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Sunday, January 24, 2010


score one for the choocher

Great deal. $9M for three years of the Chooch is a total steal. Great defense and a decent bat behind the plate usually costs a lot more than this, even considering these are still arb years. Even if age or wear and tear catches up with him in year 3, the commitment doesn't look large enough to hamstring the Phils.

With all the arbitraion deals, we've got little in cost uncertainty going into next season. The only arbitraion cases look to be Greg Dobbs, Kyle Kendrick and Ben Francisco.

Our window seems to be two seasons long. 2012 could bring a lot of changes. But I'll enjoy the next two seasons without worrying about that!

All these 3 year deals. I wonder if Amaro buys into the 2012 nonsense.

If he bought into the 2012 stuff he would have given every pricey free agent a very backloaded 10 year deal.

Zolecki tweets:
Make that three-years, $8.85 million with a fourth-year option for $5 million.

Good deal for the Phils. Without opening the Lee can of worms, Amaro has done a good job this off-season in my book. Kudos, Rube!

What's the payroll at now, including the new deals and Contreras @ $1M? ~ $138M?

I just checked Cots, and it's only updated through Vic. If you figure Chooch at about $2.5M, Contreras at $1M, and all the re-ups, we are somewhere around $140 or $141M.

Soneone needs to double check my assumptions & math.

I will drink to this

Does Ibanez have a no-trade clause is his deal? Because that could 11.25 mil toward Werth new deal after this season. Just hope Ibanez has a solid enough season where you wouldn't have to take on any salary but get little in return when it comes player(s)

Ya gotta love how he shows up in the postseason.

gotta love chooch's postseason numbers

Ruiz is in the upper third of all NL catchers and this is a very good deal for the Phils.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about the Lee trade, Amaro has been a superior GM to Gillick in every way so far.

clout, I'll disagree (slightly) with your assesment. I'll agree that RAJ has been better with the contracts to some degree, but he does tend to give out an extra year when it doesn't seem totally necessary. Maybe that's an intentional tradeoff to lower the yearly amount. Also, the winning environment and solid clubhouse (much of which was fostered under Gillick) could be leading to current players taking less than market value. It seems apparent that it lead to the extremely club-friendly deal for Halladay. Regardless of the reason, though, that Halladay contract alone is enough reason to hail RAJ.

Gillick was great at filling in the gaps, but did give out a couple of very bad contracts.

Also clout, I know you feel forced to be Moyer's defender because of some of the extreme negative (and to some extent, unwarranted) feelings towards him, but even you must admit that Moyer's contract was a real stinker on Amaro's record.

Saying RAJ is a better GM "in every way" may be just a little hyperbole, wouldn't you admit?

Yeah the Phils could really stink after all these 3-yr. deals are up. I'm sure Amaro and Co. are plotting ways to structure the "rebuilding" phase so it takes as few years as possible and hopefully, is not totally painful (like Pirates-bad or Nats-bad).

On a side note, here's a link to some of Jimmy Rollins' wedding pictures. Looks like a beautiful event.

Forgot to say, congrats to Chooch, too. Good for him. Good for Phils, too.

Guys- every GM is not going to hit 100% of the time. Looking to slug a statement by using one example is silly.

clout is right...Amaro>Gillick in every way possible.

Think of the situation he came into. This team was full of arbitration cases and the possibility of some tough decisions. Amaro locked up just about every arb case and gave the team cost certainty for next year and 2012. Werth may be on the outside looking in next year but with the way they are set up they know what they can offer him now, and they can be prepared to move forward if need be.

Next year will be a pretty boring off-season as we'll have no money to spend.

Another good deal for Rube.

I wonder what the base salary for this year is.

With the $500 K buyout off the $8.85 M, that takes it down to 3 years, 8.35 million. Its probably a bit back loaded so it might be something like 2/3/3.35 M.

