality FA outfielders after the top 2.

This might seem ridiculous, but is there any way we could acquire Carlos Lee. I know he's terrible defensively, has a long contract, and is coming off a great year (buying high), but this is Ed Wade we're talking about. Maybe we should have Gillick call him and teach him how to make an "Abreu trade". We've still got Sanchez, Smith, and Monasterios. Perhaps we can add in Golson to make up for Henry. Tim Moss would have been perfect for this trade! I just love that Lee hits for a good average and doesn't strike out. 49 strike outs last year. That's like a short week for Howard.

Clout - You might be right about Burrell but wrong about the economy. A bunch of teams depend upon walk-up tickets to round out their revenue.

Now, this has become much less of a factor for most teams as a number of teams (including the Phils) have moved into stadiums with smaller capacities but I bet the savvy teams financial departments are realizing that walk-up sales/attendnace in general is going to take a hit next year as this economy deriotates and unemployment rises.

If Selig or MLB thinks attendance is going to rise again next year, they are either of BS or aren't paying attention to the economic indicators.

lekh: Wishful thinking...

The Astros still believe the can compete in the NL Central. Carlos Lee is a cornerstone of that. Absent an economic meltdown that forces the Astros to unload everyone... Lee won't be traded.

Congrats to Utley! Wasn't even one of his best years. He might win the Silver Slugger award for many years to come.

I disagree with those who think the Marlins' salary dump will make the team far worse. I don't think any of the players they gave up were above-average. From their standpoint, three of the four players they gave up had shown all they ever will (Jacobs, Willingham, Gregg). The best of them, Olsen, might have a future, but his head isn't on straight. I would have thought they could get more for these guys, especially Willingham and Olsen, but they have actually improved the bullpen. Nunez is small, but he's improved steadily the last two years in KC and should be a useful middle reliever. Ceda is really intriguing, a 275-pound flamethrower with some control problems (and, apparently, some appetite problems; his minor-league teammates fined him for asking a kid in the stands to buy him some ice cream during a game).

We should be used to this by now -- the Fish aren't idiots. This time they've sold off a few spare parts that would have cost more than they were worth, but they've left the core of the team intact. This is no fire sale. So far, they've gotten younger, and with one more actual infielder (so Bonifacio can act as a super-sub), they could be much improved.

At this point, I think they're better than the Braves, though of course the opening of the wallets in Atlanta is yet to begin.

The Swisher trade is really good for the Yankees. He had a down year last year, but there's a lot of reasons to expect him to bounce back, as he was rather unlucky.

It just proves that a good replacement for Burrell is available if the Phils know how to look for it.

Alby: Excellent analysis of the Marlins moves. Agree totally. On the Braves, also agree, although if Pelfrey goes there as rumored, that would change the equation.

clout: Um.. Peavy? I don't think they're all that interested in Mike Pelfrey :-)

Couple of notes from Jayson Stark's latest blog post:

The Phillies are about to hire an assistant GM to Ruben Amaro Jr., who can help out with negotiations and arbitration, among other duties. The candidates include former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, former Orioles VP Jim Duquette and current Orioles assistant Scott Proefrock. The Phillies also are in the market for an advance scout. Longtime advance scout Hank King is moving to a pro scouting job.

• The Phillies are expected to re-sign Jamie Moyer early next week, after Moyer's advisor, Jim Bronner, comes back from vacation. At that point, the Phillies plan to put most of their efforts into chasing veteran bullpen arms. The two names we've heard the most are Doug Brocail and Russ Springer.

• Finally, the Phillies seem as if they're in no hurry either to A) bring back Pat Burrell, or B) pursue an outfield bat to replace him. Indications are they turned down a chance to deal for Josh Willingham before Florida traded him to Washington.


He also mentions that Bobby Abreu's initial asking price is 3-years, $45M. I wonder if that means anything for Burrell.

Even if the Braves get Peavy, I won't mind seeing Escobar leave the division.

I wonder about all the wear and tear on Peavy's arm -- lots of 200-inning seasons, deterioration of his K/BB ratio... I think he's a bigger injury risk than a lot of GMs probably think. And I don't see how Peavy alone gets them anywhere -- all he really does is replace Hudson, maybe 3-4 wins better. They're a longer way from contention than that.

