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Monday, November 22, 2010


Very well-deserved. Congrats Chooch! Would it be a stretch to say he's the second best catcher in the NL, behind McCann? He has certainly come into his own, and is well-liked by the staff and is a fan favorite. Just awesome for him!

Chooch is the heart of the Team and Philadelphia will always back a guy who gives everything, everyday.

A model dictator sighting!!!

" * The Mariners signed left-hander Fabio Castro to a minor league contract, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (on Twitter). The 25-year-old hasn't appeared in the majors since 2007; he posted a 4.93 ERA with 8.8 K/9 for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in 2010."

Also, per Zolecki...we will offer Werth Arb but not Durbin.

No surprises there.

JW obviously hates Howard.

Seriously, though, he's right that it's awesome to see Chooch get his due. Honestly, I think there's a case to be made he could've been even higher. A .300/.400/.433 season from a good defensive catcher? That's certainly more valuable to me, for instance, than Ryan Braun's season (.304/.365/.501 with poor defense in LF).

Chooch was the team question. He was also probably the 3rd best catcher in baseball last year behind Mauer and McCann.

Chooch is an elite backstop...did ANYONE here peg that 3-4 years ago?

Howard finished 10th...its important to note that its his lowest finish ever and he has never finished below 5th before (in a full season of course).

I expect him to bounce back big time in 2011.

From MLBTradeRumors: The Reds have agreed to sign Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal, according to's Jerry Crasnick. Still just 28, Willis has gone from rookie phenom to ace to trade chip to bust to reclamation project in his eight-year MLB career. The Reds are presumably willing to overlook the control problems Willis has had in recent years because of the promise he showed when he first appeared in the majors in the early 2000s.

Its a shame the Phillies weren't able to nab him. He was at least decent at one point...though never nearly as good as some thought. Hard to believe he's just feels like he's been around forever.

NEPP: You think Howard will bounce back in MVP voting or in actual performance?

Note that those things often don't correlate. For isntance, Howard was far worse in 2008 than in 2007, yet inexplicably finished higher in the voting.

Actual performance.

The commenting on the MVP vote was more a sidenote than anything. We give the man a lot of crap but the writers sure seem to love him. I wouldn't be surprised if he's back in the 45-50 HR, 140-150 RBI range next year (with equivalent peripheral numbers to produce those totals)

I think Uts and Jimmy will bounce back a bit too.

NEPP: There can be a wide variance in peripheral numbers to produce 45-50 HR and 140 RBI.

In 2007, Howard hit .268/.392/.584 with 48 HR and 136 RBI. In 2008, he hit .251/.339/.543 with 47 HR and 146 RBI. In 2009, he hit .279/.360/.571 with 45 HR and 141 RBI.

Sadly, despite being paid like it, no one expects 2007 Howard to return. But at the very least, 2009 Howard is needed, not 2008 (or 2010) Howard.

Yes Jack...I know.

And yes, Howard will likely never provide on the field value commensurate with his salary (though he "only" makes $20 million next year as his 5 year/$125 million extension STILL hasn't kicked in yet)

I wouldn't be shocked if he gives us something like a .950-1.000 OPS. I really think he learned a lot this year and he hit LHP really well for him.

For example, if he gives us his 2009 vs RHP (1.088 OPS) and his 2010 vs LHP (.826 OPS), he'd easily finish in that range, if not higher (too lazy to add it up)

NEPP: I'd love that. I just don't see it happening.

My guess is Howard will hit around .275/.360/.540 for a .900 OPS.

I'd take that.

Scary thought...Howard's #1 Comp through Age 30 is Richie Sexson. The same Sexson who was out of baseball by Age 33.

Less Scary thought...Numbers 2,3,4 are Big Papi, Willy McCovey and Fred McGriff though...all 3 of those are decent comps at least.

I love Mo Rivera and think he's the greatest closer in history but he apparently wants a 2 year, $36 million deal. That's just crazy...even for the Yankees.

