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Friday, December 04, 2009



I'm in for a Lyon. I'd take Polanco and Lyon over Figgins and a very low end reliver.

although i think a combo of Feliz and Soriano would have been nice too.

Of course, thats assuming the Figgins/no one, Polanco/Lyon, Feliz/Soriano all equal about the same $$.

-- additionally -- I wonder if giving Lyon a '# of saves' incentive will help sway him, in case he would feel underpaid in case he ends up taking over the closer role for *whatever reason

Repeated from the end of last thread . . .

clout: Yeah, I noticed Lyon's sharp swings too. He has been pretty good, though, in 3 of his last 4 years. His one bad year in that time span was 2008, when he had a freakishly high .342 BABIP. Of course, last year, which was by far his best, he had a freakishly low BABIP of .231, which is about the lowest I've ever heard of. That could have something to do with an improved repertoire (or improved command of his old repertoire); I also note that he posted a much, much better GO/FO ratio than in past years. But no one has a .231 BABIP without a healthy dose of good luck.

A reasonable expectation is that the 2010 version of Brandon Lyon will be somewhere along the lines of the 2006/2007 version -- which is to say, pretty good but hardly dominant.

Doubt it. There' only room at the end of the bench for 1 of these kids at a time. One way or another Rube will give Cholly a collection of 35+ arms to pick from.

Cant forget we are also down a couple of bench players too.

Figgins is about to sign with the M's for 4 yrs, $35m. So less than $3m more per than Polanco, and considerably less than they're paying Ibanez. Everyone still happy with Polanco over at third?

Donc. I thought we just had the stairs hole to fill. Who am I missing?

I hope we get a guy that can play some infield for the last spot. With all the young OFers we have, the 5OF spot doesn't necessarily need to be filled by someone who's primary position is OF.

donc: Are we down a couple of bench players?

The bench may be:

4th OF: Ben Francisco
Backup C: Brian Schneider
Middle IF: Juan Castro
Corner IF: Greg Dobbs
5th OF: John Mayberry Jr.

With the addition of Polanco, I think the 5th bench spot will NOT be an infielder. It's possible they find someone like Stairs to be a LHB. But I don't think there's a lot to be done still with the bench.

None of this is to suggest that I believe Castro is the answer at middle IF, but he's signed, so we're likely stuck with him.

4yr/35 mil for Figgins. Any regrets? While maybe too rich for the Phils blood, I think the Mariners made a good decision for their infield. Jack Wilson and Figgins make it formidable, especially defensively.

Andrew: Figgins costs $2.75M more per year, costs an extra year, and costs a first round draft pick.

I've got no problem with the Polanco contract. I also think he fits our lineup better.

thephaithful - usu. i would look this up before asking, but aren't monetary incentives tied to particular numbers against the CBA?

I was thinking we have to fill Castro and Stairs. I suppose that Im wrong about Castro. He was on the roster in the postseason because we could go with one less pitcher. I despise the idea of Mayberry as the fifth outfielder. I was definitely hoping for something better.

RJ - I have regrets. I would rather have Chone @ 4/35 + lose the pick than PP at 3/18.

But it's not my money.

And I do like PP. He was # 3 after Chone + Beltre.

CJ: Since you don't think there's much left to be done with the bech, tell me this: Which one is a the big bat off the Phillies bench? The guy you wouldn't be embarrassed to DH vs the Yanks or Red Sox? The Phillies counterpart to Hideki Matsui?

Sophist: Saito's contract includes incentives tied to "games finished." That's a common incentive for back-end closers.

clout: I'm not saying there isn't ways to improve the bench. I'm saying I don't think the Phils will be doing much more. I'd prefer others to Castro, but I don't think we're signing any other Bruntlett-replacement.

It's possible we'll go after a big bench bat in lieu of Mayberry Jr. or someone else in house, but I'm not sure of that.

The other 3 bench spots are locked in.

Besides, most NL teams and, frankly, many AL teams don't have a guy who compares to what Matsui does. NL teams rarely have the ability to carry someone who can only swing the bat and will never have to take the field.

I'd guess that should we be fortunate enough to make the WS next year that there's a good chance we'd see Francisco in the OF and Ibanez DHing vs. LHP and Dobbs DHing vs. RHP. But we're a long way from that!

