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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Good deal. Arbitration is a contentious procedure that can cause hard feelings. And there was really no push to get Vic extended since he's just starting the arbitration process.

Amaro's having a good week!

Good for Ruben...been a good week for him and contracts.

Ashame it wasn't another long-term deal.

м-м-м. Спасиб. Заценим

Good week for Amaro, yes.

Shane will be happy and motivated. A key defensive position is settled.

I recall Carson mentioning that Jr. may be competent after all.

I, for one, never really questioned his competence, just his honesty with the fans.

The Howard contract should give Rube another opportunity to speak to the fans, becuse it doesn't look like it will get resolved.

On another note, Tom Verducci has an interesing column here:

My favorite part:

"Hamels vs. Shields
On May 12, 2006, the Phillies called up Cole Hamels to make his major league debut. Nineteen days later the Rays called up James Shields to make his major league debut. They have been similar pitchers ever since, even meeting in the 2008 World Series:

Hamels 84 38-23 3.43 543
Shields 85 32-24 3.96 554

Similar, right? Not when it comes to how they're paid. (Shields signed a multi-year contract in January 2008; Hamels did so one year later.) Take a look at their annual salaries from 2007 through 2011:

Year Shields Hamels
2007 $394,900 $400,000
2008 $1,000,000 $500,000
2009 $1,500,000 $4,350,000
2010 $2,500,000 $6,650,000
2011 $4,250,000 $9,500,000
Total $9,644,900 $21,400,000

Why is Hamels worth $11,755,100 more than Shields? It all goes back to when they were called up the big leagues. By starting his service time just 19 days earlier, the Phillies allowed Hamels to qualify for arbitration a year earlier -- as a "Super Two" this year. Shields, like most players, would not have been eligible for arbitration until three full service years, or in his case, 2010. Hamels benefited greatly from the leverage of a slightly earlier callup.

By the way, Hamels pitched two games in those 19 days in question. The Phillies were 1-1 in those games; Hamels threw 11 1/3 innings. Those 11 1/3 innings cost the Phillies $11.755 million, or almost exactly $1 million per inning. That was one very expensive callup."

AWH: Knock it off... we know the Phils leave people in the minors way too long just to avoid paying them!!!!

@AWH -- someone save that piece, the next time someone complains about starting a guys clock too early. In the end the deal with Hamels still seems cheap (when you compare it to what Power Hitters or 6th Starters who frost their hair get), but 19 days cost you 12 million bucks.

So, it's down to Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton and Chad Durbin. Let's see what magic Amaro has left in him!

Said last column but there was no reason for Amaro to sign Victorino to a long-term deal and buyout his remaining arbitration years with his value likely at its apex.

Pretty good article AWH. I would contest "similiar", since Shields is the #2 on his team and Hamels as a clear cut #1, but I agree with his claim that those 19 days were more responsible for separating their respective salaries than performance.

A few other instances where they are not similar:

Hamels was a 1st round pick while Shields was the 16th, meaning Hamels upside has always been regarded as much higher.

Hamels is two years younger than Shields, also increasing his upside. And an ace lefty is generally perferred over a RHP counterpart.

Werth has a lot of leverage going into this. He's their big righty bat now, a year from walking and had a season comparable to guys like Soriano.

any news on Werth? the CSN article says more to come... let's hope Werth gets settled. he could burn them in arbitration like Weitzel says and it seems foolish to argue with the keystone to your batting order.

One more comment to the Hamels v Shields salaries:

I'm sure if Shields foresaw his performance and back to back 200+ IP seasons, he wouldn't have signed a contract through his arb years. So while Hamels had more leverage because of service time, he also knew that he was deserving of a high salary for his entire career - while Shields looks like he took a guarantee'd payday from a low income franchise as quick as he could.

I'm not sure the issue is 19 days exactly. The rule for Super Two players is a player in the top 17% of players who have cumulative time of less than three years, but more than 2 years of service.

