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« Beerleaguer for breakfast: Phillies make statement | Main | Talent gap between starters, substitues widening »

Monday, July 27, 2009

Comments

Baffling to me how some folks don't get the word. It has already been reported that Myers cannot, repeat, cannot come back as a starter before the end of the season. If he comes back at all, and that's iffy, it will be as a reliever.

Jack is correct on this and he is also correct that a player on the DL prior to Sept. 1 can be used ion the playoffs even if he is not activated until after Sept. 1.

From The Last Thread:

****Can anyone explain why Savery isnt being considered in any of this trade talk? The guy is 12-3 with a low 3 ERA. and what about Flande? wasn't he in the futures game?****

Because neither are considered anything more than fringe prospects at this point...hardly centerpieces of a major deal.

i agree all the teams including the big markets are building their farms and seem to be building around prospects. Why is it though, that it seems like some teams have to empty farms systems for certain players while yanks and redsox seem to get stars for low level prospects and a bag of balls?

I dunno if i'd call Savery a "fringe" prospect in the true sense of the word, but he's not as hot as his record shows. He has shown something this year, but definitely needs work.

This note about the Yankees may be indicative of teams' general sentiment regarding the economy. Baseball salaries seem to have grown much faster than the general economy, so a severe economic fluctuation is making that disparity felt more acutely. I'd love to see a chart of each team's sources of revenue and cost structure, to see how much revenue comes from TV (high visibility) to ticket sales (moderate visibility) to product licensing (lower visibility). Then the costs - players salaries, advertising, infrastructure, stadiums costs, etc.

I'm willing to be that none of the owners want to see what a protracted economic downturn looks like if MLB salaries are expected to continue to rise.

This scenario increases the long term value of your cheap but productive prospects.

I bet there's a way to do the math on this. I just don't have that kind of time.

***re-post****

Since it sounds like the trade for Halladay is dying on the vine- what is an acceptable replacement for everyone?

Does it have to be someone like Lee, or would you take a younger guy with promise, a cheaper contract, and potential similar to (not exactly like before anybody tries to construe it that way) like the Blanton deal- in Ian Snell.

I'm not really opposed to either direction, however if they got he latter route I'd almost hope they can find another piece there as well to round the trade out more, maybe something like Snell/Capps in return

Even if a trade isn't made, it's exciting to think the Phils have a minor league system now worthy of such discussions.

Happ, Drabek, Carrasco, Knapp, Worley and Stutes on the pitching side.

Brown, Taylor, Donald, Marson, D'Arnaud, Gose and Galvis on the position side.

Sure, the quality among those players varies, but since I've been a Phillies fan, I can't remember this team having such a deep system.

Clout: From yesterday, you told me why Brown was a better power-hitting prospect than Taylor. But I never asked that. I asked you why you described Brett Wallace, the key to the Holliday deal for the A's, as a "power-hitting" 3rd baseman. Wallace is 22 and was slugging .427 between Double-A and Triple-A (Triple-A in the hitter-friendly PCL).

As someone who has been consistently down on Michael Taylor's power potential (despite Taylor being 23 and slugging .560 this year), I am just wondering why you would be so high on Wallace's power, considering he's shown nothing close to it, and comments from scouts before this season noted there were questions about his power.

George: I would argue that the shift toward young talent is equal parts economy and distrust of older players in the post-steroid era.

****I dunno if i'd call Savery a "fringe" prospect in the true sense of the word, but he's not as hot as his record shows. He has shown something this year, but definitely needs work.****

Yeah, its a bit harsh I guess. He's more of a throw-in type guy at this point. Flande is more of a LOOGY/Org Filler type of player.

"Savery was our first round pick in 2007 and he's already in AA. Come on, he has to be viewed as higher than just a fringe prospect."

Lots of guys are first round picks. Lots of draft picks from major college programs get quickly placed in AA (including Stutes & Worley). But if they don't perform, or show major league caliber stuff, they soon become fringe prospects -- which is exactly what Savery is.

