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Friday, June 25, 2010

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I guess everyone can stop panicking now...and accusing the FO of holding him down in the Minors forever. He's right on schedule for a Sept callup/2011 MLB debut.

It does reinforce the idea that he'll be replacing Werth in 2011, unless the Phils can do something with Ibanez.

I guess I should just come to grips with the idea that Werth will not be a Phillie in 2011 and be content with a couple extra first round picks in a loaded draft to "re-stock the farm system."

Cosart staying in Lakewood all year. Probably smart.

Cosart's only 20 and still learning how to pitch after mostly concentrating on being a position player in high school.

If he moves up to Reading next year, he'd still be very young for AA and on track for a 2012-ish debut with the Phils, which would mean right around his age 22 season.

That would be a best-case scenario, obviously.

I agree.

Cosart needs his innings limited anyway. He'll likely be shut down in early August at the latest.

No issues with that decision. Half a year in Clearwater/Half a year in Reading at Age 21 is damn good.

Brody Colvin's killing it too. Very excited about the low A team.

I am still holding out for the dream scenario of an outfield consisting of Werth-Victorino-Brown in 2012. With this scenario Brown would be either a transition player next year and spells Ibanez and Werth, or stays on the farm one more year to polish up.

Or the FO could just release Ibanzez after this season, unless of course he continues at his current pace

Honestly, Werth is having what looks like a career year this season. Any contract we agree to with him would likely have us overpaying in years and money for a guy who is already 31 this year.

Do we really want to overpay for that with our already limited payroll options?

So the move to AAA means he's going to learn to layoff the breaking ball junk AAAA pitchers toss at him.

I wonder if the outcome of the season would have any effect on whether they sign Werth, or will he be gone no matter what happens. I will still hold out hope.

NEPP - if he gets Jason Bay money, I'd do it. If he starts pushing into Matt Holliday money, forget it. Without him, this team's just going to get Loogy'd to death (even more so than it already is)

Interested to see how the Fish respond to Bobby Valentine and if he gets to play a bit more consistent. They have the offensive talent & enough starting pitching to be an ~85 win team. If they do, things in the East get really interesting because all of a sudden you have 4 teams with a pretty realistic shot at finishing above .500 & another team (Nats) that could be an interesting spoiler with Strasburg (Wang if he comes back later this season).

Phils aren't going to win 43 or 44 games this year vs. NL East brethren. I would say they have to win 40 games vs. East though to win the division.

NEPP: You're probably right, and I think Werth is definitely gone after the year. As much as I would love it being Ibanez's contract which was up, and Werth who had 1 more year, that's just not how it is.

Brown looks like he should be a future star, which is what we need as we start to see some likely declines from guys like Rollins and Utley in the next few years.

No real reason now to go see the R-Phils this right now because there isn't a single player right now I would be that interested in seeing on their roster.

Brown really is looking like the #1 prospect in baseball right now. His only real competition may be Dustin Ackley and Bryce Harper.

Steve-O: There's no point in just releasing players like Ibanez. His contract's guaranteed whether or not he's on the roster...You'd be paying him 13 mil to play for someone else.

Best-case scenario is that he retires.

They need Werth for his right-handed bat. Brown replacing Werth just makes their line-up that much more susceptible to Lefties.

I would give Werth Holliday money for 4 or 5 years, but then again its not my money I'm spending

If Bryce Harper is "annointed" the #1 prospect at 17 there are some serious issues with the ranking system. He's still a freaking kid. Way too young/undeveloped to get a real read on him at this point.

I agree with Jbird...

A Jason Bay-like contract is totally appropriate for Werth. But I wouldn't go much beyond that. If he can get the Sawx/Yanks bidding over him and ends up with something like 6/110, let him walk.

If they could get Werth on a 3-4 year deal, they should do it...but I doubt he'd take it. What will the BoSox or Yankees or even the Mets offer?

All could use a player like him. I wouldn't put it past the Nationals either as they want to win and they have made runs at big name FAs several times now. I wouldn't put it past them to make a run at Lee either to be honest.

Werth is a Type A, right? That might effect some teams gunning for him (not the Yankees of course).

