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Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Elevator Action!!!!

Greatest. Video Game. Ever.

I've even downloaded it to my Wii!

JW: In keeping with your metaphor, here's MPN's comment at the end of the last thread:

"Essentially, we are the second guy in a MFM three way. We weren't getting the model (Peavy) under any circumstances, but if we can get some upgrades while giving up a small price (Happ, Coste) then it's better to have been in proximity to the model then not..."

So... if the Phils deal JA Happ, Chris Coste and Ryan Madson (plus a prospect to St. Louis?) for Mark DeRosa, Jason Marquis and Ryan Ludwick, that would leave us with these remaining holes:

#4 starter
Setup Man
Additional bullpen arm
Backup catcher

DeRosa, Marquis and Ludwick will cost about $12M. How much money would be left to improve those other positions? Are there internal options?

CJ: Chances of the Cardinals dealing Ludwick straight up for Madson: Zero.

BAP: I'll take you up on that bet that the Cubs will win 115-20 games if they get Peavy. Count me in for the under. Heavy. I'll take the under on 110 as well.

I'm not sold on Ankiel or Ludwick (who seems less likely to be available), and don't want to give up prospects for DeRosa and Marquis. Of everyone rumoured so far, I would prefer to receive Delmon Young for a package involving Jason Donald, since the Twins want infield help and have been rumoured to be interested in Donald.

Jack: Hell, I'll take under 105.

This provocative post from the last thread:

"I don’t get all the Happ love. There’s a reason why at 26 this guy has only had a cup of coffee in the majors, and is still only projected to be a back end guy. He’s a dime a dozen. Trading him while he’s got some value, even for a short term fix is the right thing to do.

Posted by: I mean really? | Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 11:59 AM"

To which I say, on Beerleaguer all Phillies prospects are future All Stars. There was even a contingent of Golson lovers on here last offseason. And I say this as the number one cheerleader for Happ. I root for the guy like crazy and love his approach. But I try not to be blind to reality.

Who cares how many regular season games the Cubs win. They just get swept in the playoffs anyway. Their like the post-season Mets.

Latest from the Chicago Tribune:

"A potentially four-team trade that would send Mark DeRosa to Philadelphia and Felix Pie to Baltimore and bring back pitchers Garrett Olson, J.A. Happ (the Northwestern product) and Sean Marshall for the Padres.

The key for that deal to work is for the Phillies or Orioles to take Jason Marquis, with the Cubs agreeing to eat some of his salary."

The Trib blogger, Phil Rogers, says the deal is close: "The Jake Peavy-Cubs trade talks have reached a point where it will be a stunner if the Cubs don’t acquire Peavy."

Clout: Ok, IF the Phils get DeRosa AND the Cubs pay half of Marquis' salary, I'm (deep breath) ok with the trade.

I think the Phils should trade Eaton to the ChiCubs straight up for Marquis.

Clout: Does this mean that Vitters is not in the deal?

I shudder to think of helping the Cubs get Peavy. I can clearly see the FO's logic on it: "Well, they're aren't in our division so we'd still probably get playoff revenue by winning the East."

Thanks but no thanks on any deal that nets up DeRosa and gives them Peavy.

Clout: Why do you always assume rookies will provide worse than average production? Breaking in young talent is a risk every team must take; its a step forward, not a step back.

What is the alternative? We currently have two holes in the rotation, one if we get Marquis. Myers, Marquis, Eaton and Madson will be gone in 2010. Would you prefer to break in all our young pitchers at once in 2010?

Love the porno style innuendos!

Thanks Carson, I've now scratched you off "the list" like Buscemi did to Sandler's name in Happy Gilmore...

"There’s a reason why at 26 this guy has only had a cup of coffee in the majors, and is still only projected to be a back end guy."

Well . . . the scouts can be wrong and they often are. All I know is that Happ has succeeded at every level he has pitched at -- including the major leagues (albeit in very limited action). That said, my problem with trading Happ is not so much about Happ being a great prospect. It's about 2 things. In the short term, the dropoff between Happ and the next would-be starter appears to be pretty severe. In the longer term, I see a team with perenially cheap ownership that has sharply escalating payroll needs &, thus, a strong need to fill as many holes as cheaply as possible. There are 2 ways to fill holes cheaply. One way is with young prospects who have some genuine hope of getting better. The other way is with more experienced players who have proven themselves to be not very good. I prefer the first way.

