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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This is far more interesting than the games.

would rather just trade Werth for one of TB's major league ready talent. Jennings or Hellickson would be nice.

Most Interesting things out all of this will be what happens with the outfield and starting lineups.

I'm for the deal as long as we don't have to kick in anybody from the farm. Seeing as the chances of that are looking grim, we need to mail it in.

I'll be ecstatic if they move Werth and maybe a prospect in a roundabout deal for Oswalt. Sure, UNNECESSARY BUT REQUIRED CLIFF LEE CAVEAT WHEN TALKING ABOUT A STARTING PITCHER, but to turn Werth into a real positive for 2011 and 2012 is probably the best solution at this point. Plus, Brown gets much needed MLB experience.

And if the move shakes them up a bit for 2010 as well, the wild card is not far off.

"would rather just trade Werth for one of TB's major league ready talent. Jennings or Hellickson would be nice."

Why would Tampa do that?

Agreed. Salisbury is on Seth Everett's show right now on 1050 ESPN - NY, talking trades. Says the Phillies are scouting Haren tonight as well but they are really working on getting Oswalt.

Does anybody understand how insurance might play a role here? Does Moyer's injury free up millions of dollars of payroll that we can use ths year?

Doesn't it warm your heart to hear Ruben Amaro mention Chuck Lamarr when it comes to trades? This is the same guy who failed in Tampa Bay and almost had that franchise contracted. Loser.

"Does anybody understand how insurance might play a role here? Does Moyer's injury free up millions of dollars of payroll that we can use ths year?"

ZOMG! D.B. better watch out if he sees a mysterious man with a tire iron lurking in the tunnel.

"Why would Tampa do that?"

Who are they sending to Houston to make this deal happen? Seen any names thrown out there?

It tells you really everything you need to know about RAJ when the Inquirer leads off this morning's trade talks by telling us:

"Ruben Amaro Jr. wore one of those patented smug looks on his face before Tuesday's game."

Personally, I'm still working on my patented smug look.

I am curious to hear who the Tampa prospect(s) would be. I'd love Oswalt, but getting a young guy with a ton of potential, who can get some starts now is intriguing.

Someone on the last thread mentioned how making a big move, could be the kick in the pants the team needs. I agree with that, with the addition of bringing Dom Brown up and having Happ back in the rotation, brings some young and hungry youth(Happ isn't THAT young) into the lineup/rotation. Not to go overboard, but I think that is important this year.

Why involve TB in the trade with Wade? I'm sure that Wade still salivates over guys he signed to the Phillies farm system. Remember he signed Pet Happy and batted him higher than eighth in the lineup. Maybe he'll take Rice University product Joe Savery even up for Osawalt and call it a salary dump.

I kind of thought the problem with this team was flagging offense, not the lack of an ace.

CY: I haven't seen any names, but I can't see Tampa giving up one of their top 2 prospects for 2 months of Jayson Werth.

Wade did bring Victorino in, before offering him back to the LA. Mathieson as well.

LF - Agreed. I would hope to dump some of our prospects to HOU then keep the TB prospects. They seem to draft well.

Has anyone heard anything definitive about whether Oswalt would agree to be traded to the Phils?

Fangraphs thinks Ruben Amaro isn't very bright:

Based on our recent track record, I fully expect Rube to get hosed in this deal...something like it ending up being:

Werth to Tampa
Singleton, Cosart and Gose to Houston
Oswalt to Philly
Tampa 2nd tier prospects to Houston.

Happ and Oswalt instead of Moyer and Kendrick would be nice.

The Rays would probably give up Wade Davis as a way to make room on the roster for the MLB-ready Hellickson, who is supposed to be a better pitcher.

re: phlipper

Didn't Oswalt say he wanted to come to the Phillies when he initially requested a trade? Granted, they were in first place then, but still.

So, if we assume this trade is Werth/Singleton for Oswalt...

If Ruben had not dealt Lee, we would have had Lee for this year, cheaply, Werth for this year cheaply. A better team than what we will have after we add Oswalt.

Then, we would have had to decide about them in the offseason. Worst case, they walk, and the Phillies get 4 first round picks, giving them a likely total of 5. There is a way to re-stock your system.