Except TTI, if you're not careful, you can lose sight of the causality of the situation. Amaro can lock up the arbs and others only because revenue has increased, leading to a larger payroll. Gillick was the GM when the team went from slightly above average to perennial winner, and attenance has now maxxed out. What was the average annual payroll under Gillick? How did that stack up to the rest of baseball? What's it now under RAJ? RAJ is playing under different house rules than Gillick did.

I'm not disagreeing that RAJ has done well with seemingly the most important things he needed to do. I'm just alluding to the fact that they had different priorities and needs and different resources based on the status of the team that they oversaw, so it's not fair to make a direct comparison. I know I'm not willing to make the statement that RAJ is better than Gillick in every way. I'm not so sure he would have been as successful in developing the right mix of players for team chemistry, and changing the culture to expect excellence.

BTW, I'm not willing to walk into the clout's trap (which someone will invariably do) and say that Gillick is better because the team won a world series under his watch.

Amaro also has had the benefits of vastly increased revenue to spend. When Gillick came on board he was told to cut salary and rebuild (thus the Abreu and Bell trades, etc).

He didn't have the luxury of going to $140 million in payroll.

Gillick did a damn good job of picking up scrap heap pieces...pieces that directly led to putting our core of players over the top. We don't win in 2008 without Werth, Vic, Moyer, Dobbs, Stairs, etc. Those were all 100% Gillick (and his knowledge of the Mariners system in particular).

beat you to it, NEPP

I think I would have done better to make my argument without including Moyer. Boy is he a lightning rod on here.

We dont win in 2008 without Moyer. He went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Argue about the extension all you want but he was a huge part of us winning in 08.

Yea, NEPP, I hear you. Everyone loves 2008 Moyer (just like everyone loves 2008 Lidge). Their subsequent contracts, though, leave something to be desired. But that's water under the bridge. RAJ has had a very good off-season in 2009/2010, no doubt about that.

Well, Rube was the guy that thought it would be smart to give a 46 year old a 2 year deal...

Smoky: You could be right, but you're not yet. We don't know how those contracts will turn out or whether Moyer will be the disaster that you and everyone else are certain he will be this year.

But contracts are just half of personnel moves. The other half is trades. Look at Amaro's, look at Gillick's and then compare.

I'm not sure if I totally agree with the notion that 2012 is armageddon for the Phillies. Assume the Werth situation is handled one way or another after this year, then only 4 key pieces are possibly gone at the end of 2011: Lidge, Howard, Rollins, & Ibanez. I'll assume Brown is ready in 2012, at least enough so to lessen the Ibanez blow (which may not be that big of deal if he ages poorly). The top 4 starting pitchers are back. And those four players who will be FA will clear up $52 million from the payroll. We will be major players in free agency in 2012, one way or another.

By the way who signed Eaton and Jenkins. (Gillick) so he did not make all good decisions.
I believe as Clout said RAJ is doing a better job at this point.

Amaro is a better negotiator for sure. However, I think some are not giving Gillick his fair due for his scouting ability & knack for filling out the roster.

Lee (winter)deal aside, I like what RAJ has done and look forward to having him at the helms for years to come.

"I will drink to this

Posted by: Kool Earl"

Earl - Just wanted to let you kjnow I fully appreciate the humor in your post. Well done.

clout, if I remember correctly, you are on record as saying the Ibanez signing was bad, especially because of his age and the third year. I think you still feel that way, despite his overall year last year. We are paying Moyer the same salary this year as Blanton. Who's more likely to give the team their money's worth this year, Ibanez, Blanton, or Moyer?

I'm not with CJ and others in believing that Moyer can't contribute. But that 2-year contract was not a feather in Amaro's cap.

I hope Moyer has the greatest season ever for a 47 year old starting pitcher.

Hell, I hope he doesnt embarrass himself as he's a great guy and a hell of a competitor.

Gillick won a WS with the Phillies. Amaro has not.

I think Amaro has done a good job so far, as did Gillick. But to say he is "superior in every way" is, as another poster said, quite hyperbolic.

