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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Comments

Gosh. What's up with Saito? Injury? If he'd set-up and is still healthy he would be a scary addition.

Miles would be a terrific (albeit non-impact) addition. The Phillies haven't had a utility player who could actually hit in a very long time. Plus, if they signed Miles, it would free them up to trade Bruntlett for Jake Peavy.

I hope Ruben has already been on the phone with Wigginton's agent. With Ibanez now around, finding PT for him, even with the injuries, might be a tough sell. But I'd love to have him on the Phils.

From last thread:

To those predicting a significant decline for Ibanez as happened with Luis Gonzalez and Gary Sheffield - are you taking into account Ibanez's track record of health and innings played? Chronological age is not, necessarily, the best predictor of physical health. Current physical status is. Ibanez had been a rock, and neither Gonzalez or Sheffield hat the same #'s of ABs when ages 33-36 as Ibanez.

And those who are saying that the relative ages is a basis on which to favor keeping Burrell over signing Ibanez - are you taking into account the likely decline in Burrell's health status if he continues to play left field on a daily basis?

My guess is that if he does sign with a team to play left, and they don't lift him in the late innings as Cholly did, Burrell's health will decline at a faster rate than Ibanez's.

It seems that as with the Feliz/Dobbs debate, when it comes to Burrell, some folks just want to hammer away at the same one-sided analysis.

I'd say the advisability of the trade-off of Burrell for Ibanez is debatable - but it just ain't the slam dunk mistake that some folks portray it to be.

Plus, if they signed Miles, they could carry a 6-man bullpen. He has made 3 pitching appearances, including one in that 20-2 Phillies win last season.

Withat the Cubs now backing out of the Peavy talks what are the chances that the Pad's let him go for a lesser package then what hs already been offered, Just like Santana last year? Whether the Phils would be able to get into it or not, what would we have to give up to get him?
I know it most likely would not happen and that it is a pipe dream, but so was thinking about winning the World Series at this time last year.
I would like to know what people on here think about it.

""To those predicting a significant decline for Ibanez as happened with Luis Gonzalez and Gary Sheffield - are you taking into account Ibanez's track record of health and innings played?

And those who are saying that the relative ages is a basis on which to favor keeping Burrell over signing Ibanez - are you taking into account the likely decline in Burrell's health status if he continues to play left field on a daily basis?

My guess is that if he does sign with a team to play left, and they don't lift him in the late innings as Cholly did, Burrell's health will decline at a faster rate than Ibanez's.

It seems that as with the Feliz/Dobbs debate, when it comes to Burrell, some folks just want to hammer away at the same one-sided analysis.

I'd say the advisability of the trade is debatable - but it just ain't the slam dunk mistake that some folks portray it to be.""

phlipper, are you serious?

You're now a medical expert who can "guess" that a guy 5 years younger is going to decline faster? Based on what evidence?

Do you have more than anecdotal evidence of where that has happened before - evidence where the decline wasn't injury related?

Is it an "educated guess" you're making, or are you just engaging in anti-fact based blather because you "feel" like it?

What "one-sided analysis" are you posting about? Please be specific in your response?

What "trade" are you talking about? Please advise.

From last thread: Do we have room for Wiggington? The bench right now is Dobbs, Jenkins, Stairs, Bruntlett, Coste/Paulino. Even if we move Stairs, don't we need a speed guy/pinch runner/5th OF? I don't think Ty will be tying his ties in Philadelphia.

b-a-p:
I like the Bruntlett for Peavy trade. Think they'd throw in Chase Headley?

Also: I wanted to note Miles' Eatonesque 6.00 career ERA. It has Value Village written all over it.

Looking at the list, Jason got all the highlights (Saito, Capuano, Miles). One additional name which could be an interesting minor league addition is Christian from the Yanks. He's fast and hit like .310ish at AAA. He'll never hit for power or be more than a AAAA OF, but a RH contact/OBP OF with speed might come in handy if both Jenkins and Stairs flame out.

JW, I was glad to see Condrey finally get a decent payday.

I know others here, most notably clout, who has called him a "fringe" MLB pitcher (we disagree), have been down on him, but for the role he serves, he has been more than adequate, and better than more than half the "7th" guys out of the pen the last couple of years.

Damn it. We clearly signed Ibanez to finally hit super righty Tim Redding, and now he's going to Colorado.

myno - See? That's how it works. You post:
"Even if we move Stairs, don't we need a speed guy/pinch runner/5th OF?"

And I post "Justin Christian."

