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Monday, December 08, 2008

Comments

"...free agent Jamie Moyer will explore his options by “re-enlisting his former agent, Jim Bronner, to begin calling other clubs.”

That's not a good sign.

CJ (from last thread): "clout:
How many fewer wins do you think a rotation of this:
Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Happ, Carrasco

Would have than this:
Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Happ"

I think the chances of Carrasco being able to step into a major league rotation out of spring training are less than 50-50. So rotation #1 wins fewer games than #2, although Kendrick could revert to first-half form and step in for Carrasco.

CJ - You miss the point. The Phils' pitching staff enjoyed a run of nearly perfect health last year except Gordon (big shock). That isn't likely to happen again and will expose depth issues.

My point is this - even if the Phils resign Moyer. They are likely to have a pitching staff that does not duplicate their numbers from last year even if they have a full year of Blanton in the rotation and Eyre in the bullpen.

If they acquire another solid bullpen arm (and no Russ Springer doesn't meet this criteria) and upgrade from Moyer, then I am willing to bet the pitching staff will be possibly better. So far these two things haven't happened.

In response to last thread:

Clout: This wasn't about Burrell. I'd love to re-sign him, and support it just like you do, but I don't think we will. I think that ship has sailed. I imagine we'll get a Dobbs and Jenkins/FA RH or Mayberry platoon, which will be terrible.

As far as Moyer goes, I think we'd either sign a veteran guy like Randy Wolf or Jon Garland to a 1-year deal, or let Carrasco and Kendrick battle for the spot. Personally, I would like to see Carrasco given a shot after half a season at Triple A, presuming he is reasonably successful there.

Again, I ask you the question: Would you sign Moyer to a 2-year, 18-20 million dollar deal with an option for a 3rd year? Do you think Moyer will give you another 16-7 season with a 3.71 ERA? If not, then we won't compete anyway, according to you, since we won't be getting 2008 Jamie Moyer.

There is almost 0% chance the Phils will sign Lowe. He will command too many years and too high of an annual salary of probably north of $15M/year.

MG: Injuries aren't the only thing that goes wrong. Three of our starting five pitchers missed significant time due to ineffectiveness. The result isn't much different than an injury. If you're suggesting we should predict Tommy John for one of our starters... well, I'm not quite willing to do that.

Jack - There is no way that Moyer gets 2 yr/$18-$20M. Please. Maybe something like 2 yrs/$14-$15M but even that is extreme.

MG: Yes, I was being somewhat extreme, but it was to point out the issue with Clout's argument. Simply saying "We won't compete without Moyer back" ignores the context and reality of the situation, which involves investing resources and committing multiple years to a 46-year old who is most likely not going to repeat last year's performance anyway.

Agreed that chances of 2008 Moyer matching 2009 Moyer are almost 0%. Issue is how do the Phils replace him in the rotation. If they go into camp with 2 open spots, it reminds of 2006 when Madson/Floyd opened out of spring training and both flamed out.

Jack: if you're suggesting that Burrell will be replaced by Jenkins/Mayberry and Moyer by Carrasco then, no, we won't compete. You're fine with that. I'm not.

Re-Moyer:

What do everyone expect? I told you they were goona go cheap and now that's the colors the colors the Phils are showing. No Moyer, Burrell, or draft picks. We to go Reuben. We'll sign/trade for guys whom you can get for a bag of baseballs that won't amount to much. Then watch how the Phils put the PR spin on things.

Better start listening phans. I know what I'm talking about.

Jack: Who said, "We won't compete without Moyer back"? I have no problem passing on a too-expensive contract for him as long as the Phils have an adequate replacement. Carrasco ain't it.

"Perhaps you should go back to the beginning of the discussion... unless you agree that the Phils success is predicated only upon Mets failure."

Because of the existence of the wild card, no, the Phillies' success is not predicated only upon the Mets' failure. But it's equally foolish to think it plays no role. I don't care who they sign, because there's nothing the Phils can do about it. But I'm not going to play the game of "my team's better 'cause yours eats Ken-l-Ration." They're very evenly matched teams, and the Mets have more money to address their holes than the Phillies have. That's just reality.

