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Saturday, November 08, 2008


To Doc, from last thread: Ibanez, first of all, is 36. Secondly, his good stats against LHP in 2008 is an outlier. His 2008 babip was, like .350 or something. His career BA against LHP is about 30 points lower than against RHP. He's kinda not the solution.

As per the GM's staff, I'm not sure to what degree it is possible to tease out responsibilities (from a fan's perspective) from the differing job titles. (Which kinda one way of saying, "Meh.") In the end, however, it is Ruben's regime. The success of the organization is, largely, his responsibility now; so as a fan, he's the one I'll be blaming/congratulating. (Actually, as a good beerleaguer, I suppose you could just leave out the "congratulating" piece if you want.)

I forget his name...Nado or something? Young thirties, used to be in charge of statistical analysis in the minor leagues or something. Sounds like a stats guy from the new school, and amaro promoted him.


I honestly don't think we're gonna have a drop off with LaMar taking over for Arbuckle's responsibilities (just as I predicted a week ago). Chuck LaMar's a good judge of talent but an atrocious GM. His "unpopular" reputation was due to his refusal to trade his multiple prospects in TB, not because of poor judgment on prospects. With guys like Wolever sticking around, there shouldn't be a major change in our player development. Besides which, its not exactly as if we had this top flight minor-league system anyway.

Ibanez would be a mistake.

Maybe they could sign someone like Hairston Jr. or Juan Rivera to platoon for next year and wait till the 2010 FA class...which will have better options anyway. I'd rather not see them brutally overpay for Burrell or Holliday when we have so many other needs out there. Besides we're gonna miss those prospects when we need to replenish the roster with cheaper options to pay for the huge contracts that Hamels & Howard are gonna get.

Actually, if all you're looking at is the numbers, Bradley appears to be an excellent choice. If all you look at is the numbers. I don't know. Do we think he's matured any?

His injury issues would concern me almost as much as his personality for Bradley. If he could stay healthy and not be stupid in the clubhouse (he did okay the last couple years supposedly).

Based on, say, the last three years' worth of OPS+, the Phils line-up would be scarier with Bradley in the middle of it than Burrell. He hits better from the right side than the left and hits best at clean-up. He's faster than Burrell (with Lopes as a Coach he might even swipe a few), and covers some ground (he's played all three OF positions).

But, yeah: injuries and attitude. Still, depending on what PtB hears from other clubs, we might be longing for a gameboard who'd like to play his home 81 in this "joke" of a stadium.

This is for NEPP who ignored it when I posted it before and continues to think Lamar was a great judge of talent in Tampa:

1st round picks by Rays during the LaMar era. Keep in mind these are high picks because of Ray poor record.

96- Paul Wilder
97- Jason Standridge
98- Josh Pressley
99- Josh Hamilton
00- Rocco Baldelli
01- Dewon Brazelton
02- BJ Upton
03- Delmon Young
04- Jeff Nieman
05- Wade Townsend

The first 2 picks made after Lamar left the Rays were Longoria and Price.

Finally, as kdon astutely noted, of the 847 players in the Majors last year, only 22 were drafted by the D-Rays during Lamar's reign.

Lamar was a disaster as a talent evaluator and a disaster as a GM. He may well be much improved now as he's gained experience, but anyone who, like NEPP, thinks his career in tampa was a success is utterly clueless.

Andy - Agreed. It is impossible to discern as a fan who exactly does what going ahead forward except that Amaro will make the final call and be the potential lightning rod of fan/media angst if things don't turn out well.

It is more apparent though that when Gillick took over and talked about changing things it was largely bunk. Phils are an organization with management that prizes stability above almost anything else.

So clout, since you ignored it as well: were Shields and Sonnanstine (13th and 16th round picks) horrible LaMar picks as well? There is more to the draft than the 1st round you know.

Clout - Agreed about Lamar's tenure as GM in TB. It was a whole-sale disaster any way you look at it and I remember reading that when the new ownership took over they kicked to the curb what has left of Lamar's people.

Besides which, I hardly think LaMar glued a crack pipe to Hamilton's hand or gave Baldelli mitochrondrial disease. Or am I wrong? did he do those things?

I think a World Series win and investing a little more in the minor leagues is welcome change to this organization. No?

You guys are acting as if Arbuckle was this savant when it came to drafting. Our farm system begs to differ. So he drafted Utley, Howard, Rollins, Burrell, & Hamels...LaMar can take credit for Upton, Crawford, Sonannstine, Shields, D. Young, Hamilton, and Baldelli.

Till the last year or so, our farm system was one of the worst in baseball and it still isn't a powerhouse. LaMar for Arbuckle at worst will be a "Meh" draw.

