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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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Baez is exactly the kind of veteran guy I was hoping the Phils would sign. He isn't nearly the pitcher he was 3-4 years ago but he pitched well enough to help the O's last year.

Plus, Baez has become more of a groundball pitcher almost exclusively going with a 4-seem fastball/splitter last year vs. his pre-injury form of a 4-seem fastball/curveball regimen.

Only thing that frightens me about Baez is that from watching him in his days in the AL when I caught a lot of Sox games was his tendency to just melt like butter and not be able to throw a strike some nights to save his life.

I kind of wonder how Baez would respond to getting the cr@p booed out of him in Philly if he has a couple of rough showing early in the season. Not exactly a guy renowned for his mental toughness or composure.

My prediction is that Baez will the the Opening Day closer since Lidge is not fully ready yet

Not a bad sign hopefully not the last bullpen signing.

From the last thread

Reality check:

One of the more ridiculous things you keep seeing on here from posters is how the Phils really won't need to use their bullpen next year that much. Here's is a bunch of facts that put that nonsense to bed:

1. Halladay pitches only 9 CG last year out of 32 GS. Blanton had 0 CG games last year in 31 GS. Hamels had 2 CG (32 GS). Happ had 3 CG (23 GS).

Reality is that you are going to see at least 1 (if not 2-3 guys) out of the bullpen every night regardless of who is starting. This is the 70s/80s where you had 2-3 horses who finish a ton of games and where you can get by a cr@p bullpen.

2. IP by the bullpen since Cholly became the manager:

09 - 492 in 154 games (9th in NL)
08 - 483 in 158 games (14th in NL)
07 - 520 in 157 games (8th in NL)
06 - 539 in 157 games (4th in NL)
05 - 478 in 158 games (8th in NL)

Cholly likely won't use the bullpen as much as '06 and '07 when the Phils had some of the worst starting staffs in the NL. Still, even the years when Cholly had better starting pitching he utilizes the bullpen fairly heavily.

3. Madson has given the Phils around 80 IP the last 2 years. Durbin can probably be counted on for around 70 IP. If Lidge is healthy for the entire season, lets say 65 IP. Romero at 55 IP.

That adds up to only around 270 IP. Even if the starting pitching is great next year, the Phils likely need to find another 210-220 IP at a minimum and that is assuming the best-case scenario possible. More than likely, the Phils don't get full workloads out of both Romero & Lidge.

I would say that the Phils likely have to account for at least another 250 IP out of the pen. That's an awful lot.

Maybe the holdovers to that total but Amaro better really hit on another 1-2 FA signings because this bullpen right now has "mediocrity" at best written all over it and much worse if Lidge/Romero don't give them full years.

Update: So Baez likely adds another 65 IP to the Phils' pen. If they can add another value RHP reliever and some LOOGY insurance for Romero/competition with Bastardo/Escalona, the bullpen (although not great) will be in much better shape.

sh291: how many more bullpen arms do you want?

You've got your closer, your lefty and right setup types, Durbin and Baez as your earlier guys, escalona/bastardo as your 2nd lefty, and I guess Moyer as your long man if he's around (since we all know KK will be 5th starter).

How much money do we really need to sink into a bullpen? Going out and signing Jose Valverde (who looks to be not getting much attention) or Rodney to be a secondary closer is such a waste of resources.

thephaithful - Because it means the Phils likely have to find 170-180 IP out of the bullpen or more if they have injuries from this group of pitchers:

KK, Bastardo, Mathieson, Escalona, Carpenter, Zagurski, some of the AA guys like Worley, Stutes, etc

If you think that these guys give you 180 IP of even league average bullpen performance, then I would call you a pretty unrealistic optimist.

"One of the more ridiculous things you keep seeing on here from posters is how the Phils really won't need to use their bullpen next year that much."

Who? When? Where?

Shedding light, potentially, on the Cliff Lee deal:

http://ussmariner.com/2009/12/23/choose-your-own-conclusion/

Money quote:

"The M’s didn’t give up enough to get Lee unless you include this [Morrow for Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez] as part of that [3 team] deal, in which case the price is much more fair. This makes the Halladay deal look a lot better for Toronto, and explains why they were willing to kick in $6 million in salary to help Philadelphia be able to make the deal. It also explains why Philadelphia shipped Lee to Seattle, rather than shopping him for a better package somewhere else."

