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Friday, January 02, 2009

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One day perhaps he will live the dream and get to wear an MLB uniform. Good luck Mazone.

From the last thread:

I made this post repeatedly but the Phils have 3 poor/terrible contracts next year (Eaton, Jenkins, Feliz) that amount to $23M or at least 20% of their payroll this year. Not a single one of these contracts is tradeable unless the Phils eat a significant portion of their salary or take on a equally bad contract.

The only thing that is good is that these 3 contracts all come off the books at the end of this season. However, Amaro went around and increasingly looks like he overpaid for Ibanez and Moyer. Everybody endlessly bemoans the money that Eaton is owed but what happens if Moyer largely turns out to be a similar case at the end of next year or Ibanez in the next year and half?

That is a significant amount and compared that to the Mets who really only three terrible contracts for next year (Schoenweis, Wagner, Castillo) to the tune of about $19M. You could even argue that Wagner wasn't a "terrible contract" just an injury risk because if healthy he would be a vital cog in the Mets' bullpen again.

Mazone was indeed hailed by numerous Beerleaguer posters as a top prospect a few years ago. I rmemeber several debates with kdon about him. 'Nuff said.

Sad to say, there was a time when Mazone was about the best our farm had to offer. Ughh. Heck there were years when no one would have noticed if our entire AAA team was abducted by aliens.

I wouldn't have noticed if the 2008 IronPigs were abducted by aliens.

The Phillies only have 2 bad contracts, Eaton and Jenkins. Pedro Feliz doesnt have a bad contract. He is a starting 3B that makes 5million for 1 more year. Even if you hate Feliz and feel he should only be a platoon player, 5 million isnt that bad.

I wouldn't call Feliz a bad contract, either. That's closer to the standard issue for an aging vet and he was a starting player. Is Myers at $12 million a worse contract?

Clout: "Please explain when Madson folded last season. I missed it."

How soon we forget in the wake of team success, eh? He had two blown leads, and hence two blown saves, in the WS alone.

I agree, Feliz is not a bad contract. Whether Myers is or not depends on which Myers we get. If the late-season Myers, no.

Clout: Even if we disagree on Madson's value, do you agree that this is probably Madson's final season as a Phillie?

JW: Myers is a headcase but has reasonable potential to be a 1A type starter, so having him for 1 year at 12 mil seems just about perfect to me.

Alby: That's a little harsh on Madson's WS performance. In Game 3 he gave up a run but the only ball that left the infield while he was pitching was Ruiz's attempt to catch Upton stealing at third. And Baldelli's homer in the clinching game was just an impressive piece of hitting off of a pretty good up and in pitch.
I'm not saying it's a shut case that Madson is suddenly a lock down reliever, but he was pretty impressive in the playoffs.

I don't consider Brett Myers @ 12 mil a bad contract either. He only has 1 year left. At his best he is a decent #2 pitcher. The guy is in a contract year and he'll probably overperform for another contract. Just like Moyer did last year.

Comparing Myers and Feliz's contracts is a good example of the fallacy of evauating every personnel move in strictly financial terms.

I would agree that Feliz's deal is not necessarily a "bad contract," in that $4M per year isn't really out of line with what he's worth. And I would agree that Myers at $12M is definitely overpaid relative to his performance. But when Feliz leaves after 2009, the team won't be that much worse off and they may well be better off. If Myers leaves after 2009, we'll be much worse off and it will be very difficult to find a reasonably equal replacement.

Question about the "101 Reasons to Love the Phillies" graphic: how did they (Stewart Tabori & Chang or STC Books) trademark the word "Love"?

Brian: Fair enough, but it still goes in the books as two blown saves.

Look up his splits. He performed his worst in the 8th-inning role -- not badly, but not up to what he did in the 7th. In earlier seasons he spit the bit whenever given the chance to start. He's now in his sixth season. If he were going to show closer-level stuff and makeup, he would have done it by now. Just my opinion. The point I was making is that I think the Phils are going to let him walk away after this season. That being the case, I certainly hope opposing GMs share Clout's opinion of him, not mine.

I love players in their salary drive years. Madson will probably dial it up to 100 mph. Myers will be unhittable. We'll have 2 starters who can match up with anyone, and 2 who will regularly give us 6 innings, and have the 8th & 9th locked down. The back half of the BP will be superflous. I say threepeat.

