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Thursday, November 12, 2009

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I think Eyre and Park are about 50/50 for coming back actually.

Is Happ a guy that could be dangled for a young 3b prospect/something else?

I think Amaro did the right thing keeping Happ hear/going after Lee, but I have a feeling that Happ just doesn't quite fit into their plans. Not sure why or if I'm just imagining it.

I also think that KK slips into Durbin's long-relief role. I can't see Rube justifying giving Durbin a raise on his $1.6 million deal from last year and that's what has to happen for him to come back. Durbin simply isn't worth it.

From clout's post from last thread:

clout: You said, "I know the kneejerk reaction on Beerleaguer is to defend ownership, but can NEPP and mvptommy tell me where they got access to the Phillies books so that they know the team can't afdford more than a $130M budget?"

It isn't $130 Million, it is $140 that is their budget. And Amaro told us that in a article last week. See Below from Ford's column on November 8th.

"Amaro expects the Phillies' payroll - it finished just below $140 million for 2009 - to remain at about the same level for the coming season. The team drew 3.6 million fans and played to 102 percent of seating capacity, but there are fiscal lines across which ownership will be dragged very slowly."

So we're all on the same page. "At about the same level" could mean it'll go above $140mil a little, right?

Payroll may not be an issue if ownership decides to go big at all cost for one year (Lackey,Halladay, etc) win a world series and in return sell the team for a Phillion dollars

I think they re-up with Durbin.

mvptommy: I totally understand that there is an arbitrary payroll limit. There is, however, a difference between a LIMIT and what a team can actually AFFORD.

That was what my post addressed: The knee-jerk posters who defend management's arbitrary limit without knowing what the profit margins truly are.

JBird: Glaus played 151 games in 2008. Again, if you have inside info about how his surgery went, then you know more than I. Everything I read says he's healthy.

Bed. Beard: I can't speak for NEPP or others, but on my end I was ALWAYS under the impression that they COULD increase the payroll about 2% up to about $143 million. But I have always used the phrase "about $140 million" when describing the payroll.

With that said, we are sitting after arbitration at around $119 million. That leaves ABOUT $20 million left. To fill 7 spot (3 bench, 3 bullpen, 1 3rd baseman), I would conclude spending over $7 million on a 3rd baseman would be out of the question.

The FO has given every indication that Happ will have a spot in the 2010 rotation. In order for him to start the season in the bullpen, we'd have to acquire two better starting pitchers, and I just don't see that happening. The other two will start the season in the bullpen.

I could see us signing one starting pitcher: Eric Bedard. We've been looking at him for years.

I fully agree that this is a pressing need for the Phils. Less so, I suppose, if they manage to bring back Eyre and/or Park, but even then a strong insurance policy seems to be in order.

It occurs to me, rather unhumorously, that Billy Wagner would seem to be a great fit, not considering prior events. He'd provide back of the bullpen punch, and give us depth in the lefties department. If Lidge comes back healthy, Wagner could take Romero's role until he's back to full speed, if ever. Long shot no doubt, but I wonder if the Phils will at least look into it. And I wonder if Wagner would ever consider it.

I'm confused. The Phillies 2010 rotation is this:

Lee
Hamels
Blanton
Happ
Moyer

Who exactly is going to kick Happ out of the rotation?

clout: I can't make a guideline on who to sign over what they can "afford", I have to make a plan based on what they WILL "spend". Right?

They may be able to afford a $155 million payroll, but if they are only going to spend around $140 million, what's the point in plugging guys in to fill the $155?

mvptommy: I agree. But that doesn't mean you have to excuse and defend the $140M limit

Pondering other power lefty bullpen pieces, it's a shame Gonzalez is a type A free agent. He's also got back end punch and the ability to eat left handed hitters for dinner. I wonder if the Phils might just say, eff-it, let's lose a pick for a bullpen piece? Not the smartest business move, but with the increased willingness to bust slot in the draft, maybe manageable?

I don't see it as that big of a concern. Agree that one or both of Eyre/Park will return; IIRC, Eyre said that either he'd be a Phillie, or he'd retire. Park wants to start, and if he can get a job doing that, God bless--but I don't see it happening.

