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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"They're the second tallest team on the podium"

I thought we put this joke to bed?

It beats a Deer in the Headlights reference....

FA relief pitchers:
A Gonzalez, Mike RP AT
A Soriano, Rafael RP AT
Schoeneweis, Scott D. RP AZ
Baez, Danys RP BA
Hendrickson, Mark SP/RP BA
A Wagner, Billy RP BO
Fox, Chad D. RP CC
A Grabow, John RP CC
A Gregg, Kevin RP CC
B Beimel, Joe RP CO
A Betancourt, Rafael RP CO
Embree, Alan RP CO
Fogg, Josh SP/RP CO
Herges, Matt RP CO
Rincon, Juan RP CO
A Dotel, Octavio E. RP CWS
B Lyon, Brandon RP DE
B Rodney, Fernando RP DE
B Calero, Kiko RP FL
Donnelly, Brendan RP FL
B Brocail, Doug RP HO
A Hawkins, LaTroy RP HO
A Valverde, Jose RP HO
Wright, Jamey RP KC
A Oliver, Darren RP LAA
B Mota, Guillermo RP LAD
B Ohman, Will RP LAD
B Looper, Braden L. RP MI
Vargas, Claudio SP/RP MI
B Weathers, Dave RP MI
Mahay, Ron RP MN
Dessens, Elmer RP NYM
Putz, J.J. RP NYM
B Eyre, Scott RP PH
B Park, Chan Ho RP PH
Batista, Miguel SP/RP SE
B Howry, Bob RP SF
Bradford, Chad RP TB
Isringhausen, Jason RP TB
Percival, Troy RP TB
B Shouse, Brian RP TB
B Springer, Russ RP TB
Benoit, Joaquin RP TE
Guardado, Eddie A. RP TE
Villone, Ron RP WA

Potential RP non-tenders (via MLBTR)
Jeremy Accardo
John Bale
Denny Bautista
Bill Bray
Brian Bruney
Taylor Buchholz
Neal Cotts
Randy Flores
Craig Hansen
Aaron Heilman
Bobby Jenks
Logan Kensing
Seth McClung
Brandon Medders
Justin Miller
Sergio Mitre
Scott Proctor
Jack Taschner
Doug Waechter
Tyler Yates

No shortage of "upgrade possibilities."

The reality is, loyalty is great, but prudent business decisions will triumph. Why pay a bullpen pitcher $1.5MM+ just because???

Relief pitching is a crapshoot. Paying a premium does not even increase your odds for success, so why do it?

"but if Chad Durbin's would-be innings turn into Clay Condrey's innings next year, that will be a considerable downgrade."

bap, based on what?

re: ibanez - it will be interesting to see how he does next season after this hernia surgery; hopefully thats the reason his second half suffered.

also, he played the best defense of his career last season, and best by a huge margin compared to recent years. i wonder if thats a fluke or him finding LF in CBP to his liking. heres hoping that happens again next season, but I see a regression to the mean both offensively and defensively next season, and his contract seeming a bit overpriced.

For Ibanez, a "regression to the mean" equates to 2 years and $23MM to a career .285/.346/.479 player with below average defense (even with the uptick in defense at CBP last year, he's still the first lifted for defensive replacement), who will be age 39.5 at the conclusion of his contract.

While that does seem just a bit overpriced, if he can put up numbers commensurate with his careers numbers at this stage of his career, I think it's not a really bad investment (could certainly do worse). I'm most fearful of some sort of injury which would cause him to lose time. Although he's adapted well to the NL.

The thing about baseball contracts is that every player is paid based on what they have ALREADY accomplished, with the hopes that they continue to perform at that same level. Unless you can predict when a player will begin to erode, you'll always see this on multi-year deals, where you're "overpaying" at the back end. It's anyone's guess as to when performance begins to deteriorate, especially in today's day and age of guessing who has had "help" at any point in their career.

As is also typical (ask Ken Griffey), once this contract is up, if Raul wants to keep playing he'll have to take one-year deals for whatever the market rate is for someone winding down a decent career (although no longer being paid for what he's done over the span of a 14/15 year career.

Many will bemoan a "regression to the mean," but really, what the hell did anyone expect?

