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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

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Victorino can help him get use to grass . . .

Charlie will need to figure out when to give Valdez an off day this season.

Remember when Bruntlett was a defensive replacement?

Good times.

Is this where we renew speculation about Howard for Pujols? Buster Olney really wants to revive that story.

From Twitter: @Buster_ESPN "By the way: This Pujols situation is EXACTLY what the Phillies gamed out when they talked internally about Pujols for Ryan Howard swap."

He adds, "And to be clear: That Phillies' internal conversation about Howard for Pujols took place last spring, BEFORE Howard signed his contract."

Not sure if having Howard's contract hammered out makes it more likely or not based on his second tweet.

Please, I'm begging...

"Should have," not "should of"

Example: We should have kept Milt Thompson.
Or
We should've kept Milt Thompson.

Caveat: Keeping Milt Thompson is debatable. The use of "should have" is not.

I would say Howard's contract would make him more attractive to St. Louis at this point...They'd have him locked up at what's looking more and more like a relatively reasonable salary and only through his age 36 season, instead of being locked into a deal with Pujols that would take him to 41 or 42.

But I think this is wild speculation. Pujols said he wouldn't accept any trades. Howard has a NTC. And star for star trades like this seem to be relatively scarce if my memory is correct.

Excellent job, K Fan. I've been trying to find a way to hammer that point home, whether or not the "Should of Kept" shirt is a joke. I wish I'd thought've that example.

Fansince09 is a pretty funny satire though, so I kind of want to keep the Should of Kept meme going. But I'll stop.

Kutz: You know that is a joke, rite*?

*right

I always go for "shoulda." "Shoulda" is never wrong: we shoulda kept him. He's got a bum shoulda. He listens to Sista Shoulda. It's all good.

I see your 28.3 innings and raise you whatever he played in the OF in the minors.

Of course, you do realize that Valdez has never gotten a hit as an OF.

Kutztown, thank you. That drives the G Police nuts, and me as well.

"should have"

Yes, I know it was a joke. But the pedantic side of me couldn't take it any more. :-)

For the record, "shoulda" is also acceptable vernacular.

Carry on...

From the previous thread:

phlipper, err...I mean lorecore, with regard to Sf eating any of Rowand's money, the highest precedents I could find were Thome and Sarge, Jr.

According to Cot's, the Phils' ate $22MM of Thome's contract.

The Halos ate $22.3MM of Sarge, Jr.'s, including $11.4MM in 2011.

In today's DN, Raul Ibanez says he's stronger and healthier than he's felt in years.

Incidentally, anyone who reads Olney's tweet and thinks he's indicating a deal in the works is mistaken. What the tweet means is that the Phils FO predicted that the Cards would have exactly the kind of problem extending Pujols that their currently having. My guess is that they predicted it and said to themselves, "better take the guy we can extend than the guy that even the Cards won't be able to extend."


Anyway, that's how I hear the Olney tweet. (And not as a rumor that someone is thinking of making a deal now.)

Kutztown Fan: I'm glad I'm not the only person with that pet peeve - that and when people say "all intensive purposes" instead of "all intent and purposes."

Valdez earned his spot on the roster. Having him available in the OF only cements this further. Every good team needs an adequate jack-of-all-trades.

Has something happened to suggest that Rowand is on the chopping block? I can't see the Giants eating all of that cash, but if they did, I wouldn't mind having him on the bench.

In re: Ibanez' strength and health

In yesterday's Staten Island Advance, Oliver Perez says he's stronger and healthier than he's felt in years.

Andy wants to debate how well Valdez will perform as a 'VE. Zing!

Remember when Adam Eaton used to commemorate every new spring training by declaring himself "the healthiest he has been in years?" Good times.

Andy - was that the print version of The Staten Island Advance or the web version?

Tweets on the right say John Maine and Phils a match?

As long as it really means-Maine and Iron Pigs are a match, I'd say- do it!

I'd take a flier on Maine with a minor league deal.

awh: John Maine = the answer to yesterday's "8th starter debate (although, if healthy, I suspect he would actually slot ahead of KK & Worley, and become the 6th starter).