Clout: Although he had a bad series, Ben Fran in the OF and Raul DHing is that bad a scenario.

I don't think they will sign an impact bat to sit on the bench all year (too expensive and not necessary in the NL). Rather, take a page from the Dodgers who grabbed Thome at the deadline to PH.

We can't sign a bat like matsui for the bench. What NL team can?

*is* should be isn't there. sorry.

And I probably didn't even need to post that at all. CJ handled it nicely.

Donc, are you thinking of Miguel Cairo? He was on our postseason bench, not Juan Castro. Clout, it seems the Phils think of defense more than offense and want to make sure the guy coming off the bench can field a position after his AB. We don't have anyone like Matsui to pose a threat. That would be Stairs if he got more ABs and performed well. Matsui was like having a Jayson Werth come off the bench during the WS. How about Dobbs? Maybe he's our counterpart? Is this (lack of a real offensive bench threat) somewhat of an illustration of a difference btw. NL & AL, or is it a problem unique to the Phils these days?

clout: Are there any National League teams that have a counterpart to Hideki Matsui?

Well, Andy Tracey is always an option if we decide to go the specialty hitter route. And based on what we saw last year with the likes of Thome, there may be aging lefties (or even righties) available around the trade deadline.

In terms of the bullpen, this looks to be a challenge. Even if the Phils decide to invest more money in an arm or two, they seem relegated to something of a wait-and-see approach. Will Lidge return to be at least serviceable? Will Romero? Is Mathieson ready or able to contribute? Will Bastardo or Escalona be decent LOOGYs, or maybe even more? Hell, will all those innings the last couple of years catch up to Madson, and put him on the shelf for a time?

With all the question marks, it's difficult to predict. But I also don't think it's difficult to see a scenario in which the Phils have a decent to good pen: Lidge does return to career norms; Madson keeps up the shutdown work; Romero, Bastardo, and Escalona combine, somehow, to give the Phils two legit lefty options; a new piece provides stability and versatility, and Condrey or Durbin mop up the rest. Not inspiring, but the pen rarely is.

CJ: Point taken. I guess $2.75m is a lot of money. But it's not an amount that would have broken the Phils' budget. As for the length of the contract, Figgins will be 35 in its final year--one year older than Polanco is now. Here's what the Detroit News' writer had to say about the deal: "Polanco got too many years at too many dollars. And while the Phillies undoubtedly are happy with the deal, let's see how they view it a couple years from now when Polanco is 36 and still owed another season of paydays."

Another batter of Matsui's quality would seem to be a luxury on this team, given that they play in the NL. But it is interesting that the Phils spent more than every AL team but the Yankees and Tigers last year even though they didn't need to field a solid DH.

That said, Francisco OPS for the Phils last near was near .850. He turned 28 at the end of October and already has a career OPS+ of 106. This guy could start on most teams in the league.

I can't see the Phils going this route, but I think that Mike Gonzalez would be the best option to stabilize the pen. If Lidge continues to suck, Gonzalez could easily step in and close. On the other hand, if Lidge and Madson get back to something like their 2008 form, Gonzo could play a Romero+ role, where he is a killer late inning lefty or even a setup/closer type depending on the situation. This would allow the Phils to bring Romero, Bastardo or Escalona into the 2nd lefty role without pushing or rushing them.

But is sounds like Gonzo will want to close guaranteed, and that he'll be expensive. Given the money already in the pen, it seems unlikely that they'll put a ton more back there.

I think Clout hit the nail in the head. So we win 100 games and we are back to face the Yanks or the Red Sox or LA fabulous but we don't have the 9th batter! And we go home losers.

I like Polanco he gets on base but I was hoping the Phils got him to fix the 9th hole not to try him out at 3rd base after a 7 year absence.

Can someone explain to me why this team can't spring a few extra dollars and think bigger?

Andrew, I think you have a point that I'm sympathetic with, but my guess is that the Phils didn't see Figgins' skills (higher chance of having a higher OBP, more speed, less risk at 3B defensively) as being worth that premium. Additionally, they are operating under a budget (signing Figgins would have precluded signing the relievers Amaro is targeting, wisely or not).

That said, why does it matter what the Detroit Press thinks, especially when their only comment relates to his age and the contract itself? Maybe I'd trust a knowledgeable writer on PP's transition to third, but this seems like an pedestrian analysis, cited only because it comes with the authority of some detroit journalist.

