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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I think we know who our new backup catcher is in 2012...

NEPP: Dane Sardinha?

About damn time Goosewurst gets his much deserved press!! Now, let's get him on the big league roster and end this charade.

As clout would say, sehr gut!!

Rich, I agree with GTown about Reyes.

I can't see Charlie taking well to a player benching himself without even completing the inning. (When I said "we" I meant it as a reference to the Phillies organization, not we fans, but that wasn't clear.) However, I'm willing to allow that we fans could have false perceptions about Reyes, and that in any case, his demeanor could improve in our clubhouse.

I just don't see how we can fit him in our budget. And when we are looking at carrying the already often/already injured Utley, Polanco, and Howard, I think the last thing we want is another player who seems to be injured every year. I could be wrong, of course - and you are right that the FO has surprised us before. I just don't feel it a likely signing at all.

Even putting aside the glaring injury concerns, I don't see Reyes providing an incremental performance significant enough to sign him over Rollins for next year.

The issue at hand is more the 5 years that Rollins wants. Reyes will absolutely outperform JRoll in that time period, but to the tune of $5M or so a year? I'd rather have a front loaded deal for Jimmy, or better yet, a 2-3 yr deal.

Does Tuffy have a mullet?

how the f is tuffy starting 11 of 15 games with d'Arnaud on the roster?

for lorecore -

Tuffy - Yo, meat.

Travis - {looking around, shrugs}

Tuffy - I said: "Yo. Meat."

Travis - Are you, um, talking to me?

Tuffy - What other meat do you see laying around here?

Travis - I'm not sure I...

Tuffy - I talk. You listen. Got it?

Travis - Um...okay?

Tuffy - I hear you were the starting catcher.

Travis - Yeah. I'm the...

Tuffy - "WERE" the starting catcher.

Travis - I'm not sure...

Tuffy - You WERE the starting catcher. Now I am.

Travis - But...

Tuffy - Do you have a PROBLEM with that?

Travis - {Long frightened stare, then looks away.} Nope.

Tuffy - I didn't hear you!

Travis - No, sir.

Tuffy - Okay then. How 'bout a beer?

Very nice Mr. Gosewisch! I look forward to hearing about this event in a few months when he bats in a televised Spring Training game followed by Wheels dropping his annual Tuffy line, "The Phillis really like this guy!".

d'Arnaud is injured, I think.


It's his time.

WP - certainly not a discussion ender, but:

2011 WAR

Jimmy - 3.8
Reyes - 6.2

accumulated in 16 fewer games. you can interpret that as either a positive or a negative, i suppose.

conshy: Reyes will get a $100M contract for 5 years, maybe higher.

You do that?

clout - yes. i think he gets more like 6/$110-115M. still yes.

we've got to spend our money somewhere after 2013, right? might as well start here. in just 3 years we will probably have a new:


other than Dom Brown and Mayberry, who's it gonna be? can anyone see our current starters at those positions still being on this team in 2014? Pence maybe. who else?

honestly, the bigger question should be if and who would want Reyes more than the Phils.

Royals? (try not to laugh)

Seems that we're all passing over the fantastic news of Tuffy, and I'll join in on it.

Regarding Reyes, I don't see why not.

In the past 6 seasons, he has had 4 seasons above a 5.0 WAR, compared to Jimmy only breaking a 5.0 only once, being his MVP season at 6.1. You could factor Jimmy's declining production on his age, sure, but Jimmy's best season is marginally better than what Reyes _averages_. I like Jimmy's personality and what he does for the local community, but business is business, and Jimmy fully understands that as he's not likely going to give Rube the "hometown discount."

This team needs a Tuffy.

clout, out of curiosity, do you do the Reyes deal at 5/100?

I do not.

Worth throwing a couple of bucks at Jorge Cantu and see what happens? Probably could be had for 1mm or less on a 1 yr?

Maybe not the Tuffy we deserved, but the Tuffy we needed?

WP: Nor do I. conshy makes a good point about all the open spots on the team. If you commit $110M to Reyes, then you are essentially building your team around him with whatever's left over.

I can think of guys to build a team around, but he would not be one of them. He had a career year this season. I don't think he'll touch a 143 OPS+ again.

clout - good point. i have a hard time believing that Reyes should be the center point of a team. see: Mets, NY.

