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Monday, December 21, 2009

Comments

I hate the lack of a salary cap in baseball. Hate hate hate.

I think this thread is basically stating something that has been discussed a great deal. Also, I think we have come to the conclusion that by the time the end of the 2012 season comes we will be saying(have said) goodbye to some of the core.

I agree that with all this in mind the Lee-Halladay moves make sense. Also think that Amaro would have found a more receptive fan base had he gotten something back in the trade more immediately measurable (a reliever), but I wonder what a package for Morrow would have looked like.

Only speaking for myself, but this is the most interesting minor league season to watch in some time even with the departure of over a half dozen of the system's most projectable names.

JW, I have thought the same thing myself. Howard and JRoll are not going to be pushed by anyone, unless Freddy Galvis miraculously learns how to get better at the plate.

If they somehow extend Howard nad JRoll, they would keep the core infield and offensive core of the team intact, and would have to build around it.


Phils in 2012?

C - Ruiz? 4MM?
1B Howard 22MM?
2B Utley 15MM
SS JRoll 13MM?
3B Polanco 6MM
LF Brown? 450K
CF ???
RF ???

Then again, if it looks like the Cards aren't going to be able to extend Pujols after his option year, maybe they let Howard walk and try to sign Albert the next year?

Who knows? Too much can happen between now and then. Brown may not develop, the young pitchers may flop, Hamels may not return...there are way to many variables that need to be sorted out to make any solid predictions.

Teams can plan, and injuries and free agency can hamper those plans.

Just look at the Red Sox this offseason. They had every intention of bringing Bay back, but his intransigence and his agent basically forced the Bosox to go in another direction. Same with the Yankees and Damon. They wanted him back, but not at what $$$ he was looking for. Result: By the time he got religion it was "Bye, bye, Johnny" time.

The Damon, Bay and, to an extent, Lee situations should represent valuable lessons for MLB players:

Seek top dollar if you wish, but be advised the best offers may not come from places you want to play.

Agreed on the minors. It's going to be an interesting scene in Reading. They're set to have Brown, Amount, Ramirez, Gillies, Galvis. All very intriguing.

Note that two players on the list – Howard and J-Roll – are least likely to be pushed by a high-rising prospect during the next two years.

Are you referring to Galvis and Singleton, specifically, or just making the general statement using SS and 1B as examples?

A lot could change, but Galvis and Singleton pose no threat to former MVPs, where I could see Brown becoming a star.

The Phillies have seemingly put themselves in a the position of having to choose between Victorino and Werth after 2010. Before the trade it was obvious that Werth would be the one to go. Since the trade, it seems that they might have to make an attempt to sign Werth to an extension early.

I've read (can't remember where)that if the Yankees don't obtain Holliday or Bay this season, they will pursue Werth in 2011. If the Phillies could get Werth to agree to 4/40 before he achieves FA, I would keep Werth. If not, maybe they think Victorino can go back to the corners.

Reading is going to be interesting to watch and keep an eye on this year for sure.

Brown will probably ve like Taylor this year if he plays well. Although I could see them giving him a full year at Double A.

I know there has been some back and forth on the prospects we got back from Seattle so the big focus is on how Ramirez, Aumont, and Gillies do there this year. If the three of them play well it will make the haul coming back a lot more comforting and may make the trade not look so lopsided.

Galvis is another interesting test case since he is making the hardest jump in the minors.

The opinion on our system after giving up 7 guys (3 highly regarded) is down right now but good/great seasons by 2 or 3 of these guys, not named Brown, could change that opinion.

I’m really hopeful that Werth is going to be here after this year. I feel like Victorino is an easier player to replace. Maybe not by a lot at this point, but I think Victorino’s playing style could lead to him falling off quicker then Werth in the long run. Also Victorino’s game is based on his speed, so if he starts to slow down I think he becomes a lot less useful, where if Werth lost a few steps he could move to left field and his bat would still be an asset.

At this point, I wouldn’t mind the Phillies trading Howard to make sure they can keep Werth, but that mostly stems from my fears that Howard will fall off much like Mo Vaughn or other big boppers with similar builds.

I think the Pujols situation is going to be very interesting to watch work out. I think the Cards have to find a way to sign him. He just means so much to that franchise. That said if Pujols were to be come available, I would fully endorse the Phillies making a similar trade that they did with Lee and Halladay. The Phillies could trade for Pujols and sign him to an extension and trade Howard to restock the farm. Of course in that scenario I don’t see how they keep Werth.

"I hate the lack of a salary cap in baseball. Hate hate hate."

Yes, the salary caps in the NBA and NHL certainly have been kind to the Sixers and Flyers.

Please try to comprehend this: Philadelphia is one of the largest sports markets in the country. A salary cap hurts, not helps, Philadelphia teams.

FWIW, yesterday I listed the Round 1 and Round 2 draft picks who did not make Sickels just-released Top 20 Phillies prospects list. Also not making the list: Freddy Galvis.

