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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Comments

Good night to root for the Tigers.

The Red Sox just paid eleventy bajillion dollars for the right to sign that Hanshin Tigers pitcher. He throws a Changeup, but people call it a Gyroball ... how freakin' AWESOME is that?!?! :-o

Also, how did footage from the 2008 World Series wind up getting tacked onto the end of the clip?

Haha. Nice, JW.

When are they going to call this thing?

Rumor has it that there was a tornado at the Phils game. Anyone hear anything?

The tarp is coming off of the field now. Restart time est. is 4.50PM.

Figgy will be coming in for Blanton. I hope 9 runs are enough of a cushion.

I knew it. You had to take the picture of the Gnome away, didn't you?

It's not a rainout.

GTown, it's 4:57. What's up? Are you at the game?

It's 5:00. Do you know where your baseball team is?

Nice to see the Japanese version of Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh.

Game on.

Joe Blanton today: 7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K

Figgy needs to pound the zone and get 3 more outs.

Regarding the last thread: there was new news about Cliff Lee - 9 more K without a BB last night in a complete game, adding to a historic K/BB ratio.

Whenever I think bloopers, it's always the clip from Naked Gun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPgKHMDxIQ

If the Phils win today, they will have made up 3 games in 3 games. :)

They'll be 2-1/2 out with 92 to play. Imagine that - they season is not half over.

If they win today they'll be 7 - 3 in their last 10.

Wait. The geniuses who thought Rube made a great trade with Seattle now hate any reference to the topuc. Too bad.

Wow. There is nobody left at the CBP.

Nice job by Figgy!

Nice!

And AWH, just to add to some BeerLeaguer reality/negativity, we'd be 8-2 in our last 10 and have three series victories over AL teams -- two of them elite ones -- if our bullpen could have held a five-run lead in the 9th.

curt: I think it's the people who can't talk about anything else other than cliff Lee. I don't think there's anyone who thought it was a great trade, just not the disgrace some people think it was.

awh: Aren't BP's odds of making the playoffs more important than that? Where's Heather?

I have no problem with the incessant talk about Cliff Lee, but truth be told we wopn't know how smart a deal that was until we see how the prospects turn out.

Of course, how the prospects turn out will have no impact on some of the pea brains of Beerleaguer who've already made up their minds about the trade, for or against.

BB - It was a disgrace the moment it happened, and unfortunately the consequences have only begun to unfold.

clout, haha!

Voice, if that's the only time this season the BP blows that large a lead, perhaps we can all live with it.

OTOH, if they miss the division or playoffs by one game, this board will be full of reminders.

awh: Good post. Blanton's day today shouldn't go unrecognized. A really good performance, and hopefully he's turned the corner. We know he's a better pitcher than what he had been showing, but if he starts to pitch like he did during the summer dog days last year, then that makes our rotation a whole lot more formidable.

I think we can make a judgment, not what was rec'd for the trade, but why there was a need for the trade at all!

Even a pea-brain like me can figure that out.

How 'bout you clout?

"but truth be told we wopn't know how smart a deal that was until we see how the prospects turn out."

No, it was dumb to dump an Ace for middling prospects from a weak farm system. That fact doesn't change whether or not lightening strikes and one of them actually amounts to something.

clout, actually waiting to see how prospects turn out requires something that many posters here lack: Patience.

Clout: The better Lee's season gets, the higher the bar for the prospects though, no?

I mean, Lee has a 2.39 ERA with 4 CGs and an absolutely absurd 76:4 K/BB ratio. In the American League. That's a really fantastic season so far.

And I say this as someone who, if I recall, has a more optimistic take on the prospects than you do. But they're really gonna have to pan out to overcome the value we're losing out on from this season by Lee right now.

curt: As someone who has made his mind up already on the Lee trade and has a pea brain (as shown by your comments on the Abreu trade), I would expect nothing less from you.

curt: Well, Clout is right that you cant judge the trade until the prospects turn out, but it's still a matter of context.

