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Friday, December 12, 2008


JW wakes up.

From last thread:

It could be a lot worse. Give him a chance.

Jason's "not considered a strong defender" is an understatement. He's bad. Pat Burrell bad. This move makes no sense unless he were right-handed, which he's not, or 5 years younger, which he's not. He's a good hitter, but so was Pat. Just makes no sense.

I agree with CY. It's not the best move, but he seems like a good guy in the clubhouse, a real good hitter, and someone who keeps himself in real good shape.

It hurts our lineup flexibility, for sure, but I don't think it's a bad move. It's a move.

Very typical Phillies free agent signing.

I don't get this. Wish they brought back the Bat.

clout, in a previous thread said "You were using the Santana stat to try to make the case that Ibanez hits lefties well. My rejoinder was to show that your example is empty in that regard."

Actually, I was using the Santana stat to make the case that Ibanez, for whatever reason, hits Johan Santana well. I looked at Santana because he was the only pitcher mentioned by name by the original poster.

The other strange point is that in 2008, Ibanez's best year against lefties, he had his worst year against Santana.

I don't think I'll ever understand this move. Please, Beerleaguer faithful, tell me why this is a good thing.

TY Myno

We addressed a need with a solid guy and solid hitter. Why would we complain about that? No one truely knows what other free agents wanted or what trades we could have made.

And come on, playing LF in CBP isn't the hardest thing to do.

Posted this elsewhere, but I think it bears repeating...

Fangraphs on Ibanez to the Phils

The upshot: Burrell likely represents a +1.65 win player over a replacement player next year, while Ibanez represents a +0.55 win player. So even without taking into account the damage he does in unbalancing our lineup, it's still a questionable move.

I agree with the sentiment that I would have rather brought back PtB for 2 years than sign Ibanez for 3.

However, I don't think this is necessarily the disaster some are making it out to be. Ibanez as the everyday LF is preferable to having Dobbs/Jenkins/Stairs/etc. split time out there which I thought the Phils might have actually been considering.

The real problem is Cholly will insist on hitting him 5th instead of the 6 spot where he belongs.

I guess this means we won't be getting Scott Hairston...

I will support the signing till he falls on his face...if he indeed does so. This signing is not bad in itself. Its bad if all 3 leftys aren't split up in the lineup.

@tutpsu: Well, I don't really get it either. He's a good hitter (although not the type we were looking for), and that's better than some crappy platoon, I suppose. He seems like a good guy, although that doesn't tend to win games. Maybe we will throw the money we saved on Pat at a pitcher.

Trying to find some positives here.

The 3 years aspect is what baffles/disappoints me. Perhaps they should've just tried to lure Manny here for a year.

I don't hate the signing, just does feel kinda typical.

@ NEPP: I'll support Ibanez, just like I support every Phillies player. But I refuse to support this signing, because it's a completely asinine move.

It's bad if all 3 lefties are in a row, and it's bad because, to a greater extent than most FA signings, you're paying him for what he has done, not what he's going to do. Maybe Ibanez stays productive until he's 40. In which case, it will be a good signing. However, at his age, once it goes, it goes quickly and it's not coming back.

Probably Opening Day lineup if Chase is healthy enough to go (may he heal quickly!)

1. Rollins
2. Victorino
3. Utley
4. Howard
5. Werth
6. Ibanez
7. Feliz
8. Ruiz

I suppose Werth and Victorino could switch places as they did at various points last season.

It could be worse.

Re: Defense

It doesn't matter. He's a left-fielder who will play more than half his games in a small park. It didn't matter when PtB was here and it doesn't matter with Ibanez.

Re: So why?

A couple of things. First, the emergence of Jayson Werth as a real threat obviously made the FO comfortable with bringing in a LH bat for LF. We'll see if Werth can maintain his production as the only RH power threat.

Second, someone in the FO must think that batting average has more weight than OBP and SLG. PtB had a 9 point advantage in OBP and a 28 point advantage in SLG last year. For their careers, those advantages are 21 and 13 respectively.

Could Burrell have been had for the same price?

Maybe they got sick of Burrell taking the easy Walk with men on base all the time?

At least they got a real LF...I wasn't looking forward to Jenkins and the Value Village singers platooning for a season.

