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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Comments

Anyone remember the time he beaned someone, the guy was gonna charge the mound, went halfway out, then Gagne (all roided up) started screaming at him and telling him to come get his arse beat...the hitter realized Gagne was like 6'4", 250 lbs of crazy steroid rage/ex Canadian hockey player and just took the base?


"Gagne was a perfect 55-for-55 in save opportunities in 2003, helping him net the National League Cy Young"

That is nice, JW. But remember who your audience is. Lidge went a perfect 46-for-46 in 2008, helping his team win the World Series. And look what the view is of him now?

Gagne's trying to make it back as a starter? If I remember correctly, he was an extremely medicore SP prospect before the Dodgers turned him into a reliever...I wouldn't think he's become a better starter without the help of HGH and lord knows what else.

But on Gagne if he is healthy and the contract is a MiL deal, then why not?

Wow, Eric Gange = Pedro Martinez? I don't think so.

If it's a cheap minor league deal, then by all means sign him. But I wouldn't expect anything out of him...I wouldn't even expect him to last a full season at AAA.

Reminds me of a the Benson signing. Even if the Phillies add Gange, I doubt he sees the field.

Dukes: Ok, so then tell me the difference between Gagne at this stage of his career and Pedro circa July 2009? Two pitchers with great histories but horrible seasons lately. Most people thought Pedro was cooked, just as they think Gagne is cooked. We'll see.

Though, if there is one thing last year taught us, it is that organizational depth at SP never hurts...

My first thought on the headline was "wow, Simon Gagne quit hockey?!?"

Interesting tidbit from Scott Lauber on Joe Blanton's arb numbers:

"Since 2001, the Phillies have gone to an arbitration hearing with only two players — Travis Lee in ‘01 and Ryan Howard in ‘08 (Howard and Blanton, coincidentally, are represented by the same agent, Casey Close, of Creative Artists Agency"

I wonder if the Phils will go to arbitration with Joe- I sure don't see them meeting his demands w/o arb.

If I were running the Phils, I'd go to arb...Their number is completely reasonable for him, and I would think that his number is way too high for an arbitrator to pick it. The problem is the bad feelings that arbitration creates between the player and management...but if they don't plan on keeping Joe long-term, it probably doesn't really matter that much.

Seen enough of his crap here in Boston. PASS.

Chris: I would atually try to lock him up to a 3-year deal. That is why I was so excited yesterday when 610 WIP falsely reported that the Phillies and Blanton reached a deal.

However, if they do go to Arb., the Phillies should win that one.

Taking a look at another veteran reliever certainly can't hurt especially because I get the sense more and more the Phils FO honestly has no idea what to expect from Lidge & Romero this year.

Plus, it isn't like there is a ton of young-quality arms ready to fill out the pen either.

Looking at guys like Gagne tells me that the Phils aren't even looking at "Value Village" types (Mahay) and instead have been to the rummage bucket for discontinued/damaged items that are 75% or more the list price.

mvptommy - I'm not sure locking up a league average pitcher for 3 years at ~9 mil per is a good use of your money, especially on a limited budget with a lot of higher-end salaries.

How many of us thought the Wolf deal was ridiculous? Well, that would be about as bad. The Phils have too many other players to sign and long-term holes to worry about to spend that kind of money on a Joe Blanton. He's exactly the type of pitcher you let go in the FA market, where someone desperate for a decent starter will overpay for him.

I don't think I could find a way to support him.

Chris: I see your concern, but I have a question for you.

Who would you replace him with?

I say why not? Give him the Benson deal. It couldn't hurt. See what he's got. He was a half decent set up guy for the Brew Crew in '08 after coming off the DL. It's worth a shot.

I'm also reading now that the Phils were at the Sheets audition.

"Chris: I see your concern, but I have a question for you.

Who would you replace him with?"

League average pitchers are available in FA every offseason...Jason Marquis was signed for 2/15...That would be a FAR better deal than 3/27 that people seem to think Blanton would get. Jon Garland is still on the FA market, and he's almost exactly the same SP that Blanton is. If he REALLY thinks he's worth 8 figures, there's no way in hell you re-sign him.

I'll put it to you this way...If you sign Blanton to that deal, with whom do you replace Werth? I know most people think he's gone after this season, but the Phils need to at least give themselves a chance to re-sign him. And if you sign guys like Blanton to 8 figure salaries, you give yourself no shot to keep your best players.

