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Thursday, January 21, 2010


I'm sure not many people want to revisit the Lee trade but Buster Olney weighed in today vis a vis the Blanton arbitration offer. Money Quote:

"This [the Lee trade] came together so quickly that at the time of the blockbuster trade, executives from many other teams say they hadn't even known that Lee was available."

"With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight -- that the Phillies could have done differently while holding their payroll at the same level as it will be with Blanton in the fold -- is to have worked out a trade of Blanton, rather than Lee. And there would have been takers."

"Some officials with other teams say that while they would not have been willing to surrender a top prospect for Blanton, they would have been interested in acquiring the durable innings-eater ... The Phillies could have probably gotten a Grade B prospect for Blanton."

Oh good lord, not this again...

The reports were that Blanton was being shopped around for almost a week before the Halladay/Lee deals came together. Either RAJ didn't like the "offers" he got or there weren't any real offers.

The part that sickens some of us, CiVT, is that one has to wonder if Lee had been offered for that long a time if the prospects gathered would not have been better than three (albeit interesting and high ceiling) single-A guys. Maybe not. But the trigger was squeezed on Lee pretty quick.

Halladay Trade: A+
Lee Trade: D- (being generous)

There was no reason make the 2nd trade immediately. Rube could have at least tried to get a bidding war going.

****THURSDAY, 8:23am: Via Twitter, Yahoo's Tim Brown adds the Rockies, Dodgers, and Blue Jays as other clubs that will watch Gagne throw.****

A bidding war for Gagne? Yeah, no thanks. I thought it was gonna be a private workout...what happened to that?

When the topic of the day is Brandon Duckworth in the DR. . . Mostly it puts to lie the idea that Lee was properly shopped and that no one made a good offer on Blanton. Seattle's prospect Michael Saunders is a B grade prospect so would you trade Joe Blanton, Gillies, and Aumont right now for Lee and Saunders? I would. Anyway, the only reason I mention it is because Buster Olney did, and I really have no opinion on Duckworth other than I liked him the 1st time he was here.

Duckworth looks like Toby from The Office.

That's all I've got on him at this point.

that's true, he does. crazy.

N. Figueroa,
Duckworth, Offerman, Chacin.
Lots of meh right there

I wonder if we could bring in Jose Offerman as a bench coach to intimidate umpires into calling Lidge's sliders as strikes.

I agree the trade of Lee happened a lot faster than I would have liked, but that just makes me think it was either PR-motivated or there was a directive from ownership to eliminate the salary obligation immediately.

I also just read that even after arbitration, if the team doesn't like the outcome they can walk away from the arb award and only owe the player 1/5th of the salary awarded...So that would have been another option (with regards to Blanton) if the Lee trade was just a salary dump.

The only conclusion I can make about the whole thing is that the Phils REALLY liked the players they got from Seattle. Otherwise the whole thing doesn't make sense. And they get paid a lot of money to do this for a living, while I just write about it on BL when I'm bored at work...

I see we're continuing to pretend that we "traded" Taylor et al to Toronto. In reality, we sold them 2 of our better prospects for $5 million.

Duckworth? Yawwwwn. WGAS?

"But the trigger was squeezed on Lee pretty quick."

Andy, I guess they felt they had to.

"There was no reason make the 2nd trade immediately. Rube could have at least tried to get a bidding war going."

NEPP, I could argue that they did.

Let me put it to you this way:

Can you imagine the outcry from Phillies' fandom if they had traded for Halladay and then waited 2-4 weeks before trading Lee?

The noise would have been deafening as fans expressed their disappointment/rage, and would have built to a crecendo that left fans with a bitter taste in their mouths DESPITE the fact that the FO has actually [on paper] improved this team from the beginning of last season.

The PR hit would have been almost as bad as the PR hits CLE and TOR took for trading their aces in the first place.

Fans would have had 3 weeks to scream "Why not Blanton?".

