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Sunday, November 20, 2011

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Maybe we're saving money for Cespedes...

Either way, upgrading the bench from Gload/Martinez to Thome/Wigginton is a nice start to the off-season.

According to the Renck story, the Phils owe another PTBNL if they pick up his option for '13. That's a new one for a bench guy.

Cuddyer is looking for a starting job and he'll get one.

Wiggy is an upgrade over BenFran and can play the INF. They'll likely keep BenFran as 4th OF since he's a big upgrade over Mini-Mart.

Bench has some pop now.

I think now they will be in on Cuban. And if Sizemore doesn't sign zoom maybe him. I will keep the shortstop solution to myself. Could be very interesting.......

I love this deal. Rockies are eating half the $4M contract. It also means the Phils won't pay through the nose for Cuddyer, who'll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years $30M, which I want NO part of.

This upgrades the bench. Can spell Howard, Polanco, and even Utley if need be. I'd rather have Wiggy smacking a homerun playing in a game for Polly and Valdez grounding into a double play or Michael Martinez just flat out sucking.

For all the people crying about no Cuddyer, it looks like he's in high demand and will get 3 years at good money, a deal most of you would be crucifying Armaro for and also a scary one for 2-3 years down the road.

Wigginton comes cheap, is versatile and if he doesn't work out will be a harmless release around the all star break. I'll take him over Francisco and even Valdez. Assuming we sign a decent SS I guess we are looking at Martinez/Wigginton/Thome as our IF/PH reserve corps. I'll take that over Martinez/Valdez/Gload any day. Martinez & Valdez are both redundant. Now we can non-tender Francisco and Valdez and put those dollars to more established middle relief or the looming SS situation. We could also keep Valdez and send Martinez down so there is some good glove utility infield depth.

Unspectacular, but solid minor move.

I see in the earlier thread that Jack continues to bash Polanco as he has since the day Polly signed here.

Jack wants Polly gone because he had a bad year with the bat. What's knee-buckling hilarious about this is that for two solid years in literally HUNDREDS of posts Jack defended Pedro Feliz against any and all criticism. Said his "Gold Glove" more than made up for his offense.

Polly actually won a Gold Glove. Feliz didn't. Offense? Polly's been .288/.337/.365 for the Phils. In the 2 years that Jack gushed all over him, Feliz went .259/.306/.699.

Yet Polly is horrible and Feliz was a god.

Jack never lets reality get in the way of his assessment of a player.

Polly plays 100 games at most.

Feliz slash line was .259/.306/.393

Bert: I'll take the over on 100.

I hope Amaro non-tenders Francisco. He's not worth the $2M or so he'll make through arbitration. He's not horrible, but he's not that great either. With Pence, Vic, Mayberry, Brown and now Wiggy in a pinch the Phils don't need Benny Fran that much. Let him go and save the money. Sign some guys to minor league deals and have them compete for 1st outfielder called up from AAA.

I prefer Valdez to Martinez. Valdez has been pretty consistent the past 3 years and that's better than I think Mini-Mart will ever do.

We were never going to get Cuddyer without promising him a long term starting role...something that is an impossibility on a team with Howard and Pence.

As it stands, our bench is significantly better than it was last year and the bench realy hurt us in 2011 so Rube finally recognized that and has moved to fix a weakness.

Thome
Wigginton
Francisco
Valdez
Schnieder

is a solid bench.

Why not just agree that both Feliz and Polly are mediocre 3B?

I like it because it gives the Phillies depth and that was the real issue last year. I still think they need a middle of the order bat. I just don't know if one is out there.
While the Phillies will likely spend a good part of the summer mixing and matching to fill in for Howard and potentially Polanco or Utley, it is still the lineup that they send out for game one of the NLDS that matters. If everyone is healthy and hitting come October, this is a deep roster with many more accomplish bats than the one we saw against the Cardinals.

Downside to this: Wigginton will cost us $4 million towards the luxury cap regardless of whatever cash we get back from Colorado. Our FO will take that into account when budgeting unfortunately.

That's about the only downside I see here...and its a stretch.