"I think the Phillies are a great team. They were last year. They will be again this year."

They won 92 games in the regular season. That is not a great team. Good, yes. Great, not close.

"Bottom line is Angles flopped the last few years with K-Rod. He adds to the losing culture of the Mets organization. The Mets need to shake up the intangibles on that team."

This was stupid the first time you typed it. Repeating it isn't making it look any smarter. "Losing culture"? You never struck me as this obtuse until now.

On C. Lee: Phaithful's analysis aside -- seriously, dude, do you have any ability to understand baseball beyond the back-of-the-Topps-card stats? -- Burrell and Lee are basically the same player. I'll ask again: Why would the Phils pay Lee $74 million over 4 years when they won't pay Burrell $30 million for 2?

Clout: I suspect they think Happ will step into the Moyer role. That doesn't have me printing up any '09 Champions bumper stickers.

DPatrone:

If Moyer wants 3 years, would you give that to him?

I honestly don't care if Moyer goes, assuming they replace him.

One last point - seems to be that there is a developing consensus that secondary moves (e.g., Rivera, Springer, Wolf, etc) will keep this team in position as a championship-caliber team.

I couldn't vehemently disagree more. Amaro is in a tough spot this offseason given the likely payroll ceiling he is going to run into that tie his hands in the FA market/resigning some of his own players. Doesn't help that Gillick also raided the cookie jar and did trade a number of younger players/prospects the past 2 years too.

Still, with a payroll that is likely to be around $115M on Opening Day (depends on whether you throw in the Thome money which I am sure the Phils will mention a few times), there hands are pretty much tied unless they make a move via a trade.

These rumors about bringing in Lowe and others expensive FA are just ridiculous. A guy like Springer who comes in for $1M or a guy like Rivera who might sign for $3-$4M are much more feasible.

Clout: I'm not ok with replacing Burrell with that platoon. I hate it, and think it's a serious mistake.

We need to deal with the fact that Pat is gone though. It's stupid, but it's true. I hope that MLBTR report is true, and we're talking with the Twins about Delmon Young. I'd trade Donald and a B-level pitching prospect for him in a heartbeat. Probably even Donald and Happ.

As far as replacing Moyer with Carrasco, I agree it's a step down, and if we can get Moyer back at a reasonable deal, of course I support it. Would you bring him back no matter what his contract demands are though? You've never answered that.

From the sounds of it, the Phillies wont pay for anything that has a potential greater or equal to 16-7 3.71 ERA, whether its Moyer or anyone else. So there is no way Philly is getting an adequate replacement unless its through a trade (hah) or they get lucky with an in house prospect.

DPatrone - Largely agree with you. BAP and I jumped on board that ship early in Nov. although I was willing to see what this roster looked like around Christmas time but I was expecting any miracles.

It is going to be interesting to see how Amaro handles this offseason though if the Phils do go the budget-rate and have some unpleasant arbitration hearings with some of their key players.

My bet is that Amaro is dismissive, arrogant, and even condescending at times. I have had a couple of managers like this and usually in the end they are failures even if they are bright.

Donald and a B pitching product for Delmon Young would be a wet dream.

Seems like the type of move that the Phillies don't make though.

Dpatrone - relax. It is a little early to throw in the towel.

Not that I think Minaya is a master GM either. His strategy yet again this offseason will be largely just to spend more money to fill holes on the Mets' roster.

Is Delmon Young the guy that threw the bat at the umpire a few years ago? I know he has baggage, I'm just trying to remember what he did. I will be very surprised if the Phillies go after a known trouble maker. It's just not their style. If they do, it would have to be very economically expedient.

