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Monday, January 05, 2009


I honestly believe it would be in the Phillies and Cole Hamels best interest to sign a long-term deal buying out his artibtration years and possibly a year or two of free agency (options years likely).

Signing Howard long-term just isn't going to happen, nor do I want it too. I'm glad to have him, but as Weitzel mentioned, there are reasons to gripe. Yes he carried the team for portions of the season, but he also played horrible defense and was completely lost at the plate for long stretches too. Keep him around through his arb years and re-evaluate then.

Only question about Hamels -

How is his body/arm going to respond to have pitching a record workload last year of 260+ IP?

If Hamels can give the Phils another 30+ GS this year and north of 200 IP, it would go a long way to calming doubts that he can be a more reliable option from a health standpoint.

Hamels may take the economic security (pitchers are always wiser to do that) but I can the Phils reluctance to buy out his remaining arbitration year and his 1st or 2nd years of FA unless they think the price is right.

I actually would completely understand if the Phils don't offer Hamels a long-term deal this offseason unless they can get what they think is a reasonable price. Makes more sense next year if the Phils are going to really lock him up long-term and buy-out his last year two years of arbitration.

Agree with GM Carson- signing or even making a legit multi-year offer to Cole will defuse the complaint of last summer that he's not paid nearly what he is worth.
I would think he should go for the long term security, given the possibility of injury and his history of having some injury down time in the past.He was grat in '08 and I hope we get many great seasons from him going forward.
( Have my alarm set for Feb 14)

If I take educated guesses at the arbitration salaries and include the painful $8.5MM for Eaton in 2009, I calculate 2009 Phillies payroll at $129MM.

The bigger salaries are either untouchable or untradeable, so there is no room for anything but minor roster tweaks/acquisitions.

The really interesting arbitration cases this year are Victorino and Werth. I am curious to see if the Phils think Werth is worth a long-term investment considering he only has put up solid numbers for a single season. I am also interested to see Vic's demands.

I actually think that the Vic arbitration hearing may be the most cantakerous since he is going to want to get paid based upon his season (Gold Glove, postseason heroics) even though his service time suggests he is only go to make in the neighborhood of $2M or so.

Hamels injury history is just that, history. He has as much chance to get hurt as every other player in the league at this point. He's got his back specialist on team payroll and has a whole routine of workouts that have fit him quite well. I believe a long term deal is the best for both sides as well. Hamels will get paid guaranteed money for his arb years, probably be a bit under market value for a free agency year or two, and still have a good portion of his career left to hit free agency with if he wants. A 5-6 years deal would let him hit the market right in his prime with a few CY Youngs to boast, if all goes well.

I'm starting the crazy rumor of Andruw Jones for Geoff Jenkins straight up based on '09 salaries. Jones' contract was restructured so that it'll only be around $5M this season and we'd actually save money by acquiring him and getting rid of the redundant Jenkins (Stairs is essentially a clone that is cheaper). This gives us a righthanded bat for the outfield and someone that should be motivated to get back into shape and have a bounce back season in Jones. Just a crazy thought.

I'd rather sign Howard. I'd be nervous about signing any pitcher to a huge, long-term deal.

sounds good for 2009 Carson. But after that, Jenkins is off the books and Jones is owed....? Very doubtful the Phils would save a few mil this year and tack on more next when they've got Jenkins disappearing at the end of the year.

Jones for Jenkins? I would make that deal if I were Amaro. Phils would actually some bucks that would likely give them some more payroll flexibility to make in-season moves and at worst Jones is a washout as a 4th OF. The only real advantage I can see for Jenkins being here next season is that he generally stays healthy and his defense is still at least average/maybe above average in LF.

The Phaithful- Andruw Jones' contract is up after this season too, so he'd be "off the books" just like Jenkins following the season. He's owed a lot in deferred payments, but that's why I said '09 salary only.