Well, I wouldn't mind seeing the Phillies pick up Snell or maybe Tom Gorzelanny if they don't have to give up much, but neither would be a solution to our problems in the rotation.

Yeah, BedBeard, count me out on Savery being a fringe prospect. He doesn't have the ceiling of Drabek, Carrasco, Knapp etc., but to me a fringe prospect is someone who is unlikely to contribute very much at the major league level. Flande is a fringe prospect, but Savery projects as a solid back-of-rotation guy.

C'mon Rube. Offer 'em Drabek, Brown and Donald and let's get this deal done.

Yeah it sucks to give up your top two guys but you improve your rotation for this year immensely. Halladay-Hamels-Blanton-Happ-Pedro/Lopez/Moyer is a contender for best rotation in the league. The top four makes a pretty solid playoff rotation as well.

The window for this team is 2-3 years. Let's hold onto Happ, Carrasco, and Taylor as they are more likely to help the team immediately.

Screw the future. I want a dynasty. A team that wins multiple championships like the Yankees or the Red Sox. I don't want to be the Atlanta Braves who won the NL East a billion times but only got one World Series win out of it. If you don't make the trade, that is what you are basically saying you are happy with.

Please Rube, don't settle for being "just good enough." Bring Philly its first ever dynasty.

Brummett, is he related to the Gnome? Did his family change a letter in their last name to prevent having the negative connotation associated with them?

****Sure, the quality among those players varies, but since I've been a Phillies fan, I can't remember this team having such a deep system****

I agree. I don't think we've ever had a system this strong or deep. We've had some real hits in the draft (mainly from drafting very high for several years and getting lucky a few times (Ryan Howard/5th round)., but this is a great system. Last year's draft was spectacular. Hopefully we sign a couple more hard to sign guys from the June draft like Colvin and Susac to continue to pump talent into the system.

Savery might become a 4/5 starter or bullpen guy. There are a couple dozen pitchers in our system for which you could say the same thing. His shoulder never recovered 100% from surgery, thus he is not the #1 talent he could have been.

Truth: I'm not opposed to a trade for Ian Snell, who is still young enough, and has good enough stuff, to be a terrific major league pitcher at some point. But that would be a very different kind of trade than a Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee trade. Snell is certainly not someone who could be counted on to help in 2009.

Yanks aren't trading for a ton of prospects for Halladay or Lee because they largely addressed their starting pitching issues this offseason by spending the GDP of a small country.

They really only need tweaking including finding another bullpen arm to bulk up a shaky middle relief and maybe some bench help.


The beerleaguer favorite RJ Swindle was called up to the Brewers today.

It's more applicable in this thread, but like I said in the last thread, the Santana and Bedard trades in the last two years are going to be the blueprints for what NOT to do, both for buyers and sellers. And in both cases, the lessons learned involves prospects. The Twins have next to nothing to show for Santana because they waited too long, and Bill Bavasi is out of a job because he gave away the farm for Bedard. Time for Ricciardi to make a move, or pay the price later.

BAP - I don't think it is unfair at all to call Savery a "fringe prospect." Take away the impressive W-L record this year and his numbers at Reading are pretty mediocre.

Saw Savery pitch now 3 times the last 2 years (gotten a chance to go to alot of R-Phils with my dad who has season tickets) and Savery just doesn't have the stuff you need to start at the MLB level.

He likely will get a cup of coffee at some point and maybe latch on a bullpen guy but he gets alot of attention because he was a former 1st round pick. If he had been a 7th or 8th round pick, he wouldn't get nearly the focus or attention given the numbers he has put up so far in his minor league career.

Look at it this way: If we keep our prospects, we can afford to pay for a Halliday in 2011, when he becomes a free agent, because we'll have cheap players to fill in. If we deal our youngsters, we will not be able to sign a high profile free agent at that time.

