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Wednesday, December 02, 2009


It would be quite strange to see Smoltz in a Phillies uniform.

From last thread: Alby, to most fans utility player never = everyday player. He's a bench guy who plays multiple positions. If someone can show me where Alfonso Soriano has been referred to in print as "utility player" I'll back down.

clout, I am hereby referring to Alfonso Soriano as a "utility player".

There....that should do it. :)

From Zolecki's blog:

"On progress at third base: "I'm optimistic that we can get something done. How quickly kind of depends on the pace of the agent.""

Is this a revealing quote? Boras is known to be slow moving and very patient stringing out negotiations involving his FA's.

Does this mean they're talking to Boras about Beltre?

Am I the only person not sold on Smoltz? I do not want him.

I am not sold on Smoltz eithier. I don't want to take any more chances with older players. For the sole reason that they can not take a full season and postseason of work on their arms anymore. I would rather let Kendrick have the rotation spot or bullpen spot that Smoltz would have.

Pedro was good for us, but everytime he went out there we were all holding out collective breaths for 6 innings. Then in the WS it came back and bite us in the backside because Pedro was throwing meatballs because he was all out of gas. I don't want that feeling anymore.

John thanks.

Rich Harden...yes please.

We already have an old pitcher to use as a starter or reliever. Will another one help? I know Smoltz is different than Moyer, but still...

I'm certainly not sold on Smoltz. If you want to put your money on a long shot, I'd rather that long shot have a lot more upside like Harden or Duchsherererer.

Was Pedro merely out of gas in Game 6 or was he a victim of whatever flu bug swept through the clubhouse in October? He didn't look good when he took the mound in the 1st inning and it went downhill from there.

Hugh: The flu bug was Game 2. Game 6 from the jump he was pitching junk and was out of gas.

This team can not have a older starter whether it is Pedro-Smoltz-Moyer-other to pitch 6 innings max and let up the standard 3 or 4 runs. That doesn't work. It cripples your bullpen and tightens your offense up because they are forced to score runs everytime you take the mound.

I'd like Harden or Duch, as well. Escobar has a certain appeal also-incentive laden deal.

I saw nothing in the press indicating Pedro had a bug in game 2 or game 6. Did he you see it in print?

I'm a bit confused by the comment htat a team can't have a starter that is limited to 6innings, typically, and gives up 3-4 runs. Sounds like a 5th starter to me.

What do you want out of a 5th starter? Lee-Hamels-Blanton-Happ are 1-4. No team has a allstar in the 5th rotation spot. It'll be a good sign if he comes relatively cheaply and he isn't promised anything other than being able to compete for the spot. I mean it's not that exciting, but again, it's for the #5 spot.

Harden would be great, but he's going to be more expensive and I'm not sure that he's much more reliable than Smoltz.

Hugh: Here is one of the articles which talks about the flu and fatigue in the WS.

JBird & Hugh: I never said a team "can't" have a guy that pitches 6 innings, but I would PREFER to have a guy like Kendrick pitching in the 5th spot. Kendrick is younger,cheaper, has similiar ERA+'s, and the best is ahead of him I think.

Mvptommy: Smoltz should have to compete with KK for the spot.

JBird: Why? We all know how it is going to turn out. A 43 year old that got torched last year competing for a 5th spot in the rotation. If you want a competitor for the 5th spot to battle KK, go take a flyer on someone younger coming off injury.


thanks for doing my homework. Assuming the story is true, that seems to confirm my suspicion. He wasn't merely out of gas in game 6. He was ill.

On a different topic, Is it me or do sites like Rotoworld write that eight out of ten free agents are "courted" by the Red Sox? That they're "in" on Beltre, Scutaro, Adam Kennedy, Lackey, ad infinitum. If they signd all the guys that media outlets claim, their payroll would be 600 million. Maybe the agents are puttin the crap out there to drive the price up.. It's annoying as hell

Not sure I totally buy the flu story, but it is possible.

I don't know, Smoltz had a 96 ERA+ in 38 NL innings last year (sample size, I know). But his ERA+ in '07 and '08 was good too. If he's gonna be expensive then I'm not excited about it. If he's going to come with a low base and a lot of incentive clauses it can be good- low risk, high reward. If he's going to cost the same as Ben Sheets or Rich Harden then you should obviously kick the tires on those guys instead.

