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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Seems like a decent value signing especially considering some of the more crazy contracts (Rodney and Lyon). At worst, the Phils have a mediocre reliever averaging $2.6M for 2 years which is a real drag on the payroll. Hell, even Romero is making $4M next year.

mlbtraderumors is reporting that the Phils offered Beltre 3 years and 24 million. I'm a bit surprised that didn't get it done.

"mlbtraderumors is reporting that the Phils offered Beltre 3 years and 24 million. I'm a bit surprised that didn't get it done"

Waiting for DPat to chime in...

Great value when you compare to the deals that other pitchers are getting...guys like Capps, Putz, etc. all had much worse seasons/injury concerns and got more money (annually) than Baez...

The whole BP hinges on Lidge still though...

Well, I guess Beltre really wanted to play in Boston. Or perhaps he initially countered Rube's offer and Rube went and signed Polanco for 25% less money the next day.

Kinda like when Cliff Lee countered their offer and woke up a Mariner.

MG - from the previous post your idea about Polanco playing 2B if they move Utley to first is a good one.

However at that point Ibanez might be a better option to play 1B given his age and potential OF prospects ready to play.

Also - good points by JW & MG about Baez, not much to hate about it.

I was surprised to learn about that offer to Beltre, too. Rosenthal's article says that Beltre wanted the shorter Boston contract so that he could go back on the market sooner in the hopes of landing a bigger deal.

NEPP: Rube means business apparently.

Can anyone explain Beltre's contract to me? I'm probably a bit slow, but I don't understand the second year, and all the ways I've seen it reported are confusing me. Beltre gets a $9mm salary in 2010, then in 2011 he has a $5mm option, and the RedSox have a $1mm buyout (this is the part I'm confused about). If Beltre exercises the option can the Red Sox pay him $1mm and say no thanks? If Beltre says no thanks to the 2011 contract do the Red Sox still have to pay him the $1mm? What exactly can the Red Sox 'buy out' with that $1mm piece?

Thanks in Advance.

He essentially signed a 2 year, $14 million deal ($20 million if he reaches 640 PA in 2009). Howver, he can opt out after 2010 and get $1 million instead.

Thus, he's guaranteed $10 million and could make up to $19 million in this contract if he is healthy all year.

Oh, Beltre wanted a 1-year deal. That makes sense why we wouldn't sign him then. We apparently only believe in handing out contracts with too many years on them. Obviously not a good fit.

If Beltre won't take an extra year on his contract at high $$, I don't want his type in Philly anyway.

Thanks Nepp. Most places I've seen have been calling this a 1yr 9mm deal, but it really is more likely to be a 1yr 10mm deal. If he reaches that 640PA, it's probably cause he stayed healthy and had a good year, in which case he's gonna want to be a free agent too.

But would calling it a 1 yr/9mm deal be the same as if we said that Polanco's contract was really a 3yr deal for a total of $17mm, since there is a 1mm buyout on that too?

Good signing by the Red Sox, not too much risk given their large revenue, they probably get one year out of Beltre+whatever draft picks they get if he is Type A again next year and they off him arb.

Beltre 3 years?

Consider the timing, guys and gals.

I haven't read the article yet, but is it possible that Rube made the offer to Beltre BEFORE the Tigers declined to offer arb to Polanco?

If that's the case then when DET didn't offer arb to Polly, he just became that much more attractive, never mind less expensive.

Honestly though, the biggest problem is Boras. Rube probably did offer a 3 year, $24 million contract back in November. Boras probably promptly counted with something like 4 years, $48 million or 5 years, $60 million and then leaked all the negotiations out to other teams interested in Beltre. Rube said screw it, I'm not playing that game and moved to Plan B (Placido Polanco). Boras then tried the same crap with several other teams and watched them sign guys like Figgins and Feliz instead...this forced him into a corner where Beltre takes a 1 year deal and hopes to rebound to his previous form.

****If he reaches that 640PA, it's probably cause he stayed healthy and had a good year, in which case he's gonna want to be a free agent too. ****

He hasn't reached 640 PAs since 2006. Odds are against him making that milestone. Especially if they bat him lower in the lineup.