Gee, I really hope we sign Raul Ibanez to play LF for the next 3 years. That way we can have an injury prone, substandard defensive LF who also bats Left in our lineup...and even better we don't have to worry about drafting anyone in the 1st round as we will sacrifice our pick to the Mariners for the privilege of overpaying Ibanez.

NEPP: Couldn't agree with you more. I see no sense in going after Ibanez. His age and Left-handedness make that one a head-scratcher.

Dodgers just signed Loretta, who can play all four infield positions to a 1-yr $1.25MM deal. Assuming the Phils could've signed him for the same or slightly more, I'm disappointed he isn't a Phillie. He would've been a perfect part-time replacement for both Utley and Feliz, while providing Chollie with a good right-handed contact bat to come off the bench.

I don't think anyone's mentioned it but mlbtraderumors last night said that the Phillies had offered Moyer 2 yrs/14mil but Moyer wanted 18 mil.

On the Burrell front, it seems the Phillies have absolutely no interest whatsoever in bringing him back. I'm not sure they'd offer him the same contract they have for Moyer. If they're not willing to go 2 yrs 15 mil for Burrell then they're just being stubborn. Keeping him means we have to give up no young and cheap players to fill the LF void, which will help us down the road. I almost wonder if Amaro is determined to make his mark as a new GM, and feels letting Burrell go is necessary for that.

In re: Cubs W-L -
A more interesting wager might be whether the Cubs will win more games than the Padres lose.

In re: Ibanez
If that trade happens a lot of Phils may switch to (or be glad they already have) gas ovens.

He played 162 games last season. 149 and 159 in the seasons before that. Where is the injury prone coming in?

Boston Globe writer says a phillies official denied that there is a three year offer for Lowe, and another major league "source" says Lowe likes the the Phillies as a possible destination...

I find it hard to believe Lowe likes it here, he seemed pretty angry about our cozy little ballpark during the NLCS.

"I almost wonder if Amaro is determined to make his mark as a new GM, and feels letting Burrell go is necessary for that."

I have kind of the same impression. I fear he's going to end up making a significant move just for the sake of making a significant move, even if it winds up hurting the team.

Earlier in his career and the fact that he's 36 (37 next June).

Can we not lose a 1st round pick and overpay for a aging corner OF?

I would imagine someone from the Lowe camp leaked the idea of Lowe wanting to play in Philly to the Boston paper in order to up their leverage with the Red Sox.

What, like when Randy Wolf used us to get better offers for the last two years in a row?

That kind of stuff never happens.

Interesting to read that Gillick is at the meetings.

Also - sounds like the Rays are discussing bringing Young back.

Don't like getting Derosa at all. Without Moyer, Happ is the fourth best starter in the organization, and probably as good as Blanton.

"I don’t get all the Happ love. There’s a reason why at 26 this guy has only had a cup of coffee in the majors, and is still only projected to be a back end guy. He’s a dime a dozen."

This is stupid, on multiple levels. One, the only thing keeping Happ from the majors was a guaranteed contract to Adam Eaton and a misplaced faith in Kendrick.

Two, league minimum starters who can fill in the back of the rotation are *not* a dime-a-dozen. There is a reason teams shell out for Eaton, Silva, Marquis, Suppan, etc - it's hard to find.

Derosa is an alright player, but he's old, and I don't see how he fits in with this lineup. Ibanez is beyond stupid.

Loretta's stats as a PH are a significant step up from his standard stats, too -- 112 career OPS+ as a sub (mostly PH) vs. 100 as a starter. In other words, he has value beyond his defensive versatility. Was he a Type A?

Brian: I think letting Burrell go has been the FO strategy for the past three years. I"m sure they want to get more "athletic" in LF, and seem willing to sacrifice offense to do so.

Jack: Wait, so you're willing to bet the Cubs don't break the all time wins record. ballsy!

NEPP: The Ibanez rumors seem to make no sense, so I'm not gonna get upset about them until it actually happens.
And not that he's not a very good player. It's just that he's a lefty, gonna be 37, and we could get Burrell for cheaper.

Happ is as good as Blanton...can't wait to see the uproar that comment starts.

Is there justification for that comment?

I so see Amaro signing Ibanez as the solution in not only hamstrings us financially but it sacrifices a 1st round pick. It has the added bonus of blocking Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown.