So, win now and lose later, or stand pat with the almost certain knowledge that you'll get to the playoffs this year anyway, and greatly increase your chances of winning later?

Not a hard choice. Don't give up the farm for Halliday. Lee is far cheaper and almost as good!

BAP: I've seen different thoughts on if Snell would be a major leaguer this year again or not get thrown into a rotation til next year.

I think he could slot in at a 3 or 4 this year (would probably make it easier to trade someone like Happ if you wanted to go that route. More than likely though he would be part of a deal where you need to get something else as well.

I know ther are "B" level guys out there like Washburn, or Bannister- but to me if you go that route, you better be filling another hole on the team as well.

Brummett and Bruntlett do indeed sound like Hobbit names. If the Shire had a baseball team, they would be the stars.

Don't understand how some guys are considered real prospects like Savery. It is not a knock on him per se but just that it is really tough to start at the MLB level.

Hell, anybody who even gets called up in my book is somebody who should command a degree of respect but there is a big difference between that/thinking the guy may really help the big league club down the road.

Savery has inconsistent control with stretches of real wildness, doesn't miss many bats, no strikeout pitch, and put alot of balls in the air.

Biggest thing he has going for his is that he is a lefty, his high draft status, and that he still only really focusing solely on pitching for the 2nd year.

Maybe he overcomes the odds and sticks at the MLB level because he is a lefty but if he was a righty/not a high draft choice he wouldn't merit much discussion at all.

MG: I think you directed that last post to the wrong guy. IMO Savery is a fringe prospect. He'll get a cup of coffee in the majors, but I don't see him as having a lasting major league career as a starting pitcher. He might have a better future if the Phillies tried converting him to a reliever but, even there, I'm skeptical.

Dan: The chances of the Phils signing Halladay to a long-term contract for big money when he's 33 or 34 years old is slim to none. The Phils do not hand out big long-term deals to pitchers in their 30s.

If the Phils are to get anything out of Halladay, it's this year and next.

I'm guessing Amaro has an offer in his pocket that will bring us a stealth acquisition like Lohse or Blanton.

How many years away do you think Knapp is?

"Since it sounds like the trade for Halladay is dying on the vine- what is an acceptable replacement for everyone?"


George Sherrill.


Again, this team is not as "desperate" for a starter as you might think. Check the stats since June 1. The rotation is getting it done.

4 at the least.

Figure a year at each level for Knapp as they'll seriously want to control his innings from Age 18-21.

We're not getting George Sherill or any other top reliever. He's not worth the prospects we'd have to give up for him.

JW,
Interesting point, but I feel like a lot of the post PED washout has occurred and most of the guys who were on the stuff have been exposed or suspected. Hard to suspect a guy like Doc Halladay of that. But to your point, your downside risk of paying up for a guy who crashes due to taking PEDs is huge. Teams won't even take on suspected PED users at a low finacial cost these days (see Bonds, Barry).
Without knowing the specifics, it would seem that most teams will need to stockpile high-output low cost talent (normally means young) before they are eligible for free agency. I would think that for teams that are not the Yankees or Red Sox, this could become a more important driver if the economic downturn becomes proactive.

From a business perspective, baseball teams may be profitable, but I don't know what profit margins for most teams look like. It might not take much of a swing to go from money maker to money loser. This is the question if you're ownership. They'd like to win now, but if they can't, there's no sense in losing AND not making any money. If you spend the money, you have to think you can make it back with revenue in the postseason or through long term franchise building - like winning your second consecutive WFC.

Chad Qualls is out too. Houston is still in it.

I agree with NEPP.

There's no chance we get Sherill. The asking price in prospects compared to what we'd get in return is significantly worse than the Halladay talk.

Clout: Since you've been on here responding to other things, are you going to ever respond to my question regarding Wallace and Taylor?

Qualls is on the Diamondbacks now...

PB: Qualls isn't with Houston anymore. He's on the D-Backs, who are far out of it.