GM Carson~

Your comments about Hamels and Howard are right on the money. Hamels should be locked up long-term. I believe Howard should too. But you are right, he has too many holes in his game. Doesn't play good defense, can't throw, and K's way too much. That being said, why didn't the Phils bring back Burrell, give him a 1b man's glove and try to move Howard? That's a good scenario in my opinion. I say that because they will NEVER sign Howard long-tern regardless of what he does offensively. He's only gonna walk away anyway. So the case can be made to move him. But that will never happen either.

I don't think Hamels will be locked up this year, but probably next. A potoential payroll north of 125 million will send shock waves up the owners' spines. We'll see.

Prediction: Howard will be healthier and more productive over the next 5 years than Hamels. Beerleaguers, most of whom now want Howard gone, will blame the FO for bad judgment in giving Hamels a huge contract.

Players like Vic and Werth are undervalued by baseball, players like Howard are overvalued. Simple solution : Give Vic and Werth long-term deals, go year to year and/or trade Howard. I would also seek to give Cole a deal that buys out arbitration and a year of free agency. Madson is probably too expensive for it to be worthwhile.

Carson: The team that acquires Jones would owe the deferred payments as well unless the Dodgers agreed to eat them. I can't imagine them doing that in a deal for Jenkins.

Do you really believe Ryan Howard will get worse in the next 3 years? Answer that question without referencing BP's (racist) comparables. He walks a lot and hits the ball hard more often than not. If not for the shift, his BA would be much higher.

When Ryan Howard has a bad year, he's in the top 5 in MVP voting. When he has a good year, he's the MVP. Howard is a future HOF and the best pure power hitter in the game. Sign him now, because his value won't decline over the next few years.

Cole Hamels was our playoff MVP, but if not for Ryan Howard, we wouldn't have made the playoffs. Sign them both! Its not either/or. Philly sells out every game and plays in the nation's 4th biggest market. Don't settle for less.

Clout- That might've been the first time I agreed with one of your statements 100%. Over the next 5 years, I see a stronger likelihood of a Hamels injury than a Howard decline. Pitchers are simply a riskier long-term investment.

baxter: Its not just the Phils who need to want a long term deal, its the player too. And from reports last year, it sounds as tho Howard was demanding $20mil+ per year.

I still don't understand why basic strategy and situational stats are so readily dismissed. You want a leadoff hitter to get on-base and a cleanup hitter to drive in runs. Sure, its great when a leadoff hitter drives in runs and a cleanup hitter gets on base, but strategy is about the best utilization of resources. You don't need everyone to do everything.

Good thing Howard strikes out so much, plays crappy defense and didn't have another 1.000 OPS year, because if he did, we couldn't afford him. He helps us, a lot. Lets keep him.

"When Ryan Howard has a bad year, he's in the top 5 in MVP voting."

Yes, even when he's only the 38th-best offensive player in the league, and fourth or fifth on his own team.

"if not for Ryan Howard, we wouldn't have made the playoffs"

Well, sure, if he were replaced by Eric Bruntlett. If he were replaced by Adam Dunn, you'd hardly notice the difference.

"Do you really believe Ryan Howard will get worse in the next 3 years?"

Well, he's gotten worse in each of the past two. Now that he's down to a 125 OPS+ -- good but not great for a power hitter with nothing else to offer and bad defense to boot -- he'd better not decline further, or he's not going to be getting raises in arbitration anymore, either.

"Sign him now, because his value won't decline over the next few years."

You don't know that. Nobody does.

"If not for the shift, his BA would be much higher."

If not for those pesky cops, I could drive 100 mph all the time. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a helluva Christmas.

"...BP's (racist) comparables..."

WTF is this supposed to mean? Are you blind or stupid? How are statistics "racist"? Which group of comparables do you find "racist" -- the overall list, which includes 1 black, 3 Latins and 6 whites, or the comps by age, which include 4 blacks, 2 Hispanics and 4 whites?

Until you have someone who can replicate what Ryan Howard brings to the table, you can't even think about getting rid of Ryan Howard. Plain and simple.