This may "feel typical" to us, but this is an atypical offseason - the Phillies are World (f*&king) Champions!

I think the front office deserves just a little slack before we go off on them. It's only December. This is the first (major) move, and will certainly not be the last.

I'll miss Pat T. Bat, but I won't miss his "call third strike" shuffle, etc. I wish him well, and will give Ibanez a chance before burying him.

That's the question we need to wait for an answer on: How much will PtB cost?

Oldsters like me will remember all those years when we desperate to find lefty hitters to balance out our lineup and ended up with Von Hayes and his ilk.

The excuse-makers are already at work I see with their uplifting argument, "OK it's MS, but at least it's not cancer!"

This is probably Gillick's last move as shadow GM. He never liked Burrell, but there's always room for 1 more Mariner.

stjoehawk: Thanks for your clarification. I read too much into your original post.

Did someone just disparage the good name of Von Hayes?

Not thrilled with the signing but:

Ibanez hit .305 vs lefties last year
Burrell hit .279 vs lefties last year

Just saying. it is something to consider

This is gonna be even funnier when Burrell signs a 2 year, $20 million deal with Seattle...

At least the worst case was avoided--Burrell accepting arbitration!

NEPP: Did you see the list of Burrell's OPS with men on that I posted on previous thread? I know you're big on making excuses to defend every FO decision, but Burrell's numbers with men were quite good before last season.

Fast Eddie: how about their career averages? How about OPS?

Just saying: it is something to consider.


He makes our team BETTER.

so it's more like....

"I won a car in a raffle", rather than, "I won the lotto".

Did you really expect the lotto (being manny)? Name a couple better hitting LFers that will sign for less. Bet it is going to be a short list.

I'm not making excuses clout...I'm trying to be positive about something I have no control over. I'm not gonna hate Ibanez for it, I dont care too much for Amaro though.

Sam, they didn't get a "real" LF. They got a DH who's been playing LF. This is not a good move.

Check out
for some GIFs of Ibanez in the field. Scroll down on the left side to "Raul Ibanez Takes Pride in His Defense." It's hilarious (or sad, if you're a Phillies fan).

Alby summed it up well in last thread. If the 2009 team scores more runs than the 2008 team, then this move didn't hurt.

To which I'll add, if the 2009 team has as good a record vs. LHP as the 2008 team, then this move is fine.

We shall see.

This isn't anything new, but I heard the writer Miller or Salisbury on the radio a few days ago and he was asked about Burrell. He said the chances were slim for him to come back-with a big reason being they felt PtB didn't "give back", by doing any PR events. Not the first time I've heard that.

Let's see how it plays out. I can't really imagine Ibanez out there in LF at 39 years old so, in essence, he's probably getting $10 million for 2 seasons and then the Phils will have to pay an AL club $5 million to take him as a DH in the third year. Gillick might have been an influence, but so too, I imagine is new assistant GM Looper, who came from Seattle.

CJ: "someone in the FO must think that batting average has more weight than OBP and SLG. PtB had a 9 point advantage in OBP and a 28 point advantage in SLG last year."

There is no person in baseball that stupid.

As someone metioned...

We play Righties 66% of the time. So this will make our record better 66% of the time and worse 33% of the time. So we should be better off.

Or is this flawed logic?

clout: There is no person in baseball that stupid.

I present Exhibit A: Ed Wade

You were saying?

CY: Ibanez is better than Burrell for this team? Please explain. I'm all ears.

I have my opinion of this signing (don't like it), but lets just wait and see how is pans out. I'd be happy to be wrong, as I'm sure many others will be too, but c'mon, 3 year 30MM to a 36 year old that is already slow and a shitty fielder?

"We play Righties 66% of the time. So this will make our record better 66% of the time and worse 33% of the time. So we should be better off."

That overlooks the later innings--clutch time!!--when bullpen specialists come into play.

NEPP: You mean the guy who was responsible for most of the players and the entire core of the 2008 World Fvcking Champions?

Didn't Amaro say Garrett Anderson was "too old"? I am pretty sure he is just as old as Ibanez (36). I think Ibanez is a good player but this signing makes no sense for this team. Burrell is younger (compared to Ibanez) and a righthander which is what this team needs in a LF. I also don't understand a thre year deal. We might as well have tried to sign Burrell for 4 or 5 years and backload the contract if money was a problem.

