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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Comments

Not tendering KK would have been flat out foolish. He's still relatively cheap and has value as a 5th starter/long-man out of the pen.

Of course, JW meant Diaz hits lefties well.

Good catch. Thanks!

Beerleaguer favorite RJ Swindle signs a minor league deal with the Rays. Brandon Duckworth signs with the Red Sox.

Who has the rights to the Bucholtz family?

FYI: The cameo by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" airs tonight at both 10pm and 11pm on FX.

Non-tendering KK would have been foolish. I don't even know why people suggested it.

In all seriousness, sespite his limitations Francisco is a great 4th OF. Keeping him around was the obvious choice.

Francisco just needs to learn baseball savy and scrappiness in the offseason.

Salisbury says that Kendrick was tendered "after some internal debate."

So far I'm not too impressed by the non-tender bargain bin. Maybe Veras from the Marlins, but he's a righty. Church might be the answer to a prayer if he were righty, but he's not.

Pick of the litter so far, I'd say, is Joe Inglett. See if you can stick him at LV in case Exxon seeks greener pastures.

It's Always - The only way that episode could have been better is if PtB was at the ASPCA dinner and made the guys uncomfortable with his drunken nakedness.

Josh Fields, anyone? RH bat can play 1b,3b,LF

or how about Lastings Milledge? also NT'ed

JW: Doesn't surprise me there was some internal debate. They probably recognize that paying $2M for a guy who frankly may lose the 5th starter job before the season even begins to someone cheaper (Worley) is a little questionable. Additionally, while arbitration is mostly just governed by service time and playing time, KK is likely to fare better there than he objectively should--he can point to Super 2 guys with 35 wins in their 3 years who are probably MUCH better pitchers. Wouldn't surprise me to see him come out of the process (likely a settlement) with more money than people think.

That said, for depth purposes, it was probably the right move.

That epi of "Its Always Sunny" did make me laugh! I've never watched it before. It was great to see Chase and Ryan in it - They did a good job!

Not a fan of the Diaz move. We have guys in-house if we want to platoon and both OF spots. Diaz won't do much more if anything more than Mayberry vs lefties platooning with Raul. Mayberry has decent potential. So does Francisco... Don't overpay for other teams discards let our guys have a shot till the All star break. We will be fine with our starting pitchiing as long as we don't have a teamm wide slump again, regardless of Diaz, Francour, etc... vs Ben Fran and Mayberry

Jack - You really think KK will get 2 mil+ in arbitration? I think he'll end up making ~1 mil this season, which really isn't a bad price at all. KK may be able to point to other Super 2 guys with 35 wins in his favor, but the Phils have PLENTY to use against him as well.

Cholly won't start the season again with a "4th outfielder" he's afraid to play in the outfield. It's bye bye for Ben Fran.

"great 4th OF"

I have trouble reconciling that grouping of words. :)

"Josh Fields, anyone? RH bat can play 1b,3b,LF"

I'm a RH bat too. :) Seriously,for a backup for 1B and LF, I'd like to see a stronger bat. I think he's pretty bad defensively at 3B, so if Polanco went down, they'd still have to scramble. I don't think he gives you enough. And at 6'1" 240#, he's not going to give you much athleticism either.

curt - Francisco is going to be here on Opening Day likely as he was last year. A spot starter but primarily a right-handed bat off the bench.

Fields could be a RH version of Dobbs. If I was convinced that there is no such thing as clubhouse cancer, I might look at Milledge. But even at his best he's not the kind of bat we need.

Andy- I had the same thought about Milledge re: clubhouse cancer. But, the guy's been in three totally dysfunctional organizations. I wonder if joining a competent organization might turn him around.

He's only 26 this year and has a career slash of .320/.414/.512 vs LHP. So, at a bare minimum, he can hit lefties.

Milledge? No thanks. He rightly had that knock on him as a prospect and during his tenure in NY as a clubhouse cancer. He supposedly shed that though in Pittsburgh. He just showed though that he isn't a very good baseball player. Little pop, poor defense, and not a good baserunner.

He will have a MLB job next year but as a bench guy at a minimum price tag.

