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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

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Over the past 3 seasons the Phillies projected starting rotation has been workhorses.

Halladay- 98 GS, 735 2/3 IP, 7.5 IP per start.
Lee- 93 GS, 667 1/3 IP, 7.2 IP per start.
Hamels- 98 GS, 629 2/3 IP, 6.4 IP per start.
Oswalt- 94 GS, 601 2/3 IP, 6.4 IP per start.

I've been checking ESPN every 30 seconds to see if Blanton's been traded yet.

Without being a downer, I think it's kind of crazy to say "putting the loss of Werth to the side." The guy was our best hitter last year. That's kind of like analyzing the pitching staff while not discussing Cliff Lee. You just can't do that.

Either way, yeah, obviously the pitching is the story. It will be dominant, with or without Blanton. We could lose one guy to a serious injury, and still have the best top of the rotation in baseball.

At some point this season I will have seen all 4 of the Phillies aces...I'm very excited about that

I believe it is time from ESPNPhilly.com. Between Michael Vick and the Phillies just doing whatever the hell they want, it would be nice to have some coverage primarily squared on us.

Which would be the cushier job?

1) Halle Berry's personal assistant.

2) Phillies pitching coach.

Don't forget, folks, the bullpen this year will be that much better due to the light workload. What are the possibilities of getting four straight complete games from four different pitchers at some point during the season?

phlipper: I imagine Vance Worley is gonna see a whole lot of Rich Dubee. He doesn't have much to do with any of the other guys.

Jody: They'd probably just assign Jemele Hill to cover all 4 teams and tell us what racists we are.

Maybe KK can follow Lee around this Spring like a puppy.

Wouldn't it be funny if Kendrick ends up the number 5 and wins the most games on the staff on the way to Cy Young consideration?

"He doesn't have much to do with any of the other guys. "

The synergistic effects of having four aces like that might even make all of them better than they might have been otherwise.

1) Less pressure on each individually
2) They can all learn from each other.
3) They'll all benefit from having a well-rested bullpen.


Nice article by Verducci that puts the money in a different light.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/12/14/cliff.lee.fallout/

Blanton and hamhock in the same sentence? That's a little too on the nose, no?

GM-Carson does that mean that all 4 horsemen pitch into the 7th inning?

That verducci article made me woozy...

no one wake me up from this dream...

Don't forget we have a pretty good farm system. If in midseason it seems like we really desparetly need another piece, say if Chooch gets hurt, or we really need a RF, we can trade for one without much problem. The great thing is the areas where we are weak are not that difficult to find help with (RF, RH bat off the bench).

Good to be a Phillie fan

From MLBTradeRumors:

"Phillies nearing deal to send 2B Chase Utley to San Francisco for OF Cody Ross and Cash Considerations"


WTF Rube?!?

NEPP: That's not funny.

I agree...it'd be a terrible deal. WTF is Rube thinking?!?

MLBTR says Yankees could be interested in innings eaters...sounds like Blanton to me.

I believe Kendrick is scheduled to follow Oswalt around this Spring and Lee in 2012.

NEPP You're kidding right?

Perhaps KK could alternate days on Oswalt and Lee this year...if he "learns" enough, he might be an Ace too.

NEPP: No, why would you make that up?

Of course, DPatrone.

I thought the inclusion of Cody Ross made it fairly obvious that it was a joke.

Cool. Thought as much. Cody Ross could be a nice addition though. Can't totally forget about the offense.

Leave that Rodeo Clown with the career week in SF.

Verducci says its $120M with an option for $27.5MM. Thats wrong, isn't it? Isn't it $108M, and Lee will get either $12 or $27.5MM in the 6th year?

Spitz: Yes.

Well, they list it as $120 Million because that's the guaranteed amount regardless of whether the option is exercised. All the reports have it at $21.5 million a year for the first 5 years. Think of the $12.5 million buyout as a reverse signing bonus. Its his golden parachute if he bombs basically.

