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Monday, January 04, 2010

Comments

Woohoo,WS 2010....oh wait.

Whatever happened to those 2 guys from Korea the Phillies gave big bonuses to a few years ago? As I recall they spent about $2M on them and they were pitchers. There was a lot of hype at the time.

awh: What exactly would you like them to do with the $4 million that they have left? They are still trying to resign Park and Eyre, BTW.

tommy: They've already said Park isn't coming back. Eyre could return though.

clout: Yea and they also said that they were excited to see Lee pitch here in 2010. What's your point?

Until Park is signed somewhere, there is always a chance.

@Clout:

Did they say park isn't coming back period, or did RA say he isn't coming back for what he and his agent have been demanding?

Even if Park DOESN'T return. Our bullpen still is pretty good.

2009

Walker,Condrey,Park,Durbin,Eyre,Kendrick Madson, Lidge

2010

Durbin,Baez,Moyer/Kendrick,Escalona/Mathieson/Bastardo, Eyre??, Romero, Madson, Lidge

I think 2010 is better, don't you??

RA did not specify. He simply said that he did not expect the Phillies would re-sign Park. It may be money or it could be Park's desire to start. I was responding to tommy's post that the Phils are "still trying" to sign Park. That hasn't been reported and there is no evidence of it.

Have the Phillies ever produced a quality major leaguer who entered the pharm via international signing? I think Carlos Carrasco was one as well as prospect Domingo Santana. I can't think of anyone else though.

tommy: Yes with a big "IF." The bullpen is better IF Lidge reverts to career norms and Romero is healthy. And IF Mathieson picks up where he left off when he got hurt, the bullpen could be exceptional.

Expect to hear from MG, however, who thinks the bullpen will be horrible.

clout: Ahh, it is nice to know you have such access to Rube to KNOW that he isn't trying to resign him.

He may not be back, but until the Phils fill 2 more bullpen spots, it isn't a definite.

krukker: Neither of those guys is a quality major leaguer.

Carlos Silva was an international signing and as hideously bad as he is today, he did have a couple decent years with Minnesota.

clout: I know. My point is they're the only international signings I know of. And I don't know of any quality major leaguers. Back to my question... are there any?

tommy: I can only go by media reports and what Rube himself says. I don't KNOW anything. But you declared flatly that the Phils are "still trying to sign" Park. I simply said there is zero evidence for that statement.

clout: You of anyone should know that a bullpen is ALWAYS an "IF". Even if we spent money on Soriano and Gonzalez, it would still be an "IF".

For this reason is why some baseball people don't put alot of $$ into the bullpen.

See Wagner, Putz, Marte, Mahey, Sherrill(in the playoffs),Gordon, etc. as examples.

"Taiwanese" refers to an ethnic group, not a nationality. Unless the guy's an indigenous Taiwanese (ethnicity), he's Chinese. A more accurate description of the guy would be "from Taiwan". I know it's petty, but having lived n Taiwan for 7 years, they get pretty riled when the citizens are referred to as Taiwanese when in fact they are Chinese.
And we thought they peaked at Little League.

Any shot they could have a chnage of heart and sign Brett Myers to a one year deal as the 5th starter?? Moyer scares me and I just don;t thgink that Kendrick can be a part of the regular starting rotation for a winning team

Marc H: Sure, if you plan on donating $8-10 million of your own money to Monty and the boys.

In other words, no chance.

krukker: As noted above, Silva is the only one I can think of. Maybe someone else can think of one or two. If your point is that the Phils track record on international signings is hideously bad, among the worst in baseball, that is a pretty well known fact. The team has tried to address this in recent years. I, for one, am not giving up on Edgar Garcia.

The Daily News article reports that Chia-Jung Lee is only a marginal prospect.

Carlos Ruiz?

Panamanian.

Jonesman--You are right in the sense that sleepers do make it. But getting a 100,000 bonus takes him out of the sleeper category.

