Part of

« Monday notes: Phillies revisit Lowell; Coste a Met | Main | Beerleaguer 5 questions with ESPN's Jayson Stark »

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Backup Catcher? CHECK!

Nice signing.

I failed to notice that we're into this new thread. From the end of the last thread:

Mike, you're right. I overlooked and failed to criticize Conshy Matt's remark about the Saints having good ownership. The Saints ownership is generally considered to be mediocre to bad. The Saints lucked out in signing Sean Payton. It wasn't astute ownership in his hiring. Even a bad owner occasionally makes a step without stepping in dog dirt. Winning seems to make bad owners look good. Even the Phillies have the same owners that were lambasted just a few years back as being both stupid and cheap.

More football from last night. What do you all think about the Patriots throwing in the towel with more than five minutes left in the game by pulling all their stars? Pretty piss poor in my opinion.

Good signing, and something the Phils needed.

I'm still kinda surprised by this deal. Schneider probably could have pressed for a place to play without a starter as entrenched as ruiz. And I'm fairly certain he could have gotten more than $2.75M.

Assuming his injury woes don't carry over (and let's hope the physical showed us that), this is a really solid signing. It's the kind of bench signing that good teams need to get over the hump.

It sounds like he took a discount to play in Philly for a contendor.

I'm baffled why Rodeo Jones thinks we need to sign or aqcuire a long-term 3B solution this year. As if it won't be possible next year.

If I'm not mistaken, Aramis Ramirez is an FA next off-season.

If the best deal out there this year is a one-season guy, you do it.

Will Werth take a discount to continue playing for the Phillies?

Solid signing. Maybe this is what Amaro means when he says that he is primarily looking for players that want to win. His bat is definitely nothing to write home about, but he's likely to offer at least $1.5MM in value in the 60 or so games he's going to play next year (similar to what he produced for the Mets last season in 52 game starts).

Question is...why did he perform so well against the Phillies? (small sample size and randomness arguments nonwithstanding) Was it because he wanted to put on a good showing for the folks watching in his hometown? In which case we should expect 273/.354/.412 this year? Or was it because he just had the Phillies number, in which case, we should expect something south of .251/.323/.374. Hopefully it's the former and not the latter.

Ramirez has a player option for 2011...that he'd be stupid to not use.

From Cots:

11:$14.6M player option, 12:$16M club option ($2M buyout)

Looks like Amaro strengthened the bench and the back up catcher at the same time.

In other news, Halladay reportedly won't accept a mid-season trade:

I hate to bring up Halladay - AGAIN - but does this news mean Halladay's price just became cheaper?

Updated the header with my take on the signing.

re: Werth

Werth might take a discount, and for all intents and purposes, that could take form in the disincentive of his Type A free-agency. That said, the guy is capable of $15-20MM/yr and is likely to command $12-15MM/yr as THE premier corner/center field FA next year. It doesn't make sense for him (or the Phillies, who have Taylor and Brown sitting in the wings) to continue playing with the Phillies for less than $10MM/yr. Nobody has what he has to offer in terms of offense and defense.

Tigers declined to offer Polanco arbitration.

Hey Jason... I think you meant "woo" instead of "woe."

I like trading with the Red Sox for Lowell although it depends on the level of his and Dobbs' health. I think a fair 3-way trade that would work well with the Friars (Padres) and Boston is Lowell, Almanzar (prospect 3b), Chris Young ($6.25MM salary dump by Pads) and $6M going to the Phillies, Domingo Santana and Carpenter/organizational filler pitcher going to the Sox, and Bastardo going to the Padres (who saw him dominate them this past season) as part of a Red Sox package for A. Gonzalez.

Everybody wins!

does anyone know if the press conference is today or not?

Lake Fred: Werth's 30 now and 2011 might be his's only chance at a big, big contract. Maybe he offers a small discount to the Phillies, but this is going to be his one chance to really cash in and he deserves it.