Mikes77: So, given that he's also in the last year of his contract, shouldn't we expect a big season from Eaton, too? ;)

Pedro Feliz had the game winning hit of our clinching WS win. That alone makes his contract just fine in my book.

Feliz's contract was a bad contract. No other team was willing to give him more than a single year (including the Giants) because of his hack-machine approach to hitting and concerns about his back.

No one and I mean no one on the Giants last year stated the Feliz was missed and his included a team was willing to start the putrid Castillo at 3B for most of the year.

Low and behold, Feliz hurt his back last year and was horrendous offensively in the 2nd half. Now the Phils are magically trying to pretend that a 35-year old guy with a bad back will suddenly be productive/healthy all season? Fat chance.

$5M for a guy who is a huge health risk and really should be a platoon player is by definition a poor contract for this year.

If the Phils went out today and signed a 35-year old 3B with a bad back and an OPS+ of around 80 to a 1 yr/$4.5M with an buyout option of $500k to fill 3B, the Phils' FO would get buried by the press and fans.

A majority of the fans on here would piss and moan about what a stupid signing it was and how the Phils go with the stop-gap method if it fits their budget.

There has been research done on the theory that players perform better in their "contract years." The research concluded that the theory is bunk.

In fact, I willing to put a gentleman's wager of $1 (principle) that Feliz won't even hit more than 10 HRs this year because of injuries/ineffectiveness.

Any takers?

achtung you sniveling whiney phags: every team has a few bad contracts. wash the sand out of your vaginas & deal

achtung you sniveling whiney phags: every team has a few bad contracts. wash the sand out of your vaginas & deal

I am definitely concerned about Feliz's back this year, but I would not consider him a bad contract. We won a world series with him and his defense adn clutch hits made a big contribution.

I also think $12 million for Myers is reasonable since he'll win Cy Young in his walk year.

I still demand Derek Lowe.

MG: That was one of the most convincing posts I've ever read on Beerleaguer. I take back what I said before: Feliz is a bad contract.

As for Myers, I wouldn't say it is a bad contract for 2009 if he gives you what I think he ends up with - 12 or 13 Ws, 4.25 ERA, 1.3 WHIP.

One thing is almost certain and it is that Myers won't be consistent for an entire season. I am tired of hearing that Myers is still developing as a starter. He just doesn't have the mental makeup or the preparation/drive required to achieve a truly dominant season.

Doesn't mean he doesn't have value or that he can't be a valuable member of your pitching staff but Myers just isn't an ace or a guy who is going to win you 16-17 games either.

BTY - For all of the talk about Myers "being a horse," he only has 1 season where he has thrown over 200 IPs as a starter. Gotten damn close twice (193 IP in '03 and 198 IP in '06) but Myers career IP is kind of like his career - decent but nothing spectacular so far.

I'll miss Mazone since he was decent depth to stash away at AAA. It was good that we never needed him, but hopefully he'll get his shot at the bigs in LA.

I don't know how people can complain about Feliz's contract. He actually contributed to our World Series Championship unlike Adam Eaton. I wish we had Mazone back instead of Eaton.

John - Your missing the point. Of course every team has bad contracts but I but do most teams have 20% or more of their payoll locked up in "bad/poor contracts" next year as the Phils do?

On a team that that hasn't really increased payroll the past 4 years (it has been pretty static since CBP opened in '05 and has hovered between $90-$100M each year since), it is absolutely vital to have a minimum of bad/poor contracts. That was the only point I was making.

The money owed to Eaton, Jenkins, and Feliz prevented the Phils limits what the Phils can do and their ability to really upgrade or address any issues this offseason.

Meant for the Phils to substantially improve any areas. That was what I meant.

Yes it does matter about Feliz's contract. Feliz at $1.5-$2M as a platoon/backup type player is fine. That would allow the Phils do go out and get another reliever like Cruz to provide even more depth and provide an upgrade over Condrey (who is serviceable but hardly a world beater).

The question with our WFC third baseman is: "compared to what." Compared to Stonehands Helms he was a substantial upgrade. Compared to a hypothetical stud third baseman, not so much. Heck with the stud we might have won it in 4 games.

Do I care whether he got a million more than he deserved, or a year more than he deserved? Not at all. He helped win the first WFC in 28 years, and that's what it's all about.

