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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Comments

Shame Polanco will cost a #1 pick. He'd be a good utility guy to replace Bruntlett.

Is it possible Detroit doesn't offer Polanco arbitration? He would be a GREAT bench guy.

If it were me:

3b- Beltre
Back up IF - Hairston Jr.
RP - Eyre, Chan Ho, Lyon
C- Scheider

That is all very doable. Then sign some veterans to compete in the pen and back end of the rotation.

Would that be enough to excite anyone?

Back up infielder has to be a greater priority this season. Just have to make the extra commitment to protect your bigger, older investments.

CY: That's fairly titillating.

CY: If the Phils get that haul in the offseason, it will be a huge success.

Above all, I hope Amaro does a good job of navigating the marketplace. Beltre is a fine addition at 2 years / 12 million but I would also welcome Feliz back if it was for 1 year / 1.5 million, and Amaro could spend a little extra on bullpen depth and bench help. I'm hoping Amaro does not overpay or sign players for a year longer than necessary (Moyer, Ibanez) in this market.

Here's my wish list: Beltre, Jamey Carroll, Josh Bard, Valverde (RP), Park, and Bobby Howry. Not sure about Bard's defense. Maybe somebody can shed light.

Brad: I think Beltre at those numbers would be a steal for us. I think Beltre is looking in the 3 yrs/24 million is more likley. Also, I don't think your giving Feliz any credit. 1 yr/1.5 million? Really? I think Feliz is going to get somewhere around 1 te/3 or 3.5 million.

So you sign Valverde--what do you do with Lidge?

Buy low on Atkins or Kouzmanoff at 3d and spend money elsewhere (assuming the budget ceiling necessitates it). I guess I have a SP in mind. Beltre and his low BA/OBP, age 31-34 seasons, decreasing power, injury-riddled 2009 do not excite me for the money he'd likely require.

chaz - Why not sign Valverde and go (at least at first) with Lidge?

I don't seriously believe the Phils are looking at Valverde. I think the Phils will sign someone with some closing experience that can also fill the 8th inning role. I don't think the Phils believe Lidge is done.

Sophist: Interesting logic when Beltre has a higher BA/OBP and plays better defense than Kouzmanoff. And even though Atkins offensively has been good offensively besides last year and would be cheaper than Beltre, are you really going to sacrifice Beltre's defense to save a couple million? If you are, then I say just resign Feliz.

CJ - Isn't Valverde someone with closing experience that can also fill the 8th inning role?

Regarding Valverde, I think last year they were looking into him with the Lidge struggles. But now that Lidge is having surgery, I think they are going to go into ST with a simple bullpen. Meaning resign Park and Eyre, let Durbin go and sign a couple cheap vets that aren't too exciting. I believe Rube's going to go hard on 3rd base whether it is Beltre, Feliz or DeRosa followed by a major upgrade to the bench. bench.

sophist: Amaro said specifically that he would not be adding a SP this offseason.

Nobody will sign Polanco if Det. offers arb. And if they do, he should accept it in this market. He wouldn't be a good fit for the Phils as a utility guy anyway because he can't play short.

MVP - The logic isn't that Kouzmanoff is a better player than Beltre (will post higher BA/OBP). The logic is to buy low in the hopes that you save money (can allocate it elsewhere) and minimize risk. The logic is that, for the money, Beltre may not be worth it. Besides, I'm not that high on Beltre. He's exiting his prime while Kouzamanoff is entering it. Beltre seems like Feliz all over again (he'll hit 30 HR in CBP!)

Atkins may be worth saving a couple million depending on how that million was spent. Additionally, depending on the odds, I'd bet he'd be a better offensive player than Beltre over the next few years. I confess to haven't watched either player closely enough to know their defensive skills and liabilities.

clout - than what's with the Halladay rumors?

Sophist: I see your point, but my whole point is why Kouzmanoff and Atkins are question marks both offensively and defensively, Beltre is a sure thing for defense as he would be the only upgrade over Feliz in my opinion. Also, Beltre in CBP is almost definitely going to put up bigger numbers than Safeco.

So if you want to minimize risk and costs, I say just resign Feliz. Because with him you know you are getting average offense and above average defense for a cost effective price. However, if you truely want to upgrade and not have to go over the "What if" factors thata re involved with Kouzmanoff and Atkins then sign Beltre. It is really that simple.