Reports are that Blanton's agent is involving several teams in his bidding to drive up his value.

Texas is offering 2 minor leaguers and an extra value meal to be named later.

Joe Crowley: I think he should hold out for the Double Cheesburger Mighty Kids Meal.

I know NEPP - but to say that he has $120MM guaranteed and THEN a $27.5MM option is flat out wrong. Since this is all that anyone is writing about today, Verducci should know better.

beats the hell out of dennys reyes...

He prefers the BK kids meal with the Chronicles of Narnia Talking Lion.

Can we make this happen?

Heard though door of Yankees front office:

"This is Fargon War!"

Jack, I meant there's reason to believe we'll see better things from the individual starters in 2011 compared to their 2010 seasons as opposed to the offense as a whole (which Werth's departure hits). Besides the departed Ruiz may have been the only offensive regular with an average or better season.

While it's possible some of these guys are just no longer who they once were, I'd bet against it.

In any case, in the spirit of my first point: the Phils allowed 640 runs last year, their best mark since the '83 season (strike-shortened years aside). 33 starts from Doc, Hamels; 31 from Kendrick; 28 from Blanton (who started the year injured and didn't recover until August); and just 12 from Oswalt.

Madson pitched 20-30 fewer innings than 08 or 09; Rule V Herndon threw over 50 IP; Romero returned to his pre-PHI form; Lidge was ineffective/bad until well into July.

Not to be all Pollyanna, but really for purposes of debate, if the over/under is 640 runs (the 2010 figure) allowed which do you all take?

Under, and it isn't even close.

Replacing Moyer with Lee on the roster makes us younger this year, right?

Biggest Off Season Losses: Jayson Werth, Davey Lopes

Biggest Off Season Gains: Cliff Lee, Reyes' Head

Not to mention Moyer's 19 starts (4.84 ERA) (which included some gems).

Reyes' head should count as 2

Sophist: I would bet on the under in runs allowed.

I would also bet we score less runs than last year (barring some Amaro move to get a stud offensive player, which at this point is a clear caveat that needs to be made--who knows what he'll do).

Jack, I'm curious how you came to the conclusion that we'll score fewer runs next year. Is it only the departure of Werth?

In 2010, we lost significant time from Utley and Rollins, as well as some time from Polanco, Ruiz, Howard, and Victorino. A lot of these guys had years below expectations. I'm just wondering if you expect a lot of injuries again or just natural decline with age, coupled with inability to replace Werth's production.

It's hard for me to see this team scoring fewer runs in 2011, but I don't see a huge jump in scoring either.

krukker: its not hard for Jack to see because he predicts Ryan Howard will decline worst than any bounce back utley or anyone else has.

Jack, haven't thought about the offense as much, but I'm probably more optimistic (115 games from Utley, 88 from Rollins, 132 from Polanco, sub-.330 OBP from Vic, missed Howard in late Summer, 128 OPS+ overall). That's not to say the Phils will be an offensive juggernaut (although last year's team did finish 2nd in the NL in RS), but that a lot went wrong last year.

2010: 772 RS / 640 RA: 95 pythagorean W/L

here's Pythag. Wins with 730 RS, 770 RS, and 800 RS and varing RA numbers:

RS: ____ : 730 RS --– 770 RS ––– 800 RS

RA: 600: 95 wins -- 99 wins -- 102 wins
RA: 620: 93 wins -- 97 wins -- 100 wins
RA: 640: 91 wins -- 95 wins -- 97 wins
RA: 660: 88 wins -- 92 wins -- 95 wins

Offensive dropping precipitously (what would that take?) and RA staying the same, it's a 91 win team by Pythag. W/L.

Any chance of adding some seats to CBP?

They could pay Lee's salary with somewhere between 5000 - 10000 more seats.