Sorry about mixing sports, but is there any chance the Phils take an Eagles-esque approach and use some of the leftover budget for this year to extend guys like Lee and Werth?

Also, in a perfect world the Phils will be back in the WS next year getting major production from Michael Taylor in LF and Ibanez at DH. A real X-factor for the Phils are the guys who are right on the verge of contributing in what could be a very meaningful way such as Taylor, Drabek, Mathieson, and Bastardo. The FO needs to be careful not to clog things up too much in front of those guys with mediocre veterans.

Phils need to sign at least two veteran arms for the pen including a viable option to close because I pretty dubious that Lidge will be ready to believe the season at 100% and the clear lack of alternatives.

Some on here don't Cholly is bad at handling a pen over the course of a season but after watching this team in 2006-07 on a daily basis a bullpen of younger players with only 2-3 "veteran options" spells disaster over the course of a season with Cholly managing. Almost guaranteed that Cholly blows out at least one arm and grinds down a guy like Madson to nothing over the course of a season because of his ridiculous usage of Madson in complete blowouts (up or down 4+ runs).

Hopefully Ruben sees this, but I really do think any holes we have left are going to be filled from within, as some are saying. Taylor is going to have an impact next year, many projections think so. Bastardo and Mathiesion, if taken care of properly can throw gas in the middle to late innings. And past that Kendrick is an okay long man, along with Savery possibly serving as a second LOOGY later in the year. I say sign Lyon, rely on the kids for the rest, and extend Clifton Phifer.

on a budget related note and I have no idea how this works but if Moyer can't come back successfully from these surgeries and "retires" are we still in for the 10 MM to him? If no Kendrick in his place as starter no 5 would be an ideal plan and then could dump that 10 MM into the bench, pen and/or a starter.

There is speculation tha the Yankees might not tender Chien-Ming Wang.

Does anyone know what his health is like?

He'd be an ideal low risk/high reward.

I'd be skeptical of anything Detroit is writing about the PP contract, considering they are trying to justify losing him to their loyal readers. We all know the press is always completely objective, right?

It's the same crap we had spun to us when PP was traded away in the first place to StL because the Phils didn't want to cut Bell--PP refused to switch to 3B or couldn't play 3B--all speculation and/or lies to justify the FO's moves.

Andrew: I wasn't making a comment on what length of deal is appropriate. I was merely pointing out that the differences in contracts goes beyong the $/yr. A first round pick isn't something to gloss over.

I also think the Phils believe Polanco's offensive skill set suits their lineup better than Figgins.

I'm also hopeful that money saved will go towards an additional bullpen arm.

CJ: Thanks for clarifying. I interpreted your earlier post as saying you thought the bench was just fine as is. I don't.

Andrew: That Detroit writer clearly doesn't read BL. If he did, he'd know what Clout tells us, that age doesn't matter, that guys continue to put up their career norms for perpetuity. 36? That's young for this team. He'll still be firing on all cylinders, clearly. Also, if Figgins signs for 4 yr/35 mill, that's another sign that the economy is having a serious impact and that the market has shifted. I know some people on here predicted 50+ million for Figgins, and lavish deals all around, simply because numbers looked good in the past. Just isn't happening anymore. The market has changed.

clout: I think there's room for improvement. The 5th spot is definitely up in the air.

However, I don't believe we're going to upgrade the Bruntlett position any more than Castro. And I'm not sure we'll make any splash with the last spot (formerly Stairs).

Do you expect any kind of big move there?

I would think Wise has the inside track right now for the final bench spot, if they choose not to bring in anyone else. LH with speed can play all the OF spots and he's not a prospect anymore unlike Mayberry.

Mayberry will get AB's in AAA and only get called up in there's an injuy but I really think he'll be traded this offseason.

In a way, it would seem, Polanco has upgraded the bench. Instead of seeing Castro step in for Utley when he needs a rest, we'll likely see Polanco, with Dobbs at third. Clearly there is still a drop off from Utley to Dobbs, but it would seem to be less than the one from Utley to Castro. The only weird thing about this plan is that you would likely need to rest Utley almost exclusively against right handed pitchers, otherwise you'd end up with Dobbs at third facing a lefty pitcher; Dobbs against a lefty may be about as bad as Castro against anyone (of course we don't really know, cause Dobbs is never allowed to face lefties).