Hugh: I think it was a mixture of both. My whole point is why pay a couple million to Pedro to do something that KK or a pitcher that is younger and coming off an injury can do for about $1 million or $475 K in Kendrick's case.

Tommy: hopefully it's a Pedro type contract and not a Moyer type contract.

Regarding the 5th starter, DHPhils posted this a few threads ago:

""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""

If, in fact, these numbers are still fairly accurate in 2009, then they would seem to fall in line with the adage that the #3 starter is expected to be about league average.

That said, any improvement over the ERAs from the #4 and #5 is beneficial.

Of course, that really shouldn't be acceptable or be the goal. The real numbers I'd like to see are the ERA averages for 1 - 5 starters on WINNING teams.

It seems to me that should be what they ought to shoot for.

Enough about free agents. There are more important issues, like . . . . ball girls!

Amandah I love you, but your "h" is bringing me down

Anyone else think it entirely odd that Smoltz would even consider coming here? I, for one, don't expect it. But if it were true, for me it would be the absolute final proof that the almighty dollar rules the roost in baseball. (I know, I know. Wake up, right?)

After all the negative things Smoltz has been quoted saying about the Brick Cit House, I would be shocked to see him pitching in white, red, and cream.

clout/mikes: On prior threads, you both asked rhetorically when was the last time a player had his salary cut through arbitration?

The kind of arbitration that Beltre would be getting (if the Mariners had offered it) is conceptually different from arbitration for players who don't have enough service time to be FAs. The latter category of players are almost always underpaid relative to what they could command on the open market. Even after arbitration awards, they are usually still underpaid. Hence, their salaries keep going up and up via the arbitration system, in order to bring them more and more in line with their actual worth in an open market.

Beltre is not saddled by the salary limitations which apply to players with little service time. In fact, the opposite is true with Beltre. He signed a massive contract 5 years ago, when his value was at an all-time high. But he has never been remotely worth that contract in his subsequent years, and least of all, last season. There is simply no way in the world that his situation can be analogized to salary arbitration hearings for young players, and there is no way in the world any arbitrator would ever raise his salary from $12M in the season after he hit for a .683 OPS. Literally no way in the world.

I really wouldn't discount KK as a viable 5th starter. At the end of last year, he looked like a different guy, put some bulk on and got rid of his DITHL look.

He also seemed to not care what his role was, as long as he was in the show. Thems the guys I want. When Uncle Cholly says they need you in the pen, they say yessir.

When Uncle Cholly says that you're not leading off.....

I heard Pedro say in postgame interview of Game 6 that it was difficult for him to breathe, but that he didn't want to make an excuse for pitching poorly - so I assumed he did still have the flu. I've always wondered how he would have pitched if he'd been feeling 100%. But then, I remember that Jamie pitched in the '08 WS when he was quite ill, and he did pretty well. People do respond differently to illness and injury, so that may not be a fair comparison. And it doesn't matter now.

I can't believe I agree with MVPTommy on something, but we agree on Smoltz.

Signing Smoltz to be a starter would just be bizarre. It would be the type of move that I might come up with if I were writing a SNL skit designed to mock Amaro's fondness for older players. Does Amaro realize there are actually a few decent players out there who are under the age of 35?

bap, if Beltre accepts arbitration, I wouldn't bet on that.

This isn't the days anymore where Enos Slaughter had his pay cut because he hit below .300 one season, or the time Ralph Kiner was told to swallow a pay cut because the team's owner told him: "We finished in last place with you. We'll finish in last place without you", or something to that effect.

and for further comparison KK is 6'3", and smoltz is also 6'3", so I'd say that its a wash.

awh: I didn't realize the Mariners had offered arbitration. Why do you think they did this? Because they want Adrian Beltre so badly that they're willing to pay more than $12M for him next year? Or because they believe that, if they went to a hearing, the arbitrator would award something considerably less than that?

This has nothing to do with Enos Slaughter. Enos Slaughter didn't start out with a baseline of $12M per year.

Beard - that article certainly can be interpreted as spin and excuse making standing alone. I thought Martinez looked sick when he first stepped on teh mound in game 6 and stared in for the sign interminably before finally throwing the first pitch. His expression was droopy and his color was gray (or maybe that's my TV) but, he looked like he was under the weather and trying to keep his legs under him a bit. I still recall turning to my son and saying "does he look sick to you?" And then, "What is he waiting for?"

