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Sunday, November 30, 2008

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In these tough economic times, I wonder if more teams will be thrifty this winter and take a closer look at some of the options down in the DR.

Actually, Rob Tejeda didn't do half bad with KC in relief.

This post just reinforces the fact that relief pitching is such a crapshoot.

Since it appears that the WC Phils will do very little this winter (short-sighted on their part in my opinion),they would be wise to take a look at players down there. They'll need all the help they can get.

Thanks for the update on Bastardo. Had not read about him since midseason.

In re: Burrell and arbitration

Since the main sticking point from Burrell's point of view would be the number of years, I don't see why they couldn't offer $15MM and figure that the arbitrator would be loathe to give Burrell a huge increase over what he was getting for comparable numbers.

I think Burrell would turn down the one year deal and they'd be free. If that's what they want.

But, yeah, clout, it'd mean Mench and Punto. Serviceable but not play-off caliber.

Other ex-Phils plying in the DWL- Michael Bourn and Abe Nunez. Bourn improving and Nunez deteriorating.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20081130_Phillies_likely_to_arbitrate_with_Moyers.html

Off-season to get busier for Phillies

Can't believe that no one hasn't commented on this article which is incredibly weak even by Zolecki's standards (arguably weakest writer who is covering the Phils' beat). Some of the more ridiculous statements:

1. "It is less likely that the Phillies will offer Burrell arbitration, especially if they are confident they can find a better player in left field (they already have expressed interest in free agents Raul Ibanez and Rocco Baldelli)."

This is something I would expect out of PR mouthpiece not a beat writer.

2. "The risk in offering arbitration to Burrell, who also is a Type A free agent, is that if he accepted, he would be signed for 2009 and likely would receive a raise from the $14 million he made this year."

This is something I would expect to hear out of Amaro's mouth. Not offering Burrell arbitration makes zero sense. You don't even get the compensation picks. No way the Braves or Mets wouldn't offer Burrell arbitration to get the picks.

So Burrell would likely turn down a guaranteed 3-yr deal north of $35M for 1 yr and maybe $15-$16M. I would be stunned at the player who refuses to take the extra $20M+.

Andy: Why would the arbitrator be loathe to give Burrell a huge increase? In arbitration, Burrell could easily justify $18M for a single season. One of the major considerations is comparable players. A power hitting RH OF is kinda hard to find right now.

Guys on this blog still believe Burrell holds big value. Incredible. I said it last week. He won't get offered arbitration because the Phillies dont want him to accept. He isnt worth $16million.

Some interesting stuff over at MLB Trade Rumors.

First, there's an article suggesting that Pat Burrell at first base is a backup plan for the Angles if they don't sign Texeira.

Also, there's this:

"Ken Rosenthal suggests that in this economy some teams may not offer arbitration to Type A free agents to avoid risking a payroll hit. Further, some players may opt to accept the certainty of arbitration over "a volatile free agent period.""

MLB Trade Rumors mentions Adam Dunn and Kerry Wood as examples of Type A Free Agents who may not be offered arbitration.

Whenever the Phillies sit on the sidelines while other teams chase big-ticket FAs, the front office always repeats the same line: "It's not about the money; it's about the number of years." I vaguely seem to recall that Amaro has already said this in connection with Burrell. If they don't offer him arbitration, it would prove, once and for all, that this line is a load of crap.

From the last thread: On NEPP's list, he identifies 6 pitchers -- 4 starters & 2 relievers -- who had "great seasons" at age 46. But of the 4 starters, none had "great seasons" by any criterion & 2 were downright terrible.


The "great seasons" was complete and utter sarcasm BAP. My point was that I pretty much was able to find like 3 guys that even pitched over 100 innings at age 46 and they were done. When you're comparables are Niekro, Hough, and Satchel Paige, its pushing it. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

Well, actual PR employee Mandel is reporting The Phillies will likely offer binding salary arbitration to Type A free agents Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell by Monday's midnight ET deadline, ensuring Draft pick compensation should either or both sign elsewhere at phillies.com.

