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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

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I have about as little faith in Kyle Kendrick as anyone here, but even I am assuming he should be able to beat out a guy like Ryan Vogelsong for the 5th starter job. If Vogelsong is starting for us, we're in some real trouble.

Best of luck to the local guy though. Hope he gets an International League championship.

"If Vogelsong is starting for us, we're in some real trouble."

Nah. Really? Fifth starter is where they can afford to experiment. Chopper. Rolo.

Voglesong and Carpenter....ugh.

I don't have a ton of hope in him, but i'd rather see a guy like Carpenter get a chance than a washout/injured guy like Voglesong*.

*despite the local flavor with him.

All it means is that they'll get a couple of looks in Clearwater. Carpenter has at least earned the right based on his season in LV. Carpenter started a couple of times last spring, too.

JW: Suppose that's true, but he's worse than pretty much anyone we put out there this year as the 5th starter.

Overall, it's probably irrelevant though. Like you said above, he's not going to be anywhere except Lehigh Valley.

Vogelsong/Carpenter/Kendrick/Moyer already in the comp for 5th starter, and RAJ wants to add another one? Interesting...

Lot's of possibilities messing around with that name.

Vogel = Bird. Song = Lied. (Pronounced "Leed" in German).

Birdsong. Birdlied. Vogellied.

Das Vogellied sang ein schönes Lied vom Damm.


Can you tell I'm bored.

I can barely wait until pitchers and catchers report.

"it's interesting that he's starting to name names."


awh's translation:

They will not be handing jobs to anyone and thus possibly costing the team wins. They want to win the WFC again and they want home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Jamie and Kyle....are you listening?

"Counting today’s $5.25M, two-year announcement of Danys Baez, and the Phillies have invested just under $6 million for a utility infielder, a good pinch hitter, experienced catcher and eighth-inning reliever. That’s stretching your dollar."

JW, that goes directly to my post on the previous thread.

Smoltz perhaps?

From Zolecki's article: Amaro said he also has spoken to Brett Myers' agent, which is noteworthy because Amaro said immediately after the season that Myers would not return.

Was he drunk or something? Perhaps the breakup was harder than Rube thought it would be...late night drunken phone calls to Brett's agent.

Just as long as they don't give Baez an audition, I'm fine.

As much as I can't stand him, I'd take Myers back as a low-cost option for the rotation. I'd rather have him there on a 1 year deal than a Carpenter/KK/Vogelsong triumvirate.

NEPP, I suspect that Ruben is keeping the door open everywhere.

Also, saying he "spoke" to Myers agent is not the same as saying he initiated the phone call.

Despite Myers "difficulties" in the past, he is a known quantity and is not disruptive in the locker room.

It could be a veiled message to other pitchers and their agents (Chopper?): "You're not the only guy we can bring in who can swing back and forth" or something along those lines.

Myers may very well represent the best price/value proposition left on the market.

We'll see.

Considering that no one else has even been rumored to be interested in Brett, maybe he'd be a good 1 year signing.

Matt Holliday signs 7 year deal with Cards.
Holliday said that the deal was for seven years and between $119 million and $120 million with a team option at the end of the contract. He also said the deal is pending a physical.

per ESPN:
Holliday re-signing with Cards

Good thing they outbid all those other teams trying to sign him...oh wait.

It wasn't too long ago that Myers was considered a pretty decent #2-3 in MLB.

If he's healthy (and focused) and they can bring him in on a one year deal, the rotation could look like this:

Halladay
Hamels
Blanton
Happ
Myers

Bullpen:

Lidge
Madson
Baez
Durbin
Moyer
Escalona/Bastardo/Kendrick/Mathieson
Romero - when/if healthy
Fill in a name

Myers could also provide valuable insurance in the closer role. He's done it before with decent results.