By the way, I wanted to comment on Carson's earlier point about whether the $120M includes the buyout or not (107.5 + 12.5/27.5 vs. 120 + 12.5/27.5). I interpreted it as 107.5 over 5 years with a 27.5 option or 12.5 buyout. However, Verducci's article seems to imply the 120 over 5, with another 12.5 or 27.5 on top of that, which is what Carson was saying. It'll be nice when we know for sure how this breaks down.

My favorite part of the Verducci article:

"Philadelphia, with money, intellect and ambition, has changed the calculus of the entire league. Teams such as the Giants, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers better understand that it's not enough just to be good for the next two or three seasons. You better plan on being great to get through Philadelphia."

:)

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/12/14/cliff.lee.fallout/index.html#ixzz187ufGYtV

I think Blanton will be traded, but as JW alluded to I don't think it will happen right away. Maybe not even until March if some team's starter gets hurt and is desperate. Honestly Blanton for 2 years at 8.5 mil per looks better than Pavano at 3 years (which he is asking for) at probably 10 mil per year. We may have to eat a little and won't get anything back but salary relief but trading Blanton shouldn't be impossible. I would keep Ibanez and Kendrick.

And an added bonus to getting Lee:

A decent bat...

Krukker: Even being optimistic on Brown, I think there's a big gap from Werth (one of the most productive offensive players in the league last year) to Brown. Given their age I can't really predict any improvement from Polanco and Ibanez, and I think you can reasonably expect a little decline there. Ruiz, as much I love him, will almost certainly decline.

Howard? Who knows. I think he hits for some more power, but I think he's basically settled into what he is in terms of hitting for average and getting on base. I think you can project a little more power from Utley, but he still got on base at .387 last year--that's about what he'll do this year too. Rollins? Also who knows. Victorino you should see a slight improvement. So basically you're looking for some slight improvements and a lot more playing time to offset the bigger declines (Werth loss, Ruiz, Ibanez/Polanco)

And given the collective age, some of those guys are likely to end up on the DL for a stretch as well. Maybe not as many injuries as last year, but you have to account for some. I don't think you can count on a full bill of health across the whole season.

I'd much rather pay the extra 2 million a year for Pavano than Blanton. Pavano can step it up a lot of the time, KY joe is just an innings eater(amongst other things).

And look, I don't think you're going to see a terrible offense out there, not by any stretch. I think they'll still finish in the top five in Runs Scored. I just think they project to score a few less runs than last year, if I had to predict.

And the pitching improvement (Lee, full season of Oswalt) should more than cover that. You're looking at improving a 97-win team, so let's not act like I'm predicting doom and gloom here. This is going to be a very, very, very good baseball team.

Howard="some power". Ya think?

Assuming the option is already included, it is nearly as much money as his other offers.
Phillies (with option) = 6 years $135M
7th year, if abitrated could be $30M with a $27.5 base in 2016!
Yankees = 6 years $132M (his option for a puny $16M for year 7)
Rangers = 6 years $138M (cannot remember what the vested option was)

So if Lee continues pitching well into his 40's I do not see how he 'left money on the table'. Obviously, if his career falls apart, then yeah, he 'lost' millions.

Bed's Beard: Are you quoting me there? Because if you are you're misquoting me.

What I said was "some MORE power"--as in, he'll hit for more power next year than last year. I figured you would agree with that.

What did you want me to say?

Phillies players react to the signing:

http://zozone.mlblogs.com/

I can't really disagree with any of Jack's reasoning. I am not as pessimistic on Ibanez (he was absolutely dreadful in the first half) or Polanco (he never really seemed to be the same after getting plunked by Hudson). I guess I expect rebounds and increased playing time from Utley and Rollins to offset the decline from Werth to Brown, with everything else being basically a wash.

I will say, however, that I'm much more worried about a major injury in the OF right now. Werth stepping in CF was really huge for us. If Vic gets injured, we might be forced to overpay in a trade, or be forced to play someone like Francisco who would be out of position. In short, we really need another OF. Someone who could hack it in CF if necessary would be ideal.

Lastly, who's our emergency catcher now?