NEPP: True, but Harper will be in the Top 10, for sure (in most rankings). By all accounts, he has the best power of an amateur to come into the game in recent history.

Also, they're all "kids". Trying to rank a bunch of 18-22 year olds based on limited performance is a guessing game anyway.

No reason to see the R-Phils now? WHAT? Did you forget about Ryan Howard Garden Gnome night??? I have my tickets!

NEPP - I think the Type A/B rankings can change based on the current season, but as of right now he's Type A.

I don't think any of the teams that have the money to bid on him will really be scared by the loss of a draft pick.

NEPP - just depends on who's doing the list. For some people the high ceiling overcomes a low floor. That said, since he's now an outfielder instead of a catcher, he'll have a harder time standing out. But you're right, high school guys usually don't hit #1 till their 2nd year for publications like Baseball America.

The Ryan Howard Garden Gnome may be the greatest ballpark giveaway of all time.

****True, but Harper will be in the Top 10, for sure (in most rankings). By all accounts, he has the best power of an amateur to come into the game in recent history. ****

I'm fine with him being Top 10-25...I just have an issue with any 17 year old being thrown out there as the best prospect in baseball without ever having played professional ball. Strasburg was a bit different in that he had experience as a major College star against other top prospects. Harper is a HS kid.

****Also, they're all "kids". Trying to rank a bunch of 18-22 year olds based on limited performance is a guessing game anyway. ****

I agree...but its one thing to prove oneself against HSers...its another to do it at AA/AAA while still at a young age. One thing in Harper's favor is his proven ability with wooden bats...though he does lose a bit now that he's an OF instead of a C.

I think Werth would have to die on the field for him not to be a type A at this point.

In related news to the Dom Brown promotion...Gillies was placed back on the DL due to the hamstring. Looks like a lost season at this point. Damn shame as he might be the best of the 3 we got from Seattle.

I won't complian if the Phillies don't make a major trade @ the July 31 deadline becasue Cosart, Brown and Colvin are the players that the other teams will want.

Holding on to those guys is the right thing to do for the long term, even if a certain team from Flushing ends up with a certain pitcher that Seattle is supposedly dangling

On Werth...here's his OPS+ for the last few seasons (since he became a regular)

2007: 120
2008: 121
2009: 128
2010: 147

Granted, 07 & 08 were more platoon years than full seasons...this despite 482 PAs in 08 as he was the de facto starter in the 2nd half. So we've got over 1700 PA to work with...a nice sample size. Over that period, he's posted a 127 OPS+. That's pretty impressive and when you add in his above average defense (despite a huge drop in UZR so far this year), he's a very good player to have around. The question becomes two-fold:

1. What should we expect going forward in his Age 32-35 seasons (probable contract length)

2. How much is that worth to us as a team?

Honestly, if he gives us an OPS+ in the 120-130 range for the next 3 years with even just average defense in RF, that's worth quite a bit. Not superstar money (Read: Holliday) but definitely Jason Bay money. He's averaged about 5 wins a season the last 2 years and he's about on that pace this year. Figure in a typical decline of .5 wins a season and it gives you the following:

2011: 4.5
2012: 4.0
2013: 3.5
2014: 3.0

That would mean we could expect about 15 wins over a 4 year contract. That gives us a baseline of 4 years, $60 million for a "fair" deal if you hold with Fangraphs $4 million per win theory.

Thoughts?

We could also easily move him to LF and gain some defense there when Dom Brown comes up...which would help us out defensively.

when is garden gnome night? i may get that, then grow a garden later.

It's worth it as long as you don't overpay for the 36, 37, 38, & 39 seasons.

Gillies season looks like it might be over. I wonder if the Phils shut him down or try to let him get healthy enough to play the last 2-3 weeks with the RPhils.

Aumont and Gillies are looking more and more like they wasted a year of development. One due to partial incompetence on the Phils' part and the other to injury.

I misread the thing on Gillies. Best-case scenario, he comes back in August and gets a few weeks with Reading before their season ends in Sept.

NEPP: My thought on that is that 4/$60mil would be a fair deal, but I do not think that Werth will "settle" for that. I have to believe that Werth will probably push for 5 or 6 years and around the $80-90 mil range.

