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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Comments

Good. Would much rather Vazquez depart the division than Lowe. Arodys is the only guy the Braves got back that scares me, and he's at least 3 years away from the majors.

The Yankees are short an outfielder now. Should be nauseating to see how they address that.

Interestingly...

If the Braves choose to pursue Bay (and I'm not sure they will), then they could be competing with the very team they just dealt with. The Yankees need a corner OF bat. Oh... and there's also the Mets, of course.

I'm glad to see Vazquez leave the division instead of Lowe. Lowe must have generated zero interest on the trade market.

This is bad news for the Mets.

Braves and Yankees possibly in on Bay? Ouch, Omar.

Dodgers in on Harang. The other big names in baseball are gearing up.

CJ, I don't see the Braves signing an OF to a long-term premium contract. Heyward is a year away, if that. They have McClouth, Diaz, Cabrera, Barton, and Heyward. And Schafer if they haven't given up on him.

I bet the Yanks will sign Damon.

Even if they don't land Bay, an outfield of McLouth, Cabrera and Diaz would be interesting. No big bopper, but three guys who infuriate the fans of opposing teams. Add Larry to the mix and the Braves would definitely be (even more) a team worth despising.

All this stuff going on and our 'pen remains the same. Jays get Morrow. Not even a peep on what if anything they're trying to do. Jeez.

awh - Didn't Rolen put an ad in the Inqy like that?

(j/k)

Anyone worried that the yanks corner spot convenienty opens as the market for Holliday dries up? Really hope the competition drives Bay's price up for the Mets and Omar locks up another terrible contract.

I see Bay going to Atlanta...just a feeling. He definitely DOES NOT want to go to the Mets or he'd have signed already.


Vasquez: The rich get richer.

Braves seem to be looking ahead to the window that will open up in 2012. That's the smart way to do it. Phillies are the odds-on favorite in the division for the next two years.

Im not being a wiseass but didn't Padilla do that when he left here. I could swear I remember him doing something along those lines. Or maybe it was after his first year here. But I thought he made some sort of a gesture to the fans here.

BTW, so much for the Yankees looking to "cut salary" this off-season. They're just hit the same $201 million they spent last year...and they now need another OF.

Burrell put an ad in the Inqy, I think.

In Re: Halladay ad. I recall that Geoff Jenkins did the same thing in Milwaukee when he left. I think it's a great gesture by player that spent many years with the same organization. Glad to see Roy did the same thing.

someone remind me exactly where the phillies pitching staff is right now?

Hallady, Hammels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Lidge, Madson, Romero...um...???

Bay would make the Mets much better. He's no Luis Castillo, although any player is capable of not being worth their contract.

25: .282/.358/.550 - 132 OPS+
26: .306/.402/.559 - 150
27: .286/.396/.532 - 138
28: .247/.327/.418 - 94
29: .286/.373/.522 - 134
30: .267/.384/.537 - 134

That's .280/.375/.519 (131), 181 HR, since becoming a full-time player.

There are 15 players who've played over 800 games since that time with OPS+ over 130. They guys 30 and under: Pujols (175), Cabrera (143), Teixeira (141), Wright (136), Dunn (135), Holliday (133), Bay (131), Utley (131).

The Mets would have 2 of them.

In re: rich get richer

I'm not so sure. The last time Vazquez was on the Yanks he had his worst year ever. They couldn't wait to dump him in the off-season.

true, true. Considering how much Vazquez hated pitching in NY the first time, you have to wonder at Cashman reacquiring him.

Oh no. Amaro is not doing anythign within DPatrone's timeline.

Whatever will we do. Maybe some beat writer at the next press conference with Amaro should ask him about the time frame of doing things.

DPatrone can you send a copy of the timeline you have to one of the guys so they can ask?

Ruben, do you think you'll have a bullpen piece signed by January 3rd at 11:15 am?

I'm not overly concerned with how the Yankees improved their team. We need to get there first. Also, the Red Sox improved their team by adding Lackey, and they still might add Adrian Gonzalez. The Mariners got better too. The Yankees don't have a walk to the World Series and neither do we.

Sophist: Good work. People are underestimating Bay. Mets giving him a 6 year deal is a bad contract, but he'd be a good bat in the lineup the next few years.