I still wonder if the Phillies might try Maine out of the pen. That might be the best place for a guy with his injury history.

By the way: very clever, Phillies Stadium. It took me a while, but nice work.

"incidentally, anyone who reads Olney's tweet and thinks he's indicating a deal in the works is mistaken. What the tweet means is that the Phils FO predicted that the Cards would have exactly the kind of problem extending Pujols that their currently having. My guess is that they predicted it and said to themselves, "better take the guy we can extend than the guy that even the Cards won't be able to extend."

Isn't he also implying the Phils WERE considering offering the Howard for Pujols b/c the Phillies were willing to pay him and the Cards may not be able to?

Chris in VT, Howard has a limited NTC. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but would he block a trade to his hometown?

If you were Howard, would you want to leave the situation in Philly where he gets to play behind the best #5 SP in MLB, and has a great shot (on paper) of another WFC to go to St. Louis, where the odds are a bit more tenuous?

I sure don't know. But he also could hold out for a sweetened contract...say, another 1 - 2 years at his same salary level in order to approve a trade.

Besides, if Pujols is dead-set on testing the FA waters, he wouldn't sign an extension with the Phillies, and thus, there's no reason for the Phils to make the trade.

If you're Pujols, why accept a trade to Philly (or anywhere, for that matter) except to get the contract you want? Why not wait until you become an FA and then you get to make the decision of where to go? If Albert thinks he's going to get the money he seeks regardless, then why not just wait until the FA process starts. Why disrupt your family, etc?

The only way Pujols would ever approve a trade is if he thought there was no other way he was going to get the dollars he seeks. I'll wager that he thinks the only way he's going to get the money he feels he deserves - from STL or anyone else - is if he becomes a FA.

BB - Maybe. I think, though, that the point in tweeting now is that the Phils FO assessed Pujols correctly.

Billingsley, Stadium: I love clever references but my mind is not working. If there's a way of giving a hint without ruining the joke I'd love it.

In re: Maine
I'd take a substitution of Maine for Carpenter in the system.

KF - I was referring to the print edition, but it didn't really use the same terminology. b-a-p nailed my sentiment correctly with his Eaton reference.

Andy:

I can't think of a hint without blowing the joke. Think about the debate between "should've" and "should of". Focus on the syllable after "should".

I know it's not much of a hint...but that's the best I can do.

Who would be better suited in the pen: Kendrick or Maine?

New Tally:

Joe Blanton lost weight.
Dom Brown gained muscle.
Cole Hamels has never looked this good this early.
Raul Ibanez feels better than he has in years.
Placido Polanco is healthy and ready to go.

awh:

1) I don't believe Howard would accept a trade anywhere if he could block it, particularly because the Cards don't seem to have the capacity to sweeten his deal too much since they aren't willing to pay Pujols.

2) I don't think Pujols is dead set on free agency. I think he's dead set on getting the contract he believes he deserves. If a team dealing for him would be willing to give it to him, I think he'd accept the deal.

Thanks, Billingsley. Got it.

CJ - It's amazing the changes that occur every Spring. Add in Contreras who also lost weight.

"Add in Contreras who also lost weight."

...and, according to Jason, an impressive rear end.

There is no Howard-Pujols deal. There's more chance of Hamels for Upton.

As BAP pointed out earlier, Maine might be better suited in the 'pen at this stage of his career because of his injury history. Whether he can do it is another story altogether. Kendrick has had more recent success as a starter than Maine, too.

Other than 2008, Kendrick has been as good, if not better than Maine IMO.

ERA+
2007: Maine 110 (32 starts), Kendrick 118 (20 starts)
2008: 101 (25), 80 (30)
2009: 92 (15)**, 125 (2)**
2010: 64 (9), 85 (31)

**Obviously, a small sample for both

Why do the Phils have to trade Howard? Pujols is 6'3", put him at 3rd and trade Polanco and Blanton.

R.Billingsly: Someone posted something along the lines of the batting average against Kendrick's first 30 pitches is over .300. I wonder how that compares to Maine.

Maine's difficulty in starts is less important with the availability of Worley.

