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Thursday, November 12, 2009


From the end of previous thread:

AWH: You can't go back and second guess now. The fact is that Eyre and Lidge did overall good jobs in the playoffs. Besides Lidge's crucial game against the Yankees, he pitched well. We were 2 games away from being repeat World Series Champions. I am still confident that had the injuries been detected/made public before the playoffs and we had replaced them with Condrey and Walker, the result would not have been the same.

How is Mark DeRosa's glove?

I like Beltre the best out of that group, but figure he's a long-shot.

More and more, I think they'll want DeRosa, given their pursuit of him off-and-on the past few years.

The signing's fine with me if there's a suitable back-up. I'm thinking someone that gives me the same confidence as 2008 Greg Dobbs. If you sign DeRosa, you have to sign a back-up who you're comfortable with starting 60 games next year.

The Phillies have an opportunity to get younger. Kousmanoff plays a good 3B and has 25 HR power. It's not like we have anyone waiting in the wings. He'd be a nice fit. I just don't know what the Padres need or what it would take to get him.

Everyone saw Lidge had the surgery on his forarm, right?

Does anyone else look at this as good news, since it most likely was injury that cause his struggles? Or is that injury something that should be effecting his control?

Also, I am very upset we have decided to retire the 3rd base "height" joke. I refuse to accept this. And I will still refer to it sparingly when it is necessary.

La Roche

Please, one position player under 30.

Polanco can ride the bench if he will take $1mm

I still think the BEST option is Beltre. As been discussed in previous threads, Beltre is only 31 compared to the 35 year old Feliz and DeRosa. Also, 34 year old Polanco.Also Beltre has a ton of pop, espicially moving from the RH-graveyard known as Safeco to the friendly hitter's confines of CBP. He is also great defensively.

As been discussed in this thread post Polanco's offensive numbers have been in decline and he most likely wouldn't want to move from 2nd to 3rd after winning the gold glove at 2nd base. DeRosa, I am not impressed with as a starter on an everyday basis.

I am STILL open to bringing Feliz back on a 1 yr/3 million dollar deal for the reasons of retaining his defense and saving a little cash to spend on other bench and bullpen targets. In my ideal world, Beltre would be introduced as the newest Philadelphia Phillie on November 20th when FA signings begin.

Atrain: Beltre is better defensively than Kouzmanoff. Also, if you trade for him you are most likely going to have to give up a couple pretty good prospects for him.

UZR/150 Ratings


2007 -2.3
2008 3.1
2009 10.7


2007 -3.4
2008 15.7
2009 21.0


I like Beltre too. Is his back OK? Also, what if he wants 4 years. Then he'll be 35-36 at the end of the deal.

Beltre is the best out of those options for sure.

Does anyone like the idea of Omar Vizquel as our utility guy? He says he is looking to play a utility role on a high profile team. See a fit there?

I also have to wonder if that monster year Beltre had in LA was a PED year with a big contract in sight.

Atrain: He is fine health wise from what I read. Also, so what if he wants/gets a 4 year deal? He will be 35-36 when it runs out, but Feliz and DeRosa are 35-36 now.

Not sure why they'd even consider giving up a first-round pick to sign Polanco. I'd be wary to do that for him at 2B, let alone a position he doesn't even play.

Also in that article it says chan ho's agent said that he is best suited for the pen. Good news there.

The Reds are desperately trying to dump salary - how about a Rolen redux in Philly? If not for the fact that Dallas Green is still skulking about in the luxury boxes, he'd be a perfect fit.

Polanco: Do not want, except as a utility guy, which I don't think he wants to be. Next.

Rolen? He can't handle Philly. He's still getting booed here. Next.

Shawn: not good. UZR had him giving away 5.5 runs in 105 games at the hot corner last year.

Agreed with CY and others that Beltre is by far the best option of the free agent bunch.

JW: can you point to the reports that linked the Phils with LaRoche? That wouldn't be my top choice -- Beltre or Brandon Wood would be -- but it'd be a heck of a lot better than pursuing DeRosa or Atkins.