$18 million per annum...for a closer? That's insane...not even considering its his Age 41 and 42 seasons. Granted, he just posted the greatest 3 year stint in MLB Closer history.

For the last 8 years, he's posted an ERA+ of 240.

NEPP: Fred Mcgriff was a very good hitter, but he posted a 118 OPS+ in his age 31-36 seasons.

I would think the Phils are hoping they get more than that out of their enormous investment in Ryan Howard's age 31-36 seasons.

Ortiz is a really good comp for Howard. He, too, finished in the Top 5 MVP voting a bunch of times between age 27 and 30 (and 31), and had similar offensive numbers.

Ortiz was then given a 4 year, $52 million contract after his age 30 season, covering his 31-34 seasons, with a club option for 2011, his upcoming age 35 season. He has performed pretty well, especially given his salary.

In contrast, the Phillies gave Howard a 5 year, $125 million contract that kicks in after his age 31 season. We'll see how he performs.

Ortiz performed very well given a 4 year/$52 mil salary.

It makes me want to cry, however, to know that Howard is getting nearly double over the life of his contract.

Much like there should have been a 'Cliff Lee' open thread during this season, perhaps there should be a "Ripping on Ryan Howard" open thread during the off-season. Jack can bookmark it for his convenience.

The trend on Beerleaguer is to crucify Ryan Howard for excellence while glorifying Jimmy Rollins for mediocrity.

2007 is getting further and further away...

Ryno gets a second place vote? The audacity!

Great job, Chooch, and very well deserved. He is for sure part of the heart and soul of this team, and it's great to see some recognition from the press and scribes on a national basis.

Who glorifies Rollins? I'd say he gets the least amount of fanboy posts.

"stared in numerous clutch moments "

The last thing you can accuse Ruiz of is Deer in the Headlights. :)

I love how Ryan Howard is "overpaid" in "fantasy land." Where ALL players are ALWAYS free agents and ALWAYS signable.

I guess I agree though that Ryan is absolutely overpaid then if we were to assume that every other first baseman in baseball were EASILY attainable.

This is the logic we work under here right? I just want to make sure I fall in line.

I'm thrilled to see Chooch get some recognition. There is a dearth of good catchers in MLB, and it is a privilege to watch him work. His game-calling abilities have become superb (he rarely gets shaken off), his footwork is terrific, his arm is above average and he can block balls in the dirt with the best of them. It must make the pitcher's job so much easier when there is a guy behind the plate who they can trust to call the right pitches, help keep runners close, and allow them to bury their off-speed stuff in the dirt with men on.

Oh yeah...he hit pretty well too.

I can't believe we are still debating Ryan Howard's contract. For the Love of Pete, it hasn't even started yet. I agree that they certainly overpaid for what production he will give. But, I'm not naive enough to think that on-the-field production is the only factor that goes into a player's contract.

I love Ryan Howard. I'm glad he will be here until at least 2016 (barring trade, of course). And I tend to think the Phillies agree with me.

What would be the harm in offering Durbin abitration?? if he accepts, you're only obligated for one year. If he rejects, it's a chance to re-stock the farm, which has taken a hit over the last few seasons. My guess is that he'd reject, especially since he supposedly has had feelers from teams who are interetsed in him as a starter

Marc H.
Here's Zolecki's explanation of why not to offer arb to Durbin:
"Why not offer Durbin arbitration? The thinking could be similar to why they did not offer left-hander Jamie Moyer arbitration in 2008. Moyer went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts the year the Phillies won the World Series.

He also made $7 million.

Had the Phils offered arbitration and Moyer accepted he would have been in line for a significant raise. The Phillies explained at the time they did not want to be locked into a certain salary for Moyer because they said it would prevent them from doing other things, like upgrading their bullpen.

But while Philadelphia did not offer Moyer arbitration, it continued negotiating with him. He eventually signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension.