I was responding to Krukker's question about whether the Phils had produced any quality MLers from international signings (pretty sure Chooch wasn't born in the canal zone, so he should qualify). The Phillies have definitely been deficient in this area, and hopefully with Domingo Santana and others it will improve. If you look at the Mets top prospect list about half of them are international guys.

A couple other international mediocrities who helped briefly: Eude Brito and Robinson Tejeda

Thanks for the info on Silva and Ruiz. Silva was decent and now is just grossly overpaid, but Ruiz has become one of the better major league catchers. I didn't realize these were international signings.

And clout, you're right that my point was that there aren't many names on the list of quality major leaguers who were Phillies international signings.

Do we have any idea why this could be? Is it poor scouting or unwillingness to spend money? Some success from the crop of Santana, Garcia and Nunez would help to reverse that trend.

tommy, what would I prefer they do with the $4MM they have "left"?

Well, frankly, I don't think any of us have enough info to say( we don't know who they may be targeting), but my answer is

"Maybe nothing".

Here's what I mean:

Rube has stated he has a budget. Your assumption that he still has 4MM is based of his public statements (do you agree?). My question is, "how hard and fast is that budget, and does it allow for mid-season additions?"

If all RAJ has to spend in 2010 is 140MM, and spending that last 4MM now precludes him from making an in-season addition without first moving a player and his salary somewhere else, then I prefer he sit on th emoeny and see what shakes out in ST.

I prefer he have the sinancial flexibility to make a bigger move at the trade deadline without dumping someone, because IMHO (and I believe EVERYONE here agrees with me) this team is good enough to contend right now.

The bullpen, as we know, is a crapshoot as far as middle relief is concerned. As we found out in 2009, it can be a crapshoot in the back end if the closer is unhealthy and erratic.

If Lidge returns to career norms the team is good enough to win the division right now - even without Romero. Keep in mind they won 93 games last season with Lidge stinking up the joint for about half of his appearances.

That being the case, as I have stated previously, unless Rube brings in somepne like Calero, I would prefer he sit on the money and see what shakes out in ST.

The financial flexibility may be something everyone is thankful for.

tommy, let me add to my previous answer:

IF......IF Lidge reverts to career norms, Romero comes back in May and pitches effectively, Madson and Durbin are effective, Halladay and Blanton pitch as we expect, Happ gives them a league average 30 starts, and Hamels returns to form, then the rest of the bullpen won't matter that much.

IMHO, under the scenario I outlined above, this team will win 100 games and win the division again by 4-8 games.

AWH: Great. I agree with EVERY thing you stated. With that being said, I hope you have "my back" when I rip into posters that are complaining about the current status of the bullpen and the team, for that matter.

Every aspect of this team improved. The bullpen is potentially going to be better based soley on the facts you stated above. Therefore, I am beside myself with all the complaints.

This bullpen, like all bullpens, hinges on how effective the closer is. If Lidge is bad, we're screwed. The only way to cover THAT problem is have another closer in the pen, in which case you're spending twice as much money for a guy than you should be, especially when he can get say 8-10 million and close someplace else.

It doesn't happen. The only way you wind up in a situation where you can replace your closer is if you have a setup man you are grooming to take over the role. Phillies don't have that. Very few teams in baseball do.

If Lidge meets his career norms, we've got the best bullpen in the NL East, yes, even better than the Braves (Saito and Wagner are both coming off big, big injuries, not offseason surgery like Lidge). We've also got the best offense in the East, bar none. And we'll have the #2 starting pitching staff (Braves will probably be better), but one of the best overall pitchers in the division (I'd like to see a debate on who's better, Halladay or Santana).

Tommy-
Be careful what you wish for!
If nobody complains BL will cease to exist...
And then what will we do 'till spring training starts?

Bubba: We can spend the time laughing at the Mets at giving another bad contract out to Bay.

The contract is backloaded and a vesting option if he mets the requirements.

Can anyone say this is a Beltran contract all over again for them?

AWH~

Very good points on the budget. Which makes me go back to my statements before Christmas that's it's ALAWAYS about the money with this team. The Lee trade was not about "replenishing the farm system". It was about saving $9 million. However, there were other ways to save the money. Everyone knows what they could've done. But RAJ was so enamored with Halladay, along with the perception that Lee wanted a mega deal...well everyone knows the story.