Ibanez has never made more than $5.5MM; he will not get a bigger contract than Burrell for 2009.

kdon: Without Moyer who's the #5 starter on this team?

So if the Mets land K-Rod, it means they win the World Series, right? Kind of like Santana last year? I just want to prepare myself for the attack of anything and everything Mets when they sign a guy who has been overused the past three years and still isn't the way to gap the innings TO the closer.

Loretta 1.25M,bet the Phils offered atleast .5m.

It does make me wonder what kind of troll barrage we'll get after the K-Rod signing. Think they'll be more muted, or just as obnoxious as last year?

(Just remember to end any troll-baiting with "WFC.")

Gillick and Amaro had adjoining rooms. They have a microphone slipped under the adjoining door. Amaro wears an earpiece. Gillick wears a headphone set with a microphone, listening into the Peavy negotiations that Amaro insists be held at his "neutral" room. Gillick tells Junior what to say through his microphone. Sometimes Gillick will pull a string causing Amaro's head to nod agreeingly. Tied and gagged to a chair in Gillick's room is Ed Wade.

kdon, Derosa was in my class at Penn. The "old" comment made me feel, well, old.

But we only won because they suddenly started counting the 7th-9th innings. Had we been playing under standard little league rules of a 6 inning game, the Mets clearly were the better team.

Andy -- Trolls being muted? Ha! That's comedy at its finest! ;)

Random question: planning to buy a bunch of Phillies DVDs for friends and fam this xmas. Any thoughts on the best DVD? It looks like there are a bunch of them out there.

spitz: i havent seen any, but I am targetting 'The Perfect Season' as my #1 Phils DVD.

I am with BAP and Kdon. DeRosa is already 33 years old and last season was by far his best year. He most likely peaked already. At best he is a mediocre stopgap solution. Marquis is the definition of mediocre. Id take Happ and his cheap salary and some potential over Marquis any day.

Keeping up with the date analogy: helping the Cubs land Peavy to get DeRosa and Marquis is like being the wingman to help your enemy land the model, while you get to chat and hang out with her friend who is too old and fat to ever be a model.

Clout you are the one undervaluing our prospects. A few days ago you trashed my proposed trade of Peavy for Carrasco, Marson, and Donald saying Marson is ONLY the #43rd ranked prospect. Oops Vitters , the key to the Peavy trade to the Cubs, isn't even ranked in the top 50 prospects. Shows how much you know about our farm.

I'm (pleasently)surprised this Donald - Young talk still has some legs around the rumor mill. I really think this would be a great move for 09 and the future. There are still risks involved but i'd rather take a risk with DYoung's upside than risk Donald not becoming a MLB player.

I heard on Sports Center around 1:30 that Jason Stark is now reporting that the Peavy deal with the Cubs is nowhere close to be completed, contrary to what has been reported earlier in the day. With that said, however, he states that the Pads are only in talks with the Cubs and don't anticipate dealing with anyone else.

I don't know what to make of it. It's all still speculation at this point anyway. Take that for what it's worth.

****I'm (pleasently)surprised this Donald - Young talk still has some legs around the rumor mill.****

I'm stunned that my creation has lasted this long.

Clout, right now without Moyer the fifth spot is open. Even more reason not to trade Happ.

I think Carrasco should be ready to start sometime in '09, but I'm not comfortable with him right out of the gate.

Maybe Amaro wants to make his mark, but I'm still pretty sure we're going to see a rotation of Hamels/Myers/Blanton/Moyer/Happ and a platoon in LF of Jenkins with cheap FA/Mayberry/?.

If Moyer really wants $9M per, I would go heavy after Lowe or Burnett instead.

Almost all the Cubs rumors I read on MLBTR say that the cubs wont pull any deals until they find who their new owner is. So I dont expect much to happen with the Peavy situation anytime soon. And Deirkes is a Cubs fan too, so i'm sure he's extra ontop of those.

The only way this De-Rosa, Marquis trade makes sense would be if it were accompanied by the signing of a front-line starter like Lowe. But ask yourself: do you really think this ownership group, with 10 arbitration-eligible players to sign, is going to shell out for DeRosa, pay part of Marquis's contract (probably half), and STILL throw $15 or $16M at Derek Lowe? Those who sing the praises of this would-be trade need to ask themselves this question.

