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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Ok can someone tell me what LOOGY means?

Lefty One Out GuY = LOOGY

thoughts on the conversation in the previous thread:

I've said this multiple times (although not terribly recently): Moyer's deal was basically for a player-coach. When they signed him to the 2-year deal the rest of the rotation was relatively young and I think he added a good clubhouse presence for Hamels, Blanton, Kedrick, etc...

I think Halladay fills that role now... Lee seems a little aloof, not really a mentoring type and I don't have a feel for Oswalt

PhillyJoe: Disagree.

I understand that Moyer has unrivaled experience among active major leaguer pitchers, but every team has a entire staff of coaches and managers who are considered experts in their field to help give the players any mentoring or advice they might need.

I am not sold on Valdez as a lock. If Martinez has a better spring than him, I think he makes the the roster. Speed and ability to play CF are two of the biggest needs the Phillies bench has. Throw in that he's a Rule 5 pick after what we saw with Herndon in 2010 and I'd go as far to say that I actually think Martinez is the favorite to earn the utility role.

Shot in the dark: We go north with 6 relievers and 6 bench guys.

nepp: not a terrible guess.


RH OF Bat yet to be signed/AA spring surprise?

Wow----Valdez was outstanding last season playing 3 positions flawlessly and showing a gun for an arm. He did a good job out of the 8 hole when needed.
How could he not make the team?

great post

I'll take good old exxon back in a heartbeat, and by heartbeat I mean I hope we don't give him a multi-year deal.

mwbbfan: if we need a backup infielder, Valdez will be sitting there in AAA ready for a call-up.

jason/phaitful: Totally disagree on Martinez. Yes he has more speed than Valdez and can play CF, but his glove isn't remotely as good as Valdez. In fact, he's a mediocre fielder at best. Given the Phillies longstanding policy of going for defense on backups, especially at SS, there is no chance that Martinez will beat out Valdez for the utility spot. He could make the team as 25th man, however, if he shows a lot with the bat in ST.

jason/NEPP: When is the last time that the Phillies carried only 11 pitchers on their roster?

While I consider it unlikely that they Phils will carry only 11 pitchers, it is not completely out of the realm of possibility. When was the last time the Phillies had four starting pitchers who consistently work deep into ballgames? This is a different team/organization than it has been in previous years.

clout: yeah his defense is definitely his plus. I just think defensive replacement value is only effective enough to measure of longer period of time - where Valdez can be called up if a player goes down. Speed is effective in short spurts in late innings so should be more readily available off the bench.

I really don't feel that strongly either way, so I won't disagree with what you have to say much. I just think the speed, CF, and Rule 5 all combined put him over top as long as their offensive is considered equal - which is how I view it.

And the last time the Phillies carried 11 pitchers is when the Phillies had 4 aces in their rotation - never.

****jason/NEPP: When is the last time that the Phillies carried only 11 pitchers on their roster?

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM


When's the last time we had this type of starting rotation? The times they are a changin'.

clout: They carried 11 pitchers at various times last year, but only as a short and temporary measure.

I could be wrong on this, but as a 6-year minor league veteran, I believe if the Phillies try to send Valdez to the minors, he can become a free agent.

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 in Sept. 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.

clout: if that is true, then I would change my thinking.

I had to pick one player and lose the other, I would take Valdez without much hesitation.

NEPP: I do understand the line of thinking that, if you have 4 starters who will usually give you 7+ innings (sometimes more), you can get away with 6 relievers. But I suspect this is one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than it would actually work out in practice. For one thing, every single guy on your list is a one-inning pitcher. What happens if we end up in a 15-inning game on a day when a couple of our relievers are unavailable? Or what happens if one of our starters gets knocked out of the game in the 2nd inning? Even great pitchers can have a miserable game from time to time. Plus, we still have Kyle Kendrick, who has these types of games about once every third outing.

Valdez is a total lock to make the phils. JW didn't even need to go so far as to say "near" lock. He's coming north.

NEPP/Jason - Your proposed staff is short a swingman. If Kendrick gets knocked out in the 2nd inning, I'm not sure I want Baez pitching 4 innings or burning through Madson & Contreras in blowouts. If you go with 6, you can't possibly keep Baez.

BAP/NEPP - They will carry 12 pitches north especially if they move Blanton. If they don't, KK will be the last man in the pen with the likes of Herndon/Bonine/Worley opening the season at Lehigh.