Klaus - It was in context mainly. mvp and CJ have both posted this staring rotation will really reduce the need to use the bullpen. It might by about 30-40 IP (best case scenario) but getting Halladay over Lee really didn't dramatically change that this team likely needs about 480-490 IP out of their bullpen next year.

Wasn't Baez a somewhat hot commodity as a closer like 2-3 seasons ago? I vaguely remember hearing rumors (before lidge got here) of the Phillies getting him back then. MAybe I'm way offbase... Anyhow, I haven't seen this guy pitch in some time. No idea what kind of stuff he's got.

You don't see much about Valverde because he's probably asking for too much. Last 3 seasons: 116 Sv, 1.145 WHIP, 155 ERA+, 10.3 K/9. He's worth much more than Rodney. Surprised Angels didn't sign him.

MG's MO is to paint BL's view of things (where he finds it, I can never tell) and then tell everyone what "reality is." MG, you use the word "reality" more than anyone I read or talk to.

Taschner, Escalona, Kendrick, Carpenter, Lopez, Myers, Register, Bastardo, and Walker threw 107 IP last year. There are a lot of junk, meaningless relief innings out there. I worry about replacing guys who threw important innings (CHOP, 30 IP of Eyre, Moyer and Happ's ~40 IP, some of Condrey's innings).


Valverde is also a type A free agent. Will cost you a 1st round draft pick to sign him.

Is Octavio Dotel just looking to close? Apparently the Pirates have offered him a deal worth $3M + games finished incentives. He's up there in age, but his last three seasons are promising at that price: 160 IP, 1.325 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 125 ERA+.

If its Baez, I say "Good signing". He's a solid middle reliever who doesn't walk very many (well, at least not last year)...I'll take that.

Lots of groundballs...perfect.

Another upside (if its Baez) is that his velocity got stronger as the year went by last year. The last month of the season, he was routinely sitting 95/96 on his fastball.

Is Baez the long-lost brother of Rudy Seanez?

Maybe Baez is actually going to be over his recovery from surgery and back to his prior form. I was never a big fan because, as someone noted earlier, he's not exactly the mentally toughest pitcher around. But sometimes stuff will win out. If he's back to his old form, I'd still rather have Chopper for the same price, but if he's signed cheaply, not a bad choice.

I'd still like to see them give Eyre a reasonable offer on a major league deal and bring back Condrey cheaply after he realizes there are no big deals out there for him. But most of all, I'd like to see Chan Ho back.

His velocity chart for 09 is very favorable. I think Baez would be a very good signing potentially. His GB rate is excellent and his control was even pretty good last year (especially for a guy coming off surgery).

If It's Baez, a good signing, hopefully not the last.

MG,

Not that we'll really be able to test this, but if you give me KK, Bastardo, Mathieson, Escalona, Carpenter, Zagurski, some of the AA guys like Worley, Stutes, etc for 180 innings I would wager they would be league average. I think you are giving the league average way too much credit if you don't think those guys esp given the choice of all of them averaged together would not be league average. The situations that these type of guys would typically be used would often be mop up duty, 1 inning at a time, match up against specific hitters, and definitly low leverage situations. They would be fine.

I certainly would feel comfortable with the group you listed above.
MaxMax

Thank goodness the Phillies signed a reliever. Having to read the same 3 posters cry about the lack of a bullpen signing was getting old. Baez replaces Park, Kendrick and Bastardo replace Eyre and Condrey. Done.
It's funny that the sky could fall because the Phillies have to replace the likes of Chan Ho Park, Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey. You would think they were the 2nd coming of the nasty boys.

"Kendrick and Bastardo replace Eyre and Condrey. Done."

Hmmmm....2009 ERA+:
Eyre 283, Condrey 141, Kendrick 124, Bastardo 66.

Interesting.

Sophist - I do tend to use "reality" on here way too much. There isn't a polling feature on here but it seems as if a number of posters on here argued that bullpen was in bad shape or that the Phils really didn't need to do much more work there.