Or have that extra $2-$3M hanging around to make some moves during the season. If the Phils payroll does open at $115M or slightly north, don't count on them making any kind of significant moves during the season that bring on any kind of significant salary in return like the Eyre deal (which really was a salary dump by the Cubs).

Money will be incredibly tight and likely not there unless the Phils move some salary in return and I fully anticipate they trade Stairs (maybe Coste too) to relieve some salary for next year.

Alby: Man, you're tough. Madson held opposing batters to a .660 OPS in innings 7 thru 9, had 17 holds and only 2 blown saves all season. His ERA in September when everything was on the line was 0.64 in 14 IP. And that's not good enough for you?

I agree we need to see him do it over a longer period of time before we can declare him permanent setup man, but you're off base on this one.

MG: Of course nobody would sign a guy who just had back surgery to the contract you're quoting. But I measure it against the David Bell contract -- similar player, similar salary, similar back problem but 4 years instead of 2. If the FO keeps progressing at this rate, they'll only give 1 year, $5 million to their next phutile attempt to plug the 3B hole. BTW, his salary last season was $3 million. It's the second year that's the killer.

On Myers, I believe you're off-base. Just as everyone kept saying "Burrell isn't worth $14 million a year" while forgetting that was only the figure for the final year of his contract, Myers made $5 million in '07 and $8.5 million in '08. That was not a bad contract to give a pitcher who had just racked up ERA+ figures of 118 and 120, considering the last two years were years of potential free agency. Let's put it this way -- were you bitching about this contract when it was signed, or only since Myers has "underperformed"? Beyond that, consider how many pitchers -- even guys without Myers' maturity problems -- don't figure it out until they're 28 or older. I'm not saying he has, but unless he completely tanks or gets injured he's the pitching staff's equivalent of Burrell -- not what we were hoping for because he had been hyped to the skies, but hard to replace if you don't have him.

In short, I think you're overreacting to your frustration on Myers. On Feliz, plenty of us didn't want to sign him at any price. As I recall, our preference was Mike Lowell. I'd rather be paying $5 million for one more year to our guy with a bad back than $24 million for two more years for theirs.

Still bitching about Pedro Feliz? C'mon guys, leave it alone. He did bad and he did good. We won the World Series with his rbi single, give the man a slight reprieve.

MG: Watch Myers have "the preparation/drive required to achieve a truly dominant season" now that he is in his walk year. The free agent starter market is very weak next offseason and if Myers can do what he did in the second half for an entire season he is going to cash in huge. He should have plenty of motivation.

Len39: Did you forget So Taguchi's big clutch hit? By your logic we need to keep So, it was a good contract.

Don't forget that Madson will be pitching for a contract next year. With that being said, I still wouldn't mind signing Cruz and seeing him get some late inning work. I also agree that he is an upgrade over Condrey.

Clout: Forget "innings 7 through 9." Look at inning 8 alone, because that's when he was in the cauldron (when he pitched the ninth, it wasn't as a closer). His OPS against was .751 in the 8th alone -- and obviously lower in the 7th and 9th to reach the figure you quote.

Look, I acknowledge this isn't entirely based on rationality. He choked big-time in that first spot start Bowa gave him, he failed when he got a shot in the rotation, he wasn't consistent in other attempts at making him the 8th-inning guy. I don't know if he gets over-amped or what, he just seems shakier to me when the pressure is on.

OTOH, if that late-season jump in velocity is real and repeatable, he's going to have his best year ever in '09 -- in which case Boras will take him out on the market trying to find him a closer's job.

So do you agree this is probably his last year in Philly or not?

MG: Another thought: Jenkins and Eaton are bad contracts because they won't even be playing. Feliz, while overpaid and undergood, is nevertheless the starting 3B. So, as Curt pointed out, you can't really put Feliz in the same category. You'd be paying something for a 3B in any case. Say we had acquired DeRosa, for example. He'd be better than Feliz, but he'd cost just as much, so it wouldn't help out on the economic front at all.

Speaking of which, I hope you don't think your predictions about payroll are persuasive. They're your opinion, nothing morel.

I'll be curious to see how long the "we won the WFC so any criticism is unfair" defense will last. My guess: Until the first loss of the 2009 season.

To Pops, Len and all others who predict great things from players in their walk years: I spent more than an hour looking up studies on that issue, and BAP is correct. The only study that found a significant deviation from chance was one that concentrated only on what its authors called "top" free agents -- in other words, they cherry-picked their information.

