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Thursday, October 28, 2010

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I like this line of thinking. Just say "no" to Milton Bradley, however.

I wonder if the Jays would be willing to deal Wells? He would be a great fit, good right fielder, good power from the right side and doesnt need to carry the team.

Only problem is his contract, the Jays would have to help out there and I doubt they would.

Wells & Rios were guys Gillick checked into a few years back, if my memory serves me correct. Rios, at least.

Most of these options have strong ties to the current or former GM.

I dont know about Carlos Lee. His bat would fit into the lineup. He looks bad at the plate at times but does provide some power. However, he redefines the word slow and his play in left field looks worse than his contract.

I dont like any of those options.

With the departure of Werth, the team has to be looking for someone with power to fill that hole, no? It's scary to think about the lineup next year without his bat if the power numbers continue to decline.

Wells certainly would be an upgrade over Ibanez, and would look great in RF. But look at his next four years:

2011 32 Toronto Blue Jays $23,000,000
2012 33 Toronto Blue Jays $21,000,000
2013 34 Toronto Blue Jays $21,000,000
2014 35 Toronto Blue Jays $21,000,000

Yikes!

I'm sure the Giants wouldn't be opposed to getting rid of Rowand, but I don't think they will trade for another outfielder. Where would they put Ibanez? Ross and Burrell will almost certainly be back next year, thanks to their postseason heroics. And they are definitely not going to trot Ibanez out into center.

I think an AL team is a more likely trade partner, as they could make Ibanez their DH. I like the idea of Wells or Rios, but of course, those contracts are enormous. Unless you can get the Jays to eat some of that salary, you may as well just bring back Werth.

I like the "out of the box" train of thought and hope that posters dont jump on about how stupid it all is.

I will say that its really selling pretty low on Ibanez. Yes he is not worth the money he is being paid right now, but is that really a reason to dump him for nothing - or in this case, for even more baggage?

His handedness does present a problem, but I really dont think you turn a guy who just chipped in a 112 OPS+ into a pile of garbage just because he doesnt project to fit well in the lineup.

Ibanez Career: .284/.347/.476 114 OPS+
Ibanez in '10: .275/.349/.444 112 OPS+

if they could swing a deal to the White Sox for Alex Rios that would be outstanding, but I don't exactly know why Kenny Williams would do that.

The one positive is they could slot Ibanez at DH. That would give us a guy in Rios who is only slightly more than Ibanez contract wise and is 29 currently.

Rios sounds like the best scenario. Not overly expensive, offensively ALMOST equal to Werth. I don't see the Sox letting him go though.

You gave Raul the contract,live with it.Just a preview of things to come,"Howard",Baez another present example.
Maybe the Gm needs a shorter contract!

re: Wells

so there IS a contract in MLB worse than Howard's. good to know.

And "no" on Aaron Rowand as well. Guy's production has fallen off a cliff. It would be one thing if he'd replicate his 2008 numbers. Those were a fluke, a peak year. He's really closer to the .750 OPS he's consistently shown in Chicago and SF.

Wells and Rios have contracts for 4 years 86 million and 4 years 49 million respectively and neither of them put up numbers to justify the money. Rios in particular has stats which rival Ben Francisco as a starter. Out of the question.

If you want to take a risk, Magglio Ordonez is available as a free agent. Yes he's old at 37 and an injury liability, but if you want a RH bat with some pop, well, you can do a lot worse. He's still a .300 hitter with an OBP of .370, his SLG has taken a hit in Detroit but that may be because Comerica Park is much more pitcher friendly (HR wise) than US Cellular Field (and Citizens Bank). As the righthanded part of a platoon, assuming he'd go for it...

Of course that makes the team even older. This is the problem.

How about a righty/lefty platoon in both RF and LF for next season? Experience and youth preferably. Maybe Ibanez and a younger righty FA and then Francisco and Brown in RF. I'm not sure Francisco can play RF so he may have to platoon with Ibanez but you get the idea. Either way we'd have to get a younger righty FA - likely a value village signing. The platoon role paid off for Werth in the long run.

It would benefit the bench as well for pinch hitting since this rotation of players would get plenty of at bats during the season.