Joe: I don't know if you haven't been here for a while, but we put that height joke to bed about a month ago.

Phils apparently had interest in Bettancourt before the Rox offered him arb.. hey BAP-- he's "only" 34

joe, I bet they could both play 3B! :)

bap: I thought there was a limit on how much a player's salry can be cut in arbitration. I think it's 20%.

joe, I want Dan Brouthers leading off for the Phils.

wagner just signed with the braves. can't believe we have to see him pitch against the phils again.

Assuming Smoltz would start...
Those in favor of Pedro over Smoltz say "aye".

Schneider is under 35.

Height joke was put to rest a few weeks ago. Let's let it go.

Ozark: I will one up you.

Those in favor of Kendrick starting over Pedro or Moyer or Smoltz say "aye"

JBird: That "80% rule" doesn't apply to free agents who voluntarily agree to go to arbitration.

Also, according to MLBTraderumors Myers is being looked at as a starter in Houston or as a reliever in Texas for the Rangers.

I think we all saw Ed Wade jumping all over Myers from the beginning.

It appears that the Phils are going the value old and value village route for anything they need. I am not happy about this. To me the Phils have a strangle-hold on the entire NL. The team needs to be augmented, not filled in with cheap stop-gap parts.

To me, it also appears that Polanco will be the guy at 3B as he was not offered arb. The Red Sox are interested in De Rosa so if they want him they'll get him. I still want Beltre @ 3B but I guess that's wishful thinking.

According to Fox Sports, Billy Wagner just signed a 1 year deal for 7 million with the Braves. There's a vesting option, where Wagner gets a second year with 6.5 million if he finishes 50 games.

Wagner's a type A free agent, so the Braves have to give Boston a draft pick. Am I the only one who thinks this isn't a real good deal for that team? Or is Soriano really going to be that expensive?

bap, here's the link to the list of players offered arb:

Why do I think the M's offered Beltre arb?

IMHO, there is more than one reason. One, they may expect him to seek a multi-year deal elsewhere, though you never know with Boras. Two, I've read some indications that they feel they're very close to contending next season, and having him back on a 1 year deal may be something they'd consider, because, three, there really are not a lot of "good" 3B options out there, and arguably only one who would be an upgrade over the guy they have.

It's a calculated risk on their part, as all arbitration offers are.

Also, why do you focus on only his last season there? He was hurt and on the DL. do you really think an arb panel is only going to consider the last year of the contract? Or, do you think it might influence them when Boras points out that his OPS+ for the life of the contract was 101?

Also, bap, I realize that the raw numbers he posted during his time in Seattle don't look that good, but because OPS+ is park adjusted and Safeco is a known graveyard for RH hitters, do you think that maybe the ballpark had something to do with the mediocre raw numbers?

Take a look at his Home/Away splits during his time in Seattle. They're very significant.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and may stick to you guns if you wish, but if he decides to forego a long-term deal with another club and accepts arb with the Mariners, IMHO he ain't takin' no pay cut.

awh: Of course, the arbitrator won't ONLY consider last season. But last season is obviously the most important. Besides, even if you consider his last 5 seasons, there's no way in the world he's worth $12M, let alone more than that.

There's an old expression, "The law is not an ass." Legal principles are founded on common sense and, to argue that a legal tribunal would award Adrian Beltre more than $12M, one merely has to suspend his common sense. The arbitrator's job is to award a salary similar to players of comparable productivity and experience -- except, when the player has more than 6 years service time, the "experience" part is not considered. All of you are just citing the truism that salaries almost always go up in arbitration, but without taking the time to think about WHY salaries always go up. The reason they always go up is because the system bases salaries on service time &, with each additional season, the player's service time increases by one year. If you take service time out of the equation, as you would for Adrian Beltre, then he would merely receive a salary similar to players of comparable productivity. It cannot seriously be argued that this would be anywhere near $12M. The Mariners are not completely dense. They offered arbitration because they know that it would result in keeping Beltre, but with a substantial pay cut.

The Mariners offered Beltre arb because there is a small probability of him accepting. He wants a multi-year deal, to win a World Series, and (speculation alert!)play in a park that doesn't kill his offensive numbers. None of that is going to happen with Seattle, and he's got teams like Boston and Philly interested in him.