Then there's Mathieson, who should be ready for big-league work. I agree that Kendrick and Bastardo are best suited for relief work. They've got other homegrown options in Escalona and Carpenter, and could bring back a serviceable vet or two like Condrey and Walker.

I suspect they'll bring in at least one "alternate closer" type, but a total overhaul isn't necessary and probably would represent a waste of resources.

clout: I am NOT defending it.

We have won 3 division titles in a row, 2 pennants and 1 WS in the past 3 seasons. Can't you just trust this ownership group with their spending for once?

From the last thread:

I agree with clout. Rollins wouldn't be happy about being moved from the leadoff position, be he'd do what his manager tells him to do.

In my opinion, here's a list of Phillies who would be better leadoff hitters than Jimmy Rollins:

1. Utley*
2. Victorino
3. Werth*
4. Ibanez*
5. Ben Francisco
6. Ruiz
7. Michael Taylor (.397 OBP at AA/AAA)
8. Howard* (.360 OBP, 10 steals)

* Some of these guys are obviously more valuable in the middle of the lineup, but they still get on base more than Rollins.

I'm not knocking Rollins. He plays gold glove defense at a premium defensive position. But someone who hits .275 and never walks should bat 7th.

Drabek: It's often mentioned that he will be "ready" for big league duty by midseason or something along those lines. I wouldn't be surprised if/whe he is ready, he will be used in the pen to get his feet wet.

The Bullpen is a great way to keep Drabek's innings manageable, but nobody really knows if he's actually ready (command, control, emotionally) for the big leagues yet. Counting on him in any meaningful way in 2010 seems a stretch.

Regarding bullpen options, the Phils have some pitchers in the high minors with pretty high K:BB ratios. Michael Schwimmer posted 12.48 K/9 and 2.94 BB/9 at Single-A/Double-A.

At what age/experience level do you give a relief pitcher a tryout with the big club?

I'm assuming Matthew Way is too inexperienced at Single-A, but his numbers are impressive.

Not counting on him at all, just a possible spot for him, at some point.

baxter: I like the Bedard idea too. There are several starting pitchers in this year's market who were once front-line starters but have seen their stock drop dramatically due to injuries (i.e., Harden, Bedard, Duchscherer, Penny, Escobar). I wouldn't mind seeing the Phillies bring in a guy like this on a one-year, incentive-based contract, to compete for the 5th starter's job. The Phillies made similar gambles with Benson & Rodrigo Lopez in each of the last 2 years. I could see them doing it again.

I don't trust no stinkin' fat cats for nothing. And i always like seeing that there are some people who *will* take on the power-apologists on this website.

Like I wrote, Happ's status in the starting five probably depends on how the offseason unfolds. They could add a starter ...

Wow, didn't know this was a site for class warfare.

Where is the fallacy coming from that the Phils largely can fill most of their bullpen spots with internal candidates especially if they let the likes of Park/Eyre/Durbin walk?

You can't expect to fill 3-4 spots in spring training with largely unknown MLB quantities and veteran castoffs/retreads and expect to have a really competent pen.

Gillick finally realized this in 2008 and Amaro made sure the Phils had a well-stocked bullpen again with a couple of depth guys stashed away (Walker, etc).

I would like to see Park come back but it depends on the price and length. If he wants a multi-year deal or anything over $3M/year, the Phils should pass. For that price, they can go out and get 2 established arms instead and likely stash away another guy in the minors.

Eyre really is up to what the medical staff tells Amaro.

I know I am in the minority here but I would like to see Durbin back. He still was a solid pitcher this year when he could throw a strike. I have a feeling that the reduced workload this year and a chance to get 100% healthy this year will lead to Durbin having a pretty productive year next year in the right situation (6th-7th inning , 65-70 innings) guy.

Why does everyone assume that Lidge and Romero will both rebound and pitch effectively next year? Now granted Lidge is likely going to be much less of a question mark than Gordon was going into the closer's role but he didn't have run-of-the-mill surgery either. Ditto for Romero.


Like MG, I'm ok with Durbin coming back on a managed workload.