The only name on this list that makes me even remotely interested is Rowand, and I'm not sure he's really such an upgrade over Ibanez. I would prefer that they look for an affordable short-term deal with a a right-handed outfielder who would work as a platoon player. They could start the season platooning this player with Domonic Brown, and as the rookie proves himself, they should shift the platoon over to left as they ease Ibanez into that good night. With some creative management of the lineup, this right-handed outfielder could maybe play in 80-100 games, more if there are injuries. One name I've been watching, and haven't seen mentioned elsewhere, is Xavier Nady. He spent much of this year on the road back from an arm injury, but he was hitting well for the Cubs after they traded Derrick Lee. He has experience playing both corner OF positions, 1B and a little bit of 3B. His career splits make him look like an ideal platoon player. And he could likely be had an a cheap, short-term contract. With the Phillies struggling with their self-imposed payroll cap, a move like this might make a lot of sense. And if it didn't work, they could always look to upgrade with a big right handed OF bat at the trade deadline.

Is there a young talent RHB option anywhere to replace Ibanez? The Phils farm system is looking very thin these days.

When/If Weth leaves, wouldnt the Phillies need to pick up an OF that can play center? Werth played alot of CF when Shane was injured or had off. Who would their back up CF be without Werth? Ben?

Of all these FA they might need someone with CF experience.

An Ibanez/Rowand swap would be downright awful, even if he platooned.

Trading Ibanez makes the most sense if it clears payroll. This would allow them to make a bigger offer to Werth and create room for Brown in left field.

Problem is most teams won't go for that. No one's going to want to pick up the 10 million tab on a 39 year old outfielder. Except maybe Omar Minaya but unfortunately he's been fired.

Carlos Lee's contract would equate to Jayson Werth's 2010 and Ibanez's 2010. 1 player for two, in effect, and you're still forced to rely on a LH/RH platoon in right field. The disconcerting thing about his 2010 season is that he's a right handed hitter in Minute Maid park, which has a really short LF porch. And his BABIP was down about 50 points, even in that environment.

His skills are fading. Ibanez at 39 put up better numbers against lefties in 2010 than Lee was overall. So you're taking on more money for a worse player. No deal.

Interesting scenarios...but, yeah, the idea of trading model citizen Ibanez for chronic PR nightmare Bradley is something the Phillies would absolutely never even consider, no matter what amount of sense it made contractually or on the field.

Don't know if this was mentioned in the last thread, but the Mets got a real solid guy in Alderson. That instantly puts them back on the road to credibility, similar to the effect Gillick had with the Phils' organization.

"... if Ibañez is willing to waive his no-trade clause."

Well that's the key, isn't it? The idea that Ibañez would waive his NTC, esp. to go to the likes of Houston or Seattle, is downright laughable. This discussion is fun, but has no basis in reality.

If you look to move Ibanez, u do it as a salary dump, and you probably have to include someone else or prospects to move him... Basically like the NBA, you send Raul and two minor league prospects to team X and you don't take much or anything back.

GTown, "This discussion is fun, but has no basis in reality."

I agree.

In fact, mostly all of these 'big splash' discussions are fantasyland.

Over the last few years, the Phils have done exactly what they wanted to do; and that is to identify and lock up a core that can produce, win, and be good citizens.

So now the roster is set, save for the annual tweaks of the BP, bench; which this offseason includes finding a RH OF from the bargain bin.

Milton Bradley? !@#$%^&*(*&^%$#@!!!!!

Mick: "When/If Weth leaves, wouldnt the Phillies need to pick up an OF that can play center? Werth played alot of CF when Shane was injured or had off. Who would their back up CF be without Werth? Ben?

Of all these FA they might need someone with CF experience."

Not a FA, but what about Mike Cameron in Boston? He's due 7.5M next year, so the Phils might have to even the money up. He had a poor year last season and a defensive replacement in the AL is much less valuable than a DH option like Ibanez would be. He also has hit 100 OPS pts better vs LHP over his career.

For Boston - I guess they have a permanent LH DH in Ortiz so Ibanez wouldn't really offer much to them - so yeah I guess there'd be no reason for them to even consider.