Vasquez had the worst year of his career in NY. He was coming off a career year in the NL that time too.

Hamels. Hamels. Hamels. Not Hammels. Or Hamel. How do people screw still screw that up?

Kole Hammel is my favorite Phillies pitcher.

Bed Beard: I'm certainly not underestimating Bay. He'd be a great bat for that lineup (although he'd be a butcher in LF in Bailout Ballpark).

I'm celebrating the fact that there may be two more suitors for him this morning than there were yesterday. That can only hurt the Mets.

If Omar is smart, he should blow everyone out of the window with a 7 year, $140 million deal for Bay.

Show them who's boss, Omar!!!

Wow. Arodys Vizcaino. Recently turned 19.

17: rk: 44 IP, 1 HR9, 2.7 BB9, 9.8 K9, 1.16 WHIP
18: A-: 42.1 IP, .4 HR9, 3.2 BB9, 11.1 K9, 1.16 WHIP

Braves know how to get what they want from a deal.

Not sad to see Vasquez go:

Vasquez didn't dominate the Phils last year (they were 2-3 against him in 5 GS) but never said to see an opposing divisional rival lose their best pitcher.

Fascinating to see how Vasquez responds to being back in NY. He was an All-Star in '04 and pitched pretty well at Yankee Stadium. Wheels feel off though in the 2nd half and he was pretty poor on the road.

Just glad that the Phils aren't in the AL East because the sad reality is that they likely wouldn't have reached the postseason the past 3 years.

Murphy on the Vazquez deal (via Twitter): "Could set up an epic World Series pitching match-up: Sabathia-Vazquez-Burnett against Halladay-Lee-Hamels ... Wait, the Phils did what??"

BB: I think most here agree that Bay is a dangerous bat in the lineup. But offering that kind of money for that many years for a guy who is not very good defensively and ONLY going to get worse, is not a smart investment.

I believe it is pronounced Kohl Hammill.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this the same Javy Vasquez that got lite up like a Christmas Tree just 2 years ago in Chicago? Seems when he is in the AL he is a different pitcher.

In 2004 with the Yankees he had an ERA+ of 94 and from 2006-2008 with the White Sox he had ERA+'s of 98,126,98.

I hope Minaya makes the classic NY Mets move of overpaying for a FA who helps them a bit but doesn't address their biggest need (frontline starter) and likely hamstrings their payroll for at least 2-3 years.

'Minaya trumps Bay at 6 yr/$110M'

I have said it would be a bad contract, but for the next few years Bay would be a potent bat in the lineup. Especially, if those other guys don't stay healthy.

i hit the m key once too many times. I should be punished, I should be purged...

Bay's a LF. It's pretty low on the defensive totem poll. There just aren't many guys who can hit like Bay, at his age, and play fair defense (he's not a butcher out there). There are 9 LF in the last two seasons with OPS+ over 125.

Manny
Braun*
Holliday*
Dunn*
Bay*
Lee
Lind*
Ibanez
Quinten*

The guys 30 and under on that list (*) would all get big paydays. Note that none of these guys are known for their defense.

On Bay...how many of his singles/doubles off the Monster will turn into routine flyouts once he's out of Fenway. He really is built for playing in Boston as a pure pull hitter to LF.

Whole Camels?

Mark Hamill?

6 years is too many, and $110M is astronomical and not going to happen.

There last offer was 4/$64M. That seems like a good deal to me. I don't see anything in the 4-5/$64M-$75M range as hamstringing the Mets financially. The do need pitching, but they also need power/an OF bat. There just isn't much of a market for SP this year. If they had signed Lackey to the deal he got with BOS you'd criticize that too.

NEPP - Bay played 1 year in Fenway. He had 2 years in PIT with higher SLG %.

Yeah, when he was 28 and 29.

He'll be 31 to start this deal...its not likely but he could be on a Burrellesque decline.

Sophist: Agreed. The defense issue likely won't be a big deal... although LF in Bailout Ballpark is a little different from LF in Boston!

I hope the Mets don't get Bay. And if they do, I hope it's a massive contract.

Of course if they don't get Bay this year, they could easily get Werth next year.