Gagne: I agree with the "why not?" school of thought. See what he can do, but keep the optimism low.

Chris: I tend to agree. But I am saying lock Blanton in on the notion that Werth is gone. HOWEVER, if Werth is here then I agree let Blanton walk after this year, but I want the following to happen:

1.)Sign Werth Long Term. Similiar to Bay's 5 yr/80 mil deal.

2.) Go year to year with Vic then replace him when he hits FA with a Prospect( i.e. Gilles)

3.) Sign Ruiz long term

As for Blanton, seems a like a real overshot on his part. If I were Amaro, I dig a line in the sand and take him straight to arbitration. Blanton at $9M or $9.5M might have had a decent shot at winning.

I am going to be really interested to see what kind of shape and attitude Blanton has when pitchers and catchers report. He never has been a svelte kind of guy but he had a couple of seasons where he did the "Brett Myers" offseason training routine (fried foods and lots of TV) including the start of the 2008 season.

One of the reasons he was supposedly traded by Beane a year earlier than people thought even though he was arbitration eligible through 2010.

mvp - Yet again you are missing the point that this entire team/roster is constructed for the next 2 seasons. I would be shocked if they locked up anyone long-term especially Werth.

MG: Not now of course. If the year plays out, they might...You never know. Werth is a key piece to this puzzle.

You really think after 2012 they are going to have let Blanton, Werth, Ibanez, Howard and Hamels all walk? If so you are dead wrong.

They are printing money down there. Selling out every single night. If all those players walk then that place will not be like it is now. All the "bandwagon" fans that go to the games because it is the "cool" thing to do and the team wins alot will move on. And ownership won't let that happen.

I think the phils got a blessing that Blanton asked for 10MM. Makes them way more likely to win the arb case and save some money. If they win they might be able to bring in another arm on a 1 year deal.

Oh, add Victorino to that list.

mvp - I bet you that among the list of Victorino, Howard, Hamels, Blanton, Werth, and Ibanez that just 1 of those guys is on the roster on Opening Day in 2012.

Eric Gagne??? No thanks.

Joe Blanton? I hope they sign him to a reasonable deal. Maybe Adam Eaton money. He may be just better than average but guys like that don't fall out of trees.

MG: And if that is true, that is horrible.

This team will be back to winning 83-86 games and CBP will be 75% full most nights like in 2004.

But hey, at least I will get better seats for my ticket plans....

Programming Note:

As I said yesterday, Brad Lidge will be on 610 WIP @ 11:15...

Even though we can't take his injury report seriously, it will still be nice to hear what he has to say.

For the Record, Monty and Amaro both said previously on 610 in interviews that Romero and Lidge were "on or close to schedule" and set on returning "on Opening day or very soon after".

***I bet you that among the list of Victorino, Howard, Hamels, Blanton, Werth, and Ibanez that just 1 of those guys is on the roster on Opening Day in 2012.***

What is the probability that even Hamels is gone?

A-Train:

"I hope they sign him to a reasonable deal. Maybe Adam Eaton money. He may be just better than average but guys like that don't fall out of trees."

Guys like that DO fall out of trees. And pretty regularly. Marquis, Garland, Wolf, Penny, Davis, Harden, Duchscherer, etc. were all available in the FA market this year, and all offer very similar production to Blanton. And most will cost less than the 9 mil or so he would cost in a long-term deal.

The Phils tried to give Blanton away for a couple solid prospects and found no takers for him at the Winter Meeetings...the guys the Phils traded for Blanton weren't special prospects, just a step above organizational filler types. League average pitchers are relatively easy to find. You don't overpay for them.

From Phillies.com regarding the Arb. eligible players.
A quote from Scott Proefrock within that article

"We're working toward agreements in all cases and fully expect to get something done before we head to a hearing -- in all cases," said Proefrock, who wouldn't go into specifics about the figures.

"We're just continuing to have discussions with all three of them and hope to work toward agreements here in the near term."

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100119&content_id=7939558&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi

There is a very interesting two part article on fangraphs about sinkerball minor leaguers, and their transition from the minors to the majors.

Give it a read, as it may give you some good insight into Kyle Kendrick.

Chris - The Phils traded away more than "average prospects" at the time for Blanton and starters who can consistently give you around 200 IP and an ERA slightly over 4.00 don't grow on trees either.

mvp - That is just standard lip service and the company line. You will have to wait until Lidge/Romero actually take the mound in spring training. Until then, take whatever the Phils and Lidge himself say about their health and projected return date.