Alby: Ken Rosenthal says if they deal Escobar for Peavy, they'll go after Furcal.

I'm not sure who I'd rather see there, Peavy and Furcal or Lowe and Escobar.

Of course, Furcal won't come easy...

CJ: I can't imagine that Abreu will get 45M over 3, although I think Burrell will. Abreu's 3 years older than Burrell and here's their OPS+ for past several years
Pat Bobby
131 138
120 115
136 109

Abreu is loco if he thinks he is going to get 3 yrs/$45M. The handful of stud FA agents will get paid but I bet the secondary veteran FA are going to be effected by this economic uncertanity a bit as the FA season wears on.

The smart ones will sign will early at the best dollars but my bet is that there is going to be some Value Village type veteran bargains if teams are patient and willing to wait.

Interested in Doug Brocail? You know what this means - bidding war between Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro. Do you think Wade totally flips his lid and give Brocail a multi-year deal at decent dollars? My magic 8-ball says "Very likely."

I also really, really like the Swisher trade by Cashman. Typically Yanks move. They trade a pile of magic beans and take a salary that somebody is willing to offload.

In this case though, Swisher is side to relative peanuts compared to what they were spending for the likes of Giambi, gives the Yanks some need flexibility in the lineup/field, and isn't a player who is in his mid-30s who represents a health risk.

Maybe Swisher flops in the Big Apple and is a largely a dud the next 2 seasons but at for less than $15M total that is a much smaller expensive mistake than the Yanks typically make.

Clout: Even if you were right about Burrell's offensive superiority, Abreu can still play the outfield and run the bases, and Burrell very nearly can't.

And my check of Baseball Reference gives Abreu's last three years of OPS+ as 126, 114 and 120, Burrell's as 122, 127 and 125. Am I using the wrong web site?

While I don't mind if the Phils would sign Brocail or Springer to a 1-year deal with upsdie (worst come to worst he flops and you deal him at the trading deadline in August), but I actually think there are going to be some decent veteran relievers like Brocail and Springer available late in FA this year because of the economic uncertainity.

In fact, I bet there are going to be more than usual veteran FAs who don't get signed and wind up significantly helping teams next year.

Alby - Your are right and not sure where Clout got his numbers but still. My bet is Abreu a 2-yr deal with an option at decent dollars but not at $15M per. Maybe something like 2/26M with a team option at $13 or $14M

CJ~ No, I'm not saying that a multi-yaer deal for Moyer is a no-brainer. But to bring him back has to be done. Now I just read the last bit of info you posted on him so it looks like he will re-sign. That's great news.

And like I said, I'm not comparing the players Burrell and Rowand. I know there's no comparison. But with both players if the Phils wanted them back at least they should have been negotiating woth them- Yes?

I was told that an offer was never to Rowand, but he wanted to stay but was looking for more than 3 years. Eric Byrns got 3/30 from Arizona. Rowand wanted more than that, Phils said no. I know he wanted the paycheck as most athletes do.

Now, in Burrell's case, he's openly stated that he wants to return, but the Phils are not going more than 2 years at this point. So when he leaves they'll move Werth to left and then bring in a RH bat to platoon in right. That means that next year we could lose some offense from the OF as a whole and I'm not for that. But the heavy OF'ders (Manny, Mags, and Dye)that are/could be available are all older than Pat and make big money. So none of tham will be in Philly.

Because of big raises coming for a lot of players (rightly so), the Phils will go the cheap route for a RH bat and the 'pen. I'm against that.

As far as the 'pen, Brocail or Springer? Give me a break! Cholly has also stated he may want another infilder. What's wrong with bringing back Tad Iguchi? And someone else posted that Eaton will not be in the rotation. While I would hope not, for 9 million reasons, he will be the fifth starter. Because of the new higher payroll, they won't eat that.

Getting Peavy and Furcal would make the Braves better than Lowe and Escobar but that is only true if Furcal remains healthy which is pretty unlikely given his track record the past few years.

Does J. Rivera count as an inhabitant of Value Village? His name keeps on popping up as a value/bargain FA, in which case, is he really going to be a bargain? He's 30 years old; if he could be had for a contract similar to the ones Feliz or Jenkins signed (2 years+3rd yr. option 09:$3M, 10:$4.5M, 11:$5 club option with $.5M buyout), I think it'd be a pretty deal for the Phillies where there's a good probability Rivera could outperform his contract.