I think the rotation is fine with Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, and Moyer to start. Make a deadline deal if one of those guys (ahem, Moyer) isn't cutting it by mid-season. Unless someone suffers a major injury, they'll have the luxury of only seeking a 3 or 4 starter, not an ace like last time. There are more pressing needs in the pen this off-season, and although Happ is bound to have some growing pains and Moyer is Moyer, I fully expect Hamels' rebound to make up for those small rotation issues.

JW - I'd be remarkably surprised if Happ isn't the no. 4 starter next year, unless you know something I don't.

Chan Ho also seemed really enjoy being a Phillie, and he ended up being very successful out of our pen. I think Rube makes him a good offer and he comes back.

I also think Mathieson makes a big splash next year.

On Lidge's surgery (complete and rampant speculation):

- Its sound like the orthopedic surgeon who got in their to repair flexor pronator tendon found some more damage they suspected even from the MRIs.

It is likely why you are hearing such variable estimates on the timetable return because the surgery won't really have a good idea how Lidge's timetable will look until the initial swelling and inflammation subsides in the 7-10 days.

Me so tired of my durbin is dirty...

Moyer: I'll admit I was down on him coming into last season, but after the rough start, he did alright. However, is it a sure bet that he'll bounce back after groin/ab AND knee surgery, at the age of 47?

Consider me very concerned.

bap: Sheets is out there too.

this is a good offseason to be in the Phils' position: they can afford to take on some risky but potentially very good rotation guys and there just happens to be a glut of risky but potentially very good rotation guys on the market.

My response to Clout from previous thread: so he (Glaus) was healthy that one time two years ago. . . well I must obviously be wrong.

First, let me say I'm making a guesstimate based on his career. Second, in 4 of the last 7 years Glaus has failed to play more than 115 games. In three of those years he played less than 100. He's 33 and not getting younger. He's got a history of foot surgeries and multiple shoulder surgeries. He's also an admitted steroid user. At least anecdotally those guys tend to break down and get ligament injuries (except for Barry, Gary, and Roger). I'm not a Dr., I'm just saying that the preponderance of evidence points to Glaus being a guy who gives you more than 120 games maybe 40% of the time.

Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre are probably gone... According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Phillies “will be aggressive in signing a set-up man/closer safety net.”

Am I the only one who thinks that safety net is/was Park? He might not be closer caliber, but at times, was the most consistent and dominating guy out of the pen.

I'm more worried about Romero's return than Lidge's.

I think the Phillies need to commit to Happ as a starter. He's done about as much as he possibly could've over the past two years to earn the job. It should be his job to lose.

The difference between the Benson and Lopez deals and any deal involving Duchscherer or Harden is that Benson and Lopez weren't great pitchers. I would expect Harden and Bedard to get reasonably large contracts even with their injuries, so I don't know if either of them fit that well. I think Duchscherer or Penny would be okay at the right price, but I would much rather seem them go after Escobar, since he could potentially help in the bullpen if we don't need him in the starting rotation. He's also even more under the radar than the rest of those guys.

I feel the payroll ending just under 140 this year includes money for thome, eaton, and jenkins, because ESPN had Phils payroll at the end of the year at 111,000,000.

I believe they equaled approx 20 mill (8 each for jenkins and eaton, 4 for Thome)

Plus not bringing back Myers saves us at least another 8-12 mill.

I have a feeling the phils might have more money to spend than most of us think. I mean, I'm not their accountant, so who the hell knows. I just hope they give the fans what we deserve, considering we've gone out to EVERY game now for just about 2 straight years.

How about Valverde and Beimel?
I like Beltre for third.


Package for Halladay:

Happ
D'Arnaud or Valle
Gose
Cosart or May

I like KK on the team. He's a competitor and a consummate professional and he's still got upside.

Interesting on 950:

Stark said that just yesterday that Amaro said Lidge was having a "routine surgery to clean up his elbow" and nothing about repairing a torn tendon. Finished it up stating the Phils are kind of in a pickle because the normal recovery timetable for Lidge's tendon surgery takes him to mid/late April but that they don't want to sign another guy to closer money ($6M+)

3rd base is much less important than figuring out the bullpen. This team won with one of the weaker offensive 3Bs in the league the past 2 years.