And if he did happen to accept? Well, overpaying for one year of a good player is not the worst thing in the world.

awh: Beltre is NOT getting a pay raise if he accepts arbitration. That isn't my opinion; that's fact. If you took the time to consider the criteria involved, and the REASON why player salaries usually go up in arbitration, you would realize that there is literally no analytical methodology by which one can conclude that Adrian Beltre will get more than $12M through arbitration.

Of course, Beltre won't be accepting arbitration because he KNOWS he won't get a pay raise.

DomPatrone, I'd like to see Beltre here too (Figgins won't be here - too expensive for the Phils' blood), but for the reasons I posted above, unless Beltre gets at least a 3 yr. offer of at least $8MM per, I think there is a good chance he'll risk arb with Seattle. If he wins he'll be at 12MM+ and can file for FA next season.

Is someone in the Phillies FO getting kick backs from AARP ?


No thank you to SMoltz!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beltre would get three potential advantages by accepting arbitration. 1. He might have to take a cut in pay, but I bet it won't be all the way down to the $7-$8 million than some are estimating he'll sign for. 2. He'd have a year to re-establish his value after an injury marred season and 3. then he'd go back into the market again and hopefully the economy might have started to pick back up (Lord willing) increasing salaries again.

According to Fangraphs Beltre has been worth:

2007 - $12.4
2008 - $18.5
2009 - $10.7
2010 - $18.9 - est.

so it's conceivable given arbitrations history of being divorced from contemporary market values that he might not take a pay cut or at least much of one.

I've actually tried to look for figures from arbitration hearings of players with more than 6 years service time. I've come up empty. My guess is that there have been very few such hearings. Most cases settle before they reach arbitration, and I would imagine that this is even more true for experienced players who agree to arbitration with their own teams. The value of such players is generally much more settled than with younger players, and the very fact that they agree to arbitration suggests a willingness to cooperate and try to settle the case. Most likely, there aren't too many such cases that actually result in a full-fledged hearing.

bap, you are correct: "The law is not an ass."

'tis lawyers that supply all the asses for the law.

Have you checked and compared Beltre's comparable productivity to other 3B since 2005? Where does he rank in OPS+ compared to them?

According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Phillies are one of the teams inquiring about JJ Putz.


You make very valid points in reference to Beltre, especially with Boras. If you remember, I said he would be difficult to deal with a couple of weeks ago. I don't think the Phils want to pay anything close to what Boras will demand, thus they won't sign him. I'm not being critical of your comments in any way.

Let's see now, so far they got Castro to replace Bruntlett (Grade: F) and Schneider to replace Bako (Grade: A) and resigned Hoover to a Minor-Leage deal for depth.

In addition to my earlier post on Polanco, while he may be a better hitter than Feliz, Pedro did have 82 RBI from the 7th spot, which is nothing to sneeze at. Polanco's career highs n HR's and RBI are 17/72 and @ 34 is more than likely on the downside side of his career. Still a nice player, but not as a starter. IMHO, he is not an upgrade over Feliz. At least with Feliz, you know what you get defensively. If the Phils don't get younger at 3B, how do they improve their situation? They don't. Polanco mostly just fits into their budget.

And now they're looking at Smoltz. Why? At 43, and he's never liked CBP, saying they're interested in him, again is waste of time. J.J. Putz? Is that the best they can do?

The Phils put the cart before the horse this off-season. It's not going to turn out as they planned and we will all be disappointed with the outcome. Let's not forget, it sill all comes down to money with this team and they don't see things in the same light as we phans do.

I think the saying is actually "the law is an ass" and it comes from Dickens. I tend to think Beltre would do better in arbitration on next year's salary. Baseball arbitration being an either/or proposition, Seattle would be gambling heavily and unwisely if it submitted a number far below his most recent salary.

"awh: Beltre is NOT getting a pay raise if he accepts arbitration. That isn't my opinion; that's fact."

bap, I'm glad you are SO certain of something that hasn't happened yet (meaning you don't know - therefore it, by definition, cannot be a "fact") and you may never know.

I'm also glad you're not my lawyer.

DPatrone - I am with you ...
"And now they're looking at Smoltz. Why? At 43, and he's never liked CBP, saying they're interested in him, again is waste of time. J.J. Putz? Is that the best they can do?"