I suppose Castro will still sub for Jimmy, but as Jimmy isn't Chase, this swap just isn't quite as painful. Agreed that it'd be nice to have a better utility guy, but it seems highly unlikely at this point.

Rube hasn't addressed the bench at all. So far he's replaced Bruntlett with Castro. Where exactly is the improvement?

Jack: LOL. You've become a cartoon character.

PHlinBK: Francisco is an upgrade over what we had as our 4th OF for most of last year. Schneider is an upgrade over Bako/Coste. Castro and Bruntlett are a wash. Ideally, Dobbs returns to his 2007 form.

What exactly were you expecting? The Phils will fill that 5th bench spot with someone, but if you're expecting a big splash, you're just fooling yourself.

If anyone on here predicted $50M for Figgins, I missed it. There WERE several reports from various sources saying that it would take 4 years, $40M to land him. The latest report has him at $35M plus incentives. That's not exactly a huge shift in the market.

CJ: I'm not sure what they'll do with the last spot on the bench, but if it's Mayberry or Wise, that's a sick joke. They need a serious power threat. Polanco gives them great flexibility in the INF, so they could afford a good hit/no field OF for the last bench spot.

clout: You think that serious power threat is out there waiting for a $1M-1yr deal to be the Phils 5th OF?

Jermaine Dye?
Vlad Guerrero?

I'd love to get a serious power threat off the bat... but for a 5th OF, Matt Stairs may be the best out there. I'd love to hear other options.

Comparing Matsui to our DH/bench options is a stretch at best, comical at worst. How much did Matsui make last year?

The same people who are complaining about the "causes" of the outcome of the world series were the same people who were claiming that the playoffs were a crap shoot (rightfully so). If we played the Yanks in 7 different series, there would have been 7 different outcomes with different defining moments. Trying to project what will happen next year based on a few events that occurred over a week period is kind of lame.

CJ: Who's the power bat off the bench?

clout: I think you're the one suggesting it's mandatory. I'm not sure it is. If he's out there, I'd love to sign him. I'm awaiting choices.

You're suggesting we convince someone who's a "serious power threat" to sign with the Phils knowing he's looking at 100 ABs at the most.

I just don't think that's going to happen. The Phils may be forced to try and develop that from within. Will Mayberry Jr. be a threat? Will Michael Taylor? I don't know.

I figure this team, if it's in position, may try to trade for someone near the trade deadline to fill that role if we don't find someone internally.

CJ: So you're happy with the Phils bench? Think it's a fine bench with good pinch-hit threats?

I disagree. It's better than last year's, but last year's was one of the worst in the NL.

SmokyJoe: If you're sying anything can happen in a short series, I agree. If you're saying the Phils bench was just fine last year, then we disagree.

Andy Tracey! No joke. Cheap, and just about as likely to drive the ball as the broken-down elder statesmen of the game.

From baseball prospectus' Eric Seidman: I have no idea why the Mets would want Jack Cust. He can't play the outfield, the NL doesn't have a DH, and unless they were going to use him in a Matt Stairs with the Phillies type of role, it makes no sense. And even if they did want him to be their Stairs, there are plenty of freely available guys like Andy Tracy who could do the same thing without expensing much.

Potential cheap bench bats who would be better than CJ's "best available" Matt Stairs:
Hinske, Young, Anderson, Mora, Baldelli, Catalanotto, Hairston, Kearns, Sheffield, Tatis.

Phillies Red: Andy Tracy is a 36-year-old career .231/.306/.422 hitter. There is no reason in the world to think he could hit as well as the $1M a year FAs available, or for that matter, numerous guys stuck in Triple A.

I agree with CJ in that the Stairs role will most likely be filled at the deadline ala Thome to LA.

I think unless someone really falls in rube's lap any money left will be spent on pitching most likely in the pen.

Clout, I agree the bench was week. However, I'm saying the entire year's results gave more of an indication of that then the 6 games of the world series. And even with a weak bench, a different, more favorable result could have occurred, and may occur next year. As currently constructed, we are missing the power bat off the bench. But will that make or break our ability to make the playoffs? And if anything the last three years have shown us that the power bench bat is readily available come July/August, which would fill the void in time for the playoffs.