Even less likely than Howard and Rollins to be pushed by a minor league hot shot is Chooch. The only catcher left in the system is Valle, whose defensive skills likely mean a position switch down the road.

As I recall, they removed Tuffy Goosewurst from the 40-man although I don't think he's got enough time to be a 6-year minor league free agent.

Singleton had a great year in the GCL (18 BB to just 13 SO in 100 AB, .290/.395/.440, making the BA top 10), but he's just 17 and we're talking about 31 games. He and Santana are two specimens at the lowest levels (Santana is even younger, 16, and taller, 6'5).

Howard would probably be past his mid-30s by the time Singleton is knocking on the door, even if Singleton powers his way through the minors. It took Rollins 5 years to go from his first season in rookie ball to his first full year as the Phils starter ('96, 2002).

I wonder how many teams in baseball will spend more than the Phillies this year.

Yankees and Red Sox should. The Mets may. Who else? Will the Cubs?

"If the Phillies could get Werth to agree to 4/40 before he achieves FA, I would keep Werth."

mikey, IF Werth has another season in 2010 like he did in 2009, say a .265 - .280, .375, .500 with 33-37 HR, =/> 95 RBI, and 20 SB, he will get offers, IMHO, at least as lucrative as Bay has received this offseason, which was 4/60. He will be a FAR more valuable player than Bay, as he can play all 3 OF positions, and is excellent defensively and on the bases.

So, why on earth would he, on the verge of his biggest payday as a pro, take a discount of at least $20MM from the Phils. For them to keep him (and I'm surely not familiar with his thinking), it would take an offer of at least 4/50 for him to consider, IMHO.

Wouldn't mind hearing the relevant Phils FO players on the trades of both Marson and D'Arnaud. One inference would be that the Phils just didn't think much of D'Arnaud or, after a down hitting year in the Sallie league, saw his impact as remote in time as Valle or any possible future draft pick.

b dub, Mo Vaughn got fat, lazy and tore up his knee. While you can certainly compare him to Howard if you wish, I think Howard showed last offseason and during the season that he is committed to keeping himself "lean and mean" so he can play 1B. It increases his mkt value.

If yo want to compare players with similar builds, a better comparison might be Willie Stargell, who had his best 3 HR season at ages 31-33, and who after the age of 30 hit 279 of his 475 HR, and 885 of his 1540 RBI. He averaged .289 .379 .560 .939 , 29/91 from ages 31-39.

It's not unrealistic to think Howard could put up similar numbers.

Clout: I'm not sure your boy Tuffy was ever on the 40-man. Was he? Naughton was. On the subject of catcher, has anyone heard follow-up information on the international signing of Jorge Alfaro, reportedly for $1.3 million? That's not chump change.

Yankees, Mets, Angels, Cubs, Red Sox. That puts us at #6 or 7. That's pretty damn good, I think, and we still hit the ceiling.

One thing about Amaro, he's thinking 2 or 3 seasons down the line, instead of just next year. No one's got the money to be the Yankees or Red Sox, who can paper over their problems with cash. Everyone else has to think long term.

As for 2011, Werth's gone. With the number of players who are free agents after the 2011 season, they need to have as much payroll flexibility as they can. I'd let Werth go, and either start Brown in RF, or Francisco if Brown hasn't progressed enough. Neither of those players will reproduce Werth's production, but they need all the money they can get. Moyer also comes off the books, and Blanton's a free agent, so that's about 24-25 million off the payroll and should offset the increase due Victorino and Ruiz again. Moyer's the #5, I imagine they'll fill that hole from the farm system, and perhaps land a cheaper starting pitcher for the #4 spot (there are plenty available, list here: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/09/2011-mlb-free-agents.html)

As for the 2012 season, yeah, let Vic walk. Guy will get $8-10 million a year from some team, somewhere, and he's not worth that kind of money. Same thing with Ibanez, he'll be 39, let him go. That's 20 million off the books right there. Between Brown, Gillies, and Gose you should still field an effective outfield. Romero's another 5 million, Madson 6, Lidge 10. Drop 2 of the 3, you free up 30 million (I'd say drop Romero and Lidge, personally, but that's just me).

That 30-35 million more than covers the amount of money you'd need to keep Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard for 2013 and on, and provides some additional money for the bullpen and another outfield free agent.

Is this heartless to talk about Vic, Raul, Lidge, and JC this way? Yes. That's the business of baseball, it's dark side. Will these individuals be worth the money you'd have to pay to keep them compared to what's in your farm system and what will be available through free agency? I don't think they are. That's why I'd let them go. Fan favorite or not can't enter into it.

I think the Phillies should be aggressive with trying to get Werth signed to an extension, but with Howard they might be better served to wait him out a bit. It has been discussed before on here that most of the big market teams will be locked in to their power hitting 1Bs, and Pujols and Gonzalez will possibly be hitting FA at the same time as Howard.Since Howard already makes a ton of money, hopefully they could extend him without having to give him much of a raise when he sees the market is not that strong for him.

