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Saturday, January 17, 2009


Great deal by Amaro getting that done. Are you kidding me? Cole for less than Moyer. Can we say deal of the century.

Where are all the Amaro haters now?

So this is just basically the Phillies saying thanks and keeping him happy?

Yes, keeping him happy AND saving money along the way for the rest of his arbitration years. His first contract in FA will most likely be around 5 yrs for 75.

Very solid move. Going to arbitration has seemed more risky in recent years, so it seems to be a win-win.

"Where are all the Amaro haters now?"
Uh, he still made that highly-questionable (considering the market) Ibanez signing.

"Cole for less than Moyer. Can we say deal of the century?"
Um, the Phils still had Hamels's rights for all three of those seasons. It was a good deal, but you can't compare it to a free agent signing.

Kid: you just said arbitration is risky because it could cost a lot and then in the next breath you are disputing me and saying it is as good as a FA signing. I disagree. I see arbitration as free agency except you have the players rights. Eithier way the market tells you what to pay the player. That's why they negotiated with dobbs as well so they could avoid that stage.

Again- great job by Amaro on this.

Re: the last thread.

I think the starters ability to get through 6 or 7 innings in over 50% of the games gets overlooked a bit by us. That had as much to do with the bullpen having a great year as anything.

If are starters can give us something reasonably similar to that this year it's not hard to think the bullpen could replicate some of it's work from 2008. I don't think they will all have huge seasons like some did this past year, but less work has them fresh year round.

Your exactly right. The reason the bullpen was so effective this year with most of the same parts was because they were fresh for most of the year.

mvp - "Cole for less than Moyer. Can we say deal of the century?" There is no apt comparison between Moyer and Hamels. None.

If you look at similar deals (Kazmir, Cain, and a few others), the Phils paid a bit more in 2009 in hopes that they get a little break in 2011 but "deal of the century" is absurd.

I still wonder how the Vic and Howard negotiations and possible arbitration hearings proceed. These were the two most likely players to want to get paid and cause the most issues for the Phils. Curious to see if Amaro can prevent either one from going to an arbitration hearing. If he does and keeps the peace, that will be a pretty significant accomplishment.

Mg; Name me a more impressive deal then. Kazmir, Cain and others also are no nlcs AND WS mvps. In arbitration he would have easily gotton more over those 3 years but it is good to see him and the phillies FO giving and taking now and maybe in his next contract the same trust and respect will be there.

Actually Kid, the Phillies have been fairly good at avoiding arbitration hearings.

When they have gone to arb, they have only lost one - Howard last year.

Based on the 'historical' numbers he has put up, and the fact that he has more HR and RBI than anyone in baseball since becoming a full-time player, he's a special case, and the Phillies would be advised to treat him as such.

I just posted this morning about how I was holding out hope that Hamels could be locked up longterm. 3 years is a good start, we'll see where we're at in 2012 then.

Not a bad deal, but as others have stated, this only takes Cole through his arbitration years. You can bet, barring health issues, that 2011 figure will increase by quite a bit during his next contract.

The best part of this deal is keeping a managable price for COle the next 3 years. The flexibility this offers the Phillies won't be seen this year, but next (assuming Cole's success train continues.)

It's the kind of deal they wish they could have gotten from Howard. The Howard arbitration loss last year was a significant problem for the Phillies. Not only it was their first every loss, but the number was far out of the range they had budgeted. Locking up Cole now... reduces the risks that arbitration now brings.

I guess we should have read that something was afoot when the DN or Inqy reported this week that Cole just bought a condo in 2 Liberty Place...

Carson, nice writeup....and we agree on the Howard situation. There is no way I would sign him long-term to the kind of money he wants.

He has shown no proclivity to try to keep the weight off, which increases injury risk going forward. He's simply not worth tying up that kind of money - $20MM+/yr.