I certainly don't blame him for that. Additionally, any team that can afford to pay him that is likely to be a contender as well. I think it's probably a win-win for Jayson.

I think unless Werth will sign for 4/$60 (and I don't see that happening) we should all enjoy his last season here, and wish him the best of luck.

Well, they'll be able to make up some of the development time by letting him play in the AFL and maybe even winter ball...and then tossing him back to Reading next spring with a June/July promotion in mind. Assuming he develops of course.

****I think unless Werth will sign for 4/$60 (and I don't see that happening) we should all enjoy his last season here, and wish him the best of luck.****

I'd also be okay with vesting options (based on PAs) for a 5th year. I could see him maybe settling for a 4 year, $66 million deal or something along those lines.

For example, here is Bay's contract:

$8.5M signing bonus
10:$6.5M, 11:$16M, 12:$16M, 13:$16M, 14:$17M club option ($3M buyout)

2014 option guaranteed with 600 PAs in 2013 or 500 PAs in both 2012, 2013
full no-trade clause

Heather - those are my sentiments as well.

Werth is one of those guys that is very easy to root for. He came out of nowhere, overcame injuries and blossomed into an All-Star RF on a team won us a World Series. He beat out an aging veteran for his job in Geoff Jenkins, filled in nicely in CF when asked to do so, he seems gritty, he steals bases, hits big HRs, and he stabilized the lineup after Burrell's departure via free agency.

A great story all in all. And he's got that awesome beard now.

NEPP - That's true especially with the AFL. One of the 1-2 guys in the whole Phils' minor league system that I could think that really might actually benefit from playing in the AFL.

I was really interested to see if Gillies could hack it at AA or was going to be an early washout. Instead, you get an 'TBD.' Normally, I could care less about a guys' numbers in Fall/Winter ball leagues. Gillies would be an exception though.

and really if he weren't righthanded I'd be more inclined to let him walk despite his feel good story and attachment to team history, but he is, so the Phillies really do need him.

Agreed...his RH bat is what makes so many people concerned about letting him walk. If he was a LHB, it would be a relatively easy decision.

The lineup would likely go S-R-L-L-L-S-L-R-P without Werth around...that could be a nightmare against LOOGYs.

Phils alternative to Werth is what? to find a right handed outfielder capable of decent production and hope that Brown is ready to play next year ina platoon? I'm still cautiously optimistic that they get a deal done with him.

As for MG saying there's no reason to go se the R-Phils now, he obviously missed today's Eagle's write-up extolling the results of Tuffy Gosewich's new approach at the plate.

Well, Utley has had big reverse splits for the last few seasons now...so its not as bad as we think it would be.

Still, he's our only power threat from the right side.

Another thing that would suck losing him:

2008:
vs. LHP: 1.027 OPS
vs. RHP: .767 OPS

2009:
vs. LHP: 1.080 OPS
vs. RHP: .806 OPS

2010
vs. LHP: .938 OPS
vs. RHP: .940 OPS

He's shown a great ability to hit RHP the more he sees of them. Which has been great for us as teams started attacking him the same way they do with Howard vs. a LHP by never giving him anything great to hit. His adjustments vs. RHP have kept his numbers up.

Either the Phils are confident they can re-sign Werth or they have a plan to add a righthanded bat to the lineup. The middle of their lineup will not be four lefties and Shane Victorino.

So back to the previous conversation, It's got to be either Brown or Ackley for #1. Desmond Jennings can't stay healthy. It'll be Ackley if they give him extra credit for being a 2b/cf (maybe) there's till a chance he might be a 1b. I really haven't seen anything about how his defense is coming along.

The Phils might have to use some of the cost savings of letting Werth go and replacing him with Brown to sign a righty OFer who could platoon somewhat with Ibanez/Brown. Someone better than Francisco or Mayberry.

Not sure if that guy is available (or exists), but that would seem to be a priority.

. . . .of course that's if Jonathan Singleton doesn't pass them both up. . . j/k

****Phils alternative to Werth is what? to find a right handed outfielder capable of decent production and hope that Brown is ready to play next year ina platoon? I'm still cautiously optimistic that they get a deal done with him. ****

A good plan would be to sign/trade for a very solid RH bat that can platoon with Dom Brown in RF to start and then be moved over to LF if/when Dom Brown starts hitting really well. That would be the economical plan. However, there aren't alot of RH corner outfielders out there that can play a good RF.