Not crazy about this signing. My plan would be to save our money for high quality pitching rather than spend good money for a premium backup. Our pitching philosophy these days seems to value quantity over quality. All that matters in October is quality. I'd love to see us grab R. Soriano for instance...

If the Phillies' position players can stay healthy and provide as much value as can be expected next year (Rollins and Dobbs bounce back; Ibanez and Vic fall a little; Utley, Werth, Howard, Francisco and Ruiz produce about the same), and so long as Castro and other bench players aren't deadweight like Bruntlett and Stairs, then it won't really matter much who the Phillies get at 3B in terms of winning the division. Ideally, they'll sign the cheapest person who can provide about $11MM+ in terms of overall value.

To me, a bigger concern is the pitching. I'm assuming the bullpen collectively is somewhat productive; Lidge bounces back somewhat, Madson stays the same, Romero and the new guy replace Park's production. Lee's decline in performance will likely be countered by Hamels' increase in production; they should produce about the same next year. Blanton and Happ should combine to provide 100 ERA+ pitcher production out of two rotation spots (4,5). The big hole is the need for a productive #3 pitcher.

The conundrum is that in order to compete with the top tier teams like the Yanks and Red Sox (and others depending on what happens in the offseason) they need probably $25MM in total value out of the 3B and starting pitcher spot. And most likely they can spend no more than $10MM to get that $25MM (not accounting for trades during the season).

That leaves finding a solid #3 starter during the season; whether it's Drabek (I have serious doubts about that for this upcoming season) or someone else. They could see how KK/Bastardo/Moyer do for a couple months, but regardless of performance, they'll need someone that can pitch better than Blanton and Happ and none of those pitchers can likely do that sustainably over a season. I think it might be wise to trade mid-season for a pitcher who'll be a FA next year...there are plenty, but one that might be a really good but costly fit is Brandon Webb.

Lee, Hamels, Webb/Drabek, Blanton, Happ.

As for the bullpen, the Phillies should offer arbitration to Condrey and sign the cheaper of either Park or Duchscherer. Bastardo and Escalona can pitch it out over the season to be the lefty BP piece in addition to Romero.

Lidge, Madson, Romero, Park/Duke, Mathieson, Bastardo/Escalona.

One last longer-term thing to address is the management of the team's finances. The Phillies need to either structurally increase revenue streams or start developing a solid, cost-effective, 3B and mid-INF prospect. LaMar has done a great job since taking over and I can only hope someone like Flande will pop out of nowhere to be the Phillies' future 3B/backup middle IF.

Jayson Stark says Phils won't offer arbitration to either Park or Eyre.

He also reports the Phils are kicking the tires on John Smoltz. Which makes sense since Smoltz is 42. ;-)

I wanted to see Park back. He did a great job out of the bullpen.

I totally called this move back in August. No, really. What do you mean, you don't care?

The Phillies' rotation is fine.

Here are the average ERAs by rotation spot (this is from 2006, I couldn't find anything more recent):

1) 3.60
2) 4.14
3) 4.58
4) 5.10
5) 6.24

The Phillies are likely looking at about 3.20 from Lee, 3.70 from Hamels, 4.20 from Blanton, 4.50 from Happ, and 4.80 from Moyer/Kendrick. Barring multiple injuries, the Phillies' rotation is well above-average.

Given this fact, and knowing that pitching comes at a premium in the free agent market, doesn't it make more sense to improve the 600+ PAs at third base and the 200+ PAs at backup catcher, two areas at which the Phillies were horrible offensively in 2009?

I like it

JBird - Park was the best Phillies reliever in terms of value. -- at around $7MM. Even with a discount, his likely arbitrated cost is probably way more than the $1.5/2.5MM the Phillies were willing to pay.

Can't say I understand not offering arbitration to Chan Ho Park. I'd love to have him back on a 1-year deal.