There's no way in hell the Phillies don't offer both arbitration. Burrell accepting arbitration would be the best case scenario for the Phillies. They get their 1 year stopgap solution to LF and keep a balance lineup. If Amaro can't see this then he should just walk himself into traffic and end the pain now.

MG~

I just read the article you posted and you're exactly right. Not offering Burrell arb makes no sense at all. The reasoning for this, my guess is, is that they don't want to pay Pat at all. That they want to remove his salary from the payroll and use it elsewere. The problem with this thinking is they problably won't use that money to upgrade the team, but to cover expected increases to other players.

This all goes back to what I've said before. They've already paid Pat 50 million and they're not happay woth the overall return on their investment. But they're wrong there. Now, the OF offensively will be weaker no question. And I just don't understand how another LH bat like Ibanez (who's also 4 years older) makes any sense.

Also, the Phils are on Dye's NT list. And the Agels would consider Pat to play 1st if they can't re-sign Texiera. So it does make total sense to offer Pat arb. but I don't think the Phils will.

And I don't see the Phils upgrading the starting staff either. Doing that would make say Myers available for a RH bat. Could they be condering that? Maybe, but I doubt it.

I wonder if Pat would want to move back to 1B. He hasn't played at 1B since some reps during his rookie year and a little bit in the minors. He was a 3B at Miami IIRC.

In arbitration, Burrell could easily justify $18M for a single season.

Not so sure about this. Even though Burrell is rare for his consistency, I'm not sure he'll grab a humongous payday on 30 HRs/95 RBIs and 125ish OPS+.

I think if they give him a modest increase they can maintain that he basically always has the same year - IOW: he has not improved from his $14M, so $15M seems reasonable.

I'd rather have 1 year of Burrell at 15-16 mil, then any free agent outfielder (with the exception of Manny).

The issue with Burrell are length of the deal and whether or not he would be a capable DH but he is going to at least a 3 yr/$30M deal.

Pretty much acknowledged the Phils won't resign Burrell but not offering him arbitration would just be a foolish move. Smart teams make sure they get something of value in return for players who leave and the Phils typically have done a poor job of this whether via trade/FA.

I can easily see why the Cubs wouldn't want to offer arbitration to a huge injury risk like Woods but I would be pretty surprised why the Reds wouldn't want to offer Dunn arbitration.

Well for one, Dunn last played for the DBacks...

MG, it's the D-Backs who control Dunn's rights. According to Rosenthal, the team is in pretty bad financial shape (I think they are *still* paying Matt Williams and Jay Bell), recently laid off a lot of front-office personnel, and couldn't afford Dunn even on a one-year rental.

I think Dunn/Burrell/Sheets all get offered arb, while the Cubs pass on Wood. The Phillies would be fools not to offer Burrell arb.

I agree Zolecki's piece today was incredibly weak - especially considering it was in the paper, not just a a blog post. Since Murphy came aboard at the DN, I don't read Zolecki anymore.

Zolecki is weak as a writer. I'd rather they give his job to a blogger who actually really follows the team. Murphy annoys me at time (mainly I'm jealous that I can't travel with the team, watch every game, and have access to the players for a living) but he does come up with some pretty good insights to the team.

Matt Williams is actually reinvesting his deferred salary back into an ownership share of the DBacks at a rate of 300K a year. He currently works as a Special Assistant to the GM for them and owns something like 1% of the team.

That's a good 10 minutes of Googling at work to find that info.

I don't have time to look it up but arbitrators use the Elias ratings as part of their decision. You have to see who's next to Burrell on the list and has reached free agency age and check that guy's salary for a comparison. But Andy's $15-16M estimate sounds good to me. In fact if the Phils were to offer that and Burrell were to come in at, say, 18M, I think the arb goes with the team. Possibly, Burrell would sign before a decision.

So, %16 million or $18 million? I can't see what difference the $2 million would make to a team raising ticket prices in a bad economy, but that decision could go either way in arbitration.