My bet for the best 'dark horse' to make the last spot in the bullpen is actually Bonine. Fits the classic swingman type and is only competition will be Herndon.

MG: Good post about the rarity of a LOOGY actually facing just one batter. The notion of a "pure LOOGY" is every bit as mythical as the notion that, if you use a platoon, your hitters will never have to face pitchers of the same handedness. It simply doesn't work that way in reality. In reality, LOOGYs sometimes have to face right-handed hitters. And if that LOOGY is terrible against right-handed hitters, it's inevitably going to be a problem.

How often will we need a 5th starter in April? There's your swingman right there.

And, to tie together my 11:58 and 12:04 posts . . . if you want Romero to be used as a true one-out guy (as most people do), that makes the idea of a 6-man bullpen even less viable.

I say 12 with Worley 5th starter (because he will outperform KK in ST) and Kendrick being the long reliever. Can we knock Baez down to AAA?

BAP - Yeah. Romero is going to face some right-handed hitters especially early in the season I bet. Maybe if the Phils keep Blanton they will be largely able to use Romero strictly vs. left-handed hitters which truly would be a luxury.

As it has been since '08, the effectiveness of this bullpen will be defined by Lidge. Can't remember an athlete while in a Philly uniform has gone from hero to goat and somewhat back again. Quietly he was dominant in Aug/Sept last year while morphing into a slider-throwing fool (60-65% sliders).

Interesting to see if he comes with the same game plan again early this year. If he can throw that slider at the knee for a strike with a free degree of consistency like he did last year late, it will work. Another thing I actually want to see in spring training (along with his fastball velocity).

NEPP - First time they will likely need a 5th starter is April 10th (Sunday) vs. Braves.

NEPP - Likely 4 times especially since the Phils go through a stretch from April 12-27 without an off-day in the schedule.

I don't think Rube will trade Blanton before spring training unless its part of a blockbuster or is blown away (ie doesnt have to chip in any money).

ESPN speculated again today that the Yankees are a match for Blanton.

The Yankees would be a match, considering they've lost out on every other starter that's so great). But I'm sorry, I just don't trade Blanton for prospects. I've got to have someone who can help the team offensively at the ML level.

With Blanton's salary, Phils will not get prospects nor ML players in a trade. They will be happy/lucky to simply not have to eat salary.

Nothing much left to watch for between now and Opening Day.

Can JoeB be traded?
Who will be 11th and 12th men on pitching staff?
Which two of Gload, BenF, DomB, and Mayberry will earn RF platoon?

That's about it. Wake me up in April.

I think that 'RH OF Bat' that indicated in his roster above will end up being Martinez, making it more likely that 12 pitchers will end up on the opening day roster. I just think that his ability to play CF will give him the advantage over others on the 40 man roster (Mayberry Jr for example). Ideally his performance in ST with the bat will make it easy to bring him north.

I also like the idea of having the spring training 'battle' for the utility role between Valdez and Martinez extend into the regular season. I would feel better about Martinez if he had a few pinch hits and solid fill in starts in April rather than a monster ST.

According to an article on about a week ago, the Phillies would have no flexibility to make in-season trades unless they can move Blanton's salary. That's no small issue because, no matter how good the Phillies look on paper, problems are bound to arise and those problems will need to be addressed in mid-season. This is something to think about for those who say they are opposed to moving Blanton unless we get something good in return.

Personally, I think the upgrade from Kendrick to Blanton is of considerably less value than the flexibility to fix future problems in mid-season. Like everyone else, I'd like to get something good for Blanton also. But if it turns out that we can't (as is likely), I think we have to move him anyway, simply for the salary relief. This all assumes, of course, that the article is correct -- and it certainly sounds more than plausible.

Hard to imagine the scenario Valdez is not on the opening day roster.

If the idea behind moving Blanton is salary relief then he will almost certainly be traded for a prospect(s). The Yankees surely have another C.J. Henry lurking in their system.

I think the outfield platoon goes to Brown and Francisco. If Brown stumbles, Gload will get the nod.

As far as trading Blanton goes, unless they get a decent right handed bat for him they should keep him. He is not worth a blue chip prospect so what will you get in return other then a few bucks and the frustration of watching Kyle Kendrick every fifth day.

C.J. Henry is was a prospect? Interesting.

Short enough reply?

I suspect the return for Blanton will be somewhat more than CJ Henry, but somewhat less than even a B prospect. I'd be pleased to be wrong.