So, could they have held out and made a better trade for Lee, or maybe even moved Blanton?

Maybe. That's an unknown, and Olney's article is speculative.

From a pure baseball standpoint, if they kept Lee, the Phils would be better off - FOR 2010.

But these decisions are not always made for baseball reasons alone, and especially not with only one season in mind. Ruben has said that their thinking was also the future - after Lee left - because they didn't believe they were going to be able to re-sign him.

It's been widely noted on this board that if they thought they could have extended Lee they wouldn't have doen the deal for Doc in the first place.

Hey, if all decisions were only done on a "pure baseball" basis, they Jason Werth will be a Phillie after 2010.

Comcast Loophole ended.

This is huge news for us folks who aren't willing to be pawns to Comcast's ridiculous prices and crappy service. Dish and DirectTV folks, you should soon be able to get the Comcast Philly sports pacakages that have so long been denied to us.

Chris, you correctly note that PR had something to do with the swiftness of the Lee trade.

IMHO, it was a combo of many things:

Money, PR, getting decent prospects back, they future competitiveness of the team....all these factored into the decision.

Ken Rosenthal made an observation on the MLB network last night.

When asked by a fan "why didn't the Phillies trade Hamels instead of Lee?" he answered that moeny had something to do with it, but that Hamels was younger and under the team's control longer.

He also made another correct observation:

If Hamels rebounds he IS Cliff Lee.

Interesting news, Greg S. Have you been without televised Phillies games all this time?

I suffer with Comcast because I must.

Greg, for the consumer, that is, indeed, great news!

Greg S - that is incredilbe news! Its been so long for me. I have had Directv for years and have had to try to bypass the blackout restrictions on my computer. Now I get to watch them on my flat screen in HD! Hope this is in effect before baseball season.

We already knew we could get lesser prospects for Blanton. What Olney reports today is nothing new.

It's also reiterated (1/19 on that if a Lee deal could not have been done, neither would the Halladay deal.

I still feel disappointed to have lost Lee, but we have to move on. I'm sure watching Halladay pitch will help us feel better.

GBrett, I agree.

Think about this intro line on Opening Day at the 'Zen:

"Batting 9th for the Phillies and pitching.....Roy Halladay!"

Who'da thunk?

Seriously...people can speculate all they want about what "could have been" with a rotation fronted by Halladay/Lee/Hamels, but that just isn't the case. Everyone needs to get over it and be happy that the two-time defending NL Champs got a good bit better in the offseason...This team is poised for another run at a title, and I don't know if I've ever enjoyed watching a Phils team play more.

In other news, long-term health concerns have surfaced for recently signed NYM outfielder Jason Bay:

Greg: It's Comcastic news! Comcast has used a monopoly to withold Phillies, Sixers and Flyers games to hundred of thousands of fans all over PA and NJ for years. I used to live on a road just a mile from a town of 30,000, yet Comcast was too cheap to run cable to my road (which had 20 houses). Thus, we were all penalized from seeing Phils games because they wouldn't offer their service to satellite providers. The perception is that this only affected the greater Philly area, but really it affects the entire Eastern and Central part of PA. I live near Williamsport 140 miles from Philly, which gets blacked out of Phillies, mets and yankees games if you don't have the cable system. I hope the courts deny the appeals speedily!

The FCC voted, 4-1, to close the loophole, which had its biggest national impact in Philadelphia.

Experts warned that changes could be months away and that Comcast could sue to block the rule change.

"Halladay Trade: A+
Lee Trade: D- (being generous)"

Huh? The three prospects haven't played a single game down on the Pharm. Do we have names of other prospects, from other teams, we could have had-not just speculation? Heck, i'm not thrilled by the trade, but to give it a "generous" D- is a bit early.

msb - dont forget Delaware. We get the shaft too.

fljerry, they could sue, but the Comcast is already viewed by many as a heavy-handed, arrogant organization.