Now on the lighter side. I got the Phillies memories DVD from my sister for Christamas and of course I watched it. EXCELLENT!! I also watched the replay of game #4 of the NLDS and some of the '09 ws on MLB network and caught some of the '08 WS clicher on ESPN last week.

What I want to say is this: How can ANY baseball phan, Phillies or otherwise, look at this team and not love it? For the last few years, win or lose, you just gotta love this current bunch. They have players that olders guys like myself and younger phans can relate to. The way they play the game, the closeness of the players to each other etc. The excitement (and sometimes the heartache) that they generate is unbelievable. I would hope that the FO is also aware of what this team can do and keeps it together for as long as possible.

I mean, I go back to the mid '60's with the Phils and the teams of the mid '70's and of course the '80 team were great. The '83 team peaked at the right time and the '93 just stepped on the gas pedal from day one.

But this current team is special. To me, the best team in the NL. Now changes will come in the future which will mean some very popular players here will not be here. Howard may have to be moved at some point. Werth may not re-sign, etc.

But while it lasts it'll be fun. Now the FO can do the right thing here, which is expand the payroll to keep this team together and augment it. Let's hope so. I believe we can be and will be in the WS again this year. I don't ever remember feeling that way about any other team in the peppermint pinstripes.

mvptommyd: If it becomes clear that budget constraints are keeping them from signing players, I'll enjoy the contracts they're handing out.

Here's what I think about the Bay signing:

1) They've got a legit bat, one of the best they could find this offseason.
2) His defense, although bad, is minimized by playing LF.
3) The Mets spend money... and I have yet to see them not spend money because they don't have any. I hope that starts... but no indication yet that's the case.

It's hard to laugh at a team that signs, perhaps, the best bat on the free agent market.

DPatrone: "The Lee trade was not about "replenishing the farm system". It was about saving $9 million. However, there were other ways to save the money."

Are you saying the Lee deal was ONLY about the money? And NOT about "replenishing the farm system?" If so, what you say above doesn't make sense. If there were other ways to save the money then the Lee deal couldn't have been ONLY about the money and that it also had to be about the prospects we got back.

"It's hard to laugh at a team that signs, perhaps, the best bat on the free agent market."

No, it is actually easy. For the following reasons:

1.) Their rotation still remains at Santana/Pelfry/Perez/Neise/Maine
2.) His defense will only get worse. His defeense in Fenway was bad. And there he has the green monster. It will be worse @ Citi field.
3.) His contract is backloaded. Whcih means after they get over Beltran's horrible contract, they have to deal with 2 or 3 years of Bay's bad deal.
4.) They should have signed some bullpen help to help with the rotation. (See #1)
5.) Mets play in a pitcher's park, which makes pitching more important than offense. (I learned this point from clout)

clout - Your right. I did think the bullpen was pretty weak with almost no depth and really crossing their fingers that everything works out with Lidge & Romero. Baez signing goes a long way to give them a veteran capable of giving them average/above average performance over 60-65 innings. That helps a lot.

Personally I would still like to see the Phils sign a veteran LOOGY to compete with Bastardo/Escalona in the spring and maybe another marginal veteran ala Seanez to the veteran league minimum to again compete for a spot in spring training as a back-end righty RHP.

Godfather is right and this bullpen is either going to sink/swim with Lidge though. They rewarded him with a huge contract for his '08 performance and got little of value in return last year. If Lidge is gives them an 'average' year based on his career numbers and they can get a minor contribution out of Romero (say 30-35 innings of semi-effective relief), the pen should be good enough.

If they go into the season with Lidge & Romero both on the shelf though, it is hard to see this bullpen being a strength in the early going. Personally, I would rather have the Phils take their lumps potentially early the first 2-3 weeks in April then prematurely rush back Lidge/Romero.