Vic only has about 2 years of service time in. It doesn't make much sense to give him a long-term deal this offseason given a few factors. The only player I could see the Phils locking up long-term this offseason and avoiding arbitration is Werth.

Madson has Boras as his agent and is likely going to try to position himself as a closer to get a contract at around $7-$8M annually vs $3-$4M as a setup man.

I would lay the likelihood of Hamels getting a long-term deal this offseason are are pretty low and Howard are virtually near zero.

BTY - Remember the old axiom, "buy low, sell high." If the Phils do buyout Hamels remaining arbitration years this year and his first year or two of FA, they are likely buying at a high dollar value given Hamels' performance (particularly his postseason dominance).

Maybe Hamels wants the long-term security but I also am willing to bet he isn't going to be any bargain either. Phils likely would be wise to see what Hamels does next year before handing out out a big deal.

Will Howard decline in the next 3 years? I don't know, probably not. But he has declined significantly in each of the past 2 seasons. Last year he was merely an average 1B - prolific in hitting home runs, but little else.

I doubt any team will act on a long-term contract with a young player in the current economy, and certainly not before the languishing crop of free agents sets new standards. Closers have topped out at $13 M/yr. Corner outfielder values are plummeting. Why commit to a price level today that might seem excessive by mid-season, let alone by two years from now?

Howard didn't deal with the shift 3 years ago. The "significant decline" corresponds directly with the 2B playing shallow RF. Howard lines it to that guy once a game.

This is also why Howard's numbers with runners on base are so much better: no shift.

The shift worked against Utley as well.

Alby's comment about the questions surrounding Ryan Howard a few comments up is one of the best I've read on BeerLeaguer recently and possibly ever. Great retort!

On a talent for talent basis, I would do Jenkins for Andruw Jones in a heartbeat... But I think Jones would be an attitude problem on the team because he would'nt want to be stuck as permanent 4th outfielder. I also dont think the Dodgers would do the deal because they already have an overpaid LH hitting 4th outfielder in Juan Pierre... They wouldnt be willing to add the extra 2m to their payroll for that.

Howard is a tough case. His type of raw power is clearly at a price premium in today's baseball world. However (defense liabilities aside), he has clearly declined as an offense player too the past two seasons too.

Everyone always harps about his Ks and his pronounced struggles against LHP but what was much more worrisome last year was the large fall-off in his % BB rate and K/BB rate. Even if Howard hits just .250, he still can be a very potent offensive force if he keeps his BB rate up.

That just hasn't been the case though and if his OBP falls into the .320 range this season, Howard just won't be as potent as an offense player.

One last point on Howard - I would love for him to come out of the gate strong. I know certain players just don't hit well in April for several reason (e.g., cold weather, etc) but with Utley likely missing the first few weeks of the season, the Phils are going to need Howard to at least give them adequate production.

They likely won't be able to afford an April where Howard hits below .200 with a ton of Ks or they risk getting out to their historical slow start in April.

baxter - what's your point? so the Phils should sign Howard long-term just because there some reason to believe his decline is merely shift-related? His production has declined, plain and simple, and if it's because of opponent adaption he hasn't responded.

It also seems a bit short-sighted to say Hamels is in the clear given general pitcher instability, his age, and his IP.

22 - 23 GS, 132.3 IP
23 - 28 GS, 183.3 IP
24 - 33 GS, 227.3 IP

Last year couldn't have been a better sign of Hamels' endurance, but we're not there yet. Those are some severe IP increases.

One note on Howard 'declining' - His rookie year was a pretty high benchmark (167 OPS+), so if he puts up only a decent year, it will look at a decline.

Not saying he hasn't dropped in performance, but just putting the decline factor in a bit of perspective.

It is going to be very interesting to see what kind of numbers Howard does put up this year because if you look at everyone of his important peripheral numbers the past 3 season they have all declined markedly.