My wish list...
Chone Figgins @ 3 years 21 mil
Jerry Hairston Jr @ 1 year 2 mil
Chan Ho Park @ 1 year 2.5.mil
(reliever) Soriano @ 2 years 8 million

Beltre is a rich man's Feliz, but there are very few 3b available who are an appreciable upgrade. He's still probably the best bet to sign a reasonable contract and not be a black hole in the lineup. If you can get kouzmanoff for a C grade prospect or you can sign Figgins for 3 or 4 years at a reasonable price (instead of 5 for $60k) then you look into it, but there aren't a lot of better options out there at the moment.

Brian Schneider, CY?

MVP - I see your point on Beltre (first paragraph) tho I don't entirely agree.

I don't so much see your second point. Feliz is only getting worse, both offensively and defensively. Feliz did not strike me as much more than average defensively last year. You don't know what you'll get with him. I see Atkins and Kouzamanoff as having better chances of being productive offensively. Again, can't speak to their defense.

Mikes: I love your analysis, but those numbers are ridiculous. First off Figgins is getting around 9-10 a year. Hairston and Park are accurate and Soriano is going to get around 5.5 per year.

Rube has about 20 million to spend this offseason.

I am fine with 7 for Beltre, 8 on the bench (4 guys) and 5 on the bullpen (Resign Park, Eyre and sign another guy other than Durbin)

Sophist: Well that's a main chunk of my point. This team lead the NL in runs last year. That is why, it is essential we at least remain constant on defense. With Beltre, you upgrade defense wise and offense wise obviously. The result is spending a few extra million to do it. If you are worried about the money, sign Feliz.

With Kouzmanoff and Atkins, sure you MIGHT upgrade offensively with eithier of the two, but defense is a WHOLE different story as both of them is a down grade from Feliz even now.

Talk about burying the lede. Source on the Halladay rumors? Anyone heard anything more about this?

Thats was for you PW. Isn't he your boy?

Bring back coste?

Its a backup catcher, who really cares?

Anyone but Atkins.

Sophist: Sorry, wasn't clear enough. Valverde will want to close somewhere. I don't believe the Phils are looking to sign a closer. I think they'd rather sign someone comfortable with being a setup guy who could become closer if Lidge struggles. I don't think Valverde is that guy.

Jack: I think this is another Phillies non-story. I bet Rube leaked it just to light a fire under Cole. First of all Cole in 2010 is 6.65 million, Halladay's is 15.75. So the difference is 9.10 million dollars. You really think the Phillies are going to trade for a guy who is a free agent after 2010 and going to command a CC type contract? Group that will increasing their payroll by 9.10 million AND having to trade away Hamels, Brown and Drabek in the process?

That is a big fat NO.

Sophist- Kouzmanoff has improved a lot defensively (only 3 errors) while Atkins is a statue. Valverde probably WANTS to close. Let's see if he'd be the 8th inning pitcher while he's on a WINNER. If Lidge falters badly, he's gone at the deadline and you still have a closer.

Am I the only one that didn't notice that much of a difference in Feliz's defense this year?

Bed Beard: I think we are the ones ones. I remember several huge plays he made just in the playoffs alone. I even remember McCarver commenting on them, which always means it is good, "Wow Joe, what a play there by Fay-leez".

On Feliz this year:

His arm and accuracy remained the same. His range was down from 2008...by a good margin. He has one of the most accurate arms I've ever seen out of a 3B...but he moves like he has cement boots on.

I agree with CJ, I don't think they will bring in a true closer. It will cost too much.

Much more likely see a guy with closer experiance. Weather, Lyon, Putz type on a 1 year deal.

Valverde's a Type A. I hate signing Type A free agents in general, but a reliever? No thanks.

I think Amaro's got his priorities straight when he said, "Third baseman, bullpen, bench." But I also think it would be good to keep an eye on the free agent market for starters, and try to snag someone with injury problems (but upside) on an incentive-laden deal for next year -- like Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer, or Shawn Hill.

Saw that they are in the mix for Halladay in the article in the Inky this morning.

Rich Harden.

Kouzmanoff: 18 HR 88 RBI last year. Young. He may be the ticket. Is he a FA?

Bed Beard, mvptommyd:

Both traditional measures and advanced metrics suggest his defense was not as good this year. Oh, and my eyes, as well. I also think Feliz was about a half inch shorter this year.