I hope this is a joke. I know that JW has a strong dislike for Ibanez, but each of the moves he suggests would be a considerable downgrade.

Platooning Ibanez - at least to some degree - makes a lot more sense, whether it be with BenFran or an RH batter they acquire, but remember that for the last two years the Phillies have had a higher OPS against LH pitching than RH pitching.

This notion that the Phillies are somehow crippled by their left-handedness just doesn't hold up to the statistical reality, and keep in mind that even if their performance against LH pitching were worse (which it hasn't been), the corollary is that they would be better against RH pitching, which comprises some 2/3 of MLB pitchers.

I certainly how the idea of swapping for Rowand/Lee/Bradly was a joke. Not that moving Ibanez is necessarily a bad idea, but it doesn't make sense to wind up with a net loss just to satisfy some emotional dislike of Ibanez.

While we are dreaming Raul accepts a trade, let's consider a platoon of Ibanez/Brown in right field and sign Manny Ramirez to play left.

phlipper: If you pay attention, it wasn't even JW who wrote it. So you can throw your opinion of JW's feelings toward Ibanez out the window and take the post for what it is - an attempt to take another look at some long shot possibilties.

Fair enough, jason.

Ok - so it's just another attempt to look at some long shot possibilities; do you think that any of the suggested moves would not be a net loss - particularly in comparison to a BenFran platoon or a platoon with another RH outfielder they might acquire?

I still think you are looking at the Phillies signing a right-handed veteran bat to platoon with Brown in right. I think that makes a guy like Xavier Nady a good candidate with a career slash against lefties of- .297/.367/.451. Additionally, Nady can play some first base to give Howard a rest once in a while.

Also, an interesting guy to keep an eye on if he is non-tendered (and obviously depending on his price) Matt Diaz with a career slash of .335/.373/.533 against lefties. His numbers were down a little this year against lefties but his OPS was still at .814. Worth keeping an eye one.

Here's another name I saw mentioned on beerleaguer before when Rollins/Utley went down:

Carlos Guillen, 34. Owed $13M in '11.

Tigers will need a starting OF after declining Mags option and are looking to dump Guillen's $13M on his last year of his contract. Ibanez could also DH, and give Cabrera some protection vs RHP.

Guillen gives the Phillies a switch hitter who has a career OPS 40 points higher vs LHP (.810/.770). He has played over 300 innings in LF in 2009, and has played over 300 innings at 2B last season, backed up with time at all infield positions over his career.

Guillen's a career 111 OPS+, closer to league average over the past few years in limited season.

vegas....please explain why two LHBs would platoon? Oh beerleaguer.....Anyway. No cancer on this team...so you can take Manny and Milton right off your list as potential targets.

OPS 2010
Jayson Werth .921
Alex Rios .791

They are so comprable offensively.....

Just sign Werth. You eat Ibanez salary this year...it comes off the books next year (along with Lidge and Rollins). We get younger in LF and SS and the bullpen over the next two years.

phlipper: I agree with you that BenFran platooning is the best option. However I do think that you underestimate the vulernablity of our team to LHP relievers in late innings, so am I more open to looking at ways to balance the lineup.

As I first posted in the thread, I would not trade Ibanez for other team's garbage and even posted his 2010 slash line with his career slashline to note that Ibanez's decline has been overblown.

Just playing along with the thoguht the Phils might try to dump Ibanez for better balance in the lineup. Its a long offseason.

noname: Getting younger at SS = Freddy Galvis? Um, I think i'll take Rollins on crutches.

i did not say in house jason....i agree completely....i also like the idea of swapping ibanez for guillen....we still need werth though.

"Well that's the key, isn't it? The idea that Ibañez would waive his NTC, esp. to go to the likes of Houston or Seattle, is downright laughable. This discussion is fun, but has no basis in reality."

You don't think he'd consider going back to Seattle? He's gotta agree to it, but I don't find that laughable at all.

What this post has made me realize, more than anything, is that Ibanez' s contract is not really that bad.

Wells might be okay...if the Jays swallowed $40 million of his contract at a minimum. At that point, he'd only be moderately overpaid.