Guess when/if Michael Taylor shows he can play in the MLB, the Phils are assuming it'll be the same time Werth is looking for a long term deal and becomes expendable?

I really dont understand why there is such a backlash to the signing. He is a better player than pat burrell. He is one of only 5 outfielders to hit over 100 rbis the past 3 years. He has a good on base percentage and slugging percentage. Keep in mind this guy had 110 rbis last year on the horrible mariners, imagine what he can do on our team.
Can any of you tell me why the angels back up plan if texiera falls through was Ibanez, and why the cubs and mets were going after him also. I dont think any of these teams were in hot pursit of pat burrell. There is a reason for this.

He also traded the entire Astros farm system for Miguel Tejada and gave us Brad Lidge for some magic beans, clout...and gave up Abreu for nothing.

Wade's scouting dept might have been good at drafting but he sucks as a GM.


I should clarify. He makes this team better than it was yesterday. Burrell would be a slightly better option, but he would cost more (at least I hope he would).

Ibanez is not MS or any other disease.

I am all ears to hear who you think is better that will sign for less.

While I don't like this deal, I get the same feeling I did initially from the Joe Blanton deal: decent player but not what we need. However that turned out pretty well so maybe this well too.

Todd Z: That flawed thinking also ignores two other factors: The Phils will face lefties more than 33% now that they've replaced Burrell with a lefty and the % of wins attributable to Ibanez could easily be more than offset by the higher pct of losses vs. LHP.

Clout: Ibanez .286 career AVG Pet is at .257
and yes Burrell does have a better career OPS .852 to .818 which is why I do not like the signing, phils could have done better

Ok... good things about this signing:

The years and the money are both good (Burrell will sign for longer & more money). Ibanez is a good hitter & a great locker room guy. Rakes with RISP.

Bad things:

He has no natural spot in our lineup (today december). He's old and plays below average D. K/BB rate is lacking. We lose picks.

I give the signing the grade of Incomplete. It is a C if its all they do, a B+ if they add a right handed 5 hole hitter.

I predict Atkins, Beltre, Crede or Josh Fields is our opening day 3rd baseman/ 5 hole hitter.

At least Bruntlett's job is safe. Regarding Cole's comments on the Mutts. New nickname for Cole: The Truth. New nickname for the fan-club: The Truth Squad.

@Phil: Really? You don't understand? Have you read the threads at all?

CY: I would've preferred Delmon Young, Juan Rivera and re-signing Burrell just to name 3 options. And from the quote by Charlie Manuel in today's paper, he agrees with me. I'm not someone whose hopes rise and fall on the size of the Phillies wallets as so many here do.

"I really dont understand why there is such a backlash to the signing. He is a better player than pat burrell."

Phil, that's the part you're not understanding. He's not a better player than Pat Burrell. Pat's projected at 1.5 Wins above average next year according to FanGraphs, Raul at 0.65. And he's 5 years older and LH. Maybe he came in cheaper or they really hated Pat for whatever reason, but that's another story. The Phillies just got a worse LF than they had last year.

FWIW: Randy Miller said on Jody Mac's show that Ed Wade did NOT have final say on draft picks when he was GM, Arbuckle did. Gillick required that to sign here, however.

Farewell Pat the Bat,
You won us many games. Phillies fans are truly saddened by your departure. Only two years ago, we might've bid you good riddance, but you redeemed yourself and earned our respect. The City of Philadelphia will forever remember your post-season heroics, from your multiple NLDS blasts, to that double high off the wall that led to a World Championship. I hope some team gives you the reward you deserve.

Well, clearly the Phils felt that Burrell's production was about to take a steep decline. I don't know why they don't believe that to be the case with the older Ibanez, but they must not.

Still, this moove puts WAY too much pressure on Werth. He's going to really have to produce at a high level, or Howard isn't going to see a single hittable pitch past the sixth innning all season.

phil: "He is a better player than pat burrell."

Could you please back that up with facts? Thanks.

Per David Segui on 610:
"Question: Do you think Ibanez is an upgrade to Burrell?