Besides, let's look at the big market/money teams past 2011:

LA - Loney will be entrenched at 1B, and likely signed LT.
Yankees - Texiera
Red Sox - maybe, but he won't get ARod money if they're the only big player
Mets - maybe (see Red Sox above)
Cubs - maybe, if Derek Lee isn't extended
White Sox - I wouldn't count on it
Cards - Pujols - any questions?
Angels - hmmmmmmm
Giants - hmmmmmmm
Tigers - Cabrera
Seattle - they'll have to put up big dough to keep King Felix
Braves - too smart to sign Howard to that kind of deal

My point is, depending on who is signed at that time, the big contract he's looking for may not materialize.

"howards simply not worth that kind of money."
Its amazing to me, that everyone is so free with the Phillies money w regard to spending on potential free agents. Guys want to give Lowe 15mil or Burrell 16mil, but don't want to pay Howard 20mil. What is that?

Be careful what you wish for. Just wait to see how fearsome the Phillies lineup looks with Utley as the cleanup hitter with 25 HRs... And see if you can replace ML leader in HRs and RBIs, for under 20million.

Dang, the front office is cheap. Shoulda given him more money.

mvp - Hamels would have been hard pressed in his arbitration hearing this year to press for even $5M if the Phils had countered with $4M or $4.25M. Your just being ridiculous.

I was just wondering this morning weather they'd sign Hamels to a multi-year deal. Although I'm disappointed a little that they couldn't buy a year of free agency, this is a smart deal that will look smarter after Cole wins 20 games this year. Hooah!


Amaro da NeGOtiator.

Cool beans.

The Phillies continue their mantra of no pitcher getting more than 3 years. I have to believe it was the Phillies decision and not Hamels to limit it to 3 years and not buy out the last year of arbitration. Not saying it is a bad way to go .... just that the Phils will never sign a big name FA pitcher with a 3 year limit.

I don't think they have any choice but to go year to year with Howard at this point. How much worse could they do in arbitration than if they signed him to what he wants for 3-4 years? Plus I have to believe the union is in his ear not to sign anything but to establish new benchmarks at every level along the way. Oh well .....

It truly is amazing how stupid mvptommyd is. To equate an arb eligible player's salary leverage to a free agent is breathtaking.

Truth: "I think the starters ability to get through 6 or 7 innings in over 50% of the games gets overlooked a bit by us. That had as much to do with the bullpen having a great year as anything."

Excellent observation. Total IP is a way more important stat than most people think.

mikes77: Amazingly, I agree with you re: Howard. He gets little respect or support on this blog and I'm sure sure if it's because his MVP season raised expectations so high or if it's his race. I gotta admit I'm a bit queasy about that, as when Utley disappoints not a discouraging word is heard.

Clout: Agree 100% re Howard.

I am not a big Gillick fan (and I'll be happy to list all of his transactions if anyone wants to know why), but I agree with him 100% on the "no pitcher for more than 3 years" rule.

Did anyone see this article about signing of Lowe?

Motivated by last week's meeting and under the belief that the Phillies might attempt to create payroll space by trading Brett Myers, the Braves acted quickly and provided an offer that Lowe couldn't refuse.

Utley is a bit of a sacred cow around here. I suppose there's some identification behind that dominant sentiment, as opposed to Howard. I don't think any of that will play into management's calculus, and well it shouldn't. Still, he seems like a guy you take your time with. YOu're going to get killed in arbitration if you go that route but, he's a big pill to swallow if he wants a long term deal. Nothing wrong with paying a fair rate determined annually for a few years, rather than guessing at the market.

These guys signing multiple contracts are really making sure money will come in if they get disabled. Millions of dollars for next 3 yrs can make anyone live happily ever after. Aren't we playing lotteries to get a few million, and saying we will be happy for rest of our lives if we win?

So does anyone have a definitive answer on whether Cole as a super-two is actually under Phils control for four more years? So maybe they can go to arb that last year or work out something longer-term? If so then great deal for the club.