CJ: My mistake, I meant Valverde

BAP - Guess I don't see the "depth" that people are talking about when discussing the Phils' minor system. Take the Reading team for example which I have seen now about a dozen times this season.

Unlike the last 2 years when Arbuckle tried to sell a false bill of goods with them (e.g, including last preseason when he talked about how 'stacked with talent' the '08 Reading Phils were which turned out to be largely laughable), there are some actually talented players who might make a real impact at the MLB level including Drabek and Taylor but for the most part it is still a team that has maybe 2-3 players who will make a noticeable impact on the Phils in the next 2-3 years including 1 positional player (Taylor) who has a real shot at sticking for more than a few weeks at the MLB level.

As for the pitching, it is largely a false bill of goods. Yeah there are some younger arms here this season who were drafted by the Phils instead of a pitching staff largely of retreads or minor league journeyman but it is hard to see anyone beyond Drabek really having an impact at the MLB level.

Doesn't mean it isn't improved but I don't understand how people talk about how "loaded" the RPhils' staff is with talent.

"If the Phils are to get anything out of Halladay, it's this year and next."


Which is EXACTLY why so many teams are reluctant to give Riccardi everything including their first born, for him.

He's a 1 1/2 year rental.

And, you don't give up 4 of your top 6 prospects (when you are already one of the best teams in baseball and your rotation isn't that bad to begin with) to get somebody like that.

If you want to do "that" kind of deal, go after Cliff Lee. He is MUCH cheaper, will not cost you as much (although it will still cost a couple top prospects) and is younger. His ERA, this year, on a dreadful team is right around 3, and he won the Cy Young last year in the A.L.

Even with that, another lock-down late-inning bullpen guy, who can replace Lidge if and when he finally implodes for good this year, is what should be taking all/most of Rube's time now.

Because in the NL, where pitchers generally don't go 9 innings (because of the pitcher hitting) the closer HAS to be able to get it done, ESPECIALLY in the playoffs, when games are closer. Adding another starter does not solve that issue, in the least.

CJ, I agree with that, however the Phils will then have the ability to sign a pither who is worth that kind of money, or Halliday to a more reasonable contract.

The Phils have a reputation of not overpaying for aging players (Moyer aside). This has allowed them to not be saddled with huge, franchise killing contracts, and has allowed them to get servicible players along with a few big signings. You can't argue with the results, I believe.

I don't think Halliday is worth the price. The Phils have about a 90% chance of making the playoffs anyway, and him in the lineup only improves their chances to winning the WS a modest amount. Even if you consider next year, the calculus doesn't change much. The Phils will be heavy favorites to make the postseason next year as well, and will have a good chance at the WS again.

If the choice is between the prospects and a CERTAIN WS or two, I'd take the WS. However it isn't. It's the prospects and a MARGINAL IMPROVEMENT of the ODDS of winning a WS or two. The margins aren't great enough to part with the players who will give us a chance to win more WS in the next decade.

Jon Heyman tweets:

"#phillies, #jays said to be at impasse at moment. maybe i'm an optimist. but this deal makes too much sense to die."

How about D'Arnaud...will he come up with Knapp?

MG-is there anything you're not cynical about?

PB: Yeah, Valverde is definitely not being moved now. Good point.

denny b - How is the Phils' rotation 'isn't that bad?' It has been better the past month because Blanton has been dominant and Happ has been very steady but this is still a pretty weak rotation because of Hamels' struggles and the questions about Moyer/Lopez/Pedro.

The Phils need another starter for the postseason and if they don't make the move for Halladay they are going to need to likely made a trade for a "frontline starter" this offseason.

I agree the bullpen is an issue too but I don't the Phils address at the trading deadline unless they really do think that Lidge can't make it through the season or that Romero is really hurt badly.

So, if our minor league system is not particularly deep with prospects who project as significant contributors at the ML level and we deal the better ones away, we neither have them nor Halladay in two years.