New New Tally:

Joe Blanton lost weight.
Jose Contreras lost weight.
Dom Brown gained muscle.
Cole Hamels has never looked this good this early.
Raul Ibanez feels better than he has in years.
Placido Polanco is healthy and ready to go.

Maine was a good, albeit injury-prone starter, from 2006 to 2008. He was considerably better than Kendrick and probably even better than Blanton.

Back around 1997, Maine threw in the mid-90s. With all his injuries, his velocity has dipped dramatically &, by last year, he was lucky to hit the low 90s. Seems to me that he'd be the perfect candidate to try in a bullpen role. With fewer IP, maybe he can get that mid-90s fastball back.

Will: That would be interesting. It's just another reason why Kendrick should remain a starter, IMO. Don't get me wrong, I like Maine, just not enough to give him a major league deal or slot him in the rotation (or the 'pen for that matter). If he is signed to a minor league deal and looks great in ST, he could earn a spot in the 'pen.

Don't forget that Lidge has been working out all off-season and is surgery free this year!!

***Joe Blanton lost weight.
Dom Brown gained muscle.
Cole Hamels has never looked this good this early.
Raul Ibanez feels better than he has in years.
Placido Polanco is healthy and ready to go.

***

God, I love Spring Training!


On that note, My hands feel great and I'm up to 80 words per minute this Spring. Should be a solid season of BL.

Well, clearly since the Cards and Pujols have not come to terms by the arbitrary deadline laid forth by Pujols, a deal will not get done and Albert will hit the free market after the season. Right? Because if the verbally demanded deadline was made, that's concrete and there's nothing else to discuss.

awh: In both instances you listed(Thome and Matthews Jr.) - a trade was involved where a team agreed to pick up a portion of the salary remaining in exchange for other players.

I was trying to think of just flat out released players a la Eaton/Jenkins.

Albert's word is his bond.

I don't think it makes sense to look at a pitcher's first 30 pitchers as a starter and compare that to how they'd perform as a reliever. That's comparing apples and oranges.

A reliever pitches very differently than a starter would in his first one or two innings.

Having exercised my left brain and worked some of the fat out of my language center I feel that I am in better shape to handle haikus and dialogues than I've been in decades.

John Mozeliak - Hah! Deadlines!! I scoff at deadlines! I laugh at your deadlines!! Deadlines amuse me.

"There is no Howard-Pujols deal. There's more chance of Hamels for Upton."


Andy, I agree. It sounds like Pujols means it when he says that if he can't get the deal from STL he wants he'll make the decision AFTER THE SEASON where he will go.

I can't help but feel (just a gut feeling) that somehow the relationship between Pujols and the Cards has deteriorated. It seems to me that Pujols attitude is partly informed by a perceived slight from someone in the FO - maybe even the owner, Dewitt. It makes me wonder whether words were exchanged or, at the very least, something got back to Pujols that someone in the FO said. Dewitt seems to be strangely silent in this whole process. Perhaps he's just honoring Albert's wishes to keep the negotiations confidential, but I suspect he feel the same way the Royals owner Glass does, and just doesn't want to come out and say it.

What about a Michael Young deal? Think that's possible?

NEPP, funny.

Didnt Dewitt offer him part ownership in the club yesterday as part of his contract extension offer?

So, here's what I'm thinking:

Howard, Hamels and Blanton for Young, Upton and Pujols.

Rotation: Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Kendrick, Worley

Lineup:
Rollins SS
Polanco 3B
Utley 2B
Pujols 1B
Upton RF
Ibanez LF
Victorino CF
Ruiz C

And Young slips into our utility IF role with Dom Brown as our top OF sub.

Sound good?!??!?


NEPP: There was an offer that included part ownership, but I read somewhere that was turned down. I don't think the "final" offer included ownership. I think the "final" offer was 8-years and more than $200M, but less than $240M.

CJ: You can slip Kendrick into that deal as well. No need for the other teams to feel like they're being ripped off.

Despite all those moves, you're still batting Rollins in the leadoff spot?!?

NEPP: "Despite all those moves, you're still batting Rollins in the leadoff spot?!?"