SmokyJoe: That is false. My concern over Ibanez was his lefthandedness. I never said it was a bad signing per se or expected Ibanez to be a big flop. I thought having a middle of the lineup with 3 lefty hitters was a mistake. A number of other posters expressed concern about his age and length of contract. My only issue with his contract is that it wound up being above-market value since Rube signed him before the off-season market developed.

And, again, since you can't predict the future, you don't know which of those guys will give the least value this year.

Ah, some classic Jack logic.

In that weak-minded vein, I'll add my own:
The Phillies with So Taguchi won a World Series. The Phillies without So Taguchi have not.

even still - competing against ourselves to sign moyer to a 2 year deal was a pretty awful move. I've liked/agreed with most moves of RA's, however I still don't like the length of the ibanez/moyer deals. A 2012 OF of Brown-Francisco-Werth would make me much happier than what its going to be (ibanez-victorino-brown), in addition to being cheaper. also that 8 mil owed to moyer would be awful nice to work with right now.

regardless, I'm happy with a majority of RA's moves. whenever i get down on a signing i just think of ed wade and become instantly happy

scratch that...i meant 2011

You're right clout. I knew you didn't love the Ibanez signing, and I remember the common BL sentiment was that it was too many years for someone his age, but I do recall now you being concerned about LH more than anything. I still don't think it takes away from my point though. You're right, we don't know the future. But if we can't make sound estimations based on legitimate probabilities, then what are we doing on here anyway? The probability of Moyer being worth his contract is extremely slim, and that was forseeable before he had the few bad months last year and then got hurt. You'll have a difficult time finding anyone to disagree with that assertion.

Congrats chooch, you deserve it. HE has totally changed my opinion of him since he has come up. Glad to eat my word on him. Glad RAJ has made a lot of people eat their words too. He has done a great job.

Congrats Carlitos. That should enable him to acquire a nice coffee plantation near his place in Boquete and some nice islands in the Bocas or San Blas.

It is a little premature to judge Amaro's tenure as GM compared to Gillick. I would say you have to wait until the end of 2011. That will be 3 full seasons of Amaro at the helm.

That said, Amaro has shown a great knack to able to get deals done with players and extend the window on this core of players possibility of winning another championship through the 2011 season. Amaro has also shown a clear ability to identify what he thinks the team needs and execute to fill that need via FA/trade.

Much of this wouldn't have been possible with a dramatic increase of the payroll. You have to give the Phils' ownership a lot of credit for being willing to really up the payroll the past 2 years.

I was largely wrong on Amaro because I thought he was going to be the wrong fit for this team because of his personality style and what arguably might be a tricky transition period after the '08 season as the Phils had to make some very difficult choices on how to keep/let go.

Never materialized though and Amaro had done a very good/great job since then.

Premature grade: A-

Looks like Rube has covered the catching position for the next four years, including the 5 mil option for the fourth year, which could look like quite a bargain by that time, considering the dollar may be worth a plug nickel if Bernanke keeps inflating.

And I'll only say Rube has done a better job than Gillick when I see how he handles banging against his salary cap in the next few years. Most of what Rube has done salary wise has not been brain surgery. The only truly below market contract he negotiated was the Halladay deal. Other than that, he has either paid close to top dollar or added an extra year on most of he deals he's made. If he can continue to add pieces when necessary and not have to make obviously non-baseball moves because he's spent too much, I'll be very impressed.

Gillick made some great moves. Trading for Blanton turned out to be big, although I didn't think he was great in 08, he was actually pretty necessary in 09. Moyer had a couple of nice seasons before last year and he got him for almost nothing. Romero was a nice pickup, even though his extension has turned out to be a problem. Stairs. Dellucci. Werth. Lidge. Bruntlett (just kidding.) A lot of good moves there, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. And there were some obvious clunkers. Floyd for Garcia, Eaton, Jenkins, etc. But as others have pointed out, he came to the team when it was in a different situation. Nobody was clamoring to be a Phillie.