From those lists, I'd like Betancourt, Lyon, and, depending on his physical, Taylor Buchholz. Don't know if they can all squeeze into the budget either. I think Eyre will retire because Ruben is hemming and hawing. Whether Durbin or Condrey stays makes no difference to me.

circus, Ibanez's numbers for the last 4 seasons were:

2006 - .289 .353 .516
2007 - .291 .351 .480
2008 - .293 .358 .479
2009 - .272 .347 .552

The increase in SLG in 2009 can probably be attributed to the change from Safeco to CBP, though he did hit 33 HR in 2006, but was hurt the last half of 2009.

His RBI were lower in 2009 than in any of the three previous years, and he had 31 LESS hits than in 2007, and 45 and 50 LESS than in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

He hit more 2B in each of the previous 3 seasons, though he did have less PA in 2009.

But, what sort of regression are you talking about?

Do yo expect his BA and OBP to go up?

Just curious.

Here's hoping that the taste of success in 08 & 09 leaves the ownership group wanting more.
And that they give Ruben the resources to secure the players to keep us in the hunt for another WFS.

Re: Ibanez's defense

I read an interesting column during the season that suggested Ibanez's defense improved because he had his biggest problems going back on the ball but always did very well coming in on the ball. At CBP, there wasn't a whole lot of room for him to go back.

Robby J, Buchholz was a name that jumped off that list for me as well.

Decent periferals in 2008 when only having to relieve.

Local product (Springfield High), Phillies fan growing up, former Phils farmhand traded away in the Billy Wagner trade, he might be worth the risk, and I wonder if he'd sign a favorable contract just to play for the Phils?

If I recall it was Tommy John surgery in June, so he probably would be ready to go until the second half of the year.

"His RBI were lower in 2009 than in any of the three previous years"

Could this be due to that fact that he had THREE 30+ HR guys hitting directly in front of him( Utley, Howard, Werth) and he still managed 93 RBI's. In Seattle he was not in the situation he is in now.

Great, I have ANOTHER offseason with all the moaners about Ibanez, Oh Happy Day!

"If I recall it was Tommy John surgery in June, so he probably would be ready to go until the second half of the year."

May not need a favorable deal to sign here.

I think we as fans should try to lobby the team to get the best and stop worrying so much about how much the owners have to pay. The truth is we don't know how much they really have. My gut feel is that since the team has been in two straight WSand since most games are sold out they are doing great. There has to be a sizeable income from all of this. Who paid for the ball park ? Not the team . they paid for the cost over runs. The team's valuation has no doubt increased significantly in the past 5 years. It would be prudent from a business perspective to make sure the team continues to thrive by building and maintaining a good team. Winning teams attract good players.
It would be a poor business decision to tighten the belt and rest on the past. That said there is no need to go nuts and overpay. Clout's list above is just one example why this would be an excellent year to stock up on players. Such a long list is going to lead a to a buyers market.

Ibanez missed 32 games this year and still put up nice numbers. I'm confident in the guy.

With Werth anchoring himself in the 5-hole to break up the lefties, I love Ibanez hitting behind him. Charlie needs give Ibanez some more games off to keep him fresh, and a competent 4th outfielder will help with this. Ben Fran? I don't know.

The one thing I will never understand is all the "regression" and "old" talk when refering to Ibanez. He played solid this year, got hurt in the 2nd half but look at the numbers between Ibanez and Werth. Everyone said Werth had a monster season, which he did, but so did Ibanez.

Ibanez played 134 games 32 2B,3 3B,34 HR, 93 RBI's, .272/.347/.552

Werth played 159 games 26 2B, 1 3B, 36 HR, 99 RBI's, .268/.373/.506

Werth played great don't get me wrong, but so did Ibanez.

Hey BLer, how about some respect for the Vet!

tommy, what about my post makes you think I'm a moaner about Raul?

Please explain.

Tommy, I'm not banging on Raul, one bit. I think he's earning his paycheck, so far. I just think that we need to be realistic about expectations for him in the remaining 2 years of his contract.