Now granted, his 2006 was a historically great season and no one expects him to repeat that again in all likelihood. The case though is that is Howard still a guy who are willing to invest large-dollars for the long-term in at the age of 30 if his line is .250/.320/.530 next year? I would have to say no even if he hits another 35-40 HRs next season.

I wouldn't be stunned if Hamels suffers from a "dead arm" for a few stretches in 09...given his age, heavy workload, etc. They might be wise to skip a start with him every once and a while to keep his innings out of the stratosphere.

Sorry - meant MVP Year, not ROY Year.

Phils tough decision on Howard actually will be if he improves his peripheal numbers a bit and winds up putting up numbers closer to his '08 season than his '07 season.

Granted it would still be very difficult to replace Howard's production from '08 (or a slight drop-off) but I am willing to bet more savvy fans will see the handwriting on the wall if Howard's numbers decline again a bit next year too. It really answers the question about not locking him up long-term.

Meant '07. If Howard puts up a season like '07 again, the Phils will really have a difficult decision next year on locking him up long-term or not.

If Howard continues to decline a bit and puts up numbers of say .250/.330/.530, it makes the Phils' decision much easier even if Howard hits 35-40 HRs again.

Why does SI's John Heyman think the Phillies are still interested in Derek Lowe? Boras nonsense or might they consider him at the right price? The Mets offer was 3 years/$36 million.
3y/$40m would be reasonable, maybe even be a good investment, but I wouldn't go much higher. This might necessitate a trade,(Atkins for Myers+prospect?) but they could wait until the deadline.

I highly doubt this report, but I didn't make it up!

Sorry if someone already mentioned it, but there was an interesting article today on about the Phillies, with regards to the post-Gillick era:

Pat Burrell is reportedly very close to signing with the Rays for 2 years, $16 million.,-Burrell-near-two-year,-$16M-deal?MSNHPHMA

So, let the Amaro bashing begin. Fvcking moron.

I hear Pat the Bait is going to sign a two year deal with Tampa for $16. That's a step down in his pay grade for him. Being in the AL should prolong his career.

wow.. 2 years 16 mil, and a possible DH scenario for Burrell.

Dont think thats what he was looking for in a new contract.

Didn't the Phils offer 2yr $21mil? How can you blame Ruben for Burrell turning down that to get less?

Not that long ago BLers were saying 3/45. how the mighty have fallen.

Dave X: "Last year he was merely an average 1B."

Not sure how you define "average." He finished 3rd among NL firstbasemen in OPS although if you drop Dunn in there (he mostly played LF) that would make Howard 4th. I'd call it "well above average."

According to Burrell and his agent, that 2 year, $21 million deal never was just a rumor after the WS ended.

If Burrell really signs for that, Amaro has some explaining to do.

that could be true.

I'm on the side of Burrell f'd up over Amaro f'd up. But I'm sure you could make a case for both.

Ibanez for a 3 million premium over Burrell- wow!

Pat gets to go to a contender, be a DH and take a pay cut.

We get a lesson in economics and a need for a RH bat with power.

The only good news is that he is out of our division / league.

Tear up the AL pat the Bat- we miss you already!

Regardless of how much Burrell signs for, it will be impossible for us to determine if Amaro is a "moron" for not signing him until we see how things play out.

It's pretty clear that the Phillies FO wanted a different kind of player in LF than what they had in Burrell. Time will tell if the extra $2 mil or so a year and the extra year on the contract were worth the investment.

CJ: "It's pretty clear that the Phillies FO wanted a different kind of player in LF than what they had in Burrell."

And what, pray tell, kind of player is that?

There are two ways to view the Ibanez signing in light of the stories about Burrell's signing.

One interpretation is that the Phils paid too much for Ibanez. The other would be that the Burrell-lovers over-evaluate Burrell's value.

If Burrell is of equal value to Ibanez, why is it that no teams felt signing him for higher numbers was a good value? Let alone any team in the NL.