Segui: Defensively they are about the same, but offensively yes he is better. He hits better for average and he isn't a hot-cold streaky guy."

David Segui used to also play with him as well.


I don't understand this
"Todd Z: That flawed thinking also ignores two other factors: The Phils will face lefties more than 33% now that they've replaced Burrell with a lefty and the % of wins attributable to Ibanez could easily be more than offset by the higher pct of losses vs. LHP."

If we face righties more and Ibanez is better hence resulting in more wins, how is that EASILY offset by being worse against lefties that we face less?

Also, I would rather have Young or Burrell as well. Rivera, not so much. You don't know what we would have to give up to get young or how much Burrell wants. That isn't my point anyway. It only is that Ibanez is a good solid player and helps our team.

Does anyone think that this sigining means that Jr has something bigger in mind?

On the plus side, with Dobbs in there, we're going to DESTROY RHP.

Hot-cold streaks is what boosts burrells average. He could not hit for a month then will be lights out.

I will say it again, thats why stats are for the most point fact-less and have no basis. Watch the game not baseballreference and other stat sites.

Raul Ibanez's Being A Nice Guy Average (BANGA) is .921 while Pat's is only .799. How may wins will that translate into?

MVP - how are stats factless? Aren't they by definition facts?

If Werth or Vic can handle the 5 hole, this isn't a big issue for our lineup. If Ibanez is in the 5 hole, we might have some issues.

CY: I should have clarified. Ibanez is a SLIGHT improvement over Burrell vs. RHP. So let's say that results in 3 more wins. He is, however, a HUGE downgrade from Burrell vs. LHP. That could result in 6 more losses.

@CY: mvptommyd doesn't know how to think.


No, because they don't tell the whole story. Look at Burrell, he is very streaky but by his stats you can't tell that.Look at Bobby Abreau and AROD they have good stats but you can not tell from that in the clutch they can not hit a lick.

Thats why teams are firing stat guys. Because although they are important they do not tell the whole story.

CY: You are wasting your time talking to Ground Zero.

It's a wash. Their OPS+ the last 3 years are almost identical.

Interesting to see what he does going from Safeco to a more hitter friendly park.

Give the guy a shot.

clout, 6 losses? Please explain with facts.


He is one of 5 outfielders who has hit over 100 rbis in 3 straight seasons. Keep in mind he did not have rollins utley and howard in front of him. Pat the bat hasnt had over 100 in three years.

My point is we dont have to worry about pat burrell having a horrible season like he sometimes does. The guy has a better batting avg too.

Once again you think the gms of the mets angels and phillies are all significantly less intelligent on this topic than you guys? Why did they all pursue raul instead of burrell?

Yea, that AROD, such garbage.


lol @ both your posts.

ok, fair enough. I disagree, and I bet we both hope I am right. Doubt he will cost us 6 wins vs lefties, but I guess we shall see.

I find myself defending Ibanez and I really don't know why exactly. I guess I am just trying to stay positive.

Also, on AROD and Abreau. They have a TON of tack on stats.

Even further look at any sport. Drew Brees has over 3000 Yards passing every yr. By that stat it would make you think he is a top 5 quarterback. But his decision making is HORRIBLE, which is why his team never wins. But i bet by the "stat people" here, they would take brees over mcnabb.

Don't believe me if you want. Go kill yourselves looking for stats. But stats can be found to prove anything.

Wait, how many playoff games has AROD won??? Why were all the yankee fans calling for him to be traded last yr??? It must be because he is too good, come on people.

MVP - you can tell he is a streaky hitter if you break his stats down to say, monthly for example.

I am pretty sure they keep stats for hitting in the clutch too. Might want to check those out.

How do you know teams are firing stat guys?

Please no more Abreu talk. Let it go.

Can't wait til those lefty relievers come in to face Ibanez and we counter off the bench with (said in Harry K's voice)


on a serious note, I saw on another board that this could be a good situation for a part time player like Baldelli to come in. How much would he cost? Anyone know if that's feasible?

The only thing worse would be if Ibanez wears #5.


Because someone meantioned the phillies fired theirs yesterday. He was a beat writer/statistician. Kinda like the Dave Spadaro for the Phillies. so I researched it and founds that a dozen other teams had done so as well to cut costs.

mvptommyd: Please tell me what youre doing is ironic performance art. It's very well done, if so.