Krukker: Yeah, the OF depth is an issue. Francisco can play center in a pinch, but Werth was definitely better out there.

The Phils reactions are great to read. Haha who ever posted earlier that Oswalt is probably out hunting nailed that.

yeah- he's probably squatting in a tree stand somewhere smelling like deer pee.

Dave Cameron of Fangraphs praises Ruben Amaro for the Cliff Lee deal.

I was surprised to see him write that....until I read the article:

"they’ve already mortgaged their future by building an older roster and locking in players like Ryan Howard to big money deals. Even if Lee is not overly productive in the last few years of this deal, it may not end up causing that much damage to the Phillies, as they may be unlikely to contend at that point anyway."

so Cameron says its good to sign a 32 year old pitcher to a 5 year mega million dollar deal because Ryan Howard will make the Phillies suck in the future anyway.

Haha, what a little prick.

full article

This whole "mortgage the future" thing is laughable. Can someone really explain to me what that means? Here are the players signed for 2013:

Cliff Lee, $25M
Ryan Howard, $20M
Roy Halladay, $20M
Chase Utley, $15.286M

That's it except a couple of club options with $2M in buyouts. Is the suggestion that those four players will be so bad in 2013 that their albatross-like contracts will prevent this team from competing because they won't be able to sign anyone else?

Laughable.

Don't understand the "mortgage the future" comment, either. Most teams with this caliber of depth/talent at the MLB level have had to do it at the expense of their farm system. Albeit, a crap shoot, the Phils have some talent in the lower levels that they can do a lot with (groom for MLB, or use in trade).

Is it a farm system alone that can contend for the WS for years to come? - I doubt it, but what MLB team operates like that anyway?

What a douche.

CJ: To me, it means something different than just money. It means that you can't build a team solely through signing other guys. You can't add 21 players through Free Agency in 2013 (not good ones at least, and not if you have some sort of budget, even a $160M one). You need a lot of homegrown players to add to that. Dom Brown should be a start. But the Phils have traded away a ton of prospects in the last couple of years--not all of them would be on that team, but plenty of them might (Drabek, Taylor, D'Arnaud, Carrasco come to mind, and plenty of others like Knapp, Gose and Villar have the potential to be prospects at AA and AAA at that point who could be traded then or ready to step in soon).

I absolutely agree that the future isn't necessarily mortgaged; but the future is wrapped up in the development of the single-A players we have left.

Personally, I'm fine with what we did--we traded young guys to capitalize on a winning core right now. That's what you should do. And you should sign your homegrown guys (maybe not overpay them like Howard, but whatever, we've done things the right way). But you need to be able to supplement huge contracts with young players ready to step in. That will be the test for the Phillies in 2013 and forward.

rotation nicknames so far:
A) R²C²
B) H²OMG
C) The Four Horsemen
D) The Four Aces
E) The K Quartet
F) The Philly Four
G) The Phantastic Four
H) The Broadstreet Aces

I know this has probably been stated somewhere, but I am very happy that Cliff Lee left Yankee money (reportedly, 20-40 MILLION money, my guess is closer to $60-million) on the table and signed with the Phillies instead.

ZooWithRoy.com once wrote a parody article about how Werth was banging Utley's wife. I know that article has since been removed, but my nigga has a point.

Jayson Werth was all about the money, i.e., immediate self-gratification. Good bye, and I wish you well at Nationals Park. Lee, instead, sets the model for The Phillies along the lines of, "sure, I'll earn less money here, but we have great management, we will use the money I'm not earning to get me complimentary parts, I could possibly earn a couple rings, and hang with your BBFs for the next five years." I am sure the Phillies offerred Werth the same kind of deal, less money to be happy, but he turned that down, which opened money for Lee.