It is not just replacing Park, Eyre, and Condrey (all who gave you very good/good performances as relievers last year) although these 3 relievers gave the Phils some pretty solid numbers last year:

112 IP, 2.65 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.7 K/9, 5.6 K/9

Second coming of the Nasty Boys but much better than league average too.

You can't forget the 35 IP that Walker gave them too who pitched pretty effectively in a role as a back-end reliever too. Moyer and KK did too (another 33 IP).

The only relievers that pitched any kind of meaningful numbers of IP and appearances who were below average/terrible last year were Taschner and Lidge. That's it.

One of the things I thought Amaro did a very good job on last year was not only resigning some key bullpen components but signing a number of pitchers (especially in the bullpen) who could potentially contribute in limited duty if needed. There were a number of these guys last year including Walker, Koplove, etc. Wound up getting key contributions from two of these guys - Walker and Lopez.

Phils haven't done that so far this offseason and subtracted a bunch of key contributors from the bullpen to boot.

Baez is a step in the right direction but I would still like to see the Phils sign another 'Value Village' type righty reliever and an experienced LOOGY. Probably will cost them another $1.5-$2M to do so and I just don't know if they have the money left.

Park, Eyre and Condrey may not have been the nasty boys, but there were arguably the three best relievers out of the pen for the Phillies last season.

Eyre and Condrey clearly are guys who can be brought back at a price point or not. But I'll have to see Baez pitch as well in higher leverage situations as Park before I'll be thrilled with the signing.

G-Town won't be happy with this. He wanted Rube to coax Rollie Fingers out of retirement. This deal could set the franchise back at least a decade.

MacDougal has the potential to be a late inning nightmare, especially with his control problems. The Phillies are much better off with Baez. But I would still prefer Park to either of those options,

My humble opinion, anyway.

Sophist - Dotel is an interesting guy but probably too rich for the Phils' current payroll if he would hit some of those incentives.

There are going to be some interesting veteran relievers out there who provide some very good value (say 35-45 IP) at a very competitive price. Up to Amaro to find maybe 1-2 more of these guys to round out the pen.

Rudy Seanez may got mocked on here but he was a key contributor to the Phils' pen in '08 for the first 2 months and the Phils got some pretty good value out of him considering he was making the veteran league minimum.

Who on here thinks the Phils get the following out of Lidge/Romero combined next year?

120-130 IP, 3.25 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

aksmith: I agree 100% with you when you wrote: "'d still like to see them give Eyre a reasonable offer on a major league deal and bring back Condrey cheaply after he realizes there are no big deals out there for him. But most of all, I'd like to see Chan Ho back."

The link that Klaus provided should be required reading for all BLers. I now have a better handle on the Lee trade.

Unrelated item, just read where Jayson Stark lists our favorite Pat B as one of the top ten LVPs, Least Valuable Players, for the decade. Ouch. sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=4764603

Mikes77~

"It's about time" I say. Add that to the comments made by 3 posters (I'm one) Call me our by name, that's fine. At least we can all feel better. This is a good signing. Someone who can pitch and close if need be. Not great, but far from not bad. At least RAJ didn't forget about the 'pen. Hopefully he's got room for more RH'der and THEN Bastardo. I'll give RAJ credit here. At least je didn't forget the 'pen.

When it's done, then we can be the favorites once again in the NL. That would be great. The Braves have been making lots of noise lately but we expected them to do so. But the only team I'm worried about in the NL is St. Louis. But then again maybe every other team is worried about us. Yes, I complain too much but I think with good reason. I want them ot fire off on all 8 cyliders, not 6. Now I'm happy. Go Phils!

Iceman: Baez would be a fine start but (a) it's still speculation at this point & (b) I feel the Phils need two relief arms, not just one.

Also, the "deal that could set a franchise back a decade" comment was not mine. I believe no such thing.

MG: "CJ have both posted this staring rotation will really reduce the need to use the bullpen."

Find it and show me. Never said it. Never will.

In fact, I said the idea that Halladay will have as many long starts as last year is wrong because pitchers in the NL often get pulled for pinch hitters.

Be careful who's mouth you put words in ;-)

"The link that Klaus provided should be required reading for all BLers. I now have a better handle on the Lee trade."

Lake Fred~

I read the article just now. How does Morrow going to the Jays give you a better handle on the Lee trade? Morrow is not gonna be shipped to us is he? This is not a knock but a legit question.