Burrell's career offensive stats are a good bit better than Andruw's (119-111 OPS+), and while Andruw played a more valuable defensive position quite well at one time, the contract he signed with the Dodgers wasn't based on him carrying a Gold Glove anymore. He got $18 million per, didn't he? I'd love to be the agent pointing to that at the hearing.

I think the fact that Zo is saying the same thing as Mikes77 speaks volumes.

So let's say the absolute ceiling for Burrell in arbitration next year is about $18M.

Still, what the amount is missing the point. The question is would Burrell take $18M guaranteed vs. a likely $30M+ guaranteed? When is the last time an athlete walked away from at least $10-$15M (and likely more towards $20M)? That is why not offering arbitration to Burrell would be utterly foolish.

Not offering Burrell arbitration would be absurd. The message I would interpret from the FO is that we are sitting fat on our world championship and aren't willing to make a one year financial commitment to giving it the best shot at making another run. I understand them not wanting to go three years (to a degree) but not to offer arbitration would be ridiculous. To me it’s a win-win situation. If accepts, than great we have his bat back since we have little options that would adequately replace his offensive production. If he signs somewhere else, we get two high picks which our farm system could use.

I'd also be very happy if Moyer were to accept arbitration. It sounds like they will get a deal done so it won't come to that. But I'd rather pay him a one year raise than guarantee him two years.

KevMac~

All of us agree that the Phils not offering arb to Burrell is just plain stupid. But the Phils will do what they want and they never listen to knowledgable phans anyway. Just because we are not members of the FO doesn't mean we don't know what we're talking about.

MG: I posted this in the last thread, just before JW began this one, asking the question:

"From this we can gather two things: 1) that Ibanez and Baldelli are superior players to Burrell; and 2) that the worst possible outcome to the process is Burrell accepting arbitration.

This raises a few questions. Namely, does Zolecki actually believe that, and if he doesn't, what is his editorial responsibility? (Or, if he does, why is he an employed baseball writer?) Is he purely a stenographer? If the Phillies FO told Zolecki that the team considered TJ Bohn a better player than Burrell, is Zolecki obliged to print it as though it were so? If the FO told Zolecki that the best possible outcome to the Burrell situation would be Burrell's declining arbitration, as it would allow the Phillies to employ a two man outfield, is Zolecki permitted to register any kind of incredulity at all? Does Zolecki have a duty to the reader or is his paramount obligation to be "unbiased" or whatever?"

I haven't seen any offers out there yet for Burrell in this, a weak FA market for outfielders. If he gets a multi-year offer, which most people seem to take for granted, it will be as a 1B or DH. You won't see anyone offering PB multiple years to play LF. So it might be stretching it a bit to assume someone like the Mets would offer PB multiple years.

If you offer arbitration, you are gambling that PB will get a better offer than what an arbitrator will award and so you get compensation draft picks when he goes. You are also risking having a LF at maybe $18m whose second half performance last season might have been a slump but also might have indicated a decline in skills. In that case you didn't really solve your LF problem but are out $18m.

You offer arbitration anyway. I'm also assuming that an arbitration-awarded contract does not carry over the no-trade clause?


There haven't been any offers to anybody other than the very top end guys at this point. That will change after the Winter Meetings and the deadline for teams to offer arbitration. Once Manny and Tiexiera are off the market, Burrell will start fielding calls and he will get offers, regardless of his arbitration status.

Moyer will get offered arbitration. His arb # will be what he is worth(10 million or so). Also, no team is going to sign Moyer away from the Phillies and lose a Draft pick for a 46 year old pitcher. Its worth the chance.

Burrell will not be offered, because he would accept it and get at least 16million that he is not worth.

Let's not forget if Burrell is offered arbitration and he declines and signs elsewhere, we now have two extra very high draft picks to sign. Those picks will cost a decent amount of change. I think the best case scenario for ownership is not offering him and he signs elsewhere. They are washed of his contract and don't have to pay extra draft picks. Or am I being way too cynical?