Mets still have no real bullpen in front of K-Rod. They'd didn't in 2007 and look what happened. 2008 it was even worse when Wagner went down with an injury. So they need to get a good setup man, and they haven't.

Tommy, all your points are spot on, here's a few more:

6) They still have holes at 2B and C, Castillo's rapidly aging and he's a slap hitter who can't flat out run anymore, Bengie Molina will be overpaid for the production he'll provide.

7) Their farm system is in disarray, so if any of their stars get hurt, they can't make trades to fill holes.

8) This is a team that was built to win immediately in 2006-2008 and missed its window. They have to rebuild the farm system and bullpen before they get anywhere.

mvptommyd:

1) Do you believe the Mets signed Bay in lieu of a starting pitcher?
2) There are disagreements on Bay's defensive capabilities... and besides, it's LF. After all, we did fine with Burrell there who's worse than Bay.
3) Again, are the Mets going to stop spending money because of backloaded contracts?
4) They did sign bullpen help.
5) It's a bad year for starting pitching help. The Lackey contract, I believe, is much worse than the Bay deal.

The_Godfather: Those are all valid problems the Mets continue to have. I'm just not sure what they have to do with the Jason Bay signing.

He fills a desperate need of the Mets and I've seen little to indicate that his signing has precluded them from doing other things to help their team.

Absolutely Bay fills a desperate need, and he is one of the more consistent power hitters in the game. They needed a corner outfielder with a good bat and they got him. You don't sign guys like that for their defense.

The problem is I actually think their bullpen, starting pitching, and farm system problems are all more pressing issues than signing a big corner outfielder, especially one you have to overpay. Bay's being paid as one of the top hitters in the game, he is one of the Top 30 hitters by OPS, and he is one of the more consistent hitters in baseball the last 4 years.

But pitching, pitching, pitching has to be the priority for this team, especially after their bullpen cost them the division title in 2007 and 2008. They haven't fixed it for 3 years now, Putz was a disaster.

To add to my earlier comment, I emphasize pitching so much because it seems like it is much easier to build up an offense than to build up a very good, reliable pitching staff. It's just an impression I have.

The_Godfather: I agree, I think pitching will be their downfall this year. Their rotation after Santana is bad.

CJ~

I'm saying first and foremost it was about the money. We got $6 million back from the Jays. Couple that with the $9 million we are not paying Lee and Halladay's salary this year is a wash. Amaro was probably told he had to shed salary to get Doc. I beleive that after exhausting what he thought were all his options and not being able to shed salary at that point, he then felt his best option was to trade Lee. If you remember RAJ's first option for a starter was always Doc. He got Lee when he couldn't get Doc in July.

What I'm saying as a phan (not as a critic) was that this bunch would have been unstoppable (IMO) in the NL with Doc and Lee at the top. To me they're still going to the Series but they would have been the odds-on favorites had they kept Lee.

Let me ask you, do you think Blanton will be signed to a multi-year deal? If he is, then the possible losing Lee at the end of '10 would not have been as hard to take. But if Blanton is not signed an extension, he should have been non-tendered, thus saving his proposed $7 million salary and using it for Lee, and then negotiating a resonable extension for Lee who apparantly did not want to leave. But I think his agent presented a scenarion to Amaro that was not feasible.

I beleive what Amaro was told by ownership and what he says to us are 2 vastly different things. I'm not finding fault with Amaro here mind you but I do believe he was told to keep the payroll around $140 million. Given the circumstances, he did it the best way he thought he could.

In the future there is no way to keep the current bunch togther without expanding the payroll. Which means the team will not be as good as it is now. If the payroll is not expanded, how is that a "baseball decision"?

"after they get over Beltran's horrible contract"

Actually, tommy, you may disagree, but Beltran is probably the best all around CF in the game.

I know defensive stats don't mean a whole lot, but when you compare his raw stats to the other CF out there - including our beloved Vic - he "gets" many more chances than most other CF. Translation: He gets to many more balls. Couple that with his offfensive output when he's healthy, and IMHO, taking into account the defensive importance of the position, he's not overpaid - IMHO.