Instead, we won't get Werth next year, and we won't get his picks.

So, we would have had Lee and Halladay and Werth, this year. And five first round picks if Lee and Werth walk, and we would keep Singleton or whomever.

Instead, we deal a prospect, we don't get draft picks, we dont have Lee and we lose our right-handed bat, who is due to to start hitting. Great.

sifi, I stopped reading after I read this:

"Jayson Werth is the Phillies second best position player – the best, with Chase Utley on the disabled list"

That's the kind of article that makes me want to throw the author off a cliff.

First, let me say I'd like to have Roy Oswalt. Who wouldn't? But this is the point of the proceedings where I start to get worried. It's clear that Amaro has his sight locked on Oswalt and, once he gets his sight locked on a particular player, he tends to just start throwing more and more (money, years, prospects, etc.) into the mix to make sure we get him.

Remember how the Halladay deal kept getting worse & worse with each new rumor? Taylor for Halliday? Well, I love Taylor, but it's Roy Halladay, so ok. Wait, it's Taylor & D'Arnaud? Well, you have to give up a lot to get one of the best pitchers in baseball. Wait, Drabek too? I thought he was untouchable. That's a pretty stiff package. What's that you say? We're throwing in Cliff Lee? Is he f*cking crazy?

If this is a straight-up Werth for Oswalt deal, I'm all for it. Werth & some B prospects, ok. If we throw Happ into the mix, I'm getting awfully uncomfortable. Not that Happ is better than Oswalt, but he's a viable, maybe even above average, starter &, his cheap price tag helps give us some flexibility to spend elsewhere. Of course, by the time this deal is done, it will probably be Werth, Happ, and Jonathan Singleton.

You'd think the money Amaro earned from patenting his smug look would have covered the cost of keeping Outlander.

"Why would Tampa do that?"

Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think that adding a bat like Jayson Werth might help their chances to compete with Boston and New York this season.

Why does any team give up young talent for a half season rental?

Alex - probably right. Dare to dream though.

What if it were Werth, Happ to Rays. Rays prospects to Houston. Oswalt and Hunter Pence to Phils.

Any takers?

Not sure anyone is gonna trade for Happ at this point.

I wonder if Moyer could pitch until 50 in Pittsburgh.

Chad Cordero to sign with mets, per mlbtraderumors.

If this rumored three way deal occurs, are there any of the Amaro apologists want to defend him? I'm very interested in hearing the spin that this is given.

Amaro is beyond incompetent. He's about as savvy as an eight year old playing fantasy baseball.

LNM and BAP are both spot on.


Why are we assuming Singleton is in a deal?

I always love how people take the Fangraphs articles as holy writ...its not as if they're any different from half the posters here if we were to state our opinion. Ignoring the long-term implications of getting a guy signed for several years is pretty stupid but I wouldn't expect anything else from Jack Moore.

Actually, I could see Amaro selling low on both Werth AND Happ, and getting just Oswalt in return. Oh yeah, throw in some more of our prospects, too.

I guess my question is whether Werth and Oswalt are equal-value trade pieces at the moment. Werth is in the final year of his deal, so he is a half-season rental. Oswalt is under team control, but has a full no-trade clause and frankly, the team control is offset by big dollars, even if he might end up being worth those dollars (not every team can afford to take on that type of salary regardless of production). I remember earlier this offseason there was talk that Oswalt wouldn't be moved because of those two factors.

So if there really is a number of teams interested in Werth and a number of factors that would affect the marketplace for Oswalt, are they equal value? Then again, if the Halladay/Lee trades are any indication, I assume that the Phils probably do something like b_a_p proposes, and the Astros throw in money.

Oswalt has a full NTC and obviously he waived it to come to Philly or the Phils and Astros wouldn't be talking right now. This is from a friend who should know:

I like the thought of Oswalt coming to Philadelphia...that is a pretty impressive 1-2-3 at the top of the rotation. Pretty much convinced that Werth is gone anyhow so why watch 2 more months of his apathetic play, get Brown up and playing, maybe even try Mayberry and sit Ibanez. Jayson Werth is a fool in my mind, he had it made in Philadelphia and I am convinced that Amaro tried hard to sign him. I am saying this because of the frustration RA is showing this week when discussing Werth. Those aren't frustrations of a guy who is necessarily disappointed in the players performance [though he is] but in the frustrations of attempting to negotiate a deal that can't get negotiated. Last time Amaro looked that way was with Cliff Lee, and he was gone a day later.

