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Thursday, November 18, 2010

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This is the year "Santana Jr." steps it up.

So will the Phillies roll into spring training with a top 3 of Lidge-Madson-Contreras and just hope some of Baez & the Kids can fill out the rest of the spots competently?

Doubt it. I think the add an LHP.

Baez, Bastardo, Herndon, and another Lefty will probably round out our pen on day 1. DeFratus and Mathieson with a chance to break though, maybe Zagurski here and there.

I suppose they could sign two lefties, but Bastardo is cheap and deserves a shot to pitch.

Last year they could count on Romero returning shortly after the start of the season.

They will acquire a lefty veteran reliever who actually can get lefties out.

All Santana hyperbole aside, Bastardo has been written off by many as having no value. I think he has the potential to surprise a lot of people and make a meaningful contribution in 2011.

Baez is a wild card. He may regain his old form or he may continue to slide. Neither would surprise me much, but it's not impossible that a vet has one more decent season left.

Bastardo will be a strong asset out of the bullpen this year.

He's got great K numbers (the absolute #1 priority for a bullpen pitcher) and he has improved his control every year in the minors. Given regular time in the majors this year, I would expect him to improve his control here as well.

While acknowledging that bullpen pitchers are always a risk and provide high variance, I see no reason to not be optimistic about Bastardo.

Sometimes you just have to commit to running the guy out there. Who knew anything about Johnny Venters at this time last year? So what if Bastardo isn't 35 and hasn't pitched for 7 other teams -that always seems to be the requirement for a lefthander out of the Philllies pen.

FWIW, Venters had far worse stats in the minor leagues than Bastardo (more walks, less Ks).

If Venters were a Phillie, Clout probably would have declared him horrible and a far worse prospect than Joe Savery. How's he doing these days, Clout? I heard he's a 1B now, not even a pitcher.

Bastardo can get LHBs out and do it consistently. He's got very good stuff (better than Romero on his best day). He just needs reps.

That said, signing another LOOGY is key. Bastardo's health concerns are a legit issue.

He's got a chance to be a solid situational lefty or even 7th/8th inning reliever at some point.

~waits for clout to misinterprete this guarded appraisal of "the next Santana"~

Feliciano's arm is about to fall off, Downs has slipped (and expensive), Scott Eyre is retired. Is Dave Rucker still out there?

NEPP: Yeah, they should definitely sign another lefty. Expressing optimism in Bastardo is NOT the same as saying we're set in the bullpen. A top-notch bullpen should have two good lefties.

Does anybody think Bastardo makes it through an entire season healthy? I don't.

MG: We would've said the same thing about Hamels in his minor league days.

I'm excited about Bastardo if he can stay healthy. I think if he is given a consistent chance to pitch he will be very good.

Anyone wondering who the "core players" Conlin referenced in his piece today, regarding a possible Phils trade with A's or Angels? I give him some credit for not throwing around names, but my gut reaction is he didn't post the names he's heard b/c it would open a can of worms among fans upset X might be traded. For example, what if it is Vic-or even Rollins-that he heard was being discussed?

I'd be all for it, with the right return.

I don't like 'Santana Jr', it makes it seem like he will be somewhat less succesful than Johan. Santana the Second is more appropriate.

just looked at the a's and angels rosters and would be oppposed to any trade. They got nothing we need.

Maybe we can get Michael Taylor back.

To buy or not to?
Find one and, too, hurt your foe:
Get Takahashi.

How about D. Brown and Vic for Justin Upton?

BedBeard- The cynic in me reacted to Conlin's article by thinking he didn't name names because he just made the rumor up.

Congrats to King Felix.

Bubba:That's what I thought too. I don't trust anybody that would punch Harry Kalas in the mouth.

D Brown and Vic for Upton?

Ha ha ha ha ha in their dreams.

I assume RAJ is attempting to build up Ibanez in hopes of moving him.

Ibanez is untradeable for several reason not the least of which is the no trade clause.

This is just Amaro's PR positioning for the inevitable Werth departure. Honeslty, I wish he would just tone it down because he sounds foolish constantly making this claim. About the 3rd time I have heard him make it already this offseason.