Looking back on the deal it doesn't appear as though Charlie is being traded so, yes, Rollins is leading off.

I'd bat Upton leadoff personally.

Heather: "CJ: You can slip Kendrick into that deal as well. No need for the other teams to feel like they're being ripped off."

Good point... but Phils would balk at that after losing our safety net, Andrew Carpenter.

Pujhols started out as a 3b-man with the Cards I believe. Moved to to OF then to 1st.

I would rather still have kept Carpenter. Don't understand the logic in dumping him and picking up a RHP reliever who had shoulder issues instead.

Maybe it had something to do with going after Maine and trying to get him to sign a minor league deal with a guaranteed minimum if he makes the MLB club?

Carpenter sucks and has never shown the ability to be even a spot starter at the MLB level despite several chances?

Maybe that's it?

NEPP - Yeah he hasn't shown much I guess I don't understand why they dumped him for a guy like Schlitter. I can only think there is somebody in the FO who liked what they saw from him 3 years ago.

It would have made more sense if he was a LHP reliever especially with Bastardo's health/fraility issues.

NEPP, who knows what the Cards offered Pujols? So much of this is speculation.

My only position in the whole matter is that, IMHO, it would make sense for the Cardinals to trade Pujols for a quality 1B they could lock up, or who is locked up, at a price they feel they can afford.

Pujols has, however, said he'll veto any trade.

Still, just to have fun speculatin', candidates who fit the bill, though wouldn't necessarily agree to a trade to STL themselves, are IMO AGon, Howard, Tex, Cabrera, Votto, Butler, Morales and maybe a couple more.

Maybe one or two of them (Votto, Cabrera) are close to as good a hitter as Pujols, but most at least represent a solid replacement.

If Pujols was willing to accept a trade I suspect the Cards would have already explored it.

CJ - you'd bat Pujols 4th? But Larussa the Genius always bats him 3rd. What's wrong with you?

awh: It's out there that the Cardinals offered Pujols a deal with a smaller yearly salary than Howard will be receiving. ESPN says the yearly average would make him among top 10 paid, but not among top 5 (so less than Howard and Lee).

Kutztown Fan: "CJ - you'd bat Pujols 4th? But Larussa the Genius always bats him 3rd. What's wrong with you?"

Charlie would still be the manager and that means power-hitting first baseman bats 4th.

I wonder the extent to which Mark Hamilton in the minors has STL feeling less compelled to tie up resources in one guy. Maybe they can look to unload Pujols between now and the deadline for stuff other than a 1B.

Upton RF
Polanco 3B
Utley 2B
Pujols 1B
Brown LF
Victorino CF
Ruiz C
Rollins SS

I'm trading Ibanez to the NYY for five dudes. I don't care which cause it's mainly for salary relief, in which case you don't really expect any of them to amount to anything, because salary relief by itself guarantees you the pennant.


Pujols deserves to be paid more on an annual basis. Didn't think the Cards would be that low on an annual basis over the course of the deal.

His 10 yr/$275-$300M demand though is still ridiculous.

CJ - I stand corrected. In Charlie we trust.

MG: At first blush, I didn't really get the Carpenter-Schlitter trade either. But I guess it's this: while Carpenter was our most major-league ready starter besides Worley, he's still probably no better than the random veteran starter whom you could find on the waiver wire if you ever needed to. If that's the case, why waste a 40-man roster spot on him?

CJ, if that's the case then the Cards are just playing games.

IMHO that's just not negotiating in good faith.

I've suspected for some time that the reason the Cards signed Holliday is because they eventually expected to lose Pujols unless he signed on 'their' terms, i.e. another very-team-friendly contract.

It really makes me wonder whether Dewitt, a Cincinatti resident who's family has long-standing ties to the Reds, really cares how competitive his STL cash cow stays.

I wonder what in the world the Cardinals are doing. The reported offers to him don't really seem to be good faith attempts to re-sign him. How could anyone think a Ryan Howard-esque AAV would get it done?

Either the Cardinals front office is delusional, there's been a massive miscommunication between the two parties, or the Cardinals had no real intention of re-signing Albert, they just needed to placate the fanbase and be able to say that they tried.

