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Monday, November 23, 2009


Joe Bisenius? What are they nuts. Rube will rue the day that he let Bisenius walk.

" I've never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.
Most of these guys never had a prime. "

Sorry all....I know- way too easy

re: Lowell

Lowell played in 47 games in the second half out of 76 games. Feliz started in 70 second half games. To get a sense of Lowell's offensive 'value' compared to Feliz' offensive value in the second half of last year, combine his production from 47 games with Dobbs' production of .679 OPS (year-long to be conservative, as his second half OPS split is terrible, as is Bruntlett's year-long OPS) for 23 games. The combined OPS of Lowell and Dobbs for 70 games is .788, which is an OPS+ of about 109. In fact, in order for the 2nd half offensive production to be equal between Lowell and Feliz last year, the person substituting for Lowell in his 23 missed games would have to post a dismal (almost impossible) .182 OPS. That said, gotta remember that these are averages and not a measure of constant production game in, game out.

So bottom line is that Lowell is good offensively; at least much better than Feliz. But the thing is that no one is really questioning his bat. People are questioning (1) his health and it's impact on the number of games he can play/quality of his defense/and the need for a backup to play for about 1/3 of the games; and (2) the cost of acquiring him. Is he worth $6MM and Flande? I'd say that's a little steep especially if Dobbs' injury doesn't improve as it'll be risky to carry two injury-prone 3B. Dobbs said that his calf didn't respond to rest and treatment over the course of 2 months. Hope it responds over the off-season.

One other thing. Who backs up J-Roll next year? Finding someone to back up Utley won't be as hard as finding someone to backup J-Roll, who has become more and more injury prone.

This guy's dead...

Cross him off then.

NEPP: Who's dead? Lowell?

Vizquel hasn't signed about we give him $1.25 million and trump that WhiteSox offer? He'd be the perfect Gnome replacment.

clout- I never made a medical opinion re: Lowell. You did.. (talk about crystal ball!)I said he's a large downgrade defensively. For a little more than 6 mill and a prospect, we can get an equal or better bat and way better defensively. not to mention healthier-- spelled B-E-L-T-R-E

No bidding war for Omar Vizquel please.

I'm not saying a bidding war but maybe just a tad more than he's rumored to be getting from Chitown. I'd pay $1.25 for a versatile savvy veteran defender who can credibly play 3B, SS, and 2B for us...and who doesn't look like a garden gnome.

I'd also be comfortable with a trade for Lowell if we get a decent backup for the middle infield as well.

TNA, ideally, they'd find someone who can play BOTH 2B and SS.

I mentioned Rich Aurelia in the last thread. If he's available on a minor league deal I would bring him in. If he can produce 90% of his 5 yr. averages at the plate it represents a huge upgrade from what they got out of the Gnome the last 2 seasons.

There are also other MLB players available.

But will they come to Philly as backup role players?

Robby, Beltre is coming of an injury as well.

What makes you so sure he'll be healthier than Lowell?

On that front, former Nats GM Bowden is on foxsports saying he doesn't think anyone will meet Figgins price of 5/50. He thinks he'll have to settle for 4/32 and wind up with the Angels.

I say if it's 4/32 the Phillies should at leat be in on the discussions.

I'm fine with Vizquel coming here but I am staunchly against getting into a bidding war for a bench player. There's plenty left in the dumpster! Dive on back in and see what you can find!

Wasn't Brad Harman the pride of our farm system at one time? The club used to be really high on him! Oh how they fall sometimes! I remember his two games in the show!

Too late, NEPP. Omar! is signing with the White Sox for 1.375 MM today.

So Bowden thinks 4/32 is the pure cost of Figgins? Interesting. Depending on the quality of the 1st rd/2nd rd pick given up, that means Bowden thinks that non-Angels teams are going to offer Figgins no more than 4/32.

awh-- he had a bone spur removed from his shoulder-- fairly routine and had a contusion on his testicle (ouch!) I don't think either are serious.. but a hip injury on a 36 yr old gives me cause for pause.. I get tired of the senior citizen player approach, too

****Too late, NEPP. Omar! is signing with the White Sox for 1.375 MM today.****

Apparently they are avid BL readers and saw my proposal for $1.25 million.

$1.375 is an awful lot for a 43 year old glove.

