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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Comments

repost:
"fire him and bring back Bowa."
"bring back Lee Elia"
"bring back [insert copycat joke here]"

Yes. There are worse choices than Charlie.
It is likely that there are also better options than Charlie.

If this is about money, and Amaro has to pay Charlie a salary that makes him one of the 5 highest paid, why not shop around and see if you can get better value for that money?

To restate my point that's lost in all the "fire Charlie" jokes, I don't think this is about money. I think this is a "take-it-or-leave-it" move in which they expect he will leave it. It's the template of the Davey Lopes negotiation. No one can say for sure why they're doing this, but I find it very hard to believe that money is a factor.

I completely agree with the front office playing hardball with Charlie.

This isn't the first time Oswalt spoke of retiring after 2012.

Blanton isn't going anywhere.

correction: This isn't the first time Oswalt spoke of retiring after 2011.


I hope Oswalt has a great and healthy season and decides to come back 1 more year with the Phils in 2012.

I have a hard time believing that Roy O will opt out if he is healthy. Another year of pitching with great pitchers on a contending team? If you don't enjoy that, then you don't enjoy baseball.

"correction: This isn't the first time Oswalt spoke of retiring after 2011."

Yeah, but correct me if I'm wrong but didn't he also speak of wanting his option picked up for 2011 before he was traded last season?

To me that just seems to indicate he's not really clear on one course of action.

If Oswalt's serious about retirement soon I would expect him to stick around for 2012 (assuming the Phils are willing to pick up the option) and retire afterwards. If he isn't, then I expect he will opt out and get 1 last long-term deal to finish off his career.

Heather: I remember reading that as a trade rumor, but I don't recall Oswalt ever saying anything about it. At any rate, he approved the trade without the option being picked up.

I'd hate to see him go.

Heather: I think you are referring to the speculation of Oswalt not wanting to waive his no trade clause unless his option was guaranteed.

That turned out to not hold truth when the Phillies acquired him. Its hard to tell if that rumor was coming from Oswalt's camp or just some beat writer "assuming" on his twitter page which then was turned into fact on every baseball rumor website within 30 minutes.

Oswalt is a worker. He doesn't do theatrics, as observed in yesterday's press conference when it looked like he couldn't get out of there fast enough. I think when he can no longer compete to his standards, he's going to hang it up. He could very well rack up a ton on wins as the third starter. I think if he accomplishes what he came to Philly to accomplish, he'll be content with that.

If Oswalt retires all will be well. Then the Phillies can snag C.C. when he opts out of his contract! I can dream.

Only way Oswalt retires is if his back really gives him trouble.

I believe a part of the Oswalt trade was the Phils agreed to up his buyout $'s by a couple of million.

"Just read Rosenthal's piece about the pitchers. I didn't know Oswalt was considering retirement after the season is over. . . I think if he's healthy the $16 million is a no-brainer for the Phillies.

Posted by: Jbird"


JBird, link please.

i know it's been said elsewhere, and in different ways, but when i read this...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/02/14/spring.training.preview/index.html?eref=sihp

...i knew we have arrived.

MG: You're right, Oswalt's back has given him a lot of issues over the years. I believe the Phillies have a full time chiropractor on staff (thanks to Cole Hamels), which I would hope helps.

Bay Slugga - Yeah it has including last year. I think he had at least two epi shots last season (one right near the deadline) and has had some additional ones in the past. Sure it was something the Phils scrutinized though pretty throughly before they traded for him.

Oswalt has a pretty well-earned rep of being durable and playing through pain & discomfort. He's entering his mid-30s though when something like a chronically bad back (which can be a very fickle thing) can just be a really difficult thing to deal with. Most orthopedists just don't like shooting a guy up with a string of epi shots annually either.

I'm a huge Oswalt fan but, seriously, enough with the retirement theatrics. These guys always talk about how they're going to retire at some ridiculsously young age, while they're still in their prime. The next one who actually does so will be the first.

BAP: Like Gil Meche?

BB: Actually, you can color me skeptical about the permanency of Gil Meche's retirement. My guess is that he'll be declaring himself healthy & looking for a major league opportunity come spring training 2012.

