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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Getting Lowe would be huge for the Mets. Santana, Maine, Lowe, Pelfrey, Niese. That's a pretty good rotation.

Hey Look at what happen last year. When they signed J. Santana. He really didn't make a difference. So, Just have to wait and see.

Is anyone having problems with! Please please tell me Yes. I might be applying for a new job soon if they finally blocked me from that site.

Very true Barry, but they've improved their bullpen although I still see some leaks (is Putz going to come back to his '08 numbers or his very good '07 numbers) I think the rotation is slightly better than last years and other than down the stretch as usual they were good. I still think the Phils are the favorite to win the division though but it'll be close as usual.

I had no issue accessing the site.

no prob with b-ref


"Hey Look at what happen last year. When they signed J. Santana. He really didn't make a difference. So, Just have to wait and see."

Not really true. Santana was a HUGE difference maker. The Mets fell apart again because of the bullpen. To say the guy who led the majors in ERA and a guy who didn't lost a game after June 28th didn't make a difference is ridiculous.

I know it's a weird thing to say that a team that falls short twice in a row that one guy didn't make a the best way I can put it wasn't Santana's fault.

well damn, im screwed... thanks for the help Tim, i have a buddy Nick Stopper who is from williamsport, says its a cool place and loves the whole LLWS.

Not good news on the Lowe-Mets talk. Won't be the best signing in the world if he gets 3+ years and over 15mil/per ; but it will make their rotation much more intact. Not going to be an easy repeat, that is for sure. And thats regardless of Lowe signing.

"Mets, Lowe hot and heavy in negotiations"

Man, there is a mental image I was not expecting, nor wanting, this Christmas Eve AM.

more importantly, Santana did his job against the Phillies: 5 starts (more than against any other team), 2.97 ERA, 2-0 record, .582 OPS against (actually better than his overall .648 OPS against). Phils managed to steal two wins off the bullpen in games he started, but that's hardly his fault.

Don't forget that those 2 decisions were both over Cole Hamels...who can't seem to beat the Mets.

Well BAP it looks like you have a co-thinker in Phil Sheridan, although Sheridan goes one step further and suggests that the Yankees should have been disallowed from signing even CC. Frankly, I don't see how this sort of logic, if taken seriously, doesn't amount to a permanent prohibition on the Yankee's having the top free agent. Why should "the best interests" of the game be invoked this year and not every year?

Not that Sheridan is a position, in view of his mental equipment, to actually understand the implications of what he's writing.

Hamels never really threw against the Mets last year, I think it was only twice. This year that will have to change. The Phils did win the division but in the head to head matchups they lost the season series. They are going to need their best stuff out there because it's going to be close again this year.

Don't forget.. Lowe isn't replacing nothing. He would replace Perez and his 10 wins. Just like Santana replaced Glavine and his 15 wins.
Not saying it wouldn't be an upgrade though.

"Just like Santana replaced Glavine and his 15 wins."

Look at their last starts of the last two seasons. Glavine in a must win goes 1/3 of an inning with 7 ER.

Santana- CG SO 3 Hitter.

If it weren't for the pen blowing 7 leads for him in the 8th or later, he would have been 23-7.

Not a good analogy.

NEPP: Wow, I was surprised that you DO indeed think post-season performance is a better em,asure of a player's value than regular season.

Thus Joe Niekro and Jack Billingham are two of the greatest pitchers ever, right? Far better than Sabathia. And Jose Offerman should be in the Hall of Fame, no?

I don't think that you can discount postseason performance when comparing players is what I'm saying, clout.

And yes, Jose Offerman is a first ballot Hofer ;)

Ask Sabathia if he would trade in his ERA+ league leader ring for a World Series ring.

The 'We've got to beat the Mets head to head' reminds of another complaint left off the 'bitching' thread..."You can't win the division if you can't beat your closest rivals head to head!"

That was a good one.

No way, having the best regular season ERA+ and OPS+ Against is what I really play the game for. Those rings will tarnish eventually, but my park adjusted pitching stats will live on forever so people can argue over the internet how good of a pitcher I am.

Ah ok CC, sorry about that. Guess factoring in post season performance doesnt really matter when evaluating a player. Thanks.

The best part about that Carson is interview is how he is trying to be wacky and ask goofy questions like Kenny Mayne or something, and Durbin just no-sells it and answers everything straight-forward. Well, for the most part.

Good for Durbin.

"I don't think that you can discount postseason performance when comparing players is what I'm saying, clout."

Sample size needs to be relevant and comparable. For instance, you can compare Ortiz and A-Rod, but you can't compare Matt Holliday and Derek Jeter.

NEPP: Let's review. You said Sabathia wasn't a top 5 pitcher because of his post-season performance.

I asked whether post-season performance is more important in assessing value of a player than regular season. You never gave a straight answer although you implied that it was.