OTOH, if Myers is in the pen, the rotation could look like this:

Halladay
Hamels
Blanton
Happ
Moyer/Kendrick

Bullpen:

Lidge
Madson
Myers
Baez
Durbin
Moyer/Kendrick
Escalona/Bastardo/Mathieson
Romero - when/if healthy*
Fill in any name

In scenario #1, if healthy, that's not a shabby rotation at all.

JW- I think you are wrong about Schneider. Last year was a terrible year but I think he will be a good pickup for us. I agree that saving some money and going with Castro is not a bad idea given that he is basically the same as a Vizquel, Cora or a McDonald. I'm curious What do people think of Fernando Tatis? Do you think he would've been a good pickup for the Phils?

I hope that Rube has done an about face with Myers. We all know he's a big dope personally, but as a 4th or 5th starter or an option out of the pen, if he can be signed cheaply, I don't see anyone on the market better than him. And we know he doesn't shrink under pressure. And if Castro's bat is as weak as I suspect, we may need an occasional 13 pitch pinch hit at bat from him.

Seriously, he'd be the perfect low risk high reward guy Amaro's been looking for. Duchscherer may be more talented, but Myers is what's left. Time to swallow that Stanford Pride, Rube, and get it done.

Vogelsong? - Just another minor league depth guy. Not surprised the Phils signed him and they will likely sign another 1-2 pitchers to minor league deals yet.

"he is a known quantity and is not disruptive in the locker room."

I beg to differ on that front. Remember Myers pretty much kicked Hamels at his absolute lowest point in the playoffs. The guy's a jerk.

That said, if he could be had cheap enough...

Joel: schneider was definitely a good pickup. You're misreading me.

timr, you're kidding, right?

That locker room comment by Myers during the playoffs was nothing. It was just taken wrong by reporters, media, beerleaguer, etc.

Myers does seem to be kinda a jerk, but he seems to be a decent teammate, and Cholly seems to know how to handle him.

If they are considering bringing Brett Myers back, they should consider a guy like Erik Bedard first. Brett Myers has been injured 3 years in a row and is a certified jerk. If they are willing to bring Myers back, they should think big and sign Bedard. Bedard is no more of a jerk than Myers.
Bedard pitched better than Cliff Lee in the 1st half of 2009. If healthy, he can beat any team's #2, except the Red Sox.

I mean, nobody who's not in the locker room really knows, but he's always seemed to me like less than a decent teammate. Barely tolerable is more like it. But who knows.

What we do know for sure is he's a pretty crappy person outside the locker room.

If people think Myers is the only jerk on this Phillies team, they're living in a fantasy world. Odds are there's bound to be at least a handful on every team (as in life and every office you could probably cite at least 5 in your everyday company).

How many of them are known wife beaters, I don't know. But perhaps some are better at hiding their jerkhood than Myers.

Jayson Werth: Once the talk of LA in '04, slamming homeruns in three straight, and four of five in the money-ball month of September. Because of injuries, we get the former first round stud on the cheap as an OF bench bat-turned-All-Star.

JC Romero: Once among the very top relievers in baseball, a flame-out in Minnesota and a few too many walked batters in Beantown meant a quick hook for Romero. We get him for a minor league deal, and presto, JC Our Savior is born again.

Scott Eyre: Among the most reliable lefty specialists in the game has a bad month and gets bounced in LA--just another valuable arm for us to pick off the scrap heap, as he hurls a sub-2.00 ERA in two years since.

My point?

Not too long ago, Baez was the popular kid, too. He even made an All-Star team, saved a whole bunch of games, and all that good stuff.

But then he got hurt--the "Tommy John" kind of hurt which entitled him to work from home for the entire 2008 season.

He came back, though, in 2009, and was a vital cog of the Baltimore 'pen, holding opponents to a .222 batting average as their go-to reliever.

Sound familiar? The Phils have a sterling track record with these kinds of moves lately-- and if they're going to make a value move on a questionable reliever, I'll gladly take the All-Star...with closer experience.