Besides, Meche's case doesn't disprove what I said. Meche retired young, but only because injuries had rendered him no longer effective. I'm talking about guys who retire young and at the top of their games. It simply doesn't happen, though lots of guys love to talk about how they're going to do it.

bbeard: beat me to it, nice.

Mussina didn't retire in his prime, age-wise, but he was a 20 game winner when he decided to retire.

Petitte wasn't in his prime, but he certainly wasn't done, and he just turned down a guaranteed $12-15 Million to retire.

awh: sorry the link was on the twitter feed to the right this morning.

http://mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/blog/mlbbuzz/the_futures_of_cc_roy_o_and_cole/4163137?new_post=true

Also, while I was googling that, saw that Rosenthal is picking Hamels for the Cy Young this year. . . and he's picking a Phillies-Boston WFS. . . interesting.

http://msn.foxsports.com/writer/Ken_Rosenthal

Add Billy Wagner to that list.

Conshy Matt, thanks for the Verducci link. Did you ever, EVER expect to read this kind of line from an article written about MLB baseball?:


"As spring training camps open this week, the axis of power in baseball for a fifth straight year is the Philadelphia-New York-Boston corridor."


As a Phillies fan, having suffered through 13 losing seasons in 14 years (Thanks, BG!), I fell like I'm in an alternate universe when I read stuff like that.

..."feel" like I'm inan alternate universe...

re: Manuel

I think its a mistake by the front office to push Charlie to make a deadline. I could be wrong if Charlie is being unreasonable in negotiations - but my take is that they are just trying to let this issue slide by until the offseason so they can use his 2011 performance to decide his future.

That obviously is the best decision for the front office in any single scenario, but thats not how the real world works or else every single player/manager would be on a 1 year deal every season.

If you want Charlie for the next few years and dont want to create any type of distractions to your 2011 season - then the front office is making a mistake.

MLBTradeRumors: Barring something unforseen, Sabathia is expected to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, a source with knowledge of the situation told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

----

I know this was already discussed, but if Oswalt does retire and the above statement is true, do the Phillies get involved?

"If you want Charlie for the next few years and dont want to create any type of distractions to your 2011 season - then the front office is making a mistake. "

I agree. This is such an obvious point, however, that I can't believe the front office doesn't know it either. To me, the most obvious takeaway here is that the FO isn't sure that they want UC for the next few years at the price he wants to make.

And just to add - I think the front office made a mistake by not re-signing Davey Lopes also, to a point where I think there will be a noticable affect on the team within the next year or two.

awh - no. never. not in a million years. not even in an alternate universe. mets fans who read that must have thrown up on the spot. or keeled over and died.

in fact, i feel it's our duty, as phils fans, to point that article out to any mets fans we know. is that cruel and unusual punishement, considering the quagmyre the mets are in, financially? maybe. not gonna stop me though.

I'd still be surprised if he retires, but the fact that Oswalt has mentioned it for a few years may mean he is seriously considering it, at least.

"the FO isn't sure that they want UC for the next few years"

I agree.

The way the Lopes/Manuel negotiations have gone, I'm beginning to think that Manuel is Plan B.

This team has very little trouble coming to terms with personnel that they intend to keep.

How much of a premium is a happy Charlie Manuel in 2011? If I'm favorites to win the World Series this year, I think an extra million in 2012-2013 is worth the price to make sure the guy managing my $160M payroll is not upset with the organization and publically stating his decision to test free agency at the end of season.

Yeah... that won't be a distraction as soon as the Phillies lose their first series this year. Only this time the manager who has(successfully for the past 4 years) to deflect these distractions is the one craeting them.

Every one of you is using an example who meets just one prong of my "two-pronged" statement. I said: guys don't retire when they're young AND at the top of their game.

Pettitte, Wagner & Mussina were still pretty good when they were retired, but they were all nearing 40 (and, besides, Pettitte gave us the retirement speech for about 5 years before he actually did it). Meche was young but he wasn't any good.

Oswalt will be just 34 after this season. The only guys I can think of who retired around that age, while they were still near their peaks, were guys like Puckett & Koufax. But neither one of those guys retired voluntarily. They were both forced out of the game by health issues.