Hopefully, the return for BLanton is the $8.5 million we have to pay him this year if we keep him.

Honestly though, I'd almost prefer that they keep him if we cant get anything other than salary relief. Our SP depth is pretty much non-existent without him. KK is the 5th starter at that point with Worley in the wings...and then nothing.

aksmith: Someone thought so. He was a first round draft choice. And Gillick traded for him.

If trading Joe Blanton's salary was considered necessary by ownership when giving the go on acquiring Cliff Lee then I'll take a CJ Henry for Joe Blanton's salary and be plenty happy.

And I also won't be foolish enough to try and evaluate the trade 4 years later by comparing Joe Blanton's production vs "CJ Henry's" production and declare the trade a mistake.

jason/phaithful: Trading for CJ Henry, regardless of who you give up, is always a mistake.

I know you're not quite so dumb as to think the Abreu trade was a good one. Close, but not quite.

"With Blanton's salary, Phils will not get prospects nor ML players in a trade. They will be happy/lucky to simply not have to eat salary."

Bonehead, I generally agree with that, but with one exception:


To wit, if Phil Hughes breaks down in ST and is going to be out for an extended period of time, the Yankees will be desperate to make a move. In that scenario they might get a decent prospect.

Similarly, if you look at some potential contending teams - TEX, LAA, CHW, MIN, BOS, TBR, NYY, STL, COL, SDP, SFG, MIL (among others) - if one of them loses a top starting pitcher in ST and it's going to be for a significant amount of time, the Phillies could possibly get a lot back for Blanton and not have to eat any salary.

Suppose the following pitchers went down: Sabbathia, Greinke, Floyd, Carpenter, Wainright, Lester, Weaver, CJ Wilson, T Hunter...

That creats a big problem for those teams.

Let me rephrase that: "...the Phillies could possibly get SOMEONE DECENT back for Blanton and not have to eat any salary."

Clout: No I do not think the Abreu trade was a good one. However, I don't regard it as one of the worst trades the Phillies have ever made either - which I have a feeling you do.

AWH~ Agreed. That's why Blanton has value. He could fetch value in a trade without us having to eat salary. Pitching is a priemium that almost every team needs. 1. Blanton is a decent starter. 2. At 17 million over the next 2 years, he 's a cheaper option than Pavano, who is 5 years older.

Are the Phillies so desperate to dump salary that Blanton has to go before the season starts?

Or, are they better off wating until the deadline, or at least until June?





Ideally, under this scenario, the Phillies would have a comfortable lead on July 1, the top 4 pitchers have stayed healthy, and Blanton can be moved to a contending team that needs an arm. He also is part of the rotation until then, thereby adding some insurance if one of the top 4 guys gets nicked up.

They'll save approx. $4MM if they move him in early July, salary room which they could then use to make their own move if they have an area of need.

Or, they might just get something back for Blanton that precludes them having to make another move.

Please just stop on the Abreu stuff.

Dpat: which is why I dont think Blanton goes anywhere until Pavano signs. Pavano isn't proven to be a cheaper option as long as he remains a free agent.

should have read "Pavano isn't proven to be a more *expensive* option as long as he remains a free agent"

jason, you're probably right. If Pavano gets 3/30 (reportedly what he wants), then Blanton becomes an attractive option for the teams that missed on Pavano, or any other team looking for affordable SP.

I wouldn't be surprised to see RAJ wait until ST to move JB. Not at all surprised.

The Abreu salary dump was one of Gillick's best moves. It put the team in the hands of the current core and began the team's ascent. They picked up a few stiffs--all seen as unremarkable at the time--as window dressing, but the return was financial flexibility. In my opinion, unloading Blanton should be viewed the same way.

Agreed with awh. There's no rush.

Hey I know I'm a little late to the party but here goes:

sometimes professional athletes need to hear it from other players. and who better than an guy who has had very low lowpoints (on the verge of relevance for the first 10 years of his career) and very high highpoints (20 win season, etc)

I have to imagine that Cole had to benefit from watching Moyer go out and get rocked one inning and just forget about it 5 minutes later

RR, I disagree. The Abreu move was a salary dump, yes, but it also changed the complexion of the team - though no one has been able to prove intent as far as that point is concerned. They also moved David Bell as well, who was making far less.

Also, the 2006 team was far removed from the playoffs.

The Blanton situation is far different.