I wouldn't take Rolen back if he were free. He burned that bridge and then pissed on the ashes.

The Mayan calendar predicts that there's no effin way that Rolen comes back. Plus he's a stint on the 15-day DL waiting to happen. On the other hand, he's still 6'4".

If the Tigers are as tight on payroll as they seem to be, why would they risk offering Polanco arbitration. If he accepted (a good chance), then they'd be screwed.

Andy LaRoche would be ok as a bench player, but the guy cannot hit for power in the majors, he's a AAAA player.

My hope: #1 Beltre (2-3 yr deal), #2-Kouzmanoff, #3 DeRosa, #4 Polanco (1 yr) #5 Feliz (1 yr)

I'm concerned that none of these potential free agent signings sound like long-term moves. I don't want a band-aid for a couple years.

I'm with you, JW - skeptical as well. One thing I hope: that Ruben and the other powers-that-be are actively seeking to develop talent at 3B, and wherever else we'll need it, for our future. Or exploring the young talent of other teams for a possible trade.

I also hope that at least Ruben gets an inexpensive, short-term deal for 3B if he replaces Feliz with Polanco.

Re: the news about Pat Burrell: Can he play 3rd? :) (Kidding)

There's very little chance of the Tigers offering arbitration to Polanco, so no picks.

Since Polanco is a gold glover and Utley is not, we should move Chase to 3B if we re-aquire Placido.(Just Kidding)

Seriously, I was a big critic of getting rid of Polanco when we did it, but that ship has sailed.

I don't think we should change from Feliz at 3B for any player who is not a definate upgrade. With Placido's age and no recent history at 3B , he's something of a risk.

NEPP - Wow, good point. Didn't even think of that. It would definitely be surprising if they offered him arb.

msb: You're willing to call a 26-year old third baseman with a 95 OPS+ a "AAAA player"? If that's the case, what do you call a 34-year old third baseman with an OPS+ of 81?

Also, why do people keep saying how old this team is because they're on the "wrong side of 30"? 6 of their starting 8, including 4 all-stars, will begin next year no older than 31. The reality is that this core still has a few more years in their prime. It is misleading to say that the core is "on the wrong side of 30" when they are all either 30 or 31.

It still wouldn't surprise me if Feliz ends up back here at a reduced price tag especially if the Phils guarantee him another year.

Frankly, I would rather see the Phils pour that limited extra money back in the bullpen for another veteran arm and an upgraded utility player at the middle INF position ($1.5M or so would potentially bring in a decent middle utility INF vs. spending closer to the veteran league minimum which largely gets you a veteran retread or a AAAA-type guy.

Why did Lidge have surgery on his arm since all the BLers decided his problems were all in his head?

"I am still confident that had the injuries been detected/made public before the playoffs and we had replaced them with Condrey and Walker, the result would not have been the same.

Posted by: mvptommyd"

tommy, I think I know what you mean by the above comment, but I don't want to ass-u-me.

Could you please elaborate as to what you mean by "the result would have not been the same".

I'll respond then if appropriate. Thanks in advance.

What about Troy Glaus? He's coming off a bad injury, but had a very consistent career before that (5 straight seasons of 120 ops+)

I thought all BLers thought Lidge's problems came from his knee injury...

DH: Well, we had the oldest roster in the majors last year. It's not so much the core players; it's the complementary ones. The concern is that, within the next year or two, some of our core players are likely to be leaving. So it would be nice to start reinforcing that core with some additional young players.

When you build around old players, there's always the sense that it could all fall apart at any time.

EF: placebo effect.

I just can't shake the feeling that when all is said and done that we will just re-sign Feliz for a few dollars less. Of course we could get him for a lot less, but if that is to happen it needs to happen sooner than later. Why? Because as time passes and more 3B are signed, his potential value goes up as he has less competition. I see Amaro waiting too long, then going back to Feliz when other options fail. Which would make his price almost back up to the old contract.

BAP: The core of this team, except for Ibanez, is not very old. I suspect that the "oldest roster in the majors" was skewed by 46-year-old Jamie Moyer, plus a handful of old non-core players, like Stairs (41), Martinez (37), Eyre (37), and Bako (37).