How many of those above would take a deal that gives them a max of 100-150 ABs?

Seriously, that what they'll get at best.

That's a good list, clout. Guys like Hairston and Baldelli would also add versatility. What do you think it would cost to sign one of these guys?

Smoky: If the Phils wait until mid-season and add a Thome or a Giambi, as the Dodgers and Rockies did last season, I have no problem with that at all. But it is the one hole left on the bench after upgrading from Bruntlett and Bako.

How about a taking a chance on Chris Duncan for that last bench spot...he sure sucked last year but unless he's already cooked he'd be worth a shot.

Clout, I actually totally agree, but i think you may be selling Tracy a bit short. First, the guy has good on-base skills and hits for power, which is basically what we are talking about here. If he's the full season solution, then that's a poorer solution than others. But the nice thing about him is that he's already in our system, and if the Phils don't pick up someone else for the fifth spot, he wouldn't totally kill us there for 50 games or so. And similarly, it wouldn't kill us to let him go once we found an upgrade. In all seriousness, I don't want him to be the guy, but in my estimation, he's about as likely to provide PH pop as many of these broken-down million dollar geezers. But when you look at guys who are a tad younger and tad more versatile, they certainly are more attractive.

It appears Andy Tracy has his own "DavThom", in PhilliesRed.

Bed Beard - Ha ha! I wouldn't go that far, though I think he's a good guy to have stashed in AAA giving the team good bench insurance. Looks like he's got some pop in the bat too, for what it's worth.

On the Detroit News article, all I was saying was, Polanco's stats seem to show a decline, and the beat writer (who sees him every day) isn't sorry to see him go. I realize the SABR people discount eyewitness evidence, but when the eyewitnesses and the stat lines agree ... color me dubious. The justification for not signing Figgins was that he was going to be a ridiculous financial commitment, and I frankly don't see the Mariners deal as that.

As for the draft pick though, CJ, I agree. Nothing to gloss over. That's a major upside to the Polanco signing, but first round picks aren't everything (see Savery, Joe; Hewitt, Anthony).

Clout: I don't think Tracy is an option either, the guy is 36 and the definition of replacement-level. If he ever was a legitimate option, it was years ago, not now.

But I do think you're selling him just a little bit short. The numbers you're using are his career MLB numbers, which are a half-season's worth (314 PA), spread out over 5 seasons. In the one season he did get substantial playing time, he hit .260/.339/.484 and a 103 OPS+, which would be great for a 5th bench hitter. Obviously that was a long time ago, but the point is, he's shown he can hit a little bit, and he put up a .903 OPS at age 34 at Lehigh Valley.

I want Tracy nowhere near the Phillies bench, but when you're talking about "numerous guys stuck at Triple A", I think Tracy is probably exactly who you're talking about. A replacement level hitter who could fill a bench spot for a bad team, just not the Phillies.

clout - For a guy who professes that pitching always matters more than bats, why are you so concerned about the 5th OF spot instead of the bullpen?

As for the bench, it is improved the end of the season but that isn't saying much. Castro is a washed up journeyman who can't hit or field at this point in his career. Like the Schneider signing but again he isn't a guy who want to see PH late in games either.

Still, the Phils bullpen is generic-store, paper-thin right now with Eyre and Park both on the FA market. Phils can fill 1-2 spots internally. Not 3-4 including the #1 lefty spot out of the pen and the closer.

"Clout tells us, that age doesn't matter, that guys continue to put up their career norms for perpetuity. 36? That's young for this team. He'll still be firing on all cylinders, clearly."


clout, just for your favorite cartoon character, Jack, who's sarcastic quote is above, I posted the above numbers. They represent the OPS of a player from ages 33 through 37. Considering they all occured after MLB started PED testing, they are a representation of what an individual player is capable of doing even at the age of 36. The last season is a little bit of an outlier, because he changed teams and played half his games in a more hitter-friendly ballpark. His name is Raul Ibanez.

Of course, being in a better lineup may have helped also. The following are his OPS+ numbers for the same seasons:


While I know it's only one player, it's certain evidence for Jack that Polanco is going to decline and his contract will look bad by the time he's 36. Jack told me so. :)

More evidence for Jack:



Which 34-38 yr. old player posted these OPS and OPS+ numbers? Frank Thomas.