NEPP - Most posters agree that while Arbuckle tended to hit some real homers in the draft in general he was found pretty wanting in terms of drafting and producing a deep farm system. In fact, I don't think during his entire tenure that the Phils were ever considered a minor league system "loaded" with talent.

That's the only point I'm making MG. Its not as if this is a huge change for us anyway. LaMar taking over for Arbuckle is not exactly Doom and Gloom for the franchise. I'm not saying LaMar is gonna make us a great farm system but he's not likely do to any worse than Arbuckle. Let's be honest, there are probably good reasons that he's been passed over for the big chair as many times as he has been. How many times has he interviewed for GM jobs now? Philly, Pitt, and Houston all shot him down as well as others I can't remember right now.

Sorry...Yes, it's Ondo. He looks like a smart scoting man, i'm glad that he was promoted.

One last point - Gillick did "build" up the minor league by largely not signing a ton of FA and getting compensation picks (Phils had 2 picks in the first round the past 3 years) but he also traded away a bunch of talent too including raiding the cupboard pretty hard including empty the whatever talent was in the Phils farm system from the 2005 draft (Maloney, Constanzo, Outman) and trading away several other "highly-touted prospects" including Floyd, Cardenas, Bourn, Gonzalez, and a few others.

Always thought it was kind of funny how Wade got brutalized for doing this while Gillick largely got a free pass because of his rep.

Not to mention, it still appears that the Phils presence in overseas markets (especially Latin America) is still essentially little-to-none. This hasn't changed in 20 years though.

Phillies World Series Victories:

Ed Wade - 0
Pat Gillick - 1

Total WS victories as GM:

Ed Wade - 0
Pat Gillick - 3

That's why.

According to Lauber "Looper essentially will replace Arbuckle, while LaMar will, in Amaro's words, "run our minor-league department," with assistance from Noworyta." Amaro is also looking for another Asst GM to replace his old responsibilities.

Is there any other GM with 3 assistant GMs and 3 advisors (Kerfeld, Green, and Gillick)?

Seems like a lot of cooks in the kitchen.

It's not that unusual I think. They're just using the title "Assistant GM" instead of Special Advisor or Head of [insert dept name]. Honestly its probably just a salary thing since alot of these guys have a ton of baseball experience. Having Gillick stay on as an advisor is unusual but then its likely only a way to give Gillick an association with the team he just won a WS for and pay him for that...Amaro has been the face of the FO all year anyway.

I do think Arbuckle did a decent job while here, but it's kinda funny how suddenly, he's a genius or something.

Its funny how if the Phils playing incredibly well the last 2 weeks and then continuing to do so changed the entire perception of Gillick. If this team had missed out on the playoffs, Gillick would have been seen as a man who tenure really had been disappointing here. Basically a guy who came up with some nice secondary moves/player but largely failed when it come to his big FA signings/trades.

NEPP: You remain clueless as ever. Comparing Lamar to Arbuckle is ridiculous. Lamar had ONE OF THE TOP PICKS OF THE DRAFT EVERY YEAR!!!!!!! Arbuckle in 3 or 4 of his years didn't even have a first rounder. And to use your own bizarre logic since you think Wade had nothing to do with the Phils success since they didn't win a WS under him, the Rays didn't even finish .500 in the 12 years that Lamar was GM!!!!

But, yeah, he got Shields and Sonnenstein, you're right, so he's a freakin' genius.

Good grief!

Here's an excellent column on the tenure of Chuck Lamar at Tampa Bay:

NEPP: There is obviously more to assessing a GM's track record than just looking at his first round picks. But if 9 years of drafting yielded only 22 current major league players, that is a fairly abysmal record -- especially considering that Tampa was drafting near the top in all 9 drafts.

You won't hear me defending Arbuckle either. He certainly made some excellent picks with the Phillies, but it's worth noting that most of his real homeruns (Utley, Burrell, Howard) came when he departed from his general philosophy of picking toolsy high school players. Viewing his record overall, few would claim that he did a great job. But it is more than possible to do worse and, based on track record, Lamar looks like a downgrade.

Yes, I clearly said LaMar was a genius. Clout, why dont you do everyone on this damn blog a FUCKING FAVOR and actually read posts that you respond to. I said there won't be any difference between LaMar and Arbuckle as neither is a drafting genius. I get that you have this hardon for Mike Arbuckle but maybe you could actually temper that with a check of reality. Our farm system has never been great or even in the top half of MLB so losing a "great" drafter like Arbuckle isn't exactly a huge huge loss.

Your opinion is not reality...I get that my opinion isn't holy writ...why can't you figure out the same thing about your own? I mean DAMN!

And when the hell did I ever say Ed Wade didn't have anything to do with our 08 WS win? I gave a listing of each GMs WS victories, nothing more. Yeah, I'm the clueless one.