I doubt an age-related drop in production will be an issue with guys like Utley, Howard, Werth, and Victorino until at least 4-5 years from now.

I'll never understand the venom toward Rolen. The guy stood up on principle and turned down a nine-figure deal because he refused to work for people (Green and Larry Bowa) who constantly ripped him publicly for not giving a full effort - something that anyone who's seen the guy play knows was garbage.

As for the candidates listed, I don't see Beltre or Figgins fitting in the budget. DeRosa's a poor defensive 3B - love him as a supersub, but not as an everyday player. Polanco hasn't played an inning at 3B since 2005.

The bargain bin also has some interesting candidates. Feliz is still in the mix, to be sure. Melvin Mora is an interesting possibility - he had a horrible 2009, but is still pretty good defensively and hit solidly for several years before that. Juan Uribe had a great year with the Giants, hitting for power and putting up defensive numbers similar to Feliz. Joe Crede is also out there, and plays phenomenal defense when healthy. A mix-and-match with two of those guys (say Crede and Uribe) could give them outstanding defense, an upgrade with the bat, and a utility guy who can hit more than his weight (bye bye Bruntlett).

If we can resign Pedro Feliz (at a discount)and send him to Bruntlett Hitting Camp in the offseason, we can upgrade our 3rd base position.


AWH, how's that for usage of your creation?

Shane, not according to Amaro. He firmly believes that there are more 3rd base options than needed, ergo supply > demand. No amount of time will change that, if he is in fact right. Other baseball pundits have opined a similar view as well.

Rolen couldn't handle "baseball heaven" either. That says it all.

LF, love it!

ColonelTom: Rolen is a jackass. He's been one everywhere he's been. If he had a problem in one place, you could chalk it up maybe to Bowa or someone else... but Rolen excels at wearing out his welcome.

Feliz wasn't very sought after a few years ago. Maybe he's added some value after his tenure with the Phils, but he's also 2 years older. Doubt there's much of a market-at least as a starter.

I saw on MLBtraderumors that the Orioles are interested in Feliz, among other 3Bmen. So I don't think we can assume Feliz will be there for the taking if Ruben's attempt to find an effective replacement for the right price fails.

I'm thinking this report is just a smokescreen to make other teams think they aren't interested in Chone Figgins. I hope it is too. Figgins would be the best fit both offensively and defensively. We don't need Beltre's power, we already have tons of power. We need a REAL leadoff hitter. Put Figgins at the top of the order, keep Victorino second, and move J-Roll down to 6th or 7th to get more speed at the end of the lineup. Figgins has a high OBP and would allow Utley/Howard/Werth many more RBI opportunities.

"Predictions? Predictions? awh don't make no stinkin' predictions."

(awh quoting himself)

Actually, I don't like to predict winners of series because I'm not very good at it and I believe in jinxes. :)

However, I'd like to address some of the other posters concerns with the age of the Phils.

It's not something I'm too concerned about, and regarding that I'll make this prediction:

3 years from now the Phillies will be much younger in the OF, as Brown and Taylor both have great shots at replacing both Werth and Ibanez. I have never seen Gose play, but by all accounts I've read he could eventually wind up replacing Vic.

Obviously with prospects one never knows.

If Raul and Werth (and maybe Vic) are replaced by younger and cheaper players, it may allow the Phillies to work out extensions with their core IF if they feel they can still contribute.

If Howard Utley and Rollins can remain productive into their mid-30's this team could be in contention for quite a while. (Of course, if Freddy Galvis ever learns to hit, JRolls days could be numbered, though I do expect the team to at least exercise the option year they have.)

Chooch should remain a reliable receiver, but they obviously have some prospects that might make it up in a few years.

They seem to have enough positional talent percolating up in the minors to stay good for a while.