Did Hamels give up his arbitration years and is free agent after these 3?

awh - by 2011, Ryno is likely going to be a prime candidate to tear up the AL as a DH. The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels will be salivating like crazy when the opportunity to sign Howard as a FA gets nearer and nearer. And on the NL side, the Mets will need to replace Delgado by 2011. Moreover, as we've seen this winter, the primo-primo FAs like CC get big bucks even if serious demand is only seen from 2 or 3 teams. In other words, the premium on Howard will be really high.

Zolecki confirms that Hamels will have one more arb year after this contract. So an added bonus of this deal is that it keeps his 3rd year figure lower going in to that last arbitration, which could hopefully make another multi-year contract more appealing to Hamels. I like this deal.

My mistake. He's a free agent AFTER 2012. So one more year of arb. It's a nice arrangement for both sides.

Clout: I agree on the 3 year limit for pitchers. On the percieved difference in treatment between Utley & Howard, I think it has more to do with size than race. People expect Howard to be Superman while they are amazed when Utley shows power.

Barring injury, I would expect that Hamels could have made more through arbitration. Still, I can understand why he'd take this deal. $20.5M means he's set for life even if he blows out his arm tomorrow. From the Phillies' standpoint, the best part about the deal is that it keeps their star pitcher happy, avoids the bad blood of an arbitration hearing, and affords them certainty in terms of future salary/payroll planning. It's definitely a very good deal for the Phillies, but "Deal of the Century" is rather extreme hyperbole.

"On the perceived difference in treatment between Utley and Howard, I think it has more to do with size than race."

Are you serious? Your not embarrased to write that?

Utley has a $85 million dollar contract and nobody begrudges him his money. But Ryan Howard, with his career OPS+ better than Utley, cant do anything right. A number of guys call for him to be traded every day on this board.

What a child you are. Criticize your favorite player and you can't see -- or read -- straight.

Ryan Howard can do one thing right: Hit for power. That's it. One tool. And he's substandard at three -- running, throwing and playing defense. Yet he wants to be paid MORE than Albert Pujols, who is younger than him. Compare their career numbers, just in case you think that isn't insanity on Howard's part.

He won't sign here long-term. He will be here, at most, three more years -- unless he settles in at last year's level, in which case he's not worth signing long-term at the kind of money he wants.

Nobody I can recall has insisted he be traded. But if you think he won't be, wake up. There's a big difference between calling for a trade of Howard and saying I'm not going to cry in my pillow over it when he leaves.

Please try not to be such a whiny little baby. You sound like a Mets fan.

Again with the name calling, Alby. And i'm always the bad guy. Alby, I don't want to call you what you really are, but I'll leave it at this: you're a closet case, trying make up legit arguments to support bias.
I love Utley and Howard. But this blog protects one and damns the other. But a supposed Phillies fan who does nothing but criticize a guy who's 'worst' year is a 124 0PS+... There is something wrong with that. There is NOTHING wrong with a debater that says Utley is the better player. But there is a middle ground between Utley being sacred and Ryan Howard being semi useless.

And btw, give me a "one tool" player who hits 46 HRs and 135 RBIs a year any day.

Well Alby, he's also pretty good (with the exception of last season) at the whole getting on base tool. As for Hamels, the real value is avoiding unpleasant arbitration hearings and thereby breeding discontent.

Mike: I was NOT embarrased to write that, why should I be? I am not a Howard basher. I would be happy if he spent the rest of his career here. The only problem I have with him is his fielding & throwing. I just think people expect too much from him because of his size.

Again with the name calling, Alby. And i'll be the bad guy again. Alby, I don't want to call you what you are, but I will say this: you are a closet case that tries to use arguments that sound legit to support bias.