"How much of a premium is a happy Charlie Manuel in 2011? If I'm favorites to win the World Series this year, I think an extra million in 2012-2013 is worth the price to make sure the guy managing my $160M payroll is not upset with the organization and publically stating his decision to test free agency at the end of season."

Again, isn't this such an obvious point that you don't think the Front Office has thought of it already? Assuming they do, what are the logical conclusions?

"the fact that Oswalt has mentioned it for a few years may mean he is seriously considering it, at least."

Fine. Then consider it privately. In his mind, he may actually think that retirement is a real possibility after 2011. But anyone who actually follows sports knows that he's not going to retire. So, when he pitches 5 more years, all the while telling the media that this might be his last one, he just comes off looking ridiculous, the way Clemens and Pettitte & Brett Favre did.

BAP, let's be fair. No one could appear more ridiculous than Brett Favre talking about retirement.

Oswalt could talk about retirement for the next 5 years and still only rate a "5" on the Favre-o-meter.

Maybe Oswalt's back hurts worse than he lets on.

I think the Favre "retirement" circus has put a cloud over anyone else considering retirement. I'd like to see Oswalt pitch the next 3 years for the Phils, and maybe earn himself a spot in the HOF(I think 3-4 very good-solid years would do it). However, I don't think it's a big deal that he talks about, especially since he may have been asked about it in this case-the option year is hanging there making it a bit of an issue. All signs have pointed to Oswalt being a good ol'boy (mean that in a good way, in this case) who does his own thing. Wouldn't shock me in the least if he hangs 'em up-especially if he has a good year/Phils win it all.

Heather: Obviously, he's light years away from Favre territory. Still, it bugs me when relatively young, in-their-prime athletes start talking about how they might retire soon. It comes off as a gratuitous appeal for attention.

If Roy Oswalt really wants to be the 1-in-a-million guy who walks away from millions of dollars while young, healthy, & at the top of his game, he should just do it. He doesn't need to tell me he's going to do it.

Oswalt will be 34, has had back problems, and has won more than 15 games only twice since 06*.


* I expect him to do very well this year, just countering BAP's vision of a young pitcher in his prime.

Maybe Oswalt is merely managing expectations. IF his back hurts so much at the end of the year (or sooner), it won't come as a big surprise to the fans if he retires. IF he makes it through the season healthy and wants to play next year, then everyone heaves a sigh of relief and clamors for his option to be picked up.

Oswalt, in order to waive his FNTC, asked that the Phillies guarantee his $2MM buyout money, EVEN if HE turned down the mutual option. The way the contract was previously written, that full $2MM wasn't guaranteed if HE turned it down after the team exercised their half of the mutual option. So, in effect, Roy O is being paid $18MM in 2011, if he opts out. If he exercises his side of the option, then he gets $16MM in 2011 and $16MM in 2012.

Now, this leaves him and the team with several options:

Team:

1)Exercise option, pay $2MM, and still lose him to FA
2) Decline team half of the option, pay $2MM, lose him to FA

I believe Option 2 is the same as delining to offer arb, so they wouldn't get draft picks if he signs somewhere else.

Roy O:

1) Exercise his side of the option and come back for 2012, earn $16MM
2) Decline his option and take the $2MM, negotiate a FA contract somewhere else
3) Decline option, take the $2MM, then retire (does he still get $2MM?)

Another mutual option, is for the team and Oswalt to agree to decline the 2012 option and negotiate an extension of 3/36 - 3/42 or something like that. (This could happen, but it might impact the ability to extend Hamels if that's what they want to do.)

Roy says he'll se how he feels at the end of the season and make a decision then. There is nothing in his track record to indicate he's not being 100% honest.

I also have to believe that winning the WS might impact his decision. If he gets a ring, he may be more likely to hang it up. OTOH, he amy like it so much he'll come back for one more shot.

No matter what happens, he gets at least the $2MM buyout whether the Phillies exercise his option or not. So, the decision for the Phillies is whether or not they want him back in 2012 for $16MM.

I suspect the health of his back will weigh in the team's decision as well.