"We're not getting George Sherill or any other top reliever. He's not worth the prospects we'd have to give up for him."


And we won't be defending our title either, without another TOP reliever.

You think Baltimore is going to ask for 4 of our top 6 prospects, for him? No way.

Lidge is the problem and not dealing with that problem proactively, will end up costing this team down the road. Because you can't survive against really good teams, when games get tighter and offenses are lessened, with a shaky closer. And folks, we have the definition, of a shaky closer in 2009.

If a deal is made for Washburn or Lee, it would stand to reason that Happ will be dealt. The rotation will be lopsided w/ southpaws otherwise.

BB - There is a big difference between being 'cynical' and putting on rose-colored glasses about the minor league system.

The RPhils are a much better team this year and actually worth going out to watch. I did really try to make it to a couple of Drabek starts in particular. There is a big difference though say that they are stacked with talent who will make an impact at the MLB level. That's just a real stretch.

MG: Who claimed the R-Phils were "loaded" with talent? I think the point was that the system, as a whole, is as good as it's been in recent history. Rankings by BA from the offseason confirm that, and, if no prospects are dealt at the deadline, I'd imagine the system would be ranked in the top 10 in all of baseball going into next year.

As far as Reading goes, Drabek is obviously a top prospect, and guys like Stutes, Worley, and Savery are certainly "prospects", at least far more than guys like Tyson Brummett or Brian Mazone. In pretty much any system, having a rotation on any single minor-league team with at least 4 guys considered to be prospects is pretty impressive.

I think you need to realize that everyone understands most prospects don't make it. No one is claiming the Reading Phils have 4 sure-thing MLB pitchers on their roster. But they do have an intriguing collection of pitching prospects, all of whom have a chance, and hopefully at least a couple of which will actually pan out. That's more than most minor-league rotations can claim.

I'm going absolutely nuts over this trade deadline

Jack - Largely agree with that and that was my point. The biggest difference with the RPhils this year is that they did have 2 players (Taylor, Drabek) who look like they are capable of really doing something above average at the MLB level. It's been a couple of years that you could really say about a positional player on the RPhils.

Plus, they actually have some internal developed arms at Reading. That's is a big change of pace when the staff was almost primarily FAs and journeyman acquired via trade the last 2 years.

MG: The Phils minor league system was ranked in the top 15 in baseball coming into the season. And it wouldn't surprise me to find them in the Top 10 right now.

No one is calling any of our minor league teams "stacked." The point is that our system is as deep as it's been in the last 25 years.

Jack: Exactly. The system is more than Reading. It goes without saying that the Phils don't have one of the top few systems in the league, but they've come along way from a few years ago.

And you don't have to be wearing rose-colored glasses to recognize the significant improvement in the quality of prospects in the Phils minor league system.

denny b: We aren't going to be doing a deal for a closer: Sherrill, Qualls, etc. Another bullpen arm maybe. But not one considered to be a "closer."

If Lidge continues to falter and gets demoted or sent to the DL, than Madson (or maybe even Myers) will be the closer.

Before the conspiracy theory touted by some was the Phils' seemed to have interest in the big names just to fire up the phan base.

"denny b - How is the Phils' rotation 'isn't that bad?'"

MG- Its not. The first month or two it was awful. That skews both the numbers and the perception around here and in baseball. They have settled down and 4 days out of 5, seem to come up with quality efforts (even Happ's outing on Friday, although poor on paper, was solid).

I feel very confident with Hamels, Blanton and Happ, everytime they go out there. Hamels is due for great stretch of games (his stuff is still there) and Pedro will be good when he comes up (he has been good in short stints the past few years; before he wears down later in the season. That is not going to be the case this year). For a 5th starter, Moyer is fine (who would you rather have as your 5th starter, Grandpa, Todd Wellemeyer or Jason Schmidt?) and won't be needed in October anyway.

Sure, they could USE another starter. Most teams could. It would be great to pair up somebody with Hamels to pitch the first 2 games of the playoffs. But that may not be feasable/doable for a number of reasons.

