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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

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I like Polanco, but I think his return would be pretty annoying, given that they could have had him during his prime but will now probably be getting him during what should be a nice, injury-laden period of decline.

It would be a good signing at two years and an option. Not sure what to expect from his arm at age 34. But I can't see him being any worse than average defensively, can you? Even if he's just a 100 OPS+ hitter, that's going to make a difference to this lineup.

While the thought of signing Polance doesn't have me doing cartwheels in my living room, I do like the idea of adding a hitter that doesn't strike out and has good bat control. I'm only ok with this signing if he's going to hit 2nd, if they keep Vic in the 2 hole and hit Polanco 7th, then I would prefer a player like Beltre who can hit the homer and we know can play 3B.

Ridiculous. Polanco is, what, 5'10"? Sure, he bats 18 points higher than Pete Happy, but is that really worth giving up 3"?

There were a lot of people who thought the Phillies were at their very best, offensively, when Raul was making mad contact. I'd agree with that. A little extra contact seems to go such a long way, which is why Rollins and Vic can drive you nuts. The question is what kind of hitter the Phillies would get in Polanco at age 34.

Will there be an impact signing this off-season or are we destined for a bunch of these value bets?

I'm not against 2yr/11M (nor excited) but where is the rest of the cash going? If they also signed Sheets/Bedard/Harden to a 1yr/8M or something then we'd be talking.

Polanco saw some decline last year offensively. Fairly similar to Feliz actually. Not really sure he's an upgrade. But in sticking with the return of Jeremiah Trotter and Allen Iverson, why not bring back Placido Polanco! I never wanted to get rid of him in the first place!

What I still can't grasp is why mostly everyone here is talking about offense at 3rd. Am I missing something or didn't the Phillies lead the league and were close to the top in the majors in runs and other catogories?

I would prefer Beltre because of all the reasons clout stated earlier AND because of his defense. We are all talking about Polanco and his offensive skills. What about the concern of moving an aging gold glove 2nd baseman to 3rd on an everyday basis? Not saying 3rd base is impossible to grasp, but for a older player to make that kind of transition, I wouldn't want to experiment with the idea.

Food for thought: Since the rumors are out there, then it is safe to say Polanco won't be coming here right? I mean according the trends, that is how it works.

As I have suggested since the hot stove started. Rube needed to sign 3 bench guys, 3 bullpen guys and a 3rd baseman. I would be happy with a Beltre at 3rd, 1 good guy off the bench, resign Park and Eyre, have a young guy in the pen i.e. Escalona/Mathieson/Bastardo and get ready for the spring.

So far Rube has signed a guy in Castro that is a suitable option to field/hit and a good backup catcher without even really spending anything. After this arb stuff is done with resign Park for $3 mil, resign Eyre for $1.5 mil, sign Beltre for a 4 yr/ 34 mil contract. Then you have wiggle room to sign a middle grade reliever if you wish and good utility guy or any number of options.

Rube thus far has done a good job whether beerleaguers want to believe it or not.

Look at it this way. Would you rather have Bako and Bruntlett or Schneider and Castro. I vote for option B.

I think they think there's good shot Beltre will accept arb. I also think they really wanna give utley more days off this season or at least slide him over to 1b for a few games and rest howard some. I'll bet they wanna give each of them around 10 or so games off this season.

We'll see INF's of

howard 1b
utley 2b
rollins ss
polanco 3b

utley 1b
polanco 2b
rollins ss
dobbs 3b

howard 1b
utley 2b
rollins ss
dobbs

howard 1b
polanco 2b
rollins ss
dobbs 3b

dobbs 1b
utley 2b
rollins ss
polanco 3b

with a castro thrown in there at ss every once in awhile

I'd still like them to sign a bench player that can play 3b some, Tracy, Hinske, Tatis. I'd love Crede on a incentive laden deal but doubt he'd come here there's only so many AB's to go around

Think about it. Bottom of the 2nd. Werth, Ibanez, Polanco/Victorio instead of Werth, Ibanez, Feliz.

OR

Polanco/Victorino, Ruiz/Schneider, Pitcher instead of Feliz, Ruiz/Bako , Pitcher

JW- I think you're on to something - contact and obp go a long way when you've got a middle of the order ready to drive the ball for extra bases. Fangraphs and Bill James seem to think that Placido is due for a reasonable bounce back. Gotta think Charlie would station Placido in the second hole, which would help move runners over (something Vic still struggles with a bit) and set the table for the bigger pieces.