2008 Fielding %: .974
2009 Fielding %: .966

2008 Errors: 8
2009 Errors: 15

2008 UZR: 7.2
2009 UZR: 5.3

2008 UZR/150: 9.3
2009 UZR/150: 5.0

Feliz's range was never great but he has been sure-handed and his arm dead accurate. There were a number of uncharacteristic errors by Feliz, which is what I noticed and which prompted some concern whether he is fading.

No thanks on Kouzmanoff. He's in line for a significant pay bump this year, and he's quite simply terrible at getting on base (career 4.9% BB and .302 OBP).

FYI: I don't plan on discussing the Halladay rumor because I don't think there's any chance at all of it happening. However, that's not to say that others can't enjoy discussing it! I just don't really have anything to add to it.

CJ: Thanks. Fair enough. I'm happy to move on from Feliz, just didn't realize there was a decline in his D*

*I'm out of the Philly market, so I didn't see a whole lot of games this year.

sophist: That was actually what prompted Aamaro's comments. He said the Phillies will not be dealing for Halladay, did not expect to sign a SP and that he felt pretty good about the current rotation and potential fallbacks.

mvptommyd: Not sure what you mean by "average offense."

Feliz finished dead last or next to last in offense among all qualifying NL thirdbasemen in each of the past 4 years.

Sign Cliff Lee to a longer term contract.
Deal Hamels to Washington for Zimmerman.

just read something interesting on SI.com. they have a top 50 free agents feature and at #44 is one Kelvim Escobar. here's what SI had to say...

He's thrown five innings in the past two seasons. In '07, though, he went 18-4 with a 3.40 ERA. At worst, a team would sign him to an incentive-laden deal and he wouldn't be able to pitch, at little cost. But maybe he'd be able to contribute out of the bullpen (he saved 38 games as a Blue Jay in 2002). And maybe he'd be able to start a few games. That sort of moderate gamble might be worth it to the Phillies, who need help both in the bullpen and the rotation.

again, just to be clear, that's SI.com, not me. after we took a flier on pedro last year, i could see this happening for the right price. a healthy escobar could have a HUGE upside.

Bed Beard: I think Pedro Feliz is still a solid to very good defensive third baseman. His range is not bad. And his arm is about as good as there is in the game.

Amaro Jr. said that one of the reasons Feliz was dropped was because he sees a 3B market where there a lot more 3B available than there are 3B positions to be filled. I don't necessarily disagree with that statement. However, I don't see a lot of 3B upgrades to Feliz. Perhaps, Amaro Jr., after watching Feliz this year, now believes Feliz's defense is overrated. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox sign him if they can't get A. Gonzalez.

Figgins is a switch hitter. Looks like he could be a difference maker.

Anyone else getting the feeling that the Phils might just deal Michael Taylor for a 3B?

Taylor doesn't really have a role on the team this year... and by the time he's ready, Dom Brown might be ready as well.

This fear has no basis in any kind of rumor or indication from the Phillies.

First off, Kouz is not a free agent, and this speculation on acquiring Kouz is mostly based on the thinking that San Diego is still in sell mode. However, looking at the SD roster, that team could really use some MLB pitchers of KK's or Bastardo's quality. Kouz for Bastardo?

However, we should all realize that 3B is a tough position to find a above average offensive and defensive player, who is relatively young (sub-30), and is not a health risk. If you assume Wright is not a health risk because getting beaned in the head is more of a freak occurrence, then that list of 3B is really short -- Zimmerman, Longoria and Wright. After that, you're rolling the dice.

I think the best option for the Phillies is to sign or trade one of their pitchers for a young project 3B (perhaps like A. Marte or one of the Fish's two solid 3B prospects) while signing a stop-gap 3B for the next two years. On the other hand, while Kouz is a bit of a project himself offensively, his defense has gotten a lot better -- he was more than reliable in 2009 -- and he's entering his prime years.

That all said, Amaro Jr. said that a trade for a 3B was unlikely and that FA was the route the Phillies were most likely to go.

Ross Gload's option was declined by the Fish. At this point, should the Phils get in on that just to avoid having him in their uniform again? (tongue in cheek, a little)

Late to the party on the Hamels stat mumbo jumbo from the last thread, but there is one glaringly obvious fact that cannot be captured by location stats, pitch count stats or "nibbleness," whatever that means. Hamels fastball appears to have no life to it. Sharp fastballs out of the left hand have a nice snap on the end of them. Hamels' fasty simply offered no such thing this year. It killed him. In my armchair opinion, this is due to a tired arm. With rest, conditioning and practice it could return.