BTW, I think Reyes signs in Fla. He will be their Thome with their new stadium. Hanley is now a detriment at SS, but can play 3B.

They got killed by injuries for the second straight year, but there's some talent in Fla. with Stanton, Morrison, Sanchez and their rotation. Add Reyes to that mix and things get interesting.

mm: Cantu is interesting. He's a bad fielder and has had 2 down years in a row on offense, but some of that is due to injury. He just turns 30 in January. Plus he'd be cheap, as you say.

I'd roll the dice for $1.5M on a 1 year contract.

2012 Phillies starting lineup

Rollins SS (signed for 3 yrs $45M)
Victorino CF
Utley 2B
A. Ramirez 3B (3 yrs $55M)
Pence RF
Brown/Mayberry LF
Ruiz C
Cantu 1B (1 yr. $1.5M)

bench: Polanco, Goosewurst, Valdez, Gload.

That would be a "scary" Miami Marlins lineup, for a few years to come, too. Ramirez/Reyes on the left side of the infield would be among the best, offensively, in baseball. I can see Jeter/ARod already starting to get a bit jealous...

Cantu is only 30? Wow. And here I was getting ready to type up a comparison to Lindsay Lohan (i.e., would have been a better idea 5 years ago). Who knew?

If he can be had cheap, I don't see the downside.

clout, I like that lineup, except for Gload's inclusion.

But I wouldn't be opposed to Cantu and A-Ram additions, at all. Though, I'd be shocked if some of those figures came in as low as you project.

I'd personally pass on Cantu unless it's a minor league contract worth peanuts. I saw him a few times at Petco, and he just seemed enthusiastic and lost, despite having half the stadium dance to his at bat tunes. I don't recall him muffing any balls or scoops at first, but don't recall anything extraordinary either.

However, $1.5M is a ridiculous amount, considering the Padres tossed him $850k before they cut him, and the Rockies had him on a minor league contract. Giving him the opportunity to play for a winner and a potential role given Howard's injury should be more than enough incentive to lure him away from whatever unlikely deal may come his way.

However, should he get back in his Casey Kotchman/Xavier Nady hitting form, he can also play third should Polanco feel start channeling his inner Abe "No Mercy" Nunez.

uh, that should read unenthusiastic... damn you auto correct.

Clout, in your scenario there, what does Rube do with the bullpen? He seems gung ho about wasting money on a guy who can get a lot of "saves." (I'm putting that stat in scare quotes as a matter of policy from now on)

sdphillie - Yeah Cantu at this point is a minor league contract maybe even a spring camp invite guy. Not somebody you give a $1.5M guaranteed deal to.

fumphis makes a good point. This whole "veteran Closer" thing gives me nightmares. The Phillies ought to know better than any team how thoroughly meaningless that designation tends to be. The only apparent beneficiaries are said "Closer" & his agent. If the thought of the likes of Papelbon in a Phillies uniform doesn't trigger feelings of instant, paralyzing terror, you're either the bravest or the dumbest fan on this Earth.

Remove Schwimer/De Fratus. I agree that the Phils don't necessarily need to sign a 'proven closer' to $10M+ a year. They do need to sign at least 2 veteran arms to round out that pen though.

Guess my post got chopped but Seidman reported today he thinks there is a '85% probability' that Lidge returns on a 1/$3.25M deal with a vesting option.

That's a little bit too much but I wouldn't mind seeing him back here.

What I don't understand is this insistence the Phils can fill them bullpen with internal options next year. There bullpen might look something like if they did:

Contreras - closer
De Fratus

That's assuming that Contreras is healthy to start the season. I also would be shocked if he doesn't go on the DL at some point. He simply been injury-plagued the last few seasons, is 40ish, and is coming off serious elbow surgery.

That bullpen without Contreras looks like a recipe for disaster. Phils were able to cover up their bullpen depth issues this year because their starting pitching went deep into games often & rarely was chased early.

Even though, the Phils still had real issues in the 2nd half if their starter didn't go at least 7 IP. I can't see how a bullpen filled with just internal options would have the depth needed to whether some of the almost certain injuries, likely increased workload next year, or quality results given so many unproven options at the MLB level.

Understand the argument the Phils don't necessarily need to spend big money on a 'proven closer' but this bullpen really needs at least 2 veteran relievers to round it out.