The same could happen with Durbin, who made $2.125 million this year. The Phillies are interested in bringing him back, but probably not at a significant raise. Not offering Durbin arbitration allows the Phils to continue to negotiate with him, but with payroll flexibility. "

If the Phillies had not been able to sign Howard to a deal (which will look like a bargain half way through it) the fans would be complaining about how they let the guy walk. Despite his flaws he has been the most productive slugger in the modern history of the game so far in his career, and even with the injury had a ton of RBI. He will forever be remembered for striking out looking to end the series but so did A-Rod.he's become the unfortunate scapegoat for the fact that the entire offense came up small this post season. A healthy Howard next season will put up a .280 average, 47 and 145 with his eyes closed.

Howard's biggest problem is that they basically came into the league as a dominant hitter from Day 1 and had the greatest offensive season a Phils' hitter had in modern history during '06. Probably even better than Schmidt's '80 MVP season. No where to go but down from there.

It also isn't Howard's fault for accepting the contract he got. Anyone would have in that spot. It was on Amaro for giving him a contract at time that likely cost the Phils' multi-millions over the life needlessly.

Yeah, it is my money but it will affect the team a bit down the road. Likely goes down as Amaro's worst major move as a GM unless their is a crazy escalation in salaries due to general inflation over the next 5 years.

Likely massively overpaid (perhaps by 20-25% or more over the life of the contract in comparison to what others will get including Fielder and Gonzalez) and paying $25M to a guy from ages 34-36 very well likely will be some other GM's problem.

It is a real shame though that Howard's path was blocked because he was clearly ready by the summer of '04 to come up from Reading. Phils likely missed out on getting at least a year or so of a great production from a massively talented young hitter.

"If the Phillies had not been able to sign Howard to a deal (which will look like a bargain half way through it) "

Sounds like you expect some kind of Weimar Republic hyper-inflation. :)

We should be worried about who's going tio hit the ball with power from the rght side on this team, rather than Howard's contract.

And yes I'll admit I wrong on the Phils offering arb to Durbin. Zo's explanation makes a lot of sense. I hope the Phils do continue negotiating with him.

Not offering Durbin arbitration was a no-brainer. Not like you would have gotten a compensation pick either if he signs elsewhere. My bet is he ends up signing a 1-yr pretty close to what he made last year. Say 1 yr, $1.75M-$2M.

MG~ I'm hoping he stays qwith the Phils for that amount.

If Dubin was offered arb and signed elswhere, the Phils would receive a sandwich pick. He's Type B.

Bubba---Thank you. Zolecki's explannation makes perfect sense. I guess the sandwich pick for a Type B isn't really worth the loss of salary flexibility to address other needs.

MG: I agree, that 58 homer season definitely raised the bar, although his RBI totals pretty much stayed at the same level. And Edmundo, I already see signs of hyperinflation throughout Europe resulting in the recent EU bailouts...

Sorry folks, but I just can't let this go from the last thread:

""BAP: Re: Joe Blanton being a #3 pitcher, not really a #4.

Blanton's ERA+ this past season was 84. How does that compare to other #3 pitchers in the league?

Posted by: clout | Monday, November 22, 2010 at 06:49 PM""

clout, for someone who busts other posters chops incessantly about one year UZR stats as being worthless, I'm really surprised you hung an entire post of you own on one year of Blanton's ERA+.

Does that mean you think that one year of ERA+ is adequate to evaluate a pitcher's skill level?

Just askin'?

I also remember feeling the same aggravation that we all have when Howard flails at strike three or looks at strike three in the early years of Schmidt's career when he was fanning 180 times a year despite the great RBI and HR totals. Hopefully Howard will progress as Schmidt did and turn into a good average hitter while retaining his production. Schmidt's third and final MVP season was a perfect example of his growth in '86 when he batted .290 yet still hit 37 homers and close to 120 RBI. If Howard can do the same he would be the most lethal offensive hitter the game has ever seen.

