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Monday, January 05, 2009


fire ruben

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.

Not that I wanted him, but a 5 years younger Milton Bradley who is a switch hitter with more potential than Ibanez is signing with the Cubs for a nearly identical contract to Ibanez...f'n Amaro!

This is way too much hullabaloo for guys who will be our 5th/6th best position player on the team. Lets stop demonizing the Phillies for not resigning a guy that ultimately isn't regarded that highly by pretty much everybody else in the league.

At 2/16, I really would have liked to have seen Burrell back with the Phils. At worst, I would have liked the Phils to have gotten draft picks back. Such is life.

In the end, Amaro signed a player (Ibanez) who is very similiar in many respects to the player they replaced (Burrell) but at a 25% annual price premium, loss of a 1st round draft pick, and another year at considerable dollars which is quite risky given Ibanez's age.

Now maybe it turns out alright for the Phils but more than likely this was a poor move for the Phils from an economic standpoint and possibly a competitive standpoint.

"Lets stop demonizing the Phillies for not resigning a guy that ultimately isn't regarded that highly by pretty much everybody else in the league."

Here's the real question:
Will the Phils be better off with Ibanez at 3/30 or so or Burrell at 2/16? Oh, and they lose their #1 draft pick to boot.

This is an easy question to answer.

This is not an auspicious start for Amaro.

"Even 6th out of 16 teams doesn't meet the definition of "average" no matter how much you want to inflate the value of defense at firstbase. "

You don't have to inflate it at all. In a virtual tie with LaRoche and Votto, unless you assume that defense, baserunning, and the actual ratio of OBP to SLG means nothing then you can not arrive at Howard being above average in '08. Even for you it shouldn't be hard to see. Furthermore you expanded the pool from qualified to every team's 1B without looking at the newcomers. Atlanta's Mark Texiera didn't qualify, but in his 451 PA he was better. So, from straight OPS+, it puts Howard at 7th out of 16th - with further adjustment downward warranted.

TK hit the nail on the head. People want to demonize Amaro because Burrell signed so cheap. Burrell's value isnt down because of the economy or because their are other veterans available. His value is down because NOBODY wants him.

The Burrell apologists will spin it that the Phillies shouldve waited for Burrell's price to drop, after they all(like dummies) wanted to offer arbitration for 1 year 16m... Yeah, i get it. Amaro is dumb for paying Ibanez 10m per, but your smarter because you wanted to pay Burrell twice as much as he deserved.

There was a post by a pretty ignorant poster on the last thread that suggested the Phils didn't want Burrell back because he was "a jackass" and also suggested that the reason the Phillies won the WFC was because they dumped Abreu.

Of course there is not a shred of eveidence to support either of these assertions and in fact quite a lot to contradict it. Conlin, no Burrell fan, and neumrous other wrioters have written that Burrell was well liked in the clubhouse and had a work ethic that set a good example.

As for Abreu, if someone can show how getting rid of him helped the Phillies bullpen improve two years later I'd love to read it.

considering that the offensive nucleus is hovering around 30, I'm more upset the phillies lose the draft pick.

If the Phils gave Burrell arbitration he would of made 16 mil for one year not 2.
Burrell would never have signed for 2 yrs 16 million here. Actually he is only going to be a designated hitter and probably only against lefties anyway.

Can you imagine the level of criticism at BL had the Phils signed a player for some 12-14 mil per year over three years - who presumably couldn't get a contract with any other teams in baseball that was better than 2 years at $$8 mil?

Can you imagine the level of criticism had that the Phils signed that player to play in LF, when no other team in the NL would even off a contract?

Clearly, the FO is in a no-win position with a lot of BLers. I get that it's fun to bitch about the FO - but here are some undeniable facts.

A simple fact is that many BLers lined up to opine that the Phils should have paid waaaay over market value for Burrell. The only valid explanation for that, given the constant criticism of the Phils FO every time they pay over market value for a player, other than that they had an emotional attachment to Burrell and tried to hid it behind some veil of "statistical objectivity," is that they have some keen insight into player evaluation that exceeds the expertise of very GM in MLB. That, I tend to doubt.

fljerry -

not so certain Pat wouldve made 16 million in one season after arb. i doubt Howard will get that high - possibly 15.

Lost in all this is the pick. ill miss the pick the most.

Edmundo: So the Phillies should have known that Burrell would lower his demands and settle for $8 million per?