Here is what I don't want. I don't want Happ included in the deal for Oswalt, I want Happ in the rotation. Would prefer to give Houston the prospects received from Tampa Bay but when does Wade ever accept prospects? He has always wanted "major league ready" players so my guess is he wants players like Happ, Mayberry and maybe a Herndon. And someone very good from TB.

That is from an e-mail I just received. I'll get back here if I hear more.

Is Oswalt what this team really needs?

Hunter Pence isn't a bad thought... although I'd rather have a utility player to play second

The best thing about a potential trade is how much it's going to help the offense.

DPat: You're friend likes Mayberry too much. Is this the same person you have the Phils connection with?

"Amaro can't buy a stamp without checking with Montgomery". I Spit out my coffee reading that because its probably true. Each trade that Amaro makes digs the team deeper in a hole. We dont want to deplete our farm but we cough up our top prospects every trade. You can never have too much starting pitching, so we trade one of the top pitchers in the game who is under contract for a bag of used jocks.
I expect this imminent trade will make no sense but it will be one that makes crazy business sense to Montgomery. Something like Rube saying: "David, we'll pay Oswalt $16 million for next year but its less than we would have had to pay Werth AND he walks away after next we are saving money on this deal. And everyone knows we wont be able to sign Lee because they've all accepted the $140 mil payroll number."

"Remember how the Halladay deal kept getting worse & worse with each new rumor?"

Actually, BAP, what I remember is that all kinds of rumors where flying about how much Amaro was going to give up for Halladay, when in reality he gave up far, far less in exchange for Jesus, I mean Cliff Lee.

Uh. Oh. I mentioned Cliff Lee.

"A Herndon"? Even Ed Wade isn't that dumb.

****Of course, by the time this deal is done, it will probably be Werth, Happ, and Jonathan Singleton.****

Yeah, I could see that scenario. And if it happens, Rube will be dead to me. Maybe he'll swap out Happ for Cosart and Colvin.

just to make everyone feel miserable about any trade before it even happens

also im sure someone mentioned this, but how can we afford 15 mil to roy oswalt and not 9 mil to cliff lee?

moral of the story, amaro sucks.

I think Milt will be the first one to take a hit from this season.

at least ed wade is an idiot...hopefully that'll play in our favor

This move will definitely help the offense. The outfielder they're giving up has been a black hole for over two months now. I'd be his replacement is far less of a black hole.

I'm no Amaro fan, but many here are seriously undervaluing Oswalt. Getting Oswalt would be a major coup. His value is significantly higher than half a season of Werth, so I assume we'll have to give up a couple of decent prospects. If this happens, I think Amaro is justly prioiritizing the next two years over the distant future. Moreover, this deal strikes a nice balance between trying to salvage this year (adding Oswalt along with Happ and Brown would constitute a significant shakeup of the team) and working for next year (I really don't know how you could argue that this doesn't make the Phillies a LOT better next year).

Bed Beard:

True, he might not be in there. Of course, by next week, Brown might be instead.

In any case, with or with out him, this still looks terrible for Amaro. Each move looked a little dumb (or worse), but, when you add them up, he looks like a guy who gets a bonus for each headline move he makes. Regardless of whether the headline is good or bad.

Gotta love Ed Wade - sharp as a tack:

With the July 31 deadline nearing, the Astros have been fielding more than phone calls.

"These days, it’s also text-messaging and e-mails," Wade pointed out during a recent trip to Pittsburgh.

LNM: I think you're wrong on that.

What GM can make moves without approval from higher ups-especially, if the move involves big $$? Get your head out of your asses, folks.

Will Schweitzer really throws out the insults without knowing what is going to happen huh?

sifl - The article on Werth was weak. It doesn't talk about next season or the following season, doesn't explore a couple of important issues (e.g., Werth's production the last 6 weeks, some more consideration on what his WAR will be the rest of the season, what exactly Brown would produce, etc.), and almost completely focuses on a single statistic (WAR).

I know the pieces on Fan Graphs have to be short but this wasn't one of the better ones.