Rube has taken the success Gillick built and added some nice pieces. But his management of money is what cost a chance to keep Lee for another year. So he hasn't been quite perfect either.

On the whole, either Gillick or Amaro would be head and shoulders above Wade. Thank goodness the days of picking up every garbage reliever at the trade deadline are over. But Amaro has a way to go before he can match Gillick because of money management. Give him five years and if they've transitioned successfully, Amaro might be the best GM in the team's history. Even better than Pope.

Congrats to Chooch, who's a favorite in these parts.

RAJ has my unconditional respect locked up for some time, if only because he basically made an example of Cliffie - when Rube makes you an offer, you aren't stringing him along, you aren't negotiating his figure up by 10% or adding a year. Take it or leave it, the new Big Market Phils will quickly turn to other interested parties.

The 5 million dollar option is a team option, correct? If so, then I like it, although I don't think it's a foregone conclusion the Phils will want to bring back a 34-year old Ruiz at that point. But it probably is likely.

Unikruk: Amaro certainly seems to take firm stances, go after what he wants, and gets it. But that has also resulted in him paying what turned out to be above-market contracts to guys like Ibanez, Moyer, and possibly Polanco (I didn't see any other team considering more than 2 years for Polanco). It has its positives and its negatives.

****Bernanke keeps inflating.****

Considering 2009 was a slightly deflationary year, I dont quite get your point. Granted, if Volcker (sp) has his way, things could get very messy again (think double digit interest rates ala 1983).

Though sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go through a rebuilding phase. The US has been on top (a WS contender for several decades) this point we need to rebuild the farm, get some good draft picks and let some of our more expensive stars go.

Oh, and good contract to Chooch.

Great deal to sign Chooch for 3 considering the total lack of catchers in the system who will be ML-ready soon.

But we have Lou Marson, Jason Jaramillo and Travis D'Arnaud all almost ready.

We have one of the deepest systems in baseball for catchers...what do you mean we traded ALL THREE?!? Who in their right mind would trade all three???

Congrats to Chooch, well deserved and one of those deals that seem totally fair to both parties.

Count me as one of those who knocked Amaro on this site in 2007 and dreaded having him as GM over the long term, fearing he would be the definition of an empty suit and figurehead.

Glad to admit I was wrong, and looking back at the mid 2000's to now, hard to believe the change in the club and its whole culture.
Credit enough to go around.

I remember the elite teams of the late 70's and early 80's. However, I cannot for the life of me recall whether those were real close knit teams as this one seems to be; or whether Philly was the kind of team in that era that a Roy Halladay caliber player would gravitate to.

Jimmy, Chase, Vic, Howard, and most of the others - those are guys who I think anyone would love to play with. All due respect to greats like Michael Jack and Lefty, they were awesome players, but I always had the idea they could probably be somewhat edgy, cold teammates.

Musings on a nasty day. What day is it that pitchers and catchers show up again?

Just a quick question, "CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury"? Does that mean he's no longer at the Inquirer?

Feb 17. just 3 weeks and 2 days!

Great news for Chooch, the Phils, and hopefully 99% of the fanbase(im sure davthom would have rather nontendered him and resigned coste).

Heres to Sr. Octubrè padding those postseason stats in the future.

Field FX

In 2010 MLB is installing four motion recognition cameras up near the lights of each stadium, that will track each of the 9 defense players' movements on every play.

The goal will be to measure how fast and how far each player moved while fielding a ball, as well as the balls velocity and movement.

Oh Great...another thing for the folks at Fangraphs to declare the end all/be all of baseball statistics.

Try questioning one of them on WAR and see the sh!tstorm it kicks up. Having a tool is one thing, ignoring obvious flaws in that tool is something else...same with UZR.