The only step missing is where the Phils go and sign Wigginton.

phlipper: Player-to-player projections can be used to illustrate a point, but they are ultimately meaningless, since there is no way to know whether Player A will follow the same pattern as Player B. But let's just say there haven't been too many players who, without the aid of steroids, posted big statistical seasons at the ages of 38 and 39. Paul Molitor springs to mind as one who did -- hitting .341 the year he turned 40. If Ibanez is another, he will be the very rare exception. The Phillies are basically staking a $30M bet on the 3-legged horse.

You mean we'll only see Cy Redding twice a year at most instead of the 4 - 5 times the Nats threw him at us? My heart is bleeding profusely.

bap, I second Andy's response. I love Bruntlett for Peavy too. LOL!

bap, off the top of my head I can think of one other guy who posted a big year at about 40 - Ted Williams.


Interestlingly, he and Molitor are both in the HOF.


I guess phlipper thinks Ibanez is headed the same place. :)

Saito had some experimental procedure done on his arm after his injury. He is a guy it would be worth taking a risk on since I think he would be willing to pitch in the 7th or 8th, but as long as he isn't too expensive and there would have to be a back-up plan.

Redding would be a decent 5th starter but if the Phillies re-sign Moyer I would rather just slot Happ in the 5th starter's spot. Redding can certainly pitch in CBP though!
Another starter who got non-tendered was Daniel Cabrera. He's a reclamation project but if they need another starter for the backend of the rotation he;d be more intereesting and cheaper than signing Garland or acquiring Marquis.

The Marlins nontendered relief pitcher Joe Nelson. He pitched really well last year and I remember seeing him against the Phillies. I think our bullpen is pretty much set and he probably just had a career year but he might worth taking a look at.

@ AWH: i agree completely! phlipper, in 1 paragraph you say "age is not necassarily, the best predictor of health" (to show just that Ibanez is 37 doesnt automaticaly mean he will decline, which i see you'r point) BUT in the very next paragraph you say "are you taking into account the likely decline of Burrel's health status if he continues to play LF"
soooo Burrel (who is younger) will likely decline physicaly from playing in the field, but Ibanez (who is much older) will be fine?!?! because he has a track record?? if Burrel will potentialy decline from playing in the field why the hell will Ibanez be fine from doint the same thing???
& REV, theres one small difference that i see: Santana was one year away from free agency, i believe Peevey's still under contract for a few more years. the twins were in a postion where they had to trade JS (he also pretty much demanded one too, if i remember)either, during last off season, or @ the deadline (which it never came to). the Padres can hold on to Peevey thru the entire year if they feel like it & try to get a better package of prospects next year. imo.

Ted Williams posted a 179 OPS+ at 39 and 114 at 40.
Molitar: 104, 86.

No one thinks Ibanez will have a 179 OPS+ in 2011, but not many players have their best seasons at 34 either (and Ibanez did.) I think it's more likely than not that he'll post above a 120 OPS+ next year. He'll probably lose some power over the next two seasons, but stay somewhere around .280/.350. This is a loss in SLG that's park-adjusted, however. I think he'll hit at least 25 HR next year.

I agree with the BL consensus but not the BL hyperbole. There were better moves out there (offering Burrell arbitration, wait and see what Wigginton would be worth -- I even think I'd rather pay Manny $30M for one year of services than pay Ibanez for 3/$30M. But this isn't a disaster move.

Leaders in BA in their Age 38 season:
Ty Cobb .357
Sam Rice .349
Moises Alou .341
Eddie Collins .336
Pete Rose .325
Johnny Cooney .319
Rickey Henderson .315
Harold Baines .312

etc.

The closest comparison, IMO, is Moises Alou. He had great offensive numbers, was weak in the field and not particularly fast. After that year cenrtifugal force played havoc with his physical abilities.

"I agree with the BL consensus but not the BL hyperbole."

Yeah, but Sophist, the hyperbole is much, much more fun. Knowing that they coulda done better but he'll kinda be okay, probably is like drinking your Flavoraid™ spiked with Cod Liver Oil instead of Rat Poison.

Moises Alou is an okay comparison, only in his age 33-34-35 seasons he played 394 games for the HOU/Cubs (1632 PA). He played in 150+ games in his 36 and 37 seasons, 123 in his 38. He peaked at 31, in 1998, what may have been the heart of the roids era (the year McGwire hit 70 by the way.)

Ibanez played 470 games in his 33-34-35 seasons (a full 162 last year) amassing 2025 PA. Alou played in more games at 37 than he did in any 33-35. Ibanez can't do that, but he's been more durable year-by-year than Alou.