One guy I wouldn't mind seeing being converted to a reliever is JC Ramirez. His future (if he has one at the MLB level) isn't as a starter. It is a RHP middle reliever who throws a 4-seam fastball in the low-90s and a decent slider.

The Phils will likely give him another chance at Reading this year as a starter but he is simply has no shot at making the MLB level as one. Better off sending him to the pen to focus on his fastball/slider combo and building up his arm as a reliever.

MG, I agree about the bullpen. I know everyone is married to the whole 1-5 concept, but when you have 2-3 pitchers who consistently pitch into the 7th or past it, why not break them up in the rotation, to help better pace the bullpen's work? Just a thought.

I don't want to overrate him, but DeFratus' and Schwimmer's upside are not considered the same. Both need to prove something, of course.

WP - It is an interesting idea. Given that likelihood that Howard will miss close to half the season (or maybe more) and with Gload's impending free agency, I do expect the Phils to go out and sign a 1B/OF FA who bats LH (or is switch-hitter). Don't expect that it will be Ibanez either.

Seen a few guys mentioned but one guy I wouldn't mind seeing in that role next year is JD Drew. It depends on how he would do on a physical especially regarding his shoulder but he is likely a guy that could be had for peanuts on a 1-yr deal, would be likely content to be a part-time starter for a good part of the year, and could move to a bench role once Howard was back.

If the Phils want to go up the ladder a bit, a guy like Kubel fits the bill although the issue with him is he comes with a much more expensive price tag (my bet is $4-$5M) and probably requires a multi-year deal.

MG: J.D. Drew?? In Philadelphia?!? Seriously?!?


One veteran reliever I am really enamored with the Phils trying to sign is Nathan.

Twins declined his $12.5M option today but he was really effective in the 2nd half. Likely will have his share of suitors since he will likely only get a 1 or 2 yr deal a reduced price tag but I would love see the Phils sign him to a 1 yr/$6M deal with a vesting option although my bet is that it takes 2 yr/$11-12M to sign him.

Deals last year:

F. Francisco - 1 yr/$4M
Gregg - 2 yr/$10M
Fuentes - 2 yr/$10.5M
Putz - 2 yr/$10M

Scott - Yeah that is the one kicker (his history with Philly) otherwise he would be a nice 'Value Village' type pickup that is slightly dented and bruised.

I would much rather see the Phils give a $1.5M deal to a guy like Drew than Gload/Cantu.

Seriously. I had to read that one twice MG.

5 years/110 million for Reyes would not be money well spent.

A few of the reasons have been mentioned but I'll add another one. Of all the fielding positions we actually have a guy at that spot who has the potential to be something one day. I'm not going to pretend that Galvis will be a superstar or reach Reyes level but right now he is a 22 year old guy who is still learning the game, but by all scouting reports is close to the major league level. If you sign Reyes now that puts all your eggs in the basket of a guy who will be 30+ come 2014 and will have you dumping a guy who could be a nice young piece for the team.

It's a risk.reward type move but I think when you have a young guy at one spot you should let him play it out and if he sucks in a few years- then sign a shortstop from somewhere else.

Would be interesting to see the overall fan reception to a guy like Drew. Obviously, the die-hards will remember him, but how many of those fans that have helped sell out the Bank for however many straight nights actually know about JD Drew?

I advocated early going young with the bullpen around a veteran like Lidge. Changed that some to say resign Lidge to be the closer- but under the knowledge that you are prepping whoever you feel will be the closer going forward this season.

Also try to get a veteran lefty to add into the pen to take some weight off of Bastardo and give you another match-up guy. Wouldn't mind someone like Qualls getting an offer either, even if it is just a spring training invite.

The Phillies should just make Bastardo or Contreras (if healthy) the closer. They should then take that $10 to $12M they'd have to spend on a "veteran closer" and spread the risk around by signing about 3 veteran relievers in the $3 or $4M per year price range.

JD Drew's past history with Philly would certainly be an obstacle to overcome, though I suspect a WS win for both he and Philly have tempered things a bit.

I'd be more concerned with his overall complacency. I've seen more than one account of a laissez faire attitude with Drew. That wouldn't fly well in Philly, especially since he already has one strike against him.

It would help to stimulate the economy, though, to sell a bunch of D-cell batteries.