AAMOF, the cable council in Radnor Township has been having problems with them because they won't live up to simple commitments to the public access channel contained in their franchise agreement, and have even informally voted to declare Comcast in default of the franchise agreement.

I don't know what the current disposition is, but I'll be Radnor isn't the only Twsp. that has trouble with Comcast keeping their agreements.

BedBeard, correct.

NEPP's post is purely speculative in nature.

Mitch Williams disagrees with him, as he said that he expects Aumont to actually help the Phillies in 2010 - though he may have been ass-u-ming that Aumont stayed in the 'pen.

But let's suppose this:

Suppose Aumont transitions back to a SP very well, and suppose Williams is right, and by late summer is at the 'Zen contributing to another playoff run?

How would one grade the Lee trade then?

CY: true. One time I called MLB corporate offices to complain about the exclusion of Phillies games to rural homes w/o access to cable, and I talked to an arrogant guy who sounded like the love child of Bud Selig and Brian Roberts. Sneeringly told me that MLB had no say in the matter. That's a joke, we all know that MLB could have put their foot down and told Comcast that this is hurting fans of the game. I would have been willing to pay an extra "ala carte" fee to see Phillies games on Dish, but Comcast was too worried about protecting their turf via an unfair maneuver IMHO.

Blanton was on the block... the idea that the Phils easily could have gotten a B-prospect for him is revisionist history.

Moving on...

MSB - agreed. You get a different answer from everyone you talk to as to why we get screwed.

I begged to pay an "ala carte" fee as well. No dice.

This is great for me because I refuse to buy comcast and the only provider with the NFL package is DirecTv. I almost switched to Fios last week despite no Nfl, glad I waited.

Get it done by April 1!

Unfortunately, that FCC ruling likely won't change anything for the 2010 season until it is done making its way through the courts. Guess better late than never.

A small "Rupert Murdoch doesn't care about Philadelphia" movement would get this done.

I'm wondering if hoping that a pitcher who's never been above A+ will be contributing in a meaningful way to a play-off run is a little bit overly optimistic.

But you're obviously right. It may go down as one of the best trades since that Monasterios deal.

awh - if 2 of the 3 prospects acquired for Lee turn out to be major-league contributors (say Aumont becomes a middle of the rotation starter and Gillies takes over as the starting CF) in the next couple years, the Lee trade will have been a success. Otherwise, not so much. But it's all speculation at this point.

Off topic...Piniero signed for 8 mil per with the LAA on a 2 year deal. How in the world does Joe Blanton think he's worth 10+ mil?

Bonehead: The only Phillies games I get are the occassional weekend ones on the CW.

I don't even get to see the nationally televised ones. This is really why I'm pissed about Comcast's monopoly. Because I'm in the blackout area (Lancaster), ESPN games are blacked out. I'm supposed to watch them through the local channel. But I don't have the local channel, 'cause I hate Comcast. I think the blackout should only work if the local channel is available to everyone. Hopefully now it will be.

Also, MLB's blackout policy sucks. If you are in a metro area that includes multiple teams (for me it includes Baltimore, Washington, Philly, even Pittsburgh I think), you can;t get any of these games. msb has the same problem in Williamsport except with NY teams. I think it is BS that you can be blacked out of multiple teams. They need to pick one and stick with it.

Look how far Pittsburgh blackout area goes. I'd be surprised to find a Pirates fan in Pittsburgh, let alone Lancaster.

CJ - It's quite possible some teams out there offered a B level prospect for Blanton and that wasn't enough for RAJ to "replenish the farm system" regardless of the draft picks they would have received when Lee left.

Ownership has stated that the Halladay trade wasn't happening without the Lee trade to prepare for the future, so this seems like much ado about nothing.

Honestly what is the point of the various Winter League programs whether in Arizona or aboard? Maybe it has some value for those players who are trying to catch on with a team but does it do prospects one bit of good?