But they NEED another lock-down reliever. That is what they NEED. They need a guy to be able to close games, if and when it finally dawns on everyone that Lidge is toast this year. They tried Madson, and he wasn't ready for that yet. You wouldn't want to throw Myers into that role coming off injury (and he's no sure bet to even be able to pitch period, yet). Chan Ho has the stuff to do it, but has never done it in his life in the big leagues.

The question is the "depth" argument because the Phils system the past 10 years or so has had some high-profile prospects that have developed and yeah I do focus on AA for several reasons including those are players who are going to be on the MLB club in the next 1-2 years and because that is where you see a big jump in the quality of pitching that a hitter faces both in terms of experience and offspeed arsenals.

Heyman just wrote on SI.com that he thinks word leaked to the Phillies that Roy Halladay has informed the Jays he wants to go to Philly. It's also possible it's the only place he'd waive it for...

That would explain the Phils negotiation tactics.

Oh, man. I saw Brummett pitch in Harrisburg a few weeks ago and he was just pounded.

Jack: Sorry, I missed the Brett Wallace part of your question. I'm happy to oblige:

"Strong/muscular hitter with impressive bat speed and barrel awareness, allowing him to hit for batting average and power." - Scout.com

"Monster bat and should be ready within a year." -John Sickels.

"Wallace’s swing is geared more for line drive contact, but he has the bat speed and strength that plenty of those line drives are going to leave the park, especially the ones he gets under just the slightest little bit." - Future Redbirds.

"I don't think the lefty-hitting Wallace will be Ryan Braun, but he has impressive power." - ESPN.com

I'll check my BA scouting reports later and get back to you.

Also, you described me as "being down" on Taylor's power potential. This is false, as you know from reading my posts. But trying to throw a little falsehood out there to start a debate is your way. As I've said repeatedly, Taylor does not have the power potential of Brown. But he DOES project as a 15-20 HR hitter initially with potential to hit 20+ at mid-career. Brown projects 35+.

Jason Donald for Ian Snell? The Pirates could use middle infield prospects if they get rid Wilson or Sanchez.

denny b - But don't you have to include the first 2 months or the season if you include the last month?

Blanton is a guy who has been dominant the past month. Hell, he arguably has been the best pitcher in the NL for the past 4-5 weeks. He is a guy that is streaky though and generally tends to wear down a bit as the season goes on. He'll be fine to be a Game 3 or 4 starter in the playoffs.

Happ has been solid too but it would be asking an awful lot of him to start a game 3 right now of a playoff series. I like his attitude and demeanor on the mound but that is placing alot of pressure on a rookie like Happ to start 2 games potentially in a longer playoff series.

Hamels hasn't been the same. He hasn't been getting as many batters to swing at stuff out of the zone nor as many misses on pitches in the zone. A quality guy but 2009 Hamels has been 2008 Hamels with a couple of exceptions. What has pretty remarkable about Hamels last year was just how consistent he was too especially in the 2nd half. It got overlooked because of the Blanton trade and Myers' incredible rebound but Hamels was very steady and very good in the 2nd half last year.

Phils definitely could use another veteran starter (or a quality bullpen arm) for the playoffs and I hope that Amaro is able to fill at least one of those needs.

MG: "Savery has inconsistent control with stretches of real wildness, doesn't miss many bats, no strikeout pitch, and put alot of balls in the air."

Wow, sounds just like J.A. Happ at age 24. Happ also projected as a back-end guy with 4 pitches, but none of them plus. Savery is 23. Come on back and give up on him in 2 years.

I don't understand the Moyer argument either. Given the Phils' lead and the lack of decent competition in the NL East, he is fine to leave in the rotation as a No. 5 guy for the rest of the year. He has been marginal all season but pitched well enough the past 2 months or so to stay in the rotation.

The real question about Moyer is do you want him to start a playoff game this year? I say absolutely not because you have no idea if his pinpoint control will be there (in hasn't in most of his starts) and if he will get a generous strike zone (you generally don't in the playoffs).

clout - That's fair although Happ's numbers were better than Savery's at a comparable point. Savery likely will finish the year in Reading and probably start their next year too. By this time next year, you will probably have a pretty good idea if he is going to be a bust or not.

Clout: Exactly right on Savery. Don't forget the shoulder injury, either.

Anyone have access to the Olney blog on ESPN.com? MLBTradeRumors.com is saying that discussions have gotten "angry," but the link doesn't work for non-Insiders.

Just curious what he is saying...

Mets have a 3:30pm press conference today. I bet Tony B. gets the axe.

Peter Gammons said last night that neither side wants to give in but some one, sooner or later, has to blink. This is the best pitcher in the game, he's going to cost something. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Clout: Do you think Wallace has more power than Taylor?

Here's what Olney wrote today:

"Heard this: Not only have the trade talks between the Phillies and Jays about Roy Halladay made little progress, but the dialogue also has gotten heated, as in angry. The Jays think the Phillies should be willing to give up J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and others for Halladay, and the Phillies think the Jays are asking for too much. As Jayson Stark reported early Sunday, the Jays have turned down Philadelphia's latest counterproposal."

CJ- Maybe the Mets press conference is to announce that they have traded for T-Mac as their lead broadcaster. We settled for "some dudes" to be named later.

Olney also points out the folly of long-term contracts:

"The trade period has generated some discussion among talent evaluators about the least movable contracts, and here are the winners, in no particular order. (Alex Rodriguez is in a special class by himself and separate of this discussion, in the same way that Greenland is the world's largest island that isn't a continent):

1. Barry Zito, who is earning $18.5 million in salary this year, next year and in 2011, and will make $19 million in 2012 and $20 million in 2013. The Giants hold a club option for 2014 with a $7 million buyout.

2. Vernon Wells, who has a heavily backloaded contract. He is set to make $12.5 million next season, then $23 million, $21 million, $21 million and $21 million from 2011 to 2014. He could opt out of his deal after 2011.

3. Alfonso Soriano, who still has five years remaining on his contract after this season, at a whopping $18 million per year."

MLBTR:

An AL executive says the Phillies will acquire Lee, Roy Halladay or Jarrod Washburn by Friday afternoon.

Two weeks of rabid pundity and Jr.'s still not interested in serving up a "home run" to the Jays. Can you imagine? Who does the lad think he is?

Jarrod Washburn seems to be available, for a heck of a lot less that Halliday.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?playerId=3834

"Anyone have access to the Olney blog on ESPN.com? MLBTradeRumors.com is saying that discussions have gotten "angry,"...


No, but Gammons this morning speculated (as I did here a few days ago) that Riccardi's job might be on the line with ownership, if he doesn't get Halliday and some other big money guys out of there.

Hey, the ball is in their court. Its very apparent now, that teams are NOT going to cave in and give them what they want.

Either lower your demands or lose your job. Its not like the guy has ever gotten Toronto to sniff a post-season berth, while he has been GM.

BTW, I am listening to that buffoon Skip Bayless spouting right now about how not trading for Halliday would cost the Phils the chances for "3 or 4 consecutive WFS championships". Sure, he is only signed through 2010, but those details seem to be missed by "the experts" on ESPN. And, nobody mentions how bad Lidge has been; which was the REAL reason the team won it all last year. Not having Cy Young starting pitching.

sounds like the Rays & Red Sox are making big plays for Lee & V-Mart.

Personally, I think Riccardi is a arrogant prick. Guy thinks he can strong arm us, mind you, he is dealing the best pitcher out there. I feel like Amaro is being soft and Riccardi continues to be outrageous. I live about an hour and change from Toronto and every Jays I play hockey with says how much they hate Riccardi. This deal is going to get done but time will tell at who's expense.