Clout - Cantu? Seriously? For that much money? No way in heck is that going to happen. And thank goodness it won't. He can likely be had for a minor league invite and the vet minimum. Saw him play out in SD this year and he looked just awful except for one very good at bat against Oswalt. Fouled off about a dozen pitches and ended Oswalt's night prematurely. But overall, he's on par with Brian Schneider these days.

Aramis Ramirez has some talent offensively, but if he comes that cheaply or for that many years, I'll be quite surprised.

Jimmy Rollins three years at 45 mil? I'm torn about that. I do like JRoll, But I'd go 3/36 tops and would try to make it two years with an option and buyout. But in this market, three years seems likely, so okay. But not for 45 mil.

Rather than Gload, would really like to see Giambi. He is much more the Matt Stairs game changing type of extra bat that is needed.


2012 Phillies starting lineup

Rollins SS (signed for 3 yrs $45M)
Victorino CF
Utley 2B
A. Ramirez 3B (3 yrs $55M)
Pence RF
Brown/Mayberry LF
Ruiz C
Cantu 1B (1 yr. $1.5M)

bench: Polanco, Goosewurst, Valdez, Gload.

Lidge for 3.25 million? What? If he earns more than one mil this year, someone is badly overpaying.

WP: LIKE Lidge, but not Lidge.

Goosewurst for President.

(Could he be wurst than what we have?)

I've been thinking a bit (a dangerous proposition, I know) about next year's team and it just seems to me that there really isn't any alternative to re-signing Rollins.

Howard will be out the first half of the season, or first 1/4 anyway.

So, do you really want to disrupt the lineup THAT much by 'removing' 2 core players at the same time?

I'm just not sure it will work. I think the pitching will be fine - maybe not wuite as good as 2011 - but I think they'll be OK.

I worry about the offense.


1B substitute (Rizotti?)

strike fear in your heart?

Also, I liked the idea posed on the previous thread (though it will NEVER happen) about signing Pujols for 3B.

While Howard is out:

Pujols -1B
Polly - 3B

When Howie get back:



According to that Twitter feed on the sidebar, the Red Sox are likely to pick up Scutaro's option. FWIW.

TTI - excellent point. That decision probably shapes the Phils future quite a lot.

re: Galvis btw

I want to go back - Reyes' demeanor improving the clubhouse? In what conceivable way? I'm on record opposing that signing at literally any price. I'm willing to listen to staistical baseball arguments in favor, which could be reasonable though I disagree based on injury propensity and intangibles (which I believe exist but are not the end-all-be-all). But improving the clubhouse? You must be out of your mind.

It really is gonna come down to the philles going right up against or over cap. I really think we need one of leftys from San Fran in pen, and a shut down closer. I don't want to play musical closers with this staff. I can see doc throwing 8 and handing it over and poof gone. I want papplebon and either madson. No krod etc.... And they will need to sign two good players, and some to take cut or flyers on. Furcal, chase, cuddy/Beltran/ aram,Howard, pence,Vic etc....if Howard out for year. Cuddy and aram got to be signed.

BedBeard: Neither DeFratus nor Schwimmer is considered a top prospect. DeFratus was rated C+ and Schwimmer C by Sickels, which sounds about right.

The notion that Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon, DeFratus, Schwimmer & Savery will all be productive major league pitchers next season is beyond absurd.

andersog - I think you are referring to my post, which you misread. I said I'm willing to allow that Reyes' demeanor could improve IN our clubhouse. In other words, his own demeanor might be improved by being surrounded by the quality of guys we have on our team.

GBrett - That limits the Phils leverage a bit with JRoll.

CRD - Yeah I know but history aside (big if) there is some real upside to signing Drew to a 1 yr deal.

Patient hitter who BBs and still has a modest amount of power. The big question about him is his shoulders (especially his right one which has given him trouble for several years) healthy enough to contribute or it is just shot.

TTI - Agree about resigning Lidge even though the $3.25M figure seems a bit high given what veteran relievers got last year (Wheeler got 1 yr/$3M; Saito got 1 yr/$1.75M; Uehara got 1 yr/$3M; Rauch got 1 yr/$3.5M; Rhodes got 1 yr/$3.9M).