Chris, even including last season(a Dave Duncan miracle?) Joel Piniero's ERA+ was 86 over the last 5 years.

Joe Blanton's ERA+ was 102.

I'm not saying who should get paid what, but...

that's a big difference.

Very true Greg S. I emailed the FCC commissioners to praise them for the ruling.

"There was no reason make the 2nd trade immediately. Rube could have at least tried to get a bidding war going."

NEPP~ Exactly. There was no reason to do it at that point. That's why I say it was a financial decision, not a baseball one. It had nothing to do with the pharm system. It was about Doc's salary for '10 and how they were gonna be able to pay him. By getting 6 mil. back from Toronto and then moving Lee, RAJ achieved cost certainty. That's all he achieved with this trade. Nobody likes it except in Seatlle. Also, he knew he couldn't get rid of Moyer's albatross of a contract and that's where the problem lies, not with Blanton.

What he neglected to realize was what their rotation would have been if he kept Lee. The word is awesome. He was so enamored with getting Doc.....

Regardless if a bidding war would have ensued or not, trading Lee at that point was pointless, just like rushing out and signing Castro.

There's always gonna be second-guessing around this whole situation, woulda, shoulda, coulda. The right thing to do was to keep Lee. If he walks later, he walks. Baseball decision my foot. It's aLways about the money. That's why he's looking for "low-risk, high-reward" type guys to fill some holes. Hey Rube, here's something to think about - if the guys you're looking at were any good, they'd probably be signed by other teams right now.

I'm tired of going over this. 'Nuff said. End of story.

I'm interested to see what the Mets do now that another one of their "targets" has signed elsewhere.

Will they really make a push for Sheets? They'd likely need to overpay to get him in NY instead of Texas.

Will they settle for clout's favorite pitcher, Jon Garland?

Jarrod Washburn?

After Santana, they have some pretty big question marks in Pelfrey, Maine and Perez... and Niese?

Lee trade is old hat. If the Phils are going to be a legit contender after 2011 (low 90s/high 80s win total), they are going to need at least 2 of the prospects though to likely be significant contributors by then.

Let's just say I have my doubts because of the prospects the Phils got, relying upon Looper as a key decision maker in the talent evaluation process, and the Phils incredibly poor track record of trading stars for talent.

Phils, Blanton talking extension per Andy Martino. Also, just got a caal from a family member up there. He was getting in the car for lunch and he heard on the radion that Vic possibly signed. Anybody else hear this?

I'm done with this topic and just hoping Aumont's filthy stuff will translate into major league success, but if they kept Lee, they would've won the world series and made a ton of money.

Also- if they were so concerned about salary, why not target a younger starter like Felix Hernandez or Zach Grienke? The ridiculous package we gave up for Halladay+$6 million would've been enough to get almost anyone.

"but if they kept Lee, they would've won the world series and made a ton of money."

If you're operating under that assumption, there's no point having a rational conversation with you.

DPat: You think Amaro never thought how good a rotation of Halladay-Lee-Hamels would be? Really? REALLY?

BB - exactly right - also to continue to say it was only about the money which is why the trade went down immediately is also a falsehood.

Nobody is getting paid right now. NOBODY. They made the trade when they did to reduce salary and stay within budget AND replenish the pharm AND do it quickly from a PR perspective.

They are not mutually exclusive points guys.

Greg Golson DFAed.

Golson DFA'd:
The Phils could get some tools back!
Or (wiser) just pass.

Lee or Lee's agent must have done something to convince Ruben that Lee was not a long term Phillie to set the chain of events into motion, add a hint of Halladay's availability + cash back to cover some salary and you have the events starting to snowball.
Rube acted quickly.
And we get until we loose interest to react to Rube's decision , and discuss whether he added or subtracted value.
Bubba's view anyway.