D. Patrone: I really don't understand how you and others think Eaton will possibly be in the rotation next year? Even if they pitch him they're still eating it, bc they'll be getting worse than replacement level play. They are paying the money regardless, there's only one year left on it, and they have clearly better options ready to go. Eaton may show up to spring training, but unless his ERA is under 3.0, he won't be pitching over Happ or even Kendrick.

It's hard to get too up in arms over rumors, but seeing the words "Phillies are interested" in the same sentence as the words "Springer" and "Brocail" is enough to evoke bad memories of Ed Wade.

The bullpen is the last area of the team that Ruben Amaro should be worried about. Unfortunately, I suspect that, when the dust settles, the Phillies will be their usual cheap-skate selves, which means they'll resign Moyer on the cheap, sign Brocail or Springer for the bullpen, sign some lame right-handed outfielder to platoon with Jenkins in the OF, and pronounce themselves done for the off-season. If my hunch proves right & these are the kind of moves they make, I guarantee you they won't make the playoffs in 2009.

Juan Rivera's another name I don't want to see in the same sentence as the words "Phillies are interested." Rivera is NOT a bargain. Even if he were free, he wouldn't be a bargain. He's absolutely terrible. I can't believe we're about 2 weeks removed from winning the World Series and we're already conceding to mediocrity for next season by talking about absolute non-entities like Brocail and Rivera.

bap: You guaranteed they wouldn't make the playoffs with a week left in the season and we won the World Series.

That's right, the World f-ing Series.

Ha BAP you dismiss a rumor--"hard to get too up in arms..."--and then accept it sadly--"I suspect..."--in a mere two paragraphs. That's pretty good.

Brian: I don't think I ever used the word "guarantee." In any case, just because I was wrong once does not mean I can't be right this time.

Do YOU think the Phillies are a playoff team with Juan Rivera & Geoff Jenkins playing left field, Pedro Feliz playing third base, and the same pitching staff they had last year?

klaus: I've been following the Phillies since 1974 when I was 7 years old. After 34 seasons, I've gotten pretty adept at sniffing out the valid rumors from the BS. I just follow two simple rules: (1) if the rumor involves an impact player, it's always false; (2) if the rumor involves someone who is the living embodiment of the word "obscurity," then it's always true.

Yeah BAP I wasn't criticizing. Just noting with amusement the apparent contradiction, driven I guess by the kind of reactionary fatalism that serious phandom breeds and which a hundred World Series titles couldn't cure. Funny because I myself feel the same thing.

Before panicking at the names Brocail and Springer, what roles are they being considered for? Does anyone think they wouldn't be an upgrade over Seanez and Condrey?

Anybody know what the Fish wanted from us for Willingham? Seeing what the Nats traded for him and Olson, it couldn't have been much.

Joe Blanton. All-time trade.

Still smiling. World Champs!

Juan Rivera on the cheap would provide some pop and has hit for average when given playing time. In 2006 he hit a nice .310,.362,.525 but broke a leg early in 07. In 08 alot of pinch hitting brought his average down but when he took over from Matthews at played regularly he hit well. He really isn't that bad an option.

Alby - Exactly although Seanez and Condrey both filled and contributed in meaningful ways. Seanez was a key cog in the bullpen until June and Condrey did a decent job most times out of mopping up innings.

I think the Phils finally realized that while it is ok to go into spring training to round out 1-2 spots in the bullpen you generally ended up with a pretty shaky bullpen if you don't any legit lefty candidates or need to fill at least 3-4 spots.

What does "sign Moyer on the cheap" actually mean?!?

Vonderful - I was kind of wondering that too. Talked to my old man and he and I both share the same opinion - that the Phils will bring in a Mench/Rivera or other veteran OF (they have 2 openings in the OF right now since Taguchi won't be back) and that they are going to give every opportunity for Golson to win a roster spot in the spring.