I would love to see a veteran LHP reliever here too. Pickings are slim are usual though with the best ones available being J. Lopez, Oliver, Rhodes, and Sherrill. J. Lopez is probably the best one available but every indication is that the Giants want to bring him back and he supposedly likes it there.

List after that is pretty slim. Other veterans available include Grabow, M. Gonzalez, JC Romero, Marte, Okajima, and Tallet among others.

I would mind Amaro doing what he did last year and trying to sign a veteran guy like Tallet to a minor league deal for some organizational depth.

I wouldn't mind though if the Phils sign Nathan to a 2 yr/$11M deal, resign Lidge at 1 yr/$3M, and using the $2-$4M in savings from resigning Madson elsewhere.

clout - "The notion that Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon, DeFratus, Schwimmer & Savery will all be productive major league pitchers next season is beyond absurd."

Absolutely. The Phils get productive years out of 3 of them and they will have gotten good value out of their younger relievers again.

Biggest risk in resigning Lidge isn't his velocity, command, or basically being a slider-only pitcher. His slider is good enough (and it was this season again) that he can get buy with it ala what Hoffman did in his later years with his changeup.

It is his health that is the question. If the Phils are going to spend to ~$3M on resigning Lidge, they have to believe he has a pretty good chance of staying healthy next year and giving them at least ~50 IP.

He can give them 50-55 IP with an ERA around 3.00-3.25 (~0.5 WAR) then he was worth the $3M or so it will take to resign him.

I see lots of people debunking the idea that the Phillies can rely on DeFratus, Schwimer, Stutes, and Herndon to all contribute, but not many people actually agreeing with that idea. I think pretty much everyone realizes the Phillies need to bring in a couple of relievers.

I agree that signing Nathan and Lidge would be a good idea, if Nathan isn't too expensive.

Regarding Reyes' clubhouse presence: does anyone actually know anything about it? We all hate the guy because he's a Met and he's annoying but has he actually done anything wrong? I don't see anything to suggest he's a bad clubhouse guy. I consider Rollins to be a team leader, and he's run his mouth more than Reyes and been benched multiple times for not hustling.

I would go with Savery as the 2nd lefty over a veteran. I don't think it's that important of a role.

We really don't know anything about how Reyes gets along with his teammates as far as I've read or heard. He wasn't a favorite of mine but I really had no idea.

But the thing about him pulling himself from the lineup to pad his stats gives me pause. I thought about most of the Phillies. Does that seem like the kind of guy that say, Halladay or Utley, would respect and cotton to? Pence, Chooch, Ryan, Jimmy, Vic, Clifton, Polly, Cole, Vanimal...? Anyone? Crickets?

Finally an interesting discussion but first got to set the record straight. I claimed that Mayberry could hit 20 HRs on a full season if he played regularly and was called out because I could not find my post. Finally I did. I posted the following: “I am sure Mayberry if he was used regularly would likely develop into a .280 hitter with 20 HRs. He has the tools he should get the chance. Its stupid to keep him down at the farm. Not to mention its a shame he is wasting his opportunities.
Posted by: RK | Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Next a month later I suggested we go after Ramirez. I posted: “Agaain we have more outfielders than we know what to do with. The Cubs are out of it why not go after a legitimate 3rd baseman like Ramirez.
Posted by: RK | Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM
So now I will take my bows and add the following: Yes to Ramirez and forget about Reyes. For all the reasons everyone here has been posting. I live in NY and even Met fans are tired of his act and it won’t play well in Philly. But mostly he is just a touch younger than Rollins and Clout is right that he had his career year. I would keep Rollins for 2 years with options but if he wants to max on the money he has to go elsewhere. I’d rather take a chance on Galvis and get Ramirez. I also think that Mayberry can stay at 1st for the year because he will get better.
Lidge had one great year and he did it for us and he was worth it then but not now. Oswalt whom I did not want I think clearly has plenty left and I think we should work a deal for him.
I would trade Worley for an up and coming infielder don’t know whom but I am sure he is out there.
Guys we need some youngsters here else we are going to see these old farts break down just when we need them: Read the handwriting on the wall:
2008 WS
2009 NLCS
2010 NLDS
2011 Bounced
Why would we want to preserve the current team? Certainly replacing them with oldsters will likely continue the trend lines; look at the Yanks! A team studded with stars past peak! How far did they get? You need stamina i.e. youth.