Skimmed through Bill James' 2010 book last night scanning for Phillies-related tidbits and some general themes popped up:

1) Utley is the man
2) The Phillies defense was lead by Utley, Ruiz, Werth, Feliz, and Rollins. That's 5 players in the top third at their position in terms of starting defenders. However, there were some surprises...
3) Shane Victorino(13th) and Jimmy Rollins are overrated in terms of their defense. (Braves' Escobar was ranked top 5; Rollins was 8th.
4) the Phillies were incredible last year in terms of pitching efficiency -- giving up less runs than they should have according to underlying metrics. (but a lot of that might have to do with luck)
5) the Phillies were not an elite offense in terms of efficiency.
6) the Marlins and Nationals, with better attention to "the little things", have the talent to make a lot of noise.
7) Bay is not a great defender, but much better than Ibanez (17th).
8) Ruiz is a great value (6th defensively). In terms of comparative defensive value, the only person who ranks higher is Utley (3rd). Werth was ranked 7th.
9) Polanco was the 6th best defender at 2B.

I'm a huge fan of Victorino, but if the indicators in this book are generally on the mark, it may be time to accelerate development of one of the prospects and spend any resources budgeted for signing Vic long term towards signing Werth (if at all possible).


Maybe RAJ should have thought a little longer and harder. But if Balnton dies sign an extension, I'm ok with it.

JBird: FWIW, a lot of scouting services/prospect analysts consider Saunders a better prospect than Gillies & Aumont.

I love it when journalists say lines like...."he went 1 for 3 to raise his average to .190.

Holy cow! Batting under the mendoza line??

TNA, how about sharing some of the "stats".

Are they based on one year?

Let us debate the relative merit of these defensive evaluations.

This I know: I can't think of 7 SS in MLB who are better than Rollins defensively - stats be damned.

Padilla re-uooed with the dodgers. Wonder how many years he got.

looks like 1 year 4MM base for Padilla. Solid deal for Dodgers.

TNA - It would be nice to see some more data but it doesn't surprise me on Vic though. He still takes more than his share of piss-poor routes to the ball and really hasn't improved much of this. He just relies upon his ridiculous natural speed to compensate for it. He also seemed to play a bit deeper last year and more stuff dropped in front of him last year.

I would be surprised to see how Ibanez's defense stats changed through out the season too. He seemed to start out strong but after his injury problems he largely was a statue out there in the 2nd half.

Wait, CJ has declared (based on no evidence whatsoever) that the Phils tried to deal Blanton but could get nothing of value in return. Yet now they're talking to him about an extension?

Vic's UZR plunged from 08 to 09. This year should tell us more about whether that was a fluke or not.

It will be interesting to see how Bay's defense does when he's not playing wall ball off the Monster. His "zone" is gonna be a lot larger now.

UZR/150 for Vic
2008: 7.2
2009: -4.8

Rollins has never really fared too well under Bill James' defensive metric or UZR. His strengths (strong accurate arm, sure hands, clean fielding) are undervalued in their system that is more about pure range than anything.

Take it how you will...I love watching Jimmy play defense.

awh: I read a recent comment from a sabrmetician whose name I can't recall now who described defensive stats as in their infancy and "full of noise and volatility."

In other words, full of factors that have nothing to do with the fielder himself. These stats have value especially when taken over a period of years and in proper context (kind of team, pitcher, who nearby fielders are etc.)

But to take a single year of these stats and declare that someone is the 7th best (or very best) would be like using only doubles to declare who the best hitters are.

Lidge comes clean:

As Lidge struggled through a season in which he finished with a 7.21 ERA, he was frequently asked if there were any physical explanation for his travails. He always denied it. Now he admits that he wasn't being honest with his interrogators. Because, he said, he wasn't being honest with himself.

"You try and convince yourself that [the elbow and the knee] are not really problems," he said. "The knee issue at the beginning of the season really forced me to change a lot of mechanical things. And after I did it didn't hurt as much, so I told myself I could be just as good doing the same things with a little different mechanics.