***I know this was already discussed, but if Oswalt does retire and the above statement is true, do the Phillies get involved?***

Of course we do. We're a big market club now...we get involved in EVERY free agent just to drive up the price if nothing else.


Hopefully Oswalt is healthy and decides to stay on in 2012. Hopefully the team wants him back and exercises the reasonable option on him.

I pick the option where Oswalt announces his retirement in the stadium after the parade.

I think its funny...before 2009, if you asked me to name my 2 favorite non-Phillies pitchers, I would have given the following:

1. Roy Halladay
2. Roy Oswalt


Clearly, Rube and I feel the same way. Both are just great to watch as they dissect the opposing lineup.

"I think an extra million in 2012-2013 is worth the price to make sure the guy managing my $160M payroll is not upset with the organization and publicly stating his decision to test free agency at the end of season."

If it were only "an extra million" in each of those years, I'd don't think there'd be a problem. We are talking about many millions.

NEPP, my two favorites would have been Oswalt and Lincecum. I've always loved the way Lincecum attacks hitters.

BTW, did you know Lincecum and Halladay have the same middle name (spelled slightly differently)?

Olney article on Phillies pitchers:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=6123661&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d6123661

More news about the clubhouse atmosphere:

"Part of the reason Lee took less money to sign with the Phillies is because he liked playing with a team of folks who are serious about their work, but not focused on chasing after the spotlight. "Nobody points fingers in here," said longtime reliever Danys Baez, who calls the Phillies' clubhouse the best he's ever been a part of. "Nobody judges anybody else. Everybody treats each other with respect."

More Olney:

"Halladay is polite but always headed off to his next workout. According to folks at the complex, the guy arrives at 4:50 a.m., and his predawn runs are like Bigfoot sightings: Few actually get to see them, but the legend grows each time somebody sees a hulking figure dashing along a warning track. Oswalt is smart and direct and caustic and is more interested in lumbering or hanging out in a deer blind than in answering questions that require introspection. Lee is a minimalist, having found success in adhering to a workout and pitching routine, and he really isn't that interested in talking legacy; you'd have a better chance of getting Terrell Owens to never talk about himself than of getting Lee to talk about his place in baseball history.


Blanton is competitive and, like the others, doesn't especially care to hear himself talk. Hamels probably generates the most expansive responses of the five, but it seems to be more a matter of him politely helping reporters find an answer than it is about peeling back the layers of his mind."

Minimalist answers like that from our pitchers are why this team needs more Pedro Martinez.

"Oswalt is smart and direct and caustic and is more interested in lumbering "

PS: What is lumbering? Cutting wood? I have no idea.

Should of kept Lohse

Happy Birthday Uguie Urbina!

"I know this was already discussed, but if Oswalt does retire and the above statement is true, do the Phillies get involved?"

I think the Phillies will have their hands full enough on the SP front buying some of Cole's free agent years, and on the RP front with Maddog/Boras, no?

"2. Roy Oswalt


Clearly, Rube and I feel the same way. Both are just great to watch as they dissect the opposing lineup."

I'll never when the Phillies swept the Braves in September in the last game of that series. Phils were stuck in a 0-0 tie late in the game and Oswalt just ambushes Jason Heyward with rising fastballs at the hands.

I dont think Heyward has ever seen someone wrecklessly attack him like that before. Struck him out on 3 swinging strikes in the same place, each pitch a bit harder then the one before it.

Probably my favorite 2010 reg season moment aside from Halladay's perfecto. It was like the official door closing on the Braves division hopes.

JeffS, true. If you're the Phillies, the decision would probably be Hamels or Sabbathia, even if they wanted to get involved. Based on age alone, I'd opt for the former.

Mad Dog, assuming he continues his excellence and stays away from metal chairs, is due for a big raise.

Do the Phillies view him as a future closer?

Keep this in mind: One area where the Phillies may have some MiL talent percolating up is pitchers who could fill out a bullpen inexpensively.

With the Howard, Lee, and Halladay contracts in 2012 (25+20+21.5 = 66.5 MM), they'll need to save some dough somewhere in order to fill out the roster.