I also like this idea 'cause it gives the phils another way to give Utley a blow. Let's be honest - when we talk about spelling the middle infielders, I think we're mostly talking about a way to keep Utley fresh; resting Rollins regularly is important, but I just don't think his offense is as important as Utley's. Placido could easily slide over to second while Dobbs mans the hot corner, basically giving the Phils a more versatile infield.

The shame of it is.. if Gillick/Amaro/Manuel were here a few years earlier, Polanco would have played 3rd full-time instead of Bell. Back then contract trumped talent. Not anymore. See Jenkins, Eaton, etc.

Will the Phils be the first movers in a saturated market in consecutive years? Not sure how I feel about Polanco, but I thought the wise move was the wait and see what happened this year. 2/10-12 is what rumor says. Maybe that won't seem wise in just a few weeks.

Why does all the cash have to be committed during the off-season? Saving some for the season is not a bad idea. That's one of the reasons the Phillies were able to acquire someone like Lee last summer.

If Polanco can be signed for $5.5M, that seems like a pretty good deal in terms of significantly upgrading 3B from Feliz for an extra $500K (the option on Feliz).

(And Polanco, at age 34, would be getting close to a $1M pay raise)

Someone on the last thread said that Phillies revenues were increasing. I tend to believe they're close to being maxed out and probably can't increase their budget unless they structurally bring more revenue online through stuff like media contracts or building more seats. Merchandise sales are shared between MLB teams so unless MLB-wide merchandise sales go up, the Phillies wouldn't be getting more revenue. This past year, they sold out 102%. The year previous, they were #5. Raising ticket prices will increase revenue slightly but given the economy, the FO probably doesn't want to mess around with a potentially very elastic demand. Where could more revenues come from? Sure, the ownership could pony up more (and they have), but unlike the government (regardless of whether it's controlled by republicans or democrats), they probably have an eye towards long-term sustainability.

For all the griping about Feliz's offense (and I was one of the lead gripers), the guy did hit .336 with RISP last year -- which is a key reason why he knocked in 82 runs out of the 7 spot. Obviously, that .336 number is flukey and couldn't possibly be replicated next year, so I'm not suggesting that we are wrong to replace him. My point is simply this: everyone takes it as an article of faith that, with everything else the same, the upgrade at third base should cause our total runs scored to increase next year. That strikes me as a dubious proposition, unless you expect Feliz's replacement to also hit something close to .336 with RISP.

Since numbers with RISP tend to be flukey, I would imagine that, if we had stuck with Feliz, our run total would drop by a not-insignificant amount in 2009. By upgrading, I think it's fair to say that our run total will drop by less. I am doubtful, however, that it will increase -- and, if it does, it's very unlikely that the increase will be because of the upgrade at 3rd base.

Kind of mixed on this signing. Polanco is the type of hitter this lineup needs (high AVG, right-handed hitter). Still, there are a couple of worrisome signs the last 2 seasons including the drop in % LD that Polanco is hitting and the increasing amount of balls he is chasing out of the zone. Might correspond to Polanco trying to cheat on offspeed stuff a bit more because the scouting reports said his bat speed has slowed a bit last year and that he has a bit more trouble catching up with fastballs.

This lineup really needs a .300 hitter and apparently Amaro thinks Polanco is that guy. If Polanco can give the Phils a line of say .295/.340/.410 and play steady defense, then it was a good signing. However, if Polanco hits say .275/.320/.390 and struggles to make the throws over to 1B consistently then it wasn't a good signing because it really doesn't represent much of an improvement over what Feliz gave them.

Still, I have been more concerned about the bullpen all this offseason. More interested to see what transpires here.

re Polanco's offense

Polanco's OBP dip last year was completely on a dip in singles (his power numbers and walk rate were nearly identical from the year previous). The BABIP drop despite a steady LD% could be just an off year, or it could be a red flag of a aging player (something we say with Jenkins the year previous to his signing). Supporting the former: his HR/FB actually went up from 2008. Additionally, his BA on LD was nearly identical to 2008, suggesting that the bulk of the dip lies in a dip in IF hits.

Interesting number: Polanco's BB% was lower than Feliz' last year.