Rollins is another guy who the market might not be that strong for at the end of his current deal.

awh, I said, "IF" the phillies could get Werth to sign for 4/40 I would keep Werth. I did'nt say that Werth should accept 4/40. I would'nt want Werth for much more as I think that would hinder the Phillies in re-signing the 'core' players. Werth is not one of the core players and his game will change as he gets older.

Werth is a nice player, but unfortunately people are comparing him to the much over-rated Jason Bay. Bay is'nt worth 60-65 million over 4, and neither is Werth.

"Between Brown, Gillies, and Gose you should still field an effective outfield."


Padrino, you DO realize that at this point these guys are only "prospects", no?

You do realize that only one of them has even played AA yet, no?

You do realize that Gose hasn't even played "High A" ball, no?

You do realize what the success rate of prospects who try to jump from A to AA, no?

I have to believe the Phils are planning to keep either Werth or Vic long term. Even if Brown is close to a sure thing, you can't go from 3 all-stars to crapshoot at 2 outfield positions within 2 years. They will still have at least a $140 million payroll. Its not like they have to start thinking like the Pirates.

Werth will be looking for a payday, but based on nothing, I could see him taking a SLIGHT discount if the Phils sign him long term. He seems to love playing in Philly.


AWH: you take all the fun out of projecting minor league players. ;-)

If the Phils hit their $40M self-imposed cap, their opening day payroll for 2010 will be 33% higher than their opening day payroll in 2009. Wow. In this economy, that's remarkable.

Werth may take a discount and stay here. He probably only just wants enough money to get high and play ball. He can do that here in Philly.

(the above was a joke, I'm not saying Werth does drugs..although his laid back demeanor and occasional lapses...)

Werth at 4/50 would be great. 10/12/14/14 sounds good to me and should keep them in good shape with the budget. I think that would definitely be a hometown discount, but hopefully Werth loves it here as much as it seems he does.

BedBeard raises an interesting point. If this is, to steal a phrase, the current baseball heaven it will be interesting to see if we continue to get the hometown discount. The hunch is for guys like Werth or Vic you may get a little bit of one. But much like Lee these guys haven't broken the bank yet. You can't blame a guy for taking his one shot at a BIG pay day. Certainly we can't expect anyone to leave anything remotely close to Halladay money on the table. That was a once in a blue moon deal.

Somehow after all that Werth has been through, I don't see him taking any kind of discount. He knows the business side as well as anyone having been a casualty before in his career.

He'll go for the big payday.

Strange little entry from Rosenthal on Saturday:

Phils build quality catching depth — 4:04 p.m.

The catcher’s name is Sebastian Valle. He is 19 years old, another example of the Phillies’ minor-league strength.

I had never heard of Valle until Saturday, when a rival executive mentioned his name, saying that the Phillies had traded two catching prospects in the past five months — Lou Marson and Travis D’Arnaud — but had another one coming.

Valle, who spent last season at Single-A, has hit 10 home runs in the Mexican winter league in just 138 at-bats.

“It just shows you the depth they’ve built in the last 5-6 years in Philly," the exec said.

As baseball faces an industry-wide shortage of quality catchers, the Phillies’ recent surplus behind their starter, Carlos Ruiz, looks that much more impressive.

The Phillies traded Marson to the Indians as part of their four-player package for left-hander Cliff Lee in July, and D’Arnaud to the Blue Jays as part of the Roy Halladay blockbuster last week.

Valle?

“He is young. We like him. We still did not want to move D’Arnaud,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The article on Valle sounds like a faux-silver lining painted on the sow's ear.

awh: I’m not saying that Ryan can’t be an all time great and stay productive well into his thirties, I’m just saying I’ve seen enough red flags from similar players to make me question if giving Ryan a big time contract would really be a good idea. I have seen nothing to make me think that Howard can hit .289 over a 3 year span, but I guess you can say similar things about Willie Stargel at the same point in his career.
On Baseball Reference the top comparable players to Howard at this stage are Richie Sexson, Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaughn, Willie McCovey, David Ortiz, Tony Clark, Mark McGwire, and Carlos Delgado. When you look at Willie Stargell names like, Albert Belle, Jason Giambi, & Ryan Klesko start popping up.
There are some great names in there, but also a bunch of guys who make me shiver in bad way. Again, to me this raises a few flags that maybe it’s better to play it safe and let someone else take a chance on signing Howard to a big long term contract.
Maybe if Ryan has another year like this last one I’ll feel better about it, but at this moment I’m still skeptical.