This has nothing to do with "discounting post-season performance." No one has done or said anything about that. It has to do with discounting regular season performance, which is why I asked whether you were serious.

So let me repeat the question, Is post-season performance is more important in assessing value of a player than regular season performance?

Yes or No.

I'm saying that if I were a GM and I was building a team, Sabathia would not be on my top 5 of pitchers to give a 7 year deal to...despite his admirable performances in the regular season in 07 and 08.

And its not a yes or no question. Both are important and its postseason performance that would have me put a guy like Schilling over Sabathia.

Oh NEPP that's crazy

NEPP: i was agreeing with you that post season does factor in a great deal, but CC is still a top 5 pitcher. Yes he has had rough outings inth e playoffs before, but the guy literally carried an entire team to the postseason. CC is a top 5. And I'm thinking.... Best pitcher in baseball at this moment, thats an opinion but one that many would share i believe.

Oh wait I read that as Santana. Sorry. Giving 7 to Sabathia is debatable, although I don't think for the reasons your giving.

I would easily put Santana & Lincecum over Sabathia. I'd probably be more comfortable with guys like Beckett, Hamels, & Webb over him too...even if their numbers aren't quite as good...Roy Halladay would be another that I'd easily take over him. Sabathia is a very very good pitcher but he still needs to prove himself in big Hamels did this postseason.

NEPP: OK, got it. You can't answer the question. Nevermind.

Its a dumb question and I did answer it clout. Both are can't ignore a guy's postseason record when comparing players. Thus, Sabathia's 7.92 ERA and 22 BB in 25 IP are issues against him. That doesn't mean that a journeyman 5th starter that had one great postseason game is automatically better than a #1 guy who had 1 off game but when comparing guys of comparable ability, postseason performance should be a tiebreaker.

Come on, no one can honestly argue that Sabathia isn't a top 5 pitcher in the league because of 3 starts in the playoffs. Is it something I would consider when signing him? Yes, but it would be far, far down the list. Because, amazingly, you need to be good over 162 games to make the playoffs. And Sabthia is the 2nd-best pitcher in the world. You know, which helps with that whole "getting to the playoffs" thing.

Do I think he's overpaid? Yeah, of course. But so is Johan Santana, so was Pedro Martinez, and a whole other list of pitchers signed to big deals. Gillick's theory of never giving out big contracts to a pitcher is pretty solid, I have to say (it helps when you can develop a Cole Hamels of your own).

Oh, and also: Teixiera is better than Howard. They're the same age (Tex is actually about 6 months younger), and Tex has put up 5 full seasons of 125+ OPS+, while Howard has put up 2 full seasons (3 if you count his half-season ROY in 2005). Tex is a far, far better defensive player and a better athlete, and looking at their bodies I'd have to think Tex doesn't give you the same worries about aging that Howard does. Tex is a classic .300/.400/.550 hitter with 35 HRs. Howard is a .260/.370/.570 hitter with 45 HRs. There is a huge difference in defense, enough to make it actually significant at first base, and enough to make Tex clearly the superior player.

NEPP: The statement which started this discussion was my statement that Sabathia has been the best pitcher in baseball over the past 2 seasons. I too would take Santana, Hamels, Lincecum, and Webb over Sabathia, but that's because I have a vague, subjective, and unquantifiable belief that Sabathia is going to break down at a young age. Objectively speaking, Sabathia has been better than any of these guys over the last 2 seasons combined.

P.S. Santana hasn't been too brilliant in the post-season & Lincecum has never even made it there.

From the last thread: "No one on here agreed with me that [Nicek Swisher] would be a good pickup. Most think he is washed." CY

Not true. It was a minority view but there were a few who agreed with you about Swisher, and I was one of them.

The Yankees also could trade Hideki Matsui, who I have always thought would be a beautiful fit for the Phillies. Like Ibanez, he is left-handed. Unlike Ibanez, he actually has hit lefties very well throughout his entire career. Plus he's 2 years younger than Ibanez and plays solid defense.

well, Santana's bad postseason numbers are mostly from 2002 and 2003 when he was still really transitioning into starting full-time. and he followed that up by being very good in 2004 (12 IP vs Yankees, 1 ER, 12 SO) and 2006 (8 IP vs OAK, 2 ER, 8 SO).

I am heading home for the Holidays and will most likely not be able to visit the site. So to all Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Also be safe and take some time to enjoy the fact that we are WFC!!!

"I'm saying that if I were a GM and I was building a team, Sabathia would not be on my top 5 of pitchers to give a 7 year deal to..."

This is a different question, one of years, durability and payroll (although if a GM is in a position to sign 5 pitchers of his choosing, then presumably money is no object). The proper thought experiment is, if you're looking to construct a rotation for the purposes of pitching a full season and achieving the post-season, which 5 pitchers would you choose.