How did this come about? I think it had a whole lot about the Phillies definining revenue certainty a whole lot better. I know that arguement involves statistics, and I know many people know statistics lie. But let me put forth this fact. Three out of four weekends in September 2010, the Phillies drew more TV viewers than the Eagles. In the regular season. No baseball team, other than the Phillies, won the TV ratings against their NFL team during the playoffs. Fans, you want this team to keep winning? Then keep supporting them the way you have. I know you're buying tickets, but seat of the pants decisions, like what game do I watch in September, the Phillies or the Eagles, and choosing the Phillies, helps a lot.

Jack: But that's clearly not what people like Dave Cameron are talking about when they mention "mortgaging the future" because it's mentioned in reference to the Ryan Howard contract which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the farm system.

These people are clueless. Just plain clueless.

CJ: Right, I never said I agreed with his assessment.

Anyone else love the way that Brad Lidge discusses the playoffs as if they're inevitable? Great mindset (don't eff it up Brad....).

"I just keep thinking about how many wins we're going to get in the regular season. And then how dominant those guys will be in the postseason. You never know what's going to happen in the postseason, but I just can't imagine a scenario in which we get there and we don't have the best pitching by a lot - no matter who we're playing against."

That said, I do find it funny that people on here are finding ways to take offense to an article which praises Amaro, but whatever.

Maybe we should just relax a little bit and enjoy these good things and not worry about what random writers say or don't say--as if they matter at all.

Heard though door of Yankees front office:

"This is Fargon War!"
Biggest Off Season Losses: Jayson Werth, Davey Lopes

Biggest Off Season Gains: Cliff Lee, Reyes' Head

Joe C. - Great posts (LMAO)


Also, it's one thing to "mortgage the future" to win now, but the Phillies have actually been smart (for the most part - Lee trade #1 may be an exception), where they ensured that they were not JUST trading for the NOW, but also for a few more years, which gives them a chance to develop homegrown players, also. Couple that with picks for smart non-moves, like letting Werth walk, and you can have your cake (win now) and eat it to (develop some home grown talent).

That's a different model than the notorious Yankees Free Agent model, which was almost year-to-year sign the top available F/A's and trade away farm talent (or block them altogether).

Yes, the Phillies are making moves which depletes the farm system a bit at the higher levels, but they do so knowing what's still in the pipeline, who's blocked, who can develop and what kind of extended time line they're getting on the proven commodities they're trading for/signing, in order to do it smartly.

I'm just disappointed about the timing. I mean, JW had just posted the list of top 10 prospects in the Phils system, which in and of itself, should have generated about a week's worth of dialog here. Then Cliff Lee just had to crash the party. I feel cheated.

I hope this doesn't mean that we'll be too happy to discuss the 25th man on the roster.

Willard Preacher: Well, it seems to me like what they're doing is a little closer to the Yanks model than you're admitting to, but...

The Yanks are kind of the most successful team in baseball history, and of the last 15 years. If the worst thing you can say about your team is that they're being run like the Yankees, I think you're doing OK.

In addition to individual players doing better offensively than they did last year (which is a good bet with Vic, Utley, Howard, Rollins, and even Polly), to make up for the loss of Werth, the offensive players that lost significant time last year only have to do better than the offense contributed by Cairo, Valdez, replacement catchers, and 1B replacements when they filled in for injured starters last year.

It will be less difficult than the naysayers think to fill in the gap between Werth and Brown/platoon even as the team stands. And the possibility of adding depth to the outfield is not yet a lost cause.

Jack: Dave Cameron said the Phillies are smart to blow their future in 2011-12 because we already have since Ryan Howard is on the payroll.

The statement "The Phils may be unlikely to contend at that point[in 2014-15] anyway" is the most garbage combination of words you can possibly write about baseball.

"may be unlikely to contend in 2014-2015" is every single team in the entire league!! And his reason why? Because Ryan Howard is on the team!

Huh... "BBF" means something very different where I'm from....

mm - Do you remember how bad pavano was after he signed his last big deal? I think Blanton at $8.5MM year per for the next two is much better than the 3 year / $35MM contract that Pavano is going to get in this market.