****Wasn't Brad Harman the pride of our farm system at one time?****

He never made that leap to AA. His glove and defense were always there but the contact with the bat never transferred to AA.


Age 21 @ Clearwater: .281 AVG, .341 OBP, .449 SLG

Age 22 @ Reading: .211 AVG, .280 OBP, .366 SLG

Age 23 @ Reading: .201 AVG, .271 OBP, .310 SLG

He was age appropriate both years and simply couldn't hit more advanced hitting. Its the hardest jump to make in the minors.

Didn't he get his cup of coffee in the bigs in 08?

"I mentioned Rich Aurelia in the last thread"
And I hope you were rightfully ignored. :) Aurilia has played a total of 3 innings at 2B in the last 2 years and 0 SS. He had a OPS+ of 73, 93 and 39 the last 3 years. He'll be 38 years old next year.

(Thanks to

I'm sure he's been mentioned, but since the price points of the only interesting 3B candidates (Figgins and Beltre) look very high, I wonder what it would take to get Brandon Wood? If he's ever going to succeed in the majors, it should be now after a couple of false starts. His numbers in AAA are inflated by the park in SLC (I believe) but he might just be a late bloomer. I'd trade Kendrick for him but the Angels of the Various Locations would likely want Happ. Not that I'm not realistic about Happ's future but I'm not sure Wood is worth a solid Major League starter.
If Wood fails, then by mid-year some stopgap 3B would likely be available for a half season, maybe one of Rolen, Lowell or Glaus would be healthy.

RED: Thanks for the MM theory last thread, but this year 2009 is MMIX. The only time I thought Roman Numerals were used for money was a C-note.

Lowell is a DH.

****Didn't he get his cup of coffee in the bigs in 08?****

Yup. He got called up because Jason Donald was hurt at the time.

Robby J: If we can get Beltre for $6M Rube oughta jump all over that.

But I doubt it. BTW, just to be clear, Lowell is not my first choice. But for the cost of a medicore prospect and $6M I think he'd be a HUGE upgrade over Feliz, assuming his hip rehab has gone well enough to make him 100% healthy for his contract year.

A prospect pitcher and Mayberry to platoon with Hermida for Lowell (with bo sox paying most of salary) Then you rotate Lowell and Crede so they each play every other game which will hopefuly keep them both healthy all year.

Before the backlash, I'd like to say I realize there is zero chance of this happeining and that I'm half kidding

awh: My recollection is that Aurilia crushes LHP but is Gnome-like vs. RHP. Also not sure what his glove is like at SS these days. That said, he'd be big time upgrade over Bruntlett.

Every year is going to be a contract year from here on out with Lowell. Don't see any more multi-year deals coming down the pike for him.

4/32 would be a great deal for Chone. Sign me up.

You could probably get about as much range out of Ruiz at SS as you would out of Aurilia at this point.

Doesn't Auerila own Hamels for his career?

Why spend $8M/year on Chone Figgins when you can spend $6M for Mike Lowell and $1.35 for Omar Vizquel?

BTW on that minor league list of players who may not be added to the 40-man (and thus be vulnerable to the Rule 5 draft) the only player I'd worry about losing is Garcia. He's had some injury issues and some command issues but he's got a great fastball and he's just 22. I'd be surprised if he's not added to the 40-man.

As much as I love Tuffy Goosewurst, I don't think he'd be getting drafted.

I believe the deadline to add players has come and gone (20 Nov I believe). Garcia has some decent upside but I doubt anyone could afford to carry him on their 25 man for the entire season considering how rough his year was last year.

NEPP: Nov. 20 was Friday. If you're correct then the Phillies chose to have only 30 players on their 40-man roster, which is rather hard to believe.

NEPP is correct. 40-man roster deadline was 20Nov09. The Phils probably added 3 or 4 additional players to the list - is not kept up to date. They will leave some breathing room for off-season acquisitions.

They only have 30 players on their 40 man roster according to Zolecki. They did not add any additional players.

According to Zolecki, the Phils did not add any additional players, so the roster is at 30 for the rule 5.

"That said, he'd be big time upgrade over Bruntlett."

clout, that's what I think too.

Edmundo, I never said Aurelia was/is ideal.