***For Boston - I guess they have a permanent LH DH in Ortiz so Ibanez wouldn't really offer much to them - so yeah I guess there'd be no reason for them to even consider.****

Ortiz is a free agent now. Its no guarantee they'll bring him back in 2011.

Rowand is terrible. Wells is a decent player, but, as someone else pointed out, one of the few guys with a worse contract than Howard's. No way we'd take him on. Carlos Lee is in decline and horrible defensively. Bradley, beyond his well-documented issues (which I'm not making a judgment on), has shown an inability to stay healthy and/or play the outfield.

So, no. To all of the above.

"However I do think that you underestimate the vulernablity of our team to LHP relievers in late innings,"


It would be interesting to see some statistical quantification of that problem. Certainly, Utley, and to a greater degree Howard, have been vulnerable to LH relievers - and that is a problem when those are the two players you most rely on to drive in runs. But...

Just how bad have Utley and Howard been against LH relievers? How bad has Ibanez been against LH reliever? How good has Werth been against LH relievers?

How much difference would it really make if Ibanez were replaced by RH batter?

For any aspect of gain against LH pitching, there is a loss against RH pitching.

Overall, the team has hit LH pitchers better than RH pitchers. Why would it makes sense to adjust the overall balance of the team more towards hitting better against lefties - particularly since most pitchers are RH?

Swapping Ibanez for a RH batter will not lessen the weakness of Utley and Howard against lefty relievers.

Sure, a lineup that includes Utley, Howard, Brown, and Ibanez as, say, the #3, #4, #5, and #6 batters would force fewer relief pitcher substitutions from opposing managers - but that could be mitigated by inserting Rollins and/or Vic in there somewhere and both of them were considerably stronger batting RH this year. But the real question is suppose you stick another RH outfielder in their instead of Ibanez - how much difference would that really make? If it forces a pitching change and the RH outfielder you're replacing Ibanez with hits RH pitching poorly, then the opposing manager makes the change and you're still left with a poor matchup.

Basically, the main advantage would be trading off better hitting against most pitchers for forcing managers to make more relief pitcher changes. How much sacrifice is that really worth?

The more I think about it, what makes sense is to insert a pinch hitter iinto the lineup who does well against lefties and who does better against righties than your potential RH outfield replacement for Ibanez.

If you think that replacing Ibanez is a priority - based on the reasoning that we're too left-handed - then the moves that makes the most sense is to replace him with a switch-hitter (who does reasonably well batting left-handed).

****Just how bad have Utley and Howard been against LH relievers? ****

For his career, Utley has crushed LH relievers. His 7-9 inning split is his best and its over .900 OPS. This year he struggled...but sample size applies.

So I assume that it's actually mostly a matter of Howard being bad against LH relievers.

How will replacing Ibanez with a RH hitter improve that?

Here are some quick LH Starter/ LH Overall numbers:

Utley has none, he has dead even splits against pretty much everything possible split you can think of over his career.

Howard: .859 OPS vs LHSt, .766 LHall
Ibanez: .804 OPS vs LHst, .757 LHall

That is two pretty big drops coming from just relief innings. This is coming from bref, which is kind of funny how they measure "LH Starter" stats, so I'm not going to completely pinpoint exact numbers, but I think this is a pretty godo idea that Howard and Ibanez batting close together in a lineup is very vulernable to LH relievers.

This post is about as depressing as Jason's post after we lost to the Giants !!

SHEESH!

I'd need you to add some data that give some production correlation with Ibanez's .047 drop in OPS. What does a roughly 6% drop in OPS mean in real terms?

One might guess that one result of that drop in Howard and Ibanez means that Werth faced LH relief pitching more than he would have otherwise - and advantage that you'd lose if he were followed by a RH batter. Of course, Werth didn't do well against LH pitching this year, but there's no guarantee that Ibanez's RH replacement would hit righties well either within a limited sample size framework.

Again - I think that what's happening is that people are generalizing from Howard's struggles against LH relief pitchers and incorrectly making that into some larger problem with the lineup that doesn't exist.