WP - I had a different reaction than you about the Lidge quote. Its fine for the fans to say that we are going to get to the playoffs. I'd prefer, though, that the players actually get us there before talking about it.

jason.tp - "The statement "The Phils may be unlikely to contend at that point[in 2014-15] anyway" is the most garbage combination of words you can possibly write about baseball."


With all due respect, I agree with your point, however I do believe that the most garbage combination of words you can possibly write about baseball contain the words "Bobby Cox" and "asset to the game."

Spitz, I kind of think I agree with you, especially with someone like Lidge. I guess it all depends who's making the assumption. When fans do it, we're getting ahead of ourselves. When players do it, it depends who's saying it in what context. I'd actually prefer someone like Lidge to feel that this team's success is somewhat contingent on his performance, rather than take playoffs for granted.

However, if Doc said something like that, knowing his work ethic, we'd think it was among the awesomest things ever said and take it as gospel.

Hell, we STILL throw around "team to beat" even though everyone thought Jimmy was off his rocker when he made that comment years ago.

Per MLBTR, the Yankess are about to sign Mark Prior.

The empire is in panic mode!

Cameron's always been a joke when it comes to his opinion of the Phillies, but let's give what he's saying some context. Using CJ's post for the 2013 salary obligations, that is over 80 million to four players. Even if you fill the other 21 spots with guys making an average of one million (in reality it'll be much more than that), that puts us over $100 million.

To put that into context, only 8 teams had payrolls over 100 million in 2010. For a large market team in contention, a high payroll is not an issue. We fans are going and that's what matters. We're getting rewarded for that. Let's hope it continues.

If somehow we become terrible in two years, to have 80 million tied up in four players is horrendously bad. If we become a bad team, you can bet that attendance will drop.

In other words, what Cameron is saying only has merit if the Phils go from a 90-95 win team to a 75-80 win team in two years. I agree that it's very unlikely to happen, but I give it a chance above zero percent.

To single out Ryan Howard though makes no sense. He is no more or less likely to absolutely suck in 2013 than Lee, Halladay, or Utley. To do so is just biased hate, which is why he comes off as a total ass in many of his Phillie articles.

Also I have to give Squonk some credit -- thank you for not starting your post with "Squonk in da house." I actually read your post this time.

I loved that a baseball fan broke the news to Chase after a movie; loved that Oswalt was off hunting and unavailable; loved that Jimmy texted RAJ "Boy, you're sneaky."

But I laughed out loud to read a fan in the comments section, who was so excited and said, "Can JA Happ be far behind?" I mean, I really, really liked JA Happ, but he's not exactly one you pine over when you're sporting Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt!

Krukker: I agree with your large points, for sure. I think you are pretty much dead on. I think Cameron is talking about the chance that the Phils are bad in a couple of years, but I think you're right that the chance of that is smaller than he is crediting it as.

That said, and I'm nitpicking here for fun and to see how many people here will jump on me, Howard does have a better chance to be worse than Utley, Lee or Halladay, mostly because he's not as good a baseball player as those guys to start with. Neither are most players--those are arguably 3 of the top 15 guys in all of baseball. Howard is just a level below that.

Squonk64. The difference between wearing Hickey Freeman versus Mens WearHouse.

Compare Pavano's 09 numbers with Blanton's 09 numbers. Pavano had a great 2010 but do you really think he will put up those numbers again? Blanton's ERA wasn't good but his SO/BB this year was 3.12 while Pavano's was 3.16 Pavano will regress to his career norms and Blanton will improve to his career norms. Their career ERA is basically the same (Blanton's 4.30 vs. Pavano's 4.34) so I don't see a huge difference between the two. Pavano will be 35 next season while Blanton will be 30 so I think trading him won't be that big of a deal. There are GMs that would much rather have him for 2 yrs and $17 million than Pavano for 3 at 30 million.

Too bad the Phillies aren't the Pirates - then they would have almost nothing tied up in 2013.