As I jokingly noted above, Adam Eaton is in his walk year, too. Anyone want to predict big things for him in '09?

Alby: On Madson, it's impossible to predict. It will depend on whether anyone else steps up this season and how much Boras wants and how the Phils finish. If he's strong all year as setup guy I think the Phils will try to re-sign him, especially if Romero and Durbin back up a little, which wouldn't shock me.

Feliz isn't a terrible contract at $4m/year. Last year, Feliz had a 81 OPS+, played gold glove defense and had some cluth hits down the stretch. Clutch hitting may not be a predictable skill, but there's no disputing their value. There also a solid chance Feliz will be better next year.

Clout: Nah. They'll use it through April unless the team falls four or more games under .500, until May unless the team is more than 3 games behind the Mets, and until the first 5-game losing streak if the team breaks precedent and actually starts off well.

From the NYPost, on Lowe:

What the Lowe camp finds distasteful is that the Mets are offering not just the same annual value ($12 million a year) that Carlos Silva received last year from the Mariners, but a year less than Silva received in his four-year, $48 million deal. And Lowe considers himself far superior to Silva. Lowe also received exactly $36 million in his last deal, albeit for four years with the Dodgers. He is expecting more than that total this time around.

Maybe he'll pitch like Silva as well?

BTW, clout, I wasn't advocating getting rid of Madson in a vacuum. I raised it in the context of adding Cruz, who probably wouldn't sign if he weren't going to be the 8th-inning guy. Considering that his No. 5 comparable player is Ryan Madson himself, I'd rather keep both Madson and the draft pick.

So we should believe that if the Phillies signed a Feliz level player for 3m instead of 5m, then the Phillies would upgrade to a better pitcher than Clay Condrey?
Who was the player (3B) that would have signed for that?
I remember an outcry for the Phillies to trade for Joe Crede. He would have cost players and salary, then played in 90 injury plagued games. And the Phillies wouldnt have won the WS... Feliz isnt great, but give the team credit for making a decision that helped the team win.

Alby: I agree.

"I'll be curious to see how long the "we won the WFC so any criticism is unfair" defense will last. My guess: Until the first loss of the 2009 season."

As I see it, there are 2 categories of criticism, criticism of moves leading to the WFC, and criticisms of moves in advance of or during the 2009 season. The former seem silly in light of the result, the latter are fair game.

Mikes77: Check the skies for four flying horses, because we're in agreement -- none of the 3B most of us preferred last offseason would have us in better position today. Lowell's OPS+ was significantly better at 103 vs. Feliz's 81, but that's barely above average at $12 million a year.

You need only look at this year's free agent list to debunk the theory that players play better in their walk years. A handful of players on that list had 2008 seasons that were significantly better than their recent career norms (i.e., Milton Bradley, Jamie Moyer, CC Sabathia). But far more players on the list had seasons that were in line with with their career norms or worse.

****In fact, I willing to put a gentleman's wager of $1 (principle) that Feliz won't even hit more than 10 HRs this year because of injuries/ineffectiveness****

I'll take that bet. Pedro will hit more than 10 HRs in 2009.

Alby - When did I say the Myers' contract was a bad deal at any point? The Phils have generally gotten their money's worth out of it. The only issue with Myers is that he never has completed a really strong season from Opening Day to the final day and I highly doubt it happens in 2009.

Doesn't mean he is a bad pitcher or that he doesn't have some real value for the Phils. He does and if he pitches like he did in 2005/06 then he is a capable No. 2 or 3 in a rotation.

I just don't think he is ever going to point together a season where he wins 16-17 games and has an ERA around 3.00-3.25.

As for economic and payroll, I don't have the time to construct a more complete analysis (just using a rule of thumb) but you certainly could and some of the more advanced saber guys I have seen have attempted this by computing a $ value for a player based on his "wins above average" stat.

Maybe Feliz proves me wrong and has a decent year at 3B this year (say .250, 15-20 HRs and solid defense) and plays in 140-145 G. More than likely though he has an injury-plagued year due to his bad back that hampers his power numbers (notice they fell off a cliff in the 2nd half).

I don't understand why their are so many Feliz defenders. Almost as baffling as the defenders of one of the worst positional players to put on a Phils' uniform in the last 20 yrs in No-Hit Nunez.