In a "best of all possible worlds" for the FO - from a cost and production standpoint, I suspect in a few years they'd be happy to see a lineup that looked like this:

Gose - CF
Galvis - SS
Utley - 2B
Howard - 1B
Taylor - LF
Brown - RF
3B - ???
C - one of the prospects

As I indicated, the inclusion of the younger players might allow them to keep both Utley and Howard assuming they can continue to produce. They may even want to keep Jimmy as he is really the face of the franchise.

There is no way, IMHO, that they can continue to keep all of the current positional starters. It would bee prohibitively expensive.

Whether they remain contenders will almost certainly depend on how well they pitch.

2010 should be fine with Lee back.

2011 and beyond, who knows?

Can someone explain to me why the Phils are strapped for cash? Didn't we just play in the WS? Besides didn't we just get rid of the Thome, Eaton albatrosses? what gives?
Don't the owners understand that from a business perspective (forget the fans right?) you have to invest if you want to increase your business and ergo the value of the team?
I just don't get it.

Am I the only one who thinks signing Figgins (which I don't think will happen) is a bad idea? We all just assume that he will slide into the lead-off spot. Will J-Roll really accept being moved out of that spot to (potentially) the 6th or 7th spot? I love Jimmy, but I believe he is on record as preferring to lead off. How will that affect our team leader?

On the flip-side. Suppose they keep the lineup as-is. Is Figgins going to be happy not leading off and potentially hitting 7th? Would I be happy with our 7th hole hitter making the kind of money he will demand?

You would hope that both players are team-first guys and will not let that type of stuff affect their play. But if it did, it wouldn't be the first time.

Too many questions. What would I do, you ask? I have no clue. That's why I'm not a GM.

Shane - It is doubtful that Feliz will get signed as a starter and I highly doubt he gets anywhere near the $5M he would have if the Phils wouldn't have bought out his contract for $500k.

He still has value in the league but it is likely as a bench player who subs at 1B/3B and is a right-handed bat off the bench.

Can't Amaro is opposed to bring back a guy who by all accounts was a hard worker, good teammate, and played hurt in 2008 but it would have to be a much cheaper price tag and more of backup plan.

Hell, the Phils might be able to resign Feliz for under $2M if he doesn't pick up any interest as a starter because no team is paying him $2M/year to sit on the bench.

RK: Simple. WS and playoff money combined with gate sales aren't enough to warrent a $160+ payroll. Teams with high payrolls like the Mets and Yankees for example, have their own TV station as well. Phillies do not. While it is true that we shed the Thome, Jenkins and Eaton salaries, we are also having to bear increasing in pay to Howard, Hamels, Werth, Vic, Ruiz, among others. So in the end our payroll will be $119 million this year before we even sign anyone yet after arbitration. Amaro said the brass will keep payroll around $140 million this year(Which is the 4th highest payroll in the MLB). Also, believe it or not, the gate sales during the season and playoffs are required to give a percentage to the Umpire and Players' unions. So in the end the Phillies owners' don't make that much over the gate sales. Where they make most of their money is advertising.

Also, all the merchandise we buy doesn't go just to the Phillies. It gets split evenly with ALL the other teams in the MLB. Thus, the reason you can buy a Royals hat at the Majestic shop if you wanted. Or any team for that matter.

Worst case they could bat Figgins 2nd and put Vic in the 7-hole. That would give us a great bottom 3rd of the lineup. I think if UC got Figgins, he'd recognize that its best for teh team for El Capitan to move to the 7-spot.

R.Bill: While I don't agree with you that it is a "bad idea", it is likely to be my #3 option behind #1 Sign Beltre and #2 Re-sign Feliz for around 3 million.

My problems with Figgins is although he has a high OBP, he hits mostly all singles. I believe 77% of his hits were for singles. He also steals between 30-40 bags a year, something that Vic and Rollins ALREADY DOES. Figgins defense is also worse than Beltre, while Beltre is better offensively as well. That is why you eithier sign Beltre or resign Feliz. Don't buy into the hype and spend $10 million a year on a guy to hit singles and is a downgrade defensively.

****Can someone explain to me why the Phils are strapped for cash? Didn't we just play in the WS? Besides didn't we just get rid of the Thome, Eaton albatrosses? what gives?****

Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth and Lee all get $4 million raises (give or take) in 2010.