The difference between Bedard and Myers (other than talent) is that Myers is our jerk while Bedard is an unknown quantity in the locker room.

Perhaps they could ask Baez about him as I believe they were in Baltimore together.

"...nobody who's not in the locker room really knows"

Agreed.

"What we do know for sure is he's a pretty crappy person outside the locker room."

Agreed.

I don't think anyone has a problem with Baez per se. It's what we're not getting that's the problem. He's a nice complementary piece. But if they don't bring back Eyre or someone very much like him, they're counting on Bastardo or Escalona, and neither is that LOOGY we are looking for. Escalona simply doesn't have it. He doesn't seem to have a ton of upside to me, and I'd peg him as a AAAA guy. Bastardo does have potential, but he needs to work on his secondary stuff to be either a decent reliever or starter. LOOGYs don't typically get by on a fastball and nothing else. It's either a splitter, a slider or a sweeping curve to augment a merely decent fastball. If the Phillies want to control costs and look a little to the future, they need to let Bastardo develop at AAA as a starter. Give him time to work on that secondary stuff and we might have something good. That's why they need an older, cheaper veteran lefty. I hope Eyre does come back on that minor league deal.

And I think not bringing back Chopper may be a penny wise dollar foolish move. I'd rather have him than Durbin. He has better stuff and better control. And I think about now he's probably deciding it's better to be a reliever than unemployed. My guess is that Durbin would have been brought back on a major league minimum deal. I don't see a lot of demand for what he gives a team.

The problem with Bedard is that he's got a 0% chance of putting in a full season. He just doesn't do it, regardless of the environment or situation.

So that's out.

The only reason Sheets is being considered is because, before his injury, he actually put together five full seasons in Milwaukee. Whereas pitchers like Bedard and Rich Harden are virtual locks to land on the DL, Sheets' situation resembles more of a blip on the radar.

If you can blame his arm woes on his workhorse past, maybe a year off isn't so bad. Baez had success coming off Tommy John surgery last season. Same for Kyle Drabek. John Smoltz. Josh Johnson. Jon Lieber. The list goes on. Risks are what they are--they're cheap, though, and that's the reason. All you can do is try to maximize the reward. Whoever signs Sheets should bring him along slowly and hope that come August-September-October, he can give you 8 strong when it matters most.

I love that Eyre is now considered the greatest reliever on earth...look at his actual value to the team. Other than a flashy ERA, he really wasn't that special. Besides, if the Phillies saw inside his elbow and THEN offered a minor-league deal, they probably know just how bad his arm is at this point.

Ryan Vogelsong. Ordered my jersey.

Big Unit retires.
One less septuagenarian for Amaro to court.

one of the best of a generation

NEPP: I completely agree that there's too much blind love for Eyre. But, when he was healthy last year, he was absolutely teh guy you wanted to bring in with men on. Maybe I imagined it (I'm not trying to find the stat) but he seemed to strand others runners with notable consistency. That said, if he takes the minor league deal, I'd take him back. If not, next lefty.

Well Eyre made his bed here. He said himself it's either Philly or retirement-- you can't blame Amaro for playing that card. An MLB deal would be more sentimental than anything else--and I think Moyer's soured them on that here on out.

aksmith - I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils bring in a veteran LOOGY either just because I don't think the Phils are going to get much out of Romoero this season and it can't hurt to have some competition in spring for Bastardo/Escalona.

I wouldn't have minded seeing Park but he supposedly told them he wants a chance to compete as a starter & rejected a 1 yr/$3M deal to come back. Wouldn't surprise me if Park is look for at least $4-$5M. He isn't going to get it though because I can't see any team willing to give him a guarantee as a starter.

As for Myers, I guess I wouldn't mind seeing him back here because it never hurts to have another talented arm. Frankly, I am kind of surprised that Ed Wade didn't already sign him. Maybe waiting for the price to drop a bit.

I would love Myers as the 5th starter. Think about that.