Ed sent a parchment to Rube by Pony Express but it didn't arrive so he's trying texts now. Good for him.

bap "if this is a straight up Werth for Oswalt deal, Im all for it"

Will S: "bap is spot on"

thats not even an option. Hoston does not want a rental of Jayson Werth in a season they are 20 games under .500 - what are you guys even thinking?

Here we go... we didn't trade Cliff Lee for financial reasons, which will be obvious when the pick up Oswalt's 16 million.

Who can anyone question that the Phils really don't need starting pitching right now? Yeah the offense stinks and the Phils have two middle INF who have produced at .600 OPS or less the past month. Still, the starting pitching has been bad on this road trip and you have no idea what Happ gives you went he gets back.

David: Actually, I was thinking that Oswalt is no Roy Halladay. He's 33 & coming off the 2 worst seasons of his career (still good seasons, but that's a sign of decline nonetheless). He's having a strong 2010, but there's also some good luck involved, since he has an uncannily low .269 BABIP.

He's still a good pitcher, maybe even a very good one. He'll help the Phillies &, if they can get him for Werth, all praise goes to Amaro. If Happ's in the deal, I'm no longer so thrilled. If Singleton's in it, I'll gag on my breakfast. I don't think that is what they were saying. I think that it was short-hand for Werth to the Rays for prospects, with a follow-on trade of those same prospects to the Astros for Oswalt.

Bed Beard~ Yes, that's the guy. I'm just sharing what I can. Not saying that I agree with his comments on Mayberry. Mayberry is a stiff but he is the only RH bat they could bring up.

The fangraphs article doesn't seem to realize that we would be trading Werth for a potential 2.5 seasons of Oswalt. 2010 is lost, and everyone needs to wrap their head around that.

**** and almost completely focuses on a single statistic (WAR). ****

So its like every other article on their site? Go there and try to criticize WAR as a statistic...its always a "fun" debate. WAR is infallible. It is the Pope of Fangraphs.

adam: Been there, read and discussed that nonsense.

Does anyone remember them showing Whitey and Harry in the booth as much as they show Wheels and McCarthy? Or flashing their names on the top of the screen throughout the game?
Not that they arent super photogenic or anything...

"So its like every other article on their site? Go there and try to criticize WAR as a statistic...its always a "fun" debate. WAR is infallible. It is the Pope of Fangraphs."

I remember Jason Bay being a bit miffed because part of the reason teams "undervalued" him (his perception) is because UZR said he was a below average defender last year.

Before the season began, they tweaked the UZR formula and lo and behold, Jason Bay is now an average defender.

Apparently, he was a little steamed.

At any rate, WAR isn't useless by any stretch, but I will agree some folks on Fangraphs tend to live and die on it a little too much. "Jason Werth is a better player cuz WAR tells me so."

I think what the Fangraphs piece neglects to mention is that Oswalt's 2011 is NOT at any sort of discount, so there's not a whole lot of VALUE (not worth) there.

The job of a GM is to put the best team on the field under a certain budget. This can be achieved through some combination of young and underpaid players, some long-term underpaid players (like Chase Utley), and some fair-value players (not to mention the stinker overpaid players). What we see through the Amaro regime is that he's really partial to the third group -- guys who are paid what they are worth. Maybe we saved a few million on Halladay, but for a large and growing portion of our roster, we're not getting any sort of discount.

The way to address this would be to get a player (like Shields, for instance) who would be paid less than his worth for a few years, and then maybe some prospects who next year or later could contribute at or near the MLB minimum. But trading for Oswalt -- as much as I'd love to improve the rotation -- does nothing to increase the value of the Phillies' payroll.

jason: Yes, I know this. I meant a straight-up trade, in effect -- i.e., Werth for prospects, with the prosepcts then being flipped for Oswalt.

BobbyD - That is a hilarious quote. Thanks.

One thing that hasn't been discussed about that much is Oswalt is that he has a FTC as does Lee and Berkman.

I think McLane finally realizes that he has to blow things up in Houston & really start again.

Astros are stuck with Lee and his $19M contract for '11 and '12 but Berkman and Oswalt are valuable trade commodities. The catch is that they both have FTC. I also bet that as a condition of being dealt Oswalt's wants his '12 option picked up at $16M. Frankly, that is the one thing that will probably make some of his potential suitors have some more second-thoughts.