BAP - For one thing, what Feliz did when men weren't in RISP has run consequences as well. For another, you're holding so many variables constant. Feliz had a total of 403 runners on base when he batted. Who knows what number that will be next year for the 7th hitter? Additionally, even following your analysis, the difference between Feliz' RBI output and that of the average MLB player with Feliz' PA (625) was 11 RBI (and 10 fewer men on base). Not an earth-shattering difference.

I just did an interesting analysis.

I used Baseball Musings lineup analyser. The B*L conventional wisdom gets dinged a bit.

First, let's look at replacing Feliz with Polanco in the lineup.

I did it two ways: 1) usings 2009 stats, and 2) using lifetime stats

The output:

2009 Stats
With Feliz in the lineup batting 7th - 4.992 RPG
With Polanco in the lineup batting 7th - 5.039 RPG

Difference: .047 RPG - about 8 runs/season

Lifetime Stats
With Feliz in the lineup batting 7th - 4.870 RPG
With Polanco in the lineup batting 7th - 4.953 RPG

Difference: .083 RPG - about 13 runs/season

So, basically, Polanco in the lineup ads approximately 1 win over a 162 game season, assuming defensive equality.

Here's where the BL conventional wisdom gets dinged, at least statistically. Based on lifetime stats, by moving Polanco to the 2-hole and Vic down to the 7-hole, the Phillies produce an estimated 4.952 RPG..........LESS than if Polanco hits out of the 7-hole.

Now, there are obviously problems with using a statistical analyzer that relies solely on OBP and SLG (no SB, etc.), but I thought it was at least interesting enough to post.

Placido Polanco... Eh. He's better than Feliz, at basically the same money, but I think the Phillies would be missing an opportunity to make serious upgrade to the roster. I'd go after Miguel Tejada and have a lineup to compete with the Yankees.

I would go after Tejada, too, if the cost is anywhere near the same. He drives pitchers crazy. I don't place Polanco in that class.

Stark says they're talking about a 3-yr deal. Ugh.

Tejada over Polanco, definitely.
Beltre over Polanco, definitely.

If Polanco ends up in Philly, bat Vic leadoff, Polanco #2 and move Rollins to 7th.

Polanco would be the 2-hole hitter with Vic in the 7-hole.

Mark it down.

Not real excited about Polanco, especially on a 3 year deal. to awh's point, the analysis doesn't include the increase in runs allowed due to the potential downgrade in fielding. It'd be interesting to know what Beltre does to the lineup. On the plus side, Polanco would be moving to the purportedly easier NL and thus his stats could improve rather than decline a la Ibanez.

If it really is going to be Polanco, Amaro must be planning to throw a ton of money at the bullpen.

"If it really is going to be Polanco, Amaro must be planning to throw a ton of money at the bullpen."

Or the starting pitching. Halladay, anyone? Does a package of Happ, Vic (Werth to center, Taylor in right) and a decent but not great prospect do it?

Why do we assume Polly would be that bad in the field? He's still a gold-glove level defender at 2B and he was capable of playing 3B in the past. He's likely better than DeRosa would be.

Taylor isn't ready to be a starter on a WS team. We won't be trading for Halladay.

Crazy unlikely to the point of being a waste of time thought - what if Polanco is being signed to fill the super utility role. what if the Phillies are also gearing to bring in Beltre or even Figgins?!?

And now I'll imagine a 200% raise and dating a Victorias Secret model and driving a Ferrari....

Welcome back, Charlie Brown Head? Just goes to show you that despite the acquisition of Cliff Lee and back-to-back pennants, the Phillies still remain a club plagued by penny-ante, small-market thinking. Picking up garbage like Juan Castro and DeWayne Wise is bad enough, but that's not the worst of it from this fan's point of view. If you're going to settle for somebody like Polanco, why spend weeks teasing the fans with names like Beltre and Tejada? Even a glorified utility player like DeRosa would be better than a 35-year-old banjo hitter whose best years are in the rear-view mirror. Way to go, Phils. Somewhere in Houston, Ed Wade is having a good laugh.

Welcome back, Charlie Brown Head? Just goes to show you that despite the acquisition of Cliff Lee and back-to-back pennants, the Phillies still remain a club plagued by penny-ante, small-market thinking. Picking up garbage like Juan Castro and DeWayne Wise is bad enough, but that's not the worst of it from this fan's point of view. If you're going to settle for somebody like Polanco, why spend weeks teasing the fans with names like Beltre and Tejada? Even a glorified utility player like DeRosa would be better than a 35-year-old banjo hitter whose best years are in the rear-view mirror. Way to go, Phils. Somewhere in Houston, Ed Wade is having a good laugh.