Thoughts on 2 yr 16 mil for Burrell:
1. This makes Amaro look good for declining to offer arbitration.
2. This makes Amaro look bad for giving Ibanez the contract he did. I've said Ibanez for Burrell is a wash performance wise, but when you consider contract length and dollars it was dumb to jump the market like he did.
3. This makes clout look REALLY bad.
4. Good for Pat going to a good team like the Rays.

flipper: Please cite statistics that show Ibanez is a better player than Burrell and thus worth a 25% premium.


CJ: How different a player is Ibanez than Burrell? He makes contact more, walks less. Other than that, both are bad defenders, have decent platoon splits (Ibanez's career splits are worse than Burrell's), don't run particularly well, and put up very similar numbers the last few years.

If the Burrell report is true, it's clear this whole thing was misplayed by Amaro and the Phils.

Clout, why the need for a sarcastic, rhetorical question?

We both know that I don't have any such stats that could be interpreted objectively. We have stats that we could argue about subjectively - such as the value of walks with runners on base from a #5 hitter when you have the likes of Feliz and Ruiz hitting next vs. OPS against LHP that start 1/3 of the Phillies' games.

But what is unequivocal, is that Burrell was seeking to sign a contract for a slew of money. He wound up signing a contract for a relatively low amount. What that means is that among all baseball organizations, he, presumably, didn't find anyone who felt his value was above $8 mil per year.

As I recall, you felt he should be signed by the Phils for considerably more money. Hmmm. Clout, or the GMs of every MLB club. Tough choice. I guess I'll have to think about that one a bit.

I'm not so much mad that Burrell isn't a Phillie any more, but pissed that he went for so little on a short contract while Amaro clearly overpaid for Ibanez. Amaro hasn't done anything worth a pinch of poop this offseason.

It's true that Clout predicted a far bigger contract for Burrell than he got, but he also predicted that before the economic situation of the last couple months in which salaries have clearly been depressed. I'm never the first one to defend him, and I think he definitely overestimated Burrell's value because he failed to see that teams, unlike him, are beginning to value defense more and more, but let's not act like this was his biggest miscalculation ever.

Just terrible how much less he signed for than Ibanez. Amaro really had something personal against Burrell, is the only way this makes sense.

How would this make Amaro look good for failing to offer arbitration? If this deal happens, Amaro has egg all over his face.

Ok. I've thought about it.

Sorry, clout, but my assumption is that the entirety of baseball professionals know more about player evaluation than you.

Few points:

1. Burrell supposedly rejected a 2 yr/$21M deal on Oct. 31, 2008 as reported in the Philly Daily News. Never really did hear much about this from Amaro or Burrell/Burrell's agent either.

2. Unless Burrell really declines offensively or Ibanez duplicates his 2008 season including his power numbers (both unlikely), then Amaro paid a 25% price premium for Ibanez, gave him another year which is a huge risk, and gave up a 1st pick.

Yeah you have to see what transpires on the field but it is pretty hard to defend Amaro's signing of Ibanez in light of the Burrell signing.

The Phillies clearly didn't want Burrell back for one reason or another. It's not about who is worth what. The Yankees paid Sabathia millions more than anyone else would have. That doesn't mean he's worth it.

Why is it unlikely that Ibanez won't duplicate his 2008 numbers?

"Just terrible how much less he signed for than Ibanez. Amaro really had something personal against Burrell, is the only way this makes sense."

Why would you use the economy excuse for clout's predictions about what Burrell would sign for, but not the Phils' decision about what to pay Ibanez?

Did clout change his predictions about what Burrell would sign for at the time when the Phils signed Burrell? Did he say at that point, that given the current economic conditions, he would change his prediction, or did he contemporaneously stick with that prediction of what Burrell would get?

What I wonder is what happened after Burrell rejected it the supposed 2 yr/$21M deal?

Guess the Phils just moved on entirely and gave up on resigning Burrell which seems kind of odd and stubborn in retrospect now.

flipper: "Sorry, clout, but my assumption is that the entirety of baseball professionals know more about player evaluation than you."