And put in that fashion, I don't see how you cannot but conclude that the primary criteria in choosing pitching is "how well does the pitcher pitch in the regular season." It's the regular season that precedes the post-season, and it's in the regular season that the pitcher pitches the vast majority of his innings. As such the vast majority of his value lies in his ability to perform in the regular season. Adding onto that, there's no compelling reason to think that CC Sabathia, or any other excellent "regular season" pitcher, is constitutionally incapable of delivering servicable post-season performances. If his stuff is effective at points A though Y, then it stands to reason that it is likely to be effective at point Z. Which is the whole point, you choose based on probability--judging from past performance, taken as a whole (the totality of his innings, the vast majority of which are pitched between April and Oct 1st), CC Sabathia is more likely to do well in any given pitching situation than Johnny R. Gritty (reg. season era+ 100; in two post season appearances 125) because fundamentally, he is a better pitcher.

"...when comparing guys of comparable ability, postseason performance should be a tiebreaker."

But I'm not sure how this relates to the question of whether the Yankees signing CC was a good idea. Can it be said that having CC makes the Yankee more likely to win the World Series. I would think so. And if so, and in view of the Yankees infinite resources, their signing of CC must be judged to have been a good idea.

Agreed Klaus, nice post.

While I'm not trying to say that the postseason is so important, I do want to point out that pitchers are not a stat line or a probability, they're real life people. So you can't completely discount the fact that there are reason certain players excel their performance in certain situations, and some falter.

Perfect example: You're telling me CC Sabathia's physical ability couldn't even throw a pitch by Brett Myers? Theres no statistical way in the world you could prove that without admitting that emotion, nerves, and mental makeup were all the main factors in that at bat. CC was rattled, nervous, and frustrated - which none show up in a stat sheet. You can't simply omit those things when evaluating players. CC gets shook, plain and simple. You have to take that into account evaluting him as a pitcher overall.

and again, I still think CC is easily in the top 5 starters in the league.....just saying that its not wrong to use his postseason failures as a negative against him.

"Not true. It was a minority view but there were a few who agreed with you about Swisher, and I was one of them."
From: Bap

I stand corrected. And I will consider that an early Christmas gift. Nice to have a few people agree with you.

I am out of here for the holidays. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Hopefully we all get WFC DVDs under the tree!

CC didn't get "shook" against the Phils. He was flat because he'd gone on 3 days rest 4 straight times. His arm angle showed a ton of fatigue. What CC did to get the Brewers to the playoffs negates his post season performance as essentially every one of his starts was a "playoff" game.

Same can be said of Santana.

This probably wont happen with the Yankees as they A) have a good bullpen and B) won't need a CG every time out from CC.

clout: I don't know if you will agree with this, but here are my thoughts on whether post-season performances are more important than regular-season performances. Regular season performances are more important than post-season. I don't think a great post-season performance by a pitcher, or any player, who put up average numbers during the regular season can sling-shot into one of the best players ever. However, I do feel that repeated poor play in the postseason can knock you out of the top echelon. Sabathia is one of those pitchers in my mind. I would never sign Sabathia to the contract he received from the Yankees, especially with a career post-season line of 1-3 with a 7.92 ERA. A-rod is another one of those players for me, I wouldn't give them that big of a contract. This isn't to say that I wouldn't want them on my team...but I wouldn't have given them that much money based on their post-season failures.

If the Mets sign Lowe they will be the best team in NL East. The Phils just haven't done enough this off season and it's going to be 2006 all over again.

I know they won it last year with clutch hitting, getting hot near the end and staying hot through the playoffs. Brad Lidge also had a lot to do with it.

The Phils are trying to go the cheap route and it only works for so long. The Mets signing Putz and Rodriguez made them at least as good as the Phils. If they get Lowe you have to say they are the better team.

I hate the Mets as much as anyone but the facts are the facts. Lowe is a quality starter and almost certainly will be better than Moyer.

At least we won the WFCHamionship!

Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope the Phils win it again.

Klaus and Jack: Thanks for making my points to NEPP in a far more articulate fashion.

The reason why Hamels can't seem to beat the Mets is lack of run support. How do you think Kendrick wins?

Very simple for me on the CC debate: You need to get to the post-season before you worry about the post-season.

CC can get you there even though he struggled in the first half of last year.

The Phillies won because they have a lot of talent, a good pitching staff, and an "F You" attitude. The Mets may have acquired the first two elements but they don't have the attitude and it seems the other two attributes don't mean squat w/o it.

Agreed that the Phils have that attitude that I haven't seen in them since 1980 but attitude only takes you so far. I hope it will carry them to another championship but I believe their pitching is over all inadequate compared to the Mets(with Lowe) and will prove to be the Phils downfall. Only time will tell.

Just ask your self honestly: Did you think last August or early September that the Phils were even going to make the playoffs? I fear that the Mets will too far ahead this time for the Phils to mount a comback.