How about we wait and see how Ibanez fits into the lineup before we call for Amaro's head over his decision on the 6th best position player? Just a thought.

GM-Carson, the thing about Milton Bradley is he's a grade A douchebag.

I'm not say they should of gotten Ibanez but I will say the Phils were definitely not going to sign Burrell for the amount of money that he probably wanted. Its hard to believe there had not been contact with Burrell about a new contract which we do not know anything about. So without getting Burrell the next best player available was Ibanez. Probably since we gave 3 yrs that was the only price in money and yrs he would of accepted. I do not know this for a fact but it sure sounds reasonable.

Paul, he wouldve gotten AT LEAST 16m from arbitration because he made 14m last year and veterans generally get 20% raises off decent statistical seasons.

Losing the pick stinks, but it's not that big of a deal. It's not like losing a 1st rounder in Football or basketball. Better chance than not that the pick is a bust. They can make up for losing the pick by busting slot elsewhere.

Apparently the Cubs are nearing a deal for Bradley as well at 3/$30M.

Defenders will say that, if Bradley stays healthy, the deal is worth it. But isn't that the very reason Bradley isn't worth a 3/$30M deal? Look at Ibanez, who's older and not as skilled defensively, and Burrell. How many more games will Burrell, Abreu, Dunn, and Ibanez most likely play in the next 3 years compared to Bradley?

Since 2005

Ibanez: 632 games
Burrell: 610 games
Abreu: 632 games
Dunn:630 games
Bradley: 358 games

Why did the Cubs pay so much? I'll be interested to see how much Abreu and Dunn get.

I was not a big Burrell fan. There were lots on here I can say were not also. Burrell was really not a big clutch hitter. So he got 90 RBI's - 33 hrs gave most of them. Utley had 33 hrs with lots more RBI's. Sure you say he walked a lot but try and remember how many times he came up with man on 3rd and never got that man home. He either struck out or hit into DP. Most on here complained throughout the year about this.

We will never be able to resolve the debate about whether Burrell's price dropped because of the bad economy, because he isn't that highly regarded, or because of other factors. But Edmundo got to the nub of the issue, which is this:

"Will the Phils be better off with Ibanez at 3/30 or so or Burrell at 2/16? Oh, and they lose their #1 draft pick to boot."

I agree with Edmundo that this is an easy question to answer.

BAP - maybe easier but not "easy."

Interesting too that Milton Bradley signed with the Cubs today for the exact same contract that Ibanez signed -- even though Bradley is 6 years younger, better defensively, and had way better offensive numbers than either Burrell or Ibanez last year.

Bradley comes with his own set of issues, of course. But for 3 years, $30M, I'd rather take my chances on a temperamental 30-year old right-handed hitter with great upside than an easy-going 37-year old left-handed bat who is almost certain to begin declining at some point during the life of his contract.

Mike77 - You are officially the biggest Amaro homer on here.

I don't know if the Ibanez signing is a "poor" signing. The Ibanez deal might work out great if he produces at nearly his 2008 level the next two years and doesn't have a huge dropoff in 2011. The odds of this though are remote though given his age.

Funny how fans buried one GM (Wade) for signing FAs that resulted in the Phils losing 1st round picks while another one (Amaro) generally doesn't hear a peep. Now granted, it is probably likely the 1st round pick won't even sniff MLB let alone be a significant player but just making a point.

BAP, the issues you deem unresolvable are directly related to your 'nub of the issue,' which makes it hard to say that is all it comes down to. Frankly, I think it's a good idea having more of a contact hitter replacing Burrell. With Howard and Werth in the lineup consistently next year it would be a black hole of K's if Burrell came back.

From David Murphy's blog High Cheese:

"Obviously, the Phillies didn't want the left fielder back in town, as evidenced by the three years and $30 million they handed Raul Ibanez. They obviously view Ibanez as an upgrade, someone who can bring the consistency that Burrell sometimes lacked."

Exactly. If Ibanez is an upgrade if he puts up better offensive stats than Burrell next year. I won't argue that. Phils just paid quite a price for this though in terms of additional money, years, and a 1st draft pick to find out.

TK - this is exactly my feeling also. (and probably the FO too.)

bap: Bradley is a HUGE injury risk and has quite a few screws loose as evidence by his numerous character problems through his career. Let's see how much the Cubs actually get out of the guy.