If JC Ramirez goes 18-6 for a 2015 Phillies team that loses 90 games, but we miss out on a WS this year because of a lack of starting pitching depth, it's gonna be tough for me to call it a wash.

Jack: Indeed. If Lee becomes the dominant pitcher in baseball, the bar would be considerably higher for Gillies et al.

Another observation: How good was this trade: if the Phillies find they are a short 1 starter (if Happ can’t come back 100% or if 1 of other starters go down) and we have to dip into the farm system to trade more prospects for a major league starter.

cliff-fan: Lee was traded for financial reasons, which were described by management as "baseball reasons."

The knee-jerk management lackeys on this board fantasize that it was because Lee's agent made a big demand, something Lee and his agent deny. Lee seemed suprised by the trade, his agent said money was never discussed and Amaro has been silent on the issue.

OTOH, you can't judge a trade with prospects until you see how the prospects turn out. Sandberg was a middling prospect.

Jack - Indeed, Rube might get lucky if one of the Class A prospects amounts to something. The fact remains he traded a proven stud for 3 long shots. That is a bad trade, whether or not one of the kids beats the odds.

cliff-fan: Is the team short one starter? Happ's not back yet and the team has 5 starters, no? I guess if Happ can't come back and someone else gets hurt, they'd be short one starter.

"OTOH, you can't judge a trade with prospects until you see how the prospects turn out."

Umm, Clout, I realize consistency isn't one of your strengths, but you certainly were able to judge the Abreu trade without waiting to see how the prospects turned out.

Blanton turning the corner is a big deal. If he pitches well enough over the next month or so, it likely alevates the need for Amaro to acquire another starter. Yeah he might sign Pedro as a depth play to round out the rotation but he can focus instead on another bullpen arm or bat if needed.

Frankly, everyone crows about the Phils lack of starting pitching in the playoffs but I would like the Phils' chances of matching up with anyone in the NL right now with Halladay/Hamels. Hamels had a rocky 1st month but since May 1st he has been very good.

curt: And I would've been wrong had they been as good as Beerleaguer posters said they were. But I was right.

I think it is fair to say that at this moment in time, the Lee deal looks like a bad one. Unless one of its defenders wants to invent something about him being a clubhouse cancer as was done to Abreu. Or, if the Phils win the WS this year even if the prospects all fail, they'll say, see, we couldn't win the big one until we got rid of Lee or some pea-brain statement like that.

I'm still waiting to hear from the barren Mets farm system will pony up better than what we got. The only thing they could do is give up Mejia or Maybe Fernando Martinez and if they do they are further weakening a weakness for a half season rental.

More power to them if they do that.

MG: FWIW, Fernandez had a provocative column the other day that said if the Phils fail to make the playoffs, it won't be the bench or the lack of offense or the rotation. It will be the bullpen.

I'm struggling to find a case against that proposition. Durbin and Madson's injuries, the laughable performances of Romero & Bastardo and the inconsistency of Baez and Lidge are pretty solid evidence that he's right.

I'm scratching my head, here, over this notion of comparing Cliff Lee with the minor leaguers we obtained for him.

It seems plain to me that the front office considered that they couldn't afford both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, and decided for contract reasons that they'd prefer Halladay. Since a straight-up trade, Halladay for Lee, was not possible, they traded Lee for prospects, then traded away other prospects for Halladay.

There's a reasonable comparison to be made between Lee and Halladay. There's a separate question, which prospects were better: Gillies, Aumont, and Ramirez (who we received for Lee), or Drabek, D'Arnaud, and Taylor (who we traded for Halladay.)

But since the entire trade went down as one event, there's no sensible reason to compare Lee with the prospects we received for him. I think it's safe to say that we never would have made that trade at all if we were not also giving away prospects to get Halladay.

So don't compare Lee to the prospects; that makes no sense. Compare Lee to Halladay. And compare the prospects we gave away to the prospects we received.

TTI: Good point. Any GM in trade talks with the Mets should look at how their previously dealt prospects (Milledge, Humber, Gomez et al) turned out. All New York prospects (Mets and Yanks) are wildly overhyped.