I love both Utley and Howard's games. It is one thing for debaters to conclude that Utley is the better player. It's another to protect one and constantly point out the faults of the other. There has to be a middle ground somewhere... A so called Phillies fan who denegrates a guy who is an MVP candidate, anytime he gets the chance " a one tool player and thats all". And thats funny coming from a member of the Pat Burrell fan club.
I usually don't like one tool players either, but when that one tool is theBEST in the Majors, i can live with it.

Well Alby, he's also pretty good (with the exception of last season) at the whole getting on base tool.

the exception of last season is the important point here. in 2006 and 2007, Howard got 37 and 35 intentional walks, respectively. he simply does not have a particularly good eye at the plate, compared to someone like Burrell (who whatever his other faults was, in fact, good at drawing walks).

on another point, I think the reason you won't find posters overly criticizing Utley is that even when he's not hitting, he's still playing a good-to-very good second base. when Howard isn't hitting, he's still playing an awful first base. ignoring defense when comparing the two players is faulty.

Two rather important points about the Utley-Howard comparison: First, Utley plays an important defensive position where offense is hard to find; Howard plays a not-so-important defensive position where good hitters are in abundance.

Both Howard and Utley would be very difficult to replace if they left tomorrow. But if Howard left, we could probably still find a first baseman who could give us pretty decent offensive production. Not so with Utley.

The second point is that Utley, the game's best second baseman, signed a long term deal for an average of just $12M per year, while Howard fancies himself worthy of Albert Pujols money, even though he's nowhere near the equal of Pujos and his performance declines with each passing year.

Guys, drop the race thing, it's just silly. I'm pretty sure we all love them both.

Why Utley gets more slack is simple. He is MLB's best player at his position. Who would you really replace him with? How could you replace him? Howard, on the other hand, is streaky, defensively deficient, and pressing to be over-paid, despite declining in his only area of strength. I love that he's a Phillie, but when guys get on him, they make many valid points. The homer in me can only defend him so much.

He won't be signed when he hits FA, not in Philly. Boston will need a replacement for Ortiz at that point, and they have the cash to get it done.

On topic, I love the Hamels contract. He's a guy that we should make happy. He's played so far above his paycheck that it's staggering. I don't want to see him walk because he's been treated with disrespect. Philly's staff is going to see serious fluctuation in the coming years, and that's a specter we don't need looming.

If Howard can have a bounceback year in 2009, he will get plenty of love on Beerleaguer again. I see this as something of a put-up or shut-up year for Howard. Anyone who hits 45 homers a year is obviously a very valuable player, and I don't see that changing any time soon. But if Howard wants to claim elite status, and be paid accordingly, he can't hit .251; he can't have a .339 OBP; and he can't hit .224 against left-handers. If he has another year like last year or, worse yet, another season of declining numbers, then I suspect his days as an elite player are over and he'll never get the Manny Ramirez contract that he believes he deserves.

I actually predict a bounceback from Howard this year. I don't think he'll ever again be able to replicate his 2006 numbers but I do think he'll replicate, and maybe even exceed, his 2007 numbers next season. But that's just my prediction; it means nothing if it doesn't actually happen.

Saying race is a factor is just stupid. I think there are a couple of factors in the Chase love/Howard hate dynamic. First, Chase is a lot more consistent (and we know the dropoff last year was because he was toughing it out through an injury). Meanwhile, Howard is like the 2nd coming of Babe Ruth for a month or two and dreadful to watch the rest of the time. Howard is basically a much more frustrating player to watch than Utley. You never see Chase botch a routine play like the way Howard can't turn a 3-6-3 double play. Then add to the fact that Howard is after A-Rod money while Chase has made a commitment to Philadelphia and that is the icing on the cake.

Now I don't want to come off like I'm bashing Howard. He is what he is and I enjoy watching him play for that. Sometimes he is MVP and sometimes he can't stop swinging at stuff off the plate. I accept the bad moments and enjoy the good times and realize no matter what Ryno is a force in the middle of the order and we wouldn't have been WFC without him.