Texiera gets more money for a less important defensive position, Matt Holliday is asking for just as much, and Carlos Lee makes the same amount of money.

DPatrone: Is anyone actually arguing money wasn't a factor in the Lee deal? I think that's universally agreed to. The *reason* it was Lee and not Blanton is because we could get what the team felt were legit prospects in return.

And are you really upset that a General Manager for a Major League baseball team is not entirely forthcoming?

Really?

I'm not sure why everyone is so concerned with the Bullpen. The team just suffered through one of the worst bullen pen seasons EVER by their closer, Lidge. He was horrific, not only one of the worst bull pen pitchers last year but ever. Yet, this Phils team still won 90+ games.

With lidge last year, in the NL they were middle of the pack in bullpen ERA, bullpen innings pitched, and bullpen Batting Avg against.

The results support that Cholly somehow uses his bullpen effectively,l in 2008 they were much better than middle of the pack. Please note, I'm not saying he is great at managing the bullpen, but he certainly isn't horrible.

So unless you think that the entire bullpen is going to regress, then there is no reason to think this group: Madson, Durbin, Baez + some part of Lidge, Romero, and possibly some innings out of Moyer/Kendrick/Bastardo/Escalona is going to be any worse than last year. If you think that a healthier Lidge will return to something in between 2008 and 2009 then they should be fine. Either way, just like the 2009 Phils, I don't think the 2010 will win or lose becauser of the bullpen.

"His contract is backloaded. Whcih means after they get over Beltran's horrible contract"

You will have to explain why that was a horrible contract. In fact I'll let you off the hook if you can make a convincing argument that it has been a bad contract.

7@17M for arguably the best CF in the game in the prime/late prime of his career? That's a pretty decent signing.

MaxMax33: Excellent points. That doesn't preclude the Phils from trying to improve the bullpen, but you're right... the bullpen likely won't be why we win or lose.

Just keep MLB from doing a feature on the 'Pen , and we should be OK.

"7@17M for arguably the best CF in the game in the prime/late prime of his career?"

Beltran is due to make $20 million the next two seasons. That is exactly my point. The backloaded contract is not good and they are making the same mistake with Bay. Beltran isn't worth $20 mil per year anymore. He missed half the year last year and who knows how healthy he is anymore?

was Jorge Bell an international signing? He may be the cream of the crop for the Phillies, though they never reaped the rewards. That's going back a ways though.

mvptommyd: Injuies happen... but you certainly couldn't predict a lost year to injury for Beltran. Fangraph's lists his "worth" over the last few years as:

2006: $25.8M
2007: $20.1M
2008: $30.1M
2009: $13.2M

Carlos Beltran has earned his money. We'll see if he continues to do so the next couple of years.

But, again... have you seen an indication that the Mets, one of baseball's big-spenders, have NOT signed a player because of Beltran's contract?

Teams with big budgets can absorb bad contracts. This isn't the Twins we're talking about.

Ozark - if you can't call someone from Taiwan, Taiwanese, than you can't call anyone from The United States, American. Unless you want to allow them to use their DRC name, then I guess you'd call them Chinese. But, I'm sure that's a political can of worms the press release was interested in avoiding.

I don't understand why so many undervalue the pen. Last season, the pen was pretty bad at the back end. Romero never showed up at all, and Lidge was awful. Also, Madson was awful when put in Lidge's place.

Now, take that bullpen, add a pretty mediocre piece in Baez, I think we can agree. Subtract Park, Eyre and Condrey, who were arguably the three most effective relievers last season. Then throw in a post surgical Lidge and Romero, from whom none of us can know what they're going to get. And you're going to claim the pen is better? Or simply as good?

I think Mathieson and Bastardo have promise as relievers. But they have never performed at a high level as relievers in the major leagues. In fact, before his surgeries, Mathieson had a straight fastball and no consistent secondary pitch. MPH on a fastball doesn't mean much in the majors if it's not moving and if you don't have a contrasting pitch. Maybe he's developed that change or slider, but that remains to be seen. And Bastardo also has weak secondary stuff. We all saw a nice fastball and not much else last season.