More surefire evidence that Polanco will decline by age 36.

I found those two examples in about five minutes. Hmmmm....I wonder if I can find anyone else?

awh, I'm curious if you're just trying to rub your finger in Jack's eye, or you actually think that by pointing out Ibanez's recent career line you are providing evidence that Polanco will maintain - check that - improve as he gets older? Do you think that mid thirties players, on average, are likely to decline or improve? If your answer is that players are likely to decline, though some will stay steady or even improve, I'm curious how you can, on a case by case, accurately predict that?

Listen, I want Polanco to kick ass next year too, and I think he's got a reasonable chance to hit at or around career norms. But I also think it's very risky to tie up aging players in the mid and late 30s. Jack seems right about that, at least to me. Any by the way, there's still plenty of time for Ibanez to fall off a cliff. 20 millions dollars worth of time, actually.

Win the friggin' All-Star game for once, hold serve at home and who cares about a DH in the WS?

clout: Again, you seem to enjoy putting words in my mouth.

I've stated numerous times that the bench has room for improvement. However, I doubt the Phils sign "a serious power threat."

Those players you listed will all likely find places elsewhere where they'll find more at bats than the Phils can offer.

If the Phils find it necessary, they'll likely trade for a bat around the deadline.

If I had my way, I'd sign Figgins and DeRosa to go along with Polanco and we'd have a great bench.

But there's a big difference between what we want and what happens in the real world.

I heard Amaro was in contact with Rusty Staub's agent to replace Stairs.

If it's Mayberry, so be it. I fully expect that means Taylor hits the show by the all star break or, Amaro is in the market for someone.

Sign Hinske and spare us hte drama.

I wonder why I'm not seeing Glaus mentioned in any 3B rumors. Maybe it's because he's been a $12M/yr guy these last few years. Just check out his list of comparables through age 32 (includes Strawberry, Burrell, Schmidt, and Maris). There's a RH power bat I could easily see with a 120+ OPS+ for the Phils (if they had gone with him instead of Polanco, that is). I haven't seen a single Glaus rumor.

Stark is saying 5 years / $45 millions for Figgins via twitter.

What were we talking about here? I like the idea of young guns in the pen: Mathieson, Escalona, Bastardo, maybe even Drabek. There's something to be said for running a guy out there that everyone hasn't already seen 800 times, i.e., Bobby Jenks, and Francisco Rodrguez in recent WS years. Sign Lyon and a RH bat and let's leave for Clearwater.

I heard for Figgins it's 4 years, 36 million with a vesting option of a 5th year for an additional 9 million.

I guess it's not that far from 5 years, 50 million after all.

sophist: I totally agree with you. I mentioned Glaus a time or two before on this blog, but until the serious questions about his health are answered, there's probably not going to be much speculation.

MG: You must've missed my earlier post today about the bullpen. Obviously, that's job 1 right now. But someone else brought up the bench and I chimed in. I think it's just about there, but needs a decent HR threat to finish the job. To me, Mayberry and Wise ain't it and as noted above there are plenty of reasonably priced FAs who could be a big upgrade over Stairs as a power threat despite CJ's insistence that there are none available.

clout: There are players available. I listed some of them.

I do not believe the Phils will sign any of them. I sincerely hope we do. I think remaining money will be spent on the bullpen.

And I think that come July, we'll likley be trading for just the kind of bat you think we should sign now.

I say this a lot... there's a difference between what I'd prefer this team do and what I believe they'll do.

Zudok: I also like the idea of breaking in top pitching prospects in low-pressure middle relief roles (as the Dodgers have with Billingsley and Kershaw).

But you also have to have quality vets available in case the Escalonas and Bastardos of the world flop. I'd love to see them sign Lyon, take a chance on Putz and add one more middle guy who'd be better than Condrey/Durbin, both of whom I'd non-tender. Then see what shakes out in spring training.

CJ: As I mentioned before, if they add that kind of bat at mid-season, I'd be happy with that. We'll see.

awh: There are tons of guys like that. From all accounts Polly is in great shape. he hit better in the second half than in the first.

How about the hitter most similar to him by age, Julio Franco?