I won't be one defending LaMar per se, but didn't someone post a few days ago that the Rays didn't always (stress always, b/c I know they picked very high most years) have the top pick(or so) b/c of some expansion rule?

I'm sorry to explode but I am so sick of clout putting opinions in my mouth. In his mind I said LaMar is a genius, Feliz is a HoFer, etc etc. It gets old real fast.

BAP: It's 10 years of drafting that yielded 22 major leaguers.

NEPP: Obviously, I was exaggerating your opinion. But your opinion -- that Lamar was a good GM and was as good as Arbuckle -- is ridiculous if one looks at the facts. So I thought a ridiculous repsonse was appropriate.

My God man, look at the facts.

Out of curiosity, how many MLBers has Arbuckle come up with in his last 10 years? Do we have that number? And better yet, what's the average for a guy drafting anyway?

clout, I fail to see how Arbuckle was that great. He did well when he drafted #1 overall with Burrell, Utley etc but he didnt exactly wow anyone the rest of the time. Our minor league system has sucked for his entire tenure.

BedBeard: You're right. The Rays first 2 picks in Lamar's first 2 years (before they ever played a game) came at the end of the round.

However, after that they came near the top:
Two firsts (round 1, pick 1), a 2nd, a 3rd, a 4th, a 6th and an 8th. Compare Lamar's performance to Arbuckle's with far, far worse picks.

NEPP: I'm not saying Arbuckle was a genius. I am saying that Lamar was TERRIBLE!!!! And Arbuckle was better than Lamar.

BAP: I'm wrong and you're right. It was 9 years of drafting by Lamar.

NEPP: kdon had a post on that awhile ago. The Phillies drafts produced a far higher number than Lamar's. The joke was that few of the mlb players produced by the Phils were playing for the Phils. They had been dealt away in bad trades.

I simply don't buy that...when have the Phillies ever made a bad trade?

Okay, okay, LaMar isn't the best choice but then neither was Arbuckle.



Who the F cares?

The future of this franchise certainly ain't gonna come down to that change of the guard. No one should pretend that Arbuckle was anything special. And no one should pretend that Lamar brings a great resume to the table.

But, in great Beerleaguer fashion... we spend numerous threads arguing about it.

Play nice. Neither Arbuckle or Lamar is likely going to set the world on fire. What is much more important is that this team actually spends some damn money in the draft and overseas.

This year they finally signed most of the players they drafted for the first time in a while. I still want this team to spend money on overseas player development and from all indications if they anything the past year or so they have actually cut back on Latin American operations.

Can we all agree on this - that promoting a guy like Lamar to a critical position is the Phils' management modus operandi. He got his job primarily because of the "old-boys" network in baseball and was promoted largely on the basis of loyalty and certainly not previous merit or demonstrated competence.

MG: Well, if the Phillies want to save a penny or two, Latin American scouting operations seem like a great place to start. That area of the world is totally devoid of major league caliber baseball talent.

Ed Wade's drafts from '99 - '05 (seven years) netted 20 players who saw major league action - some of them marginally. There continue to be several in the minors who may make it up for at least a sip of big league water. (Jaramillo, for instance, who Wade drafted twice, Lou Marson, Costanzo, Outman and, a probable September call up, some day, Jeremy Slayden). That sounds a notch higher than LaMar who had significantly better picks from which to work.

So, as a GM drafting, then, LaMar is not quite the golden boy that Mr. Wade was.

Let's look at the claim that LaMar is a disaster because only 22 of his drafted players are currently in MLB. To start, we should consider that he was GM between 1995 and 2005, 11 drafts. So he has two players per draft in the majors today, which is pretty much what clubs try to accomplish (one full-time player and one part-time player per draft).

The number 847 was thrown out as well, suggesting, perhaps, that the 847 players playing MLB in 2008 were all drafted (and, in particular, drafted between 1995 and 2005). This is obviously fallacious, as many MLB players are signed from Latin America, or from Asia, and thus never drafted. Also, MLB rosters include some number of players drafted before 1995 (Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux come to mind as extreme examples).

The best counter-argument, as I see it, is to look at who Mike Arbuckle and Company drafted from 1995 through 2005 who were on MLB rosters in 2008. I'm getting my information from Baseball Reference, and including players drafted but not signed. Let's see:

Marlon Anderson
Adam Eaton
Jimmy Rollins
J.D. Drew
Randy Wolf
Derrick Turnbow
Johnny Estrada
Pat Burrell
Jason Michaels
Ryan Madson
Geoff Geary
Nick Punto
Brett Myers
Marlon Byrd
Kameron Loe
Chase Utley
Taylor Buchholz
Gavin Floyd
Ryan Howard
Cole Hamels
T.J. Beam
Michael Bourn
Gregory Golson
J.A. Happ
Louis Marson

Drew, Peterson and Beam did not sign. Including the unsigned players, Arbuckle drafted 25 current MLB players between 1995 and 2005. That's three more than the claim for LaMar, but includes players who later signed with other teams, so the Phils actually only signed 22 of these guys.