Bedard is a guy i'd bring in for whatever you can get out of him for the year. There's been reports that he may pitch in May and there's been reports that he may be post All-Star break so there's a definite issue there. Additionally, he(allegedly) was not the most popular guy in the clubhouse, either.

That said, I wouldn't be upset if they bring Myers back, but I'd rather roll the dice with a guy with a huge upside, like Bedard.

I don't think anyone has blind love for Eyre. But the guy has proven in a little over a season in Philly that he gets out lefties and he also gets out righties. And he does strand runners at a pretty good clip. That has value. Maybe not 2 million of value. And it would be nice to know how his elbow is responding to surgery. But there is value to having a reliable lefty at the back end of the bullpen if it doesn't break the bank. And it's important to remember that he pitched through bone chips and I believe a pulled hammy at the end of the season, and barely missed a beat. That says something about his character and desire that not all pitchers have. Bedard, for instance, is known for refusing to pitch if all the stars are not properly aligned. I know he's not a reliever, but just comparing the mental approach to the game. Eyre has the toughness. Bedard does not appear to have it.

And that's why I'd say no to Bedard on anything more than a major league minimum deal, and yes to Eyre on a realistic deal if he's healthy. And that's where Rube should have information that we don't. I could also see Condrey coming back on a minor league deal if Amaro hasn't slammed that door shut. Seems not a lot of teams are loving lower level pen talent this year.

I too saw Vogelsong pitch a few times in Japan(it wasn't as thrilling as the time I saw Les Waldron face off with Edgardo Alfonso), almost exclusively in 2008. He was a starter for the Tigers and didn't do a poor job, but was nowhere near an impact player. He was decidedly middle of the road in the pitcher friendly (non DH) central league. I really don't see him sticking in the bigs either as he struggled to stick in the NPB. I'm sort of surprised he is coming back here knowing he will likely be a minor leaguer and not make nearly as much money as he did in Japan. Maybe that new baby factored in the decision. Good luck regardless. He'll make a spot start when rain and injuries align.

Obviously when I referred to Volgelsong and the Central League I meant 07/08 as the Orix Buffaloes are in the Pacific (DH) League.

Obviously when I referred to Volgelsong and the Central League I meant 07/08 as the Orix Buffaloes are in the Pacific (DH) League.

"If the Phillies want to control costs and look a little to the future, they need to let Bastardo develop at AAA as a starter."

smitty, just FYI, a lot of MLB SP began their MLB careers in the bullpen. A notable example is Johan Santana(And no, clout, I am NOT comparing Bastardo to Johan). Others are Wainright, Dempster, Looper.

More often though, relievers begin as SP.

I'm aware that starters sometimes start as relievers in the majors. However, Bastardo is not a finished product in any way. He needs to learn to throw his secondary pitches. And while Wainright, for example, had Duncan to tutor him in the majors, Bastardo will have Dubee. I don't know about you, but Dubee ain't no Dave Duncan.

If Bastardo were a lights out LOOGY, I'd say fine. But he doesn't appear to be that guy and could really use some time building up his arm and learning secondary stuff in the minors. Although, the history of the Phils minors is also not one of pitchers being well instructed in secondary pitches.

Santana was a special case as a rule 5 guy who wasn't quite ready for prime time, no?

Re-post from the end of the last 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.

Why do you say "shame on him"? What should he be ashamed about?

Other Asian baseball signings...Les Walrond ex Phil and Yokohama BayStar signs with Doosan of the Korean Baseball Organization, and Yen-Feng Lin, from Taiwan and an ex Phillie farmhand moves to Japan and signs with Chiba Lotte Marines.