BB- Really? Didn't realize that.

Phillies are interested in bringing Durbin, a Type B free agent, back, but they're reluctant to give him a significant raise. The right-hander earned $2.125MM in 2010 and would likely have earned more in 2011 through the arbitration process. If Durbin had turned down an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere, the Phillies could have obtained a supplementary round pick in next year's draft

"I can't believe we are still debating Ryan Howard's contract"

Or worse yet, Chad Durbin's!

Here's an interesting "report" from a friend of mine who attended a business conference where UC was the guest speaker...Here's the summation of what occurred:

"He was very good. Rambled off topic a few times but he was very entertaining had several good jokes and spoke at length about his path to and his philosophy on managing.

Couple of points:

While with the great Indian teams he had to break up several fights on team bus/locker room because alot of the guys were great talent poor character types.

He always thought he wanted talent and would deal with attitude of players but says after coming here he prefers the heart and great attitude with some talent as the better team players.

Specifically cited Gillick trade of Abreu and his quote they wouldn't win until 2009 as the start of the great clubhouse attitude and winning.

After listening to Charlie you can understand why he manages the way he does better and he says he trusts the players and has faith in them and he won't be a manager to make a move just to make a move to make the manager look good. He prefers to rely on his go to starters to either get the job done or not.

He also gave big props to Dubee and Mick Billmeyer for Ruiz because he did not think he would be that good at first.

Charlie was very gracious and stayed around after conference to take picturew with all who wanted. It was a good time."

I bolded an interesting I'm sure clout will ardently disagree with of course. I did find it interesting to say the least.

Just checkin' in to see what's going on at Beerleaguer during the off-season.

Oh. Lookee here. Jack whining about Howard's salary.

Never seen that before.

Coming soon: Annual Pujols for Howard rumor...

Question: How do I look for signs of regression etc. for a pitcher?

I see Clay Bucholz as classic Verducci guy, lower K/9 than every other year. Where can I find his BABIP xFIP, SIERA etc?

Shawn: Fangraphs will have virtually everything you're looking for, except SIERA, which is a proprietary Baseball Prospectus statistic.

Maybe we could trade Howard and Dom Brown for Pujols. Doubt it, though.

(***Coming soon: Annual Pujols for Howard rumor...****

Lets go with the mega version of it...Howard, Vic & Ibanez for Pujols, Rasmus and Holliday.

They'd go for that, right?

FWIW, I would've offered arb to Durbin.

The Phillies have been consistently far too gunshy in offering arbitration, and it has cost them in missed opportunities to stockpile draft picks.

****FWIW, I would've offered arb to Durbin.

The Phillies have been consistently far too gunshy in offering arbitration, and it has cost them in missed opportunities to stockpile draft picks.


All offering him Arb does is kill any leverage they have to resign him. He'd have every incentive to go to Arbitration and get a nice raise. The Phillies rightly aren't interested in giving Durbin $3+ million next year. He's a middle reliever, nothing more.

His last 2 seasons now:

ERA+: 101
WHIP: 1.395
BB/9: 4.8
K/9: 8.1

The only number that is good there is his K/9 ratio. The rest is mediocre at best...definitely not worth $3 million.

maybe LaRussa will even alienate Pujols this season since he's such a player's manager and trade him to us for Dom Brown and a player to be named later.

W Schwietzer-
"The trend on Beerleaguer is to crucify Ryan Howard for excellence while glorifying Jimmy Rollins for mediocrity.

2007 is getting further and further away..."

Will, I dont appreciate the racial undertones of your post.

Egads, talk of the Weimar Republic and inflation rates in Europe on Beerleaguer! BTW, Euro Zone current rate is 1.9%, hardly hyper rates.

Is EuroZone anywhere near ESPNZone?

Joe: Yes, and the Euro13.99 chicken tenders are just as bad.

NEPP: Yeah, maybe you're right.