Kameron Loe also was not signed by the Phils, making it 21 of the players I listed who were signed by the Phils. Oops.

And I missed Kyle Kendrick somehow. So 26/22 on my list.

jhs -
You somehow missed Bisenius, Roberson and, notably, Kyle Kendrick.

There are also a bunch of drink of September water guys who are not on your list (I don't even remember the names, but there was another pitcher in the Myers/Byrd/Loe draft who got an inning or two; if you count Marson and Golson you'd kinda have to count him, too).

Clout and NEPP~

Calm down guys. Take it easy. I get blasted here too sometimes. I agree with CJ. Arbuckle or LaMarr who cares? It makes no difference. I'll explain why and anyone can disagree if they want to. When LaMarr was hired, one had to figure he was gonna stay once Gillick retired. He was brought in to help Amaro because he has GM experience. And I say to help Amaro because I believe Amaro was gonna get the job all along, not Arbuckle. Amaro's always had the inside track on the GM's job IMO.

What matters now is who's let go, brought in and so on and so forth. It's Amaro's show and he needs to be the leader of the band.

DPatrone - Agreed. What I would love to actually see is some actual columns where some of the local beat writers actually sit with Amaro and ask him some questions about what direction he thinks the organization should take and what he will do differently from Gillick.

Frankly, you saw these types of articles when Gillick was hired 3 years ago but I can't remember a single article the past week that really was of substance about Amaro.

Instead you got articles that were just mechanical in nature that reported the news Amaro was being named the GM and the duds (like the one from Conlin) that told you nothing of substance.

people forget that i had a career before i was gm of tampa. before that i was the director of minor league operations for the pirates in the years leading up to their three-year division title run. then i was the scouting director for the braves. so maybe i only suck when i'm in charge. or maybe i had a sucky scouting director in tampa.

JHS: Good analysis, although I would argue that having nearly as good a track record as Arbuckle isn't really much of an accomplishment, since Arbuckle didn't exactly draft a huge number of future major leaguers. I would also argue that it's not just about the number of future major leaguers that a GM picks, but the quality of those future major leaguers. In this respect, Arbuckle's record is actually far, far better than Lamar's. At best the switch from Arbuckle to Lamar will probably make little noticeable difference. At worst, it's a downgrade.

I still maintain that the ability to out-perform the general scouting reports when it comes to assessing talent is a truly rare skill. The Phillies seem to approach every draft with the mindset that they possess the ability to outsmart their peers in discerning talent. But the GMs who have the most success in the draft are usually the ones who acknowledge the total crapshoot nature of the game, and who approach the draft from the standpoint of simply minimizing risk. The way to minimize risk is to draft everyday players who have played at major college programs. The Phillies rarely do this -- even though three of their four best everyday players (Burrell, Howard, Utley) were a product of this strategy.

Hmmm.. idle thought is that guys that both of these fellows were responsible for were playing baseball not too long ago.. so maybe neither is a talent master, but, perhaps, not to shabby, either. Not a lot of base hits, maybe, but they also knocked a few out of the park.;)

Best summary by far at the time he was hired on Lamar. At best, his drafts were so-so and his trades/FA signings were horrendous. Easy as bad as anybody in the game during his tenure and he had 10 years to figure it & his teams didn't even sniff .500 once.

That is why I was down on the Lamar move. Basically rewarding a guy because of his "old-boy" network ties and not because of any kind of real merit. Happens a lot in baseball but it with this regime it tend to happen almost all of the time.

BAP- It was always shocking to me that the Phillies keep taking raw players high in the draft, yet they have had great success with major college players. They hit a home run with Hamels, but aside from him (oops, forgot Jimmy) they have had horrid success developing the raw high schooler. I hope Amaro corrects this if anything.

MG- The Phillies commitment to Latin America is appalling. This is a vast collection of talent that the team does very little to tap. There is no excuse for this as Latin America is an especially fertile ground for young, cheap talent.

MG: Don't you wish that just once the Phils would take a shot with a young guy with different ideas like Tampa did with Friedman? The Phillies always seem to be following another teams model (example: Wade trying to build the org. like the Indians in the 90's) rather than having an identity of their own. I think that what is holding this org. back more than anything is a lack of forward thinking by the people in charge. In order to dominate I believe that you have to have a distinct advantage over your competition. With the Yanks this is $, the A's were the first team to use OBP and major league ready college talent to win. The Indians were the first team to trade valuable vets to re-stock their farm system quickly. My point is that the Phils have never had any of these types of out-of-the-box ideas (i hate that term but couldn't think of another). Latin America is a perfect example. This is a chance for the team to do something that would be of great benefit at a smallish cost, yet they drag their feet.