Happ & Coste for DeRosa & Marquis is a trade that sounds good in the abstract. But, as a practical reality, it would mean that we are done making significant acquisitions for the off-season. The end result would be a trade of: Happ, Coste, Burrell & Moyer for DeRosa, Marquis, and Kendrick/Eaton/Carrasco. That's a bad deal all around.

Gion, thanks for the fat comment too. A little lemon juice for the paper cut that kdon gave me.

whoever poted the Loretta deal for 1.25Mil: I agree with you that for only $1.25mil, I would have gladly have Loretta fill in for utley and use him off the bench throughout the year. Great value in my mind - although I've always overated Loretta in the past, but i still think he's great smallball guy to have on the bench.

kdon's analysis is exactly right.

You can't analyze this, or any other, trade in the abstract. You have to analyze it in terms of its consequences. Bringing in Marquis would fill our need for a No. 4 starter, but it still wouldn't solve our need to replace Jamie Moyer's 2008 production. Not only wouldn't it fill that need; it would pretty definitively signal that the Phillies don't plan to fill that need.

Saying that the Cubs will win the 2009 World Series because if they get Peavy is like those people who said the Mets would win the 2008 World Series if they got Santana.

Don't get me wrong, pitching wins championships but I think they Phillies showed that you don't need an amazing #1-2 punch to win the World Series. An excellent bullpen, a #1 starters and a deep rotation of three #3 starters (Myers, Moyer, Blanton) can win you a World Series. That;s why I have no problem with a rotation of Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Blanton/Happ with Kendrick and Carrasco waiting at AAA.

Of course we do need to fill Burrell's spot. Some combination of Stairs/Dobbs/Werth/Mayberry platooning LF and RF isn't going to cut it. DeRosa can play LF as well as all infield positions and although he wouldn't be my first choice, if we get him and somebody else for Happ, Coste, and helping the Cubs get Peavy and the Padres shed salary it wouldn't be a bad deal. But if we trade Happ we must sign Moyer or somebody similar. If we signed Lowe instead of Moyer would we go get a #5 starter? Or just let Kendrick/Carrasco/Eaton(haha) battle it out for the spot?

Great post by Beerleaguer!

Gion: Your reading skills are poor. While Vitters is indeed a key element in the trade with the Padres, the other players they are getting, according to the latest report, are Sean Marshall, Garrett Olson and Happ. In other words, three quality, major league ready pitching prospects and one of the top hitting porspects in baseball. Your offer had zero major league ready pitching prospects.

BAP: You seem to be clinging to the belief that the Phils are going to re-sign Burrell and Moyer.

"i havent seen any, but I am targetting 'The Perfect Season' as my #1 Phils DVD."

"Perfect" seems a poor word for a season in which the Phillies were demonstrably imperfect 73 times. "Pleasing" is more accurate, no?

Klaus: eh, I'm going with Perfect. If the Phils weren't horribly bad for close to half the season, it wouldn't have made all the other wins as good.

remember this is baseball - where hitting into an out 66% of your ABs is hall of fame worthy.

I just got in the mail the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Collector's Edition, it has all 5 WS games in their entirety, games 4 & 5 of the NLCS in their entirety, and a bonus DVD of the 2008 season. Will check it out and let people know what I think of it.

From Jon Heyman:

"LAS VEGAS -- The Phillies and Yankees appear for the moment to have emerged as the two most prominent contenders for star free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe, who seeks at least a five-year deal for about $80 million.

The 35-yer-old Lowe has been pursued by about 10 teams, but it appears those two have been among the more aggressive for Lowe. The Red Sox and Mets are among interested teams discouraged by the price. An official with one team interested in Lowe said he was "shocked" how high the bidding appears to be going."

We would never outbid the Yankees...I mean seriously, that's not even a possibility. Let him go why to NY and get crushed by the expectations there.

"I just got in the mail the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Collector's Edition, it has all 5 WS games in their entirety, games 4 & 5 of the NLCS in their entirety, and a bonus DVD of the 2008 season. Will check it out and let people know what I think of it."

Two questions:
1) Are the games in widescreen or full-frame?
2) Are there options to listen to the Phillies radio broadcast for any of the games?

NEPP: Yeah, but maybe he's just using the Yankees to get a sweeter pot from the Phillies. He's an extreme gb pitcher and maybe he prefers to pitch in the non-DH senior circuit for a team that is built to win now.