Still, I think the Phils have made mistakes in the past (like Burrell) in not offering arb. The risk of 1-year deals worth a little bit extra seem to me worth the price to pay. Best-case, a guy declines and you can either negotiate without arb or get a draft pick when he signs.

People consistently underestimate the value of a draft pick because they don't see the results for years, if they see them at all. But even if only a few of them hit, they're the most valuable commodity in baseball--a very cheap, productive player under control. Stockpiling draft picks is the best way to build a long-term successful franchise.

I don't really think Rollins has been glorified on here for a while--in fact, most people have cautioned against signing him to an extension and hope he doesn't hit leadoff anymore.

If he gets "glorified" its because he still produces decently offensively for his position, while being one of the top defensive players at the most important position.

V-Mart leaves Boston for Detroit (4/50). They possibly now could make a run at Werth???

DPatrone: You are surprised?

Jack - you view burrels arb situation a mistake even now with hindsight? Did you see his 2009 #s? Did you see his eventual salary?

Jack~ No not at all. But this is why I ask the question - from an e-mail I received:

"Certainly affects the Red Sox, Phils and Werth....".

My response to this statement was: "How does the V-Mart signing affect the Phils? Werth was not going to re-sign with them anyway".

Now I ask you the same question Jack as you seem to be an intellegent fellow. Other than the draft picks (which we knew were getting anyway), how???

DPatrone: It probably doesn't affect the Phils at all.

But your post was this: "V-Mart leaves Boston for Detroit (4/50). They possibly now could make a run at Werth???"

From that, I took it to mean you were surprised Boston would be taking a run at Werth. I thought that was always understood.

jason: Yes, because I don't think Burrell would have accepted arbitration. The deadline to accept arbitration is in a couple of weeks, not at the end of the offseason--thus players are guessing as to what their market is, too, and Burrell prob thought it would've been higher than it was as well.

And anyway, even if he had accepted, I would've been fine with it. I see no reason to believe Burrell couldn't have put up typical numbers in Philly again in 2009. It seems crazy to me to assume that he would've put up the exact same numbers here as he did in Tampa (considering those numbers were the obvious outlier in his career).

Jack, sorry but you're hallucinating on this one. Burrell had physical problems in 09 that would have made him just as bad in Philly as in Tampa. He had a neck problem.

And considering he was earning 14 mil in his last Philly year, he'd have likely gotten 16 or so mil for one year. That's what he signed for for TWO years with Tampa. Of course he would have taken arb. And the Phillies' hands would have been tied pretty badly. Instead of getting Ibanez for 10 mil and having an extra 6 mil for the pen and utility players, they'd have had no money left over.

They absolutely were correct not to offer Burrell arb. And they're correct in not offering Durbin arb also. The last thing they need is to be on the hook for almost 3 mil for him.

awh: "Does that mean you think that one year of ERA+ is adequate to evaluate a pitcher's skill level?"

Yes, for that season. Unlike UZR. If you don't understand the difference between reliability of ERA+ and UZR, I suggest a Google search.

NEPP: Never saw Charlie quoted saying that before. In fact, what I have read (and what beat writers said on the sports talk shows back when this was a hot topic) is that Abreu was not a problem at all in the clubhouse. David Bell was.

I think Burrell would have turned arbitration down. The market hadn't been set for Burrell-esque players yet and he thought he'd get more $ for more years somewhere else. But, who knows.

Sorry Jack. I was merely questioning whether the Sox losing V-Mart would have any affect on them pursuing Wert. I don't hink so.

I meant "I didn't think so".

Don't forget, the end of the '08 season is when FA contracts fell off a cliff. The trend had been double digit uinflation every year for a decade. Burrell may very well have rejected arb. Had Rube waited a month to sign Ibanez, he would've gotten him for 33% less. Really, there was no hint that prices would collapse. In fact, if you recall, when they did, there was strong grumbling about collusion at the time, the fall was so steep.