The Phillies like blue-collar horses with blue-collar contracts. If Kentucky Joe wants to stick around and keep winning, he should sign a very reasonable 3/$25.5 deal. That would be fair for both sides in ths unstable market.

This is almost an ideal situation for him, unless he prefers living in the south or something dumb like that. Let Jamie Moyer show him around the farm we're trying to send him to upstate.

I hated everything about Joe Blanton until the 2008 post-season. I hated his lazy delivery, fatness, K/BB, ERA, pedestrian stuff and the fact that we gave up two top prospects for a #3 starter.

...but Fat Joe has grown on me.(and slimmed down) We needed him after Myers went down, but he's become the anti-Myers: consistent, healthy, never dominant but hardly terrible and never complaining. Myers was a fierce competitor but I'd rather have a steady guy like Joe in my foxhole. He's a perfect #3/#4 for this team and we should lock him up through 2013, for 3 years at the reasonable rate of 3 years at $8.5 per. Yes, essentially an Adam Eaton deal. Unlike Eaton, Blanton is not a headcase, but I'd throw a weight clause into the contract. They could regret such a deal, but a guy who stays healthy and allows less than half a run an inning for 200 IP every year is worth keeping in the middle of the rotation.

Billy Beane on Blanton:
"You can see it on the mound, he's grinding his teeth to keep it in. Early on, it affected him a little bit, but, as he matured, he found a way to keep it under control. The guy's a warrior. He's an absolute and total warrior between the lines. He and Tim Hudson are the two best competitors, as far as pitchers, we've ever had."

Brad Lidge interview highlights:

- Says he feels "good" and feels that his body is right to have a better 2010 than 2009.

- Elbow injury occured over the past couple years. Admits his arm was bothering him last year and was throwing the ball instead of pitching. Cleaned up bone spurs in elbow.

- Was on alot of "pain killers" last season.

- Knee was bothering him right as the season started.

- "Constantly trying to change things(when pitching on the mound) because of my knee and elbow"

- "Had to lower my back leg kick so I din't put as much pressure on my knee."

- Regarding Opening Day, "I think I can(be back by then), but not going to rush"

- Regarding the additions of Polanco, Halladay, etc. "I think we are even better this year, so we will hopefully be back (to the WS) again."


Very interesting and great insight. I think it is safe to gather that he will be back before May, mechanics and delievery DEFINITELY affected him last year and hopefully BLers who are doubting him eat their words this year.

****MLBTradeRumors: Cerrone writes about Bengie Molina, saying the Mets "offered at least $1 million more than the Giants, and also offered a player-controlled option for 2011." Cerrone believes Molina grew skeptical of playing in New York. ****

IE, he saw what a trainwreck NY was...particularly with the Beltran fiasco and took less money and 1 less year to play in SF.

Pedro Martinez? No, at this point in his career Gagne is Vic Darensbourg.

Bay: Kris Benson was the subject of at least 500 posts on Beerleaguer, so, no, Gagne is not Kris Benson either.

Can't get into the latest round of grabage value-village signings. Duckworth, Bump, etc. Possibly Gagne. I realize it's not more than minor league depth but it's a aste of time to even talk about it.

If RAJ would have kept Lee along wsith getting Halladay along with Baez, then using KK where necessary, THAT friends, would be worth it.

Lehigh could break .500 in 2010...

MG - Look at the list of available FA pitchers this year and next year...there's a ton of guys who would give you about the same production as Blanton, and probably for less than the 8-9 mil he'll cost (or 10 if you go by what he's seeking in arbitration).

Good teams that operate on a budget don't overpay for league average pitchers. That's how you become an annual "wild-card contender."

"If RAJ would have kept Lee along wsith getting Halladay along with Baez, then using KK where necessary, THAT friends, would be worth it."

Ahh, noo, not again. DPatrone if you can't understand by now why things happened the way they did for the following reasons, then I don't know what to tell you.

1.) The Phillies already tendered a contract to Blanton and tried to trade him, but no one was offering anything for him.

2) They needed to cut salary and since Blanton wasn't able to be traded then they HAD to trade Lee (since they were certain there weren't going to sign him after this year anyway)

3.) Wanted to stock some guys back into the system after the Halladay trade.