Boston gave up a 1st round draft pick to sign Beltre for one year?

****Boston gave up a 1st round draft pick to sign Beltre for one year?****

They routinely bust slot anyway...losing their 1st round pick doesn't really hurt them too much. Particularly when its a lower pick anyway as a result of their record.

Still, I agree, its a bit surprising.

"Boston gave up a 1st round draft pick to sign Beltre for one year?"

No, they didn't. Beltre was Type B, not Type A.

Of course it could mean they think they're gonna sign someone like Chapman (who'd be better than a 1st round pick anyway) to make up for "losing" that pick.

Good point X. I thought Beltre was a Type A too.

I'm not sure what you are getting at, but what i wrote was true. Regardless of the odds, if he reaches 640, it is probably because he did stay healthy and had a good year.

He had 639 PA in 2007 and 612 PS in 2008, so he's been pretty close those two years too.

I wasn't disagreeing with you, just pointing out his odds of actually doing it (which are a bit low).

The interesting thing is that regardless of whether or not Beltre reaches that incentive, if he has a healthy year, there's no way he'd not opt out with Boras as his agent. If he bounces back to form and stays healthy in 2010, he'd be the top FA 3B available. He'd be stupid not to opt out in that scenario.

MG: I noticed your post earlier about the Phillies #2 hole production in relation to Polanco's projected performance.

Is he definitely taking over the #2 hole on a full time basis or do you think it will be a competition in the Spring with Vic?

His superior contact and situational hitting make him more of the natural #2 hitter, but if Polanco regresses and Vic continues improving -- do those fewer strikeouts and smarter atbats come even close to replacing the speed and extra base hits that Victorino brings to the table?

Jack, once again your post is bleeding with the assunption that the Phillies operate in a vaccum, and that other teams aren't after some of the same players. More importantly, you post seems to be based on the assumption that agents always tell the truth about toher offers they have in hand.

I don't know why you and others here think that's the case.

I certainly don't have a track record as an apologist for the FO, but I think you're criticism is a little off base.

One of the things no one here seems to do is to try and look at these deals from the Phillies' perspective.

Some complain[ed] about the length of the Polanco contract. Have they ever considered that perhaps the Phils WANTED to lock Polly up that long because of cost certainty and the dearth in prospects in the minors? Have they considered that the Phils may have wanted stability at the position for the next 3 years? Do they have factual evidence (other than specualtive assumption) that Polanco WOULD have signed for less money or years? Do they have factual evidence that he didn't have another 3 year offer on the table?

So far, I haven't seen any.

I'd certainly like to. It would definitely lend some semblance of credibility (which is currently non-existant) to the constant drivel that flows from certain posters computers.

awh makes a GREAT point.

What was the timing? We know Amaro likes to strike quickly. Makes sense that the Phils went after Beltre early knowing he was Type B, but that when it didn't happen quickly, and Detroit declined arbitration, they moved quickly to Polanco.

While I'm taking issue with certainposts, JW, as our senior correspondent, I need to ask you this:

What did you base you statement on in the header of the last thread when you stated the Phillies took a "cavalier approach" to extending and signing arb eligible players last offseason?

That is a statement that is certainly incongruous with the majority opinion around these parts. Most people here would vehemently disagree with you taking the viewpoint that the Phillies ownerhip is "cavalier" regarding the team's finances.

It also is in clear opposition to our most famous recent critic, Dom Patrone, who says where the Phillies are concerned, it's ALWAYS about the money.

It was a curious statement on your part, and I'm surprised no one else asked you about it.

"Cavalier"? Please elaborate.

Many posters today are pleasantly surprising me with their logic when it come to our 3rd base issue early in the offseason.

When news of this signing broke last night, I was fully expecting all the posters to come out and rip Rube from limb to limb.

Truth of the matter is Rube made an offer to Beltre(per the article), Boras started playing games, Polanco was available, so Rube changed and went after Polanco, so that at the end of the day he wasn't left with "his pants down".