I'll have to dig it up, yet again, but there was a quote from Gillick saying the same thing Manuel said in NEPP's comment about "leadership" in the clubhouse.

Clout: I'm pretty sure I've seen what Bed's Beard is referring to as well, with Gillick saying the Abreu trade helped clubhouse chemistry.

Look, I'm with you that the Abreu trade was a bad one. And I'm even open to the idea that, whatever they say, Charlie and Gillick might not have any clue what they're taking about--they might just be attributing correlation to causation. In fact, I think that's probably what's happening.

But I do think, unfortunately, that Charlie and Gillick both believe that trading Abreu was a catalyst for clubhouse chemistry improving (and then on-field success).

That quote from Cholly ranks up there with "why dont you come on in my office then..." and "it's nice to have Utley".

"Really, there was no hint that prices would collapse. In fact, if you recall, when they did, there was strong grumbling about collusion at the time, the fall was so steep."

LOL. In the real world, Milton Bradley was signed for 30MM/3 at the same time Burrell got 16MM/2. What we learned was that there wasn't a huge demand for bad-fielding corner outfielders.

"Really, there was no hint that prices would collapse. In fact, if you recall, when they did, there was strong grumbling about collusion at the time, the fall was so steep."

Can also apply to the housing market the past 3 years....funny how baseball is a reflection of life.

"Had Rube waited a month to sign Ibanez, he would've gotten him for 33% less."

Clout~ I agree. I take it that you're speaking in terms of a 2-year 22 million deal. Yes, I think that would have gotten it done.

Can we also say, that 1 year for Baez and a re-up for 1 year instead of 2 for Contreras would have also gotten it done? If we can, then we can also say that some of the lack of payroll flexibility is Amaro's fault.

Right now, Detroit has made 2 major FA signings, and the Braves made a mojor trade.
Amaro has needs to fill. In Durbin's case, do you really think he'll come back for the same money as last year or less? Would you?

This is my problem with Rube. Okay so don't pay Werth 7/120. I'm fine with that. But I don't want to hear about the potential platoon situation of Brown/Ben Fran being able to get it done. I don't buy it.
As a GM you cannot be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. With Rube it's either too long or not enough.

Barring any kind of trade, and losing Werth, who's in RF. Who's is the 'pen?

DPatrone: So you think Amaro should've been patient in the past, so that he could make rash, quick moves this year?

"Had Rube waited a month to sign Ibanez, he would've gotten him for 33% less."

Reports at the time had several clubs, including the Cubs and Mets and Angels, very interested in Ibanez. There's little basis in saying the Phillies even would have gotten him a month later, let alone for 33% off.

Crotch: There's lots of reports about lots of interest for every free agent. Player agents put those reports out and the media goes with it.

"DPatrone: So you think Amaro should've been patient in the past, so that he could make rash, quick moves this year?"

Jack~ All I'm saying is he need to fill his holes with better options than what he currently has. If a player he's interested in is niot there a week form now whose fault is that? He can do it quickly and still be somewhat prudent.

Crotch is correct. Let's not try to make up history here. Just b/c there was little interest in PtB, doesn't mean there was little interest in Ibanez.

Re: Durbin.

What would be the harm of offering him arbitration, and if he accepts, dealing him to another team strictly as a salary dump?

I like when beerleaguers think they know more than those in the front office... e.g., that Gillick and Manuel weren't able to analyze the Abreu effect on the clubhouse objectively ("causation v correlation") and whether a player will take arbitration or not (most GMs are well aware who will take arb or not "the famed Polanco surprise not-withstanding") and what the REAL market is like at a given point for a player (GMs only read newspapers with stories planted by agents to gauge the market -- as if those stories aren't also fed by team sources )

too funny...