I'll guess they made the decision to move Blanton BEFORE they signed Lee. This team makes no decisions without discussing finances.

However, this is a team coming off of 4 straight division titles, 3 straight NLCS, and is a year removed from 2 straight WS appearances. They are financially MUCH better off, and the payroll reflects that fact.

The Phillies took the salary relief the Yankees provided in the Abreu trade, but the Yankees were pretty much the only team that could afford or were willing to to take on Abreu's contract.

IMHO, Blanton in 2011 is a more desireable commodity than Abreu was in 2006, and more teams have the ability to take on his salary.

As such, count me as someone who expects the Phillies to do a little better than they did in the Abreu trade. I may wind up being wrong, but I don't think so.

Moving Thome, Abreu and Lieberthal also meant that, starting in 2007, the core would age, develop and have their prime years as a group, with the key guys (in 2006-2007) all being born between, roughly, 1976 and 1980. I don't have a sense of how much attention is paid to that, except indirectly, when there is talk of team leadership passing into the hands of Rollins, Utley and Howard. It worked and the team is in an all-together different world now.

Joe: I won't argue that Moyer was a positive influence even when his performance was poor - what I should have said more clealy was that I do not share your thoughts that the Phillies escalated his salary up to $8M a year because of the experience/mentoring capabailities.

I think his salary was given to him because they (incorrectly with hindsight) believed Moyer could duplicate his 2008 production in 2009-2010. If they thought he was unable to perform at that level, I really dont think that any of his intangibles would have played a role in his contract.

If anything other than expected on-field performance came into play while signing Moyer, I would guess his popularity among the fanbase/city would be a larger factor than his mentoring of younger players.

The 2006 team finished with the 4th best record in the NL, but as luck would have it the quirk of the playoff format kept them out of the postseason.

Bell didn't have a future. Moving him goes along with the idea of putting the team into the hands of JR, CU, Rowand, and RH. In this regard, Abreu was both a salary dump and a move toward improving team character and leadership.

Abreu was the #3 hitter, career OBA above .400, I think. He was a better player then than Blanton is now; however, he represented a far greater mistake (small market mentality, major market pay out). I think they botched the Lee and Blanton situation last year. RAJ has made up for it so far. He'll likely make up for the Blanton mistake too. The problem is, now that they have gone reputedly off budget for Lee, we don't know really what is possible, impossible, etc. anymore.

RR, the only people who know what is "possible, impossible, etc. anymore" are the people in the Phillies' FO, and they ain't talking.

I think if Pavano was gonna get 3 years, $30 million, he would have gotten it by now. Clearly, nobody is coming close to his asking price or he would have signed by now.

I'd bet he settles for 2 years with an option and its closer to Blanton money than $30+ million.

Discussing the Abreu trade is admittedly a fairly riveting way to bide the time until spring training starts. But there are other worthy topics for discussion which should not be overlooked. For instance, what would people think about the idea of trading Cole Hamels for Justin Upton?

I agree with those who think we should wait with Blanton. The deeper you get into ST,the more likely some of the other 145 SP go down. The biggest news out of ST every year is injuries. And if it happens to us,we have the option to keep him.

Well, here's something that might be worth discussing. Check out this graph from a recent fangraphs posting:

Particularity interesting to me is Alt, and what the author says about them. Basically, don't look now, but that offense could be very good next year, with McCann and Heyward young and likely to improve, and the arrival of Uggla and Freeman, that team could add power and really take advantage of their already very strong OBP. They too suffered through some injuries on offense, so more games from Chipper and Prado will only add to a good offense.

On the flip side, their defense is still a huge question mark, and their pitching may not be as lucky or as deep this year - especially in the bullpen.

The Phils look to be better on paper than the Braves, but that doesn't change the fact that Alt looks to have a strong team. Interestingly, they don't seem to be the pitching and defense first teams we've come to know: they now seem like an offense-first kind of team, with a wide range of performance possibilities on defense and pitching.

I read it here. BAP's sources are hearing rumors of a Cole Hamels-Justin Upton trade. It's finally come true!

One more observation: I wasn't fully convinced the Phillies really needed a second lefty in 2011, but considering their primary competition in the East will be the Braves with McCann, Heyward, Hinske, and Freeman providing the pop, it certainly looks smart to have two (potentially) capable lefties coming out of the pen.