TNA - you said we need to sign someone for cheap who will provide about 11MM in production.

Do you have a possible example of who this might be? And what sort of stats will get about 11MM in production?

What, if anything, does not offering Park arbitration mean for Phils ability to sign him?

Park would probably decline arbitration as he wants to be a starter. He won't start with the Phillies. Until he figures out he won't start with anyone (unless they stink) he won't sign with the Phils.

Jr. should offer arbitration to Park and get the sandwich pick.


You're right if you mean the rotation is fine to win the NL East.

It is not fine if you want to win the WFS.

They need another stud.

DH Phils - Would you have liked it if the arbitration decided to agree with the player and the Phillies were saddled with a $4-5MM+ contract for a long-reliever?

Also, in terms of the rotation, the Phillies may be "above-average" but of all the top contenders, they are way way below-average. In the NL, they can survive because of their offense. However, against the AL, which have offenses that are better than the Phillies, their pitching is almost shameful. Compare the Phillies rotation and overall pitching last year to the rotations of last year's playoff teams Rockies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Twins. They were far behind everybody except for the Twins. Granted, having Lee for the entire year will provide about $20MM in value. And hopefully Hamels will improve to provide about the same. Blanton and Happ can reliably offer about $8-10MM. What they need, especially in the playoffs, is a #3 starter who is worth about $15MM (but only cost about $5-8MM)

I'm glad about the Schneider signing. We lose very little defensively when he plays. Batting wise he seems to kill the Phillies, maybe now he will kill the Mets instead :-).
A good signing by Rube.

RE: Smoltz, a split contract with an invite to Spring Training and a "release me" clause if I'm not on the Major League team by June 1 sounds good to me. We get another veteran option for the 5th starter slot -- you can't have too many with Moyer's health now in question.

Smoltz has been highly critical of CBP in the past...I seriously doubt he'd consider signing with us.

****RE: Smoltz, a split contract with an invite to Spring Training and a "release me" clause if I'm not on the Major League team by June 1 sounds good to me. ****

Why would he agree to that considering his final month with STL where he actually pitched fairly well?

Lake Fred: XM radio solves one of your problems, ask Santa for it. Thanks for saying my post inspired you the other day, but it was your posts(on the Cole & Heidi musings)that inspired me.

CY - I said they should sign/acquire the cheapest 3B player to provide at least $10MM. As for who is cheap, it depends on what you define as 'cheap'. I think DeRosa, Glaus, Beltre, Figgins, Lowell can all provide $10MM in value, some with more risk than others obviously. Figgins had an outlier year last year, but usually produces about $12-13MM. Beltre has a higher baseline at around $15MM, but he had a bad year last year. Glaus and DeRosa can probably be counted on to provide $9-11MM in value. In any case, sign the cheapest guy that can provide about that value.

TNA: Fair point about Park.

I disagree though with your assessment of the rotation. With a full season of Cliff Lee's 3.11 FIP (and losing Myers' homer-induced 6+ FIP), the Phillies are close to being in line with the AL teams and Colorado.

TNA: Your post of 2:45 p.m. reads like a bad acid trip.

I like the Schneider signing. He's very solid. I believe him to be the best possible catcher to add to the roster (who won't be a starter somewhere else). I hope Charlie starts him twice a week.

CY - as for production, value is the combination of both offense and defense, so there isn't any particular "line". Feliz, for instance, despite being horrendous with the bat this year, provided about $5.7M in value this past season because of his defense.

From Todd Zolecki:
His agent Brodie Van Wagenen, said Schneider had opportunities with three teams to be the primary catcher, but chose the Phillies because he likes the coaching staff and players and because they have a chance to win."

Kind of funny that he and Coste are flipping teams.