Not sure I want either Lee or Washburn without giving up Happ. Can't have 4 lefties in the rotation. Don't even really like having 3 with the Cards or Dodgers.

denny b:

I completely agree with your take on the "experts" they have on ESPN. The only guys who have a brain are Olney, Gammons and Kruk. The rest claim to be experts but that would mean you're the best at your given trade. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't Steve Phillips fired as a GM? These guys are all a few clowns short of a circus.

"An AL executive says the Phillies will acquire Lee, Roy Halladay or Jarrod Washburn by Friday afternoon."

The cynics on this list (and perhaps some who aren't as cynical) will say that a guy like Washburn was the inevitable conclusion all along.

I don't think Lee will happen. I think the Indians keep him. I think Ricciardi is playing a high-stakes game with the Halladay trade and he'll likely wind up with a deal in the off-season that will be less than the Phils initial offer.

Jack: I haven't seen a straight up comparison of Wallace vs. Taylor in terms of power, although the reports suggest Wallace's ceiling is higher. But why don't you tell us what you think?

According to Baseball Prospectus, the three aces in discussion:

Halliday - VORP of 47.0 #3 in baseball
Lee - 45.7 #5
Washburn - 40.2 #8

Tell me again why we should trade the farm for #3 when we can get #5 or #8 for a lot less?

Also, from what I understand Ricciardi is a goner after this year anyway. He surely sees the writing on the wall.

Denny B, did you see where Bayless "corrected" the other people on the show to point out the J.A. Happ is a righty? Or when he suggested that not trading for Halladay would be the biggest mistake in Phillies franchise history? He clearly knows nothing about the past and present of the Phillies organization.

Halladay/extension: Right now, RH is saying he'd like to test free agency after next season, which is completely reasonable.

I'm not a Bayliss fan, but I think what he's getting at is the Phillies can obviously attempt to extend his deal next season and it's not a strech of the imagination that Halladay will enjoy pitching for a winner, in a city where he's beloved(assuming he's health and pitches the way he is).

Some "ifs" there, but getting free agent pitchers to come to CPB, who haven't pitched there before, is difficult. Thus, they might want to keep Halladay in town.

Here's Olney:

"Heard this: Not only have the trade talks between the Phillies and Jays about Roy Halladay made little progress, but the dialogue also has gotten heated, as in angry. The Jays think the Phillies should be willing to give up J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and others for Halladay, and the Phillies think the Jays are asking for too much. As Jayson Stark reported early Sunday, the Jays have turned down Philadelphia's latest counterproposal."

Washburn is having a solid season, but he seems like another soft tossing lefty.

I'd love to see Brummett pitch to Bruntlett. The resistable force meets the moveable object.

MLBTR:

1:48pm: A high-ranking official involved in talks between the Jays and Phillies tells Heyman there's a 5% chance a deal happens. Neither side seems willing to change its proposal, but that could change before Friday.

Clout: Where was it reported that Myers "cannot" come back as a starter? It has been reported that his more likely and best opportunity will be as a reliever, but no one has 100% ruled out a comeback as a starter.

I would obviously prefer Lee or Halladay, but if Washburn can be had at a low cost, I think he's a pretty good backup option. He's unlikely to continue his 2.71 ERA, but he's having the best season of his career and would definitely be a good addition to the staff.

Happ was injured during his age 24 season but, during his age 23 season, he posted the following numbers at AA:

74.2 IP, 2.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.5 walks, 9.8 strikeouts, 7 hits, and .2 homeruns per 9 innings

Savery's AA numbers at the same age:

107 IP, 4.36 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4.2 walks, 6.2 strikeouts, 8.8 hits, and 1.1 homerun per 9 innings.

Those numbers are not even remotely close to each other.

Regarding 4 lefties in the rotation...

B-R.com isn't working for me, but don't Hamels and Happ actually have reverse splits in that they're tougher on RHB than LHB?

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EST. 2005

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