Please forget Alex Rios. His age and salary for the next four years are below. This would be close to signing Werth, but with reduced production:

2011 30 $12,000,000
2012 31 $12,000,000
2013 32 $12,500,000
2014 33 $12,500,000

All of those ideas are awful.

The only reason it makes sense to trade Ibanez is if it frees up money to sign Werth. If we can't do that, we should keep him for next year. Also, I can't imagine a lot of scenarios where he'd want to waive his no trade clause.
Ibanez was just about a league average player this year. So while he is a bit overpaid, he still is useful. And he's on a one year contract at this point, which is the best scenario for 38 year olds who are probably declining.

phlipper: not that interested in digging more on the subject, maybe if Sophist wants to return he can take over.

Just assume that Ibanez has seen relivers 1/3 of his career at bats(starters for 6IP, relievers for 3IP). If his numbers are 6% lower than against starters, it would take a 18% difference in his reliever OPS to bring his overall numbers down that much - which would put his OPS somewhere around ~.660.

Do the same with Howard - he has a 11% drop in LH numbers from his starter numbers. That would take approx 33% decrease to result in his overall numbers which woudl mke his OPS at ~.570

If you want more concrete numbers, feel free, but thats my ballpark take.

@Brian G

We're are going to have to eat a significant portion of Ibanez' contract in order to move him. Will not free up as much as you think.

phlipper: If you have two to three lefty hitters in a row, it's not just about their overall splits vs. lefty relievers. It's about forcing moves by the other manager. If you have LRLR instead of LLLL, you force them to either face righty hitters with their lefty specialists or to make multiple moves, which burns through their pitchers. If they only have 1 very good lefty, and another mediocre one, then forcing them to make a move means that you're going to get a chance later against their mediocre one, as opposed to allowing them to just use one very good lefty through the whole heart of the order.

There's more to it than what you're making it out to be. Yeah, sure, you could just insert Rollins or Victorino into the 5-hole to split that up, but then you're putting a weaker hitter in there overall. The best solution would be to find a power righty bat who can play a good RF and bat 5th. Hmmm, anyone know of any of those?

is trading for BJ Upton a possibility? i have heard the rays want to get rid of his attitude and they have one or two top OF prospects ready to make the jump to the bigs. Upton is in his second year of arbitration and will be relatively cheap due to his poor performance in 2010. i think if you surround him with the professionals we have at every positon and the atmosphere at CBP every night he will buy in and live up to his lofty potential.

In other news, Clout, the master of calling out fellow Beerleaguer's for using small sample sizes, posted this gem last night...

"Lee may be losing the game but he has way more strikeouts than Lincecum and that's the most important thing."

This is Clout at his finest, using sarcasm to make the point that his lower-ranking Beerleaguer brethren worry too much about strikeouts. While the lower strikeout pitcher won last evening, the percentages show that a team has a better chance of winning if it strikes out more batters than the other team.

Jack - I'm trying to figure out what was in your post that I didn't already speak to in my posts. To repeat, yes, you are forcing the manager to make more pitching changes, but:

I'm not saying that having a RH batter in the #5 hole doesn't make sense.

What I'm questioning is whether, if Brown is playing in right, does it make sense to get bent out of shape to replace Ibanez with a righty. If you're replacing him with a better offensive/defensive player on a reasonable contract then it does make sense, but to swap him out for highly questionable talent/equally large contract just because a player is RH doesn't seem to me to make sense.

I wouldn't mind seeing the team overpay for Werth in the least, but it is interesting that with your constant complaints about Albert Ross, you'd be such a strong advocate of re-signing Werth, as he will undoubtedly be "overpaid" in the same sense (although maybe not to the same degree) as Howard. I.e., signing Werth would bring "opportunity cost."

The down side of re-signing Werth would be that without moving Ibanez, the team will have to wait one more year to see what Brown can really do at the major league level. That could be a reason to move Ibanez, but I'd say that Brown looked like he needs more seasoning anyway.

phlipper: Yeah, I wouldn't sub out Ibanez for a terrible hitter just because he's righty. Same reason as I've been arguing not to bench Brown for a "veteran righty" just because he's a veteran righty. The better player should play.