Sophist: I'm not sure they need a bat MORE than an arm. Perhaps they need both equally. Their rotation as it stands is Santana/Pelfrey/Perez/Maine/Niese?. If their regulars all come back healthy, it might be fair to argue that a #2 starter was MORE of a priority.

Isn't Bay only 6 months older than our very own Jayson Werth?

I've always found Javier Vasquez to be a little bit overrated as a pitcher.

The guy can miss bats and strike guys out, but he isn't really a top tier pitcher. He's a servicable 3rd or 4th starter but no more.

Also, 3 of his last 5 seasons he had an ERA well over 4. His numbers are much worse in the American League as well. I think it's a good move by the Braves. They get a pretty decent outfielder back and have extra money to address some other needs. Lots of risk for the Yankees in this unless they are planning on going out and dropping 15 million+ a season on Bay or Holliday.

Who do you think will age better?

A highly athletic above average defensively RF

or

A defensively challenged LF?

NEPP - On Bay: you're hoping too much. Bay can, pretty much, hit. It would be good if he was not in the division, regardless of the folly of a long term deal.

Is Khall Heimels any relation to Dorathie Hormels the skater?

TTI~

What you miss in my point is obvious. It's not RAJ won't upgrade the 'pen. It's that he won't spend the necessary money to do so. I'll explain below.

The problem with that is that by the time he does it, there probably won't be many valuable guys left. Heck there aren't that many left NOW.

He was so focused on getting Halladay that he lost sight of the bigger picture anyway.
He was going to get Doc ANYWAY. He had a FNTC and HE determined that he was coming to Philly. SO really, the notion that a lot of things had to fall into place for them to get Doc was just that a notion. The payroll doesn't change with Doc compared to Lee as the savings from Lee and the payment from Toronto = Doc's salary.

Trading Lee was not about re-stocking the farm system, it was about saving 9 million.
They could have traded Blanton for 2 prospects, kept Lee and if he walked, they've gotten 2 draft picks. That's 4 prospects and another year of Lee. But what's done is done.

Financially, Amaro found a way to make it work. That was his charge by the owners. We just got one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball. As I wrote the other day, we should get at least 60 wins from our top 4 starters. With our rotation even with Moyer and our offense which should be more consistant with Polanco, we are formidable indeed.

But that doesn't change the fact that his off-season work is not finished. It's not that I have a timeline. It's my passion for them to be a winner. I don't just want anybody brought in. I want guys that can pitch. I don't know how old you are but I am 51. I want to see them win another WS and their window is very small. If it doesn't happen again in '10 it may be a long time before we are even close. You may not agree with my opinion but as I wrote previously I call it as I see it. You and eveeryone else does the same. There's nothing wrong with that.

DPatrone: Which relievers did Amaro miss out on while he was too focused on trading for the best pitcher in baseball?

Bay and Burrell have very different body types and injury histories. If a 30 year old doesn't get paid for what they did at 29, then no one would get big contracts. Bays had power his whole career, although anyones HR power will suffer in Citi. You made it sound that he's Lowell-like in his reliance on Fenway.

I think as it stands now, the NL East pecking order is exactly the same as it was in September.
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals

DPatrone: You say that Amaro won't spend money on the pen. I'm pretty sure he would spend $300 million if he was allowed.

Bed's Beard: Yes, Bay is only 6 months older than Werth.

Would you offer Werth (a more athletic player with a more rounded skill-set), the 5-year, 75 million+ contract that Bay is looking for?

I love Werth, but I certainly wouldn't.

Well, Vazquez's salary gone gives the Braves some 20 million to play with to land a bat this year. I don't think they'll go for Bay or Holliday, the contracts they'll need to get either will hamstring the Braves down the line. I think moving Vazquez is about signing Adam LaRoche to a good deal instead.