I just don't see how we can know if the pen is as good as last year, and the retained pitchers for 2010 are the ones who performed the worst last season. Unless you argue that it just doesn't matter who you throw out of the pen, I don't see how this is cause for optimism.

And don't forget, we often see the Phillies beating up on weak pens after being shut down by a fairly good starter. We don't want to become that other team. And Mariano Rivera throwing two inning saves should prove to us that we need more than Lidge to perform at the back end.

The Mets are probably a little disappointed with the Beltran deal as he was coming of a near 40-40 season at age 27. He's only had one season since signing the deal that has been better than 2004 ('06), 2 of the 5 seasons so far have been very disappointing ('05 & '09), and now he's entering his mid-30's coming off a season in which he missed a lot of time. He's still good, just not as good as the Mets probably thought he'd be.

CJ - you omitted the 1st year of the deal. And every time I use fangraph's listed value amounts in support of an argument I'm always told that they "overvalue" defense vis a vis the marketplace, for what it's worth.

Clout - I remember reading that the two guys from Korea were washouts. One of them was fat and unathletic and never did much of anything at all. And I think that at one point, they still thought they had something in the second one, but he never panned out either.

CJ~

I'm not upset at RAJ at all. Just merely defending my statement as to where you stated it doesn't make sense is all.

The reason why we got Baez and not say Rodney is money. It always comes down to that whether we like it or not. And I'm not saying anyone is "arguing the money point".

After talking with Lee's agent, Amaro felt he couldn't keep him whatever the reason. I'm merely saying as exciting as this team is, what if....? There are going to be times when player movement occur. And no matter what we are told, we almost always know what the real reason is.

"Beltran isn't worth $20 mil per year anymore. "
Based on what?

To go back to the comment about a HORRIBLE contract -- the contract was fine -- you don't like backloaded contracts, okay, that's your perogative, but that doesn't make the contract horrible.
If you want to argue that the odds favor the Mets will slightly overpay for 2010/11, okay that's a reasonable discussion point, but that doesn't come close to making the contract horrible. The contract has been advantageous to the Mets so far.
There is also a deferred bit to the contract, at less than 2% compounded interest, that part is probably favorable to the Mets, although that analysis is best left to accountants.

"Danys, get up, there is something wrong with Sunny!"

Edmundo: If Beltran were a free agent right now would he get a $20 million per type of contract? I'm not taking sides, I'm just curious. I would guess not, but he'd probably be close.

JBird, I don't know if he'd get exactly 20M but I agree that he'd be close especially since we are talking about 2 year contract. If Andruw v2.0 (a/k/a Fat Andruw) could get 2/36 a few years ago :)

Beltran is the best CF in baseball...why is this even being argued?

He has been pretty healthy for the length of that deal..it was and is a good deal for them overall.

The first 4 years of his contract, he averaged a 125 OPS+ with gold-glove level defense. And he was even very effective in his half season last year with a 143 OPS+.

What do you expect for a top flight CF exactly? They saved money in the early years and are paying it now...as far as average salary goes, it was and is a good deal for both sides.

****If Beltran were a free agent right now would he get a $20 million per type of contract? ****

The more accurate question would be "Would he get a contract averaging $17 million per year?"

I'd guess that he would.

Beltran certainly hasn't been a 'bad signing' and the Mets generally have gotten their money's worth to this point except his 1st season in NY.

The only question is whether Beltran physically holds up or not. If he only averages 90-95 G over the final 3 years of the deal (including last year), it wasn't a good deal. Basically paying Beltran then over $30M for the time he will have missed over that period.

Bay's contract is similar to Beltran's in that it is a big contract for an individual player on a bad team. The Mets improved after they acquired Beltran after Reyes and Wright improved and adding Delgado, Pedro etc. I think the "backend" loading of the contract allowed them to add pieces in the middle of Beltran's contract that they otherwise (like now) may not be able to add.

Cot's says Beltran is due to amke `8.5 for therest of his deal, not 20MM. The rest of the contract is deferred.