From this morning's Inquirer:


"How Phils' Pitching Staff Shapes Up

Projected Starters
Roy Halladay
Cole Hamels
J.A. Happ
Joe Blanton
Kyle Kendrick
INJURED

Jamie Moyer

Bullpen
Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson
Danys Baez

J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin
Sergio Escalona
Antonio Bastardo
Mike Zagurski

40-man Roster
Drew Carpenter
Scott Mathieson
Yohan Flande
David Herndon

Drew Naylor
J.C. Ramirez

Jesus Sanchez

Gone
STARTERS

Cliff Lee
Brett Myers
BULLPEN

Chan Ho Park
Scott Eyre
Clay Condrey"

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/homepage/20100106_Phillies_say_goodbye_to_Park__Eyre.html?viewAll=y

GrandSlamSingle: there's a current of thought which holds that if a player doesn't do precisely what the Phillies FO wants, he's morally degenerate. See several threads ago, re: Orlando Hudson and his selfish decision to not play third base (for a team he doesn't play for).

Bedard is tantalizing. I wouldn't mind it if he managed to throw only 100 or more innings, so long as he was functional for the playoffs. But in each of the last two years his season ended permanently well before the beginning of September.

The question is wholly academic though, as it would appear, given what we gathered during last year's trade talks, that a substantial portion of the FO--the Bavasi-regime-in-exile clique--regards Bedard as a d***. Which is no doubt in some degree due to the fact that the Bedard trade stands as emblematic of the Bavasi FO's historic incompetence.

I wouldn't mind seeing Ruben make clout's dreams come true and sign Jon Garland to something cheap. Then the Phillies would experience the best of both worlds, Garland and Happ!--two very similar, barely above-average worlds...

Vogelsong was my first ever college AB my freshman year in a tournament down in Virginia in 98. It was about 30 degrees and windy and he was topping out at like 94 that day. Not fun. He K'ed me on 4 pitches and we lost 2-1. I thought he had retired 4 years ago.

This is from the previous thread but I feel I need to clear up m stance on this issue. Last thread we were discussing Beltre and why he received a 1 yr. deal with an option. I feel as though I didn't myself clear on my stance therefore I got comments like the following:

"You think 1-year, $10M is a better offer than 3-years, $24M? " - CJ

"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?"-clout

Of course the multi-year deal is better and of course last season impacted this year. However, I think once we signed Polanco(whcih I am happy about), Boston was one of the few teams left in the running for a 3rd baseman(Beltre). Therefore, Boston could control the situation. Beltre was pretty much forced to take the 1 year with an option for a 2nd year deal, because no one else was making any offers.

The Red Sox were smart, unlike the Mets & Cardinals who basically bid against themselves for Bay and Holiday.

With that said, I think most BLers and the Boston fans will see a much improved Beltre next year. Also, I can't wait for everyone to yell at Rube for not signing him. You know typical BLer "money is no object" and "every player will accept any deal we offer" stuff.

Klaus, if Bedard is a d***, then I'm sure Mulcahy thinks the two of us should get along just fine. :)

This from David Murphy this morning:

"The Phillies have touched base with representatives for righthander Chien-Ming Wang, who was nontendered by the Yankees after missing last season with shoulder surgery, and former Brewers ace righthander Ben Sheets. But there are no indications that their asking prices will fall in the Phillies' desired range. Same goes for veteran righthander Pedro Martinez, whose Phillies career appears to be over.

Likewise, any further bullpen additions are likely to be through nonguaranteed minor league contracts. Amaro said that the Phillies have offered veteran lefthander Scott Eyre a minor league deal to return, but that Eyre is looking elsewhere. As for Park returning, Amaro said there is "very little-to-no-chance at that happening," although he did not completely eliminate the possibility.

Instead, the Phillies are likely to count on anywhere from one to three young pitchers from the farm system. Lefties Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona and righty Scott Mathieson are the leading candidates, although righties Brian Rosenberg and Phillippe Aumont have an outside shot to contribute at some point.

Amaro said the team would look to sign a veteran lefthander to replace Eyre, although there are few impressive options remaining on the market."

I like the fact that Rube is at least talking to the reps for Wang and Sheets. It shows, obviously, that he is setting the bar high. The payroll constraints are surely impeding his ability to get something done.