Related note, if we don't resign Burrell, don't get picks and then have to cough up a high pick for Ibanez, I will scream. In that scenario, ownership really saves a ton of cash, unless they get a value village type to platoon in left.

pblunts: I think you are being a little too cynical regarding the draft picks. If they don't offer Burrell arbitration it will be because they don't want to pay him the 14-18mil that he could would likely be awarded through arbitration. If they were to get high draft picks they don't have to take high ceiling high school players or boras type clients that would demand high signing bonus. They could elect to select college juniors or seniors that typically don't command as much.

Although I know most posters (my self included) would prefer them to go after the top end prospects that usually sign above slot.

The FO has to know that it is cheaper to develop your own players which is why I doubt additional draft choices would be seen as a negative.

NEPP: Good point. Several national beat writers have noted that the lesser FAs will have to wait until Tex and Manny sign. Only a clueless uninformed poster would take that as a sign there is no interest in Burrell.

Mike77 - I hate to take a Clout-type roll but your argument makes no sense. Why would a guy like Burrell take your supposed $16M guaranteed when he probably will get at least double that in guaranteed money in FA?

Please tell me the last time a baseball FA turned down a possibility of making more than 2x what he could from another offer. You won't be able to find one.

Klaus - I wouldn't go that far but Zolecki is a weak columnist. He is capable of putting together a basic recap of the game w/quotes but that is about the extent of what I have seen from him in his columns.

I was just pretty puzzled by some of the stuff in today's column which was pretty just ridiculous. Ibanez nor Baldelli would be an upgrade in LF from what Burrell gave them last year.

I guess we should say something about Bastardo since he's at the top. He has 2 things going for thim: He's lefty and he throws hard. His K/BB ratio and tendency to allow HRs will have to improve, however, if he's gonna make it. I could see him kicking around the high minors for a couple more years before getting it together. I give him a 50-50 chance of making it.

""Guys on this blog still believe Burrell holds big value. Incredible. I said it last week. He won't get offered arbitration because the Phillies dont want him to accept. He isnt worth $16million.

Posted by: mikes77phillies | Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 02:34 PM""


mikes, what do you think Burrell IS worth?

Also, IF the Phillies were to offer Burrell arb, he accepted and got $16MM for next season, and he had an 'average' Burrell season - say 30 HRs, 95 RBIs, 900 OPS - and the Phillies won the WS again partly because he hit a couple of game winning HRs in the playoffs, would it be worth it?

OTOH, if they don't adequately replace Burrell's bat and lose balance in their lineup, and resultantly didn't make the playoffs, would the cost savings have been worth it?

Just asking.

OK, maybe not .900 OPS, but say .850.

Bastardo IS a lefty...but he DOES NOT throw hard. He's got an average fastball that sits in the 89-91 range. He's got a deceptive delivery and a pretty decent change that fools hitters at A+ and AA fairly well. He's not a fireballer by any means. And he pretty much doesn't throw anything other than his fastball/changeup.

The above reasons are why he projects as a LOOGY right now...and that EXTREME flyball ratio.

Still, he's on my "keep an eye on" list of minorleaguers due to his hot start in Clearwater last spring.

MG; not taking sides here but ... the example of kyle lohse immediately comes to mind. if i remember correctly (and this may have only been based in rumour), the phillies offered lohse 3 yrs/21 mil as a free agent last year. he rejected that offer and ultimately signed with the cards for just 1 yr/4.75 mil (inc. incentives reached for IP).

of course we all know now that lohse's (boras') gamble paid off, but could this qualify as the "last time a baseball FA turned down a possibility of making more than 2x what he could from another offer?"

on burrell, im with the posters saying it makes the most sense to offer him arbitration, even if it means paying him 16 mil next year. it looks better right now than signing him to a two or three year deal or not getting compensation if he declines and signs with another team. seems pretty common-sensible.

craig, yes, Lohse initially rejected the Phils offer because Boras thought there was a better deal out there. While Lohse/Boras continued to shop, the Phils pulled the offer. In the end, Lohse took the one year deal with the Cards to rebuild his value. It wasn't as if both offers were on the table at the same time.

craig_one: The difference with arbitration is that once you choose it, you're guaranteed a one year deal. In Lohse's case, he turned down a multi-year deal assuming he'd get a better multi-year deal. It never materialized and he was forced to take a one year deal.