If you read my original post (which you dismissed) it mentioned him relative to Bruntlett.

clout is correct in his comment, and it is an opinion that I share.

BTW, toss out the OPS+ data on Aurelia for 2009 - he was hurt and didn't play much, unless you think 122 AB is a large enough sample size to make a determination on an injured player.

His OPS+ for the last 5 years (thanks to baseball-reference) is 91.

90% of that is, indeed, a big time upgrade over Bruntlett, who's OPS during his 2 year stint in Philly was a whopping 44.

You are correct in that he hasn't played 2B or SS recently, but would a minor league contract hurt? Maybe they'll be pleasantly surprised in ST.

Disclaimer: I am not Aurelia's agent, I am not a relative, I do not have any affiliation with Rich Aurilia, nor do I care if or have a vested interest in whether they bring him to camp.

I am merely in the "ABB" club.

Does anyone else find that bizarre? Ten openings on the 40-man? Sure hope no one they lose in the Rule 5 turns out to be anything.

Unless I'm mistaken, they need room on the 40-man roster for three bench players, a third string catcher to stash at AAA, a bunch of relief pitchers, and whomever they want to take a flier on in the Rule 5 draft. 10 open spots sounds about right.

I think the '30 on the 40' suggests how most of our prospects are in the lower levels as well, no?

+1 to J.R. King and muchachos.

If Joel Naughton or Tuffy Goosandwich strikes someone's fancy, more power to them.

J.R. King: The Trip A catcher would not have to be added to the 40-man. I'll be shocked and amazed if Rube acquires 10 major-league-ready players this off-season.

Are there any limits to moving a player on and off the 40-man roster?

Edgar Garcia is the only player that we will conceivably lose and I doubt any team would be willing to stash him on their 25 man for the year.

He pitched 45.2 innings in 09 and that was at the Single A level. He was hurt all year. Besides he got hammered in Reading in 08.

I doubt he gets picked up.

2015 Headline: Former Phillies farmhand Edgar Garcia wins 2nd consecutive Cy Young.

CJ- I believe that a player has to pass through waivers when he is removed from the 40-man roster. This likely entails a higher risk of losing him than the Rule 5 draft. Thus, it is probably not worth putting a promising player on the 40-man unless you are reasonably sure that he is there to stay and will make the big club within 3 years.

30 onthe 40 seems pretty consistent with the dearth of players projected to be major leaguers. If they get plucked Rule 5, they have to stick with that club for the season. No obvious risks there and plenty of flexibility to add guys.

I was against signing Vizguel on one level but, on another, I would have liked to watch teh active career leader in outs made. He is ranked remarkably high on an otherwise distinguished list.

Does Scutaro = Nunez?

"You are correct in that he hasn't played 2B or SS recently, but would a minor league contract hurt? "

I'd be OK on a minor league contract; if he's counted on to be your 13th position player, then Amaro has not done his job. Maybe he has a little in the tank; it's probably worth a 100K to find out (or whatever a vet gets for a MiL contract).

You also quote a 91 OPS+ for the last 5 years. That includes his ages 33 and 34 years which were nice late peak indeed (104/115)-- I don't think they are relevant to his age 38 year. Other than to show how far he's slippped. :)

" was against signing Vizguel on one level but, on another, I would have liked to watch teh active career leader in outs made."
Maybe he could give the 4 time NL Out Leader some tips. Our leadoff hitter could pass Vizquel by age 37 if he keeps up his 500 outs/year pace. If he stays healthy, he has a shot at the all-time "Out King" a/k/a "Hit King".

2 things I found interesting from Bill Conlin's article today:
First (on Feliz) : "I'm told Feliz was so hurt by being dumped after playing for two World Series teams he would not consider returning"

Second (on ex-Phils as FA):"There are so many free agents straining at the starting line Ruben could even fill most positions with an Ed Wade Era team consisting of outfielders Marlon Byrd, Endy Chavez and Jason Michaels; first baseman Jim Thome, second baseman Placido Polanco; starters Paul Byrd, Eric Milton, Brett Myers, Vicente Padilla and Randy Wolf; relievers Bruce Chen and Billy Wagner.