If Halladay was offered BEFORE they tendered Blanton then Blanton would have been non-tendered and we would have Halladay & Lee in our rotation. But that isn't how it happened, so deal with it.

I dont like how, in the Gagne article, it shwos that he was 1 of 86 to testy positive for roids in 07. Then shortly after it quotes him as being excited to tryout for the Phils and him saying how he is close to some players on the team like Jason Werth.

"I hope they sign him to a reasonable deal. Maybe Adam Eaton money. He may be just better than average but guys like that don't fall out of trees."

Guys like that DO fall out of trees. And pretty regularly. Marquis, Garland, Wolf, Penny, Davis, Harden, Duchscherer, etc. were all available in the FA market this year, and all offer very similar production to Blanton. And most will cost less than the 9 mil or so he would cost in a long-term deal.

None of those guys are comparable to Blanton. Randy Wolf makes more than we're offering. Brad Penny is a potential #2 who carries a strong injury risk. Harden can be unhittable but misses more time than not. Marquis is inconsistent but has much better stuff. Garland and Davis suck. Duchscherer has psychological issues. Regardless, this was not a typical market for starting pitching. A lot of good pitchers settled for less than they're used to.

MVP~

Don't explain it to me. I already know. I was being sarcastic. Just pointing out that other than the arb cases, there's really not much to talk about IMO.

On the serious side, I keep a spreadsheet on the salaries which is usually pretty accurate given all of the info that's available to us and right now I'm 123 million. That figure includes the buyouts for Feliz, Jenkins, and Eaton. I figure roughy 14 million for Vic, Ruiz, and Blanton. That puts us around 137 million give or take. So, if a guy like Smoltz's or Pedro's asking price came down, maybe we give them a look-see, yes?

IF those numbers ARE close to being correct, then RAJ has put the kind of club together that can make a run for another WS within his operating budget. Kudos to him for that.

I was listening to WIP on the computer late last night. The host was someone I'm not familiar with. He said he loved the lineup but also that the 'pen was a major trouble spot. I agree with that. He also said the Phils competition would be tough, citing the Brave, Cards, Dodgers, Brewers and Giants. He did say he believed the Phils would come out of the East. He also said KK would be the #5, but didn't say if that was in Lieu of Jamie.

My question to all. Does anyone have any thoughts on what could or would be done to improve the club if need be?

baxter: "Garland and Davis suck."

Garland career/2009 ERA+: 104/111
Davis career/2009 ERA+: 106/111
Blanton career/2009 ERA+: 102/105

Well-informed as always, eh baxter?

DPatrone: Sorry, didn't sense your sarcasm.

You are correct, but you are missing renewals to KK, Happ and others. So really we are going to be just over $140 mill after the Arb. Cases.

Yeah, but how many WS HRs to Davis and Garland have?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

"Regardless, this was not a typical market for starting pitching. A lot of good pitchers settled for less than they're used to."

I would argue that this is the typical market for SPs now...the days of Carlos Silva getting 4/48 are over. The market has corrected itself.

And you are overvaluing Blanton...his career numbers are very similar to Garland's in ERA, WHIP, FIP, ERA+, etc. They're very similar pitchers. And I don't see anyone clamoring to give Garland a deal for 3/26.

Jon Garland career ERA+: 104
Joe Blanton career ERA+: 102

Clout beat me to it, sigh

NEPP, regarding Molina, MLB Network guys were speculating last night that Molina realized the Phillies were an obstacle to the Mets going anywhere, whereas the Giants seem to be putting together a solid club with a real chance to win in that division (a more up-in-the-air division), so he went with a discount to the club that he thinks has a better chance of winning. Not that they know for sure. Just speculating based on a player's desire to win, at a certain point in his career, being greater than his desire to be rich(er).

Re: Blanton's and Phil's differing salary numbers...Anyone know how frequently teams win arb? I thought I heard that arb. favors the organization rather than the player. In fact, I think they were just saying so on MLB Network. They cited Ryan Howard's case as favoring him for the reason that he was an exceptional performer that the arbiters thought merited closer to his number than the Phils' offer. Said they expect the same with Lincecum should it go to arb.

Joe B. is no Tim Lincecum (He could probably eat Lincecum for lunch :)) but if he were to go to arb. and win, it would be a blow to the Phils' budget, n'est-ce pas? Which is why I ask how frequently players win.

MVP~

I forgot about the renewals. Thanks.