Reluctantly, I'd let Moyer walk instead of overpaying based on sentimentality. The part of Moyer that I like is his work ethic, his leadeship by example, and his pitching coach presence. I'm really not all that excited every time he goes to the mound and starts a game. I always expect the worse. Replace him with some cheaper youngster that has a greater chance of winning than losing everytime he goes out their to pitch. Who's that guy? I don't know.

Alby: i apologize that Topps print a players batting average and RBI totals.

How foolish of me to think the number of base hits that a player has in relation to the number of times a player comes to the plate, aside from walks and sacrafices, is a relevant stat.

and i like how since you can read OPS+ off a website, it shows your superior ability to compare players than someone who reads off their batting average.

You said their OPS+ are usually similiar, so since its your #5 hitter (the part of the order that are relied on to drive in runs), wouldn't you want a bigger component of their OPS+ as base hits than walks?

And I know RBIs are not the most reliable stat, but Lee has been on 3 different teams in the past 6 years and drives in 99+ every single time. At what point can you see the man is a superior run producer than Pat Burrell?

I WANT DELMON YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thephaithful: Yes, Carlos Lee is a superior run producer to Pat Burrell. He's also owed 74 million over the next 4 years. Not gonna happen.

Yes donc that was him, though it was pointed out a few threads back that he actually hit the umpire thus demonstrating good bat control.

Love to see Moyer end his career in Philly.

But, you also have to be smart with your money; especially with the crappy economic times, this country is going to go through. Its going to effect everyone.

Jamie is still an old man. And, more than 1 guaranteed year, for a 46 year old, who could come to spring training next year, and be washed up, would not be real smart. Especially, when the strength of your organization is the depth of young starting pitching. Moyer is a #4 type of starter. And, this team's main need, this off-season, is to find a right-handed bat, to replace Burrell. Not, to overpay and over-extend for a #4 starter, no matter the sentimentality.

If Jamie and his representation, are looking for a big pay-day, at his age, in this economic climate, its not likely to happen. Can't blame them for trying; but even K-Rod is finding the waters tough, in free agency. Just not a lot of cash out there, in 2008.

..."as long as the Phils have an adequate replacement. Carrasco ain't it."

How do you know he isn't? He's going to be in the rotation soon. It just might be at the start of 2009; instead of July of 2009.


before people comment on the El Cabayo talk: i'm saying how he is better than pat burrell, i am not saying i think the Phillies should trade for him.

my earlier post stated that i would inquire to houston to see what you would have to give up and what salary relief exsits, if any.

If Moyer wants 2 guaranteed years at 7+ million per year, I'm letting him walk. I love having him on the team, but he's a 47 year old pitcher next season that is highly unlikely to repeat his outstanding season, probably regress to the '07 version of 5+ era.

Delmon Young has an attitude problem, but at age 23 with tons of upside, bring his ass aboard!

Giving Moyer a multiyear deal is a mistake.

Carson, he's a 46 year old pitcher next year, not 47. He'd be 47 for the 2010 season.

"jack : Yes, Carlos Lee is a superior run producer to Pat Burrell. "

tell that to Alby, not me.

"Carson, he's a 46 year old pitcher next year, not 47."

Green jacket, gold jacket, who gives a sh*t?!

Just saw the Delmon Young video. Looks like me on the golf course.

Just sayin'

I know NEPP, I'm just trying to get a laugh.

Yeah, I know. ;)

I'd take a flyer on Delmon Young. Yes he's a risk, but probably less of a risk than jason donald becoming an everyday contributer at 3rd base on the Phillies.

DYoung has already proven he belongs in the MLB, the risk is whether he can excel in the majors, rather than beloing - whereas Donald still hasn't even shown if he belongs yet. Offensively or Def. (wont play SS for philly anytime soon).

Jack: I agree 100% with your last post. And no I wouldn't bring Moyer back on a too-high contract. Sounds like we agree across the board. Now what are we gonna do?

I'm not going to cry over spilled milk if Moyer wants a three year deal.

But Jason, please, for the Love of God, do not include "can not and will not" together when referring to committing dollars and years.