As I have said earlier, so far with the budget and everything taken into account Rube gets a grade of B from me. Would be an B+ if he would have received more back for Lee. However, if he handles the arbiration period like last season, he will deserve an A- (Again, not an A+ because of the Lee trade).

tommy, I would quite grade RAJ that high. Besides, at this point the bast grade you or anybody else can give is an "Incomplete" until the offseason is over.

Suppose, for instance, they sign Khalil Greene to a MiL deal for depth, and somehow he got stashed in Allentown for the summer as insurance? (a dream, I know). Suppose C-M Wang were convinced to come to Philly to rebuild his value? Suppose it was Ben Sheets? Suppose any of a number of FA's took MiL deals with the Phils i the hopes of getting called up for a shot at the postseason?

All I'm saying is it's too early to assign a grade to any GM.

awh: Ok, fair enough. But my main point in that post is the BLers are logically looking at the timeline for the signing and understanding that Rube in fact made the correct move.

awh: My point is that Polanco is a fine player, but not the kind of player where the benefits of a long-term deal outweigh the consequences.

Trust me, I understand that these things don't work in a vacuum, and I'm sure that Polanco had other offers on the table, and that the Phils considered that they did not have an internal option coming up through the minors.

However, my personal preference would have been to go for a shorter-term option. I frankly think locking yourself into multi-year deals with marginal contributors (i.e., not your star players like Howard, Utley, Hamels, etc), is a costly way of doing business.

I like Polanco as a player, but if the only way I could get a 34-year old singles hitter who hasn't played third base in years was a 3-year deal, I would have moved on to other options, such as Beltre. I would've been happier to give 2 yrs, 18 million to Beltre than 3 years, 18 to Polanco.

Obviously, we'll never know what offers were on the table and what players would have accepted. But it seems to me we overpaid in terms of years to Polanco--and it seems to be a trend with Amaro (3 years for Ibanez, 2 years for Moyer, 2 for Baez, 2 for Gload, Schneider) when I'm not sure all of those extra years were necessary.

Jack, fair enough. I was personally in favor of Beltre, but they chose to go with Polanco. I'll speculate and posit that it was because they wanted to lock someone up quickly, because 1) they feel that the rest of the team is good enough to get back to the WS so 3B isn't all that critical, because 2) they feel their window to return to the WS is NOW and they're not really that concerned about years two or three, and 3), it seems to be Rube's M.O. Besides, Polanco may have been their first choice because they feel he fits into the lineup best (low K contact hitter). But, they had limited interest if they were going to have to give up the draft pick.

No team is immune from awarding a bad contract or two. AAMOF, it's a virtual certainty, even for the most well run franchises. As evidence I offer the following names, some of whom will be painful for Phils fans to read:

Barry Zito
Carl Pavano
Mike Hampton
Adam Eaton
Gregg Jeffries
Julio Lugo
Darren Dreifort
Jason Schmidt
Mo Vaughn
Geoff Jenkins

and many, many others.

The key, it seems, is to minimize them so as not to compromise financial flexibility.

awh: No question every team has bad contracts.

But in terms of why we signed Polanco, those reasons are reasons, sure, but they don't justify it at all. The idea of moving quickly solely for the sake of moving quickly doesn't mean something is a good decision. In fact, given what the Red Sox got Beltre for, it looks like patience would have been better.

Additionally, saying the team is good enough to win now and thus we shouldn't care about the team a couple years down the road is one thing for fans to say. But if the GM does it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think the team won't be good in 2012, and make moves that reflect this, all of a sudden you will definitely be stuck with a bad team in 2012.

I think you and I basically agree on the merits of Beltre and Polanco. And again, I like Polanco as a player, generally. I just think it was an odd contract to give out, and I'm skeptical that it will end well. And I haven't really seen sufficient justifications for it. For a lot of people, it seems like "moving quickly" made the move ok. But I don't get why. Just cause Amaro seems to like to do that doesn't make it good.

An aggressive and generous approach to a team that just won the WFC, awh.