With Joe I don't mind the Phillies paying him good money because you know what you are getting. He never gets hurt and he can have great stretches while very rarely just blowing a game. Those pitchers are important during a 162 game season.

Doug Davis is 34 years old and Jon Garland is in his 11th season and a shell of his former self. Both are past their prime and Blanton is in his. You can't equate their values, because no major league club would. They couldn't trade him but were probably looking for at least one legitimate prospect, which couldn't be acquired due to the availability of cheap pitching.

There is also value in continuity. Rolling the dice on a bargain middle-rotation starter every season isn't a clear recipe for success. Blanton is dull and average, but thats precisely why his contract wouldn't be albatrossish. Boring Joe cannot guarantee sustained mediocrity, but they seem to trust him enough to consider pay $1 million more per year(than a bargain replacement) for a younger proven commodity.

oh and clout- tactful as always. clearly your vast internet experience has taught you that ad hominem attacks are the way to go. I can't wait to read your new stuff on BP.

Gagne me with a spoon. A non-story. I have a better chance of helping the Phillies.

"Doug Davis is 34 years old and Jon Garland is in his 11th season and a shell of his former self. Both are past their prime and Blanton is in his"

And yet both had a better ERA+ than Blanton this season...yet another reason not to sign Blanton to a big multi-year contract.

"tommy: That is nice, JW. But remember who your audience is. Lidge went a perfect 46-for-46 in 2008, helping his team win the World Series. And look what the view is of him now?"

So let me get this straight...

You are using Eric Gagne as an example as to why people who lost faith in Lidge are foolish?!

So "JWs audience" as you put it, would be wrong to turn their backs on Gagne after he had a bad year back in 2007, because he was so great in 2005? Ummm... how'd that turn out? So your position on Gagne in 2007 would be similiar to Lidge after 2009? Really good argument you are making there.

For the record, I think Lidge will bounce back in 2010 just as you do - but how could anymore who thinks the same, use Eric Gagne as an example of why people who think otherwise are foolish?

Gagne and Duckworth aren't even bargain basement, not even value village, more like "honey, you wouldn't believe that someone was throwing out this great coffee table."

baxter: I was simply noting that your assertion about Davis & Garland was unsubstantiated by facts. Several others pointed this out as well.

thephaitful: I was saying that tongue-in-cheek. So relax.

I was just trying to jokingly compare them in the fact that since Lidge was bad in 2009 and many BLers seem to think he will never be the same, then BLers will hold the same view of Gagne after he was perfect in '03 and bad after.

I agree Garland is a similar pitcher, albeit one with better control and worse stuff. In his arbitration year, Garland signed a 3 year/29 million dollar deal. In this market, the white sox probably would've offered a contract similar to the Eaton one.

Despite our complaints and Monty's paranoia regardling future revenue streams, the Phillies are among the most financially healthy teams in the league. We can afford to keep consistent, proven performers for a reasonable price, rather than constantly replacing them with the hope of saving 10-15%. We can't keep this team together, of course, but you're only looking at a slight increase with Blanton. We're currently overpaying other players, who must and will be replaced, but innings are expensive and Blanton throws a lot of them.

Point being- paying your "bulldog/anchor" 3rd starter $8 million/year isn't a lot for a financially healthy club. What are their other options? I don't see any young pitchers ready to take over, and replacing him via free agency or trade would require additional expenses. If the team were looking for an upgrade and willing to spend accordingly, I wouldn't bother with Blanton, but if bargain shopping is their intention, I'd rather take my chances with Joe. Would you rather have Greg Dobbs+Doug Davis or Joe Blanton? Thats the difference in price. Paying Blanton $8.5 doesn't mean not re-signing Werth or Howard, it'll mean swapping a proven bench player for a younger one.

Where is the upgrade? Trevor May? You need an alternative if you're willing to let him go. What is the advantage to going year to year with journeymen just to shave less than 1% off the payroll? Barring injury, I can't see any potential 2011 free agents who would offer an upgrade for less money.

I think Blanton makes more money in 2010 than he does in 2011.

That is why I'd rather just go to arb with him.

The problem with that line of thinking is that Blanton clearly isn't looking for 8 mil per, he's looking for 10+. And if he wants a contract in that price range he can pack his bags and move along.