I think signing guys like Frenchy and Diaz make sense.

I just love players that never walk, have no speed, have limited power and are Braves discards. At least a guy like Francisco has some speed. Diaz is slow and seemed to tail off (Dobbs-esque) last year. And he is a below average outfielder.

Diaz will be 33 on opening day, so he makes the most sense if we are trying to put the oldest team we can possibly find on the field.

Also add that Nats shipped out Milledge because of his work ethic habits and issues with Acta. Finally realized that by the time he was banished to Pittsburgh that he wasn't a good enough player to have teams put up with his nonsense.

The main reason I'd consider Milledge is his age. He's ridiculously young to be given up on. He has shown some talent and some speed. Fielding can be taught. If he's serious about his craft he could become a decent player.

Again, though, I'm not sure he would be much of a replacement for Werth's OPS, even as a platoon partner.

I like your play list Jason. A little Rage is always good, and it always brings back memories of good times to hear Thin Lizzy.

"Fields could be a RH version of Dobbs."

Pardon the snark, but we want that because????

"Diaz won't do much more if anything more than Mayberry vs lefties."

Wow. Just. Wow.

Totally agree with Andy on Milledge. People do mature. The talent is there. I also agree with MG that his defense is weak and he's not remotely shown the power that was projected when all the scouts were drooling over him. But I disagree on the baserunning. He's got good speed, stole 24 bases a couple years ago and even with the slightest improvement in technique could steal 10-15 bases a year routinely.

Well, clout, you have to admit that Diaz will never be the stud that Mayberry is.

Can Diaz hit a breaking ball?

Here's the little detail that people seem to forget while rhapsodizing about the idea of an OF platoon, or about Mayberry's merits as a platoon player: platoons never work nearly as smoothly as you draw them up in the playbook.

Think of the 1993 Phillies, who famously had platoons at both corner OF spots. Yet, somehow Milt Thompson & Jim Eisenreich (the left-handed parts of the platoons) both ended up with right around 17% of their PAs coming against left-handers. How could this possibly be? Well, there's this thing called a pitching change which opposing managers are allowed to do. There's also a thing called injuries which sometimes happen. And, when you have a platoon, your bench starts out short to begin with, so sometimes the manager has no choice but to put his same-handed hitter up there & hope for the best.

Of course, the problem is far more pronounced with the right-handed half of the platoon, since there are more right-handed pitchers out there &, hence, fewer chances to hide the hitter from unfavorable pitching matchups. Despite being "platooned" in 1993, both Pete Incaviglia and Wes Chamberlain somehow ended up with more PAs against right-handers than against left-handers.

Bottom line: platoons only function well if their components (especially the right-handed components) are at least semi-competent against pitchers of the same handedness (as Incaviglia & Eisenreich both were in 1993). If you throw John Mayberry into a platoon on the theory that he kills left-handers, you're going to regret it big-time when at least half his PAs end up coming against right-handers, whom he can't hit at all.

I see that Fred Lewis got non-tendered as well. Unfortunately he's a lefty, but he can steal bases, is a good defender, career 102 OPS+.

RIP Ron Santo, guy should have been in the Hall years ago.

Cowley: I second that. When I was growing up the Cubs had the best INF in baseball: Banks-Beckert-Kessinger-Santo.

Here's one more thing to think about on the subject of platoons. Platoons only work while the other team's starter is in the game but most left-handed starting pitchers are actually pretty good at getting right-handers out. Many even have reverse lefty-righty splits (i.e., Santana, Lester, Lilly, Cliff Lee). After all, if a LH pitcher can't get right-handers out, he won't survive as a starting pitcher.

So, if you look at Scott Hairston's .829 career OPS against left-handers, and expect him to give you around an .829 OPS in a platoon role, guess what? It ain't gonna happen. A goodly portion of that .829 OPS came at the expense of left-handed relievers who are in the bullpen specifically because they stink against right-handed pitching. But that's not who he'll be facing when he's in your starting lineup.

Ron Santo hit the first homerun I ever saw live. Connie Mack 1966. Helluva player.