There seems to be some confusion by posters here about what kind of year Beltre had on offense last season: He sucked. That has killed his value.

That's why he wanted the one-year deal, to rebuild value. The idea is to put up a nice number in Fenway and then break the bank with a 3 or 4 year deal.

Has anyone mentioned nabbing Chapman in the last hour?

Jack: Beltre will cost $10M this season if he stays one year. Polanco will cost $5M. Please explain why Beltre is worth $5M more. Thanks.

clout: I think you would have "sucked" as you put it as well, if you were diving and playing hard after getting hit in the groin with a line-drive. Imagine playing baseball with your man-gems the size of grapefruits.

That was not the "real" Beltre last year, but he showed guts.

Eithier way, I am happy with Polanco.

mvptommy: That's a nice excuse, but irrelevant. He sucked, which is why he's not getting paid the money he wants. Which is why he's going for a one-year deal, to rebuild his value.

Beltre isn't much better offensively than Polanco. Yes, he hits more homeruns. He also has a lower average and on base percentage by 20-30 points. Usually Beltre's OPS is higher than Polanco's because of his SLG. And I'm referring to Beltre healthy. Not Beltre as hurt. Yes, I know that he was hitting in Safeco field, and before hand he was hitting in Dodgers Stadium (his career OPS away is .826 vs. .727 home). Polanco's career OPS is .761 (Home .780 away .742).

I know Beltre's younger and he's always played 3B. But with Beltre's numbers, he's actually worth something a little more than Polanco's deal, say 7-8 million a year, not 10-12, which is what he wants. Guy doesn't have the stats to justify a big contract, and his excellent defense doesn't qualify for lots of big bucks.

And he's not what the Phillies lineup needs. We've got power oozing out of our ears with Utley, Howard, Werth, and Ibanez, plus add in 15-20HR from JRoll. Beltre's a 20HR threat but he gets on base at a poor clip, .325 career. That's not what they needed. Polanco, frankly, is exactly the type of hitter the lineup needs, assuming he can maintain his average and ability to get on base. He doesn't strike out much and he puts the ball in play. I don't know if we should move him to #2 instead of Vic, but either way he's a marked improvement over Feliz in the lineup.

clout: Again, I am happy with Polanco.

But I thought on BLer, the true indicator of a players performance is a 3-year period, no?

Inform us on his 3-year average numbers(including defensively) and get back to me.

Jack, you can preach patience, true, but isn't hindsight 20-20?

And, you misinterpreted what I meant about them not being "that concerned about years two or three".

I didn't say they didn't care. What I mean is that - and this is speculation on my part - perhaps they are focusing on 2010 and wanted Polanco. The fact that it took a 3 year deal to get him is, to them, secondary to the fact that they have a viable 3B in 2010 who is an upgrade from Pete Happy.

No one knows whether we'll look at it as a bad contract 3 years from now, but I'll offer this:

If the Phils win the WFC again in 2010 then I believe the Phillies will view it as having been $18 MM well spent, regardless of whether or not Polanco is hitting .350 or .250 in 2012.

Yes, a GM needs to focus on the long-term as well as the short. But, so much can change between now and 2012 - Howard might not be here, ditto JRoll, Werth on to greener pastures [pun intended], ditto Vic, no more Blanton, no more Raul, no more Mad Dog, no more Lidge - that IMHO it really silly to worry whether or not a $6 MM in 2012 is going to look bad, or to worry that it's going to hamstring the team.

I really doubt it. Why? Because one thing Pat Gillick seems to have taught this ownership group is that sometimes it's best to just trade or release someone and just eat the money. As evidence I give you Jim Thome, Adam Eaton and Geoff Jenkins.

I really seriously doubt the 3rd year of Placido Polanco's contract is going to be the difference between whether or not the Phillies are competitive in 2012.

mvptommy: Evidently the major league GMs giving out contracts don't follow that rule.