It's interesting that Rosenberg, a favorite among some here on BL (I've never seen him pitch so I have no opinion) had his name mentioned.

Also, Mitch williams is on record saying that he expects Aumont to be a contributor in 2010, and obviously the FO also thinks there is a possibility.

Klaus, one other thing:

If the Phils did bring in Garland, and he and Happ gave them league average performance at the #4 and 5 slots, that represents a HUGE improvement over what they've gotten there the last 3 seasons.

The last 6 years Garland has averaged 200 innings with a 4.23 ERA. That's about league average for the NL. However, 5/6 of those years were in the AL, where his said ERA was actually better than league average.

If the rotation were Doc, Cole, Blanton, Happ and Garland (flip the last 2 if you like), and they get 200 IP from everyone except Happ, then this team will be in very good shape at the end of September, and 100 wins is not out of the question.


However, I seriously doubt they'll be able to land Garland.

A bit of history on Vogelsong.

He was a 5th round pick out of Kutztown by the Giants in 1998 with a 90-93 mph fastball, a promising curve and change and, his best attribute: Excellent location.

When he got to AA, however, his location got a bit worse, not uncommon as hitters at that level better handle low-90s fastballs and the pitcher then becomes prone to nibbling. But he was still considered a quality prospect, so much so that he was the key player in the Jason Schmidt trade at the deadline in 2001.

Alas, this was not such a hot trade for the Pirates. Schmidt went on to become one of the best pitchers in the NL. Vogelsong's numbers immediately plunged (along with his velocity). At season's end it was discovered he'd torn his elbow ligament. TJ surgery followed.

He was never the same after that. The Pirates used him both as a SP and reliever trying to squeeze some value out of a terrible trade. In 315 IP, he allowed 14.3 baserunners per 9 IP and had a 1.4 K/BB ratio. Awful.

It would take something catastrophic for him to see action at CBP this season. But he's a fine back-of-rotation guy for LV and his veteran presence should help the kids.

Considering the payroll constraints, I don't think there's any chance of a Sheets/Wang/Bedard type pitcher joining the Phils. If Myers was desperate to return, that might be a possibility on a very small 1 year deal, but I doubt the other 3 would accept that.

And factoring in the likely arb. awards, I would say the Phils only have 4-6 mil more to play with. If the 140 mil. budget is a hard one, with no room to maneuver even mid-season, I hope they save that payroll room for an in-season aquisition.

Chirs in VT: Hate to be the bearer of bad news but the payroll as we speak including Baez is at $120.5 million. With the arb. cases or if they sign the players, that will put them most likely around $138 million.

I think that they only have between $2-4 million remaining to spend. I think this offseason is all but over as far as the signings are concerned.

I'd like to see them sign another starter in the $1-3 million range. I'm content going into the season with Bastardo as our LOOGY.

awh: Agree with you on Sheets, Garland, Bedard, Washburn, Wang et al. They are out of the Phillies price range. I'm not convinced that Eyre can land a guaranteed contract, so there's still hope there.

Some secondary type FA SPs still on the market (correct me if I'm wrong): Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez, Looper, Pedro, Padilla, Prior, Redding, Wellemeyer.

Davis, Pedro & Padilla are also likely out of the Phils price range. Prior is a huge injury risk. That leaves Looper, Redding & Wellemeyer. If any of them revert to prior seasons' success (rather than repeat last season) they could be a nice bargain.

But RA might be better off spending what's left on the bullpen.

NEPP: Which SP, praytell, could the Phillies sign for $1-3M?

clout, I hadn't thought of Prior.

He would be a nice MiL signing, maybe on a split contract.

With his injury history/risk he may not get offered a MLB contract.

If he, through some minor miracle, somehow manages to stay healthy and effective, he would be a pretty decent addition for just about evey MLB club, with the exception of maybe BOS and ATL.

Any word on his status?

yo, new thread.

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