Even though he didn't negotiate any of those deals, Wade is behind the eight ball. Kind of ironic because that is exactly what he did to Gillick during the start of his tenure.

If the Phils can find a partner to trade Werth to for prospects that Houston wants, then I bet the deal gets done and the Phils have to give up little in terms of their own prospects. Maybe 1 decent guy at A. Tricky part is finding that 3rd team.

A direct trade to the Astros with Werth just doesn't work and the Phils don't have the other necessary pieces to make it work either unless they are willing to part with Brown. Same with a guy like Haren who I would much rather see the Phils pick up but he likely has a more expensive price tag.

Amaro certainly does make things interesting though. As a chief strategy officer I knew and respected said, 'Go big or go home.' Worked out pretty well for most times.

Oswalt's FIP is only .1 above his actual ERA. His BAbip isn't that low. His K9 is the highest it's been since 2001. He's not the pitcher he was 7 years ago, but his peripherals don't suggest the decline that his his (from the last two seasons) does.

Fangraphs can use WAR all it wants, but it ignores 2011-2013 for this team, and the way they and Werth are playing right now (as well as Moyer's injury). Werth is a 0 WAR player for the Phils next year.

There are a lot of super knowledgable Phils fans on this site and they are sincerely worried about this team. How long is it going to take for the tailgating, just there to party thousands of fans to catch on that the team is in trouble-- or won't they care until CBP isnt the jammed pack party hot spot?

what's the financial difference between 2.5 seasons of oswalt at this year's prorated salary plus 16 million each vs. lee's 9 million this year plus what he gets on the open market from the yankees or whoever this winter (5-6 years, 20 million per?). one is a 35 million commitment, the other sounds upwards of 100 million. big difference. phils don't like to go more than 3-4 years on contracts with pitchers, either.

i think there's life to this rumor, but it's going to cost them dearly. happ and 2-3 prospects I'd guess, with werth bringing in 1 or more of the prospects. yikes. i'm assuming happ is gone because at least he can be sold to astros fans as high ceiling and major league ready. still...a lot could change before this actually happens. lots of bidders out there, lots of time before the deadline.

****I think what the Fangraphs piece neglects to mention is that Oswalt's 2011 is NOT at any sort of discount, so there's not a whole lot of VALUE (not worth) there.****

Would the Phillies be able to sign the equivalent pitcher in the off-season to a 2 year deal at what is basically market cost?

The answer is No...thus there is value there in having Oswalt locked up for 2 more seasons after this. No long-term committment to the Phillies and its also not a rental.

I also am not nearly as upset if Happ is included in a deal either. His numbers were a mirage last year, he a somewhat checkered health history, and much preferred he get moved this offseason than Drabek.

Happ is useful going ahead forward because he is controlled at low dollars for modest production the next 2 years. He isn't a difference-maker though.

The thing that concerns me is that some of the rumors make these sound like "companion" trades and not a three-team deal. That's fine so long as Amaro and co. do a job valuing Team 3's farm and don't get fleeced by Houston for Oswalt. You can see why that would concern anyone who's been paying attention to these team's track record in the last 10 years.

The Phils are certainly going to need to acquire at least 1 FA offseason starter too next year. Maybe they do go the discount route but frankly I would much rather they stack their rotation as much as possible, take their chances the offense rebounds, and that they can find some 'Value Village' types to round out the bullpen with the departures of Romero, Durbin, and Contreras.

Lee said he would have taken a lot less than Halladay to stay because he thought Halladay was better than he (open to debate) and he wasnt hung up on any amount of years but never got a chance to discuss before being traded. Since you had him locked up this year at less than $10 million you could have signed him for a reasonable amount of money.

If we could get Wade Davis, why would we want Oswalt?

Sophist: I can't think of any 3-team/companion deals made by the Phillies that resulted in them coming away with lesser prospects than they should have. Whatever are you talking about?

Enough with Lee. Like a guy who pines for his ex. Its over Johnny. Even this offseason, the Phils won't be in the market for a guy who likely is going to command 4-5 year @ $19-$20M per year.

