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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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Perfect time to shop him!

What Scotch Man said.

MG - from the last thread, I know it's an outrageous idea, and like I said I recognize it's EXTREMELY unlikely, but it does kinda solve 3 problems with 1 signing ( high-end utility player, RH OFer, and middle of the order RH bat) while also upgrading the D at 3b.

It is a better signing, IMO, than just re-signing Werth.

Vic cleanly fields the ball on almost every ball he gets to and he gets to a bunch of balls thanks to his speed. And he's got a very good/accurate arm.


He's deserving.

Beltre would be a huge mistake...HUGE.

I take it you buy that Beltre's a contract-drive player only?

I hate to make that accusation about a guy but his numbers sure seem to suggest it.

Beltre's OPS+

2007-2009: 103
2010: 141


Which one do you think he'd post next year?

NEPP - not saying Beltre earned his contract with the M's, but have you looked at his home/road splits with them? He was SIGNIFICANTLY better throughout the deal away from SafeCo...that park is death for RH power hitters.

He may be a contract-drive guy, it's quite possible. It's also possible that getting away from SafeCo is going to rejuvenate his career. I'm not advocating a deal for him in the 15 mil+ annual range, but I think it would be money better spend than 18+ mil per on Werth.

OPS+ corrects for ballpark...also, his BABIP was ridiculous last year...


Career: .294 BABIP
2010: .331 BABIP


He's a good player but anyone paying him to repeat 2010 will be severely disappointed.

From Stark:

So where might the Phillies turn? Reports of their interest in guys like Magglio Ordonez, Pat Burrell and Andruw Jones appear highly exaggerated. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to talk up Ben Francisco, at least in a potential platoon with Domonic Brown -- or with Ross Gload if they decide Brown isn't ready. But the Phillies would still shop for another right-handed-hitting outfield bat. One name we've heard a lot: Jeff Francoeur, who has told friends he'd love to play for Charlie Manuel.

I dont know if its possible to hate Jeff Francouer more than I already do. I suspect signing him and being forced to watch him post a .290 OBP in RF while Dom Brown rides the bench would be a good way to do that though.

Of course, if we DO sign Francouer, I sure do hope Rube gives him a 2nd year guaranteed.

If Francouer is signed as our 5th OF and only sees a couple pinch-hit appearances a week, against lefty pitchers, that would be fine.

If he takes ABs away from Dom Brown, it's an absolutely horrible move.

I would like to hear Clout's take on this. As an advocate of Rube signing a veteran RH bat to play RF while Dom waits in AAA, I wonder if this is what Clout had in mind. I sure hope not.

Francouer whined and complained all year last year and the year before about playing time. His approach is terrible and he Ks a TON. He's a terrible situational hitter, an average (at best) defender and a horrible clubhouse guy.

You really think he'd be a good choice for our bench or even a platoon?

NEPP - I know OPS+ adjusts for park factors, but it doesn't adjust for a park's effect on RHBs vs. LHBs. SafeCo is actually MUCH tougher on RHBs and slightly beneficial to LHBs, based on a couple minutes research online...

http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/1/11/1246547/visual-hr-factors-safeco-field

http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/4/22/1431989/a-first-stab-at-handed-park-factors

Beltre's OPS+ doesn't take this into account at all.

Look, I'm not saying sign him based his 2010 or 2004 numbers, but I do think he's much better than what he showed with the M's. I wouldn't get into a major bidding war for him, but I think he'd perform pretty well at CBP.

That's a fair point on Beltre.

And Francouer would be one of the worst signings Rube could make if he's looking for a RH OFer.

NEPP: I agree with you on Beltre, but I also agree with Chris's post on OPS+ not being fully representative of park factors. I was going to post that myself, but he beat me to it and with very good data.

OPS+ is generally a good measure, but it still has its flaws.

If the Phillies sign Jeff Francouer, I'll be sick!

My gut tells me that Charlie sees a little of himself in Francouer and that he could improve his approach at the plate. Or maybe that sensation is the cod I just ate with the mustard and mayonaisse sauce.