Am I totally crazy for thinking the most logical move would be to trade Ibanez? Granted, he played great last year and with his clutch hitting, work ethic, and all-around-good-guy involvement in the community became a quick fan favorite, but with the hole at 3B and no one very foreseeably close in the system to filling it, Amaro should first-and-foremost be looking to lock that spot up for the next three (or more) years.

The only one of the FAs who I'd be reasonably comfortable could do that would be Beltre, but he has some question marks RE: his injury status and potential contract demands (with Boras as his agent). Provided our doctors gave Beltre a clean slate of health, trading Ibanez would free up the money to sign him, and either Michael Taylor or Ben Francisco (until Taylor's ready) could step in in LF. We would then have the same amount of payroll flexibility we currently have going into the offseason to attempt to address the multiple issues with the pitching staff, find a left-handed hitting OF, utility man, and backup catcher.

While our ability to find a taker for Ibanez is hardly a given, and even then there's the question of return value, I'd imagine for two years at a fairly reasonable salary some AL team would love to add his bat.

Thoughts?

bp - I wouldn't mind this team trade Ibanez and use that money to upgrade 3B and sign a legit closer instead. Question is who takes his contract (2 yrs/$23M)?

The Phils would be stuck in a situation where they have to eat a portion of his contract if they want something decent in return.

MG - Filling a bullpen is such a crapshoot, though. We could all say Lyon over Rodney, and Rodney comes out and performs next year. And then is god awful the year after.

How many truly reliable bullpen arms are there in the entire league? I'd argue that a healthy Park has the stuff to be one, which is why I think it's paramount that Park return.

Clout: Glaus was hurt in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009. He was healthy in 1999-2002, 2005, 2006, and 2008.

Seems to me like you're taking a risk he's gonna stay healthy, regardless of how his recent surgery went. Normally, I would consider that ok, because you could buy him pretty low and maybe get a great season.

The issue is that we have NO ONE who can adequately fill in for him at 3B if he goes down. The system is absolutely barren of 3B prospects, and Dobbs is not an everyday option at 3B. If we had a guy at the high minors who could comfortably move up and give the chance of production, I would be all for signing Glaus. But since we don't, you have to consider his injury risk when an injury at that position could be seriously crippling.

myno - They need Park to return and to grab another arm. The quandary is that they don't have the dollars to spend to sign a potential second-tier closer if they sign a 3B.

Going to be interesting to see what Amaro does but I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls a trade out of LF this offseason.

Hey, just saw this on YouTube -- apologies if it has been posted here already. It's a really good accounting of how signs are stolen in game. Joe Mauer is stealing signs from the Tigers catcher (the Twins are playing Detroit and Verlander) and he is signaling a fellow Twin batter on each incoming pitch. Real cat-and-mouse game, as the Tigers battery recognizes what is going on.

The YouTube video has amusing subtitles to describe the action:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhWYrmcSDAU

I think Happ deserves a full shot at starting. The reality is that other than Lee, he was their best starter. They are going to ruin him by shuffling him between starting and relieving.
Bottom line........either start him ot trade him. I hope he stays. He is a mature 26 with a variety of pitches with Lee and Moyer to guide him.

clout: There are more knee-jerk reactions criticizing the team for not spending MORE despite having no understanding of the team's finances.

Too many people here think the Phils should be spending $200M no matter how unreasonable it sounds.

I know Lidge had a terrible season last year, but I think the absolute worst approach would be to go after someone just because they had closer success last year. Those guys (Rodney, Valverde) are inevitably going to get overpaid. I would much rather go after somebody like Brandon Lyon who doesn't have gaudy save stats attached to his name but who has closed and could be had at a low price. I would also like to see us go after Chad Bradford. He didn't have a great year last year, but a groundballer like him could be great for our team. If we can sign two of Lyon, Bradford, and Park (preferably including Lyon), I think we will have sufficiently addressed our bullpen needs. I would also be in favor of bringing Durbin back. I would be happy with a bullpen of Lidge, Madson, Lyon, Park, Durbin, Bastardo, and Kendrick.

I have lunch twice a month with a former GM of the Orioles. He tells me that Sherrill may be available from the Dodgers.
He also tells me that Bedard is injury prone and a head case......not good in the clubhouse.
This GM is a big Jason Werth fan. When we took a chance on him a few years ago, he said we would be rewarded big time.
I think the guy is one of our best outfielders ever.......great skills, great attitude.
I think to make it to the World Series next year, we need Halladay.
Think of it.......Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton & Happ. Add Beltre and a couple of additions to the bullpen and we'll be on our way.