There haven't been many cases of a player surprising a team and taking arbitration when there is a multi-year deal likely out there. Was it Greg Maddux who surprised the Braves?

George S:

If Pat Burrell begins next season with the Philles, he becomes a 10 and 5 player... 10 years in the league and 5 years with the same team. That means full trade veto power. So, in essence, any deal he signs with the Phils includes a Full No Trade Clause. That's one reason I've aruged the Phils can get a discount. Not because of the "home town" factor, but because he won't get a FNTC anywhere else.

Thanks, CJ, I'm sure not being able to trade Burrell later without his consent also impacts the Phillies' final decision on whether to offer arbitration.

As far as turning down guaranteed multi-year money to sign for 1 year, it does happen on occasion, but not often:

I believe the Phillies had a multi-year offer on the table for Randy Wolf before he took a 1-yr deal to play on the West Coast.

Ivan Rodriguez turned down a 3-yr deal from the Orioles to sign a 1-yr deal with the Marlins in 2003. I don't the know the reason but suspect it was because he was coming off an injury-filled 2002 and wanted to increase his market value and try FA again after 2003 (which he did).

I cannot think of any case off the top of my head where a player turned down a multi-yr offer from another team to accept a 1-yr arbitration contract. I don't believe Greg Maddux had any pending offers when he accepted arbitration from the Braves a few years ago.

One other note: If the Phillies offer Burrell arbitration and he declines, then the team cannot sign him until May 1, correct? Basically, he's gone.

Just a quick thought on the difference between how the Phillies and Eagles are run from the top:

Zolecki's article this morning had this little tidbit about Amaro:

"He drove with Charlie Manuel to Steve Smith's Southern California home on Nov. 4 to fire the third-base coach."


I could not help but think of the way Andy Reid benched McNabb in the Ravens game, sending a surrogate to do it, rather than having th integrity and courage to do it himself - face to face.


As much as I have ripped the Phils FO in the past (much of it deservedly), there is a marked difference in the "class" levels of the two organizations.

Good stuff in this thread.

Best Insight goes to BAP when he wrote:

"the front office always repeats the same line: "It's not about the money; it's about the number of years." I vaguely seem to recall that Amaro has already said this in connection with Burrell. If they don't offer him arbitration, it would prove, once and for all, that this line is a load of crap."

What scares me in the Zolecki article is the thought of Baldelli replacing Burrell in LF. PtB was gimpy and slow, but he could play every game and every inning (if Cholly would let him). I can't say that for Baldelli. I feel sory for Baldelli's illness, but that's all I feel for him.

Arbitration question: At what point does a team "losing" a Type A free agent not get compensation picks? What I mean is this: Is there a cutoff date after which if that player signs, the team doesn't get picks. As in, Moyer is offered arbitration, declines and doesn't sign until mid summer...do the Phillies still get comp picks?

AWH: The difference, I think, is that the manager here gets to decide his coaches, not the GM. So I don't think that Amaro was being as pusillanimous as Big Red.

I think the most common situation when a player actually favors a 1 year deal over possible multiyear deals is when a once highly regarded player suffers injury and is making a return.

Ideally - they want to get a 1 year deal, prove themselves to others that they still can perform at earlier levels, then hit the market again in search of a multiyear deal that will be much better than the multiyear's that were offered before their return.

So unless Burrell thinks he can somehow break his yearly averages and put up a 'career year' - he would gain nothing from accepting arbitration (1 yr deal). It would just hurt his 2010 free agency because he'd be another year older.

NEPP: You are correct on Bastardo. I was confusing him with that other dark horse, Edgar Garcia, who does throw hard. Bastardo is much more of a long shot.

"he would gain nothing from accepting arb"

That is assuming that he has multiyear deals on the table worth more than his 1 year arb. of course.