Can they? They sure can, especially with WS money in the bank, no pun intended.

Will they? No.

So please don't say they can't, because they certainly can. More than likely won't, which irritates me to no end.

I read that a lot from the beat writers, they "can't" when it comes to finances. That's crazy!

Jroll's contract IS up in 2 years I believe...knowing this FO, they might let him walk at age 32.

Clout: So if Carrasco isn't your adequate replacement, who is? If you don't sign Moyer because he makes some ridiculous demands (let's just play an experiment here), who do you replace him with?

I didn't see Randy Wolf pitch at all this past season. Anybody think he's got anything left? He's not that old.

Delmon Young's bat throwing "incident":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCX_XlRYYDo

Wolfie pitched a lot better for Houston than he did earlier in the year. I'd give him a shot but not at what he's gonna want salary wise due to his hot 2nd half.

NEPP: Club option in 2011 for rollins at 8.5Mil, can't possibly see them pass that up. So three years minimum. no sense of letting #1 prospect-in-the-history-of-the-Earth Jason Donald sit in the minors until then when you can get a RHB LF right now. And all jokes aside, Delmon Young actually was considered the #1 Prospect in the world at one point - or close to it.

but again, this is the winter meetings, the actual relevance of this trade could be nothing more than Paul Hagan reading beerleaguer.

denny b. Do you think Carrasco will be ready to step into the rotation out of spring training? Based on what?

Forgot about the club option...thank God, I don't want to lose JRoll.

I'd trade Donald for Young in a heartbeat if it were that simple. I'm sure the Twins would want a bit more than J. Donald though.

thepaithful: On how many of those teams was Carlos Lee hitting behind Ryan Howard? Do you think that might have had an impact on Burrell's RBI totals? OPS+ remains the best measure of a player's offense.

Any ideas on what Wolf would want? I even forgot that that's where he ended up. I'm with you NEPP. I wouldn't mind seeing him come back, but I'd be careful what I paid him. He's had his share of arm problems lately. I guess we're saying that about just about all of the pitchers. There's a great fear about over-paying and over-comitting. As we know, the Phillies have that fear more than most.

Bed Beard~

Not saying I'd give Moyer 3 years, but this situation should have been resolved already given the mutual interest.

The bigger problem is if he leaves, how are they going to replace his 16 wins? If Myers pitches to his potental, he wins 3-5 more games. The same could be said of Blanton. But they're going to have to win more than 92 games to repeat as divison champs as the offense won't be as good due to Burrell leaving. They won't be major players in the FA market, I'm telling you that.

Jack: "So if Carrasco isn't your adequate replacement, who is? If you don't sign Moyer because he makes some ridiculous demands (let's just play an experiment here), who do you replace him with?"

That was my question to you. You go first.

As far as Carrasco and Mayberry, we don't even know if they can play at the ML level. I'm not in a hurry to find out. I want proven ML players who can play. Not ??????

Carrasco in 09 vs. Moyer in 09???

Toss up as Moyer could easily hit the wall very early on like most 46 year old pitchers and be completely ineffective. How would that be any different than Carrasco's projected 2009 season?

NEPP: What exactly is Carrasco's projected 2009 season?

DPatrone: "As far as Carrasco and Mayberry, we don't even know if they can play at the ML level."

This is true everywhere except on Beerleaguer.

Clout: I already said I'd probably just go with Carrasco/Kendrick, while also considering some FA starters, like Jon Garland and Randy Wolf who might be willing to come in for a cheap 1-year deal. I'd also consider signing Oliver Perez if the market on him came down, but I doubt it would come down far enough. I'd probably be willing to do 3 years, 30-35 million for Perez, but I'd imagine he and Boras envision getting a long-term deal worth more than that. As I said many times, I'm ok with letting Carrasco and Kendrick try and develop, although I'm obviously skeptical of Kendrick. I'm surprised you don't consider Kendrick an adequate replacement, seeing as how much you loved him last offseason.