I vote Happ remains a starter. I think if he has an offseason believing that he has a starter job, prepares to be a starter in ST, and actually begins the season as a starter; he will have a very good season with a respectable record and ERA. I'm sure that Happ's brain has been on the Rube/Cholly yoyo for the past few months.

The Phils see Happ as a #4/5 starter temporarily masquerading as a #2/3. Rube will try hard to sell high this winter. He'd love to trade the ROY for Roy.

Tommy Hanson is a Phillie?

TITSAAOWBIIC - or something like that

ae: Forgot about Sheets. He's definitely worth a gamble.

bp: There's no way in the world we'll trade Ibanez but, since reality doesn't constrain me from tossing around ideas, I did recently have a thought about an Ibanez for Lowell swap. The idea actually makes some sense, since: (1) Lowell is a year and a half younger than Ibanez; (2) Lowell has only 1 more year left on his contract, whereas Ibanez has a third, and potentially problematic, year; (3) Lowell is right-handed and, hence, a better fit for our lineup; and (4) trading Ibanez would open a spot for MIchael Taylor, who should be major league ready soon.

Of course, two problems are that Lowell costs $4M more than Ibanez & is a considerably lesser offensive player. But the Sox are supposedly willing to pick up some of Lowell's salary, so that problem can be gotten around. And the Sox would clearly have to throw in something besides Lowell -- perhaps a reliever like Ramon Ramirez.

It'll never happen. Just an idea.

In the last few days people have suggested bringing back Rolen, Wagner, and Burrell. Add that to the consistent longing for Abreu and we have a team that didn't win the first time when these guys were in their prime, but would somehow work now.

Happ is a starter. Case closed.

yeah people are reading way too much into Happ's move to the pen for the playoffs. It happens to someone every october.

Nothing like the dread of Ibanez's third year...

gobaystars: Yeah, good point. The team didn't win a thing until it traded Burell.

Cubs with new owner should be desperate and there's a weak FA class. Ibanez for Vitters sign Beltre and solidify Bullpen and start Francisco/Dobbs/Taylor in left, Wishful thinking?

Jack: I share your concern over Glaus injury history. My argument with JBird is his insitence that there's no way Glaus can play 130 games and in fact is really a DH.

If Glaus is healthy, he's a big upgrade at 3B and he goes way cheaper than Beltre or Figgins. Higher risk, lower cost. Even for a guy like you, who sleeps with Feliz's picture under his pillow every night, you'd have to agree, no?

JBird: I'd think the Cubs would be falling all over themselves to deal their best prospect for a 38-year-old with $22M left on his contract.

Clout: Yes, when healthy Glaus would be a great option. The issue is that for a team with no backup plan at all at 3B, his injury history becomes a huge issue. If we had a guy who could fill in adequately, he'd be a risk worth taking. But since we don't, I'd prefer Beltre.

Also, Happ IS a 4/5 starter. If the Phils could sell him as the centerpiece of a deal, they should do that. I like the guy, and think if we keep him, we'll have a great back-end starter at a low price for a couple of years, but people are fooling themselves if they think he can repeat what he did this year.

"who sleeps with Feliz's picture under his pillow every night,"

Totally unfair, but, ha. Makes for a funny image.

I'm not comfortable with the current rotation depth. Everyone assumes Moyer will be replaced by Drabek. That only leaves KK as a viable option in case of injuries/ineffectiveness. Every year at least two starters need to be added. Last year they needed Antonio Bastardo, Rodrigo Lopez, Pedro Martinez, and Cliff Lee.

I don't assume the Phillies will have the ability to make another deadline deal for a pitcher. The Phils seem reluctant to part with Drabek, Taylor, Brown, or D'Arnaud. After that, the talent level seems to drop off significantly.

With what the Phillies have lower on the prospect depth chart, they couldn't get a Joe Blanton-type pitcher. Could they even get a Kyle Lohse or Jamie Moyer?