Don't mind me, I'm a pessimist at heart. I'm a Phillies fan after all.....

The Mets could acquire Jake Peavy, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Webb, Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Dustin Pedroia, Lance Berkman, and Hanley Ramirez, and 60% of the posters on this board would still proclaim that there's no way they can win the NL East next year because they don't have heart.


The Phils may indeed have stared the same. But the Mets clearly have gotten better. And oetting Lowe will make them beeter still at least on paper. That said, in effect, the Phils have gone backwards. If Lowe does sign wuth the Mets for 4 years and around 60 million, don't tell me the Phils couldn't have done that as well.

"...because they don't have heart."

Naaahhh, but if they got Eckstein it'd be all over.
go phillies, go ironpigs

The Mets with Lowe are probably the best team in the NL on paper. They still have some issues with their outfield, 2B and even 1B (I'm not sold on Delgado beating out Father Time for another year) but we have just as many holes when you consider that Moyer could get hit by a freight train of Father Time, Hamels could regress after his heavy load in 08, we don't know which B. Myers will show up, etc and we have no offense out of 3B or C.

"The Mets with Lowe are probably the best team in the NL on paper."

Without being mr. "contradict everything NEPP says" I'd say that that distinction belongs to the Cubs.

Lowe is an upgrade over Perez no doubt, but at least it won't be automatically Game=Over every time the Phillies face him, as it was with Perez.

The Phils proved last year that a good team needs only to stay close and they can win it all. Most of the time though the more talented team wins. The Phils do have those 'intangibles' that are hard to define and hard to retain. I think Ibanez will be another good veteran influence in the clubhouse. I don't believe he has really played very much in the playoffs and will have the hunger for the elusive ring. Gotta like a guy that stays in tip top condition.

The Phils will miss Burrell, especially against LH pitching but I do believe they still have a good chance to repeat. You gotta think that if the Phils are anywhere close to them come the middle of September that they have what it takes to catch them again. Hope so.

Lowe's home vs road stats are a little slanted since he became a Dodger. Who knows out Bailout Field will work out for him?

I'm sure some website has a list of how often the 'best' team wins the WS.

From the Drunkard's Walk:

People usually assume that the best team wins, but even if one team is good enough to warrant beating the other in two-thirds of their games, the mathematics say that the inferior team will win a seven game series once in every five times. If you really want to make sure the best team wins, you'd have to play a best-of-23 game series, which reduces the odds of crowning the lesser team champion to a statistically significant 5% or less.

Many of the BLers responses to Lowe's possible signing by the Mets are wishful thinking. If the Mets add Lowe, K-Rod and Putz, while the Phils do nothing more than to re-sign the very ancient Jamie Moyer, how can any serious person reason that they haven't picked up at least 6 games over the course of the season? Barring injuries, the beefed up pitching make them the clear frontrunner for the NL East. There are too many rah rah bloggers on BL. We are all loyal Phillies fans, but that does not require us to become unrealistic. The bottom line is that the Phillies' ownership, rolling in dough, reverted to their characteristic penny pinching mode, even after having won the World Series. We deserve better.

Hitman: "We deserve better."

Waaa. Poor us and our WFC baseball team that's only gonna have a $130 million payroll next year.

Brian: Let's wait and see before we give the Phillies' ownership credit for that $130M payroll. Last year around this time, everyone was giving them credit for their much anticipated $110M payroll. I posted at the time that, come opening day, their payroll would be less than 100M and, lo and behold, I was right.

The Phillies just raised ticket prices and, by my previously posted estimates, that alone should bring in another $10 to $15M in revenues. My guess is that that's the extent of the payroll increase we'll actually see. If opening day payroll exceeds $110M, I'll be mildly surprised. If it exceeds $115M, I'll be shocked.

These Mets ain't that fantastic

first off they won about ten games of the unbelievable contributions of hasbeens like Fernando Tatis and Damien Easily.

Not to mention being carried for the last twenty games by the ancient carlos delgado. well which Delgado will show up for 2009? if its the guy who couldn't hit it out of his hand for the first half of the season they are even more lackluster.

lest we forget reyes and beltran are choke artists.

so they went out and added a closer with diminishing volocity (sound familiar?) and a set up guy who had a good season followed by an injury plagued one. and now they want a 37 year old starter.