I actually agree with Bay Slugga. He can be really effective, especially if given a chance to rest up every so often. Good opportunity to groom a young guy AND keep Ibanez at an adequate performance level.

I think, though, that as you look at the numbers he is likely to put up in '10 and '11, you may see that the $23MM is a bit of an "overpayment" for his performance. I don't, however, think that's a bad thing. I think it's simply a by-product of how these things work. He wouldn't have come here without the 3 year deal to begin with.

tommy, let me rephrase that:

Did you eeven bother to read my post in it's entirety?

Did you remotely comprehend what I was trying to communicate to circus?

The reality is, loyalty is great, but prudent business decisions will triumph. Why pay a bullpen pitcher $1.5MM+ just because???

I guess for the same reason Brunlett and Stairs we here this year.

There's an additional factor to Ibanez in assessing whether he will be as valuable as his contract will pay him over the next two years (and, let there be no question, he was worth more than he was paid this past season).

That additional factor is opportunity cost. We have a prospect named Michael Taylor who has been mashing in the minor leagues and seems just about MLB-ready. The cost of employing Ibanez isn't only what you're paying him--it's also denying Taylor the opportunity to be playing. If Taylor could be putting up what Ibanez is putting up, but for way less money, that's a huge opportunity cost you have to consider when evaluating Ibanez.

Now, it's a huge leap to say Taylor could put up what Ibanez puts up, and it's likely that he couldn't, at least not right away (though I'd be willing to bet he certainly could in 2011). But it's something you have to consider.

BA's Minor League FA list is here:

The link is on MLBTR.

Jack, I agree on the opportunity cost, and Taylor is certainly mashing right now.

I suspect that Taylor, if he continues to hit, will see time at the Zen in 2010 - perhaps even as a platoon partner for Raul just to give Ibanez some days off. He can also be used in RF to Werth some days off, or Vic some days off in CF by sliding Werth to CF.

But, his inclusion on the MLB roster might cut into Ben Francisco's playing time. Having him on the big club sure would give tham some depth in the OF.

Of course, the Phils may not want to start his service clock in 2010, and may keep him at AAA all year, barring injury

Again, if he continues to hit, he's likely Werth's replacement in 2011 (and I love Werth's game!), but that's the economic reality of today's game.

They probably view Domonic Brown as Ibanez's potential replacement. He may be ready by the time Raul's contract is up.

The only team that can really afford to keep ALL of it's homegrown talent is the Yankees, and to a lesser extent the Bosox.

But even the Bosox don't necessarily keep all of their talent. There has been some specualtion in the Boston papers as to whether it's time to trade Papelbon, when they can still get something good for him. he's reportedly seeking huge money to do a long-term deal, and the Sox are balking.

But, getting back to OppCost, you certainly have a valid point.

That's something the FO is going to have to manage through.

awh: Based on all the things I wrote in the post where I made that comment.

But let me refine my statement a bit. Condrey was better than Durbin last year. What I meant was that I would not expect Condrey to be better than Durbin next year. But, in a buyer's market, I'm not sure Durbin's worth the price he'd command in arbitration.

That minor league FA list is loaded with backup catchers who have mlb experience. There's 3 or 4 there who would be better than Bako.

The pitching is of the failed prospect/Trip A vet variety. I see our old friend Daniel Haigwood on the list. There are 3 or 4 of those guys I would give an invite to. The shallowest portion of that list are the position players.

Ibanez does need more time off and he could use a defensive replacement from time to time. This is where I see a platoon (or semi-platoon) a good idea. Get a right handed bat for the bench that can spell Ibanez from time to time. Mayberry, Taylor, Inky, the Bull....whoever.

clout, that's what I thought too...about the catchers.

Somewhere, oh somewhere, there has to ba a replacement for the Gnome.

I wonder if Khalil Greene will get an offer to start somewhere?

Interesting blog today, with quotes from Ruben, giving you a little idea of what he's thinking.

A few things: For a utility player, they really want someone who can play SS, and would choose a defensive player over an offensive player. (Isn't that what they had in Bruntlett? But presumably, Ruben is optimistic someone with a somewhat better bat is out there for the job.)