Exactly- Smoltz has always whined about CBP! What part about Smoltz's HORRIBLE numbers last year doesnt the FO understand??!

Bargain shopping mode.

Someone who's name I won't mention needs to take a breath and go back to the last thread and read what the self described "MVP" said:

"While we are all discussing the "rumors" from the hot stove just something to keep in mind. Instead of debating each other to no end over who would be a better fit for us, just remember that almost no one that the Phillies have been rumored to get actually happened. "

b_a_p: But a team can not offer a number less than 80% of the previous year's salary, so that would still be $9.6 million in Beltre's case. If he is offered multi-year deals significantly below that number than Boras could convince him to take it arguing that a strong campaign will earn him more than that in a weaker FA 3B class in 2011.

Alright, it's not a fact. It's merely an opinion supported by reasoning and common sense, as opposed to an opinion based on an article of dogma: that Beltre will get a raise from his already ridiculous salary because that's just what happens when players go to arbitration.

AWH~ I agree. The Phils would have at offer at least a 3/24 deal to Beltre. I'd be very surprised if they did. Boras would turn that down probably. That's why I think it'll be Polanco. And he still doesn't make them better, he just more financially feasible.

Again, I'm not calling them cheap, but 140 million won't get the top players they need here. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet.

MPN: But, as I said in my 11:57 a.m. post, the 80% rule only applies to players with less than 6 years of service time. I read it right out of the rule book.

Anyway, back to work for me.

KK will have the 5th spot locked down in no time, no need to throw other washed up guys at him to compete. Pages 14-15 seem to argue against your interpretation. But I am not a Barrister, so what do I know...

I thought in arbitration that the team states what they will pay, and the player states his figure. Then the arbitrator decides what that figure will be. Can not be other than one or the other.

wait a second, p. 72 seems to be making your point. I obviously do not deal with contract law...

So what's Soriano figure to get if Wagner got $7 million? 'Cause, I'd rather have Soriano.

Perhaps too much Seinfeld watching for me, but every time I see fljerry I think Fusilli Jerry.

Those guidelines you provided are only for players who are not yet eligible for free agency:

Any Club, or any Player with a total of three or more years of Major League service, however accumulated, BUT WITH LESS THAN SIX YEARS OF MAJOR LEAGUE SERVICE, may submit the issue of the Player’s salary to final and binding arbitration without the consent of the other party, subject to
the provisions of paragraph (4) below.

And, yes, page 72 is the portion I was referring to.

JBird - fangraphs metric "overstates" the value of defense in the sense that the (fangraphs theoretical) money value of defense is higher than the market recognizes at this point. For players like Beltre that usually means that they'll get less on the market than fangraphs would estimate. This is also one reason why some of fangraphs' numbers seem so high.

JBird: Agreed, If I am Soriano I am going to have a hard time accepting anything less

So BAP what you are saying, the binding arbitrator can give any amount of money he feels is adequate?

Alfonso Soriano isn't considered a utility player because he gets moved position to position because of poor play at his current spot.

An everyday player who plays multiple position because they are valuble at more than one spot is considered a utility player. A like a Ryan Freel or Mark Derosa.

"Perhaps too much Seinfeld watching for me, but every time I see fljerry I think Fusilli Jerry."

LOL, same here, MPN!

fljerry: No. The player submits his proposal; the team submits theirs. The arbitrator picks one. There is no meeting in the middle (unless the parties settle before the hearing). That is how arbitration works.

But, when making its offer, the TEAM may offer whatever it deems appropriate. It is not constrained by the 80% rule. The 80% rule applies only to players with less than 6 years of service time.

"An everyday player who plays multiple position because they are valuble at more than one spot is considered a utility player."

I thought a "utility player" was a player on the bench who is skilled enough at different positions to warrant playing time in different spots, not someone who's in the lineup "everyday".

Soriano was an elite closer last year. He's going to end up with a contract about what KRod got last year. Given that there's always a disproportionate premium for closers, I'd think around $10M/yr.

There's very little chance the Phillies are picking up Soriano or M Gonzalez.

As for Beltre, we'll see if he accepts the arbitration (or jumps the gun and signs for big bucks elsewhere); I'm sure Boras is doing his usual due diligence -- this decision will probably be the most informative yet in terms of what the 3B market is and will likely be for the offseason. I doubt Lowell or other starting 3B get traded until then.