Alsi, I think SI has this wrong. Shields never went got to arbitration. He signed his contract before he was even arbitration elligible in January 2008.
James Shields rhp
4 years/$11.25M (2008-11), plus 2012-14 club options

* 4 years/$11.25M (2008-11), plus 2012-14 club options
o signed extension with Tampa Bay 1/23/08
o 08:$1M, 09:$1.5M, 10:$2.5M, 11:$4.25M, 12:$7M club option ($2M buyout), 13:$9M club option ($1.5M buyout), 14:$12M club option ($1M buyout)
o value of 2012-14 club options may increase package to $38M
o performance bonuses based on innings pitched, starts, and Cy Young voting may increase package to $44M
* 1 year/$0.3949M (2007)
o re-signed 3/07
* 1 year (2006)
o contract purchased 11/05
* ML service: 1.125

Ugh, that got mangled. Long story short, Shields signed his deal before he got to arbitration. He traded money for security after pitching 52 games in The Show.

Oh, there is one big difference that needs to be mentioned:

Cole Hamels has a WORLD "______" CHAMPIONSHIP ring.

Just saying.

Great signing for the Phillies. Victorino is without a doubt the player I hate the most on the Phillies, which should tell you just how valuable he is to the team. He'll probably never be a superstar, but he (and Werth) is one of the great supporting players that were the difference between the Phillies and the Mets. If we didnt already have Beltran, Victorino is the type of player I'd want on my team.

Brooklyn, Victorino, while not Beltran offensively (he did win the Gold Glove in '08, and my eyes tell me they're pretty close defensively), Victorino, IF he continues to hit .290 and steal bases, is one of the top CF in MLB.

There are only about 7 -9 other teams (Mets, Blue Jays, LAD, etc., and some we could debate) on which Victorino would not start.

As far as him annoying Mets fans......well, that's one of the reasons we love him in Philly.

David Murphy says the deal is for $3.125 million.

My best friend is a "decent" baseball fan. He has said for the last two years "Victorino sucks". I just question his knowledge if not his sanity and laugh at him. Finally about 2/3 of the way through this season he said "You know you're right, Victorino's a helluva ballplayer". He's a big Phillies fan and watches and attends a lot of games. But if you can't readily see Vic's value you can't be any more than a "decent" fan.

AWH's column is why it's more likely we'll see Giles than Donald.

A lot of CFs have speed on the base paths and range in the field. Some of those can also hit. Not very many ever have a gun like Vic.

In off-season part 2 - the signing of current players - Rube is getting really good grade, methinks. Makes me believe that the plan always was to let Burrell go, no matter the price.

Nice article re: Cole v Shields.

But as we (mostly me) have learned, attendence is factored into arb and awards (WS MVP) value to team etc. Cole crushes Shields in these. So it probably did cost them money but it is hard to say 11 million for these reasons along with what MPN mentioned.

Glad to avoid arb with Shane.

Go ruben!

Hamels is clearly superior to Shields, and more valuable. Younger, left-handed, more K's, half run better ERA, better WHIP, and a dominant postseason performance. The ERA+ comparision is 133 for Hamels, 114 for Shields. That's a big difference.

Is that difference worth 11.5 million over 3 years? Most likely. Although it is clear that the Rays got a really good deal with Shields.

Feeling a lot better about Ruben than I was a week or so ago.
Good signings lately, but I still think letting Burrell walk away was a blunder.

Weren't contract negotiations supposed to be Reuben's specialty?

now sign the big guy...

MG: "If the Phils have consistently done one thing wrong ..., it is get nickels and dimes for a big-name asset when they move it."

Nickels? Doug Nickels?

Pappelbon sets new first year arbitration record for a pitcher with $6.25M, topping Jenks' $5.6M.

To compare Shields to Hamels is ridiculous after what Cole accomplished this postseason.

Pappelbon is a freak.

Saw that Nady got over 6 million. Should we expect a similar number for Werth? Or are the service times far apart?

The focus of these pre-arb signings should help those who spent the last few weeks wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding Burrell/Ibanez/Lowe/etc.

Fact, the Phillies have a Budget.
Fact, most Phillies fans confuse a budget with being cheap. The budget could be 115, 125, 135, 200 MM, wouldn't matter.

Because of the Budget, Amaro preferred going into arbitration (Howard specifically) with control. Not offering arb to Burrell and Moyer was the first step. Signing Ibanez was the second step. [I'm disappointed Burrell is gone. I'm not sure Ibanez is the right guy. But I'm not ready to call anything a bust just because Burrell signed for MUCH less than most every BL'er thought he would get.] Focusing on significant pieces of the pitching puzzle (Hamels, Moyers, Madson (and Lidge during the season)) proves the value the Phillies place on pitching. Also, considering the misconception regarding the "Bandbox" upping the ante for free agent pitchers, this allows the Phillies to retain players who have a) had success in the hitter friendly conditions b) grown accustomed to pitching in those conditions. So instead of paying a PREMIUM for a free agent pitcher, they lock up players more likely to have success here at home.