Its interesting to think about how the Phillies farm being highly ranked affects the perception of their prospects. Teams that scout well and trade prospects in high profile deals develop a reputation that might inflate the national standing of individual prospects. That Rosenthal item could exemplify this. Because the Phils farm system has been more publicized than just about any other in the last 6 months, guys (like Valle) get noticed earlier than they might have before. The longer you hear about a prospect, the more of a pedigree they (seem to) have. This phenomenon has long been talked about with the NY teams' prospects. They get overrated because we hear their names all the time. Not saying that any Phillies prospects are necessarily over-rated, just that this is possibly something the team could benefit from in trade talks.

I think both awh and bdub make good points. Which is why I suggest we totally upgrade and sign Pujols. No questions there. What you see is what you get. And even if Howard performs well elsewhere, we'll still have a significant upgrade!

Now, who's going to tell Amaro that Pujols is worth the $40M a year??

I'm not sure the reason we should look to trade Howard is because he might become Mo Vaughn. Especially because he might become Willie McCovey. It's easy to play that game on both sides.

If someone is arguing we trade Howard, it should be because we have someone else to play the position and because that money will be better used elsewhere.

Phils chances of signing Albert Pujols:

0%

Godfather: I love how you project prospects to step right in and start at the major league level in 2011 and 2012. What would you say the chances are of you being right that 3 position players and 2 SPs will step right in from the farm as the players you list leave?

My opinion? Less than 1%.

Oh, wait, I see awh already gave my speech. Sorry, I didn't see it before I posted.

I think people knocking Valle are forgetting recent Phils history. I haven't seen Valle play, so I don't know if he'll be able to stay a catcher.

But only a few years ago, the Phillies brass didn't think that, first, Carlos Ruiz was going to be a good enough defensive catcher to start in the big leagues, and second, didn't think he'd be durable enough to last.

He was a converted second baseman whose strongest tool was his hitting tool. He actually raked in the minors.

Valle is still a kid. And the reports are that he's athletic enough. With the proper instruction and desire (which we have no idea about) he can be a major league catcher. And one that can hit is a valuable commodity.

And I think people are overlooking Tim Kennelly. Not a top prospect, but he may end up being like Eli Marrero, who could play catcher and outfield and add a lot of flexibility. He's a very raw product right now, but I seem to like him more than the Phillies brass does right now.

aksmith: I've never seen Kennelly's name on any prospect list even in the lower depths. Are you sure he's a real prospect?

As for Valle, you are right that he's young enough that he can learn to be a good defensive catcher in time. We can only state with certainty where he is right now. And where he is, in the view of scouts, is a guy with a projectible major league bat and very poor defense, such that the chances are good he'll have to find another position.

But, you're right, in 3 years, the opposite could be true.

Montgomery claimed over the weekend that the Phils are in the red. If things are that tough, with a packed house everynight-- sell!

I see Francisco being the Phillies' rightfielder after next season. No way they will tie up Werth to a big dollar longterm contract unless they're trading Howard. Just don't see that happening, even if it makes financial sense.

And when Vic and Ibanez are gone (Ibanez possibly after next season, traded to the AL to DH), we just have to hope that Brown is ready for left and one of Gillies or Gose (my bet is on Gillies) will be ready for centerfield. That way the budget will have at least a little control.

tobin: The correct response from a reporter when Monty says that is, "How much did ownership pull out of the franchise last year in salaries, dividends, expenses etc?"

It is not a question that will be answered.

I was wondering how long it would take Clout to respond to Godfather's post. Apparently he was away from his computer. Nice of AWH to step up to the plate though.

"Phils chances of signing Albert Pujols:

0%

Posted by: CJ"


CJ, I beg to differ.

Phils chances of signing Albert Pujols:

<0%.

aksmith: After reading your post I thought my memory was faulty on Chooch because I recall him being touted as a defense-first catcher, never recall him as a big hitting prospect or anything about 2B.

So I looked him up. Chooch hit .277, .261 and .213 in his first 3 years in the minors with no power at ages 21-23. His defense, however, was excellent. He threw out 32% of base-stealers his first year as a pro. In fact he had strong defensive numbers throughout the minors. Also, he never played an inning at 2B. He did play a couple games in RF and a couple at 1B.

Other than that, your assessment is fine.

"Montgomery claimed over the weekend that the Phils are in the red. If things are that tough, with a packed house everynight-- sell! "

I wondered if year end was going to see some partnership buy / sell changes in the Phillies ownership?

Some old money wanting out while they are on top ?

Completely foundation-less and therefore a great BL speculation.

What you are missing is the fact that the Phillies do need to expand revenue in several areas. For instance, looking at the Yankees and BoSox, they both own their own cable TV channels. The Phillies do not. You can't expand the budget when part of your TV money is being shared with the Flyers--oops, sorry--Comcast, so they can earn a profit and make their shareholders, named Snider, happy.

I read a report, about two years ago, how the Phillies had contracted the Nielson ratings people to provide enhanced reporting for their radio broadcasts. What do you think that was about?

I suggest RAJ: 1) Buy 1210 AM; and 2) form a comptetive cable network, similar to the former PRISM network, to sell Phillies games and movies HBO and Showcase will sell you.