Arbitration question: At what point does a team "losing" a Type A free agent not get compensation picks? What I mean is this: Is there a cutoff date after which if that player signs, the team doesn't get picks. As in, Moyer is offered arbitration, declines and doesn't sign until mid summer...do the Phillies still get comp picks?

Anyone know anything on this scenario??? I have been completely unable to find an answer to this.

The Phillies might not offer Burrell arbitration out of fear that he'd accept:
$16-18 million to stay home for another year
vs
$35 million over three years in another city

Burrell could prefer to take the $16 million and try the market next year. By accepting arbitration, Burrell would probably make more this year(not including signing bonus) and still get similar offers in 2010.

I don't think the Phillies FO wants to spend 16 mil on PatB, thus they may not offer him arb. I like Pat and would like him back for another year, but I feel they'll take some other approach to LF, possibly a value village approach. Conlin said today is the deadline so I guess we'll see.

I want Bastardo to succeed simply for his name and the fun we can have with anglicizing it.
Tony Bast**d > Joe Table > Pete Happy

As BAP noted, failure to offer arbitration for fear he'd accept means that the FO was lying about length of contract being what worried them.

Based on the reported offer of 2 years, $22 million, the real reason for not bringing him back for even one year is that they won't go over $11 million on LF. Why they think fans can't handle that information is something the FO will have to answer.

AWH; that makes sense. that the offers to lohse werent on the table at the same time negates my whole idea.

Wait AWH, where was the class in Arbuckle's firing? Couldn't they have waited a week at least?

Was Arbuckle fired? I thought he resigned once Amaro was named.

Sort of a getting forced out situation, I thought. On the day of the parade.

AWH: I misread what you'd written, I think we're on the same sheet of music. Sorry.

****Based on the reported offer of 2 years, $22 million, the real reason for not bringing him back for even one year is that they won't go over $11 million on LF. Why they think fans can't handle that information is something the FO will have to answer****

According to Pat and the FO, that offer never happened. It was a fabrication by the media. Though considering the Phillies FO is as reliable as the Kremlin when it comes to the truth...we'll never know.

Arbuckle was not fired. He resigned. It seemed like a firing, because every one knew he would go if Amaro was fired. We don't know for sure if Amaro would have kept him on.

Regarding Manuel and the coaches. For the most part the Coach has a significant say on the hiring and the firing. But it's not always the case. The re-shuffling of the coaching staff last year, bringing in the former managers Davy Lopes, Jimy Williams, and Art Howe (before the Phillies let him go to Texas, which at the time I thought was a big mistake and still do) was directed from the top and not by Charlie from what I recall. Many believed the front office was sending Charlie a message, "Playoffs or bust" we have 3 former managers, including the Mets former manager, that are ready to take the reins at any time.

The coaching staff under Manuel at the time were longtime Phillies minor league guys, who I guess you can say Manuel developed a relationship with them, as he roved the minor leagues. But who knows. But in any case, none, would have been Big League manager material. and weren't even big league coaches. (We criticize the Phillies FO for lack of funds in certain areas, but the investment in the coaching staff of Lopes and Howe that year, had to be MUCH greater than Bill Dancy or Bombard would get.)

Anyway... Amaro joining Manuel on the drive was a little more than just making the Road Trip Mix CD.

NEPP: I'm only saying this to give the FO the benefit of the doubt. If they have a budget for that position, I'm not necessarily happy about it but I understand. If they fail to offer arbitration without my explanation or a similarly plausible one, I don't understand and I'm ticked off.

The issue, to some extent, is the value of the draft picks. Should the Phillies risk $17 million, knowing they might have to keep Burrell for another year, for the chance to reap two draft picks, one in the mid-20s and the other in the mid-30s overall? To me it's a no-brainer because I'd be happy to take Burrell back at 1/17 -- I think there's a much better chance of him playing well for 1 year than 3. In that scenario, the picks are a consolation prize.

If they don't want Burrell back under any circumstances, they're saying the draft picks aren't worth that much (which they aren't). In that case they'll speed his departure by not offering arbitration. If that's what transpires, I want a better explanation for giving away talent than "he's too slow."