These numbers have been posted before, but here's an estimate of 2009 payroll whcih appears at

C: Carlos Ruiz - $550,000 (estimated auto re-sign amount, yr 3)
C: Chris Coste - $550,000 (estimated auto re-sign amount, yr 3)
1b: Ryan Howard - $13,000,000 (estimated arby award, yr 4)
2b: Chase Utley - $11,000,000
3b: Pedro Feliz - $5,000,000
SS: Jimmy Rollins - $7,500,000
IF: Greg Dobbs - $1,000,000 (estimated arby award, yr 4)
IF: Eric Bruntlett - $750,000 (estimated arby award, yr 5)
OF: Jayson Werth - $3,500,000 (estimated arby award, yr 6)
OF: Shane Victorino - $1,000,000 (estimated arby award, yr 4)
OF: Geoff Jenkins - $6,750,000
OF: Matt Stairs - $1,000,000
OF: $400,000 minimum player

SP: Cole Hamels - $5,000,000 (estimated arby award, yr 3 as an assumed Super 2)
SP: Brett Myers - $12,000,000
SP: Joe Blanton - $5,000,000 (estimated arby award, yr 5)
SP: Adam Eaton - $8,500,000
SP: Kyle Kendrick - $500,000 (estimated auto re-sign amount...could well be Happ or Carrasco at $400K min, which doesn't really change anything)

RP: Brad Lidge - $11,500,000
RP: JC Romero - $4,000,000
RP: Chad Durbin - $1,500,000 (estimated arby deal, yr 5)
RP: Ryan Madson - $3,000,000 (estimated arby deal, yr 6)
RP: Clay Condrey - $1,000,000 (estiamted arby deal, yr 4)
RP: $400,000 minimum player
RP: $400,000 minimum player

Tom Gordon - $1,000,000 buyout
So Taguchi - $150,000 buyout
Until suggested otherwise, I'll assume Thome is off the books after '08.

Total: $105,950,000

BAP: Ibanez and Moyer add another $16.5 million, minimum, to those numbers. So, unless they can get someone to take some salaries off their hands then breaking $115 million is a lock.

Brian- You reflexively defend management. Why? The upgrade to the Mets pitching speaks for itself. Do you really believe the big market, post-season revenue ehanced, increased ticket priced Phils are tapped out and could not afford to compete for a top-tier free agent pitcher? The Phils are near the top in MLB attendance, but they are closer to the midpoint for team payroll. Do you really mean to suggest that they lacked the resources to compete for Derek Lowe, whose probable annual salary will be about 7-8 million more than Moyer? Moyer was terrific last year, but we aren't immortal, and physical skills do deteriorate with age. Moreover, Lowe is without doubt the better pitcher, no matter what happened in the post season. Remember, Amaro said pitching was our priority. He didn't keep his word.

Moyer is $7.5M, Eyre is $2M, Ibanez is $10M -- which brings the total to $126M.

Of cousre, it's pretty bogus to count Eaton and Thome and the buyouts to Gordon and Taguchi. "Payroll," by definition refers to the guys on the team's roster and DL. ALL teams have dead money and all teams buy out contracts. But that dead money & buyout money does not count toward anyone's payroll.

Also, the $5M estimate for Hamels sounds ludicrously high. What did Ryan Howard make in his first year of arbitration? I think it was $900K. I also think $3M for Madson sounds much higher than what he'll actually get. I'd guess $2M at most, probably less.

And some of these guys aren't going to be here next year. Coste, KK, and the $400K minimum salaried outfielder obviously won't be on the opening day roster. Stairs will likely be traded. Once you start paring down the numbers, you're well under $115M.

Actually, the difference in salary will likely be less than $7 to $8M. Moyer's base salary is $7.5M but he has some likely-to-be-achieved incentives which bump it up to more like $10M.

To me, it's not so much about the final payroll numbers. As I've said before, if the Phillies could field a roster of hot-shot 22-year olds who make next to nothing, I'd be the happiest guy on this board. My real objection is that they'd rather save a couple million dollars even if it means knowingly making the team worse. The Burrell-Ibanez situation is a perfect example. On the one hand, you can't really call them cheap for paying $10M per year to Raul Ibanez. On the other hand, for a couple million dollars more (maybe not even that), they likely could have retained Burrell, who is a much better fit for their lineup.

****Without being mr. "contradict everything NEPP says" I'd say that that distinction belongs to the Cubs.****

Oops, forgot about the Cubs...okay 2nd best team on paper...following the Cubs. I think we're still #3 though. If anything we've broken even so far this off-season.

I'd think that Vic would get more than $1 million in arbitration but I suppose I could be that does happen fairly often.

I'd guess we go into the season with a payroll around $115 million with about $5 million in reserve for mid-season moves. That gives us a possible ceiling of around $120 million which seems reasonable all things considered. Considering our active 25 man roster payroll for last year was around $98 million, I don't see how anyone can complain too much about that.

Granted, I'd love it if we went out and signed another big name pitcher or a Juan Cruz type guy but it ain't gonna happen...ain't no way, ain't no how.