Gillick's first 3 major trades:

1. Acquired CF Aaron Rowand, LHP Daniel Haigwood and Gio Gonzalez from Chisox for 1B Jim Thome and cash.

2. Acquired RHP Ricardo Rodriguez from Texas for Vicente Padilla.

3. Acquired SS C.J. Henry, LHP Matt Smith, C Jesus Sanchez and RHP Carlos Monastrios from the Yankees for OF Bobby Abreu and RHP Cory Lidle.

Amaro's first 3 major trades:

1. Acquired Cliff Lee for SS Jason Donald, C Lou Marson, RHP Carlos Carrasco and RHP Jason Knapp.

2. Acquired RHP Roy Halladay from Toronto for RHP Kyle Drabek OF Michael Taylor and C Travis d'Arnaud.

3. Acquired RHP J.C. Ramirez, RHP Phillippe Aumont and OF Tyson Gillies from Seattle for Cliff Lee.

Bill Conlin explains the Lee & Halladay trades at as only he could. He concludes with "But 5 years from now you'll understand it and you'll say thanks."

Good job with the arb cases Rube & congrats Chooch.

Gillick's first 3 guaranteed major league contract free agent signings:

1. Signed free agent RHP Julio Santana to a one-year contract.

2. Signed free agent INF Abraham Nunez to a two-year contract.

3. Signed free agent RHP Tom Gordon to a three-year contract.

Amaro's first 3 guaranteed major league contract free agent signings:

1. Signed free agent OF Raul Ibanez to a a three-year contract.

2. Signed free agent RHP Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract.

3. Signed free agent C Brian Schneider to a 2-year contract.

For a bonus, because I think it's instructive the 4th free aegtn signing by each GM was Gillick - INF Alex Gonzalez, 1 year contract. Amaro - INF Placido Polanco, 3 year contract.

haha - only clout would consider "Acquired RHP Ricardo Rodriguez from Texas for Vicente Padilla." as a major trade.

Amaro is working with a bigger payroll and Gillick is still in the room whenever a decision is made. This Amaro vs Gillick talk is silly.

Moyer is going to be gangbusters this year.
All you haters recognize!

When was the last time he felt like he had something to prove?

Clout - Makes you kind of realize that a bunch of the moves that Gillick made in his 1st offseason as GM (2005-06) were really pretty crappy.

So if a fly ball hits the new cameras, is it a HR or not?

****So if a fly ball hits the new cameras, is it a HR or not?****

Only if the batter is wearing a Yankees uniform.

clout, do you see a theme in your trade list? Gillick's trades were money driven, to lessen payroll, and start a rebuilding process (which luckily was never a full rebuilding, just a minor revamping). 3 of the 4 Amaro trades were done to take the team over the top. The budget situation and demands from ownership were entirely different, so I can't understand how you can compare the merits of the trades.

NEPP, that's an interesting point about WAR and UZR. Those guys over ther are quite enthralled with their stats. I've liked UZR quite a bit less than WAR, but of course one big component of WAR was UZR, so the two are a bit circular. I've never understood the drive to make defense 100% context neutral, because I don't think it should be (i however do not have any better ideas, they at least have lots of godd ideas so give them credit there). Plus, there seems to be some amount of subjectivity the UZR based on the official scorers point of view on any play, and as we know, not all folks would guage one play the same way as another person. So there seems to be some subjectivity in those scores.


Why was Ibanez's contract "over market"? Didn't Milton Bradley sign the exact same deal about two months after Ibanez?

Just because GMs realized that Pat Burrell would be awful in 2009 and beyond, and only gave him a 2yr/$16M deal should not make Ibanez's deal "over market".

Actually, NEPP, we don't know the reason for the deflationary year. They no longer publish M3, so we can only guess at the money supply.

But the reluctance of banks to lend, the Fed buying up its own bonds with money created out of nothing, and the continuing willingness of the Chinese, Saudis etc. to partially bail us out by holding our paper has certainly contributed to the illusion that we are maintaining. This has to end at some point, as no foreign country can destroy its economy for our sake. And the fact that the Fed is buying its own bonds is probably the best signal that the end of foreign largesse is near.