Fact are the after about middle-July, Feliz was horrendously offensive. One of the worst players offensively in all of MLB for the rest of the season and his numbers in the postseason stunk too. If it weren't for that timely hit, Feliz would be more remembered for a guy who hit an empty .250 with a meagre OPS of .555.

There are a ton of reason why the Phils won the World Series but Pedro Feliz is well done on the list. In fact he wouldn't make a top 15 list.

BAP, Baseball Prospectus did a pretty convincing study that players do indeed have a better year during their walk year when you look at the overall average. Last year might have been out of whack a bit but that doesn't disprove the theory.

MG: I'll take that action on over 10 HR for Feliz this year.

Another thing that mystifies me about Feliz is that like Nunez he stinks at the small intangibles things offensively - he can't bunt, he grounds into more than his share of DP, isn't a savvy baserunner, tries to pull every damn pitch almost regardless of the type of pitch, its velocity, or location, and is a below average situational hitter who you can hit & run with because of his poor ability to make contact.

If Feliz was Brooks Robinson at 3B then his defense would do a more through job of compensating for his numerous offensive deficiencies but he isn't. Just a good 3B defensively which is fine as long as the Phils get their offense from other positions.

NEPP & MPN - I will keep an email somewhere. Hope I am wrong because Feliz's power is his best offensive attribute.

After watching the WS tape, Feliz did have 2 HUGE hits in the World Series including the game winning one.

MG: Well done? As in cooked? You may well be right. Below-average players with bad backs are highly unlikely to improve.

I didn't like the signing then. But in hindsight, I don't see who they could have gotten, or could get today, who would fill that position for less money. Someone might fill it better, but not for less. Looking around the game, third basemen who field well, hit consistently and don't get hurt are few and far between these days. I was a strong supporter of signing Lowell, and I sure wouldn't want to owe him $24 million right now.

On Myers, my bad. I thought you were lumping him in with the "bad contract" bunch you were talking about. I think that, unless he has a breakout season of the sort you describe and/or Carrasco suffers a serious injury, Myers will be allowed to walk away after the season.

NEPP: Do you have a link on that? The one I saw, by Dayn Perry and someone else, was the one that cherry-picked the "top" free agents. Most of the intellectually honest studies I found struggled with how to compensate for the fact that everyone who signs a free-agent contract is one year older the following season, two years older the next, etc. -- and that most free agent contracts are signed by players on the wrong side of 30 in the first place. Even the one that found an effect measured it at about half a win per season.

I think what happens is that the players who do exceed career norms stick in the memory, while those who don't do not.

"...but let's not forget that he hit on the road, too, not just at Citizen's Bank Jokeyard."
-Jon Heyman

Jesus Christ. I know expecting anything at all from print/TV national reporters is asking enough as is, but didn't last season prove to everyone with a brain that CBP is, for the most part, a normal ballpark?

"Another thing that mystifies me about Feliz is that... he stinks at the small intangibles things offensively - he can't bunt, he grounds into DPS, isn't a savvy baserunner, tries to pull every damn pitch... and is a below average situational hitter... because of his poor ability to make contact."

Its funny how all of Pedro Feliz's weaknesses are easily identified. Everyone's favorite, Greg Dobbs, doesnt seem to have an identifiable weakness.
Pedro Feliz is an ABOVE average-fielder. Greg Dobbs is a butcher. Pedro Feliz can make contact against RH pitchers. Greg Dobbs cant touch LH pitchers. Those are advantages that Feliz has over Dobbs. Both Feliz and Dobbs cant run or bunt. So what are we talking about? There is a reason Feliz plays more and contributed to a Championship team.

And even if Feliz is'nt one of the top 15 reasons why the Phillies won the WS, as long as he was ONE of the reasons, I have no problem with his place on the roster.

MG
"He stinks at the small intangibles things offensively - he can't bunt, he grounds into more than his share of DP, isn't a savvy baserunner, tries to pull every damn pitch almost regardless of the type of pitch, its velocity, or location, and is a below average situational hitter who you can hit & run with because of his poor ability to make contact."

I thought you were talking about Burrell

Mike - I figured you would jump into Feliz's defense. Feliz in the 1st half was fine. His numbers were solid offensively and he was very steady in the field. After he tweaked his back in early July, his numbers went in the crapper though. You can't hit with an OPS of .500 or so and expect to get any kind of playing time yet Cholly continued to start him anyways.