BUT, all things being equal, if you had similar value players between Ibanez and a righty, you'd prefer the righty. The decision with Brown changes because of money and development factors.

Maybe since we have H2O next year we can carry 1 fewer reliever (DFA Baez?) and instead add more bench depth, especially guys who can platoon.

I would not take a chance on this from a business point of view, but I understand that Milton Bradley has some unfortunate mental issues that have been diagnosed fairly recently, and he may be being really treated for the first time.

I had always thought of him as simply a bad actor, an angry jerk, but he may well have a very treatable disease. If so, there could be some upside. Like I said, I wouldn't take a chance on it, but OTOH, Josh Hamilton was kind of a write-off a few years back.

If nothing else, I hope Bradley sorts things out and is able to bounce back somewhere.

I can't see the White Sox moving Rios unless he slumps terribly again (which is possible). Unless the Blue Jays want to pay 1/2 Wells' salary, there's no point in pursuing that. really, if you can get Werth to take a 4 year deal maybe with a vesting year, that's the best option. Mags Ordonez for 1 or 2 years is also intriguing.

Bob: people have been trying to "treat" Bradley's "disease" for years now. He's 34.

"BUT, all things being equal, if you had similar value players between Ibanez and a righty, you'd prefer the righty. "

At the expense of making the overall team worse against RHP when it already does worse against RHP than against LHP - and even though he league's pitchers are some 2/3 RH? Just to force the manager to make more moves? I'm not sure that's a worthwhile trade-off unless the player is clearly better than Ibanez.

Remember when so many people warned against Ibanez's signing because of the loss of Burrell's RH bat? Well, the team scored a greater number of runs per game as compared to league average in 2009 than they did in 2008.

As per MG:

2009 - 5.06 R/G, 4.43 R/G
2008 - 4.93 R/G, 4.54 R/G

Of course, there were other variables in play there than just the Burrell/Ibanez trade-off, but it does suggest that people make too big a deal out of the handedness of the lineup in general and one player in particular.

I think mostly it would depend on what happens in RF. If Brown is starting, and not platooning, in RF, it might make more sense to try to swap out Ibanez based on his handedness, but even then I'd prefer moving Vic/Rollins (or even Polanco) to break up the string of LH hitters than swap Ibanez for a player that isn't clearly better.

BB,

Probably a long shot at best with Bradley, and his age makes it even longer. Like I say, not a deal I would be looking to make.

steve: Agreed. That's why my take is that moving Ibanez is very unlikely.

Jeff Stoner - That would be in no way similar to signing Werth. He's looking for a longer contract at significantly higher dollars.

If Rios were worth that money, it would be a no brainer. I don't see a lot of him, so I don't know if it's worth it.

However, I think everyone here is selling Ibanez a little short. He spent the first half of the season recovering from his offseason surgery. His second half was better. If he his healthy now, which I think he is, there is no reason he won't be able to do his normal off season workout and come into Spring Training ready to go and be productive.

Charlie has to learn to give him some rest. But all the gnashing of teeth over Ibanez is clearly overblown.

If you can dump his salary and that allows you to keep Werth or grab a good reliever and a good backup infielder while snagging a reasonably priced Werth replacement, then you do it. But I think everyone will be surprised when next season Ibanez puts up very close to his career totals and with some pop.

I assume any deal for a guy like Rios would have the team sending a huge chunk of money along with that type of player. Otherwise, it makes no sense. Economically, it would be easier to just bite the bullet for one year.

Is Ibanez getting back on the juice? I hope so because I don't see him adding any "pop" at age 40

does anyone know if BJ Upton has a girlfriend?

@ Brian G: I'm making the case that Rios would come at a similar cost to Werth (Rios also has and option for a fifth year). Obviously, Werth would command around 4 million more annually, but it's in the "ballpark" as Rube likes to say.

As for Rios, even if you "don't see a lot of him" I think that paying upwards of $12 million a year for an OF who has posted an OPS over .800 only twice in is career (the most recent time being 2007) would be a HUGE mistake.

So, again, pass on Rios.