The competition for 8th starter got a little thinner when the Phils DFAed Andrew Carpenter today. The claimed LH reliever Brian Schlitter from the Yankees. Great name.

(So says the Phillies beat guys on Twitter... apart from the "great name" which is from me.)

That's some nonsense at the beginning of the thread about Oswalt retiring because he isn't having fun or isn't a winner. He's explicitly stated (and in yesterday's press conference, I might add) that his body has been giving him trouble and he's not sure if it will hold out beyond this year. Anybody who's had a back problem knows what he's talking about - inability to function normally, without any reference to 'toughness' or a 'winning mentality'.

Besides, it's not a common thing to change careers in his mid-thirties if he's in a good working situation and making a ton of coin.

I'd love to have Oswalt back on for 2012, but I'm more worried about 2011 and seeing him start 30+ games.

Meant to say how much I enjoyed bap's post from a previous thread wrapping all the soon-to-come negativity into one place.

It was a classic. (And another reason bap is in the Beerleaguer Elite... if such a club existed... which it doesn't.)

awh: RAJ will have to earn his pay next year between the empty outfield spot, the arb or long term deal with Cole, choice time with Jimmy, who already said or implied that the team won't afford what he will want in FA and only really Galvis the invisible bat in the pipeline at SS. Add to that the existing contractual raises, and I don't see how any mere mortal puts this thing together for 2012. He'd better have fun this year.

CJ: Damn, If I was near a computer last nite I would have posted my prediction of the Phillies picking up Schlitter. Didn't foresee the Carp DFA, but thats fine with me.

With Bastardo's injury lingering and our starting rotation as fortified as you can get, this move is hard to argue with.

Hmmm... Gelb, on Twitter, now says Schlitter is a RHP.

Still awaiting confirmation from two Twitter sources!

awh concerning Mad Dog, there are a huge number of "proven" closers either hitting Free Agency next year or who have options that may or may not be picked up according to mlbtr.I don't think anyone's giving Madson closer money till he proves it with Bell, Broxton, Capps, Franklin, Fuentes, & Papelbon on the market and perhaps Francisco Cordero, Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez, & Rafael Soriano too. I'd pay him top tier setup man money, but not closer money.

Well, it looks like Carp's career is in the Schlitter.

Brian Schlitter was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 16th round of the 2007 amateur draft and now he's back

CJ: Correct - he was traded for Scott Eyre a few years ago.

he was the guy they traded to get scott eyre back in 08

Schlitter was traded by the Phils to the Cubs for Scott Eyre, I believe.

JBird - Given what the Yankees just gave Soriano this winter, top tier setup man money = closer money.

"How much of a premium is a happy Charlie Manuel in 2011?"

If our chance at a World Championship depends on the mood of one man, we're not a championship caliber ballclub.

Charlie's happiness is a non-factor.

Should of kept Schlitter.

By the way, that photo of Oswalt ought to be his 2011 Topps card.

...or this seasons rainout graphic on BL.

Spitz - sure, if every team is the Yankees. Soriano's getting closer money because he's proven and the Yankees were desperate to spend their Lee money somewhere else. No one else was going to give him that to pitch the 8th.

Schlitter in, Andrew Carpenter out.

If our new waiver pickup has a bad outing and assaults a heckler at Citizen's Bank Park, the Schlit will hit the fan.

This is Schlitter's Cliff Lee moment.

My $0.02 - regardless of what Oswalt does I think Rube's focus in the next offseason should be, in order:

1. Extending Cole long term
2. Addressing SS
3. Addressing bullpen
4. Addressing LF (could see Francisco slide over there with Brown taking over full time in RF if it doesn't happen sooner)

That being said, I don't see CC fitting into that plan, no matter how much he cuts back on Cap'n Crunch.

At the core, if the choice was extend Cole or get CC I'd pick Cole, even if the $ was the same.

Will, re: your Charlie Manuel speculation... Both of the likeliest options for a hold-up are distasteful because they would require recognizing that a) the FO is stupid or b) the FO doesn't value UC that highly.