I'm with Sophist on this one. I would've offered Burrell arb or went the cheap route with Wigginton, but Ibanez isn't a waste of money.
This move puts way too much pressure on Jayson Werth. This a bit premature, but the right-handed presence in this lineup could eventually come from Donald and Marson. Paulino also seems to crush lefthanded pitching.(.915 ops)

Stats are invaluable in the decision making process, but I like watching the games too. It'll be nice to see someone make contact after Howard whiffs with the bases loaded.

I prefer to be balanced, Andy. But, then again, I also prefer a balanced Beerleaguer (which requires hyperbole anyway.) Don't let me stop your fun. Just adding my two cents.

Now that it's impossible, wouldn't you throw out a 1 year $30M offer to Manny before spending $30M on Ibanez too? I mean, if you have to spend $30M? Manny would make this team a monster next year, you could structure Moyer (or whatever SP this team signs) to defer payment, and then you can wait and see with D Brown and Taylor for 2010 or 2011.

yeah, needless to say, Werth is a big part of this team's offensive success next year. If Utley, Werth, and Ibanez are healthy, I like to look of this team (especially in the right order.) The Phils can't be done though. Coste is getting moved, hopefully something good will come of that.

sophist: Ibanez is an excellent ball player and it's hard to use the label "disaster move" when you sign a good ball player. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say that Ibanez will probably put up good numbers next year, serviceable ones in 2010, and, by 2011, he'll be a platoon player. But who knows? He could also start to decline next year. That risk is always present when you sign a 37-year old player, no matter who he is. And, when Ibanez starts to decline, his ability to hit left-handers will be the first thing that goes.

"wait and see with D Brown and Taylor for 2010 or 2011."

This is the part where I might explore D Young a bit more. Dom Brown and Michael Taylor look like a pair of future monsters. And, fingers crossed, they may develop as we all hope. But they also have not cleared that important full AA season which separates the future MLBers from the AAAA-top ceiling guys. If put all our eggs into the waiting game we might have the late '90s ahead of us instead of the late '70s.

OTOH - If all Ibanez can do is platoon by 2011, maybe Taylor will be ready for that platoon and while $10M is a lot for a platoon player, $10.4 is not too bad for a full LF complement.

You do have to kinda wonder if the Ibanez signing just raised the amount say, Hendrickson, is asking a bit. There's bound to be someone in the NL East who'd like to add a LHP (who can start or relieve) to have on hand entering a series with the Phils.

I forgot about Moises Alou. Yes, he is an old player who can still rake. Unfortunately, he is also an old player who can't stay off the DL for more than 5 days.

By the way Ibanez's contract is structured he'll due 11.5 mil in both '10 and '11

"You're now a medical expert who can "guess" that a guy 5 years younger is going to decline faster? Based on what evidence? "

The evidence would be past health conditions. Burrell has had chronic conditions that have limited his effectiveness. Ibanez hasn't. On that basis, I'd say that Burrell is more likely to decline over the next few years due to health than Ibanez - despite the difference in their ages. Chronological age is not as good a predictor of future health, within a limited range, as past health.

I'm not saying that there isn't reason to expect some decline from Ibanez. Logic dictates that Ibanez is on the down side of his career. I'm talking about the rate of that decline. If you think that the trade was a mistake because Ibanez is likely to decline significantly the last two years of his contract, I'd disagree. He is in great shape and has shown no sign of decline as of yet. He could drop off a cliff - but I think that's unlikely.

Platoon player by his third year like BAP suggests? Maybe.

"I'd say the advisability of the trade-off of Burrell for Ibanez is debatable - but it just ain't the slam dunk mistake that some folks portray it to be."

Try reading that again, AWH, and maybe you'll figure it out.

As for the one-sidedness of the debate, I'm talking about folks who are blinded to Burrell's weaknesses (like his previous health issues being relevant to projections of his future health status) just as they are blinded to the downsides of starting Dobbs (by minimizing the importance of Feliz's defense, the important of having Dobbs on the bench to pinch hit in late innings, etc).

Agreed about Werth. He could be the key to the season.

The verdict will be in on Taylor once he proves himself this season in Reading. For now, he's an older prospect with some lingering question marks who hit Class-A pitching well last season.

Two points:

1. Why does anything think that Cholly won't use Ibanez the same way he did Burrell because Ibanez is also a liability defensively and on the basepaths?

2. Key with Ibanez is maintaining his power stroke during his contract with the Phils. If anything, Ibanez has been the model of consistency during his entire career via AVG and OBP.

I agree with Sophist that Ibanez likely to hit for a high average (.270-.290) and manage a decent OBP (.335-.350). The key is the ability to continue to hit doubles and HRs at a good clip.