This conversation is ridiculous. Payrolls are going up almost exponentially for good (cash flow positive) baseball teams. For some clown like Cameron to predict that $80MM for 4 players in 2013 could be an albatross for the Phillies, he needs to tell us what he thinks an average big market team payroll will be in 2013. I think teams like the Red Sox, Phils, and Yankees will have $175MM-$200MM payrolls in a couple years, so the $80MM isnt that bad a number at all.

The thing that kills me about Dave Cameron's comment on Howard...does he think the Phillies can't build a legitimate winner with the rest of the payroll not committed to Howard?

Consider our payroll is now around $170 Million...subtract Howard and it leaves us with a mere $145 million for 24 other guys. That's more than our payroll last year...I think we'll be okay, Dave.

Jack: The chances of a pitcher getting injured are far higher than those of a position player. Your hatred of Howard sometimes blinds you to the facts.

With regard to dealing prospects for win-now guys, this only kills you if the win-now guys flop. Dealing Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia was a certified disaster that could've harmed the future had management not made some smart moves to offset it.

Dealing the likes of Marson and Donald and Gose etc. for Lee, Halladay and Oswalt is exactly what a mature, winning team does to stay on top.

I expect Blanton to be wildly overvalued on here, as all Phillies are, but if you think he can be dealt this off-season without eating salary, you're in for a surprise.

Clout: Did you not notice the part where I said the Phils have done exactly what they should do so far in terms of maximizing their chances to win? Let me quote it for you:

"Personally, I'm fine with what we did--we traded young guys to capitalize on a winning core right now. That's what you should do."

And yes, anyone who thinks you can get rid of Blanton's salary while getting something of value in return is mistaken. Phils will have to eat some of the contract to get a real trade.

Can't sign everybody forever, but I like that we have made all these big deals and some scouts still are fond of the talent we have in the low minors. Ya they are far away, and prospects are a crap shoot, but better to have higher rated talent than low rated talent.

The nickname for the Phils Fab 4:

The Philadelphia Heat.

Or THE 4 ACES (this is a big stretch, but ohh well):

"Hearts" (Hamels) the California heart-throb

"Spades" (Halladay) The death card means death for opposing hitters

"Diamonds" (Lee) it means victory

"Clubs" (Oswalt) the beginning of a new adventure, after his mid-season trade to Philly

And Kendrick or Worley will be the joker.


With this starting rotation, hopefully the Phils go to a 11 man pitching staff in 2011. With those first 4 starters, you really think the need for 7 relievers will be there?

Would help them keep an extra bench player (especially if you end up with platoons in both LF and RF) and keep them from rolling out some of the aging/physically fragile everyday players out there as much as we have in the past.

krukker and Jack:

So what you are both saying is that the Phils are suddenly going to drop their payroll instead of raising it as they have over the past 4 years? You're saying that in 2013, three years from now, we won't see payrolls continuing to rise?

80M in two aces and your power-hitting 1B and best all-around player. And another $70M won't be enough to surround them?

Laughable. Except for those just trying to find the tiny cloud in the giant silver lining... but that's what jackass columnist and jaded Phils fans do.

CJ: My point was that $70M will be plenty to surround them if you develop the young talent that is currently in Single-A.

That's all I was saying. I think your attack on me here is kind of misplaced. I agreed with most of your point from the start.

I guess the question that remains is whether or not the Phils can sustain their own TV Network, a la NYY and BOS. That's really the only different revenue stream that they have coming in and both of those teams have had escalating payrolls forever.

I don't see any reason why the Phils won't spend where it makes sense to spend. They locked up a power hitting 1B, the most fundamentally sound 2B in the game and two stud pitchers, who have proven to be more than one year wonders (like Zito).

What Cameron doesn't seem to be able to get past is the $'s tied up, without regard to the return on the investment. And by all accounts, unless some radical reversion to the old cheapskate mindset, I don't see where there isn't enough money and/or young developing talent to compete for a long time. This isn't like the New York Knicks where everyone is overpaid.

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