Both are pretty unpalatable options for the vast majority of Phillies fans, so I think people are going to hold off on making determinations until it's clear that the FO isn't going to re-sign UC in the hopes that it's actually something else.

Like I said, I love Charlie as a person and I want him to stay, but I don't believe in blowing sunshine up his rear and calling him one of the best managers in the game. He isn't.

After putting together this rotation, I have a hard time calling the FO stupid. In all likelihood, Charlie will be back in 2012, but he's not the only option. If Manuel prices himself as Jim Leyand, I see no reason not to interview Jim and make a decision later (both contracts are up after 2011).

(I'm not advocating Leyland for manager - just pointing out one possibility).

What's the rush?

Is anyone else anxiously awaiting the Mets press conference where they roll out the starting staff of:

Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey, Jon Niese, Chris Young and Chris Capuano

I can only imagine the excitement in NY with those 5 must be as great as it was Yesterday in Philly.

RE: Leyland. Last time they interviewed him, he lit up a cigarette during the interview. NEXT!

Leaving Manuel hanging is a litle disrespectful to a manager the team's players like, and who has had success.

Some good stuff from David Murphy:

Wilson Valdez is working in the OF this spring, particularly CF. John Mayberry Jr. (as reported previously) is also working at 1B. And, as expected, Francisco is working in all 3 OF positions.

Dom Brown has added 10 lbs of muscle in the offseason. He's also changed how he holds his hands in his stance and Charlie Manuel is a fan of the new look.

"Wilson Valdez is working in the OF this spring, particularly CF. John Mayberry Jr. (as reported previously) is also working at 1B. And, as expected, Francisco is working in all 3 OF positions"

That's good stuff? We're a little baseball starved here, but ya gotta do better than that.

Bed Beard: Perhaps it was the wrong adjective. Interesting would be a better way to put it. It was good because it was interesting and I hadn't heard it before.

Valdez actually becomes much more valuable if he can adequately cover a position like CF. I'm not arguing he should be a top choice, but we're a little thin in covering that position if anything happens to Vic.

And it was the Dom Brown stuff that I thought was encouraging. Apparently the plan is to get Brown *a lot* of ABs this spring.

Wasn't Valdez giving the "OF" label last year-after INF, of course?

Yeah, the Dom Brown news is good stuff.

Valdez as a CF...it'd be great if he could even be a passable one as we need that sort of depth.

The Valdez in OF experiment is a bit "interesting" in that our potential backup CF solution is based on converting a utility IF. Vic typically misses a few games and an OF of Ibanez, Valdez, and Brown/Francisco/Gload could be quite the adventure...

So, does this open up a spot for another utility IF? Anyone know if Michael Young is available?

So, I guess if Gregg Gross (or Gee-gee, as JW affectionately refers to him) "fixes" Brown offensively, there really is no need to keep Cholly around after all. This must be the hang-up.

"Wilson Valdez is working in the OF this spring. John Mayberry is working at 1B. Francisco is working in all 3 OF positions"

And Chris Coste is working the concession stand with RJ Swindle. Who says the economy's hurting?

@Willard Preacher: I knew that was coming.

"And Chris Coste is working the concession stand with RJ Swindle. Who says the economy's hurting?"

On a kinda-related note, everyone see Griffey's role as yet-to-be-defined special advisor to the M's?

I could see a similar role for Moyer if he should choose (if not an out and out coach).

Matt Gelb also weighs in on Dom Brown and his new setup. Nice little article.

"Leyland. Last time they interviewed him, he lit up a cigarette during the interview. NEXT!"

To be honest with you, I don't really see the problem. Is he a good manager or not? I don't give a damn if he spits tobacco juice into a spit cup during an interview. One can be a good baseball manager irrespective of a nicotine habit.

"he lit up a cigarette during the interview."

Oh my god!

Next they'll be going out dancing. When will it stop.

Sorry Will, I guess that was the obvious joke.

All kidding aside, though, I can't say I'm incredibly optimistic about Valdez being the primary back up for all of 3B, SS, 2B and CF.

Um, the point wasn't Leyland "smokes", it was he lit up during the interview, and the Phils FO thought he showed no respect.

#thingsthatshouldhavebeenobvious

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