MVP~

It's looks like they won't go after Beltre, who I agree should be their #1 choice. But, as I posted yesterday, this is strictly a money deal with no surrendering of adraft pick.

Overall, Rube HAS done a very good job since he took over as GM, but the FO just doesn't look at things the same way we phans do. I said yesterday, you win, you draw, you sell merchandise you raise ticket prices, your revenues increase. They'll spend. But they won't put all of the extra revenue into the product on the field, that's for sure.

As to who he'll sign ofr the 'pen, well that's anyone's guess.

But does Rube really consider the utility role filled? Upgrading from Bruntlett to Castro is like upgrading from hideous to fugly

Halladay! Halladay! Halladay!

That post wasn't worth seeing twice :) Polanco would be the starter at 3B AND the utility guy for Chase and creates a more versatile infield. All that being said, I really wonder about him going back to 3B. There is no way to know if his gold glove ability at 2B makes him an even average 3B at 34. Phils obviously don't NEED a power bat there, so having a guy who has a decent OBA and doesn't whiff is good. Because of the unknown glove, I give the move (if made) a B-. Still holding out hope for Beltre. We'll see.

DPatrone - "But they won't put all of the extra revenue into the product on the field, that's for sure." It's not 2000 anymore. Cliff Lee? Recall the salary bumps post-WFC? a $140M payroll? Live in the now.

The Phils will give Polanco the money many thought they'd give Beltre. People kept floating a $6M/yr figure out. Seems like Polanco will get that. For some reason it's cheap to give that money to Polanco but Yankee-like to give it to Beltre. It may not be wise, but it's not cheap. Bottom line: Polanco wasn't offered arbitration, Beltre was; talks with Polanco's agent heated up, not so with Beltre's.

For the wishful thinkers - Stark's article says a few things:
- they're targeting him as their 3B (not as a utility guy)
- they envision Polanco hitting 2nd in the lineup


We already tried this experiment... did everyone forget? Polanco is a nice player who certainly helped Detroit for a few years. But he is a questionable 3B and he has little power. His average is nice but not enough to offset his other shortcomings. It would have been better to just keep Feliz, especially when you look at how much he is probably asking for.

BAP: There's a huge flaw in your thinking. You correctly state that RISP AVG is fluky and one cannot expect Feliz to repeat his .336 RISP (look at anyone's RISP year to year and you'll see it all over the map).

But then you leap to the absurd conclusion that the Phils won't score as many runs because Polly won't replicate Feliz's RISP. This is ridiculous for two reasons: First, any of the other 7 starters might see a huge leap in RISP because that's how that stat works: It's fluky. Second, Polly makes way, way fewer outs than Feliz (career 65% outs per PA vs. 71% per PA). That is a BIG difference. It means more chances for others in the lineup to drive in runs.

Bottom line: The addition of Polanco would INCREASE the numbers of runs the Phillies score, not decrease it, assuming the same level of production from the rest of the lineup.

Polanco's OPS+ over the past 3 years: 103

Feliz's OPS+ over the past 3 years: 81

I agree with those who say we should be pursuing Beltre first and foremost, but anyone who doesn't believe Polanco is an upgrade over Feliz needs to have their head examined. And don't give me the "he sucks at third" argument: he has a career 9.9 UZR/150 at the hot corner, and the Fans Scouting Report indicates that he profiles fine there, with his only weakness being a bit less than ideal arm strength.

yo, new thread!

Phils give Polanco away for his good years,now overpay to get him back for his not so good years. True or False?

jr:

Sad but true. And kiss goodbye the potential 30 homers and Gold Glove that Beltre would bring to this team. After all, why go for the best available when you can slink around on the cheap. The fans will come anyway, so screw 'em. Two years from now Polanco will be gone from the lineup, but but still weighing down the books, a la Thome, Jenkins, Eaton, etc. etc. etc.

I hope he can handle 3rd. 3rd is not a more important position than 2nd, but it is much harder to play. The throw and reaction time are well beyond what is required at 2nd.

If he handles the position I am ok with it. Although I would have much preferred a 2 year deal with an option.

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