****The thing that concerns me is that some of the rumors make these sound like "companion" trades and not a three-team deal. That's fine so long as Amaro and co. do a job valuing Team 3's farm and don't get fleeced by Houston for Oswalt. ****

Well, we DO have a former Rays executive in our FO...he likely has a great idea of who their best prospects are to replace the top guys we'll inevitably send to Houston.

If this is another of those deals, I will freak.

From Buster Olney's column today on Oswalt:

"They've got real holes over there, and I know they need a starting pitcher," one executive said. "But I think their lineup is as much of a problem now [as the pitching questions]. If they got two Roy Oswalts, I'm not sure it would make a difference."

bap: ah i got you - the prosepcts for Werth are the sole trade peices to obtain Oswalt.

I would love to start hearing some prospect names from both Tampa and Philly to make this convo more worthwhile.

Also, the acquistion of a right handed bat like Pence would be pretty nice. Hah, please not Jason Michaels tho.

NEPP - that's exactly right about Oswalt's contract. It may be higher end per year, but there is no pitcher of his quality who would sign such a deal in FA (the duration specifically).

I have the same feeling about Happ, that he will be about the same as Kendrick (if he fully recovers from his surgery) and I would be willing to trade him to get a better starter.

NEPP: Exactly. You can't evaluate every move in an economic vaccuum. $16M may not be a discount for a pitcher of Oswalt's ability, but where on earth are you going to find another available pitcher of Oswalt's ability, even if you ARE willing to pay $16M for that pitcher?

The other thing to consider is that it's not just the amount of salary that matters; it's the years. If you dip into the FA market for starting pitching, you'll find that almost all the available guys are over 30, and the cream of the crop are in position to demand 5-year deals at very high prices. So you end up having to give 4 and 5-year deals, at $15M per year, to guys like Derek Lowe & John Lackey, who are way up there in age & not as good as Oswalt. And when the guy's skills begin to seriously fade by Year 2 or 3 of the deal, you're stuck with him for 2 more years.

oops sorry, meant injury not surgery for Happ..

In the corporate world as opposed to the baseball world Amaro and Cholly would be out the door already. This business of having “sold” Lee and now possibly buying a more expensive albeit not as strong a pitcher (older too) and giving up Werth and possibly more is nothing short of malfeasance. I can’t even go to a bar now in NY; as the Amaro’s doings would make the Mets GM Omar Minya and Manager Jerry Manuel look like geniuses and trust me no one I know in New York –and I mean Met fans—think the word smart , let alone genius , can be used in the same breath with these two jokers. Well now they can, thanks to Amaro’s shenanigans.

Steve B~ What Lee told us wasn't the truth. Lee is going the the Yankees this off-seasona as a FA. This was his plan all along. he and CC are friends from their days in Cleveland. RAJ said this if they could have retained Lee they wouldn't gotten Doc. If Lee really wanted to stay, he would have signed for what the Phils offered.

Think about it. Lee didn't stay in Cleveland, Philly or Seattle. He won't stay in Texas either. They are in bankruptcy and most likely can't sign. This tells me something about the man. While I agree that testing the FA market is a player's right, how much money is enough? He'll be in NY because they can afford to pay what he wants, which is CC-type money.

Last Dec it looked to Monty that you didnt have to sign Lee. The team was on auto pilot and destined for a third straight trip to the WS and selling out every frickin game. Now he can see a precipitous drop off, no post season revenue, non sellouts next year and a major loss of revenue so he knows he will have to spend money even if it costs the owners the money they saved by trading Lee.

The point is they saved nothing by trading Lee andnow they are going to spend more? This is a ship of fools!

Well, no matter how it turns out at least this is taking my mind off the Phils' putrid performance over the last week (and months).

I'm absolutely down with Werth for Oswalt (and I don't care what TB does in the middle). I saw a tweet somewhere that implied Mathieson may get thrown in. I'm absolutely fine with that as well.

By the way, when this deal happens, how will anyone be able to argue that the Lee deal was all about money when it turns out that Oswalt will cost more? ;-)

"By the way, when this deal happens, how will anyone be able to argue that the Lee deal was all about money when it turns out that Oswalt will cost more? ;-)"

Ahh, there's the Rub(e).

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