Hitman: My reflexive defense of management is a reaction to the reflexive criticism of management as greedy old SOBs who only care about making a buck when those doing the criticizing really don't know the details of the Phillies budget sheets, etc. And whiny statements like "we deserve better" annoy me after the team just won the World Series, which is the absolute best thing that can happen each season.
Also, why is there this implicit assumption that a 35 year old Derek Lowe at 4 yrs, 60 million would be a good investment? Maybe they just decided that wasn't the best idea. And if they were gonna go the cheap route they wouldn't have resigned Ibanez, they would've grabbed Juan Rivera or Rocco Baldelli for less than half the price. Whether you think they were good moves or not, they did spend significant money to fill their two biggest holes.

In defense of "we deserve better", I was quite upset that we didn't sweep our way to the World Series Trophy...freaking joke of a post-season.

I can't even take pleasure in such a mediocre victory.

bap: Howard got $10 mil his first year in arbitration, which was last year. The 900K was the year before when the Phillies could pay him whatever they wanted. I actually think $5 mil for Hamels may be low.

Anyway, the numbers come out to (your 106) + 2(Eyre) + 7.5(moyer) + 8.5 (Ibanez)+ 2.5 (chan ho park) = approx $126 million. I don't really know how you can dispute those numbers.
(And I've pretty much given up hope on convincing you why your "the Eaton money shouldn't count" argument is ludicrous. When debating whether ownership is cheap, why would you exclude $8.5 million it has to account for? By your logic teams would have no inhibition when it comes to length of contract. They could just sign any guy to a ten year contract, and if he stopped producing after 5 years they could just cut him and that makes the money they still owe become imaginary.)

I guarantee the Phillies FO is counting the money they'll be paying Eaton next year.
merry christmas
go phillies, go ironpigs

Brian: There are 2 separate issues here. The Eaton money is money out of ownership's pockets. But it isn't payroll and you are the only one who counts it as such.

"Cheap" is not a word that I have ever used when talking about Phillies' ownership. The word "cheap" is just an arbitrary label which means different things to different people. I don't know whether the Phillies' owners are cheap or not. I DO know that they had only the 12th highest payroll in the majors last year (despite being the largest monopoly market in baseball), and I do know that they have been dropping further down the payroll list with each passing year. You like to throw in all the additional money they have spent on dead money contracts & buyouts. But other teams have such expenses too and I have no idea if the Phillies' buyouts & dead money contracts are low, medium or high as compared to other similar payroll teams. If you can find the numbers, and you want to make an argument comparing the Phillies' total financial out-lay to that of other teams, I would be interested in seeing the comparison. But instead you are using total financial out-lay as your criterion for measuring the Phillies' annual costs, while using mere payroll to measure the annual costs of the other 29 teams. That's not a valid comparison.

If the Mets sign Lowe, their rotation will be better than the Phils, and their bullpen will be vastly improved. The Phils stood pat. Hard to quarrel with those facts. The arguments advanced to justify the Phils unwillingness to upgrade their pitching are unpersuasive. The bottom line is that Amaro recornized that the Phils needed to upgrade their pitching. They didn't do it. If you stand still while the competition gets better, you suffer the consequences. It isn't a logical argument to say that the won the Series. That was last year. Moreover, what kind of argument is it to say I don't know the Phils' money situation. Do you?

BAP: The Eaton money is money out of ownership's pockets. But it isn't payroll and you are the only one who counts it as such.

Yes, it is payroll. Just like Pavano's salary counted for the Yankees. Its called "dead money" but its still payroll. I don't get how you could even argue this.

NEPP: I was not clear. I was assuming -- perhaps baselessly -- that Eaton would not be on the Phillies' 40-man roster next year. If he's on the 40-man roster, or even on the 60-day DL, of course he counts toward payroll. I was envisioning a situation where they manage to get some other team to take Eaton off their hands, but have to eat most of his contract in doing so. In that situation, the "eaten" money does NOT count toward 2009 payroll.

For some reason I was assuming that the Phillies will be able to get rid of Eaton before opening day. Chalk it up to wishful thinking.

Espn's "Olney just said that the Mets have not offered Lowe anything yet and that although they have had discussions, they have yet to have serious discussions with Lowe and Boras."

Get to bed or Santa doesn't drop by.

Hitman: I don't either. That's the whole point. It's why I find it silly for either of us to make assertions such as this.
"The bottom line is that the Phillies' ownership, rolling in dough, reverted to their characteristic penny pinching mode, even after having won the World Series."

They will most likely be raising their payroll approximately $20 million, to over $125 mil. How is that penny-pinching? How much would they have to spend for you to have the payroll you feel you "deserve"?

Forget clout's set up man from last year; all I want for Christmas is for an AL team to sign Lowe.

Brian- You are just making these numbers up. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. With a strong attendance for 2008, lots of post-season revenues and increased ticket prices, they have the dollars to go after top-tier pitching but they declined. You are dead wrong, and I find your persistent defense of the Phils' unwillingness to keep up with the competition to be bizarre. That's my last word on this subject. Merry Christmas.