Madson gets a $2.5 million raise.

Chooch, Vic and Blanton all get significant raises through arbitration.

The Phillies ownership is risk adverse. They won't take the chance of losing money so they won't count on making the playoffs in 2010 to balance the ledger.

We don't have a our own cable sports channel so we lose out on that huge revenue stream that other teams get.

Thus, our payroll will likely be around $130-140 million again in 2010.

NEPP: You and I are generating nearly identical posts thus far this offseason. It is kinda scary..

Could I actually be turning a corner????

That's one possibility. THe other is I'm losing it. The reality is somewhere in the middle.

I wouldn't expect Rolen or Glaus to play 130 games at DH much less 3b. I doubt the Phillies are interested in either.

Tommy: You hit the nail on the head re: payroll. Just because the Phillies can't throw money at every position doesn't mean they're strapped for cash. There is no team, other than the Yankees, that can afford to build a team without cost-controlled position players.

When Werth and Victorino hit free agency, it will be impossible to keep both of them.

And NEPP: didn't see your post in time, but you also hit the nail on the head in saying almost exactly the same thing.

NEPP: Does anyone believe that there'd be an audience for a Phillies cable channel? I live in Annapolis and down here we have MASN which is the Orioles and Nationals together. Who else besides them, the Yankees and Boston have their own networks?

DH Phils: Thanks. Speaking of the Yankees. Just reviewing their 2010 payroll. They have $166 million ALREADY TIED IN. And said they are going to try to add between 25-40 Million! I mean seriously, come on now. If they add Bay/Holiday to replace Nady/Damon and trade for Halladay to replace Gaudin/Wang, that would be ridiculous.

EFF - It is not surprising that Lidge had surgery at all. I thought it was going to be his right knee yet again but it turned out to be his elbow instead. No surprise.

It isn't that uncommon for a pitcher with a leg injury to eventually develop a shoulder or elbow injury eventually as they tweak their mechanics a bit due to the initial leg injury.

It was hard to imagine that a guy goes from being that good just a year ago to having one of the worst seasons by a reliever since post WWII era without being injured to some degree.

The bigger question though is that is Lidge going to be ready and set for the start of spring training. This is arguably one of the most important stories this offseason and there really hasn't been much word on it at all. Just the standard line about Lidge being ready for next season.

Free Agent speculation will stay just that for another week.
But, since we are speaking of budgets, it will be interesting to see what the pay scale becomes as free agents are signed after the 20th.
With all our comments about the Phils budget limits , it's easy to forget we're among the "haves".
Imagine a team that hasn't got recent playoff history and a long string of sell-outs... say the Nats.
Hot Stove is just working on kindling, for now.

The bigger issue with the Phils isn't going to be their payroll but the price hike on their average ticket price. I bet most season ticket holders see another double digit hike this year and the Phils end up with the most expensive average ticket outside of Boston and the 2 NY clubs.

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

I would favor Beltre, though I don't like his lack of contact.

We'll see. Ruben did a fine job last offseason - the team did win another pennant.

I think we need to let things play out and let Jr. make his moves.

Question for the board:

If Jayson Werth puts up another season in 2010 like his 2009 season, what will he get on the FA market, in light of what Bay and Holliday - both LF and 'minus' defenders - appear to be seeking?

I don't see a ticket hike of that magnitude. Not in this economy. They might hike them but I doubt it wil lbe double digits.

There is no way we will be able to resign Werth after this upcoming year...not if he has another year like 2009. We don't have that type of cash.

NEPP - A hike is definite. Teams that make the World Series never keep the same ticket price even if they lost the series. I don't think it will be high double digits. More like around 10% or so. At least high single digits. It won't be the 15-20% rate that some season ticket holder saw last year though.

Montgomery realizes that interest in the team in the general area is at a zenith and I bet he takes advantage of it while he can.

EFF: Head surgery is more risky.

Re 3B: I really think Beltre is the way to go. Seems like a perfect buy low opportunity. And absolute worst case is he gives us the same production as Feliz.