Part 1 is easy, and it would earn a profit in the first year.

Part 2 isn't so easy, because Comcast owns many of the cable TV lines and, like the Nationals found out when they and the Orioles founded MASN, Comcast doesn't like adding cost by providing more channels, when Comcast loses the profit from selling Orioles and (potentially) Nationals games on their own network.

Kennelly is an aussie.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/K/Tim-Kennelly.shtml

Looks like he's a bit old.

Squonk, someone postedon the prior thread that the Phillies DO own some percentage of CSN Philly.

And the Sox don't own all of NESN either, although their share is much larger than the Phils 66% share in CSNP. They own 80%, Bruins 20%.

Oop, just misspoke. Phils own the 33% share.

Sophist - 22 in AA is a bit old? Interesting.

Clout - Ruiz was a second baseman when they signed him and they converted him to catcher. And I suppose that by picking and choosing, you could certainly show that someone stinks. However, I've looked up Ruiz's minor league numbers and can't find yours. Here's Ruiz' minor league numbers from Baseball Prospectus. I suppose you missed these in your exhaustive search and found something else?:

Year Team
2003 Clearwater__ .315
2003 Reading_____ .259
2004 Reading_____ .278
2004 pho AFL .257
2005 Scranton/W-B .289
2006 Scranton/W-B .308

How would Raul be gone in 2011? Who is going to pick up his salary? he may be gone at the END of 11, but not b4 it.

I just want to be clear that I would only trade Howard if it meant somehow getting Pujols or if it was the difference between keeping Werth or not.

At this point in time I would lean towards keeping Werth of the two, since I’d imagine Werth would be much more affordable to keep as far as price and years go. I also think Werth will age better, but I’ll admit that I don’t have a lot to base that off of. I’m open to changing that opinion though. If Werth’s OPS+ dips below the 120 range and /or Howard has another OPS+ season in the 140 range then I guess I would be open to leaning the other way.

In the interest of full discloser, my love for Werth might be a little irrational at times. I first started liking him when he was a Dodger, and seeing a guy that you think has promise end up on your team and then fulfill that promise, I’m sure, can cloud one's judgment.

ak - Kennelly was 22 last year and played most of the year in FL (where he did play well). He then played just 37 games in AA, hitting only .256/.338/.393. I imagine he'll be starting age 23 in AA. Michael Taylor, oft-criticized on account of his age started his age 23 year in AA as well (and his career minor league numbers were much, much better than Kennelly's. Yes, 23 in AA is a bit old.

As for Ruiz, here are his complete minor league numbers. He didn't start hitting for average until very late.

20 - rk - .277
21 - A - .261
22 - A+ - .213
23 - A+ - .315 (15 games)
23 - AA - .266
24 - AA - .284
25 - AAA - .300
26 - AAA - .307

His SLG was under .400 at every level he where he played significant time until his age 24 season in Reading.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/R/Carlos-Ruiz.shtml

Thank you for looking it up.

The BoSox own a controlling interest in NESN, the Yankees own all of YES, which was my point.

The Phillies need more revenue if they hope to deal with the BoSox and Yankees head-to-head on salaries.

--replies appear, below--

Squonk, someone postedon the prior thread that the Phillies DO own some percentage of CSN Philly.

Posted by: awh | Monday, December 21, 2009 at 01:27 PM

And the Sox don't own all of NESN either, although their share is much larger than the Phils 66% share in CSNP. They own 80%, Bruins 20%.

Posted by: Sophist | Monday, December 21, 2009 at 01:32 PM

Oop, just misspoke. Phils own the 33% share.

I always thought it was curious that the new wave of ballparks have had, for the most part, much smaller seating capacities than the old parks. Obviously the coziness makes for a much better viewing experience. And I, for one, absolutely love CBP. But you can't help but wonder if the Phillies aren't wishing they had built it just a bit bigger. Even 5000 more seats could buy you a pretty decent starting pitcher. Back when the park was built I know I wasn't sitting around thinking "what happens in 6 or 7 years when we're selling out the joint every nigh?" But then again it wasn't my job to be thinking about that. I'll bet it was someone's though and that guy dropped the ball. It is chilling to think that the Phillies are just about maxed out in revenues. There aren't a whole lot more revenue streams to tap into at this point short of starting a network that is entirely their own. And I don't think anyone is going to predict that. Hard to believe how things have changed.

BTW--Jason, you asked for an advertiser/sponsor in the header for your blog. How do I inquire?

A man's got to know his limitations. - Clint Eastwood

Sophist - Seems to me that Ruiz had exactly one poor season in High A ball. And I never said he was a 16 year old slugging the ball like Ted Williams.

Michael Taylor was clearly the better offensive player. However, he's a corner outfielder. Catchers are not exactly expected to have the same offensive output. Don't you agree?