I will jump for joy if we get Figgins. Then bang my head against the wall when Cholly bats him 2nd after J-Roll.

How is Beltre more then a marginal upgrade over Feliz at more then twice the price?

Drake: Escobar is exactly the kind of gamble I'm talking about.

Other than perhaps a negotiating strategy to get Feliz to agree to come back for less money, I don't understand the rush to bring in someone else for more money. None of these guys would be a significant upgrade, and will cost more money; money that could be better used in other areas. Feliz has a rifle for an arm, and is deadly accurate. His range isn't that bad. Has terrific reflexes. And, while he's lost some pop in his bat and was absolutely horrendous at the plate in the postseason, he was our leading hitter during the regular season with risp. I don't want to return to the post-Scott Rolen years - Davd Bell, Wes Helms and other cigar store indians. I would include Dobbs in that group as well. I just don't get it. Take a look at Conlin's article in the DN today.

Boo on not closing the italics tag.

Clout, can you please point me to the stats that show Feliz is close to last in offense among 3Bmen?

I've been trying to look it up on MLB rankings. From what I can tell, he doesn't rank high, but he's in the same cluster as Beltre and Kouzmanoff for the season, at least. I don't see anything about Kouzmanoff being a FA, either, so I guess whoever brought this up is wanting to trade for him?

I do see Figgins is high in OPB, but I also believe he might be too rich for the Phillies' blood and too desired by the Angels.

I don't see how Beltre is an improvement in fielding percentage or in offense - I was only looking at 2009 numbers. But he'll probably cost more than Feliz.

Feliz had the highest avg. w/RISP on our team, too.

I'm not saying he's a terrific force offensively, and I'm not disagreeing with those who point out he's aging and likely declining.

All I'm saying is, from what I can tell at a glance, the options don't really look better - apart from Figgins - esp. for the price. Although they are younger than Feliz.

So I would agree with CJ's and TNA's recent comments.

Test Look, here's bold

Kouz and Chooch on the same roster? Sounds like something that the league office would frown upon.

SteveW:

Adrian Beltre's OPS+ since 2004:
163, 93, 105, 112, 108, 82
Career: 105

Pedro Feliz's OPS+ since 2004:
100, 85, 79, 80, 81, 81
Career: 83

It's not even close. Beltre is a significant upgrade over Feliz.

Feliz and DeRosa are the same age, both being born in 1975.

Can't really see DeRosa here.

Donc: Ha ha. I was thinking the same thing! We have to get our heads out of the gutter.

Italics gone?

Perhaps.

Does this close the italics?

GBrettfan: try this or this.

Put me in the boat that firmly believes the Phillies go hard after Halladay. Here's the hypothetical:

Phillies will raise ticket prices (20% top tier seats, 10% everywhere else). Sentiment would be that it was a bad move in current economy. However, say the Phillies sign Halladay, and then announce increase in the days following. Major buzz, season tickets fly, revenue increased.

With Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Blanton/Moyer (or KK or however), clout could play third base and the Phillies would still make the playoffs. You don't add anymore dollars to bullpen. You can always do a deadline deal if the pen comes up as a fatal flaw.

And if you can't sign Halladay/Lee/Werth to deals, the comp picks would be nice...we could land 6/7 toolshed players in the first 2 rounds. Could you imagine 7 Hewitts in our minors? :)

Oh, and I think we could get the Halladay deal done for Happ, Taylor/Brown, C-level prospect. Sell high on Happ, one of Brown/Taylor is blocked for next two years anyway.

donc: Isn't JJ Putz available too?

Preserve Jon: granted, it's a statistic that tells us so, but the velocity and vertical movement of Hamels' fastball was greater in '09 than in '08:

Velocity: 89.9 (08), 90.3 (09)

Movement: 12 (08), 12.5 (09)

R Billingsly: I know. It was totally uncalled for. I am so ashamed.

CJ, interesting stats. Essentially, Feliz has stayed consistent while Beltre has declined every year has been declining. How many ABs did Beltre have that year with 163 OPS+. Feliz did have more errors this year, but he did play in quite a few more games. With his injury (and age) it is no surprise that his defense was less sharp this year than last.

Donc, very good!

Oops. Leave out that "has been declining" from previous post.

For those he would scoff, Toronto is in the exact same position with Halladay this winter as Minnesota was w/ Santana 2 years ago. Happ, Taylor, Gose would be 10 times better than Gomez plus crap that Twins got.