And by your logic of contract=quality, Barry Zito is the best pitcher in the NL.

The fact is, and anyone who reads your posts realizes that facts are alien concepts to you, Burrell and Ibanez are quite similar in quality. The key difference is that Burrell is younger and right-handed.

"And what, pray tell, kind of player is that?"

One who is not streaky and consistent and for another one who is not The Mummy in LF. Ibanex isn't the human glove, but he will be better in LF.

Bed's Beard - My bad. I though Ibanez hit 30 last year. He is likely to still hit 20-25 HRs next year if he stays healthy and plays in 150+ games.


You've hit the nail on the head. It's been reported before, during and after the season that the Phillies didn't like his old contract and didn't like the fact that he didn't participate in PR stuff.

Phils play the Rays this year but on the road.

"The key difference is that Burrell is younger and right-handed."

Is age really relevant here? Ibanez is capable of playing a quality LF at 36. Burrell at 32 quite frankly is not.

"And by your logic of contract=quality, Barry Zito is the best pitcher in the NL."

No, clout. My assumption is that the judgment of all of MLB's professionals is what it is. They don't think Burrell is worth more than $8 mil per year.

They might be wrong, or you could be right that he's worth significantly more.

It really is a tough choice, but I guess I just have to go with the professionals that get paid to evaluate talent.

That Dude: Ibanez isn't streaky? Really? I suggest you check the stats.

"It's been reported before, during and after the season that the Phillies didn't like his old contract and didn't like the fact that he didn't participate in PR stuff. "

Ok, if that's why the Phils didn't offer Burrell Ibanex money, then why is it that no other team felt Burrell was worth more than $8 mil?

That Dude: "Ibanez is capable of playing a quality LF at 36."

Ah, I get it. You don't watch baseball.


Ibanez deal really should be criticized for three reasons:

1. Phils will have a 39-year old OF on their payroll at $11.5M in 2011 (and this contract will likely be a real millstone if Ibanez is just a 4th OF with limited power)

2. Phils paid a 25% annual price premium for Ibanez. That is meaningful ($3-$4M annually) and the difference between resigning a very good setup man for the bullpen (Madson anyone?)

3. Phils gave up a 1st round pick for Ibanez.

Paying more for a longer duration of time for a similar quantity is generally considered foolish. That is what Amaro has likely done.

clout: A better contact hitter.

flipper: "I guess I just have to go with the professionals that get paid to evaluate talent."

So you think the Zito contract is a good one. I'm not surprised.

thephaithful: And Burrell gets on base more. Your move.

flipper: It's a shame you know so little about baseball because trying to prove one player is better than another based on their contracts is really an exercise in futility even though professionals are making those decisions.

"That Dude: "Ibanez is capable of playing a quality LF at 36."

Ah, I get it. You don't watch baseball.


Actually, Tool, I would be I have watched more of Ibanez in 07-08 than you have in your entire life. Look, I think Pat will do well in TB, especially as a DH, we will do well with Raul. Just go away, your annoying.

I call BS on that 2-year, $21M story. For one thing, this is the first I've ever heard of it. For another, if the Phillies were really prepared to pay Burrell for 2 years, wouldn't it follow that they would have offered arbitration, so as to get him for only one year?

I also give you this scenario:

If Phils has signed Burrell to the 2 yr/$16M deal, they could have moved him to 1st base next year if they decide to try and move Howard next offseason (which is a real possibility).

BAP - The 2 yr/$21M deal was reported in the Philly Daily News on Oct. 31.

It was strange though that Amaro or Burrell/Burrell's agent never really publically commented on the rejected deal which I though was rather odd.

That Dude: I was merely pointing out that Ibanez is a poor defensive outfielder. That is not my view, it is the prevailing view. But you can fantasize all you want.

"So you think the Zito contract is a good one. I'm not surprised."

Again, clout, your need to attribute opinions to me that I don't have is only an indication of your lack of confidence in your own arguments.