The Braves still need a first baseman. He's the best available. He's not bad, either. Really about average for a 1B's production. As for getting Cabrera, well, Cabrera's career line is AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS .269/.331/.385/.716, which was boosted by last year's .274/336/.416/.752 stat line in Yankee Stadium, a hitter's paradise. Well, he's moving from a hitter's park to a pitcher's park. The Braves have gotten a guy who's going to give them Garret Anderson's 2009 statline, he's just younger and plays center. McLouth probably moves to the corner, Diaz takes the other. It's actually an average outfield in the corners and below average in CF, statistically:
LF
AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS
NL .271/.343/.439/.782
Diaz .310/.358/.459/.817

CF:
NL .268/.339/.424/.763
Cabrera : .269/.331/.385/.716

RF:
NL .264/.339./.442/.781
McLouth:.260/.342/.454/.796

McLouth and Diaz are slightly above average offensively. Cabrera is not. He'll produce Anderson's 2009 statline (.268/.303/.401/.705) at best. So this doesn't improve their lineup from last year. They're effectively treading water and traded away one of their best trade chips. The pitching staff just took a hit for a negligible change in the offense.

If they sign LaRoche with the money they freed up, fine. But I don't think they'll make a run at Bay or Holliday. The Mets can outbid them. End of story.

CJ- you think outbidding the red sox for thenonly decent pitcher of that description on the market would have been a good move? Seems they just lost out to the sox. Who would they sign to fit that description?

If you think Bay might decline, then you're basically against signing any player to a 4+ year deal who's 30 or over. He's lean and atheletic looking. Not sure how Werth is relevant. Do find it funny that people think a guy roughly the same age, whos had injury problems his while career, played only one full MLB season as a starter, is a better bet for the next 4 years. I love Werth's upside, but he's definitely a bigger risk than bay.

Jack: I wouldn't.

I wish the Phillies would do what DPatrone said...just because we all know he would find another thing to whine about.

CJ: Because DPatrone won't answer the question (he's ignored it from me twice) I'll answer. There was no reliever Amaro missed out on during the Halladay process.

We were outbid on Lyon before all this (thank god). The list is basically the same as it was two weeks ago.

Also, DPatrone- you don't realize the inherent contradiction in your response so I'll explain. Trading Lee was partially motivated by restocking the farm system.

You say you want them to stay competitive and have the window stay open and then in the next breath you say they should've kept Lee and collected the 2 draft picks for him along with the 2 they got for Blanton. If you think the haul they got back for Lee was bad the haul for Blanton would've been worse. Lee is a better pitcher and more of an ace. Blanton is a fine back of the rotation guy. We may have got one of the guys we did from Seattle but then probably a lesser prospect. I'm not even sold we would've gotten back one of those guys.

Draft picks (on a fast time table) may help the team in 4 years. So basically you wanted them to go all in for one year instead of keeping some chips back so they have a good hand for the next couple years?

The trade of Lee was definitely partly money motivated. But there was also the issue of trying to keep the window open as long as possible. And whether we signed a guy like Smoltz 2 weeks ago, or two weeks from now isn't goig to change any of that.

Compare Werth's career to date to Bay's and you'll see why Bay is getting paid.

The Godfather - the braves didn't trade for Cabrera straight up. They unloaded a contract, got an MLB ready CF who's average offensively and cheap, and two solid prospects. You're being short-sighted

Sophist: Yes, but that "contract" they unloaded was one of the 5 best pitchers in the NL last year.

They're hoping Tim Hudson can bounce back and be one of the top 10-15 pitchers in the league, as he used to be, and replace most of Vasquez's production. But that's a big gamble.

Also highly doubt that, at his age and switching to a weaker league/division, Cabrera's OBP will drop over 30 points.

jack: i dont think the Phils are either.

Jack - not just Hudson. Hanson only started 21 games last year. A full year of Hanson, any improvement from Lowe, and Hudson (who looked decent at the end of last year). They also sold Vasquez high and got a solid return.

CJ~ I did ignore your question. He is missing out on everyone who is available because he hasn't signed anyone. And we won't get Capps either. End of that story.

BobbyD~ That's my point exactly. He's not allowed. Of course he can't say that. But the 'pen situation has to be remedied anyway. And Monty claims the Phils are in the red.

The Phaithful: I don't whine. I complain because I see nothing happening to make the 'pen better. I guess your gonna tell me the Castro signing was a good one. I have a lot of virtues believe me, but patience isn't one of them.

TTI~ Sorry if I was a bit contradictive. Didn't mean to be.

THEY are telling you that the Lee trade was made to help re-stock the pharm. That may be somewhat true but in reality it was about saving the money to pay Doc.