"Black hole of K's" . . . This is the single dumbest point made on this blog and by Eskin, Conlin, and others. If Werth has an OBP of .370+ and Howard has an OBP of .380+ or so, who gives a crap if they K.

The problem with the lineup next year will be if Utley misses the 1st month of the season and the Phils have a 6-7-8-9 of Feliz-Ruiz-Bruntlett-Pitcher. That is a black hole.

Re: Burrell and arbitration

Pat Burrell would have made AT LEAST $15M in arbitration this year. That's the lowest amount the Phils would have likely suggested because Burrell's season certainly merited a raise based on the arbitraiton process. Had the Phils miscalculated, Burrell could have earned more than $16M in arbitration. Arbitration is NOT affected by current economic conditions.

BAP - How many games will Bradley play in the next three years? Ibanez is on the other side of his 30s, yes, but he's played in 300 more games than Ibanez in the last 4 years without showing signs of decline (he's actually had some of his best seasons and put up consistent .285/.355 no. in that time.)

Bradley, yes, has some upside, but he is worth the same contract? He's only ever been able to play one full season in 9 years (a year where he put up a 108 OPS+.) I may prefer Bradley's upside to Ibanez consistency, but not for the same dollars. I'd want to be compensated for the risk of signing him for 3 years.

"Exactly. If Ibanez is an upgrade if he puts up better offensive stats than Burrell next year."

Not sure that a straight-up comparison is fair, unless it accounts for the possibility that Burrell will hit better as a DH than if he had to play the field (and yes, I know that he hasn't hit well, historically, as a DH).

CJ: And the Arbitration offer would automatically lock in Burrell as costing a 1st Round draft pick for any signing team. That would have had a deterrent effect for most teams. But current economic conditions would absolutely cause Burrell's agents to have him accept arbitration in order to get the bigger salary this year. Or to put it another way... we wouldn't have received a draft pick...

CJ - thats exactly why Phils did not offer arbitration. They knew he wanted to come back and would of accepted. would of cost Phils 15-16 mil. If they still wanted him they would of made an offer and who knows maybe they did and he did not accept.

VORP has its problems but at least it captures what OPS+ does not in that it is cumulative.

Yr: Bradley/Ibanez/Burrell/Dunn/Abreu

2005: 20.7--29.1--41.2--45.0--47.1
2006: 17.9--37.8--27.5--23.5--49.0
2007: 19.0--31.3--34.5--45.5--27.9
2008: 57.2--38.6--34.6--36.6--33.2

The first column player has the highest ceiling but, beside that, the three lower single year totals.

Don't always agree with mikes77, but I have trouble seeing how he could be "always wrong" when I can't really argue with this putdown...
"The Burrell apologists will spin it that the Phillies shouldve waited for Burrell's price to drop, after they all(like dummies) wanted to offer arbitration for 1 year 16m... Yeah, i get it. Amaro is dumb for paying Ibanez 10m per, but your smarter because you wanted to pay Burrell twice as much as he deserved."

What is all this fussing about the "toolsy" kid we'll fail to get at #30. He'll still be there in Round 2, and 3, and...

Crazy scenario:

- Phils waited and brought back Abreu for a song (1 yr/$7-$8M), moved Myers, and gone hard after Lowe.

curt, well, here are some MLB players from first and second round picks

97 - Drew, Wolf
98 - Burrell
99 - Myers
00 - Floyd (206.3 IP, 118 ERA+, 17 W with Sox last year)
01 - Hamels

MG: I think those would be barely better than lateral moves, with Ibanez/Abreu being roughly equivalents and Lowe only a slight upgrade from Myers if Myers is able to get back to his 05/06 form. Right now, from a baseball, age, and economic standpoint(ie personality issues aside), I'd rather have Myers for 1 year 12 mil than Lowe for 3 years 45 mil.

Everyone on this board is crazy if they would rather have Milton Bradley over Raul Ibanez....... is killing the phillies for the deal they gave ibanez vs the deal the rays gave burrell.

Tampa Bay plays in Philadelphia the last two days of Spring Training. April 3rd (7:05pm) and 4th (1:05pm).

Philly fans can give him his sendoff after all!

MG, not that I have to explain myself to you, but you are wrong. I am not an Amaro homer. I would not have signed Ibanez to that much money and certainly nnot that many years. I just say that Ibanez is better than Burrell. You all disagree, and thats fine... I would have signed Milton Bradley or traded for Jermain Dye rather than sign Ibanez...
It also gets on my nerves that there are so many guys on this blog who think their so much smarter than Amaro and Cholly. You guys get to throw out nonsense on this board, get it wrong, then hide until everybody forgot what you suggested.
Such as... "multiple teams will offer Burrell 3 years at 15m per" or "anyone who does'nt think the Phillies will offer Burrell arbitration is stupid"... Sound familiar.

Got my 2009 Phillies calendar in the mail today. All 12 months feature highlights from the 2008 post-season run.

Jan - Brett Myers after his walk against Sabathia.
Feb - Victorino rounding first after the grand slam
Mar - Victorino making a leaping catch in game 2 of the NLDS.
Apr - Utley picking off Furcal on his unassisted DP in game 4 of the NLCS.
May - Matt Stairs hitting the HR in the NLCS.
June - Hamels throwing the first pitch for the Phillies in the World Series
July - Bruntlett scoring the game winning run in game 3 of the World Series
August - Blanton hitting his HR in game 4.
Sept - Howard hitting his first HR in game 4
Oct - Jenkins at 2B after his double in game 5.
Nov - Ruiz tagging out Bartlett at home in game 5
Dec - Lidge celebrating the World Series win.

As expected, no Burrell or Moyer. No Rollins either - Wonder if he's on the trading block this year...

stjoehawk - i think there's more than one calendar bc i have one with Utley in Jan. that includes Rollins and Burrell.

sophist: Well, Bradley wouldn't cost a first round draft pick. That's a sort of compensation.

The Ibanez signings looks even worse now as the market is appropriately being set for aging, bad defensive left fielders. I am one of the many that would have rather rolled the dice on Milton Bradley for a similar deal than Ibanez for the reason that you get a better fielder, switch hitter, and a player 6 years younger. Its hard to criticize the front office for both not offering arbitration and then claiming we could have signed Burrell for 2/$16 because he would have received something closer to that amount for one year. That said, the marginal $14 mil for one extra year of Ibanez could look pretty bad in 2011, not to mention we are not letting our scouts use the first round we lose for Ibanez and the ones we would have gained with Burrell, given their drafting track record.

I dunno, this doesn't bother me so much. I kinda like the idea of Burrell going to our WS foes, a young team who can use his steadying influence (even if his production is not-so-steady).

The Ibanez deal is about making another run at the WS now while the core of this team is still together. In 2009, barring injury, Ibanez should outperform Burrell offensively w/o giving up any defense (because how can you give up D to Burrell). Thats going to help this team alot. Will he still be outperforming Burrell in three years as Ibanez passes age 40? Probably not, but then again Burrell isn't exactly a spring chicken either.

In any case, I think the offseason after winning the WS should be about winning now, not draft picks, so this turn of events is okay by me.

Then again, what exactly did Moyer do in the post season to warrant memorializing on the calendar?

I guess Rollins' hr in game four of the NLDS or game four of the NLCS could've been used but they turned out to not be the pivotal moments from those games.

I'm not upset that we chose Ibanez over Burrell necessarily...I'm upset that we burned a ton of money on him that we likely didn't have too. The biggest losers in the Burrell signing are Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu...both of their market values just took kicks to the balls.

THe Ibanez deal looks awful now. We should have resigned Burrell but the front office didn't even try...

Tim: "and the ones we would have gained with Burrell, given their drafting track record."

You seem confused. The Phils would have gotten no draft picks for offering Burrell arbitration because he would have accepted and gotten paid in excess of $15M.

That was my point. If you criticize the front office for not offering arb, you can't say I would like Burrel for 2/$16. That said, I'd rather have Burrel for 1/$16 than Ibanex for 3/$31.5. That is also assuming that arbitrators assign based on 2007 market values, not on where the current market is.

NEPP - didn't seem to effect Bradley, but maybe that's because they were too close together.

Wait a second...

How do we know anyone would have signed Burrell... or Abreu... or anyone else before Ibanez signed?

Waiting to sign Ibanez until the market was set by Burrell or someone else likely would have resulted in Ibanez signing with someone else.

And if this team wasn't really interested in bringing Burrell back... for whatever reason... then what would they be left with?

I would have prefered Burrell at 2 years, $16M. But let's not pretend that because he signed at that amount that Raul Ibanez would ever have been available for less than he was signed for. Hell... Milton Bradley got as much as Ibanez!