From NBC Sports: "But he was under appreciated even among third basemen. Indeed, in 1964 two third basemen won MVP awards: Brooks Robinson and Ken Boyer. Santo had better seasons than either of them. His value is illustrated by the fact that, for thirty years, the Cubs third base position was defined largely by the fact that they could never get anyone there who could hold a candle him."

Of course he'll be voted in by the Vet committee now that he's gone.

Chris in VT: Yeah, I think KK will get around $2M in arbitration (or, most likely, a settlement).

Ricky Nolasco provides a good point of reference. He was a Super-Two pitcher who, at the time of his first arbitration, was 27-21 with a 4.12 ERA. He received $2.4 Mill.

Yeah that's a shame. That posthumus crap is for the birds. He should've been able to enjoy it. I was alway glad Whitey got that opportunity.

Donc: Yeh the year Schmitty and Whitey went it couldn't have been more perfect and I believe it still drew the biggest crowd in the history of Cooperstown.

The Phillies losing Werth is a big hole. A bigger one is the aging of the core players. What this club has going for it next year are three excellent starting pitchers. That implies that they won't have to score as many runs to win and that implies the Phillies can take a chance on younger players like Brown even Mayberry (I know not so young).
WHy can't this club trade some of the "aging" stars for younger promising ones. I don't think we will get to teh WS with the current core without serious rejuvenation of youthful talent.
I know if I suggest the bigger guns you will dismiss thei dea alltogether so let's leave it at that. But the idea of plugging the holes with the likes of most if not all of the free agent retreads available is disapointing and unlikely to create an exciting championship team. Keep in mind that both Vic and Werth were failed youngsters with much promise (especially Werth). They were able to bounce back becuase they were young--that is the model acquistion.

Cowley, the Schmidt/Ashburn year was the biggest crowd to that point but the 1999 Ryan/Brett/Yount crowd and the 2007 Gwynn/Ripken crowds were both bigger.

I had a feeling that day's crowds were exceeded at least once just not sure what inductions. Both of those years are understandable.

Good points about the platoon, BAP. If they're going to platoon a position in the outfield, it should be just ONE position, for the reasons you stated.

I personally wouldn't mind them signing an aging RH bat for RF, like Ordonez or even Dye if the money is less than 8 million/yr for two years. This way you move your "new" free agent to LF for 2012 and bring Brown up.

As I've said repeatedly I think Brown needs one more year of seasoning before he's ready. If you sign Ordonez or another older RH, at least you have Brown available as a backup plan if things don't work out. But if you go with Brown, it's him or bust. I'd much rather RAJ hedge his bet a little.

I think the Werth situation is a huge catch 22. Losing him will hurt now. Signing him will hurt later. You can't complain about being stuck with Ibanez in LF this year, and then argue that the Phils should resign Werth to a long-term deal. If they do, you'll be complaining about being stuck with Werth in RF 3-5 years from now.

Godfather~

I tend to agree with assessment of Brown. I've said this before: When Raul's in the lineup, brown will not be.

I disaree with you on Mags or Dye, but not because I think they're bad players. They're not. Both could always hit. Can mags be the mostly everyday RF'der? Coming off the broken ankle and @ 35, I don't know. Dye, 36 and didn't play last year. Again, I don't know.

What it boils down to is that other than Werth, there isn't much out there. And I think Rube won't make a move for a bat until Werth actually leaves. I doubt they'll be trading for Quentin or Upton. I think they'll make a run at Francouer or Diaz.

"When I was growing up the Cubs had the best INF in baseball: Banks-Beckert-Kessinger-Santo."

I'm not so sure about that; if the Cubs were the best it was because Santo was so good. Banks was nothing more than a league average 1B (after having been an inner circle HOF SS for 6/7 years); Beckert was solid but nothing great; Kessinger was thought to be a good fielding SS because he was such a weak sister at the plate.
I don't have the time to research, but certainly StL would challenge and the Reds with May/Perez on the corners might have been better by 1968.

Braves get Scott Linebrink for Minor-Leaguer.

Linebrink was something of a Petco creation. he's been mediocre when not playing for San Diego.