Polanco had 19 extra base hits last year. That's pitiful. Having the hernia surgeries will likely help him heal and bring back some of his "pop".

NEPP: True for their Phillies tenure, but career-wise no comparison.

I was strictly referring to their Phillies tenure.

"Save the $2M on Francisco?" so that we can have someone like Podsednik round out the bench? Its not your money and Francisco is a much better option than hoping to get lucky with a scrap heap guy. That Carson team that you GM for must be a sucky team.

Polanco has had a very good career and is not finished. Feliz's career was- meh, and IS over.

On a team where Mayberry will likely get a bunch of ABs at 1B the first few months, it would make a lot of sense to keep BenFran.

Just sayin'.

Unless, of course, we sign a guy like Cespedes...then BenFran is superfluous.

When Michael Martinex is starting games in the OF, no one is superfluous.

Very intrigued in Sizemore or Cespedes at this point. Obviously, Phils see impact potential to have visited Sizemore so early in FA and hold private workout for Cespedes. Guys like Wigginton-Schneider are fine to fill in the cracks, but I think the Phils are eager to have an offense that has elite talent again.

RAJ- the luxury tax threshold did not increase this season, so it remains at $178M. Also, league minimum is being upped to $480, so the Phils have less money to play with this offseason than they originally anticipated. $2M to Francisco seems unnecessary. Give 1 year $1.5M to Laynce Nix or Andruw Jones. More potent bats and better defense. Or just let Brown round out the bench and split time with Mayberry in RF.

Wheeze Kids Part II.

@JW: From what I've read, Sizemore is almost certainly going back to Cleveland...which is unfortunate as he'd be a great low-risk signing. From rumors yesterday, its just a matter of details now for him taking a 1 year deal to stay in Cleveland.


Cespedes would be the trademark "big move" that Rube loves to make.


Cespedes would also make it really easy to let Vic walk in 2013 and allow us to focus on a corner OF instead of paying big $$ to keep Shane around.

Anyone have a comp for cespedes? Seems like a Vernon wells type to me. In his prime.

I'm also intrigued by Sizemore because: (1) he was a legitimate star before injuries set in; (2) he's still one of the youngest FAs on the market; and (3) if he could stay healthy & recapture his old form, we'd have our centerfielder for 2013. Unfortunately, for those very same reasons, many teams seem to be intrigued by him -- which means that he will probably end up commanding a price that is much too high for a player with his risk factor.

Surprised no one has mentioned Brookover's column calling for the re-signing of Raul Ibanez.

If it happened, what's the over/under for # of BL heads exploding?

I cant imagine even Raul Ibanez thinking that would be a good idea for the Phillies, clout.

Yes that's why I can see them in on both. More for cep, because of Vic possibly leaving and if brown could develop. I like the outfield and young too.

Cespedes will be a corner IF within 3 years.

If Raul came cheap, and played 1B with Mayberry in LF, it wouldn't be the worst signing.

CY: Wells in prime seems like a great comp based on what I've seen and read.

I'm watching the Cespedes video now and the 45 inch box jump is the most impressive thing on it.

That said. Dude appears to be legit. Rube should sign him.

Vernon Wells' "prime"

4 years, Age 24-27, averaged 29 HR, 97 RBI with an .853 OPS (118 OPS+) while winning 3 GG.

As I stated before, I am afraid Cespedes being described as a "Bo Jackson-build" outfielder will end up looking and playing defensively like Dmitri Young or David Ortiz after a few years of decent money and eating food regularly (not a sorta starving Cuban state athlete diet). I also cringe at the limited feedback provided by scouts and the reports of "possibly creating too many strikeouts" in the MLB. Yeah, just what this lineup needs.
If he was dirt cheap, I would take a chance. But he wants big money and several years of contract as an FA.

I would almost want Grady Sizemore for a year (supposedly he wants to prove he is back from the injuries) but he seems to be hooked on the idea of spending time in Cleveland. I know, it's a beautiful place with great culture, history and wonderful climate.

Cleveland is the jewel of northern Ohio. Its also one of the top 5 cities in...Ohio. So there's that.