I'm not advocating signing Garland to replace Blanton. I am saying that league average starters can be had other places, often for less money. I'm pretty sure a couple decent prospects can net you one on the trade market (as the Phils did with Blanton). You can usually find a FA or two that you can sign at a bargain (like Marquis). But giving Big Joe a big contract is not the way you stay a perennial contender.

If the Phils can technically 'save' $3M by taking kentucky joe to a hearing, its almost too good not too.

Nothing like having a guy in his contract year getting paid $3M less than what he thinks he's worth.

Replace those donuts with some HGH and lets see a breakout from BigJoeyB!

" But giving Big Joe a big contract is not the way you stay a perennial contender. "

I agree to an extent. However, letting Bam-Bam walk after this season AND not signing Werth will be a critical mistake to this team. You must keep one or both

Because then you immediately have a hole in RF and #3 starter to start the 2011 offseason when your payroll is already going to be $113 million. With Vic,Ruiz,Dobbs, Kendrick and Francisco all entering arbitration.

My max offer was 25.5 for 3 years, or 8.5 per. If he wants 10/year, he can go sign a one year deal in KC for 7 million next year and get fat on BBQ.

After an all-star season, Jason Marquis signed a 2 year deal for $15 million...with the Nationals.
Unlike Blanton, he looked unhittable at times, but have other unreliable pitchers like Padilla, Oliver Perez, Brett Myers and even Eaton. I'd rather keep the boring guy who allows 4 over 7 everytime out than keep betting on teasers who throw 4 shutout innings before blowing up in the 5th.

Blanton would be much easier to replace than Werth. Like I've said a million times, league-average starters are pretty easy to find. They could find someone else to "eat all those innings" and "keep them in games" relatively easily and cheaply.

Chris: Ok fine, Like I posted. If we don't re-sign Werth, IMO, think they should sign Blanton.

Going into an offseason with that much already "deligated" to areas, you can't afford to gamble on finding 2 crucial spots with only around $17-20 million to spend on those areas.

One or the other take your pick. And you seem to rather sign Werth. So that is fine with me. Give him a "Bay-like" deal, 5 yr/80 mil. Year one will be "soft" so you can put a few extra million towards a #3 to replace Blanton.

From MLBTraderumors:

ESPN's Jayson Stark talked to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who downplayed the Gagne tryout: "We don't have any expectations, at all."

Well, that settles that. Sounds like Rube is just covering all his bases just in case.

Jon Morosi reports:

One day after Ben Sheets’ encouraging throwing session, the field of suitors for him remains broad. It doesn’t appear that the free agent right-hander has started narrowing his list, one major league source indicated Wednesday.

Sources said the Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox, Mariners, Blue Jays, A’s, Reds, Mets, Nationals, Rangers and Phillies had representatives in attendance Tuesday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

In thinking about this Blanton arb case, it occurs to me that there is a lot riding on the decision - and perhaps most of it will come out next season. If the Phils and Blanton do go to arb, and Blanton wins, then you can almost guarantee that the Phils will not offer him arb next season, thereby forfeiting one or two potential draft picks. If Blanton gets $10M, he'll be in line for another sizable raise next year, likely well beyond his market value. Savvy GMs would likely still offer him arb next season - then look to trade him - but Rube has already set a track record for being arb-risk adverse.

On the other hand, if the Phils win the case, then it's more likely that the phils will offer him arb next off season, thereby netting themselves either draft picks or a league average pitcher on a one year, mostly reasonable salary.

Here's to hoping the Phils win this case.

"Blanton wins, then you can almost guarantee that the Phils will not offer him arb next season, thereby forfeiting one or two potential draft picks."

Blanton is a FA after this year. If the Phils don't resign him after this season, he can just walk.

wonder if clubs can use non-statistical arguments in their arbitration presentions, such as "We tried to give Joe Blanton away and nobody would take him. How can he be worth 10.25 million?"

You still offer arb to your own free agents; in fact you have to, if you want to get compensation when they leave.

Phillies Red: Yea, but you really think he will accept Arb. over becoming a FA? The chances of that happening are 0%.

Speaking of Doug Davis... he just signed a 1-year, $5.25M contract with a mutual option with the Brewers.

mvp posts so often, it's almost as if he doesn't read all of what he's replying to...

mvptommyd: You seem confused. Phillies Red isn't commenting on efforts to make sure Blanton stays.

He's saying that if the Phils win in arbitration this year, it increases the chances of the Phils *offering* arbitration next year because it would *either* net the Phils a league average pitcher at reasonable cost *or* a draft pick when he signs with someone else.