Edmundo: You could be right the Cards had some good infields in those days but Maxville and Javier were not much different from Kessinger and Beckert. Both were terrific fielders but not much at the plate. Of the 4 Beckert was the best hitter if memory serves. And once Banks was moved out they had a young Jim Hickman who had a couple of nice years. I'm with Clout. That was a really good infield.

Sorry to hear about Santo.

Interesting HOF debate. I'm not sure I'm sold.

Reds IF in mid-70s [Rose/Concepcion/Morgan/Perez/Bench] was awfully good too.

Edmundo: May and Perez at the corners were brutal defensively, which is why May was traded and Perez moved to 1B.

Kessinger was one of the top defensive SS in baseball and Beckert was both a good hitter and a good fielder. Banks was definitely on his last legs, but even so hit 32 HRs in '68 and had 102 RBI in '69.

The Cardinals INF was solid and you could argue that the combo of Maxvill-Javier was better defensively than Kessinger-Beckert. But the latter was head and shoulders the better pair on offense, more than enough to offset the slight difference on defense.

awh: We're talking late '60s, not mid-70s. That Reds INF you refer to was arguably the best in baseball history.

I agree with the Reds INF as possibly the best at least in modern history, also agree that Santo himself made the Cubs infield look a lot better than it was overall. That's the great thing about the Hall is that arguments on either side can go on forever, but it's tough to look at his stats and deny that he should have been in by now.

I keep reading about the Angels being into Jayson and other corner OF. I count a glut of OF already on their roster. Am I missing something? Where will he go? I thought they moved Torii H over for their rookie last year.

Yeah the Reds infield was great especially if you throw in the catcher but thats almost 10 years later. Santo hit 342 homeruns in a pitchers era. When he retired in 1974 I'll bet there were very few players with that many homeruns that hadn't made it into the hall. If that's true, the 5 Gold Gloves should tip the balance in his favor.

He also sounded like a Larry Anderson-style commentator, taking every loss to heart and not hiding his genuine feelings for the home team. Of course the Cubs have had many more years of heartache than we have had as Phillies fans.

Hearing that Magglio is close to re-upping with the Tigers. I thought he was our best choice to replace Werth, at least with a two year deal.

Rauls Grandpa: They're looking at Crawford to play LF. They're not really into Werth. They would then have an OF of Crawford, Bourjos, Hunter, which would be fantastic defensively.

Thanks, Jack. I thought I read like 3 more names a week ago. I guess Bobby is DH'ing.

Joe C.~ I didn't think Mags would come here. In fact, I read on MLB.com that the Phils figure to stand pat. I'm not surprised.

Burrell only got 1 million for 1 year. Interesting to see how the market plays out.

Jack is correct. They've already said Abreu will be the DH.

No BL listening devices or flies on the wall in Boston, say at Red Sox HQ or Werth's hotel?

I thought Gillick and Werth were tight. Pat should be in a HOF mood at the winter meetings and work out a deal for Jason. Of course Francouer is young and probably ready for a rebound.

Not trying to stir the sh-t up but why does anybody think that somebody youngish who has been pushed out or rejected by 3 or four organizations (not somebody traded who is not expected to be a big money guy like Cl-- L--) is somehow going to turn it all around here in a high pressure market with a "history" of hard core fans replacing a high profile free agent?

Mayberry, Francisco, Brown QUESTION...
What is the thought of the these three individually as far as stats for next year if they were given a full-time OF spot
I would guess.
Mayberry... .250 20 75
Francisco... .275 17 70
Brown... .265 20 70

Call me a hopeless optimist but Francouer is only 26 and has experience playing on big market teams. Seems to me, his great start in the majors at a very young age has been followed by years of confused stubbornness in trying to repeat his luck. It is possible to change at that age but he will need to start over under the right conditions. I believe Charlie would like him as a pet project.

Not sure where the hatred stems from, and it's probably not justified, but I'd rather see Milledge than Francouer, and I effing hate everything about Milledge, too.

That said, I suspect neither will be patrolling CBP next year for the hometown 9. Diaz is intriguing, but I wouldn't be shocked to see a general revolving door in OF next year with Vic in CF and all of Mayberry, Francisco, Brown, Ibanez and Gload at the corner spots. I foresee corner OF by committee to at least start the season. If RAJ can unload Ibanez, I think he'll do it, though.