A guy like Michael Cuddyer (has a $11 M 2011 club option that will almost certainly be declined) might be a good fit. He's always hit LHP very well, can play RF and would be a solid clubhouse guy from all reports out of Minnesota.

There are a couple other guys out there too.

Cuddyer is somewhat of a butcher in RF these days though. That could be alleviated by moving him over to LF after a bit.

gobaystars!: Japan looked very impressive yesterday. They're a solid side, & other teams would be well-served not to underestimate them.

Iceman: I spit out my coffee laughing when I read "No, we want 7 years, and by the way I'm f*cking your wife" -- Hilarious! I'm ashamed I didn't think of that myself. :-D

And speaking of old news, since Curt Schilling is out of baseball but Figgy is still pitching for the Phillies, does that mean Ed Wade actually won the trade?

/notaseriousquestion

Ackley isn't having the best year with the bat in AA...even for a 2B.

I see a virtually zero chance of Phils re-signing Werth. While its the right move for on-field reasons, the Phils have boxed themselves in financially.
For 2011, $131M has already been committed to 15 roster spots. That leaves, what, $10M-ish to fill the remaining 10 spots. Just how does Werth fit in to that equation? Salary dump trades? Given that Raul's contract is untradeable, what trades are there?

Gtown: he's still in AAA, so we'll have to wait to see how he turns out before passing judgment.

They almost HAVE to bump payroll to around $145-150 million in 2011...regardless of whether they bring Werth back. Even if it was $150 million, it'd be tight. Maybe if they make another deep playoff run (or maybe if Claire Betz dies/sells out and Middleteon buys out her estate), they will buck up.

****Gtown: he's still in AAA, so we'll have to wait to see how he turns out before passing judgment.****

He was brought up (and even pitched) yesterday.

****For 2011, $131M has already been committed to 15 roster spots.****

Fangraphs has it at $134.7 already committed. Normally, that 3.5 million wouldn't be a major issue but at this point, that could be the difference in keeping Werth.

I would not be shocked at all by Brown starting in RF next year with Mayberry and Francisco to spell him or Ibanez against tough LHPs. The Phils have made it very clear that they have a salary ceiling and they're already pushing it with the contracts on the books right now.

NEPP - he started real, real slow but has been on fire for a while now. power's been absent, but a .388 obp despite a .250 avg. is nice. Personally I think it'll be Brown, I was just throwing out some other options. I guess Hellickson or Teheran are also options. But I think Brown's the best guy left in the minors. Moustakas (Moose Tacos) has been real real good too, and he play's 3B. He might have a better shot than anyone else.

At $134.7 million already committed to 15 guys (and 2 buyouts), the Phillies would have 5.3 million for 10 roster spots...or about $530 K. There's no way we fill all those spots with league minimum guys...thus they're gonna have to either trade a high money guy or raise payroll significantly.

Ibanez, Lidge and Blanton combined will make nearly $35 million next year.

NEPP - I didn't watch after the rain started. Zero runs in 1.1 innings though. . . maybe the Schilling trade will work out after all. I'm still waiting for the Bud Smith comeback to put us over the top on the Rolen deal.

****NEPP - he started real, real slow but has been on fire for a while now. power's been absent, but a .388 obp despite a .250 avg. is nice.****

Good point.

Don't forget Jamie's new 2 year contract. RA might even give him 3 more.

NEPP - My calculation reasonably assumes that JCRomero's ($4.5M salary vs. $0.25M buyout) and JCastro's ($0.75M vs. $50K) 2011 options are declined. Maybe that's the difference?

The more I think about it the more I realize Werth is gone.

Looking at recent history, the Phillies almost never allow a player to reach free agency and then out-bid other clubs. They either lock up the player to an extension before their current deal expires (like they did with Howard and Hamels) or they let the player sign elsewhere (Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Kyle Lohse). Often, they float a rumor that the player declined a larger offer from the Phils (Burrell, Lohse, Chan Ho Park).