Ibanez will not be traded because it sends a signal to free agents that signing with the Phillies may only be temporary.

Utley gets another silver bat.

Clout: Vitters isn't their best prospect, his stock has been falling.I'm willing to bet it'll be Stalin Castro this year. Plus, not all top prospects are created equal, Carlos Carrasco used to be the Phillies top prospect. And, I fully admitted to wishful thinking.

Clout: I didn't say anything you are attributing to me. I said, "I wouldn't expect Rolen or Glaus to play 130 games at DH much less 3b. I doubt the Phillies are interested in either." in other words, I doubt Glaus can stay healthy for an entire season given his propensity for injury. Can he put together 1 season of 150 games, yes. Will he, probably not.

Working under the assumption that the Phillies get back to the World Series and face the Yankees again, by necessity the team will have to compensate for the team's weaknesses against the Yanks.

The predicating factor is that the Phillies faced an opponent with essentially three #1 starters and a quality closer.

They met this situation with one #1 starter and an unqualified reliever.

Lets say Lidge's surgery is completely successful and he returns to his 2008 performance and the 9th inning reliever problem is resolved.

That still means that the Phillies are going to expect/OR DEMAND Hamels to step up and pitch like the WS MVP of 2008, plus obtain another quality #1-2 pitcher.

The 3rd baseman issue is simply not that important compared to getting another quality starter. Surely, the front office would hope that either Happ or Blanton have a career year and solve the pitching problem, but I would not depend on it to win another World Series.

So, who is available now, or becomes available at the end of July and trade for him just like the team did with Blanton in 2008, and Lee in 2009. I suspect that the front office will wait until July 31, 2010 before they go out and get a quality starter from a team no longer in playoff contention, because frankly they have been shown to perform like this recently.

Third basemen are a dime a dozen, and its not worth my effort to compare OPSs or how many errors a guy made on natural turf versus real grass, the subject is really just ancillary to winning another championship. The path to another World Series for the Phillies will depend on getting a quality starter by the season opener, or which major league team more than ten games out on July 31st 2010, has a tradable quality pitcher and how Amaro can get him.

I posted a link on the last thread for clout on the Forbes article about the phillies 2008 financials, here it is again:

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/33/baseball-values-09_Philadelphia-Phillies_335119.html

"Tommy and awh are saying all Figgins does is hit singles and so who needs him?"

clout, please show me where I posted this. I can't seem to find it in any of the previous threads.

Doesn't Ibanez have 10 years of Service time? He has an automatic NTC.

Used to be you needed 10 years of service time and 5 years on the current team to get the NTC. Did that change?

No, it's still 10/5.

Kuvasz: Your regarding pitching over a 3rd baseman is a little odd to me. So you are saying 3rd baseman are "a dime a dozen"? So I ask you if the Phillies sign a starter are you comfortable with Bruntlett, Dobbs or a lesser FA they would sign over say a Beltre or even Feliz? Interesting.

Also, take a look at the way our rotation will most likely shape out to over the season.

Opening Day : Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer/Kendrick

After the ASB: Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Drabek

Who exactly would you sign/trade for? And then who would that person replace in the rotation?

Happ is NOT going to the 'pen. What's wrong with some of youse guys?

First, to those who are saying the Phils can spend up to 140-143 million, I don't see it. That was where there payroll FINISHED last year. If there goal is to remain at or about the same, then 135 - 140 is more realistic. They will (and should) maintain some flexibility.

For third, Polanco, DeRosa and Feliz, even Beltre are all serviceable. I'd make a reasonable but conservative offer to Figgins. If he declines, then I'd low ball the other four and see who wants to sign first.

I think the odds are that we can count on either Romaro or Lidge bouncing back. Signing another back of the bullpen guy is a must, but I wouldn't go over 5 mil on it.

Time to see what Amaro can do with a full off season. Should be fun.

Rich Harden

Steve: their is possessive, not there.

The Cubs prospect's name is "Stalin Castro"? I hope he only is seeking a working wage for pay.

The Phils also made it to the WS last year and were at 101% seating capacity? No reason the payroll can't go up a few mil, but I'm not the keeper of the books (some other people on here are).