An underrated subplot to all this is: As a man who loves picking a lineup and going with it, sometimes even against common sense and stats/splits, how's Charlie going to feel about all these proposed "double platoons"?

My guess is he would not be into it at all, nor would he put ever put it into strict action like some Beerleaguers are suggesting.

Agreed. I'm not suggesting or advocating that he do it (I'm actually in the camp of start Brown, assuming he doesn't crap the bed in ST, but have a contingency plan).

I just think that's what RAJ is going to give him to work with. I hope I'm wrong, though. Platoons are about as counterproductive to player development as possible - either get your hacks/defensive reps in MLB or AAA.

Adrian Gonzo is close to going to Boston. Youk would go to 3rd. Beltre would be gone.

No Major League players would go to SD. I wonder if Werth would replace Beltre's RH bat.

And what is our GM doing? Standing pat that's what. We need Werth back.

Gonzo to Boston is supposedly "official" pending his physical.

I just read Ron Santo's obit in the Chicago Trib. He really had some bad things happen to him. Rest in Peace. Here's the link:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-ron-santo-chicago-cubs-obit,0,1699814.story

Chris~ Seems to me that Boston is positioning to land Werth. I'm sure Rube is aware, but because of dollars, he's sitting on his hands. He isn't even moving on bringing in another RH bat. His actions tell me that he will do nothing and this really irks me. They don't not obviously have Werth RH replacement on the roster or even in the system.

On top of that Takahashi signed a very reasonable deal similar to Contraras, but Rube didn't move on him either. What does his seemed sense of lack of urgency tell you?

BTW, RIP to Phil Jasner, longtime Sixers beat writer who passed away after his battle with cancer.

If the NY Daily News is correct, Boston is in pursuit of Crawford, not Werth. I suspect we'll see Werth wear pinstripes, like his step-dad.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2010/12/04/2010-12-04_yanks__sox_vie_in_winter_ball.html

DPatrone: You're doing it again. Complaining about our GM in a discussion based off what other teams are doing. That is silly.

Boston is a team that has considerably more money than the Phillies do. They can afford to bring in a few big contracts.

Amaro not doing anything yet does not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. It just means he hasn't done anything yet. For once, maybe he is letting the market set itself before going nuts signing guys. And the Phillies do not need to sign Werth. That would be a terrible waste of resources.

Jesus, Patrone! We're usually inclined to chide clout for his exaggerations but with you it seems he's hit the nail on the head.

Yankees have an OF of Swisher-Granderson-Gardner. Obviously, Werth is an upgrade over Gardner, but if you look at their roster, their biggest needs are SP and C.

Gardner is an excellent defensive OF with good speed and high OB. The difference between Gardner and Werth doesn't help the team nearly as much as signing a Cliff Lee or trading for a quality backstop and moving Posada to DH.

I think Werth winds up in Boston or back here.

Unikruk: "We"? Who elected you blog spokesman?

"The North County Times' Dan Hayes reports that RHP Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Raymond Fuentes are involved in the package for Adrian Gonzalez."

If true, not a bad haul for a guy who'll be a free agent at the end of 2011 and certainly better than the package Phils got for Lee. Padres also reportedly moving Heath Bell, also FA after 2011.

TTI~ You guys are right. But is this guy in a coma or what? It's not what other teams are doing, It's what this guy is NOT doing.
Even the article on MLB.com the other said stated the Phils may stand pat. That's the wrong MO for the team to take.

RAJ doesn't SEEM to pursuing anyone to help the team, given it's needs. Things can't be that quiet. But we are hearing nothing. I even had a nice conversation with my buddy the other day and even he doesn't know what's going on. He does think that we'll get a RH bat and a LH are but isn't speculating.

No matter what any of you think of me, I believe that it all comes down to money. I understand the Bosox have more. Granted. But if RAJ thinks that we are going to have as good a lineup with a big RH bat in it, he's sadly mistaken. Even I'm not dumb enough to believe that.