The only time I can ever remember a Phillies player reaching free agency and deciding to stay was Jamie Moyer after the 2008 season. Can anyone else think of examples of this happening?

"Ibanez, Lidge and Blanton combined will make nearly $35 million next year."

Ouch.

It would be really nice to be set up like the BoSox this year, with about 40 mil coming off the books in (mostly) deadweight.

****NEPP - My calculation reasonably assumes that JCRomero's ($4.5M salary vs. $0.25M buyout) and JCastro's ($0.75M vs. $50K) 2011 options are declined. Maybe that's the difference?****

Probably...let me check.

Lidge and Ibanez are untradeable, without eating most of the salary. Trading Blanton or Vic would create another hole to fill.

Werth is gone.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tzDN-ZPXgwWx-DUvUTqbsmw&output=html

Doesn't appear to be the case, Bonehead. This spreadsheet (from Cots) factors in the buyouts instead of club options.

Trading Vic wouldn't be out of the question, actually, if Brown was ready to take over in RF. Werth is passable in CF, although nothing special.

An OF of Ibanez/Werth/Brown wouldn't be any great shakes defensively, but it's workable.

$134.7M vs. $131M -- It looks like Cots pro-rates the signing bonuses differently than I did with my calculation.
Technically, Cots $134.7 figure is probably correct.

Vic is a bargain and not the salary drain that others are. It wouldn't make sense to trade him.

If Werth goes next year, as seems likely, I doubt the FO spends extra money on the outfield. I see the outfield as Ibanez/Vic/Brown, with Francisco heavily platooning Ibanez and Brown. I believe the stats show that Francisco is serviceable when he receives a lot of playing time (i.e. 2009 with the Indians). It would make more sense to wait to shell out the money for a good FA until after Ibanez's contract is off the books.

Granted, this isn't ideal, and I'd like a better outfield than that, but I would think with their limited money, the Phillies would want to pursue other needs (bullpen, anyone?)

****I see the outfield as Ibanez/Vic/Brown, with Francisco heavily platooning Ibanez and Brown. ****

That's not exactly an impressive OF.

Spending money on the bullpen almost never works out...its better to just go with young guys/cheap free agents and hope they have good years.

Chris - I agree that your OF could work.
Vic is owed $17M for 2011-12. Won't be easy to find a partner. Probably wouldn't get much in return. It would just be an Abreu-esque salary dump.

Werth in CF is not a thrilling prospect.

The other problem with trading Vic is that Rollins could be facing a decline, which would necessitate Vic in the leadoff spot.

It's possible to twist yourself into a pretzel trying to think of the ways to keep Werth in Philly, but it looks more and more like the only logical conclusion is that he's on his way out.

At least this coming draft is supposedly "loaded" with talent, and the HS draftees should be easier/cheaper to sign.

As b_a_p remains AWOL, it has been left to me to pose the following question:

Considering the history of the franchise as a whole, aren't the Phillies pretty much destined to become the first team in MLB history to lose a game on a walk-off in their own ballpark?

Werth would be exposed defensively if he played a full season in CF...even in CBP.

Old Phan - He's not a butcher in CF, but you're right that the best way to describe him there is "passable."

Raul is owed $11.5M next year. If he continues hitting and gets to a 110 OPS+ or so by the end of the season, I bet the Phils could trade him as long as they eat half of that $11.5M. Some team contender with a hole in LF will be willing to take on Raul for $6M.

Reading still has Ramirez pitching and Galvis at short who are interesting guys to keep a watch on. Vance Worley and Naylor are worth keeping eyes on too to see if they can at least develop into an Andrew Carpenter type role.

Something interesting on Gillies numbers this year. If you look at his season as a whole so far it looks like nothing special but look at his splits.

Home games- .136/.177/.186/.364

Away games- .370/.420/.522/.942

He also hit his two home runs on the season away from Reading. Perhaps he is pressing a little bit at home. Reading can play like a pitcher's park many nights so maybe that has something to do with it. But he also has twice as many strikeouts in home games and 3 less walks. So something seems off there

I'm sure by the end of the page that there will be enough money to sign Lee for exactly the amount that his agent desires.