Vonderful: Yeah but that has been that the Phils' current ownership model the past 20 years. Incredibly conservative and risk-averse and one that values loyalty above all else. Not that different from a lot of team but the only time this ownership has ever put real money into the draft or player development was in the mid-to-late 1990s/early 2000s.

Management realized that the strike in 1994 really soured the fans in Philly on baseball (To this day I am not exactly sure why it hit Philly so hard compared to other cities) and that they had to begin fielding winning teams again to attract the fans back to the Vet.

It was those efforts to spend a bit more money in the drafts from 1996-2002 that almost entirely built the core of this team that won the World Series (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Burrell, Hamels, Myers, and Madson).

World Ph'ing Champions!!!!

Do not lose the euphoria.

Von: J-Roll was anything but "a raw high schooler." Same with Hamels. Both were superb HS baseball players, not raw athletes. Hamels would've been a top 3 pick if not for his injury and J-Roll's size held him back. But thir baseball skills were quite advanced for high schoolers.

Regrading the debate over whether the Phillies owe Thome money this season (numerous posters have said they don't) Zolecki pins it down today: The Phillies will pay Thome $3M this season.

Also interesting in Zo's piece is that Amaro talks about improving the pitching, but with regard to LF talks about Jenkins, Stairs & Dobbs replacing Burrell. I wonder if Rube and Charlie are on the same page, given Charlie's quote the other day about needing a RH hitter if Burrell goes?

clout: What you're saying about Rollins is probably true but, for the sake of argument, I'm willing to call Rollins a "toolsy" pick who was a success story. Problem is, he's the only such pick that ever worked out.

In my book, just about any 18-year-old position player qualifies as a high risk pick because there is really no way to meaningfully assess a player's hitting ability except in relation to the quality of pitching he has been facing. A guy who hits well at a strong college program has proven his ability to hit half-way decent pitching. A guy who hits well in high school hasn't proven anything. Using a first round pick on that player is like admitting a 7-year-old to Princeton Medical School becasue the kid got straight A's in second grade.

Pitchers are a different case, since you don't have to watch them face live batters to measure their velocity or assess the quality of their secondary pitches. Plus, pitchers generally have a longer learning curve than everyday players, so there's definitely a big advantage to getting them young.

The phils are not paying Thome anything this year. He reached the plate appearances he needed to vest the 13 million option. We Dont pay anything for Thome.

"Don't you wish that just once the Phils would take a shot with a young guy with different ideas like Tampa did with Friedman?"

Phillies won the World Phucking Series with the way they do it. Careful what you wish for with the "young guys".

why dont links work on here.....
Anyway you can read the article on the whitesocks homepage

I know most guys here would'nt like it, but the most cost effective way to replace Pat Burrell would be to just sign Milton Bradley 1 year. Milton Bradley is a BETTER player than Burrell and would require a shorter contract. Anything over 22mil for 2 years to Burrell is just plain stupid.

By 2010 Michael Taylor(Reading 2009) will be ready to take leftfield. By 2011 Brown(Clearwater 2009) wil be ready.

Another cost effective way to replace Burrell would be to trade for Jermaine Dye who only has 1 year left on his contract.

I do not believe the Phillies will sign all of the players that are arbitration elgible. Don't be suprised if Madson is'nt used as the Phillies main trade chip this year. He pushed his value way past what the PHILLIES expected and has Boras for an agent... Madson for Dye?

According to the original AP story regarding the Thome-Rowand trade, the Phillies were going to pay $22MM of the 43.5MM owed on the last three years of the Thome deal. That's about half per year the last 3 years.

There was no mention in the article that the Phillies would be on the hook for the Club Option.

Just the flat $22MM amount. But it's likely they just deferred they money over 4 years.

In Feb 2008, Zolecki had an article that mentioned the Phillies paying $6MM last year. A Sept 2008, Sheridan column mentions the 3MM payment.

So @sean, we are paying some money to the WhiteSox in 2009.

Mike77 - That trade actually makes some real sense. Phils could live with a year of Dye in LF. Plus, I while the Phils would certainly miss Madson 70-75 innings/year out of the pen at around a 3.00 ERA, he is likely gone next year since he is Boras' agent.

More importantly because Madson will supposedly be looking for a closer opportunity/money. With Lidge around and signed, that certainly won't be in Philly.

Money also isn't that ridiculous. If Phils resign Madson to a 1-yr deal to avoid arbitration, it is likely going to be around $4-$5M. Dye is making $11.5 this year with a $1M buyout for next year. If Phils got Dye in a trade, it is likely they would move Stairs and his $1M salary too. So basically it would probably means the Phils take on an about $5-$6M when all is said and done.