Yes, I would like to see him sent to the AL for Christmas.

This is not good news. Any way he can remain a least?

Just returned from family dinner. As usual, my brother in law and I spent part of the time bitching about the Phils front office philosophy.

I started laughing in the middle of the conversation as I recalled the thread a day or two ago about bitching. No one mentioned one of my favorites - bitching about the ESPN or FOX announcers. I still chuckle about the comments the night ESPN kept interrupting the game to show clips of Brett Favre's jet taxiing on the runway. People would just go ballistic on BL every time the jet appeared, which seemed to be every inning.

Out of town till New Years. Thanks for a great 2008, BL and all you BL posters. Merry Christmas to all!

Well, this is the Christmas spirit I was looking for...

I can't believe we're still b*tching and moaning about payroll. The Phils won the World Series last year... although most on this list were of the opinion they didn't spend enough to do so.

The same is happening this year despite the fact that the Phils payroll will easily be $120M this year.

It's not about how much money you spend... it's what you spend it on. Adam Eaton cost a lot of money... Jayson Werth did not.

What a pointless discussion. But par for the course around here.

Santa Claus called. He wants me to put hte presents under the tree . .. . AGAIN.

Hope I get another season of the MLB package.

Someone mentioned that we have no offense from 3B - if we platoon Dobbs and Feliz correctly at 3B, I'd say we'd have average to above average offensive production from 3B.

Well, along with Brian G I might be the only regular defender of the FO around here when it comes to payroll and spending.

So, what should the Phillies payroll be for people to think it's "where it should be"? Is it an absolute number ($150 mil), some percentage of their overall revenue, or a number relative to the rest of baseball (should be top 5?). What's the standard by which the FO is being judged here, whatever people think feels about right?

Next, does that spending directly relate to winning? No, not on it's own. You also need to fit the pieces together, and you need to have the intelligence and ability to evaluate how to spend. Look at Adam Eaton (remember Danny Tartabull?). More signings like those would sure raise the payroll, but would it result in more wins? No. So if the FO feels that the money required to sign say 37 yr-old Derek Lowe for 4 years or an immobile Pat Burrell for 3 years is not money well spent, should we then call them cheap for not spending it?

As far as this mantra about the Phillies raising ticket prices, so what? That only turns into increased revenue if people buy the tickets. If the Phillies can sell out the ballpark every night, then why not just raise the prices as high as the market will bear? That's simply good business, whether you think it's greedy or not. Customers must think the product is worth it or they wouldn't pay for it. If the park is half empty, the FO will either lower the ticket prices or improve the product.

Lastly, regarding the recent buying binge by the Yankees. I hate the Yankees, but it's their money, so they can do what they want with it. Is it good for baseball? NO. MLB should be very wary of the financial imbalance. Don't arbitrarily 'punish' the Yankees, but address the overall structural problem.

A pro sports league must be competitive to thrive. The argument that it is good to have a few dominant franchises is bogus. When the Yankees dominated baseball year after year the game was not better for it. Through the fog of time it might seem so, but it's not true. Baseball at that time had no competition, but attendence was still not great. During the 50s many franchises moved in the hope of getting more fans because they had empty parks where they were. Brooklyn, NY, Boston, Philadelphia, St Louis, Washington. The post-war demographic shift didn't tell the story. None of them moved to a bigger city. Only Brooklyn among them averaged more than 10,000/game before they moved, and they were a very good team with a lot of stars in the biggest city in the country. Most averaged fewer than 5,000 fans/game. Think about that, under 5,000 per game. Fans simply didn't support those teams by buying tickets because they knew their team had almost no chance to compete. Having a dominant Yankee franchise didn't help baseball, but being a more competitive league might have.

Having 3-4 teams consistently outspending everyone and monopolizing top FA talent is worrisome, but it doesn't guarantee success, as we know. I think MLB should be more sensitive to how those same franchises dominate the media and the networks. That is not good for the game in my opinion.
Anyone else get tired of hearing 24-7 about the next Yankees-Red Sox series? I was.
Get aggravated by the network announcers during the NLCS constantly talking about Dodgers Joe Torre, Nomar, Lowe, and Manny facing JD Drew and the Red Sox in the WS while the Phillies were dismantling them in 5 games and the Rays were knocking off Boston? I was.
Tired of reading about a key FA signing or trade by being told the Yankees', Red Sox or Mets' reaction to it? I am.

The only people (besides their own fans)unhappy about the Mets and Yankees not making the post-season, about the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox getting eliminated by 'lesser' teams, were the media. Fans loved it. New faces, new stars, new heroes. Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, David Price. MLB needs to reinforce that.

Couple of thoughts on Christmas eve:

1. If the Mets ink Lowe and both teams don't may any other meaningful moves this offseason, the Mets will go into the preseason as slight favorites and rightly so.