Bed. Beard: Those of us who believe the payroll will be "around" $140 million are only going by what Rube himself stated. It isn't like we are making stuff up here. Like I have said the payroll COULD be $137M or it COULD be $143M, who knows? But the magic number Amaro said was "around $140 million".

Now could they afford to go to $150-155 million? Sure. But they aren't planning for another WS trip in the payroll. They are basing their decision as if they don't make the playoffs. That is afterall, what good businessmen do.

The team already massively raised payroll from 2008 to 2009. Do you really see the ownership group taking on more risk?

Yeah, they might be able to but the reality is that they won't. Its hard to complain when they have a Top 5 payroll and just raised it $30 million in the last year. Rube said around $140 and that's what it will be. To come up with ideas that will cost far in excess of that is a waste of time. As long time Phillies fans, we should all know that won't happen. Its not as if we made that much more money in 2009 than 2008. Even with the ticket price raise, the lack of a WS victory probably equaled that out along with the loss in secondary revenue streams that come with a WS title.

Attendance went from 3.4 million to 3.6 million (give or take) as we essentially were already at sell out levels all through 2008. There's only so much you can squeeze out even with that.

The Pirates are looking to trade Ryan Doumit. Does that mean Jason Jaramillo will be their starter? If so, how ironic is that?


Or do they have a catching prospect almost ready?

kuvasz: I don't think the biggest difference between the Yanks and Phils was that the Yanks had 3 #1 pitchers. The biggest difference was the 9th hitter.

For the Yankees that 9th hitter was Hideki Matsui. For the Phillies it was Matt Stairs/Ben Francisco.

Big gap, no? Helluva lot bigger than the gap between Lee-Hamels-Blanton and Sabathia-Burnett-Pettitte.

awh: "tommy, we happen to agree on Figgins. 10MM/yr for a singles hitter is a lot of money."

My point is that Figgins is more than a "singles hitter."

NEPP: Do you have access to ownership's profit margins? How are they compensated? What is the value of the franchise vs. what they paid for it?

Again, I agree it's unrealistic to expect them to have a $200M payroll, but I find your knob-slobbering defense of ownership's financial limits to be offensive, although it is by far the dominant view on Beerleaguer.

Obviously not clout. But I do have common sense. Its not defending them to say it WON'T happen. You know and I know they're not gonna spend that much more than they already are. I accept that reality while you, for some reason, don't.

We play in a top 5 market and we have a top 5 payroll. Whining about it not being higher won't make it happen.

Don't know how people can complain about what the Phils are planning to spend especially if they maintain a payroll of $135-$140M.

Monty and Co. bought major credibility in that department when they significantly boosted the payroll last offseason.

Last I heard their payroll was 8th. We'll see how it shakes out next spring.

And of course you're defending them, it's what you do:

"We play in a top 5 market and we have a top 5 payroll."

THe yanks don't have 3 #1 pitchers. They have a #1, #2 and #3.

Pettite and Burnett are not #1's.

We just didn't have a #2. But as clout mentioned, the biggest difference was the DH.

mlb.com features an article on 3B FAs today. Here's the link:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091112&content_id=7660818&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Figgins gets a lot of doubles and walks. DeRosa is described as a "low OBP, high SO" guy, albeit versatile. Beltre is said to be trying to "regain elite status." And Glaus and Crede are also in need of proving themselves following injuries. Feliz is described thus: "If his game doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, it doesn't have any standout characteristics, either."

I understand that Figgins may be beyond what the Phillies want to pay, but I don't understand the argument that, "$10M is a lot for a singles hitter." $10M would be a lot for a singles hitter if we were signing him to bat cleanup or 5th. But we'd be signing him to bat 1st or 2nd. The guy had a .395 OBP last year, has a .363 OBP for his career, and steals at least 40 bases every season. Isn't that the absolute prototype for a top-of-the-order hitter?

Saying that $10M is too much to pay for a singles hitter who is going to bat 1st or 2nd is like saying that your auto mechanic charges too much because he doesn't fix your leaky toilet. It's a non-sequitur.

The Ibanez hate on this site is hilarious especially if/when it is followed by Burrell love.

I recall Ruben saying, "If I can't put together a championship-caliber club for $140 million, then shame on me." Or words to that effect. He has a point.

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EST. 2005

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