I am floored by Polanco in the mix...a player the Phils dropped a few years precisely because he couldn't play third, and who has played exactly ZERO games at third in Detroit. This has me extremely anxious. I'd love to see Polanco as a utility guy to spell Pedro, Jimmy, and Chase, but as an everyday 3rd baseman this would be a huge downgrade for absolutely no reason.

AWH: I would suppose that Werth would get slightly less than Holliday based on age and batting avg. but more than Bay based on fielding and baserunning.

I'd guess in the $12 to $15 million range. Really the only thing holding Werth back is his short track record of success compared to other top money makers. He is a HUGE bargain for the Phillies right his production vs. salary might be one of the main reasons the Phillies have made the WFS the last two years.

Werth is absolutely gone after his contract runs out. Were I the Phillies I'd offer Shane and Jayson reasonable contracts and the one who accepts stays and has Brown and Taylor fill in around them.

Stark wrote something about the Phillies 3b situation on ESPN. If anyone has the Insider subscription, could they give the rest of us the gist?

1) The only way the Yankees get Halladay is if they take Vernon Wells too. They just might be willing to do that. The yanks will sign lackey and call it a day. Unless the Halos overpay, which they might.

2) The Phillies should not trade anything good away for a 3b and signing Beltre is the best move they could make. Why should they give any infielder more than a 3 yr deal when half the guys he'd be playing with in 2010 might not be here in 2012?

I like Beltre's power potential, because Charlie seems to get the most out of his hitters.

What does everyone think of signing Jey Cora as our utility guy? He is a free agent and could play both middle infield positions.

LaRoche is a good 3rd baseman and I'd be more than happy with him. A buddy of mine is a pirates fan and watches every game - says he's solid. We don't need a huge power guy there - we just need someone who will play solid defense and not be an offensive liability which Feliz was a lot of the time. He had his good moments, quite a few of them, but his approach at the plate was aweful and I'll be happy when I hear of him signing somewhere else.

Do you mean Alex Cora? Joey has been out of baseball for 10+ years.

We need a super-utility type, who provides a solid bat off the bench and can play multiple positions. Some FA candidates for that role:
Mark DeRosa
Jerry Hairston Jr
Juan Uribe
Adam Kennedy
Melvin Mora
There should be at least twice as many players available after the Dec 12th non-tender deadline.

I'm in favor of trading an outfielder for a long-term solution at 3rd.

The facts are that the valuation of a team is a factor of two aspects: market size and product quality. Boston is in a smaller market than philly and has very cleverly made the most of the Yankees being in the same division. The more they spend the higher their valuation. The Phils should endeavor like the Redsox to make the most of their rivalry with the Mets and keep winning the NL so that a rivalry can be devloped with the Yankees as well. That will pump up the team's value much better than putting the money in the bank.

Its disapointing to hear that managment wil now return to the "we ain't got no money" routine that has scared off players in the past. For many years the Phillies couldn't sign quality players Drew being the most notorious example not to mention Rollins refusal to resign which he rightfully said was becuase he did not see how he could get a WS ring in Philly.

I want Polanco but I want him as an active sub. He is not the answer to Feliz he is the answer to Bruntelet. That is how management should see it.

Maybe I'm wishcasting a bit, but if any team has to worry about getting too old, it's the Yankees, no?

Jamey Carroll would also be a good super-utility guy, but there would be a lot of competition for his services.

Johnny G-Times: " am floored by Polanco in the mix...a player the Phils dropped a few years precisely because he couldn't play third"

Huh? Based on what?

Polanco was traded because
1. He had value and David Bell did not
2. Ed Wade loves to trade of middle relievers
3. That era Phillies team would not eat Bell's contract.

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? That the team would be unprofitable if the payroll were higher?

Is there anyone here besides me who thinks that ownership has no credibility when they talk about their profits or lack thereof?