20 years ago, CC would have won the CY unaminmously. That Felix won it shows the massive leap that baseball has taken with advanced statistical analysis.

If those A's/Angels rumors have any validity, I would very strongly suspect that Ibanez is the subject of the rumor. In fact, he fits Billy Beane's mold almost perfectly: he's a still-productive veteran player on a one-year contract & he'll almost certainly qualify as a Type A FA after 2011. The key issues would be how much the A's would be willing to give up & how much salary the Phillies would have to pick up. My guess is that the Phils would have to pick up about half of the contract & they'll get back a good, not great, prospect. Actually, Michael Taylor sounds quite plausible, since his prospect value has dropped & the A's have a crowded OF situation. Of course, this is all pretty hypothetical, since we have no idea whether these rumors have any validity.

From the linked Zolecki article's comment section: "Amaro is correct, Ibanez has been just as productive as Werth. Look at the stats below. I also included Carlos Quentin which is a name people are throwing around as a replacement we could get in a trade. Hes 28, and is just as productive as Werth and Ibanez but would only cost about 5Mil/"


I just wanted to post this to remind everyone that while some people here make some fairly off the wall comments, its still a far far better discussion site than the average "phan".

I mean...Wow!

BAP, I have three words
regarding Ibanez trade
They are: No Trade Clause

Why would Ibanez waive his trade clause to go to a possible non-contender or a place like Oakland where his offensive numbers would take a real hit?

Hernandez was clearly the best pitcher in the AL. Too bad he was on an underachieving, stinky team.

Quentin I think would be the best available replacement for Werth. The fans will love this guy's intensity and he would benefit IMMENSELY from playing on a team like this with established stars and a coach like Charlie Manuel.

Maybe RAJ could package Benny Fran, a crate of breathmints and some cash to Chicago to get him.

Carlos would most definitely cost a high ceiling guy maybe a c prospect and someone that is major league ready

BAP: Right. His NTC is, of course, a sticking point, but otherwise, the idea of him being untradeable is a little silly.

Magglio looks better and better. I'd rather pay money for him than trade more prospects for a guy like Quentin.

If Ordonez took 2 years, $15-20 million total, would that be a good deal? I'd say yes.

NEPP: I agree on Ordonez, especially if the price is in the ballpark of what you're suggesting.

Also, is it crazy to think that if the Phils really are in serious discussions with the A's about core players, that J-Roll almost certainly has to be in the mix, considering that's his hometown?

MG: NTCs can be, and often are, waived -- especially if the player thinks his current team plans to phase out his days as a starter.

I don't think 38-year old players give much thought to the effect that a particular stadium would have on their offensive numbers. Also, I don't know what a "possible non-contender" is. Any team is a "possible non-contender" but, by all appearances, the A's should seriously challenge the Rangers for AL West supremacy next year. They were already a pretty good team in the 2nd half and all they've done in the off-season is acquire one of the more underrated hitters in all of baseball. Meanwhile, the Rangers' most irreplaceable player is likely to bolt to the Yankees or elsewhere.

Congrats to Felix Hernandez. I'm very pleased he won, in spite of the low win totals, which was accompanied by pitiful run support.

2010 Mariners: Lowest run support in the history of DH baseball.

I guess speed and defense can only take you so far...

BAP - I have no doubt that Ibanez will be the 2011 Opening Day LF unless he gets hurt in spring training.

If I'm Raul Ibanez, the only way I let myself get shipped to Oakland is if they use $1,000,000 bills as packing peanuts.

I wouldn't complain if they got Ordonez to sign a 2 year contract at all. He'd be a nice RH bat in this lineup. I think CQ could be a tremendous player if he was in the right situation (which I don't think is the case in Chicago). Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Well, he did live in Seattle for many years...maybe he's a west-coast guy. Maybe he misses the AL West?

I'd be happy with either Quentin or Ordonez as long as the cost isn't outlandish.

BB~ I'd have to agree with you on your comments about Conlin's article. I'd be all for a trade too if it were in the Phils favor. And I don't believe he'd make anything up.