As for Dye, he would make up for Burrell's offense. Doesn't brings Burrell's OBP because of the walks but should but I could easily Dye him hitting .260-.270 with 25-30 HRs in 450-500 ABs next year in LF for the Phils with a line of .270/.340/.520).

Ideally though what the Phils need in RF is a guy who hits .300 (and walks at a good clip too). I bet Cholly would be more than willing to sacrifice some power numbers for a good contact hitter who played better solid defense in LF.

Sean: Well, either that article's wrong or Zolecki is wrong. I'll go with Zo since he's covering the Phillies and presumably speaks to the team: They are paying $3M to Thome this year.

Regardless of the money, it is pretty clear that Williams took Gillick for a ride during his tenure:

1. Nov. 25, 2005 - Phils trade Thome and $22M commitment to ChiSox for Rowand, Gonzalez, and Haigwood. (Grade: C-)

Some posters feel this was an even trade but more and more apparent the ChiSox came out on the better end. Yeah, I know some posters will bring up the "we needed to clear space Howard argument" but that is foolish.

You don't give up asset for nothing/very-low value and no top of it the Phils had to pay over half of his remaining contract. Bad deal.

2. Dec. 6, 2006 - Phils trade Floyd and Gonzalez for Garcia. (Grade: F)

Phils got nothing from Garcia in terms of production in 2007 or FA picks. If Floyd turns out to a frontline starter for the ChiSox the next several years, this will go down as one of the worst Phils trades in the last 30-35 years. Got nothing and wound up giving up a frontline starter who the other team controlled for years.

Best part is that the Phils stand by their BS line they did due diligence even though they never asked for Garcia's medical record including Golden Boy.

3. July 27, 2007 - Phils trade Dubee (Dubee's soon) to ChiSox for Iguchi (Grade: A).

I still insist this was Williams making nice with Gillick and the Phils because he knew he sold them a raw bill of goods in Garcia. Other teams were interested in Iguchi and likely offered more than a non-prospect like Dubee.

Overall, I would say Williams took Gillick for a ride and throw in a second-tier deal to keep on good terms with the Phils' front office.

A big deal coming soon:

Dec. 20, 2002 - Phils trade Estrada to Braves for Millwood.

Dec. 3, 2003 - Phils trade Silva and Punto to Twins for Milton.

Nov. 25, 2005 - Phils trade Thome and $22M commitment to ChiSox for Rowand, Gonzalez, and Haigwood.

Dec. 6, 2006 - Phils trade Floyd and Gonzalez to ChiSox for Garcia.

Nov. 7, 2007 - Phils trade Bourn, Geary, and Constanzo to Astros for Lidge and Bruntlett.

Phils have signed spent some money on FA signings over the past several years including Thome, Lieber, Eaton, and Gordon but they generally prefer to go via the trade route to get they player/need they are seeking.

My prediction - in the next 2 weeks the Phils will make a trade for a bat to replace Burrell.

I'd love it if we got Jermaine Dye...granted some of his power comes from the winds at his home park but when healthy, Dye has always been an underated guy.

On Michael Taylor: We can HOPE that he'll be ready to take over in 2010 or 2011 but he has yet to prove himself above Clearwater. We'll know more by mid-summer next year when he's had a chance to do something at Reading. He looks to be the real thing but who knows.

I don't think the Thome trade was that lopsided. We got an elite all-star CF in return for an aging (supposedly injury prone) 1B. It was a pretty decent trade at the time and Rowand more than worked out the 2 years he was in Philly. Had we hung on to and actually developed Gonzalez it would have been more even.

The Garcia trade was a travesty but only because of the lack of a physical. Gillick took Williams at his word that Garcia was healthy and got screwed...which as you noted is why he gave us Iguchi for free as a make nice move. Gillick and Williams both have reputations for making fair does Walt Jocketty (though there was an interesting article by BP on Jocketty a few years back that ran down all his trades and how he basically won 2/3 of them (a great percentage).

NEPP - Thome was a bad deal because of the money (limited their ability in the FA market last year in a big way) and that they don't have a single player yet from that trade. Even if Gonzalez had developed a back-end rotation down the road, it would have been a more positive trade.

Phils essentially got 2 years of Rowand for Thome and $22M. That is a bad deal.

At the time, Thome had been coming off an injury plagued year. His value was down and we were blocking a hotshot prospect. For an aging 1B who was having issues fielding his position due to his back, I think it was a fair trade. You can point to Thome's production since that trade but alot of that could be because he doesn't have to play the field anymore. Thome has been a great DH since the trade. We got a top-flight CF filling a hole that had been filled by a Lofton/Byrd platoon and a very good pitching prospect that we stupidly traded back in the Garcia deal.

I don't think Thome would have stayed healthy as a 1B so its hard to judge the trade because of that.