****Then again, what exactly did Moyer do in the post season to warrant memorializing on the calendar?****

He made a spectacular defensive play on a Crawford bunt that prevented a big inning and went 7 innings giving up one run...till the ump bent him over and didnt make the right call in Game 3.

****NEPP - didn't seem to effect Bradley, but maybe that's because they were too close together. ****

You nailed it on the head there...the Cubs and Bradley were already deep in negotiations when this Burrell signing came out of nowhere. I honestly think playing for a winner helped Pat take less money...he didn't want to end up somewhere like Cincinnati or San Fran so he jumped on this deal before any of the other FA's could.

"Frankly, I think it's a good idea having more of a contact hitter replacing."

TK: I have no problem with Amaro's belief that a player with a much higher batting average and significantly fewer strikeouts (Ibanez) is a better fit for the Phillies' lineup than a player with a lower batting average, more strikeouts, but significantly more power and walks (Burrell). My problems with the Ibanez signing are that: (1) he is left-handed, on a team that was already too left-handed heavy; (2) he is 37 years old; and (3) he was signed to an expensive 3-year contract. If there were a younger, right-handed version of Raul Ibanez out there, and the Phillies had signed him to a 3-year contract to replace Burrell, you wouldn't hear a word of objection from me. But no such right-hander was on the market -- other than Milton Bradley who, as has been noted by other posters, is both a significant injury risk and a major headcase.

I would have loved if we waited for the market to be set and let Ibanez sign with someone else. Milton Bradley outperformed Ibanez in almost ever traditional or sabrmetic metric so it would make sense that he got something close to Ibanez. I hope I am wrong, but I think the Ibanez contract will be a lesser Adam Eaton type contract.

Why is everyone so sure that Burrell would have accepted arbitration? I forget the numbers but, of all the players who were offered arbitration, there were only 1 or 2 who accepted -- and, as I recall, neither was anything remotely resembling a marquee name.

We now know that the economy has had a significant impact on the free agent market, but that was not yet apparent at the time Burrell would have had to make his decision. I doubt very seriously he would have accepted arbitration.

BAP - Great point. Its not like Burrell could have seen that the offers weren't going to be there. There was a deadline to accept and basically every local and national source said that Burrell would not have accepted.


you'd put that on a calendar?

bap: What high-priced free agent was offered arbitration? You don't think it's curious that Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn were all passed over for arbitration?

Tim: If you're comfortable with a massive injury risk (not to mention head case) in LF, then you'll love the Cubs this year.

****you'd put that on a calendar?****

If it had counted, I'd probably would...I just watched it about 20 more times on my WS BluRay Disc and it pissed me off all over again that he lost his place on every highlight reel for the next 50 years by a blown call.

Burrells contract has nothing to do with the amount Ibanez got. Other teams wanted Ibanez, notably the NYMets. Burrell was'nt in demand.
Burrell's competition for a contract was Manny and Bradley. Not Ibanez, Abreu or Dunn. Manny has'nt signed so he didnt lower Burrell's worth . The market did'nt work against Bradley. Cinny, NYM, SF and Atl needed RH power hitter and they passed on Burrell.
There was a market for Burrell's type, but NOBODY thought he was worth anything... So much for OPS+.

mikes77phillies: And yet, we'll soon find out if all of those front offices were wrong. There is no demand for Manny Ramirez. Does that mean he's a bad player?

CJ: Manny's not a bad player, but he's not worth the money that he will command.

In addition, there's no guarantee that he won't have half a dozen "Manny being Manny" moments during the life of a contract where he refuses to play hard and makes life miserable for his teammates.

A half season of hustle in LA doesn't make up for his reputation. If you want to win a fantasy baseball league, grab Manny. If you want to win the World Series, it can be done for far less money and headaches.

Hmm...last I checked Manny had 2 WS rings...and 4 total WS appearances in his career. He must be doing something right.

I didn't say he isn't productive. I said that you can win a World Series without him. His salary makes him unnecessary.

I think its pretty obvious that the Phillies never had any intention of signing Pat Burrell and were ready to move on. Amaro and company felt that the Howard/Burrell combination was a black hold of strikeouts and stranded runners and they wanted to change it. Enter Ibanez, who brings more contact and less strikeouts. They felt they had to move immediately on Ibanez as there was demand out there for him and probably Gillick gave him a big endorsement. They didn't want to wait and be stuck out in the cold with whatever leftovers were still on the market now.