I was talking to a family member earilier today and I asked him if he'd seen the article and he said no.

Then we started talking about Rollins and the possiblity of him being traded. We said that given Jimmy's recent injuries, lateness that he could go in favor of Valdez playing SS.

In the right deal or deals if we got the right pitcher and RH bat, then our SS wouldn't have to hit that much. I could see RAJ talking to the A's since Oakland is Jimmy's hometown. But I don't know if I'd let jimmy go. But maybe they would given that maybe Jimmy just may not be the leader that Cholly expects him to be.

Also I can't figure the Raul would go, since he'd have to waive his NTC. But maybe he would to go to the AL whre he could DH. When healthy he's still a good hitter. Vic?? Can't see him going either.

Maybe Amaro has a trick or 2 up his sleeve. Thoughts??

"I have no doubt that Ibanez will be the 2011 Opening Day LF"

I see the makings of another bet. I actually think he WON'T be on the opening day roster, let alone the starting left fielder. Between his declining numbers, his high salary, Domonic Brown's left-handedness, and the critical need for lineup balance, I just think it makes too much sense to deal Ibanez, with the salary savings being used to acquire a right-handed corner outfielder. Brown, of course, would then become the other corner outfielder.

BAP - Indeed. Gift card to say Starbucks for $10 bucks?

bap: What salary savings do you see exactly from an Ibanez trade?

You think teams are lining up to trade anything AND take on his salary? At best, you're looking at a low-quality prospect and paying 75% of his salary.

Exactly how far has Michael Taylor's stock fallen. I know he had injury problems this year. When he played did he do anything? For some reason I was always a little more excited about him than Brown even though that was not the prevailing sentiment. Probably the whole RH vs LH thing.

The Phillies like to draft college players who stock has fallen due to injuries. Maybe, the Phillies will take a similar approach with Taylor and try and bring him back on board.

Jim Salisbury reported today Ibanez has a PARTIAL no-trade clause, and that they've spoken to several teams about him, including San Fran.

Just looked up Taylors numbers for the year. Serious dip in power but he played most of the season. Disappointing.

Even if we can somehow believe that JRoll might get traded, that would create a huge hole. Valdez is not a viable starting option for any team, let alone one that plans to compete. Galvis's bat is far from major league ready. Who else is there? Garcia? (Can he even play SS?)

Since the idea of getting rid of JRoll is completely absurd, I'll compound the problem by making an even more absurd trade proposal. Rollins, Brown, Cosart or Colvin, DeFratus, and a B prospect or two for Justin Upton and Stephen Drew. Spewing absurdities is fun!

Jack: I think you and MG are somewhat undervaluing Ibanez. He was essentially an .800 OPS player last year. That makes him well worth $6M to $8M on a one-year deal, and I think there WILL be a team willing to pick up that amount.

I do agree that we won't get a great prospect for him, since RAJ is mainly going to be interested in maximizing the amount of salary relief. The more salary relief we insist on, the lesser the quality of the prospect we're going to get.

I'm not surprised David Price was the runner up for the Cy Young. He had a better overall year than Sabathia.

"If Ordonez took 2 years, $15-20 million total, would that be a good deal? I'd say yes."

Totally agree, I see him having 2 strong years in this park for what would be a bargain price. To me it's the best option out there in a weak OF FA year.

Phils sign Jeff Larish (who??) to Minor League deal. I need more oxygen on top of yesterday.

"Valdez is not a viable starting option for any team, let alone one that plans to compete."

Ah, so there ARE a few posters on here who haven't gone completely insane! Refreshing. Not saying that JRoll '11 is going to be a world beater, the drop-off to Valdez is far more than you can counteract on any OF upgrade.

Valdez is, essentially, the personification of the "Replacement Player" that the Sabermatricians invent numbers around.

DPatrone: You gotta calm down and realize what's going on. EVERY SINGLE TEAM is signing a bunch of garbage players to fill out their minor-league rosters. This has NOTHING to do with the big league team.

This is the last time I'm saying this to you.