Likely that Ibanez still hits 20-25 HRs next year. The question is though is do the Phils get stuck with a guy who is a considerable liability on the basepaths and defensively while only being league average from an OPS+ perspective in 2010 and 2011.

You don't pay $11.5M to that type of production.

That said. This lineup did need the type of hitter that Ibanez is - a guy who hits for a high average, doesn't strike out that much, and still manages a very solid OBP. Ibanez does bring that. Just too bad he isn't right-handed.

"1. Why does anything think that Cholly won't use Ibanez the same way he did Burrell because Ibanez is also a liability defensively and on the basepaths? "

I think he might - but my guess is that he won't, at least not as consistently, because part of the reason that Cholly had his replacement-policy with Burrell was his concern about Burrell breaking down - which won't be as much of a consideration with Ibanez.

Last thing - Opportunity Cost

Now that the Phils have spent considerable money on acquiring Ibanez, they pretty much have exhausted their offseason budget. Besides maybe resigning Moyer and some very minor parts, that is going to be about it. Hope it is enough.

yeah, MG. recall that the Phils were merely average in AVG and OBP last year, taking ~20 point drops in each from '07.

Ibanez hasn't hit below .280 since 2000 (and he became a full time player in 2001.) Besides 01 and 05, the lowest his BA has been is .289. The same is true of his OBP. .335 would be surprising. The lowest OBP he's had since 2000 is .345.

Yeah. Phils probably spent $750-$800k to bring back a guy who sole real ability at this point is to play multiple positions.

I really hope we don't have to watch 6-8 weeks of Bruntlett play slightly above average and bring nothing to the plate offensively at 2B to start the season until Utley comes back. A Ruiz-Bruntlett-P would be brutal to watch offensively.

To insinuate that fans who feel Pat Burrell is an inferior player to Ibanez don't appreciate OPS is wrong. OPS is maybe the most important stat there is for a hitter. However, it does'nt tell the whole story in some cases. Burrell compares with Howard in OPS, but is nowhere near the player that Howard is. Adam Dunn is another one who isnt as good as his OPS suggests. A player who can't play defense, can't run who either walks, strikes out, or POPS out 500 plate appearances a season is not overly valuable... Now if he walks over150 times or HITS for a higher percentage in clutch situations, thats a different story.
Burrell does'nt do that. So his 30 HRs 100 walks don't impress me.

Sophist - Between the dropoff between Ruiz, JRoll, and Howard's numbers and bringing in low AVG/OBP like Feliz/Jenkins, the Phils' AVG and OBP did take a big hit.

Ibanez helps but I would be surprised to see these numbers go up that much especially given that Utley is likely going to miss some considerable time.

Hopefully they do since the .SLG pct is likely to take a moderate hit with Utley missing considerable time (6-8 weeks).

mike - What?

I'm tired of this Burrell/Ibanez debate already. I think we can all admit Ibanez is a fine player, just possibly not the best fit for the Phils current roster and albeit old, he's still productive.

I'm concerned about the rotation right now. Is it Moyer or is it Lowe? Or someone else entirely?

It has to be Moyer. Are they still pursuing Lowe? I doubt it, especially after Burnett got $16.5/year.

Has there been any update on the Phils' pursuit of either Chan Ho Park or Jerry Hairston, Jr.? Both of those guys could be useful upgrades (to the bullpen and bench, respectively)...although the roster seems more or less set at this point, no?

So the Mets had a lot of money tied up in this wall st fraud case. I wonder how that'll effect their spending.

King Myno: Good one about Redding/Ibanez.

Wiggington seems like a great fit on this ballclub if they were to dump Feliz or before the Ibanez signing. I'd still love to see him in a Phillies uniform, but I'm sure he'll sign someplace where he's guaranteed a starting job.

What about Tavaraz or Gaithright as an extra outfielder? Tavaraz can probably find a starting job somewhere, but just in case he can't. We need some speed off the bench, insurance for CF and a defense sub for Ibanez.

Jeltz ftH:
Which Hairston you think they'd get? 2008 Hairston? Or 2006 and 2007 Hairston? The earlier two years were worse than Gnome's 2008.

baxter - Think they'd like to dump some salary and send us Santana for Kendrick? (Of course, we might not need him after we flip Bruntlett to S.D...)

my balls are still itchy

Any interest in non-tendered Jonny Gomes as a RH OF bat? Slugged .510 vs. LHP in his career.

Andy: Well...I'm hoping for the 2008 version, obviously. Of course this being the Phillies, I'm expecting the 2006/2007 version.