Is there a possibility that we could move Utley? He's become extremely injury-prone and is obviously on the downside of a great career. Why not get rid of him now?

You're right, a fluke thumb injury on a slide into second, much like a broken wrist on an HBP, are signs that someone is "extremely injury-prone".

If you remove the cost of Ibanez' contract from the equation -- and it is a bad contract because Rube gave it to him before the lower 08-09 off-season market was established -- I agree with aksmith. Ibanez isn't as bad as some folks make him out to be. I think the Phils would be quite happy with a repeat of his 112 OPS+ next season at age 39.

I also agree with those who say Rube will bring in a RH veteran to either start in RF or platoon with Brown and if Brown asserts himself, the vet will be free to give Ibanez more rest vs. LHP.

finklestein: Because you'd be selling extremely low? Even Amaro isn't that stupid.

"and it is a bad contract because Rube gave it to him before the lower 08-09 off-season market was established"

Interesting.

Just curious, clout, how many millions did you advocate that RAJ give Burrell even before he signed Ibanez?

Just how bad would that contract have been?

I was at a San Francisco news media site and they had a link to a photo show of celebrities that attended playoff baseball games this year. The Yankees had the lion's share of celebrities, but shown as being Phillies fans were Chris Matthews of Hardball, Tim McGraw, Tina Fey, Art Garfunkel, D.J. Jazzy & Fresh Prince (Will Smith), and Vice President Joe Biden.

Tina Fey made a Michael Jack Schmidt reference on last week's 30 Rock...that's fandom right there.

Thing that still baffles me to this day is why the Phils needed to give Ibanez a full no-trade clause to sign here. Something that the current regime (Gillick and not really Amaro at the time) vociferously ripped the previous regime for yet they have employed that with a number of their large signings.

Ibanez - Full no-trade clause
Halladay - Full no-trade clause
Howard - Limited no-trade clause that allows him to pick ? teams (I think it was 12)
Moyer - Limited no-trade clause that allowed him to block a deal to 6 teams

9 year old Liz Lemon skating down the hallway with her "Pete Rose, not Dorothy Hamill" haircut is comedy gold!

flippy: Burrell was signed to 2 years for $16 M. I advocated against non-tendering him because I wanted the draft picks, but obviously he would've done a lot better in arb than the contract he got.

That, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do witth Ibanez' contract. Do you think the Ibanez (3 years, $33.5 M) contract is a good one?

The significant signings that Amaro has made that haven't included no-trade clauses are Lidge, Polanco, Vic, and Blanton.

I wonder how much the Cubs were offering Ibanez and why we felt the need to blow them out of the water with a FNTC and a 3rd year.

I believe the average BL consensus was the max we should offer Burrell was around 3 years, $42 million...this being before the free agency market collapsed in Late Dec/January.

I do not recall clout's opinion on that number though...and I'm far far too lazy to look it up as I dont really care all that much about the discussion.

NEPP - The full no-trade clause was the odd thing. I understand the 3rd year because the Phils wanted to backload most of the contract. Almost had to do that. Full no-trade clause on the other hand seems like it was an unnecessary addition since it turned out the Phils put out the highest dollar amount on the table.

Greg Dobbs has elected free agency, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (on Twitter). The 32-year-old hit just .196/.251/.331 this year and the Phillies designated him for assignment twice during the season. Though Dobbs has less than six years of service time and could have been retained through arbitration, the Phillies were comfortable letting him go.

They signed Dobbs to a two-year $2.5MM deal after he hit .284/.331/.467 in 598 plate appearances from 2007-08, mostly against right-handed pitching. Back in 2008, Dobbs set the franchise record for pinch hits in a season with 22.

MG: I thought the Lidge extension came under Gillick?

This probably sounds crazy, but how about swapping Raul and Shane to Astros for Lee and Michael Bourn???...takes care of getting a true leadoff hitter and also righthanded power bat...

I kind of like the Vernon Wells idea, actually, especially if they designed it with resign Werth in mind. Maybe a deal like Ibanez and Vic to Toronto for Wells, decent salary relief, and a middling prospect, leading to an outfield of Wells/Werth/Brown (or platoon)? Could be interesting. They could even have guys "compete" for which outfield position they would play (although admittedly I don't know how Well's CF defense compares to Werth's).