Nope, I don't think the Zito contract is a good one.

First of all, Zito was awarded a contract by one GM. Apparently not one GM in all of baseball felt he was worth more than $8 mil.

Second, Zito was awarded a contract based on an evaluation of his talent at the time he was signed - based on his history of previous performance. Even if his worth was overestimated by one GM, for you to think that it's some great indication of your wisdom to criticize that decision, in hindsight, after whatever factors lead to Zito not performing at a level commensurate with his contract, is ridiculous.

clout: you asked what type of player they were looking for, thats the answer, a better contact hitter. You can argue if its wrong or right, but thats the type of player they wanted, and got.

Pat allegedly owns a nice house in Sand Key, so that might be a factor, too.

"It's been reported before, during and after the season that the Phillies didn't like his old contract and didn't like the fact that he didn't participate in PR stuff. "

Ok, if that's why the Phils didn't offer Burrell Ibanex money, then why is it that no other team felt Burrell was worth more than $8 mil?

I'm just saying one big reason the Phils didn't want him back.

"because trying to prove one player is better than another based on their contracts is really an exercise in futility even though professionals are making those decisions."

Keep spinning, clout. You way overestimated Burrell's worth. Whether you agree or not, your evaluation of his talent is in direct contradiction to that of every existing GM in baseball.

And I never aid that a player's contact is a valid measure of his worth. But amusingly, that is the basis of your argument, when you state that Burrell would be worth his contract whereas Ibanez is being overpaid.

But keep spinning clout. You were spectacularly wrong. And attacking me will surely change that fact, eh?

flipper Let me get this straight. You say Burrell is worse than Ibanez because he got a lesser contract. But that logic doesn't apply when talking about Zito because, umm, why again?

I really hope the Ibanez and Moyer do perform next year because the Phils really don't have an adequate replacement in their minor league system for either one and they are on the hook for big dollars both guys the next 2 seasons.

I would be willing to bet that the $20M+ owed to Moyer and Ibanez in 2010 is going to be a real drag on what moves the Phils make next offseason just as the $23M Eaton/Jenkins/Feliz contracts were this offseason.

"Pat allegedly owns a nice house in Sand Key, so that might be a factor, too."

Could be. Maybe he turned down a higher offer elsewhere. We also have no idea what Ibanez might have signed for if the Phils hadn't signed him.

thephaithful: OK, got it. They wanted to replace Burrell with an older, lefthanded contact hitter.

This sucks I thought Burrell would be a Phillie forever.

The day Ibanez signed, Burrell would have not accepted a 2yr 16mil offer. So you can go back in hindsight and tell everyone how Amaro jumped the gun.

They put up very similiar numbers, the Phils favored Ibanez higher batting average, and went for him. If they felt that a higher OBP was more valuable then they would have signed him over Ibanez.

Two players with similar overall performances went into free agency. One player got what he wanted. The other had to settle for much less.

"You say Burrell is worse than Ibanez because he got a lesser contract"

Hmmm. I looked back over my posts, and I couldn't find that, clout.

Help me out, would ya? Provide a quote.

More and more, it seems pretty clear that this team's window is going to close by 2010 because some of the core players (including Howard) likely will be gone by then.

I would love for the Phils to blow out the budget to resign a Lowe to type to try and win another championship this year but I can understand the business ramifications of a payroll that is raised to $120M which would be a large and meaningful increase over the last previous few years.

I think that the Phils are slightly better off with Ibanez over Burrell in the coming year.

I have no problem with them trading a slight improvement over one year for $4 million of their money - even if it only improves them for one year.

phaithful - You have a very valid point but the case is that Amaro likely jumped the gun and paid a higher price for a longer duration for a similar quantity. That generally is a poor move economically.

As for the window closing argument, all the more reason to focus on improvement over a limited time period.

This team will likely have to be significantly reconstructed a few years forward. Given the difficulty of predicting how that might all play out, and given that they are WFC - I'll take one year's focus and then see what shakes out long term.

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