Here's his OPS+ age 33 thru 37:


Doubt Polly goes til he's 48, but their career numbers at age 33 are damn close

I like J.J. Putz much better. This guy is a really god pitcher. I used to watch West Coast games late at night when everyone is in bed. He had bone chips in his elbow this past season and had them removed during the summer and should be ready to roll in February.

Julio Franco isn't really a good comp, unless you think Polanco's hat size is a function of PEDs.

Those are some fat numbers for Polanco 2 and 3 seasons back. This move is not hurting the team. What Amaro does with the bullpen will determine their fate.

hey clout. thanks for naming names on trading Sanford away and trading for Belinsky. All happened before I was even a dirty thought. I never knew Belinsky was a Phillie. classic character. useless arm.

I remember Rudy May from his baseball card. I remember thinking when I was real young that he and Milt and Lee must be brothers. Never knew he was a Phils farm hand.

Interesting that some of you mention Galus. I've always liked his stick, but he does K a lot. As I recall, Amaro mentioned one of the reasons they signed Polanco is that they wanted to reduce the K's in the lineup and not rely on the HR so much. If that's the case, then signing Polanco is about as good as they're going to get.

Phillies Red, just got back from dinner and just saw your post. I agree that there is a risk of decline with Polanco, but there is a risk of decline with any player over 30. Some guys start really early.

My point to Jack was that his post was practically a prediction, for which there is evidence to the contrary.

"I'm curious how you can, on a case by case, accurately predict that?"

Thank you for making my point. jack can't predict it either.

clout, you wouldn't tender Condrey? Interesting. Why?

clout - I wonder if he's even viewed as a viable option at 3B by GM, or if he's seen as a 1B now (coming off surgery). Seems like he's a better fit in the AL where he could play 1B-3B-DH. If the Phils were an AL team he'd be a nice addition. Seattle, Oakland, maybe Baltimore.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils pick up Putz.

Phils bench is plenty good enough to win the division next year. Hard to argue against that point when we had a worse bench last year and we have upgraded the rest of our team.

Like I mentioned above, if the bench is an issue at the deadline, rube will address it. But for now, let wise and the young guys have a reason to be hungry in ST. Open spots aren't always a bad thing. Gives people a chance to step it up.


Here are some numbers for you, in age 33-37 seasons:


That's Barry Bonds' OPS+. Hey, if he did it, Polanco could do it, right? Nice argument.

Hey, you keep betting on guys to get better in their mid-30s, and I'll keep betting on them to decline, and we'll see which happens more.

Hey, here's another guy Polanco is similar to, according to B-R:

Mark Loretta OPS+ from 32-37:


Among contemporaries, Polanco is also apparently similar to Carlos Baerga and Todd Walker. Baerga peaked at age 26 and was never good again. Walker had a few good seasons around 30. In his last 3 years, age 32-34:


Look, this is a stupid game. But we don't have to play it. We know that baseball players, in general, peak from around age 27-30, and then decline through their 30s. Obviously, plenty of guys are exceptions to this rule (including Ibanez), though most of those are among the best players already, so you have some selection bias. The average player will NOT improve in his 30s.

I sure hope Polanco does, but I wouldn't bet on it.

And to compare anyone to Julio Franco is like comparing someone to Jamie Moyer. I don't see how it can be done. You're talking about one of the most unique career paths in MLB history.

CC, errr Jack, I get it.

There is a possibility that Polanco could decline.

No one ever said that wasn't so.

The reason you have gone from being just plain ol' Jack to being


is your sarcastic post that dismissed any possibility that Polanco could maintain his level of performance.

Sure, you can find many examples of players who have declined.

So what?

As I demonstrated above, there are many examples of players who have not - particularly elite players.

Polanco, both offensively and defensively, is an elite player.

clout & awh: Take the same approach I did and just start ignoring Jack's posts. I can't tell you how much the quality of the board improves when you start skipping his stuff. mvptommy is even a huge upgrade.

Clout- I'm with you on Hinske. Also bats from the left side and has similar power potential.

Also, here is a name that is out on the fringe but might be able to give you something in the ballpark of Matt Stairs at a decent price- Geoff Jenkins. I'm not sure exactly how that would work because I think they still owe him 1.25 million for this year. But the guy is already owed money by your team and if he by chance kept himself in shape he could be a decent pinch hitter off the bench.

TTI, advice taken.

No more JACK.