And I don't disagree at all with your points on Blanton. He is a fine #3, eats innings and is a competitor. The rotation would have been better with Lee than Blanton but it's certainly not bad. And you make very valid points on their "window".

But on Smoltz, I don't want him at his age, whether now, 2 weeks ago, or a month from now. Re-signing Park would be fine. Some how bring back Condrey would be fine too. And they may. But with each guy that signs somewhere else, there's less to choose from and as I said a few posts ago, we may not be happy with whom they bring in.
I wouldn't even mind Mac Dougal, but a lot of people would, and not without merit.

I also read on Phillybaseballnews.com that Werth supposedly turned down a 4/44 extension. Is that true?

The Braves rotation is going to be good, most likely better than the Phils, but their bullpen is not looking great and their lineup could be really weak.

Sophist: "If you think Bay might decline, then you're basically against signing any player to a 4+ year deal who's 30 or over."

I think you might have me confused with someone else. I'm happy that theres competition for Bay because I don't want the Mets to get him. And if they do sign him, I hope it's for a long time and a lot of money.

DPatrone: "He is missing out on everyone who is available because he hasn't signed anyone."

Ah, I see. Someone skipped their logic class in college.

Mike Koplove signs a minor league deal with the Mariners.

CJ, just that first paragraph was directed toward you.

Is _Dollar Sign on the Muscle_ out of print?

The NL East has some great pitchers and rotations -- The Marlins' rotation should be good although it's hard to tell whether they underperformed last year or were just injury-plagued.

1. Braves - Jurrjens, Lowe, Hudson, Hanson, Kawakami, AND Medlen is a great rotation.

2. Phillies - RH, CH, JB, JH, ?

3. Marlins - JJ, Sanchez, Nolasco, Volstad

4. Mets - Santana
5. Nats - Strasburg

There are 5 Cy Young candidates in the division.


CJ~

Logically, what relievers has he signed? Until he does, the answer is wait....I will logically anwer the question: No one.

Braves going after Bay long term would surprise me because they have a star in Jason Heyward coming up. They also have the Schaeffer kid who started opening day last year who should rebound and be a decent player. The talk about Heyward is extremely positive and he seems like the closest thing to a can't miss. Locking up Bay for 4 years seems like a small concern as compared to finding some infielders to play 1st and 3rd after Chipper leaves (if they are really looking towards 2012)

DPatrone: Listen... I'm not going to explain logic to you.

Is Amaro still focused on Halladay? If not, how is his focus on Halladay affecting his pursuit of a reliever since not a single reliever came off the market while he was focused on Halladay?

Well, it doesn't look like the Braves improved their team for this year, at least not yet. They could have just as easily kept Church and gotten basically the same production they're likely to get from Cabrera - if not better. Over the last two years, Church is 99 OPS+, while Cabrera 85; lifetime: 107 to 88. They also traded their best pitcher from last year - not a major loss if you figure he was due to regress this year, and if you assume that Lowe will also regress to career norms. But counting on Hudson does seem risky, though Jurrjens and Hanson look primed for continued improvement.

I suppose the key is how they use their increased payroll flexibility. If they go out and sign a big bat (Bay or Holliday), then they will close the gap to the Phils, but if they pocket the money or invest it in Derosa, they may not really improve that much from last season to next. Of course, Heyward's arrival could give the offense a real boost. Either way, it looks like the verdict is still out on the Braves off season.

Stark says Bay is out of the Braves' price range. Damon, Uggla, Nady among possibilities now that they have money free.

DPatrone: Don't bother. CJ thinks "opinion" (his) = "logic". Note how he fails to acknowledge the financial ramifications Halladay's deal has on Rube's ability to acquire bullpen help, let alone the fact that the almost certain loss of Park further weakens an area of the team that already needed upgrading. Mostly, CJ's arguments on any given issue boil down to (a) You don't understand logic!, (b) You're so negative! &/or (c) ROY HALLADAY! It's like watching Keith Olbermann: somewhat entertaining, but neither intelligent nor informative.

"Stark says Bay is out of the Braves' price range. Damon, Uggla, Nady among possibilities now that they have money free."

I shudder to think that used to be how the Phillies operated. We can bitch all we want but there for the grace of god go the Phillies.