Feliz/Dobbs was slightly better (and I do mean slightly) than Dobbs/Helms/Nunez in 2007 but not by that much either offensively or defensively. Reality is that the Phils hadn't had a decent 3B since Rolen was traded in '02 although Bell did have that one good year for the Phils in '04 where he was pretty solid offensively and defensively.

Curious to see where Donald ends up and if the Phils try to plunk him down at 3B just to see if they can even get an average offensive and defense solution at 3B for the next few years.

fangraphs suggests pedro was worth $7.4 million to the phils last year (1.6 value wins). That compares favorably to his $3 mill 2008 salary. It would also suggest that he only needs to be worth $1.1 million in 2009 to make this a fine signing.

pedro dudies in the bed with the stick, but fangraphs says his defense more than makes up for it. I know folks on here don't love defense metrics, so i'm curious what you make of this?

Arguably the move I have been most disappointed this season was the Phils bringing back Bruntlett for another year.

I was hoping they could find a way to upgrade their reserve middle INF just because Utley is likely to miss some significant time (I would be shocked if he is cleared and ready to go say before last week in April).

For potentially a modest bump in salary, they likely could have gotten better return on the 750k or so they will spend on Bruntlett.

PhilliesRed - Thanks for pointing that out. I would have to take more of a look the FanGraphs but it is an interesting number. Still looks like Feliz's defensive stats decline a bit across the board last year a bit but supposedly he was really solid yet.

MG
Actually I myself thought Bruntlett did a very good job filling in for Rollins when he was out. He also came thru with some good pinch hits. Who would they bring in that just wanted to be a backup infielder?

Last Points:

1. Probably would have to have been by a trade to upgrade the middle INF position. Looked at the deal Aaron Miles signed with the Cubs and he wasn't cheap (2 yrs/$4.9M) for basically a guy who is really only should be a spot starter on a good club.

Bruntlett is ok defensively but he just is woeful against RHP and generally as a PH. Arguably not a big deal on most clubs but with the health status question of Utley and Feliz coming into the season, the reserve INF takes on more importance.

2. Cot's Contracts say the Phils don't have any obligations to formers players in 2009 (this means you Jim Thome).

3. There are some really productive players yet on the FA market. Hopefully Amaro guessed right but if a guy like Lowe signs for 3 yrs/$36M and Burrell gets significantly less than Ibanez (say 2 yrs/$16-$18M), then he likely is going to have some egg on his face for committing to Moyer and Ibanez in the longest FA offseason I can remember.

If these rumors are correct about the Cubs signing Milton Bradley for 3 years, $30 million, then I am a bit more sanguine about the Ibanez signing. Bradley might have more upside but the most games he's ever played in is 141 and he does have some emotional/attitudinal baggage.

Theres no way Lowe gets anything lower than 15 mil a year

anyone in NYC, with Time Warner, actually getting the MLB Channel?

It shows up on the guide, but no programming when you select it.


mikes77: Pick the 10 biggest Feliz detractors on this site, and I guarantee you that none has ever claimed that Greg Dobbs has no weaknesses. And for that matter, none has ever claimed that Dobbs is defensively superior to Feliz or that Dobbs hits left-handed pitching better than Feliz does.

The main gripe that most of us have with Feliz is that he plays every day, even though he can't hit right-handed pitching at all, whereas Dobbs hits it very well.

****NEPP: Do you have a link on that? ****

The only one I ever read was the article that was in BP's book "Baseball Between the Numbers". If it was written by Dayn Perry (A occasional BP contributor) then I will completely discount it. He's annoyingly ignorant in most of his posts.

Overall, I do remember liking the book even if I didn't end up buying it...I did read most of it at a Barnes & Noble though.

BAP said, "The main gripe that most of us have with Feliz is that he plays every day, even though he can't hit right-handed pitching at all, whereas Dobbs hits it very well."

Tell that to James Sheilds in game 2 of the World Series.

I can see Lowe getting something like 4 years $56 million or even 3 years, $42 with a vesting option for the fourth year. It doesnt really appear that anyone is bidding for his services other the Mets. Now it makes no sense if the Braves were interested in spending money on Burnett AND Furcal that they wouldn't be in on Lowe too. They really really need another starter and Lowe would fit them pretty well. You'd think a guy with his track record would have his phone ringing off the hook. Its bordering on ridiculous that he doesn't have more offers out there. Downside to making ridiculous demands to start off the free agency period.