"Unless one of its defenders wants to invent something about him being a clubhouse cancer as was done to Abreu."

If I recall, evidence was produced demonstrating that it was Pat Gillick who "invented" something about Abreu's attitude affecting the clubhouse.

clout - Yeah the bullpen does appear a bit shaky right now but it is really premature & difficult to say what the Phils might need at the deadline. Just too many variables includig Happ, Madson, and JRoll.

Last year it wsa clear as day especially after Myers went down early in the year. Desperately needed starting pitching. They had the 2nd worst rotation in the NL through Memorial Day and things only really stabilized with the Lee trade & Pedro signing.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Phils needs are quite a bit different even in another month.

Clout

The bottom line- for about a minute or 2 in December 2009, we had a starting staff - with a 3 headed monster of Halladay, Hammels and Lee at the top of the rotation. Imagining that top of the rotation during the regular & post season – WOW!

Even Jimmy Rollins continues to question the trade out loud – I do not know how many Phillies players continue to question the move off the record. Now J-Roll is hardly a pea-brain about all things baseball, now is he?

On your other point: I guess if you want to call KK a major league starter - yeah they have 5 starters... I really like KK - as a middle or long relief - but as a starter - he has had good moments and some not so good moments as a starter.

The Mets might also be willing to part with Pagan. It seems like, for some reason, they're going to stick with Francoeur in right field when Beltran comes back.

It's not the incessant talk about Lee necessarily, as much as the lack of variety brought to the argument. It has virtually met and passed the Abreu trade in debate re-hashing already, and the prospects have only been playing baseball in the Phils' system for three months. It's the same argument over and over again. Nothing has changed in 3 months and right now it is what it is. I also agree with philwynk as he points out that Lee should be compared to Halladay moreso than the value we're going to get out of the prospects.

And now we get a new guy that calls himself "cliff fan." Give me a break. Hey cliff fan, I have great news for you: if you still want to root for Cliff Lee (a player that was with the Phils all of 4 months), you can follow a team called the Seattle Mariners. He's pitching for them right now.

Phils are pursuing better teams this year in the Mets & Braves though. If the Mets can get another decent starter (doesn't need to be Lee), they likely will be the team to beat in the East.

My point is "why fix something that ain't broke" - and by making moving Lee to Seattle, Rube fixed a system that did not need fixing

REVISED

My point is "why fix something that ain't broke" - and by moving Lee to Seattle, Rube fixed a system that did not need fixing.

I guess this will discussed for a long time so I am leaving the discussion for now...


GOOD NIGHT PHILLIES COMPATRIOTS

GO DETROIT!!!

I'm actually not all that concerned about the Mets. They went on a tear about the same time that the Phillies went on a slide; they've won 15 out of 19 so far in June (.789) while we were dragging ourselves out of a slump where it seemed like we couldn't obtain a run for love or money. At what appears to be the end of both streaks, they've managed to pull ahead by 2.5 games.

It was a nice stretch for them, but will not be nearly enough. They're not going to continue to play .800 ball. We're not going to continue to play .400 ball. Most of the season is still ahead of us, and if we manage to lose just 3 games fewer than the Mets the rest of the season, we win. I'm predicting that by the end of September it will not even be close, and we'll all have forgotten what it felt like to be behind the Mets.

Same with the Braves. They're not going to continue to play .700 ball.

I feel the Phillies are a team built to win right now, & having a 1-2 punch of Halladay/Lee -- if only for one season -- was too big of an opportunity to pass up. The ridiculous deal given to Blanton afterward only reinforces my belief that the "we don't have the money, & we need to restock the farm" excuses proffered by Rube & Monty hold no water whatsoever. This is the 2-time defending NL Champs we're talking about, not a franchise in the rebuilding phase like Cleveland.