Your turn.

donc: Wolfie made $4.75M on a one year contract, which he had to take to prove he was healthy.

He's looking for at least 3 years and probably $6M per. He turned down a multi-year offer from the 'Stros in early November but I never saw what the dollar amount was.

****NEPP: What exactly is Carrasco's projected 2009 season? ****

I'll let you know when I see the PECOTA outlook...

~ducks~

My point is that neither is a terribly sure thing...either the 22 year old rookie or the 46 year old veteran.

clout: Agreed on OPS+ as a better measurement. And again like the Burrell 08 vs Howard 08 situation, this is a scenario where the OPS+ are said to be 'very similiar' so I am trying to use other stats to prove otherwise.

And i'm being generous to say 'similiar OPS+' by giving Alby the benefit of the doubt that 2008 was an outlier where Lee had a OPS+ of 144.

Yes Howard in front, and essentially everyone in the lineup effect RBI totals - but when you can change leagues and teams and still produce similiar RBI totals year after year, its pretty telling.

And again, if you have two players with identical OPS+, wouldn't you want the player with a larger component of the OPS+ from his basehits in your #5 hole?

"But they're going to have to win more than 92 games to repeat as divison champs as the offense won't be as good due to Burrell leaving."


Dpatrone: how do you know that they will have to win more than 92 games to win the division next year?

That quote doesn't make much sense to me.

"How foolish of me to think the number of base hits that a player has in relation to the number of times a player comes to the plate, aside from walks and sacrafices, is a relevant stat."

Sure, it is relevant. But OBP is more relevant. And OPS is even more relevant. And OPS+... and so forth.

And just to give detail, by relevant, I mean that if you look at the AVG by team in the league & compare that to runs scored by that team, there's less of a connection than if you used OBP for the comparison. And there's less for that than if you used OPS. And so forth.

Here's an interesting thought: Randy Johnson on a 1-year deal worth a good amount of money.

Jack: I'd love Lowe, but the Phils won't try hard for him. I'd roll the dice on Wolf or Garland if all else failed. The Phils won't sign Ollie P.

Happ is #5 starter and he's never been in a major league rotation for a full year. Neither has KK. Yet those would be the team's #4 and #5 starters if they fail to replace Moyer. That is far, far too risky. As someone posted above, there is an excellent chance it would be Madson, Floyd all over again. The Phillies need to either sign a FA pitcher to replace Moyer or make a trade for one.

I like Happ better than KK and understand how little margin for error there is for KK and Happ, like all finesse pitchers. My defense last season wasn't of him per se. It was an argument against the idiots who claimed that no pitcher with a low k/9 rate can be successful.

I'd look into Randy Johnson on a 1 year deal. He asked the DBacks for 1 year, $8 million and they shot him down. I'd give him that.

clout:thanks for the info. 3 years 6 million per doesn't sound too ridiculous to me. Especially if Moyer is looking for something similar as some are reporting. If as NEPP said, Wolf finished so strongly (for some reason I am drawing a blank on his whole season and don't have the time to look it up), he could be worth a shot. I always liked him as long as he's healthy.

NEPP: So the risks on trusting Moyer and Carrasco in the 2009 rotation are equal?

a quick question about the OPS+:

what are the units relative to? OPS is combined percentage points of onbase and slugging. so if a player had a .400 OBP and a .500 SLG, I know that his .900 OPS is because he reached base safely 40% of the time while averaging .5 total bases each time.

So when a player has a OPS of .800 compared to .900, i can literally see exactly how much 'better' a player is.

So when someone has an OPS+ of 120 compared to 124, are we talking a few basehits better or about 25 total bases?

Personally, I'm not confident with either option in 2009 clout. 46 year old pitchers have a way of going bad real fast...and inconsistent 22 year olds can get lit up despite having great stuff (see Clay Bucholtz).

If I had to lean one way or the other, I'd go with Moyer on a 1 year deal if that's possible...and pray he pulls a Niekro instead of a Charlie Hough/Nolan Ryan in his age 46 season.