I agree that OPS+ doesn't fully capture park effects, particularly for parks with extreme pro-hitter or pro-pitcher effects (i.e., Coors, Safeco, Petco). But there's simply no way that park effects can explain why Adrian Beltre has had 2 MVP-caliber seasons, and 10 seasons as Pedro Feliz Plus.

bap - Since Beltre became a full-timer, he's had 7 seasons over 100 OPS+ and 5 below (4 if you take out his injury-marred '09 campaign). Feliz's career-best OPS+ is 102, in 2003, and he's never been above 100 in any other season. For their careers, Beltre has a 108 OPS+ and Feliz has an 80 OPS+. Beltre's career WAR is 42.5. Feliz's is 5.1 (with 4 negative WAR seasons tossed in for good measure). Beltre's a lot more than "Pedro Feliz Plus"; in fact, he's closer to a Rolen or Santo than he is to a Feliz.

And, of course, none of this factors in Safeco's effect on RHBs, or the fact that he's a very good defensive 3B.

I tend to agree that Beltre "turns it on" in contract seasons, but I also think people are underestimating his potential based on his contract and performance with Seattle, and the expectation that he'll tank once he has another long-term deal.

Somehow I think all the conversation about Beltre is moot. Getting Francoeur sounds a lot more realistic.

Jack: I don't like Francoeur's game. Offensively, he reminds me of Pedro Feliz, which is why I'm shocked you don't like him.

FWIW, Rube's main target seems to be LH RP:

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told Stark that he has been working the phones this week. "We've made contact with 40 free agents, predominantly bullpen guys." He said. "Left-handed relief is a priority for us."

Is it possible he doesn't share the almost unanimous view of Beerleaguer posters that Bastardo is going to be one of the greats of the game?

Chris: Please don't confuse us with facts. Pedro Feliz had more posters singing his praises and defending him from all criticism than any Phillies player in the past 4 years. The comparison of him to Beltre is typical.

Chris: Ron Santo or Scott Rolen? That's the hardest I've laughed in awhile. Those guys are both borderline Hall of Fame players (I actually think Santo belongs in the Hall; Rolen, no). Rolen had 10 seasons in a row, and has had 13 overall, with an OPS+ above 119. Santo had 11 years in a row with an OPS+ over 109, not to mention 6 in a row with an OPS+ over 126. Beltre has had exactly 2 great years. In the other 10, his highest OPS+ was 114 -- and that was 10 years ago. He has also been a below league average hitter in half those 10 seasons.

Beltre is better than Feliz ever was; that's why I called him Pedro Feliz +. However, he is the same type of player -- low average, low OBP, good defense, decent homer & double totals. The team that signs him should expect something along the line of a .260 average, a .315 OBP, and 25 homeruns. With his excellent glove, that makes him a pretty good 3rd baseman. But he is a vast cry from Ron Santo & he is sure not worth the type of 4-year, $60M contract that he hopes to get (and probably WILL get).

Did we decide Polanco is not a good enough player to start everyday? When did that happen?

bap - You know what's really funny? Baseball Reference's top 5 comparables to Beltre through their age 31 seasons:

1. Ron Santo
2. Cal Ripken
3. Ruben Sierra
4. Del Ennis
5. Scott Rolen

And in every season but 2 in his career, Beltre's been most similar to Santo at the same age.

Kind of strange that he's a "vast cry from Ron Santo" then...

From Stark:

• Wild thing: It's looking more and more likely that baseball is going to add a second wild-card team in each league and have those two wild cards duke it out after the season for the right to move on to the division series. But you probably won't see that happen until 2012.

And in the meantime, the big battle could be over whether that wild-card survivor round should be a dramatic, one-game October Madness win-or-go-home game, or whether it should be stretched out to a best-of-three.

Every indication is that the players are dug in on two-out-of-three. But there's a mixed camp on the clubs' side. Let's just say it didn't go unnoticed that the team that had to wait around longest between rounds lost EVERY postseason series this year.

So there's already grumbling about the thought of the two teams with the best record in each league having to kill time in October while the wild cards play it off. If the idea of that wild-card round is to reward teams for finishing first, that's an issue that needs to be addressed.

Stark also says the issue with resigning Worth is the years not the dollars. I guess we sorta figured that was a big part of the obstacle.

Also says that the Phillies are supposedly working hard to try to resign Contreras.

Clout: My guess is that Bastardo, if healthy, will spend the entire year on the MLB roster.

But Amaro, as he should, wants a second lefty for the bullpen. We will definitely sign one. It's not a mutually exclusive choice--signing another lefty doesn't mean the team thinks Bastardo stinks. It means they think a real bullpen should have two lefties in it. Which is correct.

Bastardo struck out 26 guys in 18 innings this year. He's already an effective MLB reliever when healthy, and there's a good chance he gets better.