As such I'll most likely never think trading Lee was the right move, regardless of how the prospects turn out ... although there's always a chance (as clout noted) that it's not nearly as awful of a deal as it continues to appear, & may yet pay dividends. Regardless, getting irritated over fans continuing to raise the issue when (a) not even half of a season has passed since Lee was dealt & (b) the Phillies' most hated rivals appear to be well in the hunt to acquire Lee is nonsensical & petty.

The Phillies passed up a 2010 season that could have had a pitching staff with two cy young award winners and a WS MVP. that's like giving up the higher ground during a battle. you just don't do that.

considering the bottom of the rotation is inconsistent only exacerbates the issue.

but they trade lee, who is one of the ten best pitchers in the game, and get back a bunch of question marks. Jake LaPorta, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller etc were all highly ranked prospects and they haven't done squat in the majors. Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez don't even have that pedigree.
christ they demoted Aumont, the center piece of the deal.

its just a very underwhelming move, that seems to hurt the club more so in the present than it would stand to help in the future.

Here's something positive

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Posted: 10:45 P.M. By Kevin Czerwinski CSN Philly.com

Phillippe Aumont, meanwhile, earned his first save after pitching four shutout innings of one-hit ball. He fanned four and walked two and has now pitched seven consecutive scoreless innings after getting shelled in his FSL debut. The Phils appear to be keeping Aumont on a starter’s schedule. He has had two six-day breaks in between in his three appearances

I wonder if the Cleveland GM gets shelled by Indians fans every day for giving up Lee for a pu-pu platter of Marson, Donald, Carrasco, and Knapp.

A couple thoughts on the Lee deal (which seems to be the topic du jour once again):

The idea that it was EITHER Lee or Halladay is ludicrous. The only way this could be so is due to an arbitrary financial limit set by ownership (which they could've gotten around anyway, and which I'll discuss in a minute). The idea that they could only keep the one who agreed to the more reasonable contract extension is simply false. There is no reason why they couldn't have signed Halladay to his contract, and then let Lee walk after this season and collected 2 picks for him. What it looks like is that Lee wanted to hit the open market (presumably, and with good reason, to get the Yankees and Mets bidding on him). There's no reason, though, why that should have precluded him from pitching for the Phillies in 2010. Why people keep saying the Phillies could only keep the one who agreed to a better long-term deal makes no sense to me.

Now, let's go with Clout's reasoning for a second--that they traded him for financial reasons. Ok, I'll accept that for the purposes of this discussion. But there's a pretty damning indictment of the Phillies' ownership in here, if that's true. It means that they could not fit one year of Cliff Lee for 9 million dollars into their budget--a wildly undervalued asset that would have, as almost everyone agrees, increased the Phillies chances of winning this year. Ownership says no.

Contrast this with ownership's decision to ok Ryan Howard's 125 million extension a year and half before he was due to hit the market. Ryan Howard is a great player. But most people, even those who liked the contract, agree that this is at least a market-value contract, if not above. So the Phillies ownership rejects Lee's below-market value for one year which would enhance our chances of winning right now, but says all systems go for locking up Ryan Howard at above-market value through 2016, when we have no idea how much he'll contribute to a team which may or may not be winning?

The only thing that makes sense to me there, is that they liked Ryan Howard's marketability--the thinking being that, hey, even if we're overpaying on the field, at least he's a homegrown superstar who the fans love. This terrifies me. The Phillies have made great strides in the last few years, but if the ownership is prioritizing marketing over winning, then that simply does not bode well for the franchise putting a championship-level team on the field going forward. It might be good for them (I actually don't think it makes business sense, but that's a different story), but it certainly is not good for the fans who want a winning team.

Spitz: Probably not, because the Indians had no chance of winning anything even with Lee.

The Phillies on the other hand, traded a Cy Young as they were going into a season in which they were contending for a WS. Totally different scenario.