In addition, they probably wanted to get that business over with since 1) they started their offseason a month after everyone else 2) they know face their toughest test with eight arbitration cases and that will take a lot of attention.

In fact, they are talking now on the MLB Network about how unpleasant the arbitration process is and why you don't want to get into that arbitration hearing. Now the Armaro has to face that with eight players including several key parts. He really couldn't worry about who will be manning leftfield right now.

For the Milton Bradley supporters out there, if he had signed Bradley all we would be talking about is how he will never play 120 games and is a headcase and why would we want that on our team?

The bottom line is that no one is sure how any of these signings will work out, but if Burrell has a better year than Ibanez then Amaro will never hear the end of it and most Beerleaguers will be jumping down his throat all season and call for his head.

Yeah, Bradley isn't exactly a character guy. Even if you don't put much stock in the idea of "chemistry," throwing a guy like that onto a team full of guys who genuinely seem to like playing together is asking for problems.

Cj, there is a market for Manny. He will get more than the 40m that Boston would have paid him the next 2 years. It is nothing for a Boras client to sign late in January for big bucks...

imagine Rollins,Utley, Manny then Howard. If the phillies would have given Manny 2 years for 50m. Instead of giving 22.5 mil to Ibanez, Moyer, Eyre and Chan Ho they could cancel the next 2 seasons and get straight to the parades.

Look Phans~

Here's the only problem I have with the Phils not bringing back Burrell. Now be patient with me. I like Pat Burrell. I'm sorry to see him go. The Phils just didn't want him back. That's the bottom line.

Here's the problem. And it is solely woth Amaro. I've made this point before, but nobody listens. The Ibanez move was about saving money over what they would have had to Burrell in arb. They save about 6 million. That savings goes away when they eat Eaton's salary.

It's not about whether Ibanez is better than Burrell. The upside: he's a better defensive player, hits for a higher average and has driven in over 100 runs in each of the last 3 seasons. The downside: He's older then Burrell and LH. Can he play? Yes. At his current level? Who knows.

The problem is this (Amaro). Rube said he wanted to upgrade the rotation, the bullpen and bring in a RH bat. He's done NONE of those things. He re-signed Moyer and Eyre. Upgrades? No. Just standing pat. He brought in Paulino, which is an upgrade defensively to the C position. He swapped out Ibanez for Burrell. That's a wash. Or it would seem so. He signs Chan Ho Park. So what. Signs Mejewski to a minor-league deal. Mayberry for Golson is btter for the Phils at the minor league level and that's all. Amaro will get all his arb cases done, possibly with multi-year deals for Werth, Vic, and Hamels. Not for Howard.

The problem is he hasn't done ANYTHING to improve the team. It's still an 85 to 92 win team and that is not good enough. It was last year but not this year. Why? Because the Mets are clearly better than they were and the Phils didn't not win the division running away. The won because they got hot at the right time while the Mets flopped again.

If the FO office would not worry so much about payroll and put the right team on the field we wouldn't be talking about this. The Phils hardly ever go for broke. We expect too much from a FO that's stingy in the FA market for the most part. But Amaro is a "yes" man and is doing what he's told. Is this a trick up his sleeve via trade? Maybe, but I doubt it. He'll make a couple of more minor moves, and then hope they get lucky again.

You also have to remember that Dye is also 35 and the Phils were on his NT list. So they eren't getting him. DeRosa? He got traded for nothing, bit the Cubs wanted top talent from us. The market for RH bat is slim. But if Amaro really wanted to do something good he could have at least tried.

Moyer's play blown by the ump's call is in the WS DVD ad when the voiceover talks about great defense....

Len39 is on target. The Phillies decided they did not want Burrell back. (I agree with that assessment). They decided on Ibanez and quickly signed him, taking him off the market.
They wanted to focus on the arbitration cases, not playing the FA market. Hopefully, they are thinking of locking up a key player or two.

Burrell was never going to get any kind of great deal from a NL team. I think 2/$16 is close to his real value today, and that strictly as a DH. We cannot forget that he had a terrible second half in 08 and TB is gambling that this was a slump and not the start of a serious decline.

There are two types of "overpaying". You can pay someone more than he's worth, and you can pay someone more than you needed to sign him. The perfect scenario is when those two prices match. In Ibanez' case, I think the Phillies maybe paid more than they needed to sign him, but not more than he's worth. Even so, I don't think he would have remained on the market until now.