Here's Thome's stats the year before the trade at Age 34:

59 Games, 193 AB, 7 HR, 30 RBI, .207 AVG, .360 OBP, .352 SLG, .712 OPS, 85 OPS+

Considering we got a legit all-star/gold-glover (a actually good fielder, not an Abreu GG) in return and a decent prospect is pretty good considering that. I love what Thome has done since the trade because he's genuinely a nice guy (met him once, he's awesome) and a true HoF but there was no way to expect he'd average close to 40 HR, 100+/- RBI for 3 seasons since then.

The Garcia trade was brutal but the Thome trade was pretty fair.

The reason I propose a Madson for Jermaine Dye trade is the Phillies have far too many arbitration elible players this year.

Estimated raises

Howard: 5mil raise
Hamels: 5mil raise
Victorino: 4mil raise
Werth: 4mil raise
Madson: 3mil raise
Dobbs: 2mil raise
Durbin: 2mil raise
Bruntlett: Decline
Condrey: Decline

Those estimates alone will add 25mil to the budget. That's before re-signing Burrell, Moyer and Eyre. Trade Madson now while he's hot and keep your prospects(Marson,Carrasco and Donald). Move Kendrick into long relief for Condrey. Let Carrasco and Durbin battle for Madson's spot.

It would likely be a Madson and somebody for Dye trade. I doubt the Sox would consider a straight up deal. Though Dye is only signed through 2009 for $11.5 million. That would be the perfect scenario for the Phillies...a more affordable one year rental that could fill LF very capably. He also has a mutual option for 2010 for $12 million or a $1 million buyout. He has a limited no-trade clause and can block trades to 6 teams but those teams are not identified. Dye would be great but I wonder if the Sox would want to trade him.

Jermaine Dye seems like the best guy to replace PTB. There's been some other talk on here about Milton Bradley signing a one-year deal... this doesn't make sense to me because

A) I can't imagine an AL team not giving him a 2 year DH-only deal

B) his injury issues would put him in a de-facto platoon situation (he's had over 400 PA's twice in his career), and

C) I don't see him fitting into this team personality-wise. He's a great talent but he had a lot of bizarre out-of-left field kind of injuries last year. That to me screams that he doesn't play through minor injuries b/c he's worried about his stats, or he really is one of the most fragile baseball players of all time. Neither are good things IMHO.

Christ, here we go again about the Thome deal....

Bed Beard- My point about Friedman was that the Phillies continue with the status quo in the front office. MG points out that the FO values stability over anything else, this is what I don't like. The Phillies way of doing things worked with great success this year, but overall I don't think that's a very effective way to do things. "Because that's how we have always done it" is not the way to run an org.

clout- I may have been a little harsh calling Rollins and Hamels "raw". My point was that they have had very few players drafted out of high-school that have worked out. Player development is not a forte of of our current minor-league system. I was complaining more about the drafting philosophy than anything.

NEPP said, "It would likely be a Madson and somebody for Dye trade. I doubt the Sox would consider a straight up deal."

It has been reported on a popular MLB trade site and in a major new york newspaper that the Whitesox are looking to move one of Dye, Konerko and/or Thome, due to money. I figure since the WhiteSox were looking for relief and looking to clear up their logjam at DH/LF, that they would jump at the opportunity to take on a 4 mil dollar setup man for an 11 mil LF.

Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but the latest rumor has the Cards' in the drivers seat for Holliday. Ludwick is apparently the centerpiece of the deal. Assuming the Cards have to give up Ludwick and prospects, I don't really see the benefit of the trade for STL. Why get one year of Holliday when you could re-sign Ludwick (much cheaper) and keep your prospects? Maybe I'm missing something here.

A couple of comments:

MG - great point on the Iguchi trade from Chicago. It happened a little too quickly and a little too obviously for it to not be some type of make-up. More than likely, Gillick immediately contacted Williams and he bent a little easier with Garcia in mind. It just happened very very fast.

Vonderful - I also agree with you that trade doesn't make a lot of sense with Holliday going to St. Louis for Ludwick. The only thing I can figure is STL thinks Ludwick was a flash in the pan this year and the Cards are a team with a decent Boras relationship (e.g. Kyle Lohse, JD Drew, etc.)

Finally - can anyone remember the particulars of Lamar and Tampa screwing up a trade that somehow would've sent Andy Pettite to the Phils? Lamar never called the Yanks back - this was in 1999:

Agreed that Dye would be a nice fit as a one-year stop-gap. But, for the very same reason that people are talking about trading him, Ryan Madson would not be all that attractive to the WhiteSox. I suspect they'd be much more interested in a top-of-the-line pitching prospect or someone like Michael Taylor who could help them in a year or so. I have trouble seeing a match there.