An odd number of playoff teams is just absurd. This isn't football!

My solution is much simpler. Go back to two divisions in each league. Put Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit and Cleveland in the East in their respective leagues and the other Central teams in the West.

Have two division winners and the two non-division winners with the best record from each league make it as wild card teams. You still have division races and a lesser chance that a good team will miss the playoffs. Otherwise, the playoff format is good just how it is right now. No need for more teams or change in format.

Oh and while I'm playing commissioner, go back to alternating World Series homefield advantage and abolish interleague play! Lastly, I don't really care for unbalanced schedules, but if we're creating fewer, bigger divisions I can live with this.

There are some LH RPs out there who can also pitch to RHBs. It might be that Rube is looking at something other than LOOGYs which would mean we could end up with more than one, maybe even (GASP) more than two LH RPs on the roster.

Chris: I won't even attempt to figure out how Baseball Reference's computer program reasoned that Ron Santo is Adrian Beltre's most comparable player. But it's ludicrous on its face to say that Beltre's most comparable player is a should-be Hall of Famer.

Meyer: How do you expect Cholly to improve Francouer's approach at the plate, when he can't do it with the players that he already has?

Why would the Phils want Francouer in the first place?

JW, loved the writing about Vic. Very well done.

My guess is that Francouer will be a guy the Phils target. He won't cost that much. The good thing he's only 26. I've mentioned this previously. It may be an unpopular move, but given the Phils payroll issues, it's the kind move they'll make. It is what it is.

Re: Beltre: He turned down 3/24 from the Phils last year. He won't be here this year either.

Amaro will re-tool the 'pen. He has no issues to solve in the rotation. And he dosen't have the money for a big-time signing. Don't expect any type of big-tome trade to move salary (Ibanzez, Rollins). I don't see it.

I can envision Francouer reborn as a more patient hitter under Charlie's tutelage and observance of his new teammate Domonic Brown. Seems to me that he would love to follow in Werth's footprints so that at the end of his three year contract he would be ready for a big FA contract.

I was thinking we needed some more first pitch swings at bad pitches resulting in popups to shallow right. Francouer's the man!

And rather than acquiring Phillies Killers, we get an open spoken guy who hits into key unassisted triple plays and predicts injury plagued seasons.

I know it's hopeless, but how about just leaving the playoffs the way they are now? The format is close to perfect as is, rewarding teams who produce over a long season. The baseball season is twice as long as pro basketball and almost ten times as long as pro football. Plenty of time to separate the deserving from the pretenders. I'm wasting my breath, but let it be.

If the above post sounded cranky, it's probably just the result of the first thing I see in the morning on the internet being the idea of Francoeur prowling RF in CBP.

I am trying to work a BL jinx on Frenchy. I have the incentive laden contract written for him already that includes but is not limited to his P/PA to be over 4.1.

Its almost worth it to sign Francoeur so he can suck and the media can loop in all the dumb comments he made about the ballpark in years past and admit that he is just a huge douche and sore loser.

bap - go back and read my original comment re: Beltre/Santo/Rolen. I said that Beltre's much closer to a Rolen or Santo than he is to a Pedro Feliz. I'm not saying that Beltre = Santo, but I am saying that Beltre is a MUCH better player than your description of him as "Pedro Feliz Plus." Feliz was/is an AWFUL offensive player. Beltre is an above-average offensive player who can hit in the middle of the order. Feliz's defense, once above-average, is now truly bad. Beltre is close to GG caliber at 3B.

This whole debate seems rather academic, as I see almost no chance the Phils sign him. I do think he'll end up being overpaid on a long-term deal. But he's much better than you are willing to give him credit for.

Francouer can also serve as a scapegoat for the fans if things sour early on. This will allow his teammates to relax and work on their games. He helped the Phillies in the past and he could help them again.

jason.tp: operative word being "almost"!

In regards to BRef's similarity, note that Santo -> Beltre score (thru age 31) is only 909, which is not that close. If you look at the column to the left, you'll see that by career, he is closer (932) to Vinny Castilla.
They describe the formula (http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/similarity.shtml). It's meant as a very gross tool. It is pretty slanted to stat accumulation more so than rate, IMO. It also doesn't take into consideration context, as in Santo played in a low offense era and Beltre in a high offense era.

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Nice Challage, and sweet comments I read. Thanks to all commenters. I learn something new ! Huge!

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