I think this trade, and the whole Braves offseason has been bad. They went backwards, probably lost 4 - 6 wins. Giving up Vasquez for Melky plus prospects is a net loss for 2010. We'll see if/where they put the money towards the players or owners, but unless they spend that money they went backwards.

That bullpen is old, like really old, injury waiting to happen old. Three of their starters are way overrated in my opinion and collectively paid a lot (Lowe, Hudson, and Kawakimi). Chipper is a year older. Melky is a fourth OF (probably no better than .700-.750ish OPS). Jurrijens and Vasquez were there 2 best pitchers and the let one go so that they can replace him with a older guy (hudson) coming off an injury. They had to understand that the Phils team as constructed is a 90 win team (even w/ banged up lidge) and they haven't done anything to close that gap.

DeRosa would makes sense for the Braves now that his price has dropped. A guy I work with - a Yankees fan - also thought DeRosa would work for the Yankees. That's true. If you're the Yankees, do you really need Bay? It's overkill.

G-Town Dave: "Note how he fails to acknowledge the financial ramifications Halladay's deal has on Rube's ability to acquire bullpen help,"

Logic isn't your friend either, apparently...

Cliff Lee cost $9M this year.
Roy Halladay costs $9.75M this year.

Are you arguing that Amaro's ability to sign a free agent reliever came down to $750,000?

You two really need a new schtick.

Phillies Red - Church is older and more expensive than Cabrera. He also can't play CF.

I don't think anyone in the Braves FO will honestly tell you that they moved Vasquez to optimize their 2010 team. Evaluating the trade that way is failing to see the trade for what it was. They have a budget, a surplus f pitching, needs elsewhere, and plans to maximize their winning not next year but a few years down the road.

Everyone that is complaining about Rube not signing any releivers need to relax. Of all the upgrades that were needed (Bench, 3rd, Bullpen) the bullpen is the most of a "crap-shoot". That is why in most cases teams that go out and spend big money on relievers end up shooting themselves in the foot.

Just a quick BLer exercise for all those who are screaming at Rube for not signing a big name guy i.e. DPatrone and G-town. How well did Sherrill, Marte, Mahey,Wagner, Putz, etc. do when their teams needed them most? Answer: Curled up and came up small!

That is why it isn't always the smartest thing to sign a releiver for big money or trade a lot to get one that is "the best" because you never know.

I for one am perfectly 100% fine with a bullpen with a couple minor league guys instead of Park and Condrey. One main thing you guys are not seeing is that with Halladay/Hamels/Blanton you are looking at 3 innings eaters that MOST nights you won't need to depend on your bullpen. That is a major issue that plagued them last season. In 2008, they had a fresh bullpen most the year, espically in the playoffs when it mattered most.

Just something to ponder...

Godfather-- I read on Rotoworld that Melky will play left. Not that it matters because for 2010 the Braves just got weaker overall. Where is their power? McLouth for 20 HR, McCann for 23, Chipper 20, Escobar 17, LaRoche (if signed) 15. Cabrera is an average OF in every respect and isn't a SB threat. I really like this trade for the Phils--- at least for 2010

mvp: I can't speak for DPatrone, but I'm not concerned that the Phils failed to sign a "big name guy", I'm concerned that they failed to sign any guy. And you're forgetting that in Charlie Manuel the Phillies have a skipper who can & will use 2 or 3 guys out of the pen even when his starter goes 7 innings, whether anyone is struggling or not. Having such a match-up obsessed manager makes a deep, solid bullpen all the more necessary.

Thanks G-Town. I'm glad SOMEONE understands.
But I don't bash other posters. Can't do that.

My whole point with this whole thing is again Halladay was coming here anyway. Now wew've got him...GREAT! And if we had to give up Lee to get him, so be it. He's gotta be one of the favorites to win the Cy Young. I keep saying we should get at least 60 -70 wins from our starters. Again, GREAT! Polanco replacing Feliz, not my 1st choice but I'm ok with it because he provides stability and consistancy at the top of the lineup. GOOD! RAJ did (with the exception of Castro) upgrade the bench. Again, GOOD to GREAT!