And as for Kennelly, the guy is a borderline prospect at this point. However, if hitting "only" .256 in your first stint in AA is so bad, and he's so old, then I guess Taylor is just going to stink out loud. Because he always took a while to adjust after being moved up a level.

You're so married to what you write, that you'll actually write something even sillier to make it true in your mind. Yeah, Kennelly may not progress as hoped. And the Phillies organization sure seems to doubt him. But that Ruiz guy was a bit of a late bloomer as was Victorino. I see promise in Kennelly and if he gets to AAA and has a cup of coffee by the time he's 26, then he'll have beaten Jason Jaramillo to the majors. And he seems to be a fair backup at least, don't you think?

b dub, do not discount defense in your evaluation of players. That is why, in my post above, I referenced Werth's D and said it makes him a much more valuable player than Bay. I stand by that opinion.

Werth is one of the top 2-3 players at his position in MLB, especially when you take into account defense. The other two are Upton and Ethier. Werth, one could argue, is more 'valuable' than either of them because of his ability to play any OF position, particularly CF, if called upon to do so.

So, the Phils may make the determination that keeping Werth and his GG calibre defense is far more advantageous than keeping Howard despite the large gap in offensive production.

One of the things hurting Jason Bay's mkt value right now is that he's been slowed by a bum knee and is considered an extreme liability in the field.

I agree, donc. Despite what many people feel about The Vet, it seated 60,00+ for baseball, and I remember more than a few Cubs and Dodger games being sold out at The Vet.

But now we have "suites," which supposedly compensate for the loss of attendance.

Not that the Phillies couldn't have sold 100,000 seats for every game for the recent World Series games.... at $250+ a pop.

But I agree.
--original post appears, below--
I always thought it was curious that the new wave of ballparks have had, for the most part, much smaller seating capacities than the old parks. Obviously the coziness makes for a much better viewing experience. And I, for one, absolutely love CBP. But you can't help but wonder if the Phillies aren't wishing they had built it just a bit bigger. Even 5000 more seats could buy you a pretty decent starting pitcher. Back when the park was built I know I wasn't sitting around thinking "what happens in 6 or 7 years when we're selling out the joint every nigh?" But then again it wasn't my job to be thinking about that. I'll bet it was someone's though and that guy dropped the ball. It is chilling to think that the Phillies are just about maxed out in revenues. There aren't a whole lot more revenue streams to tap into at this point short of starting a network that is entirely their own. And I don't think anyone is going to predict that. Hard to believe how things have changed.

aksmith: My numbers are from Ruiz's first 3 years as a pro.

Let's review what you wrote:

"The Phillies brass didn't think that, first, Carlos Ruiz was going to be a good enough defensive catcher to start in the big leagues...He was a converted second baseman whose strongest tool was his hitting tool. He actually raked in the minors."

Maybe he played 2B is high school? He never played it in the minors. As his CS stats show he was outstanding defensively from the get-go. As for hitting being his strongest tool, again the facts show just the opposite. His first 3 seasons were .277, .261 and .213 each in a league where he was old for the level and with no power.

He eventually developed into a good hitter, his breakthrough year coming at Reading in 2004 when his HR total jumped from 4 to 17 and his SLG from .359 to .484. The defense was always good, but that year at Reading is what moved him up the prospect list.

In other words, he was a solid defensive catcher with a weak bat until his 4th year as a pro. The exact opposite of what you said he was.

aksmith says Kennelly is a prospect even though I've never seen him on a list. He looks like organizational filler to me. FWIW, Baseball America did not list Kennelly on its Phillies minor league catcher depth chart so he's not even in the top 6 among Phils catching farmhands.

WillyFromPhilly:

I believe the exact quote is, "a man has to know his limitations." It is from "Magnum Force" or "The Dead Pool," not quite sure which.

Thank you for quoting one of my best, "stick it in your face" quotes.

Squonk: I should also add that while I found it curious that the new parks were so much smaller I thought it was a great trend. I still do and teams should be applauded for valuing the quality of the experience so much over the quantity of patrons. But man if we just had a few thousand more seats maybe Lee and Halladay do appear in the same rotation.

If I'm Werth and I were offered 4-50 I would sign immediately. If his upside is 4-60 and the worst case is career ending injury, he would be foolish to not sign.



ak - Chill out and read what I wrote. I said Kennelly was "a bit old." That's quite a bold statement to be married to, isn't it? 23 is a bit old for AA. Even 22 is. 21 is the ideal age for AA. I cited Taylor only because he hit Reading at the same age and everyone knows people question his age. What exactly did you think I wrote?

Now, Clout. Since when is CS% the measure of outstanding defense in a catcher. There are multiple parameters that go into evaluating the glove side of catching including CS, but the most important part of catching is handling pitchers. And the Phillies never thought Ruiz was the guy who could do that.

And even though Ruiz didn't play second in the minors, he was converted from a second baseman. HE HAD NEVER PLAYED A SINGLE INNING AT CATCHER BEFORE BEING SIGNED IN 1998. They thought his arm would be an asset at catcher, and turns out they were right. Is English your second language?