Hairston certainly had some pretty brutal years in 2006 and 2007 with the Rangers and Cubbies. Heck, if you add up the collective OPS+ at all of his stops in those years [(Cubs '06) 27, (Rangers '06) 43, and (Rangers '07) 42 = 112], they still don't beat his OPS+ from last year (a friggin' sweet 127 with the Reds). It was a very un-Gnome-like 2008 from Hairston.

If the Phils can get him relatively cheaply, then I'd like to see him on their bench, as he can play literally EVERYWHERE on the diamond (except, you know, catcher or pitcher) and field the position fairly competently. Plus, he hits right-handed.

Jeltz ftH: I'm not sure Miles wouldn't be better.

At this point, I'm still wondering if the best "bang from the buck" non-tender wouldn't be Saito. Is he injured or something? Anyone know?

Andy: Yes, he had some freaky platelet-rich plasma blood replacement thingie done to his elbow in lieu of surgery. So yeah, nobody is really sure if he's healthy, particularly the Dodgers..thus the non-tender.

GM-Carson - Ibanez just signed a few days ago. Not like rehashing something that happened last season or even longer.

Agreed about the starter. Phils are likely going to sign another starter (and they need to). Just a question of who it is.

Clearly not going to be a guy like Lowe. That would require the Phils to move a significant salary. Moyer isn't going to get to 2 yrs/$20M.

Just a question if he settles for the supposed 2 yr/$15M or similiar amount. I bet he does and that largely finishes the Phils' offseason.

JftH:

I've heard good things about freaky platelet-rich plasma blood replacement thingies; we should sign him post-haste!

(j/k)

The Phillies must have a "few" extra million laying around, with Phillies in the post season, and being WPC, since the CBP was a gold mine last year and all of the merchandising for Phillies and world series gear has gone thru the roof.

Why can't they take the risk and get Lowe or entice Peavy by bumping his contact up if he agrees to comes to Philadelphia?

MG- I know Ibanez was just signed, but we've been debating him for about 2 weeks now. I see the positives and the negatives, now we just have to wait and see which one tips the balance.

I don't want to hear about the Phillies crying about poverty. I got my ticket six pack this week. Last year I got it about 6-8 weeks later. I got comparable games for each year. Last year I was able to get in the 312-329 section for most of the games including some first row seats. They had first row available for everything in the 400 level. This year all they had were 3rd row for the 400 level and many of the 400 level sections had well past 3rd row sold. I asked the guy if season ticket sales were up that much and he said yes. I predict a 90% sellout rate next year based on what I saw the other day (which was only the 2nd day six packs were on sale). All this is with increased ticket prices.

Then I went to the Majestic Clubhouse Store and they have loads more merch this year than they did last year with much more variety and of course that beautiful World Series logo on everything. They have to be selling merch like crazy.

This is not a team that is struggling financially. I have no problem letting Jamie Moyer walk and using that money to add to the Derek Lowe fund. I demand Derek Lowe.

Looks like new addition K-Rod was the first retarded Mets to pop off at the mouth this offseason...NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Rodriguez has a message for the Philadelphia Phillies and the rest of the NL East.
“Of course, we’re going to try to win the division. Of course, we’re going to be the front-runner. Of course, we’re going to be the team to beat,” he said Saturday.
Four days after agreeing to a $37 million, three-year contract, K-Rod was confident the Mets will put consecutive September collapses behind and overtake the World Series champion Phillies in ruling the NL East.
“I don’t want there to be a controversy or the other ballclubs in that division to take it personally or take it in a bad way,” he said. “If they ask me, ’Oh, which ballclub is going to win the National League East?’ It’s going to be the Mets. Easy question.”

Original.

"Burrell has had chronic conditions that have limited his effectiveness."

Hmmm, phlipper, that would be his foot, no? He had it surgically corrected and it's fine now. Have you examined his medical records and can offer a different opinion than his doctors?


" Chronological age is not as good a predictor of future health, within a limited range, as past health."

That may be true of the general population for all medical ailments, but what evidence do you have that among professional athletes that surgically corrected injuries are a greater predictor of a decline in athletic production than age?

That IS the crux of you argument, is in not? So I assume you can point us to a medical study or two that demonstrate this. Any study that is specific to professional baseball players would be especially beneficial.

Or, are you just engaging in conjecture to bolster your argument?


Scant of any medical studies that bolster your post, phlipper, your entire argument boils down to: "because I said so".

KRod just talking and saying his team is going to win. Big deal. Nothing wrong with that. Personally, less flashy than Hamels saying the Mets "were chokers."