Finally two more goals but neither is achievable: We need to replace CM who is a nice guy, great with the players (especially the oldsters) but clearly unable to deal with strategic situations. Finally, if RAJ can’t see the trend lines than he too has to go. But these two last wishes are not going to happen.

GBrettfan - fair enough but I doubt it. Who was the last clubhouse cancer to be rehabilitated in a good team? It usually works the other way around. And yes - I categorize Reyes as a clubhouse cancer along with Bradley, K-Rod, and others. No tha nks very much.

I don't think Cantu is a ridiculous idea. He's the only 1B/3B type who can be had for little to no money(i do think he'll be had for less an 1mm as others pointed out, he only drew 850k last year and did nothing to improve his standing on paper) I also think he was likely a bit gimped up and hopefully will be healthier for 2012. The phillies clearly need to spend their money on SS, Closer and Resigning Hamels. If your expecting an expensive stop gap for howard, your dreaming. And I also wouldn't be so sure that the owners are going to invest all of the savings coming of the books back into the team. I think they too can see the writing on the wall of having consecutively less post season success 5 years running. I also think that there's a good chance they wait until the season to work a deal with Hamels and if they happen to skid, look to deal him, since he's more or less the only piece of value and would command a huge sum on the trade market. I also want no part of A-RAM, who clearly was playing for contract and will likely regress as soon as he gets it.

andersog: What makes you think of Reyes as a clubhouse cancer?

Back to the OP congrats to Gose..But i think this guy will just be another Sardine man. I dunno what the Phils are going to do for a backup catcher next year. I suspect they will bring someone from the outside to replace Schneider. Even with Kratz we are extremely thin at this position. Any injury to Ruiz would leave Kratz then Gose backing him up. Not a pleasant thought. Gose or Kratz will probably pick up where Sardine man did emergency/injury call up.

Clout: Overall, I'm basically on your "side" regarding the bullpen, but it should be noted Sickles had this to say about DeFratus:

"At worst a very good reliever, and I think there is a chance he could close eventually."

I couldn't find anything he said about Schwimmer, but I'm assuming his ceiling is a bullpen "guy", as opposed to a chance to be a closer. Now, neither of these guys have proven anything yet in the majors, and are likely to not reach their ceiling, but they're not all created equal.

Part of the reason all those middle inning bullpen prospects are C-ish level prospects is because they are middle inning bullpen prospects and not starters. A guy has to be definite top flight closer material to get a B from Sickles or be a guy who gets great numbers as a starter in the minors but has some flaw that will relegate him to the bullpen in the majors like only 2 pitches or command issues.

I distinctly remember a story from Spring Training that Roy Halladay had asked for Tuffy to catch him during a particular practice or game (forget which.) So maybe he is a good pitcher's catcher as well, and can bring some of what Brian S. brought in terms of calling and catching good games.

I'm wondering if some of the team's problems relate to always looking for Big Names to create THE lineup. Not only does that stretch the budget, it also makes for an inflexible roster. Demote Chase Utley to AAA to work on his hitting? No way. Orr? Sure. MiniMart had a streak somewhere in the season, but why not ride that streak and then replace him when it is done (I know...he is Rule 5, but just as an example...)

I realize that stability and regular play is valuable in developing a big league player. However, sometimes throwing the spagetti against the refrigerator and seeing what sticks at the time may be the best--and most economical--strategy for certain positions.

So for example, for back-up catcher and a short-term replacement first base, it might make more sense to avoid the name brands, see what we might do internally or outside the organization for less, and enjoy the flexibility that less "famous" players bring to the table.

The World Series shows us that it is often the unsung who get hot at just the right time. Ross. Freese. Na-po-leeee. The Cards bullpen. Derek Holland, who pitched better than C.J. Wilson.

It may be a matter of shuffling the deck more often with SOME players and positions. Age may not even be a factor, considering the age of some of the better players in the World Series this year. Raul a terrific streak during the season; the problem came with the inflexibility of moving him when the streak was on its downside.

clout: "Reyes will get a $100M contract for 5 years, maybe higher."

Why are you worried about other people's money? Only on BL would a moronic poster care about money that isn't even his... right?