Well BAP more or less isn't that what I stated. Each side picks a figure and arbitrator picks one?

bap, correction accepted.

We differ in opinion. I can live with that. We may never know which one of us is correct, as Beltre may not accept arb. We'll have to see.

Dom, they may have an arbitrary payroll ceiling - that's fine, most businesses budget for certain line items.

What's funny is that we're all here discussing the 3B situation/need, and I still haven't changed my opinion that I posted nearly a month ago:

Who mans 3B for the Phillies in 2010 will be 3rd on the list of importance as far as the areas that Amaro announced he wanted to upgrade in the offseason. My list, in terms of importance:

1) Upgrade pitching
2) Upgrade bench
3) Upgrade 3B

This team scored more runs than any other team in the NL last season, and the 4th highest number of runs in MLB (more than 11 AL teams despite the fact they play with a DH).

They did so with their above average - but not great - leadoff hitter in an historic slump for the 1st half of the season.

They did it with their regular 3B posting poor numbers relative to his peers - though he did hit well ith RISP and drove in 82 runs.

They did it with their 2B coming off of major surgery.

They did it with their LF missing 21 games due to an injury requiring postseason surgery, and with the injury obviously limiting his effectiveness after it occured.

They did it with a bench that horribly underperformed its' expectations and the NL:

NL as PH .230 .320 .362
NL as subs .222 .307 .342

Phils as PH .186 .284 .346
Phils as subs .196 .289 .322

So, all else being equal, I think it's reasonable to expect a better year out of the leadoff/SS, and an uptick at 2B and in LF.

PH and Subs got 645 PA in 2009. The regular 3B got 625 PA in 2009.

I can live with a slight upgrade at 3B if they get a decent improvement from the bench and the pitching can get upgraded.

jerry: You asked if the "arbitrator can give any amount of money he feels is adequate?" The TEAM can offer any amount of money it feels is adequate. The arbitrator can only award either the salary offered by the team or the one proposed by the player, even if he/she believes that the appropriate salary would be something in between the 2 figures.

Yes I did after I saw a msg from you which Ithought was stating that. My original msg on here was I thought in arbitration that the team states what they will pay, and the player states his figure. Then the arbitrator decides what that figure will be. Can not be other than one or the other.
I guess we straigthened out the misunderstanding and we both were stating the samething

TNA, the BoSox will look to move Lowell ASAP if they are successful in trading for AGon.

To wait would only put more pressure on them and diminish his value.

It's quite possible they have a contingent deal already worked out with the Phils or some other team, and have reached agreement on the prospect(s).

If they can get AGon they pull the trigger. If not they keep Lowell for 2010.

It seems that every year, the Phils payroll has a big pile of dead money,i.e., non-productive contract obligations such as Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins, Jim Thome, etc. Currently Moyer and Lidge account for a lot of dollars which could have gone to far better uses. My fear is that the same would happen if Beltre were given a three year deal. I vote no. Figgins is the clear preferred alternative, and I think they can afford him. Don't fixate on the $140 million dollar payroll. Think about revenues over the past two years. If not Figgins or Beltre, the best option is Lowell for one year. As for Smoltz, such a move would constitute clear evidence of brain dysfunction, maybe more like an LSD-induced hallucination.

Been busy at work today to read the last three threads. My vote on Smoltz is "No".


Someone who's name I won't mention needs to take a breath and go back to the last thread and read what the self described "MVP" said:

"While we are all discussing the "rumors" from the hot stove just something to keep in mind. Instead of debating each other to no end over who would be a better fit for us, just remember that almost no one that the Phillies have been rumored to get actually happened. "

You and MVP are right rumors are just that: rumors. But the fact of the matter is where there's smoke, there can be fire. Now since none of us start these things, when Stark says the Phils are "in on Smoltz", one has to think there's some truth to it.

My whole point the past couple of weeks has been this: The Phils are now one of the top 3 teams in baseball and if they want to stay that way, they have to do the right things. Agreed? Anybody other than Beltre or Figgins at 3B is not doing the right thing. Since they're not getting Figgins, that leaves Beltre. Anybody other than him is not an upgrade over Feliz.