Since we're all so expert at predictions, what exactly DOES everyone expect from JRoll '11, anyway, considering age and injuries this past year?

I think that he stays healthy, by and large, and can be expected to be along the lines of a Orlando Cabrera, or someone of that ilk. Above average defense, decent-to-average at the plate. Still head and shoulders more than you can expect from Valdez in a full time role.

His days as MVP contender are long gone, but I think we need to re-set our expectations to the definition of a successful season for him? I'd bet that the opinions of expectations vary widely here. Although, I'm sure the majority would agree that the lead-off spot is something else that Jimmy could probably stand a departure from, as well.

Remember two years ago when Sabathia was an FA? The Yankees offered him the moon and the stars and there really wasn't anyone else that could compete with their offer. So he told them he'd think about it. The longer he dragged his feet, the more money they offered him. He ended up getting the entire solar system. The Yanks were in effect bidding against themselves. I think Cliffy is doing the exact same thing. If he drags his feet long enough the Yankees will start bidding against themselves. It's just staggering how much more money they have than everyone else. They can spend it like drunken sailors and it doesn't even matter. God I love when they don't win.

Jack~ I AM calm. I'm saying these things in a joking manner. Save Contreras, all of these Minor League signings are fillers. I know that. AMaro could be trying to re-build the Bad News Bears. But it's comical. With every guy they sign, I keep saying who the hell is that?

Seriously RAJ could be bringing in some of these players to include in possible trades etc.

Was talking to a friend of mine here at work who's from Cherry Hill. He believes something big will happen. He's probably right.

bap: I disagree, if only because there's a tiny market for Ibanez. You need a team that thinks it can contend, has a poor offense and DH spot, has no young guy being blocked in that spot, and obviously doesn't have a better DH on the roster. And is willing to spend $6-8M.

That eliminates a bunch of teams. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking A's possibly, maybe the Rangers if Vlad walks, maybe the M's if they think they can contend. I just really don't see any team paying $6-8 M for Ibanez.

If Ibanez moves, the Phillies will probably have to pay at least half the salary. If they want any sort of prospect back, it would be almost all of the salary.

Also, that whole analysis is contingent on Ibanez actually being an .800 OPS type hitter again.

Most teams probably project a 39-year old leaving a hitter's park to produce less than that.

Guys from Cherry Hill are always in the know.

Cabrera is a decent comp for Jimmy. Jimmy is better in categories like SLG and SB, but overall they are more similar than I realized. When healthy and in their primes, Jimmy was significantly better. Right now though, they are comparable.

That said, Cabrera's career OPS+ (85) is lower than Jimmy's was in his last 2 years which were significantly below his career average. It's hard to predict whether Jimmy will stay healthy but if he does, I don't think it would be a stretch for him to outperform Cabrera by a good 5 or 10 OPS+.

Also, I know it seems like Jimmy aged 5 years since 2008, but he will be "only" 32 in 2011, whereas Cabrera will be 36.

Rangers would be a nice fit for Raul. Phils would still have to eat part of his salary.

WP: There is zero chance of the Phils trading J-Roll without getting another starting SS back. If the A's are indeed interested, then Pennington would be coming back here.

Speaking of the A's, supposedly they're making a big push for Beltre. If so, what would they do with Kouzmanoff?

If we're thinking of trade partners who might want Ibanez, as mediocre as he was last year, he would still be an upgrade for the Mariners at DH.

I could imagine him waiving his NTC to go back to Seattle (supposedly he liked it there?)

But unless we pick up nearly all of his salary, I don't imagine we'll get anything much back in return....maybe that pitcher in their farm system who is supposedly quite good but got incarcerated for sexual assault. The Mariners are supposedly looking to get ride of him. That's about as much as you could hope.

Clout - I read they might non-tender Kouzmanoff anyway, since they claimed EE from Toronto. I looked at his numbers though, and he looks like a younger version of Pedro Feliz. Decent power, but low-average BA and piss-poor OBP. Do you think he's any better than Feliz?

clout - "There is zero chance of the Phils trading J-Roll without getting another starting SS back."