Werth has been around for over 7 years, and last year was his first full year as a starter. Given his injury history and general uncertainty, if the Phils have any interest in keeping him for a few more years, he's the perfect player for a discounted multi-year extension.

I can think of 2 reasons Werth would give a discount. He likes playing here, and the Phils gave him a chance when no one else would. If he looks at Doc as an example, he has to ask himself this: What can I buy for $60M that I can't buy for $50M?

Sophist - I guess it's that I don't see 23 in AA for a catcher, moreso than other positions, as old, a bit old, or even a smidge old. Especially for an Australian, who was behind before he got started because of his country handicap. In fact, it would not surprise me with the weakness in catching on the Phils' farm if Kennelly advances to AAA this season if he has any success at all in AA.

Dear donc

I like bathrooms and consessions close to where I am seating, too. Ever been to Fenway or Wrigley? Oy, vey!!

But my larger point is that the BoSox have an inferior park, seating barely more than 30k, and they still bring more money in to pay salaries. The Phillies, despite having a better park which has around 50% more capacity, can't meet them on salary, because their revenues are lower.

One, at some point, has to ask, "why?"

My original post hinted at how a "new ballpark" does not mean domination, but much like everything in baseball, it simply brings the opportunity.

I love and cherish everything the Phillies have given me the past two years. Nothing, outside of marriage and birth of children, can replace it.

What I was trying to do, in a common-sense way, was address the matter in Jason's post forthrightly, "unrealistic expectations," and try to address this matter directly.

--original post appears, below--

Squonk: I should also add that while I found it curious that the new parks were so much smaller I thought it was a great trend. I still do and teams should be applauded for valuing the quality of the experience so much over the quantity of patrons. But man if we just had a few thousand more seats maybe Lee and Halladay do appear in the same rotation.

Short article on Ruiz's conversion from 2B to catcher:

Position switch became a springboard for Ruiz

Squonk: I agree with you completely. And yes I have been to Fenway though not to Wrigley. I absolutely love the place but honestly wouldn't trade it for CBP unless the Sawx would throw in a 20 year old Ted Williams.

For Aussies, I'd give them an extra year of development, before I determine one way or another. The talent he's playing with/against here is obviously so much better than Australia.

Anyone care do drag up my larger point, other than donc, how the Phillies need to generate more revenue to pay salaries?

Ideas? Other, than raising ticket prices?

"Agostinelli already knew Ruiz could hit and he saw enough potential in his arm to make him an offer. Ruiz signed with the Phillies for $8,000 a few days later and reported to the Dominican Summer League."

Yeah, they knew he could hit. Funny about that. His hitting tool was his best tool. And he had never caught a game before they signed him.

Grandslamsingle, thank you for that link. I could not find it when I searched. I knew I should ditch that alta vista search engine.

ak - Seems reasonable enough. Not sure why you felt the need to lash out at me.

awh: I completely agree about Werth’s defense, I just didn’t put it in my post. I mean, Howard has to greatly out perform Werth offensively to justify even conceder keeping him over Werth. If they both have OPS+ in the 120-130 range then, in my mind, Werth is clearly the way to go. That is if it is a question of one over the other. If the Phillies can find a way to keep both then that’s groovy.

Didn't mean to lash out. I suppose the smarminess of some posters here can get a little thick at times and it gets me a bit p.o.'d.

And I don't see many admitting they were off base when they were. I am mistaken many times, and when I am, I am wrong. While some here are often mistaken, but they are never wrong.

squonk: you could send a ad inquiry to the email link posted in the right sidebar.

Jason:

Write me, because your right sidebar has, apparently, four different advertisers "merchants," "proud sponsors", etc.

Owners have made new stadiums smaller to decrease supply and hence drive up demand & cost. Basic ECON 101. Fan experience was a secondary concern.

MG: Economic data would be prefered.

No wonder everyone in DC only hires people "inside the beltway." Oy, vey!

What we have here is someone who points out high school economics to someone who can identify all the bathroom and phones in the oval office.

I hate to pull rank, but...

I really am smarter then you, MG. So, there!

READ FIRST, COMMENT LATER. That was always your flaw.

Not terribly relevant to this thread but it made me chuckle in a good kind of way...
The braves have just extended the contract on one Chip Caray to continue to be their flagship announcer. Maybe I disliked him more than most, but I thought he was horrible, just horrible, nails on chalk board horrible. I mean i could go on, but I wont'.

It makes me happy, oh so happy, that the couple of hunderd brave fans are subjected to listening to him call their games. This is the same type of feeling that I had this year, when ever I had a bad day at work, I would just go visit metsblog for a couple of minutes, and all of sudden I felt much better. I believe there is a big long german word for this feeling but it escapes me now. Chip Caray hehhehe, dopey braves fans, ah what a sigh of contentment that they get stuck with him.