Trading Lee was not purely financial. They could've moved Blanton's contract (or non-tendered him, but if I remember correctly, the non-tender deadline had already passed), but they wouldn't have received any valuable prospects in return. Also, they wouldn't have had the opportunity to sign Blanton to a three-year deal. Essentially there were two choices, after trading for Halladay:

Option A: Cliff Lee in 2010 and two draft picks
Option B: Joe Blanton in 2010, the opportunity to resign Blanton, the $2M difference between Blanton and Lee's 2010 salary, Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez

They decided on option B. They could've instead chosen option A and the payroll would've been only $2M higher. The reason they chose option B was because, right or wrong, they valued those prospects (or the opportunity to resign Blanton) highly enough to forgo a year of Cliff Lee. Lee's dominance this year and the mediocre performance of the prospects has made this decision look worse and worse each day.

It's overly simplistic to call the move just a salary dump, when the Phillies could've dumped Blanton's salary.

Jack: I agree somewhat with your Lee analysis and wish you had stopped there before taking another back-handed stab at the Howard extension.

Two things though I would add:

1.) We had Moyer for this season yet and Blanton accepted arbitration. Those are two factors that get overlooked when people try to analyze the Lee deal. The Blanton deal came afterwards but only because they didn't want to go to arbitration with him. (more on that in point 2).

That gave us Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Moyer, Happ, Kendrick as battling for 5 spots. On top of that they do have some organizational filler type guys to come up and spot start if necessary. So they have some margin of depth there. They valued prospects since they had given up so many and really the only guy who was bringing back prospects was Lee. We can discuss at a later date what they got back but they were looking to get guys who could help sooner rather than later. A draft pick might take 2 or 3 extra years to develop from where the 3 we got are. That is not saying they will be studs but rather they are closer to a spot where they have a chance of helping in 2012 or 2013.

2.) A point missed by many is Amaro's style which is clearly evident. He likes cost certainty. He wants to know exactly how much they are going to spend for a core of guys so they can do other things. They say Lee was anticipating the market and they wanted a staff ace whose number they knew. They got that with Halladay.

TTI: It's true that cost certainty seems to be a big thing for them, but there's a couple responses to that. One is that cost certainty has some positives, but on its own, is not a worthwhile goal. I'm sure the Marlins have plenty of cost certainty in knowing they're paying the minimum to most guys, but they also don't have a winning team. I could get plenty of cost certainty by signing a bunch of crappy players to 2 million dollar deals.

The other is that, while there are positives to cost certainty, there are just as many positive in flexibility. Not to bring up the Howard extension again, but the Phillies have certainty they'll be paying Howard 25 million in 2016. My guess is they might want the flexibility instead.

There's also the issue that they HAD cost certainty in 2010 for Lee--9 million dollars. So I'm confused as to the issue here. Sign Halladay to his deal, keep Lee for this year at 9 million, and then let him walk. There's no cost uncertainty there at all.

Interesting to look at the NL rankings by xFIP. Halladay is #1 and Hamels is #12. Cliff Lee's xFIP would put him at #2 in the NL, right behind Halladay. That playoff rotation (#1, #2, and #13 in the league) would be head and shoulders over any other in the NL, with the closest competitor being St. Louis (who would have #5 Wainwright, #8 Carpenter, and #14 Garcia).

Also interesting to note that the Phillies current 1-2 is by far the best in the division so far. Hamels has been the 3rd best pitcher in the division behind Halladay and Johnson and it's not particularly close.

Detroit is scoring some runs for a change. 4-1 Tigers in the 5th

Jack: Cost certainty is about looking forward. The Phillies are targeting guys they feel are integral parts of the team and instead of gambling on arbitration they are locking them up. It prevents contentious discussions and it lets you know what the payroll is going forward.

They wanted an ace going forward and they wanted a fixed price. Those two factors played parts in Lee being not with the team anymore

I hate the Lee trade with all my being, but even I'm getting tired of this debate. The trade is indefensible on every level. Is there anyone left even trying to stick up for the trade? At most there's a tepid retort of "let's wait and see how the prospects do". But even then we'd have to compare that to the two players who might have been drafted with the compensation picks (unknowable of course). So let's just all agree that the Lee deal was an exercise in poor judgement and move on. . . . at least until Seattle trades him for Jesus Montero and Phil Hughes and $10 million in cash.