Exactly! Valdez-as-starter talk needs to be grounds for banishment from BL. 7 day suspension, at least.

Valdez can thank the Dobbs's, Bruntlett's, Taguchi's of the last 20 years or so for setting the bar SO low for bench utility IF, to the point that performing along the lines of an average replacement player garners talk of a promotion to the starting SS job, and shuttling off the former MVP/face of the team. Amazing.

krukker: As a prospect, Kouz was projected as a power-hitter far superior to Feliz. He posted a .786 OPS as a 25-year-old rookie at Petco and people were talking about 35 HRs down the road. He was a career .332 hitter in the minors.

But his development went backwards. He's posted a lower SLG every season since and now he really is comparable to Feliz. I honestly don't know what went wrong with him.

"Valdez is not a viable starting option for any team, let alone one that plans to compete."

The sad truth is that neither is Jimmy Rollins, nor has he been for three seasons now.

Rangers would be a nice place for Howard, come to think of it...

Jack: That article you posted about Ibanez vs Werth did you read the comments? Did you read the specific comment NEPP posted?

And you told me that I was being silly thinking people would buy would Amaro was saying. Care to take that back?

Jimmy Rollins WAR last 3 seasons:

2008: 5.4
2009: 2.7
2010: 2.3

****Most teams probably project a 39-year old leaving a hitter's park to produce less than that. ****

I don't know why...

2010 Splits:

Home: .859 OPS
Away: .721 OPS


Though, he did the exact opposite in 2009:

Home: .862 OPS
Away: .931 OPS

So who knows. Still, teams will look at those 2010 numbers and wonder.

****Jimmy Rollins WAR last 3 seasons:

2008: 5.4
2009: 2.7
2010: 2.3
****

If healthy finally (like if Jimmy goes to the same leg strengthening guy that Jeter used a couple years ago), Jimmy could and should give us around 3 Wins.

My conservative prediction is a WAR around 2.5

phils fan in MD: "I think CQ could be a tremendous player if he was in the right situation (which I don't think is the case in Chicago)."

US Cellular is one of the best hitter parks in the league - and believe it or not - more of an offensive park than CBP.

US Cellular is a known launching pad. If he cant hit there, he wont hit in CBP.

US Cellular was more HR friendly this year than Coors. It was actually the #1 HR park in baseball in 2010.

Park Factor (HRs)

US Cellular: 1.545 (1st overall)
CBP: 1.125 (10th overall)


Overall runs for park factor has US Cellular 4th overall and CBP 16th.

To bring up what I introduced late last night, Mike Meech (who ran The Fightins) apparently decided to shut the blog down entirely for reasons that aren't entirely clear (beyond the usual 'needed more time for life'). How quickly things have changed from the Phillies blog bracket last year. BL outlives all others. Like Clout...

If that's accurate about The Fightins, I think the site had jumped the shark in a pretty big way. I used to get a kick out of it, but it almost became a parody of itself. Some of the writers were still pretty good, but the comments often really scraped the bottom of the barrel. I used to be heavily into the photoshopping community, and The Fightins was kind of like the contests on Fark, where this site is more like Worth1000. Both loved the same thing, but expressed it in radically different ways. Not suggesting either way was better or worse, just very different.

I really wonder if JRoll will automatically be back in the leadoff spot next year in Spring Training.

Jimmy's a leadoff hitter.

NEPP - Mabye but it is tougher to score runs when you play a guy who has had a .308 OBP the last 2 season in the leadoff spot.

Jimmy's a leadoff hitter.

If JRoll can get his OBP back to the .330 range, he would alright as a leaoff hitter. I just don't know if he can because he isn't likely to walk at the same rate next year and I don't know if he will hit the .275-.280 he will likely need to get to that .330 OBP range.

Jimmy's a leadoff hitter.

NEPP - Cholly's mantra?

Pretty much.

Other Cholly mantras:

'Brad's my guy'
???

"NEPP - Cholly's mantra?"

Sounds like a photoshop project for Scott.

Forgot about the width limitations...

Or, the literal interpretation for NEPP:

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