Re: Abreu -- its very likely that Gillick and Manuel (who had been around the organization), both very astute baseball men, were very aware of what the clubhouse atmosphere was like and that while the former leadership may not have been "cancers" as such but too milquetoast and hampered the growth of the next gen of leaders: Rollins, Utley, Howard. There is a marked difference between the reports of who enter the lockerroom (Ibanez, Lee, Sweeney) and before.

As for Arb... I would gather that Amaro has weighed the risks of offering Arb vs draft pick value (its not even the WIN or LOSS, its the starting point for the negotiation that's the issue -- See Moyer, Jamie). I would gather that Amaro feels Budgetary control is much more valuable than draft pick lotto.

As for Free Agency... the same applies. Amaro identifies his need or target and shoots for that. While some might decry the Ibanez contract as some sort of lesion on the history of baseball, it is certainly not entirely terrible What's terrible about it, is its trade-inflexibility given the no trade and the final year. But we were going to need a Left Fielder in 2011 no matter what. And if Raul can be healthy next year with playing time reduced with a Benny Frank, the contract won't be this albatross that many think.

Hamm: At the time of the trade and for quite awhile afterward, Gillick and Manuel denied that Abreu was dealt because of any clubhouse issues. In fact, Gillick said on the record that he did the deal because he didn't think the Phillies were a contender. He dealt an expensive soon-to-be-free-agent for propspects that he thought would help the Phillies down the road. Which is EXACTLY what a GM would do if he didn't think his team would contend for a couple years.

Here we are 5 years later and Gillick now allegedly says it was a clubhouse issue. You swallow that line whole. Jack takes it with a grain of salt: A guy whose original, announced justification was proved disastrously wrong now coming up with a different justification.

Frankly, Jack's analysis strikes me as more likely than yours.

BedBeard: And you know about this keen interest in Ibanez because, um, how exactly? MLBTR?

I think the "clubhouse" issue isn't that Abreu was some sort of bad guy, as opposed to a/the default veteran leader who wasn't a leader.

BedBeard: Abreu was NOT the clubhouse leader in 2006. Pat Burrell was.

Clout: Abreu was NOT the clubhouse leader in 2006. Pat Burrell was

And you know this because you were the equipment manager?

Hamm: Of course your point that Manuel was aware of the clubhouse issue and helped trade Abrey is directly contradicted by Charlie himself, who said back in 2006 that he wanted talent more than character. It was only after that, that he recognized the importance of character.

I also think that if Rube is doing what you're saying, he's vastly underestimating the value of draft picks. Of course, as GM of the team right now, his incentives are to help the short-term more than the long-term. But that doesn't mean he's right--I think this team is in long-term trouble as this core gets older, and stockpiling draft picks would be a good way to combat that.

I don't think I necessarily know more about running a baseball team than Ruben Amaro. But I also don't think he's infallible. And I think he's wrong on this.

clout: Here we are 5 years later and Gillick now allegedly says it was a clubhouse issue

Actually, this was UC that said it, not Gillick. Though the Gillick article supports it. What motivation does UC have to lie during a speech to corporate execs at a business retreat? Why would he mention Abreu specifically when talking about bad teammates while comparing it to his issues with the 90s Indians clubs (renowned for their bad clubhouse).

****I think the "clubhouse" issue isn't that Abreu was some sort of bad guy, as opposed to a/the default veteran leader who wasn't a leader. ****

I would agree with this theory on it. They needed to move him so guys like Utley & Howard could step up. Trading Abreu changed the entire dynamic of the team.

Much like the Lee trade though...its pretty sad we didnt get anything legit back for him. Even worse, we ended up throwing in a decent 4/5 starter in Lidle to get the Yankees to take him off our hands.

Detroit has now made TWO MOVES???

Give them the World Series trophy now because their DPatrone movement meter is trending high.

Ralph: Nah. I just read newspapers and listen to the Phillies broadcasts.

What are "newspapers"?

Re: Toros -- Why can't Zagurski's jersey read 'Jumbo'?

Domonic Brown laces an opposite-field double down the line for his first hit of the winter.

trade him!

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