MG said, "Arguably the move I have been most disappointed this season was the Phils bringing back Bruntlett for another year... they likely could have gotten better return on the 750k or so they will spend on Bruntlett."

I totally agree.

And try $1million on for size. That's what they reportedly re-signed him for. I would given up the extra million and a half per year and signed Aaron Miles.

Isn't Miles going to be St Louis's second baseman. Do you think Miles would of signed here to be a reserve?

Call me crazy, but didn't Miles just sign with the Cubs...all part of that Derosa trade.

Yeah you are right - the Cubs

mikes77: Yes, that proves your point, alright. How stupid of me to be basing my assessment on things like his .231 average and .636 OPS against right-handers last year, or his .203 average & 0 homeruns in post-season play. I totaly forgot: he got a big hit off of James Shields in the World Series, so he clearly is one of the game's great sluggers against right-handed pitching. Case closed.

Geez. I literally don't know what to say.

NEPP: Apparently Lowe wants to be in the Northeast, so he hasn't been interested in the Braves, rather than the other way around.

And yes, the study you cited from "Baseball Between the Numbers" is the one study out of five or so I found that claimed the walk-year surge exists -- and it used "top free agents" rather than all of them. The others were extremely wonky SABR papers. They had problems, too, of the sort I mentioned above, but at least they came from trying to compensate for potentially biasing factors, rather than convenience.

Bruntlett resigned for $1M? Ugh. Normally the middle utility INF is might be the 24th or 25th man on the roster and not that important.

With Utley/Feliz's health status though and Cholly's affinity to utilize his bench early and often, I have a feeling that Bruntlett is going to get a bunch of playing time again this year and likely means about 200-250 ABs. Really about 100 ABs too many for a guy who really is an offensive liability.

BAP,

Actually, Feliz got his GW hit against RHP Bradford. I was trying to give you a jab by refering to Dobbs flailing away at RHP James Shields in game 2... The joke didnt take, so lets move on.

****And yes, the study you cited from "Baseball Between the Numbers" is the one study out of five or so I found that claimed the walk-year surge exists -- and it used "top free agents" rather than all of them.****

Fair enough...that's what I get for talking out of my 4th point of contact.

****NEPP: Apparently Lowe wants to be in the Northeast, so he hasn't been interested in the Braves, rather than the other way around.****

Yeah, I've heard that but the only NE team that even seems to be interested is the Mets and they're being pretty tight with the pursestrings. The Yankees appear to be out, the BoSox just signed Penny, we're done spending, etc, etc.

If he were smart, the Braves would be a good place for him but having been to Atlanta before, I can understand his reluctance to live there over a place like Boston.

No matter what else he does, I'm always gonna remember Pedro Feliz fondly because of his 2 huge hits in the World Series. He's the one that broke our brutal RISP slump and he's the one who got the game winning hit. I'm not gonna say he should start everyday but I'm never gonna boo the guy that won us a World Series. Just like Bruntlett will always have a spot for hitting that HR of the Chosen One David Price in Game 2...even if we lost the game it was good to shut up Tim McCarver for 2 seconds...though how McCarver could talk and slurp on Price is beyond me.

Sorry, just watched the WS DVD on Blue Ray again...it will NEVER get old to watch.

"fangraphs suggests pedro was worth $7.4 million to the phils last year (1.6 value wins). "

It seems to me that fangraphs values defense a little bit too high in their final formula. Randy Winn is at 22 mill, for instance. Mark Ellis, 13mill. Cesar Izturis at 8mill. Orlando Cabrera at 15mill. I don't know how valuable I think it is just yet because of that.

Clout: Bringing up So Taguchi is really idiotic. I never said "one clutch hit makes a contract" which is the case with Taguchi. Let's consider defense. Was Feliz valuable there? Can Taguchi compare to him there?

Plus, Feliz had several clutch hits including the insurance run that we needed in the division clinching game so we could all enjoy that nice Sunday and you know, the hit that put us ahead for good in the World Series. I think he justified his $4-5 million with that. So Taguchi had a great game when we scored 20 runs against Colorado, had one big hit at Shea and dropped some fly balls. I don't see how he is at all relevent to the Feliz argument.

mikes77: Crede "would have cost players and salary, then played in 90 injury plagued games. And the Phillies wouldnt have won the WS"

Really? Crede, an excellent fielder, had an OPS+ of 98. Feliz had an OPS+ of 81. Crede had 365 PAs, Feliz had 458. Yeah, those 93 fewer PAs at thirdbase would've meant the diffrence in winning the WS. Because Feliz is so much better than Crede.