I also believe this will be Howard's final season with the team so let's enjoy it. I wonder what we'll get for him next offseason.

Good job on the Hamels contract too. It's nice that our ace is happy for three years and then they still have him for one more arbitration year and at that point they can try to sign him to another long term contract and buy out some free agency years. I'm sure Amaro is breathing a sigh of relief on that one.

Injecting race into the Howard debate is faulty, misleading, and downright deceptive.

There are many poster on this site who praise JRoll and criticize Howard.

So, please expalain to me how race is involved in their evaluation of any particluar player.

Players hit for average, hit for power, run, throw, and catch. Those are the "tools".

Lately, Howard has been deficient in three of those areas: average, catching, and throwing.

Now, lets compare him to ARod. ARod hits for AVERAGE, and power, and runs, and CATCHES, and THROWS. He can execute all five facets of the game. Lately Howard can execute 2 of the 5.

If ARod is "worth" $27.5MM/yr and can do all five, how is Howard worht the same money if he can only do 2 of them?

That is the point I made. Please explain how race factos into that evaluation.

At the risk of being accused of offering an overly simplistic observation ...
Derek Lowe - 4 years / 60 million

Cole Hamels - 3 years / 20.5 million

Seems like a bargain ...

"If Howard can have a bounceback year in 2009, he will get plenty of love on Beerleaguer again. I see this as something of a put-up or shut-up year for Howard."

I said on another thread that the loss of Utley (and Romero) in the early part of the season makes it imperative for Howard not to start off so slow this year. I know he always starts slow, so I'm not asking for the world, but he's got to be significantly better in April and May than he was last year.

Also, re: race: this town, historically, has an uneasy relationship with black athletes. If you think thats all in the past, just keep in mind all the fans who thinks that Kolb or Garcia or Feeley is a better QB than McNabb.

CarpGuy- at the risk of sounding like a jackass you can't compare the two. Hamels is under contract through 2012 and was arbitration eligible for the 1st time this offseason, whereas Lowe is a veteran of 10+ years and already went through that process in his younger years. Baseball's salary structure is set up that old-heads make more than newbies...gotta earn your stripes sorta deal.

Myers is rooting for fellow Jacksonville natives Sheppard and Brian Dawkins, and he's hoping quarterback Donovan McNabb gets a Super Bowl ring.

"I like what he brings to the table," Myers said. "He plays hard and has fun doing it. I love what he did with the telephone [on the Giants' sideline last week]. It was awesome."

Pretty much confirms my general impression of Myers' mental acuity. Of course, he may be an idiot but (at least for another year) he's our idiot.

I thought the telephone thing was pretty funny, too. The 15 yd penalty? Not so funny.

Chase Utley is about as complete a ballplayer as you are likely to find. There arent too many things you can criticize him for. Except maybe his potty mouth. Howard on the other hand has a lot of holes in his game as has been well documented here and elsewhere. Having said that, it will be a terrible day when Howard leaves the Phillies. Purely from a fans perspective, I absolutely love having that booming bat in the middle of the lineup. With a guy like Howard your team always has a punchers chance. And nobody benefits from Howard's presence more than Utley who usually bats in front of him. I love them both but Howards shortcomings do make him frustrating. That's why I think he gets some bashing on this board. But in spite of all that I think he is extremely popular with the fans. As well he should be. It seems unlikely that he will finish his career here but I think the vast majority of fans would love to see him do just that. I think Howard haters, to use someone else's term, are almost non-existent.

Timr said, "this town, historically has had an uneasy relationship with black athletes. And if you think thats in the past..."