I'd give Big Unit 8 million for this year in a heartbeat. Take a look at his stats from the past few seasons and tell me what you don't like. Ok, he was hurt and only made 10 starts in 2007. He bounced back and made 30 last year. Ok, he had a 5.00 ERA in 2006. The other 3 years his ERA was consistently around 3.80.

He looks to me like a good bet to give you 25-30 starts with 180 IP, a 4.00 ERA, 170 K, and a 1.25 WHIP, admittedly on the optimistic side. That's easily worth a 1 year deal at 8 million.

NEPP: "If I had to lean one way or the other, I'd go with Moyer on a 1 year deal if that's possible...and pray he pulls a Niekro instead of a Charlie Hough/Nolan Ryan in his age 46 season."

So would I.

NEPP: Exactly... Johnson could more than fill in for Moyer if he'd be willing to take a one year deal.

clout: What if I told you that despite hitting behing Howard, Burrell came to the plate with more runners on that Carlos Lee and only one fewer runner in scoring position?

Jack: Totally agree with you on the Unit. He'd sell tickets too and be a good role model for the kiddie pitchers like Happ & KK

NEPP: That's the perfect scenario. I think almost every Phillies fan wants Moyer back for a year. It sounds like that may not be possible though. As for the big eunich; one year for 8 million doesn't seem too unreasonable.

CY~

How do I know? Simple. No Burrell. Maybe no Moyer. nad NO top replacements for either. The Mets and Braves will be better than last year, count on that. How much better will be Phils be? They will go backwards.

You have to understand how this is run. Most of the ownership group is made up of businesspeople not sport phans.

They want to keep as much money in their pockets as possible. They made a ton of money last year and they've already raised ticket prices. They know they're gonna draw 3 million plus next year. So their mantra is "why spend if we don't have to? The phans will come." And that's true.

They have the money to have a payroll north of 130-140 million, but they refuse. Outside of Thome, when have they, in recent years gona after a top-nothch FA and got him? Never that's when. The 2 elite guys before Thome were Pete Rose and Lance Parrish. And they were burned on Parrish. So don't look for them to spend outside of their self-imposed budget. Aint gonna happen.

CJ: Then I'd say that Carlos had a heckuva year with men on base and Pat didn't. Would you like to compare those numbers in some other years? You do understand that it fluctuates quite a bit year to year, right?

CJ: thanks for the runner on base research. I think cabayo only played about 120 games last year so that would explain why he has less men on than burrell.

And yet his still high RBI total continues to suggest how much of a better run producer he is than Burrell - which is the most important part of a hitters game who bats in the middle of the order.

Jack, clout, et. al.:

Pertaining to your discussion, I actually think Happ CAN be an adequate replacement for Moyer in the rotation. I believe, having watched him pitch (live once and the rest on TV), that his is capable of replacing Moyer........2007. No way he replaces Moyer 2008. Then again, I think we all agree, there is no way Moyer 2009 duplicates Moyer 2008. I believe the Phillies think that also, otherwise they wouldn't be so far apart on the dollars.

To me, the issue isn't who fills the 4th spot in the rotation next season (Moyer or Happ), as IMO you may get about the same.

The issue is who is who's going to be in the 5th spot in the rotation, whether it be a #2 starter (Lowe) and everone else gets bumped down a slot, a #3 (____________[fill in the blank]), or a #5 (____________[fill in the blank]).

They seemingly aren't going to adequately replace Burrell's bat, so the rotation will need a serious upgrade if the are going to compete to repeat.

BTW, Stark's column indicating that it is about the dollars with Moyer has once again exposed Ruben "Liar Liar" Amaro, Jr.'s dishonesty. Remember, he told us it was the number of years, not the dollars.

Apparently, his nickname is well deserved.

It'll be interesting to see what spin "Liar Liar" and the Phillies put on 2009 if they don't address their needs.

clout: Don't worry... I'm not disagreeing with you on whether OPS+ is a better way to compare players than RBI. I was just surprised to find the info myself.