Off course, Twins got screwed when they balked at Yankees, and then Boston and NY pulled out of running.

For those who would scoff...

Pete Happy: We could have the first XXX major league team. I don't know if that's the way to go.

And if the Phillies were to get Halladay, they could let Blanton loose, save $6 or $7 million, and replace him with KK. I'm not sure how much better Halladay/KK is than Happ/Blanton for regular season, but at this point, it's more about the playoffs, and Halladay/Lee/Hamels would give maximum chance for a title.

"he was our leading hitter during the regular season with risp"

Batting average with RISP* is not a skill that carries over year to year. It should not factor in any decision making for the future.

*That is, above the player's expected norm (plus a few points, as the ML avg. w/ RISP is a few points higher than the non-RISP situations)

Beltre was bogged down by injuries all this year and attempted to play through them. then he broke his testicles late in the season. that would explain the poor season this year. His 163 OPS+ year was his insane near-MVP season with the Dodgers where he hit .334/.388/.629 with a Howard-esque 48 homers.

zp, that was before PED-testing...;)

Old Phan: Beltre had 657 PAs his monster 163 OPS+ season. I'd throw that season out, as well as this past season (where he had some injuries) and you get a player who will likely deliver an OPS+ between 100 and 120 with Gold Glove caliber D.

Feliz stinks offensively (his ISO has dipped 4 straight years and he is now a 10-15 HR which at 3B is slightly below average for a full-time starter) and is defense has noted started to slip too.

Amaro just realized that it was foolish to pay Feliz $5M next year when there are other alternatives out there who might be an upgrade or you can potentially bring back the same guy at potentially half the price.

I am still much more interested to see what Amaro does to upgrade the pitching staff. This wasn't a good bullpen this year and counting on quality seasons from Romero/Lidge (Eyre if they resign him) seems like awfully wishful thinking too.

donc: well, then there's Werth's facial "landing strip" . . . .

GBrettfan: Virtually everyone agrees that OPS+ is the best stat to offense, although it is not perfect (i.e. it doesn't account for SBs). Among 3Bmen with enough PAs to qualify for a batting title, Feliz ranks dead last or next to last in OPS+ over the past 4 years.

" the velocity and vertical movement of Hamels' fastball was greater in '09 than in '08:

Velocity: 89.9 (08), 90.3 (09)

Movement: 12 (08), 12.5 (09)"

But how can that be? Cole was suffering from a "Verducci effect" injury this year, you know, like Lincecum, Jurjjens, Lester, Greinke, Kershaw...

FWIW: Seattle radio guy Dave Sims called 610 yesterday and said Beltre's one of the toughest players in the league and the Phils should definitely go after him. Also cited SAFECO field is a graveyard for right handed power hitters.

PhillyFriar, thanks.

Nah, clout's too short to play 3rd.

It is always possible that Amaro is giving us misdirection by saying he's not going after Halladay. But all the comments that say he is, are coming from local sportswriters who want it to happen or from unnamed sources who are with other clubs.

My opinion: If the Jays were to ask for Moose Mattair and Anthony Hewitt in exchange for Halladay, Amaro wouldn't turn it down, but he's not going to offer the kind of talent (Taylor, Brown or Drabek) that it would require to get the deal done.

I see no reason not to take Aamaro at his word: His priorities are 3b, bench and bullpen in that order.

FWIW: Seattle radio guy Dave Sims called 610 yesterday and said Beltre's one of the toughest players in the league and the Phils should definitely go after him. Also cited SAFECO field is a graveyard for right handed power hitters.

Looking over that free agent reliever list, Chad Cordero strikes me as someone who could be a great gamble this year. Anyone have any update on his injury? The man was dominant until surgery and now has had almost two years to recover. Could be a great bargain pickup and possible closer if all works out.

Clout, you don't think Rube is looking into a backup catcher as well?

Old Phan: Absolutely. Part of the bench.

I have a hunch many BLers were catchers back in the day, which would explain the fascination with the backup C position.

I like the idea of snagging Schneider. He's worth at least 1 win above replacement solely because of the fact that he won't have 18 games in which to stick it to us.

In reading these comments over the past few days, it's interesting to see how Feliz's talents have grown since it became apparent his option wouldn't be picked up.

Prediction: When Feliz is replaced, numerous posters here will say he was just slightly behind Mike Schmidt on the list of all-time greats.

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