It's also pretty clear that it's in the best interest of those foreign countries holding our paper not to repatriate it quickly or to suddenly completely stop buying our debt because then everything they hold will become worthless and their own economies will crash anyway.

We have each other in a death grip, and how it unwinds will tell us whether the U.S. is still the Yankees, or if it has become the Pittsburgh Pirates/KC Royals, dependent on handouts and eternally weakened.

I bet you thought I wasn't coming back to baseball, huh.

Just wait till the Chinese real estate bubble that point, they won't have the capital to buy our bonds...thus no free cash, thus no functioning gov't for us as we won't be able to deficit spend anymore.

That will hurt. We'll be a 50 win team when that happens.

Interesting comparison of Victorino and Polanco as 2-hole hitters on the Phillies Zone blog.

Not that far apart in terms of success here, although Polanco strikes out less and is better at refraining from swinging at bad pitches. One good point is Victorino's better speed on the basepaths.

Hmm, would Charlie ever pull a LaRussa and bat Vic 9th? (Is that even a good idea?)

Baxter is right - this RAJ vs. Gillick talk is silly.

I'm curious as to how Moyer responds this season. He said at the beginning of last season that he wasn't sure if he or his teammates were going to be motivated enough to repeat their championship run (a motivation that obviously didn't apply to Howard, Utley and Ibanez). This year, he's going to have plenty of motivation to regain his position in the rotation because if he can't make the rotation, the team will be better off trading/disabling him. Park had physical issues being a reliever in that he couldn't go everyday. Moyer will likely be even less reliable as a BP piece. More optimally, if he can't crack the rotation, he should retire and stay on as a coach (and perhaps help the Phillies negotiate contracts because he's apparently good at that). Even though Halladay will take over that role as the alpha mentor on the pitching staff, it'd be good to have Moyer around both in the clubhouse and in the community.

What's the latest on his progress? As someone who relies heavily on spot-on command and repeatable mechanics, will he be able to develop/regain effectiveness at all this year?

Moving on to other lefty pitchers - I'm personally not counting on anything from Romero as I've always viewed his contributions to the Phillies in 2008 as a fortunate outlier. He's historically a walk machine (career 5 BB/9) and his career WHIP is around 1.5 (in 2008, for the Phillies, his WHIP was 1.1). If you add in the fact that Manuel doesn't use Romero in a strict LOOGY role and lets him face righties (which should never happen if the game is in a high-leverage situation), it might make sense to have him replaced by another lefty reliever at some point during the season.

Bottom line, the Phillies are a little light in the BP from the left side of the mound. They're going to need to someone like Eyre who can give them 30 LOOGY innings. I certainly hope Bastardo and Escalona have improved during this offseason.

NEPP - a 50 win team? that's pretty bad. when's the last time a MLB team won 50 or less games?

Speaking of Chinese debt...anybody see the SNL skit featuring the Chinese premier and Obama? Hilarious.

On the other hand...Fallow puts America's jeremiah mindset in historical context in the latest Atlantic Monthly.

On the other hand...perhaps it's time to move to a country where the system of government hasn't become a joke despite a good run and the best of initial intentions. But wait...does such a country exist?

Bullpen is getting hope for Scott Mathieson hitting the big leagues this year are getting slim.

Lidge Madson Romero Baez Durbin are all settled in, while you have 3 candidates going for the 5th spot where 2 will most likely be moved to the pen. THat is 7 pitchers right there, and you still need a second lefty as TNA pointed out.

Does Contreras pitch in the minors if he doesnt make the rotation? Does Kendrick? Can Moyer be 60day DL'd to start the season if he is not ready?

I really hope they establish a specific bullpen plan by the 2nd half and into the playoffs, instead of mixing and matching a crew of different pitchers around until they just end up doing whatever they is in place when game 162 is over.