Nature says that Ibanez will decline over the length of the contract. He's 36. But his age is the only indicator to this point of a decline. There are no other tangible indicators (lots of nagging injuries, long slumps, fading in the 2nd half, being substituted for in the field and baserunning, needing more days off, slipping numbers, etc). Signs of Burrell's possible decline were visibly measurable in some of those areas.

To many here, the FO can do no right. Had Amaro waited until prices dropped to sign a LF, he would have been accused of being cheap. When he acted early to address the needs in LF, he's accused of overpaying.

I wonder if all the closet cases that argue that Pat Burrell is as good as Ryan Howard think that Howard will have to accept a 2 year 16m ccontract when he comes up for Free agency.

This is a terrible day for a Phillies fan. I never thought Phillies management would start acting like the Eagles the way they treat players, but that day has come.

I don't like this at all- who the hell is Raul Ibanez? I like what Pat the Bat brought to the Phillies- good luck to him and the Tampa Rays!

read my post at

I am pi$$ed at this!

Sure, Mikes, I'll say you were right, at least about offering arbitration. That would have been a big mistake. I didn't see the market contraction coming.

But after that, the FO could have said to Burrell, "Go out, look around, let us know what it would take at that point" -- at least they could if they had wanted him back at a bargain price. Clearly, they've made a straight-up bet that Ibanez will be better than Burrell, that Ibanez at 3/30 will be a better deal than Burrell at 2/16, or any price. They think it's an upgrade. So do you. I have my doubts. Let's wait until at least, oh, the first game before we start judging the results of that bet, shall we?

Someone said earlier that Burrell wouldn't have signed with us for the deal he signed with Tampa Bay. There is simply no basis to support that. Burrell may not have given a hometown discount, but I have a hard time believing he'd uproot his life to move to Tampa frickin' Bay when he could stay with the Phillies for the same money.

I don't think Burrell was ever offered a deal, and his interview with (I think) the DN after the Ibanez trade pretty much confirmed that. He never heard from them. I don't know that the Phils would have wanted him back for free. It seems to me that they were hellbent on making sure that he didn't wear red pinstripes again.

Alby said, "I did'nt see the market contraction".

There is no market contraction. Ibanez got his money. Bradley got his money. Manny will get his money. They are in demand. Abreu will suffer, not because of the market, but because he is not as good as he used to be. Burrell suffered because he is'nt in demand... Front offices saw Burrell hit .400 in April and .200 the rest of the season, then under .090 in the WS. Somehow they ALL came to the conclusion that that type of production was not worth a big contract...

By the way Alby, I bet Burrell has a higher OPS next year with the Rays. He will probably hit 60 ground rule Doubles off the catwalks with all of his pop-ups.

I fully supported the decision to forego offering arbitration to Burrell. It was too much of a risk that he'd accept and the facts support that position, in retrospect. No sense comparing the two deals in a vacuum - it doesn't work that way. Still, I sure hope they solicited his numbers before they went on the market for an older, similar player in Ibanez. Not sure any of us are in a position to see the truth through the fog but we'll damn well see the results in a year or three.

you know, it wouldn't surprise me if mr. pat the bait pi**ed off someone in the front office during his early "mr. midnight mayor" years.

By all accounts, Burrell is a hard-working, good locker room guy. In that respect Ibanez is like Burrell, hard working, great character, with the exception that Ibanez has no injury history.

It is clear that Pat has physical mobility limitations, recurring foot problems. Cholly felt limiting Pat's playing time would keep him more effective hence the early PR and D replacement. Pat is a DH at this point in his career, lower age than Ibanez or not.

Let's hope that Pat can adjust to his new role. He's already patient, the AL is not familiar with him so maybe he can have a good year while limiting the wear and tear on his body.

A lot of people are making the argument that it was good to get Ibanez because Burrell was never going to get a good offer from another team. How does that make any sense? If Burrell was only gonna be had for cheap, then maybe WE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN HIM, huh? Look, I'll buy the argument that Ibanez is slightly better than Burrell, this year. I don't actually think so, but I can see how it can be argued. The argument that hes worth almost twice the money over the course of the conract and a first round draft pick is ludicrous.

I totally understand part of the argument against re-signing Burrell because of his defensive liabilities. People on here know that I am as big an advocate of defensive value as there is on here. What I don't get is signing as bad a defensive player to a contract for twice the money.