"It really makes me wonder whether Dewitt, a Cincinatti resident who's family has long-standing ties to the Reds, really cares how competitive his STL cash cow stays. "

I've heard it suggested, and now I'm rather inclined to agree (if the Cards don't re-sign Albert), is that the Cardinals front office is interested in being "competitive" as opposed to being a championship favorite type.

You can make a lot of money being a competitive team with a loyal fanbase. You don't need to go to the WS or playoffs every year. You just need to make sure the team is playing "meaningful" games in August and September.

It's a theory, anyway.

BAP - I would rather have it been a LHP reliever because Zagurski sucks and Meyer is only LHP reliever depth they have in the minors right now. Oh well.

Yeah, but MG - the NAME. How can you pass on a guy who sounds like an outhouse (except for the "L").

"It's out there that the Cardinals offered Pujols a deal with a smaller yearly salary than Howard will be receiving. ESPN says the yearly average would make him among top 10 paid, but not among top 5 (so less than Howard and Lee)."

If true there is absolutely no way in hell he is traded to the Phils. Which is the general census anyways but I would think of that as a lock amongst locks that it isn't happening. Why would the Cards trade for Howard who has a salary that they won't even pay Pujols as much?

"or the Cardinals had no real intention of re-signing Albert"

Heather, I speculated about the same thing a couple of threads ago, and I'm inclined to agree with the sentiment.

Cards Front Office says
Pujols' Demands are too high
What did they expect?

Andy - It definitely has been a weird offseason for the Value Village with filled with interesting names and oddball signings galore.

I had always assumed it was a given that the best player on the planet and perhaps of our generation, would be paid more than anyone else.

Weird.

Let's have some fun.

Who am I?:

I am 29 yrs. old, and just completed my 10th MLB season.

Here are my career stats:

.320/.375/.572, 1,898 H, 321 2B, 77 3B, 342 HR, 1,121 RBI, 103 SB, 504 BB, 609 K, OPS+ 157.

I play the outfield, have 1 MVP award, 8 top 10 MVP finishes, 3 GG, am a 9 time All Star, and have led the league in runs twice, hits twice, doubles thrice, HR twice, RBI thrice, SLG and OPS twice, have 2 batting titles, and have led the league in total bases 6 times in 10 seasons.


How much am I worth as a free agent?

Awh, what is your guy's injury history? Also, you say outfield...CF? RF? A liability in LF but you can play there?

awh - Since you're an imaginery player, you're worth an imaginery amount.

AWH....Preliminarily, I would guess you were worth about eleventeen bazillion guineas per sennight.
...and I am unanimous in that.

stan musial?

i thought the age would give it away, but both Mantle and Griffey Jr. dont add up to your stats. I didn't know Hank Aaron started that young.

lorecore - BINGO!

Henry Aaron.

shoulda of said he isn't playing anymore.

Ken Rosenthal tweets:

Source: #Cardinals' offer would have given Pujols about 10th-highest salary in game. Likely translates to $19M-$21M per.

awh: if you want to see some crazy numbers before a 30th birthday - check out Jimmie Foxx. Unreal.

The Cardinals would likely suck for the length of Pujols' contract if they paid him as much as he wants.

"Source: #Cardinals' offer would have given Pujols about 10th-highest salary in game. Likely translates to $19M-$21M per."

That is a really terrible offer on the Cardinals part. Awful. No wonder Pujols didn't take it.

"The Cardinals would likely suck for the length of Pujols' contract if they paid him as much as he wants."

It's going to be a hard sell to get me to believe the difference between $21 million per year versus $30 million per year is the difference between the Cardinals winning and the Cardinals sucking. Especially when that extra $9 million per year is for the best player in the game.

dlhunter: Why would you say that? The Cardinals regularly pack the house. They had the 4th highest average attendance of all teams in MLB, one of only 5 teams that averaged more than 40,000 fans per game. The Cardinals should also have a solid rights deal with FSN (who has shelled out big money recently), particularly considering they rank among the highest ratings of all local baseball broadcasts.

Pleading poverty is soooo 2009.

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