Re: Pitching. My initial take is we'll miss Park and Eyre and should attempt to keep them if possible. I agree our rotation could use some strengthening; however, presumably, Cole will bounce back. Jamie's a question mark given his age and his injuries. KK's not proven himself yet. Not sure how Happ will fare in his sophomore season, either. So there are some question marks there. Cliff = our CC; Cole = our AJ; Blanton? = our Pettite (maybe). And since we don't pitch on short rest, we need 4 strong starters for postseason.

clout - go ahead and rip it apart.

Way too much being made of the Schneider signing. He's had health issues, is 33, and hit .218 with a .292 OBP. Not exactly a big bat, plus he hits into DP's. It's an upgrade over Bakko, but just about any catcher would be. An OK move by Amaro. Not a good bench move by any stretch. Backup catchers aren't used as PH's often.

As expected, Tejada was NOT offered arbitration. Add him to the list of possible 3B for us.

Mike and Lake Fred:

You're right about Benson - I was thinking about his rumored potential move even as I was typing. I guess I keep remembering him from the mid 80's dancing on the sidelines. I actually lived in the neighborhood with Bum Phillips and all the assistant coaches!

I do miss the food but I gorge myself nearly yearly on visits. I love Cheesteaks too!

Lurie's ownership, while successful to a point, is acceptant of the status quo and arrogant bordering on the obsense. There's a reason so many fans hate the Eagles brass.

and in other news - Chip Caray is fired from TBS.

TNA: "The decision was influenced by harsh reviews for Caray, 44, from media critics and many fans following his mistake-plagued work in this year's postseason coverage, a Turner official confirmed."

Pete - wow.

re: Chip Caray. thank god, he was terrible. there was one call he totally blew during the Detroit / Minn one-game-playoff that really got me. I think he called a flare out a 'line drive'..

re: Schneider. backup catcher that hit .218. eh.. least they didn't pay much for him.

Is Carey the guy who said "and the throw home" during the Rollins walk off against the Dodgers, when there wasn't even a throw home?

Am I missing something, why wouldn't we offer arb to Chan Ho? I don't get it

What's with all of this excitement about Schneider? Yes, he was a Phillies killer which means two things: a) he won't kill the Phils anymore and b) he never got any hits off any other teams. Schneiders numbers in New York were atrocious and I don't know why people think he'll be any better here. He is slightly better than Coste for quite a bit more money.

The only reason I can think of not offer arb to Park, is that he must of promised Chan Ho he wouldn't, just like when he promised him a chance to win a starting job.


Stark says Phils didn't offer arb to Park or Eyre because they didn't want to risk being saddled with a dollar amount set by arbitration.

Phils will work to bring both back but feel there are more than enough relievers on the market that they can get the right arms at the right price.

The Yankees also declined to offer arbitration to any of their eligible players. They also hope to bring some or all back.

What the Phillies did today is neither surprising, nor outside the norm for today's economic climate. Arbitration can lead to a single-season burden depending on the player. The Phils are well positioned to simply fill those roles with Park and Eyre or other players.

The question remains... who will those players be?

Seems like an unnecessary waste of cash to me. Is Schneider an OK backstop? Sure, but whats the use of a $1.25mm backup who shouldn't get much time with a bat that doesn't make him a serviceable pinch hitter (his career OPS is under .700 and he is not improving). Plus the injury risk.

@loctastic The call in the Min-Det "playoff" game at the end of the season was:

"Line drive base hit - double play!"

Slugdog: Who would you rather have as the backup catcher? After all, no bench player is likely to see as many at bats or playing time as the backup catcher.

The backup catcher for the Phillies has gotten 250+ PAs in each of the last 4 seasons for the Phillies. It is likely more than twice as important as the Castro futility infielder role.

Go ahead and file the first sentence of my last post in the Department of Redundancy Department.

Goodtimes: there's nothing else to talk about besides Schneider and he's good for a backup catcher. Who should they have signed? If you are a strong defensive catcher and you can hit even a little bit, someone will give you a starting job.

Yo, newer thread

Schneider is GARBAGE. Enjoy him.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel