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Monday, December 27, 2010

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$150k if he doesn't miss 1/6 of his work schedule? . . . As Don King would say, "Only in America!"

Is a player refusing to admit an injury an unintended consequence of time on DL incentives?

interesting surmising gobaystars.

muchacho think you be onto sumthin'.

Minor gripe:

I supposedly read that this is a 'great signing' by Amaro because he was able to get a veteran lefty reliever at a bargain rate.

By what criteria does a $1.35M base with $400k in fairly easily incentive money qualify as a 'bargain rate?'

Most comparable to Romero are:

Choate got 2 yrs/$2.5M
Sherrill got 1 yr/$1.2M

Neither guy got the base that Romero did nor did either guy have the incentive upside Romero has.

Don't mind seeing a veteran LOOGY at all and Romero is probably as good as the sloppy seconds that include Biemel (who has reverse splits), Mahay, and Ohman.

Red Sox will go out and sign Fuentes.

Are you advocating Fuentes to the Phils, MG? I mean where is there room for another 4M arm on a multi-yr deal in said bullpen?

Paying 3/12 for a loogy is sillier than paying 1.35/1 for Romero.

MG: Good post. Romero was signed for pretty much the going rate for mediocre LOOGYs and middle relievers.

muchacho: Fuentes isn't a LOOGY. He's a closer. Thus, the higher rate. Same for Dotel.

>> had hoped to earn $2 million out on the open market, but the addition of Cliff Lee pushed him toward returning to Philadelphia at a lesser rate.

1.35M + .4M (easy incentives) + .25M (buyout) = $2M

Money seems to be no object with the Phils these days, or not as much as it was.

John Middleton has evidently changed all of that, plus they can command a pretty stiff ticket price and still sell out the ballpark.

Anybody know when their tv deal is up for renewal? That should cover the extra couple hundred thousand they arguably forked out for Romero and then some.

muchacho - No. Just that the richer will get richer if the Sox sign Fuentes. That's all.

limoguy - Their TV deal with Comcast is not up until '15.

That's good for Comcast, MG. I am sure they paid a stiff price for the contract at the time they cut it, but they should profit nicely from the deal by the time everything is added up.

I read somewhere that their deal with PHL17 deal ends very soon.

Not sure what will happen after that but it will be for more money, whatever it is.

This is a massive overpay for a guy who has been pretty pedestrian for two years.

I don't know what the problem with Amaro is, but i'd have rather had Sherrill or Choate, and both signed for much less than this.

Of course, once you overpay for one player, it seems easier to box yourself into overpaying for other players. But I have to question what they're teaching at Stanford Business School. If all it takes is overpaying for every player you want, then I think a lot of people on BL, or currently attending Miss Daisy's School for Girls, could be equally as successful as Rube Jr.

I hate to say it, but if Ed Wade had this budget, I don't think we would have thought he was such a moron.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a major blunder of historic proportions, this is about a 1.5. But I wouldn't have shed a tear if Rube had decided to go into the season with no true LOOGY at all. But to pay this broken down mediocrity that much money when there were ample broken and not broken down mediocrities for less money is simply another Rube Headscratcher.

I thought Doc and Cliff took a few dollars less to play in Philly. Where in hell was JC going to get that much money to pitch? Kansas City?

aksmith: They probably overpaid but, in the big scheme of things, I only care about overpaying when it hinders the team's ability to make other moves. A $1.35 to $1.75M contract isn't likely to do that.

Still, for all the good things he has done, I do wonder why Amaro reflexively seems to think that the guy we already have is always the best guy for the job. It's not like we had a lights-out bullpen last year. Our bullpen was pretty mediocre.

Not quite sure what Choat or Sherrill did lately that would warrant one to prefer them over Romero. Needless to say, neither were on the table either. Does Romero deserve more money? Probably not. Will he go out there and be like he was in '07 or '08? Probably not. But if he shows any resemblance to those years, I think it's a decent signing. If not, well it's not the first bad signing the Phillies have ever made and they'll trade accordingly. Dan Meyer could make a statement in Clearwater too. Who knows? I can't really complain too much about Romero coming back when we got Halladay-Lee-Oswalt-Hamels.

Sherrill and Choate were both on the table earlier. In fact, the day Rube tried to sign the fat guy from the Cardinals (Reyes), Sherrill signed with the Braves. And Choate signed around the same time.

Yeah, this isn't an earth shattering mistake considering the size of the budget. I mean, it's not like he was bidding against himself. . . . . oh, yes he probably was.

Think about it. What team was knocking down JC's door to give him a major league contract. I would be willing to bet the Phillies were the only team doing so. So, what the heck was the rush? Afraid they'd get him for less money later and bruise his Latin ego?

Rube is beyond stupid with salaries. And he proves it all the time. Just look at the pen. Baez 2 years? Romero? And look at the starters the last few seasons. Moyer bent him over and got a second year when none was necessary. Really, who the heck was going to give Moyer a deal like that if Rube didn't? And Blanton for three years? Just so they could get a slightly lower salary last year by shifting money forward. Blanton isn't bad, but his salary is now the impediment to replacing the old right fielder, at least to an extent. Just like Moyer's salary was the impediment to possibly keeping Cliff Lee last season.

Each overpay is not a major problem in itself. But cumulatively, they impact every other possible acquisition.

The Mets acquired Hu. Apparently, Hu is no longer on first. He has moved to SS.

aksmith: Moyer's salary was an impediment to keeping Cliff Lee?

The criticism of Moyer's 2-year deal doesn't really hold up in hindsight because, after all, Moyer was actually quite good in Year 2. It was Year 1 when he wasn't so good. If you want to judge the entire 2-year span as a whole, and you think the Phillies could have done better during this 2-year span, then criticize the decision to resign Moyer in the first place. But it makes no sense to single out for criticism the one portion of the contract where, as it turns out, we got the greatest return on our investment.

And Clout re-emerges.

BAP - of course in retrospect the second year was probably a better year until it ended. But I never criticized signing Moyer. It was how much Rube decided to pay him. If another team was in the bidding, then I'll stand corrected. But I know of no team in baseball that would have given Moyer one year at that rate, much less two. Signing Moyer was not a mistake. And even signing him for two years was not a mistake. But signing him for that much money was a mistake both years. It's about the market, and I don't believe another team would have paid him that much money. And if they had, you shake your head in amazement and wish him well.

And Clout. Of course Moyer's contract was an impediment to keeping Lee in the first place. In retrospect, maybe Cliffie was going to test the market and leave after this season. And maybe it worked out better in the long run having him leave for a year. But having Moyer on the books at 8 million, then signing Blanton for about 8 million per definitely had an impact on 2010's Lee move. And even thought the Phils have now opened up Middleton's piggy bank, they had not done so to nearly this extent before this offseason to any great extent. And any player they overpaid impacted any player they wanted to sign or wanted to keep. So to say signing Moyer for that amount of money or signing Blanton to his contract did not impact keeping Cliff Lee on the team last season is quite silly, unless you believe they just HAD to have Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez.

I like a lot of things Rube has done. I still think Ibanez is of value, maybe not the value of what he's being paid this coming season, but it's not that far off. And I liked the Polanco signing. Reasonable dollars for a good, not great, player. And I was never worried about his defense. I also think signing Howard to his premature extension was just silly. No reason he couldn't have been signed this offseason at the earliest. In fact, after this last season, he may have come a few million cheaper. While I don't worry that Howard will decline, and I attribute some of his declining numbers last year to injury, the extension was premature. Just like extending Rollins a year early was unnecessary and premature. A shrewd money manager may have gotten Rollins back for a little less per year and a few more years by playing his cards right.

But the argument that signing and overpaying for some players doesn't impact others is Cloutian in its foolishness.

"pretty pedestrian for two years"

aksmith: how would you define this? sure he walks a lot of batters and is somewhat of a pain to watch, but look at this numbers. the man is effective at what he was signed to do. get lefties out. Also, a 3.04 ERA since 2008. What is so pedestrian about that?

(That ERA jumps to 3.38 since 2009)

I still don't understand the consternation about 'overpaying' for a role-player like Romero. Who gives a sh*t if he makes an extra few 100K per year?

The point is not what they payed, it's who they chose to fill the role. And Romero just doesn't strike me as the type of guy worth the risk from the role of LOOGY at any price, especially when choice 1A is an unproven kid with an injury history.

I hope I'm wrong about it, but this just seems like a gamble that Amaro is making solely based on a gut instinct rooted in familiarity with a certain player. This signing carries with it the same impending doom that most of Romero's appearances usually carry- but the funny thing is, he usually manages to somehow come out of most of them unscathed.

AK~ Rube always does that with salaries. Don't forget 2 years for Contreras and a 3rd year for Ibanez. Baez should have only gotten 1 year. The reason he got 2 is because he used to be a closer and provided the Phils with insurance in case Lidge faltered or falters.

"What team was knocking down JC's door to give him a major league contract?"

We can't assume that a team was or wasn't. What we do know is that Romero was willing to return for a lot less than he made last year. It's worth the gamble. Moreso than Reyes. Like I've said in the past, contracts are agiven to players based on what they've done, not what they will do. Although in Werth's case, the Gnats massively overpaid for a guy that has had only 2 good years in the Majors. That's their mistake.

Here again, like Lee, JC wanted to return. If Werth wanted to remain here, all he had to do was accept arb. But money-wise, it all worked out for him.

Now talking on Blanton for a second, I believe thay can get something for him, and that's the only way I would advocate trading him. Yes, the Phils want to move money, but I agree that Middleton has changed the Phils way of thinking. Winning (or coming close with unfinished business) does that. I don't believe money is as tight as we are lead to believe. I think if the right RH bat became avalable we'd take a shot.

I certainly get that Fuentes is a closer. Which, by MG's prediction, would give them wicked hahd Sawx like four of them (Papelbon, Jenks, and Bard). My point is that loogy's are a crapshoot (Okajima went from unhittable to pedestrian in less than a year's time).

I'm still misunderstanding how JC got a a major league deal at all. Especially considering there were still some broken (or half broken) loogy's left on the proverbial scrap heap.

Is this a great era to be a Phan or what?

A great team with some outstanding players, a beautiful ballpark, owners that have money and are committed to winning, a place guys take less money at which to play.

Hard to believe, Harry.

CRD: ERA is a pretty flawed measure when it comes to relievers and it's even more flawed for a reliever like Romero, who usually only pitches to a hitter or two. If a LOOGY enters the game, immediately walks a hitter, then leaves after facing just 2 hitters, he has failed in his job. Romero did that time and time again last year but his ERA doesn't reflect it, since Durbin, Contreras, and Madson did an excellent job bailing him out of the messes he too often created. Romero's horrific 1.61 WHIP is a much better index of his 2010 performance.

BAP- I know in the past we have shared the same amazement at how Romero could continually get himself in and out of trouble with freakish regularity.

I think this is the problem with his potential role as a LOOGY, where there will already be baserunners in most situations. It's almost in his DNA to allow 2-3 runners to reach without recording an out before managing to pull a Houdini and get out of an inning.

For whatever reason, this is the kind of pitcher he's been for three+ seasons now. I guess if they stop using him with runners on base, this could be a decent signing. But there are far too many 'ifs' to make me think this was a wise investment.

I think the Phils' aging is a real problem that should be addressed starting now.

With the addition of Lee, the Phils have a little cushion for 2011; so, instead of looking for a veteran to play RF, the Phils should give the job to Brown as soon as he's ready or maybe even a little bit before he's ready.

The Phils should trade Blanton for a prospect, not an experienced veteran. We have enough experienced veterans. Blanton is a good enough player that we should get a good 3B or C prospect back, although we may have to add a mid-level prospect or two to get that good prospect. We shouldn't waste a valuable asset like Blanton by just trading him for salary relief or some mediocre prospect. I think somebody like the Yanks' Romine would be a good target to shoot for. Romine could be on a major-league roster by 2012.

When Ibanez leaves at the end of 2011 (or sooner), the LF job should be filled by someone just to keep the seat warm until Singleton is ready in 2013 or 2014.

We should let Lidge go after 2011. Madson, De Fratus and Aumont are all candidates for the closer role. We also have guys like Bastardo, Mathieson and Schwimer to help make the bullpen much younger over the next couple of years.

Keeping our fingers crossed, we hope that at least one of Cosart, Colvin, May, Biddle, Pettibone, Shreve, etc. can be a front-of-the-rotation starter by 2013 or 2014. If so, this guy can replace one of our older starters.

The 2011 draft is reported to be deep in catchers. We should draft a few catchers in the early rounds in the hope that out of the group of 2011 draftees, Romine and Valle, the Phils can replace Ruiz and Schneider.

I would like to see the Phils hold onto the core group of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, Howard, Utley and Rollins at least until 2014 or as long as they are effective since talents like these are difficult to find. By making the moves described above, we would be surrounding this core group with a bunch of young guys. Hopefully, three or four of these young guys plus Hamels will be the Phillies' stars in 2015 and beyond.

A slight overpay perhaps but not really a big deal either way.

Hey guys, I've seen this on here a bunch and I'm wondering what it means....LOOGY...? Thanks you guys are the best!!!

aksmith: "This is a massive overpay for a guy who has been pretty pedestrian for two years."

Please define massive.

The guy can max out at $1.75M. Even if your belief is that he is no longer MLB worthy and deserves $0, please put in perspective how $1.75M is massive on a payroll of +$160M.

And I(im assuming many others as well) find your 3-4ΒΆ post to clout every time he posts something is about 3-4x more annoying than whatever clout posts, including the times hes calling me an idiot.

derek: Madson is a free agent as well, so if you plan on crowning him Lidge's replacement, don't count on trimming the payroll any.

Your Aumont/De Fratus thoughts are extreme wishful thinking. Even if they both end up putting together amazing campaigns this year, the liklihood either of them are in position to close for a championship team in 2012 has to be as close to 0% as you can get.

Seriously...what does LOOGY mean?

Lefty One-Out GuY - at least thats what I've always read it as.

Whatever the exact words, it means a left handed reliever who is extremely effective against left handed batters, but almost useless in other situations.

Thanks Jason.tp...thats what I thought it was but I didn't understand the initials

Not a single Hamels/Upton post. I guess the holiday really is over.

bap: I don't wish to argue semantics with stuff like saying Romero has been a pedestrian reliever for however many years. And you may be right about ERA not being the greatest stat for a reliever, but nonetheless, the signing was good if Bastardo fits nicely into his new role as the team's #1 lefty AND Manuel is able to accept that and not call on his "trusted" veteran.

As far as complaining about Romero not being good, I don't understand. If he is brought into the game to get lefties out, we all know he can do that.

Romero wasn't a 'massive overpay' (slight overpay according to other similiar contracts) and it probably is almost a complete crapshoot going with him over the likes of similiar LOOGYs who were left including Biemel, Mahay, and Ohman.

Phils felt they needed a veteran LOOGY in case Bastardo falters/injured or both. Completely agree and their big move (Lee signing) along with the market outpriced them for the likes of a better lefty reliever option. They would have had to spend $3-$4M over 2 years. They weren't prepared to do that.

Romero though has to still pass his physical after the New Year. I would be surprised but not stunned if he potentially failed it. Just hope the Phils are buying a dented can at a discount from the Value Village and hoping that it is still good.

If Romero the guy the last 2 years who once he got off the juice has lost a little life on his fastball (1-2 MPH) and started to break down physically as he enters his mid-30s? Or is he a guy who is healthy enough to have a bit more control on his and better feel for his offspeed stuff especially his slider (which he simply couldn't throw for a strike or close enough to the zone last year) or his changeup (which he largely abandoned even though it typically has been a very nice change-of-pace for him when he is ahead/even in the count) to make him an effective LOOGY?

Don't know although he is one of the guys I am actually interested to see how he looks in spring training. Interested to see what his fastball velocity and late life looks like and how his offspeed stuff looks.


I would love to see a statistic of how many appearances where a left-handed reliever who is largely used situationally:

- Faces only a single batter (left-handed)
- Faces only left-handed hitters if he faces multiple hitters

Last year, Romero faced only 1 batter in 13 of his appearances last year but a bunch of those came (6 appearances) after Sept 1 with the expanded rosters. Cholly had the luxury of having a ton of excess arms in the pen and utilized Romero accordingly.

My bet is that as long as Romero doesn't look awful in spring training that he will be the primary left-reliever out of the pen in April often facing more than a single hitter in his appearances. A few of Bastardo's mini-meltdowns from last season (especially the HR in Chicago) will likely linger in Cholly's memory from last season. It will probably be a mistake since Bastardo's raw stuff at this point is simply much better than Romero especially his slider.

Only need two pitches as a reliever (especially a left-handed reliever) and Bastardo has them with a good fastball and a nice slider. Hopefully Bastardo largely junks his terrible changeup this year as he did last year.

Dpatrone,
"Rube always does that with salaries"
You are such an idiot. I thought you actually read this blog. Did you think perhaps those guys (Baez, Ibanez) would not have come here without the security of a multi-year deal?
If you worked a job where you needed to work every year for a certain amount of years between certain stages in your life or you would never work again, would you be more willing to accept 1 year and hope for the best to keep working or would you specifically ask for as many years as possible knowing your working career was limited?
Sure, I would have signed Jamie to a one year deal and Contreras and Ibanez and Baez and everybody else over 33 with moving wearable parts in their bodies in a sport which covers all but a few months of the year! You can't all the time and this is how you end up with Baez too long.
Nobody wanted Romero and we didn't waste that much signing him. I know nobody did because there are several better similar role pitchers out there and nobody signed them yet. Nobody said "Hey, I need the worst reliever cheap that I will have to waive two weeks after Spring training, let me hardball Romero on the money until February."
You see nobody signed Durbin or Reyes yet either. Nobody wants them for what they are going to sign for at this point.

Jason.tp - If you see a post from me that's 3-4 paragraphs, then don't read it. No point in complaining. I often skip longer posts answering something I'm not interested in.

But as you know, Clout throws bombs in short posts that often need a longer answer because he's probing for anything to destroy you. A short answer will always be incomplete, and that's what men still living in their mom's basement thrive on.

Hard for me to get too worked up about this, with the caveat that Bastardo should get the chance to be the main LOOGY.

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