The market for Closers is very much a buyer's market this year. Heath Bell, Frankie Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, and Madson are all available, and that's all top tier. That's not counting Joe Nathan or Frank Franciso, or teams with options on Kyle Farnsworth, Francisco Cordero, Jose Valverde, or Rafael Soriano, who might be free if their teams (the Rays, Reds, Tigers, and Yankees) don't exercise their options, though in Farnsworth's and Valverde's case this is very unlikely.

I think you could definitely get a veteran closer for 5-6 million a year from that group. No matter how good a closer's season is, you should never pay them more than 10 million a year. Unless it's Mariano Rivera.

Everything I've read on Ozwalt is that he used his tractor to clear fallen trees from the driveway of his property. I never read of him doing any physical labor. Can anyone confirm this one way or the other?

Oswalt. I'm under the weather, and drinking tea instead of coffee.

goody: I think that's correct, but I assume people with back injuries are told to not "operate heavy machinary", which a tractor is. Probably much more vibrating in one of those, compared to Oswalt's Benz.

If I am not mistaken, Heath Bell has made it fairly clear he would like to stay in San Diego (unless perhaps he is saying that to raise his price on the open market to lure him away.) I have also read that in the spirit of wanting to sustain some stability and respectability among pitchers, Boston will want to hang on to Papelbon.

re:Heath Bell, He's said that if SD offers him arbitration he will accept it so SD probably won't offer him arbitration b/c they'll end up with a closer eating up 1/5 of the team payroll next year. with a team payroll just over $45m, It seems unlikely that they will also offer him contract in the same neighborhood as a team like the Phillies. Heath Bell made $7.5m last year. A closer just isn't worth 15-20% of a team's payroll. So Heath Bell may be available and a team like the Phils might not have to give up a draft pick to get him. SD made a mistake not moving Bell at the deadline.

Re: Oswalt

I do wonder that if he sticks to his self-imposed demands (NL team only that is a contender) just how many teams will be the running for this services.

Would he go to a team like the Cubs if the dollars are right even though they aren't a contender?


Right on the nose. Yes, Bell wants to stay in SD, but I doubt you'll find a player in baseball who would accept at $7.5 mil/yr deal versus a $12.5 mil/yr deal (and that's Bell's basement, he will certainly get more and he will be vastly overpaid).

As for Papelbon, I think it much more likely Boston will let him go than keep him. So far Francona and Epstein have been hit for the 2011 collapse, some of the players will be cut too. Papelbon's an easy target since he blew the save in the final game of the season.

But what really sunk Boston was terrible starting pitching in September. They'll be digging into the market more than the Yankees will. Take a look at the list here:

Oswalt is the best pitcher on that list, assuming Sabathia sticks with the Yankees. Outside of Edwin Jackson, everyone else is old or bottom of the rotation, and they need a #2 or #3.

A note about Reyes:

This is a pipe dream if people think we have a realistic shot at signing him. He's going to get 13-15 mil a year for 5 years, at least. And he's not worth that money. Is he in his prime? Yes. I can see him being a .300 hitter with an OBP of 350/360 and a SLG of 450/470. That's an OPS of .800-.830, and for a shortstop those are very good numbers. Move him into a hitter's park and he'll do even better, though the confines of Citi Field did help him increase the number of triples he hit.

Thing is, he's another free swinger. His Pitches Per Plate Appearance is low, career 3.63 and last year it was 3.61. That's also well below anyone else on the Phillies regular lineup this year: the closest are Raul Ibanez and a hurt Placido Polanco, both at 3.70 (NL average is 3.79). And that's precisely the kind of hitter they don't need in the lineup.

Also, my impression is that a lot of the Phillies guys on the team don't like Reyes. For example, they poked fun at Victorino after he hit the grandslam off Sabathia in 2008 because he raised his arms like Reyes (there was a picture posted on Vic's locker after the game).

lorecore etc.: "Why are you worried about other people's money? Only on BL would a moronic poster care about money that isn't even his... right?"

Totally agree. But my post (as you know) was a response to conshy's post about how much money will be freed up for potential acquisitions.

If you want to whack me, you need to step up your game. It's as weak under your current name as it was under your old one.

Godfather: Your point is on the money,. although I don't think you could get Bell, Madson or Papelbon for $5-6M.

clout - Bell isn't going to be that much more than $6M/year when all is said and done I bet.

Madson/Papelbon will be though.

what would you guys rank in terms of who gets the best contract of the closers?