Is the possiblity of Smoltz, Putz better than Eyre, Park? I don't know. But I will tell say this, Amaro is being cautious with good reason, but what he is really saying he's not gonna make a big splash. HE thinks the Phils will be better @ 3rd with somebody else over Feliz. That's his opinion and he's entitled to it. But if he doesn't get the best guy out there he's wrong. Just remember, last off-season he didn't upgrade the bench and look how the bench performed in the WS.

Just a few favorite recent quotes from DPatrone, and then an oldie but goodie:

-"I venture to say that the Phils will worry that someone else will try to sign De Rosa and jump at him. They love the guy. That's why they will sign him."
-"Regardless of what is being read and said, Amaro will strike quickly and sign who he wants, not who the phans want."
-"It's not going to turn out as they planned and we will all be disappointed with the outcome"

Just a ray of sunshine... and now the dated quote:

"1. Randy Wolf will sign a 1-yr $5 miliion deal. Sould be announced Fri. (Ugh!). They made the same offer to Colon. They also made an offer to Kuroda. He wants more than they are willing to pay. He prefers to stay out west (Seattle). Eaton will probably start the season on the DL. His shoulder is not good but he doesn't need surgery.

2. Phils will bring in Jerry Davannon to compete for the RF platoon spot with Werth.
(Double Ugh!)

3. Will sign a reliever. Either Affeldt or someone of that ilk.

4. Are in conversations with Rowand. If they sign Rowand, they could trade Vic for a 3b-m. If not, they will look to bring in Melvin More but they want the O's to pick up some of his salary (Triple Ugh!). If a 3B-man is acquired, look for Helms to go to the Yanks for Farnsworth."

"Anybody other than him is not an upgrade over Feliz."

DomP, I'm not sure I agree with that. Besides, if you look at my post above, one could make the argument that it's more important to improve the performance of the bench than 3B. As you can see in my post, the Subs and PH got more PA than Feliz did.

An improvement to league average from the bench would probably result in 8-10 more runs during the season, possibly translating into 1 more win. That wouldn't have mattered in 2009, but I'll bet they don't win the decision by 6 games in 2010. Improving the pitching is also more important than who plays 3B as long as the 3B is adequate defensively. Allowing 20 less runs is, IMHO, MORE important than upgrading 3B. That's another two wins (assuming Pythagorean W-L holds true).

I think the Braves, with their rotation depth, will be in it all year. They just signed Wagner. Any bets on who will have a better year in 2010: Wagner or Lidge? I rate it a toss-up.

So, while I don't disagree with your overall point about the Phils and how they operate, it's important to understand they don't operate in a vaccum - there are other teams competing for these players as well.

Deutsche Phan, what's your point - that DPatrone was wrong in his predictions?

We all are from time to time (ok, maybe you're not).

I tend to stay away from the prediction game because making a prediction is like placing a bet, and I was taught at a young age to never bet on anything I couldn't control.

As far as your post above, Amaro is striking fairly quickly compared to most of the rest of MLB.

Wagner signing with the Bravos has probably been the biggest signing so far. The Schneider deal is probably number 2. Of all the 'big' market teams (NYY, BOS, NYM, LAD, LAA, CHC, CHW, ATL, SFG, HOU - did I miss any?) the Phils have done just about as much as any of them.

Now, as to the other two recent quotes: well, I think we all know Dom gets a little worked up at times.

Still a decent poster, though.

In other good news for baseball fans everywhere, the Dodgers announced than Vin Scully will return in 2010.

Despite my dislike of the Dodgers, he's one of the great broadcasters in history and a class act.

His point seems to be that D(om?)Patrone's sources in the Phillies Admin have failed him and he will be disappointed no matter what Amaro does.

Ruth, Whitey Ford and Willie Mays could be signed and it would be bad b/c they either: A) Signed too fast
B)Waited to long to sign them
C) Weren't linked to them in any rumors.

Awh-- I just took deutsche fan's post as a comment on DPatrone's negativity/gloom and doom. Predictions are all in good fun. Maybe if we ALL took a collective breath now, waiting for the reality over rumors, the angst of the off-season would require less Maalox.

from Jim Callis chat on ESPN:

Chuck (MPLS):your opinion: top 5 org talent (no particular order)

Jim Callis(2:54 PM): Was kicking this around with John Manuel the other day. In no order: Rangers, Phillies, Rays, Giants, Indians.

Being considered a top 5 system is pretty good.

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EST. 2005

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