Personally, I really enjoy the Mets-Phils rivalry the last 2 years (and hopefully for the next few to continue). With so many division games, a real rivalry makes them a bit more tolerable.

Now if he walks over150 times or HITS for a higher percentage in clutch situations, thats a different story.
Burrell does'nt do that. So his 30 HRs 100 walks don't impress me.

Posted by: mikes77phillies | Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 02:01 PM


"Yikes77", Pat Burrell is a career .257 hitter, and a career .263 hitter with RISP.

In light of that , please explain how your statement is true.

now my a$$ is also itchy...where is my astroglide?

Carson - Check your sources. They left out some KEY words.

Here is what he actually said:

"Of course we WANT to win the division. Of course we WANT to be the front runners, and of course we WANT to be the team to beat."

Huge difference.

And I'm curious... why wasn't Rollins a "retarded Phillie" when he popped off at the mouth two years ago? They hadn't accomplished anything when he said that.

My mistake Carson. It looks like there are conflicting reports. Matt from Metsblog (who was actually on the conference call) included the "want to" in the transcript, while AP reported "going to".

I'll have to get a clarification from Matt.

As a fan of the WFCs, I'm not really into a chicken little mood right now. But if this happens, I won't be posting on here for about a week, cause I won't wanna deal with trolls. After that I'll post frequently about how Junior got taken to school:

http://www.centralmainesportsblog.com/2008/12/yankees-sign-burnett-may-be-out-on-lowe.html

After spending almost a quarter of a billion dollars on pitching, the Yankees are unlikely to sign Lowe, which leaves the Mets, Braves and Phillies. However, after being defrauded by their hedge fund manager, the Mets could have a lot less money than previously believed. Keeping Lowe away from the Mets or Braves has to be worth a few million dollars.

If we don't sign Lowe, we could end up trading multiple top prospects to acquire a true #2 starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Right now, we'd only be giving up a 2nd round pick. This won't happen, but if the Phillies signed Lowe and another middle reliever, they'd be favorites to repeat as champs.

btw-Anyone still not convinced that Raul Ibanez was a Pat Gillick move, watch the video on phillies.com. It was recorded before the signing, but he talks a lot about "intangibles".

We're not gonna sign any of the non-tenders.

Did anyone see whether or not Marcus Thames was tendered or not? He would have been a good fit for RH bat.

For all this blog's Keith Law fans, he says the signing of Ibanez is "absurd," citing all the standard arguments we've engaged in over the past two weeks. No surprise from a stats guy, I suppose.

NEPP: Tigers held on to him. Aquilino Lopez, however, is available.

So heres a thought: Our lineup won't be lefty heavy until June most likely as Utley will be out till then (I don't buy the April prediction on major hip surgery, not anymore as players cant use steroids/HGH to recover "magically" from injuries) So without Utley there, Our lineup won't be anymore unbalanced than it was last year for the first 2-3 months.

Till he's back we might very well bat Ibanez 3rd

Rollins
Werth
Ibanez
Howard
Victorino
~insert 2B here~
Feliz/Dobbs
Ruiz

All the Mets fans got so worked up JRoll said the Phils were "the team to beat" 2 years ago. Big deal.

In the current age where the media environment jumps on anything and where teams/players go out of their way not to say anything controversial about their opponents, I find it refreshing. Not like JRoll said anything really controversial or demeaning to the Mets. Same goes for what KRod said.

Oh well on Thames...I've always liked him.

Nevermind- the Braves don't want Lowe and the Red Sox only want him at a good price. If we didn't just spend $30 mil, we'd have a great shot at signing Lowe. Didn't he say he wanted to come here? What would it take? $60m over 4 years?

Everyone talks about getting rid of Howard, but J-Roll's contract expires a year earlier and he'll probably demand 15m a year. I think they're much more likely to sign Howard at 20/year than JRoll at 15/year. J-Roll is three years older, has a tiny frame, shows signs of decline and plays a more demanding position. If Donald looks like he can play SS, that move could start to look obvious next off-season.

No, Boras pretty much fabricated all of that simply to drive up Lowe's price with the Yankees.

How did JRoll show signs of decline? He just had his best defensive season of his career. Granted his bat fell back but 07 was a career year for him. 08 was in line with his last few seasons otherwise..especially when you remember the ankle injury hampered him for the 1st half.

Dear Derek:

I know that your agent, Scott Boras, really does not like Philadelphia. I know he tells you horror stories about the terrible mistreatment of J.D. Drew. I know that you believe that, on the wider national stage that is New York, you might dominate national attention in a gratifying way. I even know that your last trip into our fair city was less than pleasurable.