If one can believe anything found on MLB Trade Rumors it appears there is still alot of interest in 1) Pavano and 2) other broken starting pitchers in various states of triage. Accordingly, it strikes me that Blanton is worth something - he is not terribly different from Pavano and despite his seasonal disparities (good/bad halves) he is still an "innings eater." He makes less that what Pavano will get (even 2 yrs). The Phils are built to win now and today - therefore the one thing that serves that end is - trade him for something viable now (no prospect) or keep him to trade later on to gain salary depth to get that mid-season experienced piece to win. The irony is that this would be an ideal time to trade him and create salary space by "getting younger." Trade him even up to NY for Gary Sanchez and a B quality pitcher - prospects that are far away, and save $$$ for the July lottery. Kentucky Joe is worth something and I do not buy the salary being a major problem - at least ten teams could use him as their no. 3 starter.

RR: "The Abreu salary dump was one of Gillick's best moves. It...began the team's ascent."
Classic cause and effect fallacy. The team was successful after dumping Abreu, therefore that's what caused the team to be successful.

This is as stupid as saying the team hasn't won a World Series since dumping So Taguchi, therefore we will not win another until we get him back.

Using actual facts and statistics you could make a far better case that the Phillies would've made the post-season in 2006 had they NOT dealt Abreu and Lidle. Recall that Gillick said he traded him because he did not think the team was a contender. They missed the wild card by just 3 games.

Recent things that don't make much sense:

- Gload as a possible platoon option in RF.

Francisco get vilified on here for his defensive shortcomings yet Gload defensive liabilities would be a fairly big issue if he gets regular playing time in RF. He is a poor option miscast as a LF let alone as a RF.

- Romero as solely as situational reliever who only faces 1-2 batters who are left-handed.

Good or bad, Romero is often going to face more than a single batter each time out and probably face right-handed batters at least 30-35% of the time. Probably closer to 40% as opposing manager's will choose to PH in some cases forcing Cholly's hand. Hopefully most of Romero's outing come in lower leverage situations.

"at least ten teams could use him as their no. 3 starter."

millenia, hoe many of those teams are serious contenders?

P-Red, many of us thought the Braves would be the major challenger last season within the division - and they were. I don't expect that to change. They're a good team.

However, Chipper Jones has not played in more than 137 games since 2003. He's been very injury prone the last several seasons. Also, he'll be 39 in April, so I don't know how much they'll be able to expect from him. He's coming off of major knee surgery, a not-so-easy task.

Still, expect them to give the Phils fits, and in a best case secenario for them and another injury riddled season from the Phils they could sneak up and steal the NL East.

I certainly don't expect it, but it could happen.

MG: According to both scouting reports and career UZR, Gload's best position is 1B. He would cover less ground than Francisco in RF, although he might have smarter reactions and routes.

clout - Exactly. It utterly mystifies of the absolute BS that the Phils somehow started winning in August after they traded Abreu.

What actually happened is that the Phils' horrendous pitcher (their team ERA was 4.83 at the ASB and was barely good enough for 13th in the NL) notably improved in the 2nd half because their starting pitching notably improved with Hamels being in the rotation, a better performance from Lieber, and the Moyer acquisition. Their team ERA after the ASB was 4.36.

Phils won after the ASB in '06 because their pitching notably improved. Not because they traded Abreu. In fact, they were desperately short a starter and could have used Lidle instead of a struggling Wolf who was coming back from TJ surgery prematurely. Oh their RF production collapsed as Dellucci fell back to earth and Conine was completely ineffective.

Everybody knows the Phils got a pile of magic beans in the Abreu/Lidle trade and on top of it had to send some money to the Yanks in the deal. With all of the 'savings' that offseason from moving Abreu, he signed Eaton and made the trade for Garcia. Two turd moves.

So in recap:
1. Phils narrowly missed out on the '06 playoffs and could have used Abreu and Lidle.
2. Didn't get a single thing of value in return. Nada.
3. Used the 'savings' on Eaton and Garcia which were two of the worst moves the Phils have made the past 25 years.

If you were doing a case study, this would be called a 'clusterf@ck' by sr. management.

Trading Abreu, Bell, and Lidle at the deadline when they were 5 games below .500 and 14 GB in the NL East wasn't unreasonable. What Gillick got in return and used from the savings were horrendous. Phils won in spite of these moves and not because of them.

Ahhh, c'mon MG...every 'knows' that Abreau, Lidle and Bell were clubhouse cancers.

Besides, I haven't heard before that the Phils sent money to the Yankees. Sourcelink?

Also, it's a well proven baseball anecdote that when clubhouse cancers are removed, the pitching notably improves. Why, it's guaranteed!

Quick question: How many RPG did the Phillies score in 2006 both before and after the Abreu trade?

Blanton trade:

- Maybe Amaro did learn from last year but if he could trade Blanton tomorrow without having to pick up any of his salary I bet he would do it in a heartbeat. It is just self-defeating to move a guy to have cost-savings if the Phils need to pony up $4-5M in cash to just move him.

Isn't inconceivable that they will hold on to him & try to move him at the trade deadline when his contract will be more palpable & he might have more value.


Phils had to spend cash to move Abreu. It wasn't much though ($1.5M):

"A source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN Insider Jerry Crasnick that the Phillies will pay Abreu $1.5 million in exchange for waiving the no-trade clause and accepting the condition that the Yankees are not obligated to pick up his option for 2008."

Phils offense did really pick up in Aug/Sept that year:

April-July (104 G): 5.06 R/G
Aug-Sept (58): 5.85 R/G

That was a notable uptick. Dellucci hit lights out in August mostly starting in RF (.941 OPS) but he completely fell back to earth in Sept (.676 OPS). Conine (.696 OPS) also didn't produce either in RF in Sept. once he was acquired.

MG/awh: What was Abreu's OPS in August?

It is funny to go back and look on the '06 offseason when the Phils were desperate to acquire starting pitching. Some of the terrible contracts that year:

Zito - 7 yrs/$126M
DiceK - 6 yrs/$52M (plus the $51M bidding fee)
Meche - 5 yrs/$55M
Igawa - 5 yrs/$20M (plus the $26M bidding fee)
J. Schmidt - 3 yrs/$47M
Suppan - 4 yrs/$42M
Padilla - 3 yrs/$33M
Eaton - 3 yrs/$24.5M
W. Williams - 2 yrs/$12.5M

Hell, the only guys who returned good/decent value on multi-year deals were Lilly at 4 yrs/$40M and Marquis at 3 yrs/$21M. Even Mussina stunk in '07 and had the worst year of his career.

clout - Abreu produced at a strong level (.956 OPS in August and an .888 OPS in Sept when the Phils desperately needed production in RF and got a sub .700 OPS from Conine/Dellucci.

"aksmith: Someone thought so. He was a first round draft choice. And Gillick traded for him."

Clout - Disingenuous much? CJ Henry was no longer considered a prospect by anyone when the Phils acquired him.

The Phils traded Golson for Mayberry. Both former first round picks who never panned out. Where they also prospects at the time? Of course not.

aksmith: Talk out of your ass much?

You're just flat out wrong. CJ Henry was on both the BA and Sickels prospect list in 2006 and lots of others. He was a first round pick in 2005 and was only halfway thru his first full year in pro ball (he'd played 48 games the year he was drafted) when he was traded.

Golson, at the time of his trade, had 5 years of minor league experience at 4 different levels.

aksmith, you seem like a fine fellow, but when you make statements that are clearly false and easily proven false by the facts, as you often do, you can expect to get corrected.

If only we had kept Abreu...maybe then we'd have a WS win in the last few years.

Yes, it was a bad trade and EVERYONE is aware of it. Its been almost 5 years now...can we get over it?

NEPP: You're right. It's a tiresome subject. What do you think of Ivan DeJesus for Ryne Sandberg?

Solid trade...DeJesus is gonna be one hell of a player.

Besides, we have Trillo entrenched at 2B anyway...Sandberg is blocked.

Now NEPP, if only we could have had Bobby instead of Ibanez, WFC every season.

clout, how relevant is Abreu's August 2006 OPS?

Is it an indication of the level at which Abreu was capable of producing? Yes.

Is it guaranteed he would have produced the same in the Phillies' lineup as opposed to the Yankees? Ummmm, I'm not so sure.

I am not saying it was a good baseball trade. It wasn't. But we both know that Abreu's production after getting traded to the Yankees cannot be extrapolated into the Phillies lineup during the same time period.

What is not in question is that the Phillies offense went on a tear after he was traded - especially Ryan Howard (1.214/1.312 in Aug/Sept) - and scored a lot more runs. Personally, I consider this coincidental. Would Abreu, had he put up the same numbers in Philly, have helped. Certainly. Again, is it guaranteed he would have? No.

Why is the Abreau trade still being discussed? Yes, it was a bad trade, but it's history.

We cannot compare what we will possibly get for Blanton (if/when traded) to what we got (or didn't get) for Abreu. That trade was a complete salary dump, nothing more.

The Abreu trade, and the Blanton issue are different. Yes, they would like to move Blanton for salary relief , but do they HAVE to?, You're correct to say Blanton won't be moved until Pavano signs, if then.

"Blanton trade:

- Maybe Amaro did learn from last year but if he could trade Blanton tomorrow without having to pick up any of his salary I bet he would do it in a heartbeat. It is just self-defeating to move a guy to have cost-savings if the Phils need to pony up $4-5M in cash to just move him.

Isn't inconceivable that they will hold on to him & try to move him at the trade deadline when his contract will be more palpable & he might have more value."

MG~ You're also correct to say that RAJ should not pony up dough just to trade Blanton. He's a helluva #5. Right now, he's #5. As I said last week, keeping Blanton and moving KK to the 'pen provides insurance against injury and negates the possible move for bringing back Durbin, which could be a possibility. Amaro should not trade him unless he gets value in return.

Are there also nitwits on the Tampa Bay Rays blog who back the 1997 Abreu for Kevin Stocker deal?

They got rid of Abreu's bad influence before it even arrived -- paving the way for new leaders to emerge and the 2008 pennant 11 years later. Who knows if they would have achieved that if Bobby had failed to crash into the RF wall once over that time period? The horror!

(BONUS: they got two years in the majors for Stocker afterwards.)

Every couple of days someone from the Yankees says Pettite is leaning towards retirement. I think if he actually does, the Yankees will come calling about Blanton. I don't see why we shouldn't get something back for him besides salary relief. What are NY's other options at this point? Take Barry Zito's contract (pssh)? What about 3b prospect Brandon Laird? He's blocked every which way in the Yanks org and isn't a huge upside guy.

JBird, exactly. If the Yankees can coax and re-sign Pettite then they wouldn't have to give up any talent. He made $11MM in 2010, and it's a good bet he'd want at least the same kind of money.

Blanton is cheaper but would cost the Yankees prospects.

I'm not a mind reader, but the Yankees view on prospects seems to have changed a bit over the last several seasons. They view them as more valuable than they used to. AAMOF, it was their reluctance to include one of their top prospects that compeeld Seattle to take the Rangers offer for Lee as opposed to the Yankees.

I suspect that if Cashman can re-sign Pettite without costing them prospects that that's their first option.

The rumors of Blanton to the Yankees may be "conditional". That is, they may have already agreed to a trade in principal if Pettite doesn't return. OTOH, I'm sure RAJ is smart enough to have told NYY that if he can move Blanton elsewhere he'll do it.

Also, JBird, there are other teams who could use Blanton as well, including MIN, but they seem to be occupied with trying to bring back Pavano, who has been essentially the "same" pitcher as Blanton throughout their careers. Blanton is 5 yrs younger, and Pavano is reportedly seeking 3/30. Pavano is coming off off a career year (he anchored their staff, and Blanton has never had a year THAT good), and maybe Minnesota has hopes for a repeat (don't hold your breath), but if they were chomping at the bit to ink Pavano for 3 yrs they would have already done it.

The equation for the Twinkies is Pavano for 3/30 and retaining prospects vs. Blanton for 2/17 and having to give up a prospect or two, though I'm not sure what their quality would be, and we don't know who the Phillies asked for. I'm sure they've checked with Amaro.

If I were the Twins, the only reasons NOT to trade for are the prospects the Phils wanted to get in return, and probably more importantly, they have some hope that maybe, just maybe, if they bring Pavano back he can repeat his 2010. IMHo that type of hope is unfounded.

Pavano has a higher potential upside than Blanton, which is another reason why teams are more likely to go after him first.

I doubt the Phillies are asking for much in return prosepct-wise, especailly not enoguh to knix a possible deal.

awh: which is what makes me think they want more than just salary relief. If it was just money, you'd think they'd have moved him by now. Best case scenario for the Phils is that Pettite retires.

I wonder what the health status is of Rocco Baldelli's?

Hasn't played much at all the last two years. Is he worth a minor league deal to see if he can be the RH bat off the bench, or has his condition deteriorated to the point where he just doesn't have the energy anymore to make it through a season?

Shame if that's the case. He was pretty good before he got ill.

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EST. 2005

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