$9 million here, $9 million there. Nothing but pocket change!

HR, single, single, walk, walk given up by the Mets this inning thus far. These are the Mets that we love!

JBird: Let's just wait and see how the prospects do. Don't understand what's so hard about that. I hate they decided to move him, but they did.

My hunch is when/if the M's move Lee it will be for about the same type of offer the Phils made for him, and got in return for him.

TTI: But that just doesn't make sense. Going forward, they could have had Halladay locked up. They had Lee for 9 mill, and then he was gone. Going forward, they had cost certainty in knowing Lee wouldn't be here. That's the exact same certainty they have now.

Where did they gain cost certainty by trading Lee for 3 prospects? The only money difference was they saved 9 million for 2010. But they were certain of either spending that on Lee this year, or trading him and not spending it on Lee.

Cost certainty only is an issue if you believe they were choosing between Halladay and Lee to sign long-term and that's it. But that's a false choice because they could've had both for this year and then let Lee walk. What's uncertain about that?

Can we come to a conclusion as to whether or not the Ferguson Jenkins trade to Chicago was a good one?

I think you could make a cost certainty argument about Blanton, since he would've had to go if we kept Lee. Maybe having the #3 starter penciled in for 3 years at a fair market price is part of what the Phillies wanted.

I'm not loving the Tigers right now.

OP, Don't forget, Adolfo Phillips and John Herrnstein went along with Jenkins. I thought Phillips was the best prospect, and so did others.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=1393671

I agree about Philips.

Can anyone post something about Cliff Lee without posting the same points over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over?

Does anyone remember the old joke about the prisoners who have heard each others' jokes so many times they just numbered them and shout out the numbers?

How 'bout we do the same with the Lee posts?

#34=Could Have Had An Awesome Rotation!

#.99=Phils' Were Cheap!

#69-What If Lee Ends Up On the Mets?

#56-Why Didn't They Trade Joe Blanton?

#3-Could Have Traded Him To the Yankees For Better Prospects!

EFF, good luck with that.

The Tigers are really trying to lose this game.

DH: I'm not sure Hamels has been better than Big Pelf.

Kaat just jinxed the Tigers. Bastard.

Jose Valverde is having quite the season.

Hilarious stuff EastFallowfield.

Good day for us, eh?

We win, Mets/Braves lose.

Climbing back into it.

whew! Tigers win.

Ha! Suck it, Kaat! Leyland is too smart to fall for that crap!

NEPP, are you implying that The Phils still have a chance?

1 back in the loss column in both WC and East...feeling doomed.

Well, I'd have to check our playoff probability percentage over on BP but I think its possible.

Good day for us indeed. Now the Phillies get a chance to improve their road record at home! Does this mean the Phils use the visitors clubhouse and dugout?

They better turn off the secret cameras and mics that they have in the visitors clubhouse and hide the recorders in their clubhouse.

THey should leave a huge pair of binoculars in the home clubhouse...

Like these: http://andysmilitarysurplus.com/images/fuji%20bins.JPG

hahahaha.....and they better get rid of all the binoculars from the home bullpen as well.

I'm not at all sick of discussing the Cliff Lee trade, but EFF's post made me laugh out loud. 34!

beat me to post NEPP. They are awesome binocs. Thats what the use at PETCO.

The Cliff Lee trade sucked. #34

beaten again!

#99!

#34 but no #99 and if #69 I'll be PO'd.

EF: Good list, to which I'd add

#11 - Jimmy Rollins didn't like the trade!

Likewise, a list of common responses defending the trade could be made:

#125 - The Phillies aren't cheap! (see also #6)

#53 - This argument has been done to death!

#34 x #4 - Roy Halladay!

#541 - The Von Hayes trade was SO much worse!

#2009 - He's gone! Stop living in the past!

∞ - You have to give the prospects more time!

#6 - The Phillies aren't cheap! (see also #125)

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