Don't mean to be a hater but Lidge pulled the same stuff in 2007 with the Astros. If you are hurt to the point where you can't physically perform adequately, you have to tell the manager/coach.

Hopefully Cholly has enough sense this year to try and limit the wear and tear on Lidge including avoiding pitching on him 3-days consecutively or pitching him alot over a limited duration (5 times in 7 days). I doubt it though.

PHils sign Blanton to 3-year, $24M extension.

I like the move.

clout: I know this will be tough for you to follow... but...

Phils put Blanton on the block, knowing they were dealing for Halladay. They did not receive adequate interest and instead, dealt Lee away when they acquired Halladay. Since they don't have Lee anymore, they want to extend Blanton. Which they just did.

I know it's tough sometimes... but if you slow down and think about it, it's not so hard.

I like the Blanton signing. $8 million per is a good deal for both sides...especially if he stays healthy.

I wonder what the yearly breakdown is...and if there are any options as well.

Good job Phillies.

Blanton was the arb player that was the biggest spread from the Phillies offer .

4 weeks to pitchers and catchers report.

Blanton signing:

Solid signing. Phils now have their rotation pretty much locked up for the next 2 years:

Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ

Certainly a good enough rotation to contend with in the NL East for the next 2 years.

Ed Price tweets:

Blanton deal with Phils: $7M in 2010, $8.5M in 2011, $8.5M in 2012. '11 and '12 salaries go up $250K if 200IP the year before.

This contract is even better than the one I speculated about a couple days ago. $7M, $8.5M, $8.5M is very reasonable. If he's healthy, he'll hit the $250K incentive, but it's still a good deal.

Also... it actually makes Blanton MORE tradeable if he stay healthy and pitches well. Not that we'll want to trade him, but if we do, he's not cost-controlled for the next couple years.

A great signing that likely saves us money over the next 3 years as we dont really need to go out and get a top starter in 2011 now...and we are paying him less this year than we could have hoped.

MG: We have our rotation locked up for the next THREE seasons. Hamels has a year of arbitration left after his 2 year contract.

re: the James 2010 Handbook

I don't have the numbers directly in front of me because I skimmed the book in a bookstore while waiting for a train. But if I remember correctly, the rankings mentioned above were only for 2009 and assembled by surveying 10 or so 'experts' and adding their 1-10 defensive rankings together.

The Handbook also has other rankings using various metrics including +/- that cover a 3 year period, as well as 2009 only.

In any case, if you're curious, I recommend buying the book or reading it at the library or bookstore.

Charlie Manuel on Chan Ho Park:

“I think Chan Ho had good stuff,’’ Manuel said. “He was good in that role. But it was hard for us to bring him back the next day. We had to pick when he could pitch. Baez, you can pitch him till his back breaks. You couldn’t do that with Chan Ho. That was understandable because he’d only been relieving for a short time and was used to starting. But he didn’t bounce back real quick. He had nagging stuff – sore knees and neck all year.’’

More from Salisbury's great column today:

Manuel is concerned about the team’s left-handed relief situation, which has been impacted by the retirement of Scott Eyre. J.C. Romero is recovering from elbow surgery and might not be ready until close to May. In spring training Manuel will look closely at Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski. The front office remains on the hunt for another reliever and is likely to add an experienced arm in the coming weeks as prices for remaining free agents go down.

It's a fair deal for Blanton. If I have time tonight I'll work up a better arguement.

"Baez, you can pitch him till his back breaks"


Welcome to Philadelphia, Danys!

I like the signing a lot. We know what we are getting with Blanton. The rotation is now set for at least three years and it is one of the better rotations in baseball. Hamels will rebound this year giving us two aces, then an innings eater and a potentially way above league average 4th starter in Happ. Good move.