Going to make for some weak production out of LF and more importantly unfair to Golson if they keep him up as the 5th OF out of spring training. The Phils and Golson would be better served if he has a decent spring training and starts the season in Allentown to build on his progress from last year.

re: Moyer I'm not sure that he'll be as good as last year, but only 19 pitchers in the entire league (AL and NL) had 16 or more wins. He's not a high power guy, and I don't expect a huge drop off. We need to sign him for 2 years and give our young guys a little more time to develop. As long as he's not asking for the moon, he's on the cheap.

MG- I agree that the Phils will go Village Value in LF. I asked about Willingham because I thought that would be a good option. Without looking at his splits, I would say that he would at-least be a good platoon player. I see a little upside with him to. Maybe playing him in a platoon would keep him healthier. Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there, who knows.

I really hope that Golson isn't on the team to begin the year. That reeks of desperation. He is nowhere near a ML level hitter (or a AAA hitter for that matter).

I get crushed everytime I say this but, I'd still like to see what it would take to get Dye. If the price is unreasonable, then pass. I have no problem with that. The price on OF seems to be a little low in this market (Willingham for nothing, Swisher) so a deal like this might be easier to make. Just ask.

Alby: You're right. There's nothing inherently wrong with signing Springer/Brocail type guys and, yes, they may be better than Condrey and Seanez (although both those guys are pretty damn old). My dismay is more at the fact that the front office always seems to start off talking about the Holliday/Atkins/Ordonez type of player, only to wind up watching everyone else swoop up those guys while we settle for Doug Brocail. After watching this happen year after year after year, I've really come to believe that the fans are being manipulated by the front office. They start off every off-season by dropping big names, knowing full well they have no intention of actually giving up what it will take to land those big names. I think they do this to create the false impression that they're really trying to land high-priced impact players when, in fact, the only players they intend to sign are the Doug Brocails of the world.

I realize we're dealing in the realm of the rumor & you can't put too much credence in what you read. But most of these rumors come from somewhere. When you hear the Phillies mentioned in the Matt Holliday & Garrett Atkins sweepstakes, it's because someone in the FO told this to the press.

Does anyone think the Phils are really going to sign one of Ed Wade's key offseason acquisitions last year (Doug Brocail)?

All signs point to Ed Wade overpaying and outbidding the Phils for a 42-year old relief pitcher. The only question is if Wade is crazy enough to give Brocail 2 years. I don't think so but logic and veteran relievers are out of the question when Ed Wade is involved.

BAP - Yeah the FA name dropping is BS. Anyone who follows the Phils knows that but they have bad some bigger moves via trade the last few offseasons. If the Phils are going to bring in another right-handed bat, it will be via trade.

Keeping hoping:

That Minaya resigns Perez to a big deal (4 yr/$56-60M) and doesn't do we really should do by signing Fuentes, another setup arm, and Hudson to play 2nd. Trade Heilman (who suprisingly has some real trade value yet) and a prospect to get another starter.

I like the Perlozzo signing...anything has to be better than Steve Smith.

I remember reading a bunch of stories after Krivisky was canned that basically said that he got the shaft in Cinci and that he was a pretty good GM overall. I dont have anything to back that up though other than some of their younger players are half decent...though I dont know if he drafted them or not.

I realize this is off topic, but has everyone seen Sam Donnellon article in the Boston Herald yesterday? Great argument for why Charlie should have beat out Lou Piniella for Manager of the Year honors.

bloodstripes - You make a decent case why Juan "To Cry Me a" Rivera would not be too bad. But, this side of Feliz, the phrase "provide some pop," gives me the willies.

Phils are World Series champs making a ton of money in the postseason off of ticket sales alone, plus television revenue, and then all the merchandise and now are raising most ticket prices...payroll better see a significant bump next season.

We need to raise payroll because we've proven we can't win Jack Schmidt with our current one!

EFF- Phils wouldn't be able to keep the "current" payroll with all the arbitration eligible players this offseason, so a decent bump will be needed to simply keep the "current" group of players and that's at the expense of probably losing Burrell and possibly Moyer.

Brian G.~

You're right, they do have better options than Eaton. I'm not saying they don't. But they are not going to pay Eaton 9 mill just to sit and he won't be in the 'pen for that kind of money. They won't just release him as that would be admitting to a mistake. If they could trade him, they would but who' take him? He won't pitch over Happ, but who's to say Kendrick will still be with the club? Hey, it's just my opinion that's all.

Bullpen help Juan Cruz!

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EST. 2005

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