RE: Victorino. My Dad is a vic guy. And the play where Victorino pulled a Jeter and flew into the seats was the moment that sealed the deal. While Vic has baseball IQ flaws, the way he plays with emotion and near reckless abandon shows up in BIG games and Big Moments. Vic throw to home in June to keep Lidge perfect onto the Sabathia Grandslam to the game 4 game typing 2 run homer to set up Stairs. At 3.25MM that seems like a bargain to me. But then again, I watched the end of game 5 a few times since Sunday to cleanse the palate after football season. Victorino may make an all star game someday (especially if he continues to do well on the big stage) but that's still to be determined. We do know that having a guy like Victorino makes the Phillies a better team. And you can't beat that he annoys Mets fans. I'd have given an extra 250K just for that!

Just looked it up on Cots and it looks like Werth has slightly more service time than Nady. So I guess about 7 million or so would be about right. If so, that is a nice raise.

How did signing Ibanez for a lot more money than Burrell give Amaro "control" going into arbitration?

Jack: You beat me to it. Was gonna ask the same question. I'm struggling to understand how Mike C. thinks signing Ibanaez for more than Burrell helps with Amaro's budget.

I think Mike C. was referring to Cost Certainty, which of course is a little bit different than control.

By signing Ibanez earlier at his price ($10M), he had cost certainty in LF, where if he went to arbitration with Burrell, the cost in LF could have been either the Phils number or Burrell's (or in the middle if they settled before getting to arbitration).

Not saying I agree with Amaro's move, just that it did provide cost certainty over that position vs. the rest of the budget.

JMARR: The choice wasn't between signing Ibanez or going to arb with the Burrell. It was signing Ibanez, going to arb with Burrell or signing Burrell after not offering arb. Obviously, choice #3 turned out to be the cheapest of the 3 options.

Ibanez is making 10m, Burrell is making 8m. Not that big of a difference in the world of baseball salaries. I would guess Mike C. is saying they preferred to have a cost certainty of 10m vs. a possible 16m arb payout to Burrell.

Nice to see Vic get paid. As far as I'm concerned, no one had 2 bigger hits in Oct.

Howard asked for $18 million in arbitration today, which is the 3rd highest ever. Phillies offered $14 million.

Who wins?

It would seem that Ruben just preferred Ibanez over Burrell. Period.

Looks like his worst move so far (and that is a good sign). But time will tell. Hope Ibanez rakes.

I can't believe anyone doesn't understand that Burrell wasn't going to be signed at 15 million, 10 million, 8 million or 2 million.
The Phillies made it perfectly clear that they didn't want him at any price. Heck they never even bothered to ask him what his price was.

dammit - i wish the Phils would have offered $15. I can't see arb. only awarding Howard $4 million dollar raise after a full year of service time, Phils great attendance, WS ring, and league leading HR/RBI.

At least $15mil shows a full 50% raise and would give the arb something to thing about.

Another year of this kind of escalation and Howard will be too expensive to keep and too expensive to trade.

Yo, new thread

$18 million is a joke.

I agree they should have offered 15 to counter 18. I personally don't think Howard is worth 18. Below average feilder and strikeouts.big issue.

mofo: "Howard asked for $18 million in arbitration today. Phillies offered $14 million. Who wins?"

Hmmm, Howard led the major leagues in HRs and RBI and his team won the World Series. I think I know.

I think $14mil is a pretty reasonable offer in the context of the arbitration process. We'll see though. Depends on how much defense or OPS weighs into the arbitrator's decision, as opposed to HRs, RBIs and MVP votes(not trying to minimalize those things).

In Pujols' arb years(all negotiated into his long term deal) he got 7, 11, and 14. Cabrera got 7.4, 11.3, and 15. In that context $4 mil seems like an appropriate raise, and the Phillies should make their case that way.

Cost Certainity, Control, whatever it's semantics. The Phillies can continue to Control or manage the payroll at there level, so they stay within their budget no matter what happens with the howard award.

Howard will get the 18MM.

I can't see how a third year player can get that much money.
When Jeter asked for $18.5 he already had 4 rings... I know arbitrators don't care about that, but somehow that seems a touch more reasonable.

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