CJ: I understand, but my point is *eithier* way they are offering him arbitration next year because the Phillies know for a fact he won't take it and want to become a FA.

should be "either" not "eithier"

*eithier*? andre?

you post too often, dude...

MVP, that's my point exactly. If he wins this year, his salary will be $10.25M. Which means that if the Phils offer arb next season - hoping that he rejects it, becomes a FA, and gets them one or two picks - and he accepts, he'll get paid in excess of $10.25M in 2011, maybe something like $12-13.5M. I agree that it's still unlikely he'd accept, but that would certainly be more than he could get paid on a yearly basis in a new contract. And that's why Amaro wouldn't risk it, and wouldn't offer him arb, because there's a chance they'd have to pay him way more than he's worth in the open market. So that means if the Phils lose to Blanton this off season, it's likely Blanton will walk next year and the Phils won't get any compensation for it. And that would be a mistake.

My point, to be clear, is not that Blanton will accept arb next year (though we can envision many reasonable scenarios in which he does) but that the Phils, by losing this year's arb case, will also likely lose compensation picks next year.

MVP~

I saw Rube's comments too. And that's why I stated earlier today that all of these junk or potential junk signings are not even worth talking about. It's just fodder, that's all. Other than the arb cases, RAJ should plug any holes this team has with quality individuals, not quantity.

And that has always been my major pet peeve. Put the best team on the field you can and stop using band-aid fixes.

Now I'm not saying there's a lot of that going on with the Phils but there's some. If the Phils somehow miss the playoffs due to some poor pitching performances (just using that as an example), can you imagine the backlash?

Doug Davis gets 5 mil + partially because he's LH. If Gagne could still pitch he would be. So why waste time? Same with Sheets. The Phils would never pay the kind of money he's reportedly asking for so why watch?

Well, MPV, we can certainly argue over the likelihood that they would risk paying a pitcher $4-5M more than they are likely worth, but it seems to me that the Phils are generally risk averse (not adverse, sorry about that) when it comes to arb cases. Burrell, Park, even Eyre are recent examples of not offering arb when it seamed reasonable to do so.

There's no reason to view Blanton's weight as a negative. He's made 162 starts in the past 5 years. He's pitched a minimum of 211 innings the last 3 years.

Sure he's not an ace, but a consistent 200 innings of slightly above average ERA is incredibly valuable. Just look at the 2010 rotation. Without Blanton you have Kendrick and Moyer both starting the year in the rotation, and maybe Drew Carpenter if one gets hurt.

Joe will be 29 this year in his contract year, potential career year coming up.

"Gagne me with a spoon." Donc said it all.

I never liked Gagne and he's ugly. I hope he's a gone pecan when ST is done. I don't think that Gagne will be this year's Pedro. Speaking of Pedro, any word on him? Who wants him?

$10 a year for Blanton is too much. I like Bulldog Joe, but not at that price.

I meant $10 million a year for Blanton is too much. Can't type and think at the same time, dag nabbit!

I'm not sure that Blanton wouldn't accept arbitration next year. And I agree that if he wins this year, the Phillies will think long and hard about offering it to him next year.

We've come to a weird time, where because of the shrinking economy and increased reliance by teams on younger, cost-controlled players, arbitration may actually be paying players MORE than they're worth on the open market. If Blanton wins this year, and has just a decent year this year, people are right that he would be looking at 12-13 million next year. Does anyone think Blanton will get 12-13 million a year on the open market?

There once was a pitcher named Gagne
Whose shoulder turned into a souffle
Instead of retirin'
He will soon be firin'
In Philly to try as a Philet

Actually, as much as I believe Gagne's probably toast (the try out should consist of Ruben sticking a fork in his shoulder, just to see), I would feel better about him (assuming he can even throw the ball any more) being on the roster than Duckworth or Standridge.

His career splits show an ability to get both righties AND lefties out, too.

Jack: Phillies Red point is VERY valid, even if mvptommyd doesn't want to hear it. An arbitration win by Blanton this year would likely preclude the Phils from offering him arbitration next year. It's simple logic.

Amaro says we have no real interest in Gagne?! Well, there you have it! It's not like Amaro is a cagey general manager whose job description includes "withhold information" (see Halladay, Roy).

I would put a solid chunk of change on Gagne getting a minor league deal.

Yo, new thread.

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