WTF is going on here today?

Some of you people really need to relax... settle down... find some perspective.

Wow...

What makes anyone think the Phillies are interested in finding new sources of revenue for the purpose of raising their payroll? This is the same group that was a-OK w/ the status quo for the first 15-20 years they owned the franchise, & those teams largely sucked. Coming off of the opening of a new ballpark & back-to-back World Series appearances it's likely we've witnessed the high water mark for spending for these folks. Hell, Monty is already claiming poorhouse & the club is worth substantially more than it ever has been. Perhaps the Phils do seek out & find a few more streams of income, but I doubt they're gonna plow that money right back into the team on the field. It's not this group's M.O.

Hey Squonk64,

The janitor in my building can ID all the Phones/Bathrooms too. Does that make him smart, wait a second...are you really the janitor to the president? Can you ID trash cans? IS trash cans a PC term or do you refer to them as something less derogatory?

Okay, I spent the day Christmas shopping so I dont have time to more than just skim the thread...

Here goes:

1. Kennelly is not a prospect. He's as much a prospect as Chris Coste or Andy Tracy. He might see the MLB but I wouldn't be writing him into any future lineups quite yet.

2. Valle could be a very good hitter but his defense needs work from all reports. D'Arnaud was a much higher ranked prospect even if Valle's offense exploded in the Mexican League this fall.

3. The smaller stadium created demand and made the Phillies a hard ticket to get. Sure, we could have maybe gotten a 50K seat stadium but a good number of those extra seats would be further away from the field and thus lower $$ seats anyway. Its better to have a 45,000 seat stadium and price it accordingly.

4. Werth wouldn't take a 4/40 contract...that's crazy talk. 4/50 is a slim possibility but still a long-shot.

5. Everyone really needs to relax...what's th big deal with all the ripping of fellow regulars?

PS. Monty is a lying ass. I'm sure the Phillies are turning a profit even if it doesnt show on paper. The Owners cut just got bigger instead to keep them in the red for tax purposes. Crying poor when you've sold out every game for 2 years and raised ticket prices significantly is BS.

The Mets are looking at bringing Pedro back on something like 1 year, $7.5 million. I can't possibly see that going wrong for them. Honestly, as great as it was to see him in a Phillies uniform, he could barely stay healthy for 8 weeks...though that 8 inning 130 pitch performance he had was spectacular.

Damn shame he had the flu during the WS.

I love how G-Town Dave runs off a nice "they're cheap" rant on an ownership group that's raising their opening day payroll by a whopping 33% in the middle of a steep economic downturn.

Typical.

We could very well end up with the 3rd or 4th highest payroll in baseball...that's not too shabby.

Its hard to call the Phillies cheap, but it is lame for Montgomery to say they are 'in the red'. Clearly only some accounting trickery (deducting owners' pay, dividends, etc.) could show them as taking a loss. I have no problem with them having a budget, but the owners should be honest about the fact that they are making money.

Who cares what Dave Montgomery says? Big f-in deal. And who knows whether he's personally making money. Big f-in deal. Some people get caught up in the most meaningless matters.

Here's what I care about: Are they trying to win. I don't think there's any question about that.

That'll be funny if the Mets sign Pedro to $7.5 million. It'll also be funny if they are desperate enough to give Jason Bay what he's asking for. I predict Bay hits 25 home runs in that ballpark, plays bad defense and is way overpaid for at least half of his contract.

Speaking of Bay, Jayson Werth has to be watching what Bay and Holiday sign for. When he hits another 35 HRs this year he'll sign for somewhere in the middle of those two. No way he's taking 4/$40 million.

You really think he'd get 25 HRs? My guess would be 20.

In all honestly, I just overlayed Bay's HR hit chart with CitiField and he would only lose 4, maybe 5 HRs total. And that's if he played all 162 games at Citifield.

His average HR distance was 389 ft and most of his HRs would easily have cleared the fence even at Citifield. He's a straight pull hitter to LF.

Hit Chart - http://hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2009_146&type=hitter

Citi Field - http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/112914/3317225924_93c301ee56.jpg

Ignore the yellow marks on the Citi Field...there are not related to Bay's HRs.

squonk - The short answer is 'no' the Phils can't substantially create more sizable revenues streams in the short-term. They can push more merchandise and increase the price of concessions a bit more.

The only likely real way they have of notably increasing revenues besides ticket prices is advertising sales. They probably have been able to push for stronger TV/radio ad rates this offseason because of their much stronger ratigns but at the same time the advertising market is in the cr@pper. Can't imagine they are in a position to command notably greater ad rates. Plus, more large advertisers lock-in multiple years.

Phils don't have a VP of Bus Dev but I would imagine that most of these tasks to find additional revenue streams largely fall with David Buck who is the SVP, Marketing & Advertising Sales. It would be interesting to ask some of these questions to him because he is probably the best person in the Phils' organization able to answer them.

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EST. 2005

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