Mike also mentioned Milton Bradley on a one-year deal. Sounds great but, even with all his issues, there's no way anyone is getting a .999 OPS player on a one-year deal. MAYBE because of his issues, he could be gotten on a two-year deal. If so, I would jump at it -- especially since he's only a Type B FA.

MG: No rational person who knows anything about baseball would say that the Thome deal was an even trade. By even the most rudimentary measures, the Chisox got way more out of it than the Phillies did.

I promise I won't rehash the Thome trade for the 35,284 post on Beerleaguer.

As for the Holliday deal to the Cards (for Ludwick, Schumaker, and a prospect), it actually makes sense for both teams. Probably a pitching prospect and that determines the nature of this deal because the Cards need some of their younger arms to come through next year.

For the Cards, this trade would put them right back in the picture to contend with the Cubs next year in the NL Central. If Boggs (as a starter) and Perez (as the closer) come along as expected and Carpenter can rebound to give them a meaningful contribution, I actually like the Cards as a favorite to win the NL Central next year.

For the Rockies, they can put Ludwick in LF to replace Holliday and figure out if they want to use Schumaker in CF or Spilbourghs. If O'Dowd is savvy (and he generally hasn't been during his tenure), he might package one of these guys to a team that needs a CF along with a prospect or two for a starter that the Rockies or bullpen help that the Rockies really need.

Maybe Ludwick just found in late in his career but he strikes me a guy who had a career year last year (hitting in front of the best hitter in game didn't hurt either). He isn't going to hit 37 HRs again or hit near .300. More like a .260-.270 with moderate-to-decent power of say 20-25 HRs over a season. Decent numbers but a far cry from what he did last year. My bet is that more teams get scouting reports they will see that Ludwick can be handled with a decent medley of offspeed stuff in and away.

As for Schumaker, he is the one guy the Cards would miss. A very underrated CF in the NL who hits for a high average and walks enough to have a very solid OBP, good defensively with decent range, and moderate gap power. Doesn't have Vic's range or speed or the basepaths but is a better contact hitter who you can execute a Hit and Run with. Cards figure they have Rasmus and at some point he will be their everyday CF in 2009.

Like I said, a deal of Ludwick, Schumaker, and a pitching prospect for Holliday makes sense for both teams actually. Yeah Cards give up a bunch but they have to take advantage of Pujols while he is still healthy and under contract. Plus, he isn't 28 either. My bet is that you had to add the 1 or 2 years to his reported age. So next year, Pujols is likely going to be 30 or 31 entering the season.

My bet is if this deal gets made, it is the Rockies who take the real hit (in terms of negative PR and ticket sales from a lackadaisical fan base) and that they still don't have enough pitching to contend next year in the NL West even if Francis rebounds.

Did anyone realize that former blue-chip Phils' pitching prospect Taylor Buchholz actually had a really solid year for the Rockies in the pen?

I had no idea until I actually went though his numbers. Wonder if it was a flash in the pan and he reverts back next year to being more of a back-end bullpen guy who carries an ERA around 4-4.50.

Phils also got a draft pick for Rowand leaving, right?

Phils also got a draft pick for Rowand leaving, right?

Yes, and I believe it turned out to be OF Zach Collier, who is rated as one of the top 20 players in the organization and is only 18 years old.

If the Cardinals were to trade Ludwick, Schumacher and a prospect for Holliday, their GM could be declared certifiably insane.

Ludwick alone is better than Holliday. If anything, the Rocks would have to throw in a prospect to make that trade even.

mikes77: What do you think Collier's chances are? Know anything about him?

What do you think Collier's chances are? Know anything about him?

His chances are as good as any other guy who was rated as a 1st round talent.

He hit for an OPS of .850 as a 17 year old and was the 8th rated player in the gulf coast league... In other words, at this point he is at least an asset.

Collier is Anthony Hewitt with a bit less raw talent and a bit more baseball sense. He had a great start in the Rookie league...unlike Hewitt who looked brutal. Alot of analysts had him going much earlier that #34. Most had us taking him at #24 instead. He's got a real chance to be something. He's 4-5 years away from the Majors though. Here's what James from PhuturePhillies said about him in his Draft Recap:

"You gotta like the value here getting Collier at 34. He’s a 4-5 tool player, and he showed those skills in his GCL debut, albeit in a small sample size. He drew 17 walks, he was 5/5 in stolen bases, and he added 9 doubles in 129 AB’s. The Garret Anderson comp certainly places lofty expectations on him, but if he ends up that type of player, it will be huge for the Phillies. It seems likely he’d get a chance to move to Lakewood to start 2009, on what should be a talented squad."

Sorry I dont know how to put hyperlinks on a blog post...

Collier is a better prospect than Hewitt...

Jack: I agree on Collier. I am skeptical that either of them will ever amount to anything.

I think Collier's got a shot...he did great in the GCL and he was very young. We'll know more a couple years. Hewitt is scary though.

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