However, if you should decide to make your demands reasonable in your negotiations with Junior, I think that you will find some benefits to the city of Philadelphia. While some might mention cheesesteaks and pretzels, and others might mention the proximity to many East Coast attractions, there are some other fine and attractive reasons to come here.

First is that you would be backed by a devastating offensive juggernaut which often bludgeons the opposition regardless of whether the starting pitcher has an off-day or not. Secondly, as a groundball pitcher, your abilities would dominate the opposing pitchers and leave him at a significant disadvantage. Third, finally, and, of course, highest on the list, you would become a member of the reigning WFCs, poised to defend their title, a task made easier by your presence.

Derek, I know that you have a lot on your mind, in this off-season. Your career is at a cross-roads and you may be poised to make your final long-term deal. I think it is incumbant upon you to consider the possibility that no city offers a better chance to acquire a WFC ring than one which has courted you to this point, namely our fair city, Philadelphia F Pennsylvania, home of the WFCs.

Thank you for your time and kind consideration,

Beerleaguer

P.S. We promise to place Campaign Cheer into permanent effect whenever you pitch at home. Honest.

Baxter - Depends on who will be pronounced the "favorites" largely on what the Mets/Phils do in regards to their starting pitching. Both team right now have big question marks at 4 and 5 spots.

I still don't understand this speculation about the Phils signing Lowe though. As Bonehead and others have pointed out, the Opening Day payroll will be about $115M (and closer to $130M if you include the "dead" money from Thome, Eaton, and buyouts).

Only way the Phils touch Lowe is if they trade a major contract/salary.

MG - Or change the budget.

Blasphemy!!! We can't CHANGE THE BUDGET!!!

First of all, I love all the Hamels and K-Rod trash talking. Phillies vs. Mets is a rivalry that needs to be fueled, not extinguished. It is the perfect rivalry right now.

Secondly, I took a little bike ride over to the stadium today for some exercise. As I approach the stadium I see a lot of cars parked, which is unusual cause usually there is no one around there. I get over to the third base entrance just as the Phanatic is getting off a fire truck to light the Phillies Christmas tree in front of what the MC called "the biggest turnout yet for the lighting of the tree."

I then ask one of the employees about what is going on for Sunday and ask him if they had a good turnout today. He says "yeah there were over 1000 people here."

They were all buying Phillies merch.

This team is making money. I demand Derek Lowe.

Also, I had a nice view of the stunning World Series trophy. Man, it is sweet looking. Bring it on K-Rod.

For all the fellows who like to use OPS+ to distort the truth.

Ibanez RISP
Career.305/.380/.493/.873
08 .327/.397/.480/.877
07 .328/.411/.569/.980
06 .337/.424/.627/1.050

Ibanez RISP 2 Outs
Career .287/.385/.469/.854
08 .324/.407/.479/.886
07 .324/.425/.618/1.043
06 .377/.506/.656/1.162

Burrell RISP
Career .263/.386/.467/.853
08 .234/.358/.469/.827
07 .258/.411/.477/.888
06 .222/.376/.346/.722

Burrell RISP 2 Outs
Career .244/.389/.467/.856
08 .183/.341/.366/.707
07 .255/.438/.473/.911
06 .167/.363/.256/.619

As you can see, Burrells OPS compares to Ibanez over his career in these situations. But it is easy to see that Ibanez is the much more productive player. As I have said before, he HITS with men on base. Burrell walks.(How on earth do you get an OBP that is 200 points higher than your AVG). Burrell isnt a run producer.

At the beginning of this off-season, I predicted they'd spend about $18m, and that still looks about right.
However, they're one of the few clubs flush with cash right now and have about $30 million coming off the books in 2010. Its unlikely we'll sign Lowe, but the market is working in our favor.

-Dodgers said Lowe won't return.
-Cubs have financial problems.
-Mets are frontrunners, but might prefer Oliver Perez.
-Braves don't want him.
-Red Sox don't want to pay him.
-Yankees prefer Sheets.
-Nats might be interested, but Lowe wants to play for a contender.
-Angels aren't interested.

So its really just the Mets, who just lost $300 million dollars in a ponzi scheme. See where this is going? Lowe says he doesn't necessarily need a lot of years, if the money is right. If Lowe's price comes down to around 3/$42, he'd be a solid investment. $14m/year for a durable, consistent sinkerballer coming off a 131 ERA+, 1.12 WHIP season? Any other year, those numbers would fetch a contract worth $80+ million. We'd be getting him for half that, at the duration of our choosing.

When you're flush with cash in a weak market, not take advantage?