Their Achilles' heel was pitching last year and they upgraded that in a major way with Putz, KRod, and Lowe. If the Mets get another starter the caliber of Marquis for the 5th spot, they will clearly have a better starting rotation going into the season.

2. Can we please stop with the nonsense that "Santana didn't make a difference for the Mets" or the Mets didn't win the last two years "because they didn't have heart" or "they are chokers?"

Both statements are false. Santana had a HUGE year for the Mets and performed incredibly well down the stretch. Even if the bullpen had managed to preserve 3 or 4 games of the 7 he was leading when he left, he would have won 20+ games and probably the Cy Young.

The reason the Mets lost the past 2 years is largely the fact that their bullpen imploded each year in Sept. Offense also scuffled in a big way in 2007 too but the lack of a closer in Sept the last 2 years (remember Wagner was hurt/ineffective largely in Sept 2007) is what cost the Mets the division the past 2 years. Maybe KRod isn't perfect but he clearly is an upgrade over the riff-raff they threw out there this year the last 4-5 weeks of the season.

3. Phils' FO has a reputation of being cheap and rightly so - based upon their payroll and spending in the more recent past.

From the late 80s until Thome was signed, this team largely languished in the bottom 1/2 and even some years the bottom 1/3 of teams in MLB spending every year. While it it is right to say that just spending money doesn't guarantee success, it sure helps your chances. More importantly, 1 or 2 bad contracts don't cripple your payroll and don't handicap your team's flexibility for a year or two either.

I wouldn't call the Phils' FO "cheap" anymore but I certainly wouldn't call him willing to spend large dollars either. Hard to judge what defines "cheapness" but if the Phils' Opening Day payroll is ranked 14th or 15th in MLB, then they are likely below their peers.

I do think it is very fair to say though that is team is incredibly risk-averse to anything that jeopardizes their profit margin even if it could likely return them with a greater profit margin (e.g., making the playoffs and the windfall that occurs that season and at least the next season too).

Nice post George S although I still have no problem with the Yanks signings this offseason. They pay an arm and a leg through the revenue sharing and luxury payroll.

Hell, this past season over $125M was taken out of the Yanks' pockets and given to other teams. Frankly, the Yanks (and to a lesser extent the Mets, Red Sox, and several other teams) are the economic engine that drives baseball and if they aren't successful financially it drags done the overall MLB revenues.

BTY - I am 100% against a salary cap in baseball. Give the luxury tax a little more bite and make the deadbeat scum owners (e.g., Pirates, Royals, Marlins, etc) spend some damn money because these dirtbags make a profit even before the first pitch is thrown because of revenue sharing/luxury tax money. That is 100% wrong for the game and as un-American as you can get.

For the seemingly millionith time already:

The Ibanez signing wasn't necessary bad for NEXT YEAR. However, it is going to be the 2nd and 3rd year that could be millstones that hang around the Phils' neck just like the Eaton deal (and to a lesser degree Jenkins and Feliz next year too). You don't pay a corner OF who plays poor defense with below average power $10M+/year even if he hits .280 or .290.

$11.5M per year to be exact in 2010 and 2011 to Ibanez. I bet any money in 2011 that Ibanez is one of the most expensive 4th OF in all of MLB and is going to hamper the Phils' financially in a meaningful way just as the Eaton deal did this offseason ($8.5M in sunk cost that really prevented them for going after a big-name contrary to all of the typical BS rumors we have heard the last 3 or 4 offseasons apparently linking the Phils to big-name FAs.)

$23M - that is the money the Phils are spending on next year on:

1. A pitcher who likely won't even make the Opening Day roster
2. A reserve OF who might get 200 ABs
3. A gimpy 3B who is a huge question mark because of his bad back (contrary to what the Phils say most time athletes in their mid-30s with bad backs don't readily respond to treatment and

Lets say the Phils spend $115-$125M next year which I think is about a fair estimate.

Nearly 20% of the payroll allocated to players who will likely do little to nothing to help you win. That folks is not spending money that wisely contrary to other folks on here who seemingly laud the Phils' FO now.

Merry Christmas to all BeerLeaguers, even the ones that are miserable on this fine day.

Thanks to Weitzel for plugging the interview, you've helped me a lot over the years.

king myno - how many games do you think Feliz will play next year? any word on his procedure?

happy holidays BLers!

Fangraphs had Ibanez as being half as valuable to a team as Werth last year (not considering contracts).

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I think the FO apologists and the critics are talking past each other. Both sides should be able to agree on this: We all want the Phillies to repeat as World Champions. How much they spend to do that is irrelevant to every fan but a few here who seem more worried about the wallets of the Phillies owners than the quality of the team.

Thus the bottom line is this: making smart decisions on personnel for the 2009 team. Each side of this debate should forget the money: Focus on the personnel decisions.

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EST. 2005

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