I believe that Arbuckle did not enjoy getting passed over for Junior. He left on his own accord. Why would they fire Arbuckle?

I think you have to offer Burrell arbitration. It's only a one year commitment at worst. I'm sure the FO concern is that if he and Moyer both accept that would put our payroll up over $130 mil, but again, you need to be able to splurge a little after record setting attendance, a WS win, and ticket price increases. If Burrell's foot and Moyer's arm fall off, well then both come off the books next year and you can regroup.
And I disagree that it's a foregone conclusion that Burrell won't accept. If the options are 2 years 22 mil or 1 and 16, as well as a new place versus a place you love with a FNTC... seems like an easy decision to me. Of course it depends on how the market shakes out.

To me offering arb to Burrell makes a lot of sense.
If he takes it and returns for 1 year it is to the Phillies benefit. I think the risk to the club is in a multi-year deal.
If he refuses and gets a multi-year deal that the Phils can't or won't match then the FO gets to put the "We tried our best" spin on things once again.

The risk to Burrell is that if he turns arbitration down and finds the free agent market weak he will have to settle for less than he gets now.

Time will tell.

Here's a video linked over at The700Level.com.

It's a must watch retrospective of the World Series.

CJ: Great video. Makes the offseason seem unimportant...for a couple of minutes. I kept waiting at the end to hear Chase Utley utter the most treasured quote in baseball since Lou Gehrig's day: "World Champions...World Fcking Champions!" Watching replays of Utley diving awkwardly and landing on his hip to make a play and not even grimacing slightly are ridiculous. When you go back and watch clips of the playoffs, it makes you wonder if Chase Utley shouldn't have been MVP of every series based on defensive performance alone.

I jumped on the 700 Level link and You Tube told me: "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."

I don't understand why we wouldn't offer arbitration to Burrell. If its a money thing then why did we offer Rowand arbitration last year? If he accepted he would have made a lot coming off that career year he had in 07. I guess the Phillies think that there is a good chance Burrell would accept arbitration, but that is a good thing. Offer him arbitration and if he declines you get 2 draft picks and could possibly still sign him. If he accepts you get 1 year of Burrell for $14-16 million and he is a free agent at the end of the season. Then you open the possibility of trading him mid-season to a team in the playoff hunt and you could get a nice return since he would net that team 2 draft picks. Offering Burrell arbitration is a win-win situation. Not offering arbitration makes so sense unless they are currently working to sign him.

Philsphan: you can't trade Burrell, as he'll be a 10-5 player and have an airtight no trade clause.

Offering Burrell arbitration actually puts him in an incredibly difficult position. I think the deadline for players to accept arbitration is Sunday. Unless Manny and Texeria sign this week (which doesn't seem likely right now), I doubt there will be much of a market for Burrell before Sunday. So does he take the bird in the hand (~$15MM this year and a chance for a long term deal next year in hopefully a better economy) or go for the two in the bush?

FYI: Just heard Jayson Stark on MLB on XM, and he said the rule about not signing with your own team until May 1st if you decline arbitration no longer exists. Apparently something happened with Roger Clemens to put that rule to bed.

If the Phillies offered Burrell arbitration, I'd be sorta surprised if he didn't accept. 2009 would probably become the highest paid season of his career, in a down market. Its almost a no brainer. I think his agent would probably even convince him to accept.

Will he be a 10 and 5 guy though? Is it years or "service-time"? The two are not equal. According to Cots, PtB has just over 7 years in "service-time" despite playing in 9 seasons now.

NEPP: Hmmm... that's a good question.

ESPN says this:

"Any player with at least 10 years of Major League service, the last five of which have been with one Major League Club, may not be traded to another Major League Club without his written consent. This is commonly known as "the five-and-ten rule.""

On Cots: Pat Burrell ML service: 7.131


I'm too busy to lookup the specifics in the CBA right now.

http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf

The above link is the current CBA if anyone has some free time to figure these things out...a law degree with a backgroung in labor laws would be helpful too I would think.

P.S. sorry, I didn't embed the link...

What is Cots?

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EST. 2005

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