Breathtaking.

Sorry for igniting the Feliz weekly semi-debate again. BTY - Feliz made $3M last year and will make $5.5M this year if the Philsn buyout his option in '10 ($5M).

MG: "Cot's Contracts say the Phils don't have any obligations to formers players in 2009 (this means you Jim Thome)."

Both the Inquirer and Daily News have said that the Phillies owe $3M to Thome in 2009.

Len39: I was making a ridiculous comparison to highlight your ridiculous logic regarding Feliz (i.e. he had a key hit so whatever his flaws are don't matter).

We would have had to trade for Crede...Feliz only cost money. Slight difference. If you'll recall, Feliz was Plan B after Lowell resigned with the Sox. Could you imagine how pissed you'd be if we had Lowell who costs far more for more years and is even worse injured than Pedro.

Get off the Feliz hatred already.

****Both the Inquirer and Daily News have said that the Phillies owe $3M to Thome in 2009. ****

Normally I would think Cots is the better source (as GMs have admitted to using his site as a reference tool) but I would have to think the local newspapers would know the facts better...right?...right???

NEPP: You've been one of Feliz's top backers on this board since the day the Phils traded for him. You defend him every time anyone says boo. You were one of the last posters to admit that maybe he shouldn't start everyday at 3B. I kinda think you are I are not ever going to see eye to eye on how great he is.

BTW, if the Phils signed Lowell maybe he wouldn't have gotten hurt. You never know.

On Crede: He's had 502 ABs in the past 2 years combined...not exactly the paragon of health. Feliz had 977 ABs in that same time period.

True. Lowell might not have gotten hurt but if he did like he did with the Sox, we'd be on the hook for 3 more years of an injury riddled aging 3B who violently came back to earth in 08.

And I defend Feliz because there weren't really any viable options other than him last year. After Lowell was off the board, it was Feliz as a FA or trading prospects for a huge question mark like Crede or someone like Atkins (who was ridiculously overpriced).

The problem I have with Dobbs starting at 3B is that he's brutal defensively. If Dobbs was even average with the glove, I'd have no problem putting him out there everyday, especially against rightys.

I'm not gonna bash Feliz becuase despite all the criticism, it was Pedro who came through with the clutch hits in the WS. That alone made his contract bearable.

NEPP: "And I defend Feliz because there weren't really any viable options other than him last year."

Ever hear of Jorge Cantu?

Also, if you saw the games Dobbs played in August when Feliz was hurt you'd know better than to say "he's brutal defensively." He wasn't. In fact, he was getting better the more he played. But facts have never swayed you in the past, so roll on.

I favor the platoon at 3B, as Feliz leaves a lot to be desired offensively. It is as though David Bell morphed into Pedro Feliz.If Jason Donald is at least respectable in the 3B experiment, what is there to lose in giving him a serious shot at starting? After all, Pedro Feliz is not David Wright. My advice for upgrading the offense is simple. Stop using Bruntlett

"Sorry for igniting the Feliz weekly semi-debate again."

At this point, MG, it beats the heck out of the Ibanez debates.

Look. Pedro is way better with the glove and not so hot against RHP. Dobbs is wicked against RHP but a hack with the glove. We all know it should be a platoon next season, even though it won't be. Can't we all just get along? ;)

Happy New Year everyone! Was going to keep quiet for awhile, but couldn't help myself after watching good old clout distorting everyone's statements.

clout.. no is saying Pedro Feliz is great, or even that good. He can't hit RHP, he should platoon with Dobbs at points, his defense is above average. YES YES YES, these are true clout, you are right. What many posters here, specifically Len39, are trying to debate is did Feliz earn his contract this year. $5 million for a starting 3B when many options (I know Jorge Cantu, keep going on with your lovefest for him, even though he couldn't even be considered a decent fielder in Little League) were off the table isn't bad. Pedro was what he was, low BA, decnt power, above average defense, and surprisngly this season, the knack to come up with big hits. I mean the World Series alone... the big DP he started in Game 1, breaking the RISP streak, and of course the game winning hit for WFC!

Is Pedro Feliz a below average starting 3B factoring in everything? Yeah. But did he earn his contract? Yeah.

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