The idea that Burrell's contract and Ibanez's contract show how much they're actually worth ignores the fact that we don't actually know what the markets for Burrell and Ibanez were. Certainly, it's possible that we overpaid Ibanez. We heard that the Cubs and Mets were interested as well, but I never heard that any other team made a serious offer close to ours. We signed him before the market was set for aging, bad defensive LFs. Also, we have no idea if Burrell received other offers and took a discount to play in Tampa (winning team, went to college at Miami, spent 10 seasons in spring training in the area). It's probably not likely, but certainly possible. We have no idea.

Who will earn more in 2009, Jenkins or Ibanez? Jenkins $6.75M vs Ibanez $6.5M.

Who has a limited or full no trade-clause in their contract, Ibanez or Jenkins? Jenkins limited NT to 6 teams.

The main debate at hand is Burrell vs Ibanez but the Jenkins signing has proven to be a train wreck of Eatonesque proportions in regards to return on investment (although I do like the guy).

Burrell probably got a few perks of a limited no trade clause I would bet and settled on a favorable location with a contender.

Also - I went back to a Dec MLB winter meeting blog by Rosenthal who stated the METS were wining and dining Ibanez and others in pursuit like the Cubs, Angels, Braves, and Nationals.

This is probably why we overpaid for Ibanez but he agreed to a loaded back-end deal with no mention of a trade clause. Probably some thoughts in the back room of Starbucks regarding him playing 1B as a plan B if Howard is unsignable down the road.

At this point I am way more upset with the Jenkins (and Eaton) signing than Ibanez and look forward to what he will do in Philly before making too many emotional decisions.


JC Romero suspended 50 games! NOW CAN WE PLEASE SIGN JUAN CRUZ!!!!!!!!!!

Uh oh.

Now we may have bullpen issues. Check out this article. Romero's done for 50 games.

Romero suspended for 50 games!!!!

Real bright guy we gots there.

How far behind can Madson be?

Also, let my just say that I wish Pat and the Rays the best. World Series excepted, I like that Rays team a lot. Upton and Longoria are awesome young, exciting players. I hope Pat brings a nice veteran presence to that team and he gets more playoff appearances. Good for them.

"J.C. Romero reportedly is being suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Romero said on Monday that he bought a supplement from a GNC store and that he was cleared to take it by the Phillies' training staff. He actually tested positive in late September, but he took the case to arbitration, allowing him to pitch in the postseason and World Series. Jan. 5 - 9:54 pm et"

Well, that is certainly not good.

ohhhh noooooo romero.....

Anyone else see the article on ESPN about Romero getting suspended for 50 games?

Seems like a raw deal but this has some serious bullpen implications for the start of next year. I don't know what appeal options he has remaining, but that leaves a question mark for another lefty out of the pen.

Screw Tampa Bay. I don' twish Burrell ill - he has earned his pinstripes. But, I won't root for an expansion team in a monstrosity of a ball park with no fans. I hope they disband the franchise and let the better players improve real teams.

Bad news. ESPN is reporting that JC Romero will be suspend for 50 games for a failed drug test.

"While Major League Baseball never said J.C. Romero tried to cheat, the 33-year-old reliever who won the third and clinching games of the 2008 World Series has been ruled guilty of "negligence" and will be suspended for the first 50 games of the 2009 season. "

The Romero thing is sort of awesome. Tough he'll be out 50 games, but that's kind of sweet. Doesn't taint anything for me.

It seems like Romero got a raw deal and the Phillies didn't back him up much. The fact that the MLB would strong arm Romero with the "ADMIT YOUR GUILTY" bs to reduce the suspension is fascist at best.

These are the types of things that get out of hand with drug testing policies. You want to prevent the REAL CHEATERS who go the BALCO route (purposely inventing PEDs that would escape testing) to penalizing guys who purchase a substance from a retail chain.

MLB and the MLBPA and each individual team HAS to do a better job. Because a guy like Romero (who from all reports seems like a good guy) who makes a mistake gets thrown under the bus because he's juicing like Ivan Drago.


"The Romero thing is sort of awesome."

Are you serious? It's a lot of things, but awesome isn't one of them.

This might be a dumb way to rationalize it, but I look around the league at fanbases in general and most of them would say that Ibanez would be a nice piece to have, or a guy who's worth taking a shot on. You ask the same people about Burrell and you'll hear crickets. Right or wrong, Pat doesn't get many people excited about what he might bring to the team.
I think being a guy we've cheered so long, we forget that he's not really a guy who strikes fear in anyone.

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