It looks like RAJ has to replace Chopper. He doesn't want to be here b/c he wants to be a starter. Any talk of him coming back is only valid if he changes his mind.

Rob: I think Stark is way out of line w/ that. Pat's not responsible for the Phils & Tampa giving him contracts greatly out of line w/ his actual worth. As it is, an average of 28 HR, 92 RBI & an OPS+ of better than 120 in 5 of his 9 seasons in Philly is hardly terrible.

A-Train: Rube says the issue w/ Park is not that he wants to start, but that "... the price point between us and Park is just too far apart".

Lake Fred - Really? Cameron's explanation didn't make any sense to me, and really smacked of post-hoc rationalization. Did you read the comments as well?

I think Cameron's theory makes some sense, but who knows what's true?

I agree with most that Baez is a good signing if he's the guy. Typical after coming off a missed season took him a while to get in the groove and finished strong, still would like to see park too. Park replaces condrey, Baez replaces park. that IS a clear upgrade. Especially if people can stay healthy.

Lake Fred: The Phillies were one of the few teams Halladay was willing to go to, as well as one of the few able to give Toronto what they (Toronto) felt was fair value in prospects in return. If Cameron's theory is correct it makes Rube look even worse, like a GM who wanted the fastest deal & not necessarily the best deal.

CJ - Fair enough. I would love to see Park back too. This bullpen would be pretty set then. Just figure that Baez probably comes at a decent price tag (1 yr or 2 yr deal at around that averages $3-$3.5M) and replaces Park in the pen.

If it is Baez then Park is gone and welcome to go "start" for whoever is dumb enough to sign him as such.

MG: I'd like Park back as well. That's been my stated preference from the start. He's a very valuable arm because of his flexibility from long man to high leverage. If we could somehow get him along with Baez, I'd be satisfied with:
Lidge, Madson, Romero, Park, Baez, Durbin, Lefty (Bastardo or Moyer or Eyre)

It's not a bullpen that will blow anyone away, and it certainly has its flaws, but it's not terrible.

I can remember about three or four years ago when there was some talk from the press about a straight up trade of Madson for Baez.

By the way, I don't believe the Phils have any intention of signing Park unless it's for about the same money they spent last year.

If they do, indeed, sign Baez, I think it's possible they are done with the bullpen.

Remember, it's already been stated that either Moyer or Kendrick will be in the bullpen. Now, if Moyer isn't healthy to start the season, we'll see KK in the 5th spot and there will be a temporary hole in the bullpen.

I guess it's also possible that Lidge and/or Romero will be on the DL to start the season. That leaves one or two more temporary holes.

That's the thing, though... they would be temporary holes. Not the kind of holes you fill with multi-million dollar signings.

Just curious- anyone read the article on espn about Chase being MVP of the decade. Can't say I agree, but since I love the guy so much Im curious what the jist of it was- but don't have espn insider

Maybe this is why Park's "price point" is so high:

Chan Ho Park Sues Former Teammate

That's why you never lend friends money...nothing good comes from it.

DPatrone: I'll give RAJ credit here. At least je didn't forget the 'pen.

This is where I've always had a problem with your point of view lately D.

There was no indication Amaro forgot about the pen. He was just not doing it in the time you wanted him to do stuff. And really- Baez is probably a better fit for this team at a better price than Lyon because of his groundball rate.
Good signing if it happens. As afar as the rest of the pen goes I'm still sort of with MG as I've been all along. Going with Mathieson and Bastardo in the pen is fine if that is their plan, but they need to have some veteran guys stashed away ready to step in if needed.

Stashing a LOOGY at Lehigh Valley and starting with Bastardo in the majors is fine by me. Mathieson is more of a toss-up but I'm not opposed to having him in the chamber in Lehigh Valley in case Baez doesn't work.

Sorry, the tag didn't close hopefully this works

CRD:

The skinny of the ESPN article on Utley as decade MVP centers on WARP (wins above replacement player). If you match Chase's performance against a typical league average second basemen his production far exceeds his competition. The article also factors in his salary. Since he is locked in long-term it presents a bargain compared to what the numbers state he would make on the open market at this point. In a nutshell it confirms much of what we already know in terms of Chase's worth to this franchise.