The debate over who has done/did a better job as Phillies GM is interesting.

But they were/are operating in different environments. SmokeyJoe correctly notes that the "budget situation and demands from ownership were entirely different".

There is one factor, however, that has not been mentioned, and it is a factor that is, IMHO, as important as any other:

Philly has become one of the premier destinations for MLB players.

This was not the case when Gillick took over, but Gillick, through his moves, helped foster the locker room environment that developed into what J.C. Romero called, after only one month with the team, "The best locker romm I've ever been in."

The seeds were sown before that, they had to have been, because Raul Ibanez had asked his neighbor, Placido Polanco, what it was like in Philly and received favorable reports, even though Polanco had not been in Philly for a few years. Ibanez returned the favor to Polanco a couple of months ago by telling him "It's even better than you said it was".

So, the Phillies are now a destination for top MLB players because of multiple factors, the two most important being the budget (they wouldn't get the FA's without spending the money), and, of course, the locker room environment.

A third factor no one has mentioned is the city itself. For acity it's size, Philly has a booming restaurant and club scene, art, entertainment, etc. If a competing team were offering the same amount of money to an FA, I have to believe that only a few cities arounf the country can compete with Philly.

So, what does that mean to the Amaro/Gillick debate?

Well, they've both been responsible for fostering the environment around the club, and Gillick's obvious success has allowed Rube to spend more.

But, as much as Amaro has probably made better trades, Gillick helped create the environment that practically had Roy Halladay publicly screaming that this would be the only place he would come.

They helped each other and continue to work together, so I'll call it a win/win for the Phillies and their fans.

awh - agree with you on most points. and perhaps it's a good thing that Philly isn't known for having attractive women; the club thus attracts high character guys who are focused on baseball, family and things like WWE as opposed to getting themselves in trouble chasing tail. even 'Bait' eventually settled down in Philly.

that said, for a guy like Werth, how much do you attribute your personal success to 'the clubhouse?' and other Phillies players? how much is that worth in contract negotiations? $5M? $3M?

and I wonder how much a guy like D. Wright, who seems like an all-around good guy, would want to play in Philly a la Halladay.

awh- Guess St Louis is no longer baseball heaven?

Stating the obvious here of course, but hard to compare Amaro vs. Gillick(or any GM) since the bulk of his trades have included high profile prospects.

If Drabek, Taylor, and Knapp go on to become superstars while Brown, Aumount, and Gillies all fizzle out - i wonder how great Amaro's reign is graded. It could be the other way around, or maybe split right down the middle, but hard to really grade out his trades and GM credentials already.

Phaithful: I think Contreras has a bullpen spot locked up. If Moyer is healthy and the 5th starter, Contreras would get a bullpen spot over Kendrick, I would have to imagine, and KK would go down to AAA to keep starting. Just my educated guess though.

TNA: Good point on Romero. Not sure we can count on him to be the shutdown lefty reliever everyone seems to expect him to be.

Does anyone know how much of Moyer's contract the Phillies can get back from insurance if he's on the DL?

@NEPP - "Gillick did a damn good job of picking up scrap heap pieces...pieces that directly led to putting our core of players over the top. We don't win in 2008 without Werth, Vic, Moyer, Dobbs, Stairs, etc. Those were all 100% Gillick (and his knowledge of the Mariners system in particular)."

Minor point, but Victorino was brought in here under Ed Wade's watch, not Gillick. I guess we really have to thank the dodgers for declining to take him back not once, but twice.

TNA- The country of which you speak is the Netherlands.

Moyer won't be ready by Opening Day.

Moyer's contract is not insured. Less than 10% of all MLB contracts are insured due to the prohibitive rates.

SmokyJoe: So you're saying that it's really hard to make a good trade or good signing unless you have access to lots of money?

Please don't tell the Marlins and A's.