Damn you stjoehawk! Making me open this at work! Wait one...

Lowe for that length at those dollars terrifies me.

To offer another hook up analogy. I hope the Phillies FO and Burrell thing plays out like the long term on and off couple that say "this time we're really breaking up", but as time passes they don't find anyone else and pathetically crawl back to one another bc it's just easier and they're afraid of being alone.

Clout, since you are the english expert you should know being major league ready is a relative term. On a rebuilding team like the Padres, Carrasco is most likely major league ready as would be Jason Donald, opposed to a deeper contending team like the Phillies that can afford to keep developing them in the minors. That being said, I wouldn't be surpirsed if Donald started the season in the majors in place of Utley and Carrasco would most likely be called up sometime during the year.

Garret Olson had a 6.65 era and 1.73 whip last season in the majors. If he is your definition of major league ready, by your performance standards, I have no doubt Carrasco and Donald should be considered major league ready as they would most definitely perform at a higher lvl than Olson in the major leagues. Just look at Carrasco's preseason record with the Phillies last season.

On your about point of hitting prospects, Marson has been rated a better hitting prospect than Vitters by people who know much more than you and me about prospects and what it takes to be successful at the show.

Hence, I was suggesting two better quality major league ready talents in Carrasco and Donald and a better hitting prospect in Marson.

I'd revise calling other peoples reading skills poor when you are the one appearing incompetent.

stjoehawk: widescreen. You can select McCarver and Buck, Spanish, Phillies radio, or Rays radio. That said, I just discovered that my DVD for game 5 is defective! So it will have to be returned, but otherwise it looks awesome. Plus you can go full game, or select an inning mode.

Sounds like as long as K-Rod stays healthy and pitches like a normal closer, he'll get a 4-year deal in excess of $51M once the vesting option kicks in and you add the performance bonuses. Early on, the talk was 5 years, $75M ($15M per year), now he's at 4 years, $52M+ (@$13M per year).

"Are there options to listen to the Phillies radio broadcast for any of the games?"

You'd have to doubt it. I asked for what MPN has for Christmas but had second thoughts--would I really sit down and watch a game I'd already seen? But if I were to have Harry's call captured for all time then plainly, it'd be worth it.

"You can select McCarver and Buck, Spanish, Phillies radio, or Rays radio."

well, sh**.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

"The Padres shot down a national report that they are targeting Phillies catcher Chris Coste. Obviously things can change, but another source also poured cold water on multiple national reports that they are seeking Phillies pitching prospect J.A. Happ. They are seeking young pitching from the Phillies as part of the many scenarios involving three or four teams in a trade that would place Jake Peavy with the Cubs."

If the Mets sign K-Rod, I don't think that improves them dramatically. They'd still need to get to him first of all.

MPN - Thanks! That was what I was hoping for both answers. Although I'd really wonder about having the Rays radio on there - Are there really that many Rays fans who would buy the DVD set?

BobbyD: Clearly the Mets bullpen needs more than just K-Rod. Before Wagner went down, you're right, they had a lot of trouble just getting to the closer. is reporting that the Mets & K-Rod have reached an agreement. 3 years, $37M.

The only issue appears to be that they use the FOX TV feed, so if you listen to the Phillies radio, it doesn't sink up for the pre-game, etc. Not sure about post-game, and as I said, my game 5 disc was defective, but Amazon is sending me a replacement.

Maybe Ruben Amaro Jr. should enlist the help of a great salesman like Professor Harold Hill from the Music Man to get some of these trades done already. Hill would probably quote Scott Boras' allusion to Ryan Madson as "another Mariano Rivera" to the Cards and inspire an even swap of Madson for Ryan Ludwick.

He could probably also sell the Cubs on the idea that hometown boys are good gate and promote an even trade of Penn's Mark DeRosa for Northwest's J. Happ.

I'd bet he could even convince the Royals that the Phils could come up with something better than Jeff Francoeur's .239 BA, 11 HRs and 71 RBIs in exchange for Zack Greinke's 13-10 record, 3.47 ERA and 183 Ks.

Doubtless, the old professor could convince the Padres to eliminate the middleman Cubs and get some young talent directly from the Phils for Jake Peavy.