Aren't the Mets somehow still paying Bobby Bonilla deferred money? Thought I read that somewhere...

Ummm, that should say 18.5MM

The actual value is much higher, as 22MM from '08-'11 is deferred at 1.72% interest.

Still, the average annual value of the entire contract is 17MM yr.

In that context I think Beltran is being paid fairly - not a bargain - fairly.

SI.com says Beltre is headed to the Red Sox. The rich get richer!

According to mlbtraderumors.com Beltre signed for 1 year / 9 million. That makes me like Polanco at 3 years / 18 million a whole lot less. So much for Beltre getting 10 million for 3-4 years.

CJ: The rich get richer because they're smarter. The Red Sox spend a lot of money, but they aren't the Yankees who just throw massive amounts of money at the wall and see what sticks.

Amaro should've gone for a deal like this with Beltre instead of 3/18 with Polanco.

Amazing deal for the BoSox...IT PAYS TO WAIT!


Remember that one of the reasons we snapped Polanco up was that teams like the Red Sox were supposedly gunning for him?

Where did you hear the Red Sox were gunning for Polanco? I don't remember reading that anywhere.

I vaguely remember them being one of the teams that was interested in him for some reason...perhaps it was in conjunction with moving Pedroia to SS or something like that.

Yes, NEPP has it right:

Polanco on Red Soxs Radar

And now MLB Trade Rumors has a story up about a possible Lowell-Castillo swap.

I knew I wasn't crazy.

Good thing for us they went and settled for Beltre.

****And now MLB Trade Rumors has a story up about a possible Lowell-Castillo swap.****

That's just perfect....super duper perfect. Anyone want to bet Lowell would have a resurgent year as their 1B?

I have a question: why would the Red Sox want Castillo?

Red Sox "express interest" in everybody.

I saw on mlbtr that the Phillies are quietly interested in Chapman. That would be huge if they got him.

I know it isn't necessary to overreact now, but Beltre at 1 yr/9 mil is a steal. On one hand I am mad but on the other I can't help but think i rather have Polanco then DeRosa. Thinking like that makes me a lot less angry.

Also, if Boston swaps Lowell for Castillo, they can't be thinking clearly.

Also IF we payed Beltre $9 million for one year as opposed to Polanco's $6 million, that would mean would most likely we wouldn't have any money left for the bullpen. Another tough scenario to pick and choose who you would rather have.

****Also, if Boston swaps Lowell for Castillo, they can't be thinking clearly.****

Or they know more about Lowell's hip and hand ligament injuries than anyone else.

Phils should make Chien-Ming Wang an offer. 1yr/$2MM guaranteed with incentives up to $3.5 or 4MM based on various benchmarks.

From 2006-08 he dominated, despite pitching in the AL East. Low-risk/high reward guy who apparently should be ready to go by mid-spring training

doubleh: Good question. That rumor has the makings of a Metsblog nocturnal emission written all over it.

MPN: I mean, I see why Mets fans would like it, but I have a feeling that they would take just about anybody short of a sack of balls for Castillo at this point just so they could unload him. Most Met fans I know hate him with a fierce kind of passion.

h2: Even if the Sox moved Pedroia to short I still don't see how Castillo > Lowell when they can always use Lowell at DH if Papi is still not Papi, etc.

h2: And the Sox signing of Scutaro to a 2 yr. (w/ option yr.)/$11.5 million guaranteed makes this trade even more illogical. The Sox can still use Lowrie as a low cost utility IF.

Lowell makes $12M this year, Castillo is owed $12M over two years so the move would provide Boston with near-term salary relief, but it makes no sense from a baseball standpoint. Where would Castillo play? He's not going to beat out Pedroia and the Sox aren't going to shift Pedroia to SS since they just signed Scutaro for $12.5M to play there.

Sox would be smarter to wait until Lowell is healthy and then revive the trade to Texas for Max Ramirez.

I'm seeing conflicting numbers on Beltre. Gammons has it as $9M first year but with a $5M option for the second (if he's not renewed). Olney says it's $10M and Heymann says it's a 2-year deal.