Can't tell if i'm homer or not, but I think its Madson.

clout: thats the exact context and explanation everyone else used the last time you called everyone foolish for thinking that.

I'm glad you can you view Reyes at 5yr/$100M as a mistake because of the constraint it would put on the team's funds to acquire other players.

Beerleaguer is a great blog because it collectively makes readers smarter and more informed, even the ones who like to think down on the majority of opinions expressed.

lorecore: Actually, no, you're wrong, as usual. There is a big difference between talking about building your team around one player -- which was the point of my post, not the finances -- and saying, "Oh we can't afford to offer Kendrick arbitration."

Like I said, you need to raise the level of your game.

Godfather -- teasing Victorino about doing the Reyes finger point seems to me feeble evidence of the team not liking Reyes. I've always sensed Rollins and Victorino liked him and would joke around at second base.

And as far as I know, Reyes' teammates and fans in NY like him. I know Dickey for one is lobbying for his return.

Jose Reyes has been an everyday SS for 7 years. He posted an OPS of .800+ in 3 of those years.

At age 28, you could make the case that he will now produce a steady stream of .800 OPS seasons, but it's no slam dunk.

@Ryan That was one specific case I could pull from Jayson Stark's 2008 book, without having to research the matter from newspaper articles.

Oh, they won't get Papelbon, Bell, Madson, or Frankie Rodriguez for that money. But I don't think they'll lose a lot by having Nathan, Soriano, Frank Francisco, or Cordero at a 5-7 mil per year contract instead. Given the paramount need to retain Hamels (since starting pitching will continue to be thin on the FA market), and the need to address SS (Galvis is not gonna cut it), they're be forced to be a little cheap here.

They'll also need to sign a LF/RF bat who can play 1B, like Mike Cuddyer or Jason Kubel. With Howard out for "6 months" (it will almost certainly be longer), someone's going to have to start in LF next year, and Brown isn't ready. Mayberry gets the 1B job in the interim, so you'll have to sign somebody to a 1 year deal. Cuddyer isn't going to go for that. Kubel might. Other possibilities include Josh Willingham, Xavier Nady, and Ryan Ludwick, those these would definitely be bench players and not someone I'd want in the lineup full time.

Of course, no one's going to have a bench filled with players you'd want in the lineup full time. That's why they're the bench.

Godfather: I agree completely about going after a 2nd-tier closer, and I also like some of the names you mentioned - Willingham, Nady, and Ludwick seem like guys who would fill the Francisco role better than Francisco, probably just as cheap, and likely be able to play first base too.

Interesting point about Reyes' P/PA - I did not realize that. However, I disagree when you say 5/65 or 5/75 is too much for Reyes. If that is the price, I would absolutely sign him, but I have a feeling it'll be closer to 5/100.

I am not trying to be the contrarian here but what do you actually do with Lidge if you resign him for a few mil? What do you trust him with?

What is the general feeling about Francisco? I think he gets non-tendered.

DHPhils: Depends on his number, b-ref says he got $1.2M last year in his first year. Im not sure if service time alone gets him over $3M or not since he had a pretty bad season.

If the Phils estimate he makes close to $3M, than I agree with you that he will be nontendered.

DH: That would be good for Fransisco, despite not being great, he's still young enough to have some "upside" in a few gm's minds and the of market is pretty terrible this year, especially if your interested in a guy under 30. Why wouldn't you rather just go to arb again, he won't be awarded much more then this year. His #'s won't merit it. Plus they don't want to have Brown start the year on the big club.

clout: you learned a valuable lesson from fellow beerleaguer posters that opinions on player acquistions should be taken in context within salary constraints. Well done, no need to attempt to make excuses.

It's interesting that one would suggest picking up Willingham as a bench player. A 29 homer, 98 RBI guy on an offensively challenged team is likely to command a premium salary for a bench player. More interesting is suggesting that he play OF while Mayberry plays 1B. Wouldn't you put the guy with hte bad Achilles / injury history / weakish glove at first and see what happens, and put the superior defender in teh OF?

Willingham's an interesting name but, he's not coming to Philly to fill a temporary spot/ be a fifth outfielder.

Thanks lorecore. I am here to learn. Maybe someday you'll post something worthwhile. Two screen names in, it hasn't happened yet. But I am an optimist.

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