I doubt The Unit would come back to an East Coast team.

Dpat - I agree with all that. Except that I don't think it will take more than 92 wins to take the division.

Don't think the Muts will be much better, and I think the Braves will probably be better, but do you really see them winning 92 games? I don't.

92 wins it, but I agree we aren't there yet, and it will be a long shot to get us there.

Does Randy Johnson, Rivera, and Cruz get us there? We probably won't even spend that.

cheap bast@@@ owners, cheap cheap, bast@@@@. Thank you Mr.Giles enjoy the fifty million you made in the playoffs and the profit of 500 million if the team is sold.

Well, the shine is off that World Series Championship apparently...

Jeeee-zus Keeee-rist.

Some people really have to learn how to relax. It's like they learned nothing from Season = Over.

CJ/clout: I'm not preaching the RBI over OPS+ either. Im simply saying that RBI are not a useless stat. When players have similiar OPS+, but one player has weaker RBI and Batting Averages, then that player isnt as good of a run producer than the other.

CJ: The sky is falling, didn't you hear?

thephaitful: That's not necessarily true. Context matters. Let me try this another way. Would you rather have a player with a 100 OPS+ in the 5th hole with a .300 BA and averages 100 RBI a year... or a player with a 115 OPS+ in the 5th hole with a .280 BA who averages 90 RBI a year?

When you look at just those numbers, it would seem to suggest that the player who averages 100 RBI a year is the better "run producer," but we know nothing about the context of the particular situations. Over time, the player with the 15 point higher OPS+ is the more valuable player.

Well put CJ. I'm not gonna be ok with standing pat, but I've gone to sleep with a smile on my face every night for the last six weeks. Can't we let the FO f**k it up before we all freak out?

CJ: I think his point was that with two players who have 115 OPS+, the one with more RBI and a higher AVG is the better #5 hole hitter.

I can kind of buy this argument, but kind of not. OPS undervalues on-base percentage, so two guys with 115 OPS+ can't be considered equal without knowing the breakdown of their OPS by on-base and slugging. On-base percentage, no matter what part of the lineup you are in, is still the single most important part of offense.

Jack and phaithful: I guess it's all semantics. Calling a player a "run producer" can mean lots of things. But producing runs comes from many factors... many outside the player's control. I guess that's my point.

Most interesting thing(s) in Stark's column today:

1. The latest dates on when some of the premier FAs would sign. I was amazed to see that some of the baseball people that Stark polled list some really late dates including after Christmas. In the past several years, almost all of the premier FA moves were made well before Christmas.

One thing for certain is that the economy has effected the hesitation that teams are having this offseason.

2. That it appears there are more teams this year in the "sellers" bracket than the "buyers" bracket based upon purely economic terms. You have to figure this is going to affect veteran players and result in bargains being available in January.

Star Tribune says the Twins do, in fact, like Jason Donald and that the Phils are doing their "due diligence" on Delmon Young.

If the Phils dealt Donald for Young and signed Randy Johnson (or someone else on a short-term deal), what else would the Phillies need to do in your opinion?

Interesting - Gammons just stated that he thinks the market will now go into January for even good hitters.

Guess I have to adjust my timetable and see what this team looks like come Jan. 15 due to the glacial speed of the Hot Stove this year.

CJ - Bullpen arm.

Devil's advocate:

- Do the Phils bring back Abreu on a 2-yr deal if his asking price really comes down to say $8-9M/year?

MG: If Abreu's price comes down that low, there's a good chance that Burrell's would as well.

Love Kruk as a player but he is just a horrible, horrible analyst. Mets should sign KRod because they "need to make a splash" for their new ballpark.

Nevermind the fact that the Mets would be better served with a combo of Fuentes and a guy like Cruz than a guy just like KRod.

Here's hoping that Minaya blows his offseason budget out by signing KRod and that doesn't leave the Mets with money to upgrade on any other significant bullpen arms since they still need to sign another starter.

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