But the one remaining need has yet to be taken care of. It said they want insurance for Lidge if he's not ready. Mac Dougal fits that bill. Like him or not. He was non-tendered. So why isn't he here? I'll say it agin. RAJ is not going to be allowed to spend money on the 'pen. Doesn't anyone else see this?

Let's say Romero isn't ready. Who takes his spot. Bastardo? Escalona? Happ temporarily? Ron Mahay??? What's the plan? Do they know? I hope so, 'cause we sure don't.

G-town: I think you are being a little dramatic about the situation. Your acting as if the Phillies 2008 & 2009 bullpenw ere powerhouses.

G-town & Dpatrone: You simply replaced Rudy Seanez in 2009 with Chan Ho. And in 2010 going to replace him (Park) with Bastardo/Mathieson. Let's not get carried away here.

Fangraphs on the Braves return on Vasquez: "This is a significantly better return than what Philadelphia got for Cliff Lee, for instance." Ouch.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-vazquez-deal

Sophist, fair points, but I think it's closer than you think: according to talkingchop, Church would likely have made $4m next year, while Cabrera will likely get $3M. The difference in OPS+ over the last two years and over their careers is actually rather significant, such that I'd rather Church to Cabrera all other things being equal. Cabrera can reportedly play center, but his outfield UZR was lower last year than Church's and is lower over their careers; Church also did play center last year, though not well. Basically, it's hard to see how Cabrera is obviously better defensively than Church.

In the end, I wasn't trying to evaluate the trade overall, but looking at how it impacts the Braves, and by extension, the Phils for next year. I agree, the Braves picked up a nice piece in the trade, and opened up payroll flexibility for this year. And that's the key, how will they use that extra $$? Because as it looks, they haven't gotten better just yet.

mvp: Not dramatic, just intensely curious. The Phillies bullpen is going to be weaker than it was last season, & throughout last season a majority of Beerleaguers felt the bullpen was a significant area of concern. In fact, following the World Series most agreed that it should be the most significant area of concern in the coming offseason. What has the ball club done between then & now to mitigate said concerns?

MVP~

You understand too. The 'pen does need work.

Yikes, went back and read this thread, not relly on topic here much huh?

So this is the 2010 bullpen we are talking about, if so, please settle down. Every year, someone does better someone does worse all in all usually evens itself out. Last year Lidge was horrible, Park was outstanding. I would wager a lot of money that the bullpen next year will be better than last year. But only because Lidge simply can't be any worse than he was in 2009. They can call up Matheson, Kendrick, Escalona, and Bastardo for all I care. This team will not win/lose the NL East because of the pen. They’ll win or lose because the health of their starting position players.

DeRosa does make sense for the Braves, and for the Yanks. But for the Braves the situation is reversed from the Yanks: DeRosa is a nice fit for the Yanks cause it's cheap and not overkill. But for the Braves, the question is: is it really enough? It might be cheap, but it isn't likely to close the gap with the Phils.

"This is a significantly better return than what Philadelphia got for Cliff Lee, for instance."

Yea, no kidding. That is because the Braves wanted a sure thing that can step in and help now while relieving salary. While the Phillies goal was to shed salary AND in return get 3 trade chips or guys that will develope down the road.

Two different ends of the spectrum.

DPatrone: I understand the gripe that they traded Lee for money and not the farm. I still say it was doubly motivated by money and the ability to get guys back in the system.

I still think it's better to get back Double A guys who are closer to helping than draft picks will be from the end of the year.

I'm not saying I necessarily want Smoltz- I was just pointing out a guy on the market yet. I just don't see the big bullpen names who have signed since the Halladay stuff started 10 days ago. Matt Capps I would love for them to sign, but for various reasons (money mostly) they won't. Also, Capps probably wants to close somewhere which means you'd have to pay him extra.

Look, I'm as big a fan as anyone here- maybe more than some. However, I can't ignore the self-imposed budget ownership gives the GM. I don't like it whatsoever, but there's nothing I can do. So all I can hope for is that the GM does what he can within that budget and is smart about his moves. Overpaying for a guy, or setting the market can lead to trouble and has negative effects on franchises. I want this team to be competitive for years to come. I think they are on that path right now. Hopefully we get someone in who can fill the bullpen spots. But I'm not going to give some false timeline in which they need to do that.

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