Top Position Players in baseball (not considering salary or contract)

1. Pujols
2. Mauer
3. Utley
4. Hanley
5. Longoria...maybe Zimmerman (A debate between the best 3B in the game is a great one to have as both Longoria and Zimmerman are great very young players and both are the best at their position in their leagues)

After that top 5 it gets really messy. There is a solid group of guys (Teixeira, Jeter, Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, Arod, Fielder, etc) that are among the elite.

My methodology is simple...assume all things are equal (age, salary, contract, etc), would you trade Player A for Player B straight up? So basically the only two players in the majors I would trade Utley for are Mauer or Pujols....and so forth.

Yes, its 12:05 AM on Christmas eve and I'm writing on a baseball blog...basically I'm trapped in the bedroom while my fiancee is wrapping presents in the living room and I'm not allowed to come out.

MG, I'm just giving you a hard time. I agree with your general attitude on the 'pen, just thought the concern over 180 IP was a bit much. Many of those IP are replaceable. Nonetheless, the Phils probably should sign one more piece (besides the likely Eyre signing). That's not just a concern over Walker's 30 innings, but over depth. If Durbin, or anyone above in the pecking order, goes down, they need to slide people up.

"Top Position Players in baseball... assume all things are equal (age, salary, contract,)"

At this moment, I go

1. Pujols
2. Mauer
3. Hanley
4. A-Rod

Dropoff

5. Youkilis
6. Howard
7. Utley
8. Texieira
9. Ichiro
10.Fielder
11.Braun
12.Jeter
13.D.Wright
14.Beltran




"I'm not allowed "

Hmmm....and I only thought WHIP was a baseball statistic.

Troy Glaus going to Braves.

Andy-- It's a baseball statistic and a marriage sadistic..Is that a haiku? :)

Rosenthal tweeted that Duchscherer is deciding between two NL teams. C'mon Duke. Come to Philly. Or at least don't go to anybody else in the NL East (read: Mets). The Mets would be a disastrous place to re-start your career. You want to win a lot with a group of winners, right? You want the league's most potent offense scoring runs for you and a great defense playing behind you, right? You want to be hanging around a pitching staff that includes Halladay, Lidge, and Moyer (even though you might take his spot in the rotation), right? If the price is right, c'mon down and get a piece of the Phillies Experience while it's going good...

Yeah, The Duke fits the royal nature of our pitching staff.

Duchscherer wants to pitch in the giant park in NY. He won't give up a homerun at home all year!

Seriously, the Phillies need to wrap up Baez and then get Wang. I think that's the best use of money for the team. I'm going to come out and say it.

I love Wang. I really want to see Wang a lot next year, hopefully every fifth day. I think Wang will really bounce back next year. Give some Wang.

Just realized that if he starts Opening Day, Strasburg's first MLB game will be against...the Phillies. Hopefully, they'll give him the same warm welcome they gave Lincecum in his first MLB start a few years ago. But seriously, I feel a little bad for any rookie righty pitcher that has to face the Phillies lineup for their introduction to the Bigs... Then I think about the serious amount of dough the kid makes and don't feel sorry at all.

This is why italics tags are bad.

TNA: You think Strasburg will be the Nats opening day starter? From everything I've read (i'm in DC), they're going to start him in the minors and let him earn his way up.

Marquis is their new "ace" as the news said when they announced his signing. Ha.

Interesting article from the Toronto Sun via MLBTR about how the Halladay trade came to be... http://www.torontosun.com/sports/columnists/bob_elliott/2009/12/24/12258766-sun.html


Interesting tidbit from NY Baseball Digest concerning the Yanks' interest in Lee:

"Why didn’t the Yanks push harder to acquire Lee you ask? Frank was told the Phillies wanted Montero and Joba, plus prospects. It was a price that Brian Cashman was unwilling to pay for Roy Halladay so you can see why a deal wasn’t completed."

So according to that Toronto Sun post, the Phillies wanted Gillies more than Saunders? Interesting. It says Gillies was a deal-breaker. I sure hope Looper, et al are correct on him. Apparently we liked the package from Seattle more than Montero + from the Yanks? Interesting.

Yo, new thread

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