Blanton's contract puts us at just over $130 million ($130.125 million I believe) pending the other 2 Arb cases and contract renewals to guys like Happ, KK, Bastardo.

Smart move by Blanton too, especially in light of the what other pitchers have gotten in the Fa market the last couple of offseasons.

Oops, I mean its at $129.652 million (I was thinking 7.5 still for some reason)

3-24 seems fair all the way around. Its nice to have a solid #3 guy who eats innings and is dependable. Plus, he is a great competitor, and good guy.

Could argue that this is 1 too many years due to what pitchers are getting in free agency, but its not like we have guys knocking down the door in the minors to start. Nice to have 1-4 locked up for 3 years.

Good news that we are going to add another BP arm.

Watch him show up to Spring Training 75 lbs overweight...

...and we all crap ourselves.

NEPP- he passed a physical this morning per ZO Zone

The big news of the day: "Matt Stairs, looking for work at age 41, has lost 31 pounds w/Nutrisystem"... from Jerry Crasnick.

3 years for a pitcher in his prime, takes him from age 29 to age 32.

Last year's statline (ERA/WHIP/K-BB/K-9):
Career statline:

This despite moving from one of baseball's biggest pitcher's parks to one of its biggest hitters parks (from OAK to PHI). Guess the benefits of a great defense and the National League really do help. Still, that career statline, if that's the average production we get from Blanton, is a pretty good line for a #3-4 pitcher.

He's dependable and consistent, he keeps the team in games they can win. Definitely the kind of guy you need for the regular season. Playoffs are another matter.

But the rotation for the next 2 years? Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ. That's pretty damn good.

CJ: Where you go wrong is here "they did not receive adequate interest."

Please state the factual basis for your statements that:

1. Blanton was offered for trade.
2. Once you've established that as a fact, how long was he on the market?
3. Finally, what is the evidence that they did not receive adequate interest?

CY: its not one too many years really. its his arbitration # for this year with the 2yr deal that marquis/piniero basically got thrown on top. he just got it a year ahead of time.

clout: Sorry... not playing your game. It was reported by numerous sources that Blanton was on the block. Had they received an adequate offer they would have dealt him.

Logic isn't your friend today. That's my last word on this tired topic.

Godfather - Did you watch him pitch during our World Series run? He is a competitor and steps it up in tough spots.

Look forward to him being our #3 this year in the playoffs.

c- fair point. I am not trying to make the arguement, just saying that you could. I am on board with this, I love the guy. Don't understand the hate he gets sometimes.

CJ - Figured the Phils would pick up another veteran LOOGY/journeyman all along because Escalona is a marginal type and Zagurksi's fails the basic criteria of a situation reliever (poor control).

You have to wonder who that will be if they are looking at the likes of Duckworth, Gagne, etc lately just how much money they have to spend including even picking up a guy on a guaranteed veteran league MLB salary.

I still bet one of the likes of Mahay, Ohman, Schoenweis, or Villone is in Phils' camp by the end of February.

CJ: OK, let me get this straight. Blanton was on the block for a lengthy period of time, drew no interest and so at the last minute they had to rush through a Lee trade?

What about that makes any sense at all?

It makes sense when you introduce Rube's Man-crush on Doc

Yo, new thread.

cipper: Just to review, Buster Olney raised a perfectly reasonable scenario, based on interviews with other teams: That the Phils could've dealt Blanton, alebit getting a far smaller haul than Lee brought in, but that would've allowed them to keep Lee & Halladay. The difference being a lower quality prospect than what they got for Lee.

The money quote was "Some officials with other teams say that while they would not have been willing to surrender a top prospect for Blanton, they would have been interested in acquiring the durable innings-eater ... The Phillies could have probably gotten a Grade B prospect for Blanton."

CJ then claimed that was false. That the Phils had Blanton on the market and got no decent offers.

So we have Olney reporting from interviews with other team officials and we have CJ reporting from....well, nowhere.

I think Olney is right.

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