My point was obvious to anyone with the ability to be objective (not you, obviously) about who made the better personnel decisions.

thephaithful: I realize you have no knowledge of the stats of various players so I'll help you:

Ricardo Rodriguez never pitched an inning for the Phils.
Padilla went 15-10, 4.50 for the Rangers.

So it was certainly a major deal for Texas.

MadMax: Excellent analysis of the trouble with defensive stats.

clout, don't bother confusing phaithful with facts, like the additional ones that he won 43 games for the Rangers, pitched almost 600 innings, etc. etc.

You, of course, have already enlightened phaithful about the amazing performance and production the Phillies got from Rodriguez.

I guess phaithful, thinks it was a good trafe for the Phils - addition by subtraction, dontcha know.

Nowhere did I even imply/infer/hint/lead to/suggest that it was a good trade for the Phils.

I just don't agree that acquring Rodriguez for Padilla should be considered a major trade.

The reason this was labeled a "major" trade is because it helped out clout's previous argument that Amaro is better than Gillick. If it wasn't for that, than there is no way this trade gets labeled as Major.

I can't see how trading away a guy who had been a fixture in your rotation for several years can be anything but a "major" trade. The fact that the guy we got back got released in Spring Training and never saw a major league mound again doesn't change that.

I made the mistake of going to to read the Conlin article referenced a few dozen posts back...the posters there are insufferable. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the brilliance of all the BL'ers :)

In my neck of the woods, the folks are pretty excited about perrenial NFL doormat, the New Orleans Saints, going to the Super Bowl. The Saints radio play by play guy, Jim Henderson said, "Pigs have flown. Hell has frozen over." seconds after the game winning field goal.

If pigs have flown and Hell has frozen over, does that mean that Rube and Werth are in super secret contract extension talks?!!!

Not sure how much of an expert you consider this guy, Frankie Piliere from AOL Fanhouse on minor league prospects but he considers 4 Phils in his top 50 (Dom #19, Aumont #29, Gose #46 and Gillies at #50) No other Phils prospects listed ... link is below

Considering there was no way Padilla was getting resigned as a free agent, i don't think dumping him is that major.

It sucks they got 0 return out of it and in the end would have been better off just walking as a FA after pitching in 2006(102+ ERA) which makes a bad trade, but just doesnt really stack up as major to me.

I might have underplayed it a bit originally, but still dont find anything to major about it.

Padilla was basically cut. I don't think the front office ever saw it as a trade. If they didn't get anyone for him, he still wasn't going to be in Philly. They'd had enough of his attitude and to put it bluntly, drinking.

He was Brett Myers before Brett Myers.

Sounds like UC's plan is to bat Polanco in the 2 hole and Vic at 6 or 7.

clout, thanks for changing the argument...what does Oakland or any other team have to do with the statement that "Amaro is a better GM in every way"?

All my posts were congenial, level-headed, moderate, and acknowledged both sides of the argument. You respond with personal attacks. I'll do the same:

Go crawl back under the rock you came out to post your retort.

SmokyJoe: You said the deals made by Gillick can't be compared with deals made by Amaro because Gillick didn't have Amaro's budget.

I simply pointed out examples of why that is a bogus excuse. You can make good trades even if they're small and cheap.

Your posts were a series of excuses for Gillick, devoid of objectivity. Which I guess is your definition of "level-headed."

Block-headed is closer to the truth.

Hey Bobwalk, that is an interesting list. Never heard of that scout before, so not sure how much weight to put in it. 4 Phils in the top 50 is very nice, 2 ex-Phils rated very high were Drabeck and Taylor. I noted that this guy didn't have any of the prospects the Phils gave up for Lee (Carrasco, Knapp,etc). Not sure if Carrasco qualifies as a prospect any more given the couple of starts he had last year in the majors. I agree with what has been mentioned often on this site, but less so elsewhere, that getting a solid guy like Fransisco in that deal really made it even more solid from the Phils point of view.

anyone notice that Contreras' most closely compared pitcher over his career on baseball-reference is Brett Myers?

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EST. 2005

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