It may be stretching the imagination, but Hill might even be able to convince Amaro himself to ease up on the purse strings and buy some free agent talent like Ramirez, Ibanez, Kapler, Looper, Springer or Cruz.

Doc: Apparently a number of sources have shot down talk of a Francoeur for Greinke trade. I was skeptical when I first heard it.

If the Phillies trade Carrasco or Drabek for DeRosa, I'm going to take off work so I can go home and trash my apartment.

clout: Where did I say that Burrell & Moyer will be resigned? I said that the end result of the DeRosa-Marquis deal would be a swap of Happ, Coste, Burrell & Moyer for DeRosa, Marquis, and Kendrick/Eaton/Carrasco.

Burrell is as good as gone & it's looking like Moyer probably is too. But I don't see how replacing Moyer by trading away another starting pitcher would solve the problem of a starting pitching vacancy. We would, in effect, be replacing a No. 2 pitcher (2008 Moyer) with a No. 4 pitcher, while replacing a viable No. 5 starter with total garbage.

bap: Do you believe re-signing Moyer would mean re-signing a #2 pitcher?

If the DVDs are like they've been for other WFC teams of the past, the regular season heavy one (Perfect Season) won't have enough WS footage to please everyone and the WS one won't have enough regular season footage to please everyone.

They're usually limited to how much WS stuff ends up in the team highlight film.

"Perfect Season" refers to the narrator, one Brad Lidge, who, just as the trolls predicted, wouldn't have the mental fortitude to pitch in our joke of a ballpark.

Yo, new thread...

Gion: Your opionion is simply that: opinion.

1. You have zero evidence that Carrasco is more major league ready that the 3 pitchers they're getting.

2. They are getting THREE pitchers in the deal. In your proposal they get one and, in my opinion, he's not as advanced as the 3 they're getting.

3. I'm glad you love Marson and Donald, but Vitters was rated ahead of both of them by BA. He's 19. Marson and Donald are obviously more advanced, but do you think they have a higher ceiling?

4. Your beef isn't with me. It's with the Padres. But if you want to have an obsession with me, I'm flattered. You can join flipper.

Bottom line: My original point was that your fantasy of the Phillies landing Peavy was just that, a fantasy.

The Phils have reprotedly made an offer to Derek Lowe (14-11 W-L, 3.24 ERA and 147 Ks)who is reportedly seeking $90 million for 5 years.

To me, a much better deal would be A.J. Burnett (18-10, 4.07 and 231) who is reportedly seeking $80 million for 5 years.

I don't understand why the Phils haven't aggressively pursed Zack Greinke (13-10, 3.47 and 183) who the Royals are currently considering trading to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur.

I also don't understand why the Phils haven't already signed Braden Looper (12-14, 4.16 and 108) who is an inexpensive free agent who could be used as a starter or in long relief.

The Phils are already loaded with pitching and could become even stronger with inexpensive free agent acquisitions such as Looper, Springer and/or Cruz. This would allow the Phils to make such potential trades as Madson for Ryan Ludwick, Happ for Mark DeRosa and probably Condrey, Eyre and/or Durbin for some other attractive picks.

Jake Peavy 10-11 2.85 166

I can also see the Phils pursuing Jake Peavy (10-11 W-L, 2.85 ERA and 166 Ks) under the right circumstances but not in a 4 team tag-of-war with the Padres, Cubs and Orioles. Acquiring Mark DeRosa in such a trade makes sense but I'm not sure having to take on Jason Marquis is worth the loss of J. Happ. DeRosa could probably be acquired straight up for Happ or Chad Durbin in a seperate trade.

If it's true that the Zack Greinke - Jeff Francoeur trade is dead, the Phils should pursue Greinke post haste. The kid is young and has a bright future ahead. The Phils have plenty of bench they could spare along with some attractive farm hands. If the Royals were even willing to consider Francoeur for Greinke, they'd probably be able to pick 2 or 3 Phiilies that they found attractive and that the Phils could swap.

In an unrelated matter, the Dodgers 2-year $45 million offer for Manny Ramirez is still the best offer to date and many potential suitors have already dropped out of the running. Ramirez appears to be there for the taking and the taking might not cost nearly as much as everyone initially expected.

All this talk about trading for infield help, i.e., DeRosa, Punto, Loretta (now gone), makes me worry that Utley is going to out for a good deal longer than we've been led to believe.

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