At the time, I was MUCH more in favor of a 1-year arbitration award for 15 mill for Burrell over signing Ibanez to a 3-year deal for $30+ million.

Obviously, as 2009 unfolded, that looked like I was wrong. Now, however, you're starting to see the costs of choosing to commit 3 years and $30+ million to Ibanez.

And in terms of regretting contracts, Ibanez will be nothing compared to Howard.

The Ryan Howard deal will be one of the first in history to be almost universally regretted before it even starts.

I would like the Phils to keep their eye on Matt Diaz, and see what the Braves do with him. He has some pop, and seems to kill the Phillies.

NEPP: It was the Mets who were really hot after Ibanez, and the Angels were, at least, sniffing around.

Yay! Jack worked in a dig at Howard for no good reason.


I think with the Ibanez deal we saw one great year and one year that was much closer to season averages for Ibanez. Hopefully he doesn't continue the downward slide this season. If he stabilizes where he is right now I still think the deal ends up being a small win for the Phillies.

TTI: That's true, unless you think the commitment to Ibanez has cost them a chance at re-signing Werth. In which case, it would be hard to call it a win for the Phillies.

And I was digging on Howard's contract, not Howard. It was a dig on Amaro, for not learning his lessons on handing out contracts with costs for into the future when you didn't need to.

I worry about Howard's contract to some degree, but "people" seem to forget he was having an MVP-like year until he twisted an ankle. He might not end up being "worth" his contract, but this idea that it's a complete disaster already is a jack, i mean joke.

Jack: So you know how Howard is going to perform over the next 7 seasons? Maybe you can give me the next 7 years worth of World Series winners too so I can win some money- promise I'll share some with you.

On the Ibanez thing: I would venture that the Phillies always viewed either Michael Taylor or Dom Brown stepping in for Werth at this time. I still operate under the (possibly false) assumption that they never really planned to re-sign Werth. Either way, if Brown becomes what people think he will be I think it all ends up being a win.

clouty -

you seem to have been confused about my question.

My question to you was how much you laughably advocated that the Phillies pay to re-sign Burrell.

And just a side note; if you try to lie again - as you have in the past - by saying that you never took a position on how much the Phillies should have over-paid for Burrell - I can just go into the archives and easily show that you're lying once again.

Here's a second question for you, clouty, how can you claim any credibility on issues about what kinds of contracts the Phillies should or should not sign players to when you advocated overpaying Burrell by such a huge amount?

Bed's Beard: The idea that Howard was having an MVP-type season before he got hurt is a myth.

On Aug.1 (when Howard got hurt):

Howard: .292/.356/.528 23 HRs, 81 RBIs
Pujols: .298/.398/.555 25 HRs, 74 RBIs
Votto: .322/.420/.600 27 HRs, 72 RBIs

That ignores other candidates such as Carlos Gonzalez, and ignores that those guys are better defensively than Howard.

You'd have to place an insane amount of emphasis on RBIs to think that Howard was having an equivalent year to either of those guys, at the time he got hurt. Both of those guys were better at hitting for average, getting on base, and hitting for power. Not sure what else there is.

Jack - if Howard had stepped up the power numbers as he usually does late in the season, arguably something that might have happened had he not been injured, he certainly would have been in contention for the MVP. All metrics put together, there just isn't that much of a difference in the numbers you put up that couldn't have been overcome by Howard's typically scorching September.

It really is amazing how consistently you denigrate Howard's performance.

TTI - Your right on Lidge. Howard's contract was foolish largely because it was so premature. Phils set the bar (and at a ridiculously high level) when they absolutely could have sat back and see what evolved this season with Gonzalez, Fielder, and Pujols. Howard was also coming off a weaker season.

If Pujols would have set the bar at say $25M and Fielder gotten less, the Phils likely could have come back to Howard with plenty of good ammo to knock down this 5 yr/$125M deal. My bet is that just like with Ibanze they end up costing themselves millions though here it was likely on the order of at least $10M and orobably closer to $15M and up. That's a notable f@ckup.

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