Unfortunately, setup man Ugueth Urbina, acquired by Wade for Polanco, is eligible for neither free agency nor freedom at this time. "

****"I'm told Feliz was so hurt by being dumped after playing for two World Series teams he would not consider returning"****

Guess he never learned that baseball is a business. If that's his attitude, I wouldn't want him back.

When's Urbina up for parole? (that's still gotta be the worst trade in the history of the franchise)

I hardly think Feliz's reported reaction is uncommon or unexpected. I certainly anticipated he'd react negatively. If you get fired from your job for budgetary reasons, or performance, will you have no hard feelings?

As for the Urbina trade, we did get a few months of Ramon MArtinez in the deal, too. How bad can it be? Seriously though, worst trade? I'd love to have had Polanco for the last 4+ years but, it's not like trading Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus.

I hope I get fired and receive a $500k parting gift.

Yeah, Sandberg was worse.

Wait, didn't Urbina's shooting the guy lead to a WFC? B/c the Phils no longer had Urbina and Wags, they were forced to acquire Lidge, who had a perfect season as a closer in 2008. And if the Phils kept Polanco to play 3b, Feliz wouldn't have been signed and played great defense/ground out. Don't be so shortsighted. It's the long game here.*

*really bored today.

~reads above post~

I sure hope Urbina got a WS share then.

The parade would have had a different flavor--- the machetes and all

NEPP- The Polanco trade was a real dud, I agree.
Bell, Nunez, Helms were hard to watch (even more than Feliz) at third base while Placido was putting up good seasons at Detroit .
Worst ever trade is a topic we have discussed in the past- maybe it's bottom 3 or 4 in all time trades.

Pete Happy is not happy??? Who'd'a thunk it?

"Guess he never learned that baseball is a business. If that's his attitude, I wouldn't want him back."

Why not? Who would be happy in that situation?

Forever known in my mind now as "Pedro Triste"

I am sure Pedro feels he earned the option. I would be pissed too if they didn't pick it up.

****Why not? Who would be happy in that situation?****

There's a huge difference between being disappointed/unhappy and being pissed/unhappy.

He apparently has a huge entitlement issue because of the team appearing in back-to-back WS. Bruntlett was there too, should we have tendered him a deal out of loyalty? A smart move would have been to happily accept your $500 K buyout, understand its a business, and understand your personal stats show a clear decline. Saying you "won't come back" is just dumb.

Just heard on the radio on my way back from lunch (97.5) that the Phils are in negotiations with Robb Quinlan to fill their bench/utility player position.

I have an inertesting tid-bit about 3B. A freind of mine who lives up there called me today and said he heard on XM 175 that the Phils will make offers to both Figgins and Beltre. If one of them signs, they then wouls make offers to both De Rosa and Polanco. Did anyone else here this? This could be Amaro's strategy. And it would be a good one.

Robb Freaking Quinlan???

He's freaking terrible.

He'll be 33 next year and he posted a sparkling .275 OBP in 2008...along with an OPS+ of 60. And he can't even play in the middle IF. He's never played 2B or SS.


Hugh: By Beerleaguer standards DeJesus for Sandberg was a great trade for the Phillies. Remember the Beerleaguer rule: If what you get back in a trade puts you into the World Series, it doesn't matter what you gave up. You got the better end of the deal.

Irrational, of course, but that's the dominant view here.

Mike-- On rotoworld, they're saying we are looking at Juan Castro Hope that's a lie.. He F#**kin sucks. I mentioned Quinlan last week. My only reservation is that he doesn't play SS or 2B

awh: Scutaro doesn't = Nunez for this reason: Until his freakish outlier year of 2005, Nunez had posted OPS+ of 40, 70, 66, 72 and 54.

Scutaro has posted OPS+ of 85, 96, 88, 88 and 111.

They are worlds apart.

Now Juan Castro is a guy you can fairly say = Abraham Nunez.

What is the point of Quinlan when we already have Dobbs as a corner reserve?

You can't waste two bench spots on guys that only play the corners...especially if Quinlan is basically a guaranteed out.

Quinlan is okay against LHP but he's not even a good defender at any of those positions.

Quinlan makes no sense at all except as Triple A insurance. He'd be a nice replacement for Mike Cervenak.

Castro would be a nice replacement for J.J. Furmaniak.

But, unless injuries strike, there's no reason for either to ever see a big league AB.