Clout~ Yeah I also don't think Werth goes to NY. Or Detroit or Anaheim. But I think Boson is where he'll wind up. If that's to be, then so be it. But what is the plan for the Phils?

The other day, RAJ called Francisco a "dangerous" hitter. Now he does have some pop. but if he were so dangerous why did Cleveland trade him?

We've waited for the non-tendered list. That's out. And there are plenty of LH relievers available. Are you not worried that we've signed no one?

If the $55/3yr deal is true, you've got to be optimistic that the Phils have a lot more flexiblity than what most think.

Can Youk still play 3b? He looks to my untrained eye to have grown out of it.

DPatrone: The last time RAJ acted quickly he signed Ibanez above market value (despite what a couple of myth-makers on here say.)

I have no problem with him taking his time and seeing where the market goes this off-season. I feel confident that he'll add a LOOGY and a RH OF bat & I wouldn't be surprised to see him add a RH middle reliever either. There's a ton of them out there including a bunch of recent non-tenders.

The offer probably was true but was it enough? I know RAJ won't quibble I think a 2-3 million difference between offers. He'll match if close.

JBird: Youk told the Red Sox he's happy to play 3rd, but he wanted the full offseason to train for it. Which is partly why the Sox made the deal for Gonzo right now.

If the Sox front office thinks Youk can play an adequate 3B, I'm inclined to believe them, as they are a smart organization and know their players best.

JBird: Youk is an above average defensive 3B even now, at least according to the Red Sox. He was certainly above average there a couple years ago. This is probably like the Polanco thing, where numerous posters questioned whether he'd be any good at 3B since he hadn't played there in a few years.

Wasn't Polanco supposed to have surgery this off-season? I don't remember hearing anything about it - whether he's had it yet or not, etc.

A more interesting question now is whether the Sox sign Gonzo to an extension right away or wait.

It will provide us with our first look at a possible comparable deal to Howard. My guess is he gets 6-7 years for $130-150M.

re: AGonzalez to Red Sox

Its a shame the Padres are salary dumping a guy making a whopping $6.2M who is the among the best hitters in baseball.

The Red Sox are rumored to be giving up a 4 player package of prospects, but only Casey Kelly was among the top 100 prospects going into 2010 that I saw. And he definitely will drop in 2011 rankings after a 1.611 WHIP over 95IP in AA.

I like that the Red Sox are a smart organization so if they say a guy can play a different position it must be so.

When the Phillies signed Polanco and announced he was moving to a different position the general blog consensus was that it was the dumbest move ever.

TTI: I was unsure of how well Polanco would play at 3rd coming into this year, but it turned out very well, and has informed my opinion of the Sox doing the same thing with Youk.

What's wrong with that?

Cause that's not how you phrased your response.

TTI: Not sure I get what you're doing here, except trying to catch me in some "gotcha" moment that doesn't really exist.

Last year, the Phils signed Polanco and I was unsure of how well he'd play at 3rd, given that he hadn't done it in years. It turned out he played very well. Now, with the Sox doing the same thing, I'm taking the knowledge of Polanco, added to the fact that the Sox know him the best as he's their player (while Polanco had spent the past 4 years with a different team), and trusting that Youk can play an adequate 3B.

That's what my point was.

Jack:

2 things:

1.) I never specifically said anything about you criticizing the Polanco to third move. To be honest, I don't really take notes of what people say on here. I just remember there were quite a few posters against it at the time and said it was a bad move. So you brought yourself into the discussion.

2.) This- "If the Sox front office thinks Youk can play an adequate 3B, I'm inclined to believe them, as they are a smart organization and know their players best."

is considerably different than

this- "I was unsure of how well Polanco would play at 3rd coming into this year, but it turned out very well, and has informed my opinion of the Sox doing the same thing with Youk."

Teams scout players and do their due diligence seeing if players can play positions. I'm sure if the Phillies head doubts about Polanco playing third they never would have signed him. Of course, I don't think the Phillies are a dumb organization.

I'm ok with your explanation.

TTI: I never said the Phils were a dumb organization. I merely said the Sox were a smart organization. Given their success the last few years, it seems obvious both teams are pretty well run.

yes, polanco had surgery a few weeks ago

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