Jack: I used Franco because BB-Ref lists him as the player most like Polanco at this age. I agree that his longevity is an outlier. But we're not talking about Polanco at 48, we're talking about him at ages 33-37.

BTW, on your Loretta comp, he's not nearly as good a player as Polly, but even with his fade his OPS+ did rise at age 35 and 36.

Bottom line, I don't think anyone would argue that more players peak in their mid 30s than fade. But not all players are created equal, either. And good OB, low K, non-power hitters tend to last longer.

Frankly, I'd have no problem if Polly follows the Loretta track. That would mean up years at age 35 and 36, off a higher base. Plus, Loretta has always been a bad fielder. Polly has always been a strong fielder and thus has far greater value.

Here's what I'd look for from Polanco in 2010: .290/.345/.410 with half a dozen Sacs and SBs. That would be about 9% more OPS and 3 times the Sacs than Feliz, not to mention far less outs made and far more pitches taken with little to no loss of defense at 3B.

I just hope Charlie has the brains to bat him second (my second choice would be leadoff, where Polly has a career OB of .352, although we know that would never happen.) Polly's career OB with a runner on 1st is .363. Add to that his bunting, H&R and contact skills and this guy is one of the best 2-hole hitters in the game.

Interestingly, his worse career numbers come out of the 7th spot in the lineup, where his skills are totally wasted.

The Jays are looking for "top prospects at pitcher, shortstop and catcher in any deal"....

It's just idle speculation, but sounds like the Jays probably regret not taking some kind of a Happ, Donald, Marson and Carrasco/Knapp deal.

myno: That assumes the Jays would've considered Donald and Marson "top prospects."

Personally, I didn't.

clout, if indeed, you are correct, then a .345 OBP from Polly in 2010 will result in him getting on base 24 more times in 2010 than Feliz did in 2009, ass-u-ming he gets the same number of PA in 2010 that Feliz did in 2009.

What would that translate into?

Well, if he hits in the 7 hole, he'll score 8 more runs than Feliz (62 R in 2009) did, ass-u-ming he scores with the same frequency, 32.3%, that Feliz did (based on the number of times Feliz got on base (192).

Interestingly, if you remember the lineup analysis I did over at, that is right in the range (8-13 R) of the additional runs their calculator said the Phils would score if Polly was subbed in the Phils lineup.

Pythagorean translation: Approx. 1 more win, same as before.

clout, who are the elite C and SS prospects in the minors in all organizations, and where would donald and Marson rank overall in those specific groups.

Just curious.

myno, I don't know that they'll regret not taking that kind of deal for Halladay, but the centerpieces of the Lee deal were the pitchers.

IF Carrasco and Knapp turn out to be decent MLB pitchers, then CLE may well end up with a better return on Lee than the Jays get for Halladay.

Remember, Doc has a FNTC. He may kill a deal that offers the best return for the Jays, because of his desire for ST in FL, or any other reason.

If they don't rade him at all they'll only get two draft picks. What has their track record been for 1st round picks and supplementals?

awh - All signs point to Vic is hitting 7th, not Polanco, so there's a faulty premise with you analysis.

Let me be optimistic for a moment. I think this team scores more runs next year than that. The frequency with which Vic scores will be much higher than 32.3% and Vic's OBP will probably be 10-15 points higher than .345. Just compare what the Phils got out of the 7th hole last year to Vic:

7th: .266/.313/.392, 29 2B, 2 3B, 1 steal
Vic: .292/.358/.445, 39 2B, 13 3B, 25 steals

25 steals would be a conservative estimate with Vic hitting 7th. Additionally, we've seen steady increases in his OBP and BB% every year (5.5, 7.5, 7.3, 8.8). Vic will not score at a 33% rate. He's faster, he has more power, he'll be on 2B and 3B more often, and he'll score from 1B and 3B more often, etc.. And he'll be on base more often (~.360 OBP).

Optimistic, yeah, but you could double that 8-13 RS with Vic down there. I think Polanco could be a 3-4 win improvement considering what he does to the rest of the lineup.

This is all provided the Phils get the same production from the 8-spot. .240/.337/.399 last year (compared to NL average: .253/.326/.371). Schneider is a likely improvement over Bako even if he repeats his poor year last year (I'd think he could get back up to 80+ OPS+ though).

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