It would appear that Rube takes no sh*t. It is of course speculation, but the Bletre situation sounds a lot like the Lee negotiations. He hears one thing he doesn't like and he heads for greener pastures. It's almost as if he thinks every player should take a little less to play here in baseball heaven 2.0. In general, I like the attitude that this is where players should want to play. But if he is too arrogant about it, it's bound to blow up in his face. I certainly wonder in the case of Beltre if he didn't just have cursory talks with Borass and decide, "you know what I don't want to deal with this clown". Maybe that's why he would so quickly move on to the next available player.

Phils sign Ryan Vogelsong to a minor league deal.

The pride of Kutztown!

clout: No I doubt that is the case. No GM would base their contracts on soley prior year numbers.

I think the reason is after the Phils signed Polanco, the 3rd base market collapsed. Therfore, Boras had to go home with his tail between his legs and accept the best offer out there. Which is what Boston offered.

Eithier way though Beltre gets paid. He will get maybe $10 mil for 1 year. Then seek a 4 yr/36-44 million deal next year.

Vogelsong started 26 games in 2004 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and went 6-13 with a 6.50 ERA. He pitched 81 innings in relief in 2005 and was nearly league average (96 ERA+). He pitched 38 bad innings in relief in 2006 before being sent to the minors. He then pitched for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan in 2007.

Whereabouts unknown for 2008 and 2009... maybe the California Penal League. I'd guess he's ticketed for AAA.

Tuffy Bozied Vogelsong while EL DOMO roams the outfield. Pigs are getting fat.

mvptommyd: You think 1-year, $10M is a better offer than 3-years, $24M? Reports are that he received that offer from two teams... not just the Phillies. So even after Polanco signed, there would have been another team involved.

The choice to take a 1-year deal is all about rebuilding a resume to get a better long term deal. It's clear the deal is what it is because of his poor showing in 2009 at the plate. I'm not sure how anyone could argue otherwise (although you're attempting to do so it seems).

mvptommy: Let me get this straight. Beltre's bad year last season didn't impact his inability to get the $12M per year multi-year contract he sought, but Polanco's signing did?

Are you goofy?

Meyer: Best post of the day!

Cj: Vogelsong (aka the Pride of Octorora) is a multiple arm surgery guy if I'm not mistaken. I think he's had TJ and torn labrum, but can't remember when.

He's not even standing up in his photo...really, can't stand to make your pitching pose, Baez? Lazy bastard. He's a bum until proven otherwise.

Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro said a lefty reliever and another starter are still on his wish list, according to's Todd Zolecki.

donc, I don't know whether it's that Rube "takes no sh*t" or whether he just simply won't suffer foolishness on the part of either agents or players.

All one has to do is take a look at the MLB Free Agent Tracker on and see how many of 'their' top 50 free agents are still looking for work.

The equation is very simple and it's tried and true:

The Law of Supply and Demand.

There are a lot more guys who want to play in "The Show" than there are jobs available.

For years players and agents and the MLB Players Association ruled the roost and were successful at driving up salaries to a level many of us would have found unimagineable only two decades ago.

And PED's contributed to the increased performance that helped salaries soar.

To combat this clubs seem to now be taking the approach of going with younger less expensive players rather than aging vets who are no longer allowed to juice to maintain their level of production.

The savvy declining vet may lose his place at the lunch counter to a player with less service time who will cost far less, produce about the same, and be much less of an age-based injury risk (and, not coincidentally, provide better value) - unless he's willing to play for the same amount of money.

GM's and clubs didn't need to collude to figure the supply/demand equation out.

Another starter, Rube?

I knowhe's reportedly seeking 12MM/yr on a one year deal to rebuild his value, but assuming he's willing to come off of that asking price and wants to actually try to win a WFC, wouldn't it be nice to have Ben Sheets? Oh well, a guy can dream...................

Yo, new thread.

"mlbtraderumors is reporting that the Phils offered Beltre 3 years and 24 million. I'm a bit surprised that didn't get it done"

Waiting for DPat to chime in...

Well BedBeard here goes~

If Beltre turned that down from the Phils shame on him. Amaro got Polanco to play 3b. He wanted to be here. A job well-done by both gentelmen.

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