My problem is not with anybody who says Puljos or Utley is a better player than Howard. My problem is with people begrudging him the money. Everybody is always complaining about the Phillies cheap spending on free agents such as Lowe and Burrell. ('who cares, its not my money'). But when it comes to your own player, the Major League HR leader, 'Don't pay him'. I just don't get that.
Comparing the love that Rollins gets to Howard, in this insatnce, is faulty too. Rollins is severly underpaid. That makes him Ok I guess.
I've seen this before in this town with other sports, but unfortunately, the Phillies have had SO FEW minority stars I can't cant compare Howards situation to other Phillies.
Btw, I must be psychic. Every poster that led off there post with 'injecting race into this is stupid', I predicted. Strange.

Pretty amusing to be called a racist by an idiot. Mikes must not have seen the argument a couple of months back when I pointed out that the Phillies won't sign a black guy perceived as a troublemaker (Bradley) and in fact are quick to ship out anyone with dark skin and even a hint of a legal (Julio Franco) or attitude (Lonnie Smith) problem.

I still want to know how acknowledging certain facts makes a person a Howard basher.

Fact 1: He thinks he should be paid like A-Rod, more than Pujols. That will not happen here. I haven't seen a single poster try to take the other side of that argument.

Fact 2: That means the FO either keeps him for three more seasons and lets him walk for two draft picks (if that; Mikes might be able to help us here) or it trades him before he goes to free agency.

Fact 3: Since the closer a player gets to free agency the less he's worth in trade, the Phillies will have to calculate when to trade Howard to maximize his value (unless they're willing to take three years of production with no immdediate return at the back end).

As I see it, these facts are the basis for a discussion. As Mikes sees it, they're evidence that we 1) hate Howard, possibly for 2) racist reasons.

Nice update on Cole's arb years JW. That 4th year left open really gives the team a great chance to sign him to another multiyear deal into his free agency years.

The 3yr deal guarantees Cole close to his arb value while protecting him from any injuries.

If this deal ends up being a bargian with Cole staying healthy and at the level of performance, then maybe management will be a bit more inclined to add the required generousity to sign players through their free agent years.

For the record, Mikes, you can go through the archives looking for posts where I complained about the amount paid to any player. You won't find it.

My problem with Howard is his skill set. As much as I loved the unparalleled power, I'm frustrated by all the holes in both his swing and his total game.

As a person and personality, BTW, I love the guy.

From the "Yea, right" department:

Ben Sheets, RHP, free agent: While Texas appears to be considering Sheets, don't be shocked if Philadelphia has interest as well. The Phillies have been arbitration-strapped, with a huge outlay likely headed Ryan Howard's way. The Phillies are trying to find a way to get someone of Sheets's caliber on their staff.

Re: The Great Racism debate. It's an ad hominem. Find a better debate tactic or at least a better logical fallacy to base your argument on.

mikes77: "My problem is with people begrudging [Howard] the money."

What exactly does this statement mean? Not one poster here "begrudges" Howard the right to make whatever he can make. And not one poster has ever suggested that he isn't deserving of a very high salary. But Howards' father has given him this bizarre idea that he's worth ARod/Manny money, even though he's not even close to being as good a player as those guys. To point this out, and to point out why, is not to "begrudge" Howard "the money." And it is not "begrudging" him "the money" when we discuss what to do about the disconnect between Howard's increasing contract demands and his diminishing on-field performance.

Yo, new thread..

Jeltz, you;re right. It's an ad hominem, the refuge of scoundrels who apparently cannot take on logical arguments.

mikey, Ryan Howard got paid 10MM last season. He'll probably make somewhere between $14-17MM in 2009. I'm OK with that, because IMO he's worth it.

I ask you again to please explain how race has anything to do with my opinion that he's not worth what ARod gets paid.

BTW, if I posted that I didn't think ARod is worth $27.5MM per year, would you then call me anti-Hispanic?

Just asking.

GM-Carson - thanks for the kind words. Have been called worse.

Yeah, I'm certainly aware of the different status of the two players. But, as I recall, there was some clamor on this site to pursue Lowe. Am just talking about money spent, and money well spent.
Also, the status (health wise, performance, etc.) of either of these players 3 years from now is ...

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