Jayson Stark says:

Jason Stark
Figgins not a realistic fit

"I know there are people in the Phillies' baseball operation who love Chone Figgins and see him as a great fit. He's just not a realistic fit. For one thing, he's talking $10 million a year and a five-year deal. They can't fit those dollars into their payroll at that position. And I don't see them guaranteeing any third baseman more than two years, given all the uncertainty about retaining their core players beyond 2011. The other problem is: What happens if they try to install Figgins in the leadoff hole? That has the potential to create a gigantic problem because they'd have to sell it to their current leadoff man, some guy named Jimmy Rollins. And that won't be easy. So to me Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and Placido Polanco are much better fits for them, depending on the asking price."

I'm content with a 2-3 year deal for a 3b. That's "long term" enough for me.

Has there been a rules change where walks won't count next year? Tommy and awh are saying all Figgins does is hit singles and so who needs him?

But I thought he took walks too. And stole bases. Does OB have any value any more? How about SBs? No?

OK, I agree, we don't a guy who can only hit singles.

A leadoff guy that only hits singles and steals bases. What a bum!

Also JBird and others seem to have inside info on how Glaus' shoulder surgery went. Apparently it went poorly. Guy can only DH and will be unlikely to play 130 games.

I haven't seen this reported anywhere else, so hats off to JBird for the scoop.

Oh, wait, you say that might not be true?

So Stark really believes that the Phillies FO will make a significant decision based on the ego of one player as opposed to what's best for the ball club? Jimmy has a perrenial OBP under .300, does not see nearly enough pitches, won't bunt for a base hit anymore, and his SB are trending down. On the other hand, he has had more HRs and RBI than the typical lead-off man. It's a no brainer. Charlie has said many times in the past when confronted with Rollins woes batting first "who else am I gonna put there?". Um, Figgins would qualify, I believe.

baxter: The only names on your list who won't be everyday players next year are Hairston and Mora. Hairston because he understands he's not an everyday player and Mora because he's washed up.

One utility player who I would love to see replace Bruntlett is Craig Counsell. He can play all over and his defense does not kill you anywhere and can still handle a bat and run the basepaths. If any of our IF went down for a short period, Counsell would be a reliable sub. Bruntlett is basically the right handed, poor man's Counsell.

SmokyJoe: Good post. I think Stark is full of baloney. I also think J-Roll is more of a solid citizen than portrayed here. he might not like it, but I don't think he'd sulk and play poorly if he couldn't lead off.

For what it's worth, Keith Law said in his chat that Adrian Beltre was the best fit for the Phillies.

clout: No one has any more insight into the Phils finances than anyone else. So if anyone suggests that the Phils can EITHER pay more OR pay less, they're all lying.

What I can say is that the Phils have one of the top 5-10 payrolls in all of baseball. Which sounds pretty appropriate to me.

Finally, I can also say that it's clear this team has a committment to bringing in players to win championships as evidence by a WFC and a WFC runner-up and that simply spending more won't make that possibility any more likely.

Clout: Glaus has been a full-time player for 11 years. Over the course of those 11 years he has averaged 123 games per season and has failed to play more than 115 games in two of the last three seasons. He has carried the injury-prone label for a long, long time now, and he is 33, not 27. I'd be willing to bet you $5 he doesn't play more than 130 games at the hot corner next year.

clout: "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 there budget. And Amaro told us that in a article last week. See Below for quote.

"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."

Is it possible for J-roll to sulk and play worse than he did last year? I agree that he's being unfairly criticized for potentially sulking about something he hasn't been asked to do or would be asked to do unless the Phillies sign a player they are unlikely to sign anyway.

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.

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.

Clout: so he 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 and Gary). I'm not a Dr., I'm just saying that the preponderance of evidence points to Glaus being a guy who gives you 140 games maybe 40% of the time.

Jayson Stark has been on Missanelli's show this afternoon participating in a Phillies round-table with Ricky Bo and Larry Bowa. I only caught a few minutes here and there, but he said that the chances of Park returning are pretty slim for three reasons: he's coming off a good year (as a reliever), it's a weak market, and he's a Boras client. Stark also said there's no chance in hell Lee comes back because the Phils won't pay him/give him the years he wants.

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