It might make sense from Beltre's standpoint to keep it a short contract since he was horrible on offense last year. A big year at Fenway would catapult his value and then he could cash in long-term.

clout: Sure, but Lowell AND Papi come off the books next year, so that is $24 million in savings right there alone.

Agree on revisiting the MaxRam trade when Lowell comes back from surgery.

(Unless Papi has a Frank Thomas `06 comeback special kind of campaign.)

clout: And Miguel Olivo signed for $2.5 million with the Rockies for 2010. Admittedly, I low-balled Olivo's salary demands, but not by that much in retrospect!

Sox got Beltre for 1 yr/$10M? Moving early on Polanco suddenly doesn't look so savvy.

Like Ibanez's power last year, Polanco's value all depends on his AVG. Phils have gotten the following stats out of #2 hole the past 5 years:

2009 - .306/.376/.483 (Vic)
2008 - .270/.347/.441 (Vic with some Utley/Werth)
2007 - .293/.358/.451 (Vic with some Iguchi and Utley)
2006 - .332/.396/.524 (Utley/Vic)
2005 - .315/.379/.408 (Lofton with Polanco/Michaels)

Phils have had good/very good offenses the past several years and a key reason for that has been good/very good production out of the #2 spot.

Polanco better hit at least very close to .300 because he doesn't walk that much and his OBP probably will be only .340 even if he hits .300.

If Polanco even hits .270 or so, he will likely have an OBP around .310 or so. If JRoll has another similiar year offensively, you could potentially see a ton of outs from No. 1 and 2 holes next year.

BBeard - File any Chapman rumors under "believe it when see it."

Petey P - I'll pass on Wang. We already have Kendrick and he's cheaper.

Well, in fairness, it looks like Beltre turned down 3 and 4 year deals to sign with the RSox, according to mlbtraderumors. Maybe he would have done the same to play in Philly, but if he's turning down richer contracts to play in Boston it's very difficult to compare the Polanco and Beltre deals; this contract doesn't seem to represent Beltre's market value.

The Phils have taken some flak for signing Polanco for 3 years, and I'm inclined to agree that it's a bit of a head scratcher. Given the team's penchant for dolling out multi-year contracts to just about everyone, I wonder if the Phils think they've figured out how to pick players over 30 years old. Perhaps they even see aging veterans as an a sort of market inefficiency - with the league-wide focus on youngsters, perhaps the Phils think there are real deals to be had in the aging player market, especially if you do your homework. Ibanez and Polanco are simply the tip of the iceberg: there's Moyer, Baez, Schneider, Gload, even Castro got an option. They do it so consistently you've got to think there's some kind of method to this madness - even if it's not a good method.

I hope they know what they're doing, but the odds seem high that at least a few of these aging player contracts will come back to haunt the Phils. Then again, if they're willing to keep increasing payroll and cut those that fail (Jenkins) maybe it's not really a big deal.

Beltre sign a 1-year deal with an option, I believe maybe because the opportunity may present itself for him to be a FA again next year, when the market will be better for hom. This isn't the first Boras had one of his clients sign a 1-year deal. Beltre signing with the Bosox is a no-brainer as Lowell is not playing 3b if he stays. Who's left for them? Tejada? Please.

Didn't Beltre have a shoulder injury last year?. He was my 1st choice for 3b too but did Amaro even look at him? If not, can't compare the deals between he and Polanco. Remember, RAJ scooped up Polly quickly as 1 of the reasons was it wouldn't cost the Phils a draft pick. And 1 thing the Polanco deal gives the Phils is a degree of cost-certainly @ 3rd. Also if Howard is moved in the future, maybe Utley moves to 1st, Polly to 2nd and another 3B is brought in.

Keep trying to read between the lines with this team phans. Remember who's calling the shots (the FO).

Andy-It's now the second time that I've seen the Phils "in the mix" for Chapman. I won't count on it, but it's been under the radar, which is how the Phillies seem to operate.

DPatrone: The front office calls the shots for every team.

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