Stats and rational thought are so 2007. Anyways what has this math stuff ever done for us?

I wouldn't say I'm deeply saddened by Burrell's departure. I did like Burrell, when all's said and done. He was an underrated leader and a guy who gave his all - but a guy who was far too frequently tough to watch. The hot streaks never seemed to compensate enough for the cold spells. Burrell hit 250 homers as a Phillie, but when he was drafted 500 seemed more the expectation. You wouldn't call him a bust by any stretch, but perhaps a mild disappointment that in spite of developing a sharp strike zone selectivity, he never really progressed beyond a certain point as a hitter.


Prove my points wrong, instead of trying to ridicule me. Go get your stats since thats all you go off of and not actual game examples.

Back off the ledge people, I think this is actually a pretty good signing. Looking at his numbers over the past few years, I think you could at least say the guy's fairly consistent, the lack of which was the most frustrating part about Burrell, as much as we love him. He does hit lefties fairly well, and until the players report, we don't know exactly where he'll fit into the lineup. Who knows if Ruben has more moves lined up? I will concede, though, that three straight lefties in the middle would hand over one of our big late game advantages. Plus, considering that Ibanez played 81 games a year in a canyon of a stadium, and on a terrible team this year, his numbers are probably even better than they look. I can't sweat the defense either, Pat was probably underrated defensively, but we've got a gold glover who covers as much ground as anybody out there next to him. Good player, good price, I can't bash this.

A couple other things on Pat:

His 5/10 no trade is on any contract he signs here. And his foot might not last as well as it did this year. Plus, with Howard as streaky as he is, maybe consistancy from Ibanez will mean more than we think it will.

As for the lefty thing, the Mets have only Johan as a lefty in their rotation as of now & no wagner. No Glavine or Hampton with the Braves either.

I know I would feel better generally if Moyer was back. But I'm not on a ledge... trying to stay positive... could a Jeff Kent type be added for the bench to fill Utleys spot the PH?

An organization like Ibanez better, as does actual players as i stated about, as do baseball analysts, as do fans from OTHER teams. But somehow since BLers say its bad and go and get stats then it must be true. Get over it people, it was the right move.

Less money, Better hitter, less streaky= sounds good to me.


I didn't know that. Interesting. I am sure GMs etc still value stats greatly though.

Your are not a stat guy obviously, which is fine. Just don't say that stats aren't facts. Watching a game and making a subjective judgement on players is not factual. Different approaches, whatever floats your boat.

I would thinkk that the majority of baseball people rely heavily on both.

Tony D: Basis of my opinion.

Ibanez OPS vs. RHP: .849
Burrell OPS vs. RHP: .819

Ibanez OPS vs. LHP: .743
Burrell OPS vs. LHP: .950

Thus, small improvement vs. RHP=3 more wins
Huge dropoff vs. LHP=6 more losses.

Will Ibanez be the Mets killer PTB was?

Honestly, unless its for 1 year, I dont want Moyer back next year. We should not overpay him or pay him in 2010 when we will NEED that money for long-term deals to Howard/Hamels or a good free agent OF or SP with the possible departures of Myers, Werth, and Madson next year.

Considering SENOR Ibanez's name and heritage, how do we know he's not an Omar Minaya double agent here to pull the franchise down?!?


Exactly, but people on here run to stats and go "See See told ya". You can't do that. Take stats with a grain of salt, because stats lie.

Ibanex brings more to the table than Burrell. He hits 6 less HR's a year, 10 lesss RBI's but hits better for Average. Thus filling once of there weaknesses from last year which was small ball. We were too fixated on the HR.

I gotta say I'm deeply disappointed by this move in many ways. I will admit, Burrell has been one of my favorite players. But the stupidity of signing is unbelievable. He may have hit .304 against lefties this year, but in the two years previous he hit .243 and .256. We are paying a premium for a career year. Making it worse is the 3 years we gave him. Anyone who doesn't think his stats will depreciate greatly over the next 3 years is in a pipe dream. Making it worse is the first round draft pick we have to give up.

Ah, back to normal. Bad deals and inflated contracts. Feels right, somehow.

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