I don't see Lowe's price coming down to 3 years, 42 million...especially after that massive Burnett contract. He'll still get 4 years just because of that.

I agree that htey should just bust the budget and nab him though...especially with all that money coming off hte books next year and losing Moyer and Myers from the pitching staff...assuming even Moyer resigns for 09 that is.

With the Yankees out of the bidding, who will pay Derek Lowe over 15 million/year? Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says "I don't think he's going to sign for anything close to what Burnett recieved".
There are four starting pitchers(Lowe, Perez, Sheets, Garland) looking for a long-term deal from the Mets, whose owners just lost $300 million. Plus, the Mets seem to be leaning toward resigning Oliver Perez. If we offered Lowe 3/$42m right now, I bet he'd accept. That'd be a very aggressive offer in this market.

We should then offer it to him. I'd much rather have Derek Lowe in our rotation than Jamie Moyer in 09. Nothing against Gramps. Hell, I wouldn't mind both but that won't happen now that we have Ibanez.


We could sign Taveras as a 5th outfielder strictly as a defensive replacement for Ibanez and as a basestealer. (not serious...well not very serious anyway as we don't have a videogame budget here)

Of those options, I hope the Mets sign Garland; he's freakin' terrible and all indications point to him getting worse. Perez, Sheets, and, in particular, Lowe are guys that I don't want to see in a Mets uniform next season.

It's times like these...oh who am I kidding, I think this constantly...I wish the Phils FO was run by folks willing to spend money when necessary; wisely, mind you. This self-imposed cap is so darn frustrating for us fans. It'd be nice to see the FO suck it up, cut into their sizable profit a little, and shell out the money for a front line starter like Derek Lowe. Ah well, to dream perchance to land a solid starting pitcher.

I wonder if they understand that making the playoffs again in 2009 would mean even more money?

Signing Lowe would help them greatly in that regard

Hamels
Lowe
Myers
Blanton
Happ

That's a damn good rotation to go with a solid lineup and great bullpen...why can't they bite the bullet, use that playoff revenue and remember that a TON of money is coming off the books next year so its essentially a one year issue of busting the budget for a very solid #2 starter.

I would love to see Lowe here too but it ain't happening. Phils just aren't going to jump up $14-$15M even if it is just 3 years.

If Moyer doesn't sign here again (I see it hard to believe he will get more than the supposed 2 yr/$15M), then they go the discount route into the second-tier of starters or if the price comes down on a guy like Garland.

I would love to see the Mets sign Garland to a 3 yr/$30-$36M deal. Also wouldn't mind seeing them spend a small fortune on essentially an average pitcher in Perez (say 4 yrs/$52-$56) either.

Giving Moyer a 2 year deal will simply guarantee that we'll have $7-8 million in dead money on the payroll for the 2010 season...i.e. it will be like we're still carrying Eaton's contract.

Ruben - "We want to get younger and more athletic"

~signs a 37 year old left fielder with no range~

Ruben - "We won't be sentimental or this isn't the time to be sentimental"

~offers a 46 year old pitcher a 2 year deal~


So, seriously, we're basically proving that Ruben is a liar liar pants on fire.

Hey, we won a World Series. I am going to believe that anything is possible. Throw me into the camp that thinks that the our Phillies will sign Derek Lowe. It may not be a rational belief, but neither was us winning the world series at this time last year...

"So, seriously, we're basically proving that Ruben is a liar liar pants on fire."

Misdirection? Working on being a slick illusionist inspired by GOB Bluth?

Yikes77, thanks. Did you notice the huge decline over the last 3 years in Ibanez's SLG the last three years in the stats you posted?

Hmmmmm, maybe phlipper the "conjecture king" needs to review them before he make another idiotic comment about how Ibanez is less of a risk for a major decline than PB.

NEPP, That's why "Liar Liar" is Amaro, Jr.'s nickname.

What amazes me is that I'm sure the Phillies FO fancies themselves as ethical people. Well, maybe they demonstrate some sort of private probity, but their public ethics, at least as far as their public honesty with the fans, is extremely lacking.

The KRod and Hamels comments that are getting play right now are ridiculous. They are byproducts of the media and too many fans stupidly buy into them anymore.

Of course a Mets player was going to say they are the team to beat. What's he supposed to say?

The Hamels thing is crazy becasue the host was clearly trying to trap Hamels into saying something by backing him into a corner. Once he was in it Hamels best way out was saying what he did or it would've looked like he was conceding to the Mets.

it's just players saying their team is best. I'd be upset as a fan of the team if they didn't.

Junior lie??? Surely you you jest.

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