And Ruben says Eyre may have "priced himself out of our range." I don't get it. Eyre has said he'll either return to Philly or retire. Unless he's changed his mind, doesn't that imply he's NOT going to overprice himself? So I read this as either the Phils don't want him back enough to make a decent offer, or Eyre is leaning towards retirement unless it's worth his while not to. I like Scott Eyre and hope they can work something out.

Clout-- I only see two catchers on tha tlist that I'd even CONSIDER--- Steve Holm and Robinson Cancel.The rest have no or VERY little MLB experience. Even the aforementioned pair are barely worth a look.

Robby: Ardoin, Vance Wilson, Mark Johnson & Closser all have considerable MLB experience.

Does anyone know every team's payroll plans? If a lot of teams are cutting back in this economy, our buying power goes up just by maintaining the current payroll.

GBrettfan - Omar Vizquel, anybody?

The Phillies project to have a payroll around $700 million in 2010.

I could see Vizquel as a possibility. Versatile defender with a weak bat. Fits perfectly. Ironically, he'd still be the best defensive SS on the team.

He made $1 million last year so use that as a basis for what it would cost.

I'm actually surprised the Phillies payroll is only 70-80 million off from the Yankees. The Yanks could probably spend 300 easy if they wanted to.

How about Henry Blanco as a backup catcher? (why yes, if I see a name on MLBTradeRumors I immediately wonder if we should get him).

Individual player discussions aside, what are the Phillies expenses vs. revenue? I'm not an economics grad, but without knowing how long the belt is, who's to say how many notches are left on it?

From what I understand, the Steinbrenners are often willing to minimize (or even negate) their revenue in order to put a winning team on the field--because winning breeds long-term success, and economic viability.

i think durbin is better than condrey.

NEPP: Blanco is 38 but he had a great CS % last season so maybe there's something left in the tank. There are also a number of MLB-experienced backups on the minor league FA list, as noted above.

Besides the names mentioned, Rene Rivera, still just 26, threw out 30% of base stealers at Buffalo last year. Former Mariners second rounder. Another guy I'd invite is Hector Gimenez, a career 34% CS who isn't hideously bad with the bat. He just turned 27. He also plays the INF corners.

I'm not mentioning the guys who can actually hit but are mediocre with the glove because all signs say Charlie and Rube want good-field/no-hit for backups at catcher and middle INF. The idea is to get a "no hit" who is better at bat than Bruntlett & Bako, which shouldn't be too hard.

Blanco, Rivera and Gimenez would be all be superior to Bako (as would several other MLB FAs).

clout - "Charlie and Rube want good-field/no-hit for backups at catcher and middle INF. The idea is to get a "no hit" who is better at bat than Bruntlett & Bako, which shouldn't be too hard."

If would be nice if they were good fielders this year too. Both Bruntlett and Bako last year weren't good defensively and I got tired of hearing both guys praised for their glove when it just wasn't true especially for Bako. If he had been such a solid defensive catcher yet, he would have suck with a MLB team as a backup somewhere to open the season.

LA Jeff: Are you talking about last season? If so, that's not correct. Although I can't remember the precise numbers, the DN did a story during the WS comparing Yankess and Phillies payroll. Yankees were just slightly less than twice as high, something like 130m to 240m. But the gap was bigger than 70-80m.

MG: I agree.

MG: I agree with your typo. He sucked.

I don't get it "why good field no hit" or are you guys just making fun of mngmt. wasn't that our problem last year--we had lots of no hit back ups who often also couldn't field or run.

Also we don't have to spend like the Yanks although if we did all that would happen is that the Phils would become a better team and the valuation of the team would be considerably higher. What's so bad about that?
BTW I don't live in Philly and I always here that the Phils do not have their own channle like teh Mets and Yankees. Well why not setting up one of those things is not a lot of money.

FWIW, found this comment linked at MLB Trade Rumors:

"Mozeliak pretty much ruled out the possibility of Troy Glaus returning to play 3B for the Cardinals in 2010. Glaus is just too big of a question mark, healthwise, to rely on to play 3B all year."

Among the minor-league free agents listed at Baseball America are a couple of former Phils farmhands, Elizardo Ramirez and model dictator Fabio Castro.

Yo, newer thread

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