NEPP-- Maybe Dobbs is on his way out to make room? is saying Phillies and Dodgers are looking at Juan Castro. He would be worse than Quinlan for sure.

Where do the Phillies come up with these ideas? How could anyone possibly look at the FA options & decide that the best utility infielder for the job is a soon-to-be 38-year old with a .230 career batting average and a career OPS that is .32 points lower than Eric Bruntlett's?

NEPP~ Saw that yesterday on He doesn't excite me at all.

BAP-- The idea is called CHEAP.. Really thought the Phils' FO had cured themselves of that affliction

Which is the real Castro?

The guy that posted a 28 OPS+ in 2007 & 2008 combined or the guy that had a flukish 76 OPS+ in 121 PA last year?

Why the hell would we be fighting the Dodgers for this guy's services? He's terrible. He's Gnomelike.

Quite seriously . . .

Juan Castro << Signing 3 or 4 minor league FA infielders and letting them compete for the utility infielder spot in spring training

Pujols unanimous MVP. Howard gets 3rd and Utley 8th. Vic and Werth also received votes.

Now the Phils are "front runners" to sign this mistake, according to Martino. He actually wrote that he's the kind of player they're lookin for-- an upgrade over Bruntlett. Hell, so is my cat, so sign her, too

Robby J: Is your cat a righty or a lefty?

Juan Castro?

They've got to be kidding. Right?

Doubleh: She hits righties well.I have the bruises to prove it. :)I know she has better range than the Gnome....

Well, now we have some names to discuss! Albeit, they are crappy names.

Just heard on 610. Anthony Gargano (sp?) just said per Todd Zolecki that the Phillies are "very close to signing Juan Castro."
I can't contain my excitement.

Per Lauber: The only thing standing in the way is a physical.

Not the best way to kick off free agency for Rube.

Anyone have the particulars on Castro? Can he at least play servicable D up the middle?

Does JW do a "Newest Phillie" graphic for a career .230 hitter

How much would you pay for Juan Castro? Personally, I'd make Castro pay an exorbitant "membership fee" to get a season-long front row seat.

Heck, the Phillies should start getting sponsored spots on their roster, the ways universities have sponsored professorships. "Starting at the Comcast Harry Kalas Memorial second base position is number 26, Chase Utley, You are the MAN!"

I guess the "Beat LA" chants were still ringing in Rube's ears and he went out to get Castro before the Dodgers.

I hope that means they'll go "all in" on a starting 3b? Please?

10 years ago Castro was a really slick fielder. Don't have a clue how good he is now.

One thing I do know, he is one of the worst hitters in all of baseball. His career OPS+ is 57, worse than Nunez, way worse than Bruntlett, worse than everybody, basically. I honestly can't see him being anything other than Triple A insurance.

Un-bleeping believable. We need a staring 3b-man first and Rube gets Juan Castro. One can only hope it's a Minor-League deal. The Juan Castros of the world can be signed on Feb.28th! Not when you have pressing needs. I'm gonna go out and buy my Catro jersey right now!!!!!!!!!

Castro is worse than I thought. I did see a 100 under the OPS+ one year and then realized it was a -100.
Signing players like this makes no sense - there is no upside. There is no try, there is only don't. Why not just give Harman, Fur-MANIAC or Velandia a shot for league minimum? They can't be any worse, can they?

Hopefully this is a MiL contract. More hopefully this is just dead wrong reporting.

I've never felt comfortable comparing the Phils to the Yanks or the Red Sox- with the resources each team has at their disposal, it's like comparing apples and oranges, and the results bore that out until 2008.

But now that we can talk about the Phillies and Yankees on the same level, since they played a relatively comparative World Series against each other, here is why the Phils lost and will always lose to the Yankees (unless there is a shift in mentality soon):

Mark DeRosa is a player the Yankees sign as a platoon guy. The Phillies are pursuing him to be their everyday third baseman. Juan Castro wouldn't be hired by the Yankees to be the bat boy, and we're considering HIM as our platoon guy. If Rube doesn't start raising his standards, we're never going to get to the 'next level' the Yankees are at, period.

Just wait til Rube tells us that he didn't sign Castro to be a utility player, but to be the starting third baseman.

Iceman: Great post. I don't think even CJ could defend a Castro signing.

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