Hugh - Tuffy has a new stance? Actually, the RPhils are a great place to take younger kids because the atmosphere/entertainment/food are as much as a part of the experience.

I just don't generally enjoy going to the R-Phils all that much becuase I have been to the stadium a ton since I grew up in the Reading area. Usually only go if they have 2-3 interesting younger prospects or a younger pitcher I want to see with my dad/uncle.

Might be more interesting towards the end of the season if they promote some of the more talented guys in A ball right now.

>Given that Raul's contract is untradeable, what
>trades are there?

You can trade most of Raul's contract to an AL DH needing team, especially if you throw a chip in.

wouldnt be quite the salary dump abreu was, but hey, it could be done.

#1 pick Jesse Biddle made his pro debut today with the Gulf Coast Phillies...here's his final line:

3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

>That's not exactly an impressive OF.

Yeh, well, I wouldnt exactly be surprised if you see a platoon in left this year.

and when you have Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Polanco and JRoll in the infield, how concerned are you about traditional power spots?

MG - just looking for an excuse to slide a Tuffy G reference into the conversation. I have been to lots of games at Reading Municipal but, the last time I was there, they had just built that bar in the left field corner. Not sure if it was teh same visit, but, I was also there about 13 seasons ago and tried to get the Phillie Phanatic to talk to my then 3 year old son. The Phanatic promptly turned around and knocked the kid flat with his ample derriere and, the kid still won't let me forget it. So, I'm going to dispute the 'kid-friendly' part on personal the advice of counsel. I hear they have a pool or some sh!t in the outfield now and have been plotting for several years to make my return visit. Dom Brown's departure has dampened my enthusiasm to make it happen this summer, just a little.

I, too, don't think Werth will be a Phillie next year. It will kill me if he becomes a Yankee. The only hope I have is that he decides he can't abide the Yankee grooming and signs somewhere else.

I fully expect Werth to go to the Red Sox.

TTI - No interest in paying for a ticket to just see Ramirez pitch. Same with anybody else on the pitching staff which had its share of talent to start last year but has really leveled off.

It has been a bad year for the Phils top draft picks:

- Savery has officially entered 'bust' status now. Too bad the Phils didn't palm him off on somebody when he had some value last year after his deceptive W-L record year in the 1st half. Better plan for his post baseball career because he isn't making MLB.

- Collier broke his hand & it is a lost season for him. Hewitt continues to look great in a uniform and not yet demonstrate a single baseball skill besides speed. He has no trade value at all right now. At best, hopefully he hits enough at some point in the next year or two so that the Phils can use him a trading chip.

Basically, the Phils haven't had a high draft pick pan who has impacted the big league club since Hamels in '02 and there isn't anybody on the near horizon who was picked in the first 2-3 rounds who is going to help this club in the next year or two.

Thankfully, some of the other Phils' picks have panned out so that there is some interesting talent at A level.

Bonehead -- I disagree. Victorino is a bargain for the next 2 years, after which he's going to be more expensive and in decline. I'd argue that Werth and his skill set are more durable than Vic's, and his role is harder to replace.

Victorino is Carl Crawford-lite, and there's a ton of value in that. We'd definitely get some youth in return for him, and by replacing him with Brown, we wouldn't suffer so much in the speed category.

Here's the article on Gosewich: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=230389

Read how his simplified approach at the plate has led to a June surge, raising his average to .221.

"Basically, the Phils haven't had a high draft pick pan who has impacted the big league club since Hamels in '02 and there isn't anybody on the near horizon who was picked in the first 2-3 rounds who is going to help this club in the next year or two."

MG, I would argue that top draft pick Kyle Drabek has indeed impacted the big league club by allowing the Phils to trade for one of the best pitchers in the bigs.

Hugh - They do have a pool in the OF. Literally, if you can think of something that is fan-oriented, the R-Phils generally have it or some kind of promotion. Basically I have to give some real credit to Stein/Domino though who did a really good job of running the R-Phils.

Lehigh may have a nice stadium but I have no intention of going up to Allentown until I have a specific reason.

If the Astros have really considered a Victorino-Oswalt swap (as has been rumored), he clearly has legitimate value.

Spitz - That's a fair point. You can add D'Naurd to that list too.

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