Well, at least Dom Brown won't be blocked by an aging Cuddyer now. http://jstolnis.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/phils-trade-for-wigginton/

NEPP,
I spent the better part of 4 months (I believe it was Autumn and Winter, though I suspect it may have just been Winter and Winter) in Sandusky and Cleveland for work one year. F-ing brutal. After a few weeks of them delivering cheesesteaks with Heinz 57 on them and pizzas cut into little pieces, I near killed the delivery guy. They also have the worst sports talk stations of all time.

@nepp Think that ops is doable? I think so. Not so much the god gloves.

I think Cespedes could match Well's OPS from his prime. I doubt his defense is that great but I'm sure he's passable in CF.

@ CY
Its hard to say, Im not sure exactly how fast he is. From the clips I saw his swing and body type reminded of Vlad Guerrero a lot. The video of course featured his power, which surely is less than Vlads. Wells is pretty fair probably

That article has a very interesting ending????? That's y I didn't want to say who shortstop could be. But it could be very interesting. Just def know Jroll prob won't be back. Hope this can let Dom brown develop, and hope Jim can help him with hands. And I really hope he gets it pounded in his head about going the other way. Almost like thome does.

33 HRs in 90 games (Cuban season) is pretty impressive power I would think. That prorates out to 59 HRs for a 162 game season. Granted, Cuban baseball is the equivalent of maybe AA/AAA.

I say Frack the luxury tax lets go over it if need be. They only get penalized for the amount they go over right?

Solid little trade for Wiggington. I like the move to solidify the bench.

On Cespedes, I'm always a little skeptical of Cuban and Japanese imports until they prove themselves. Lots of highly touted busts in those subsets. That said, the cost shouldn't be prohibitive. A Chapman-esque deal rather than a Dice-K-esque deal would be more than worth the risk.

Wasn't the chapman deal similar to dice k except posting fee? Don't think the post counts towards the cap, could be wrong though.

(reposted from the end of the previous thread)
-
Where would Cuddyer have played anyway? He's deaf in his left ear, which is why he he's played a total of like 15 games on the left side of the field in the last 5 years.

By pursuing him I assume the Phillies think this can be overcome with hand signals etc. but it does say something that he hasn't been playing there.

CY:
Chapman: $30.25m for 6 years
Matsuzaka: $52m for 6 years

The posting fee was an additional $51m. Chapman's deal is actually considerably larger than I remember it being. The last Cuban hitter I can think of, Alexei Ramirez has turned out rather well.

1)Starting Shortstop
2)Closer-------------check
3)Improve Bench------check
4)Backup Catcher-----check

I loved in the last thread Jack completely missing the point of people's arguments regarding the loss of a first round draft pick.

I also liked this gem from cut fastball:

"Since the Phillies' payroll is amongst the largest, it's my guess they'd benefit from targeting first round picks. Don't we desperately need to get younger?"

I guess there is no young talent after that first round. I'll say this again because there still seems to be a disconnect. Drafting a guy in the first round does not equal drafting a future star for your team. In fact, odds are against the person becoming a star. The MLB draft is not like the NFL or NBA drafts where guys can come into the league and be instant difference makers. If it was then I'd be in agreement that it is completely foolish to give up the pick. The way the MLB draft works though it isn't a huge deal to lose your first round pick. Especially when you do so to sign the top player at his position in free agency.

I also love in this thread how acquiring Wiggy is construed by people as a bad move. Amaro has significantly upgraded the bench for the coming season. With Mayberry being a starter now (most likely) the first righty off the bench was probably Ben Fran with Valdez or Mini Mart second. Now we have Wiggy first and Ben Fran second which means either Valdez or Mini Mart has lost his spot. Adding Thome for Gload was a huge plus too.

TTI: I re-read the thread and can't find where or what person (much less "people") exacly construed the Wiggington trade as a bad move.

re: the draft. Yes you can find talent in any round, but there is no round as talent heavy as the 1st. pick any draft and go through it round by round and you'll find more mlb regulars, all-stars, and superstars in the 1st round than in any other round. This ought to be self-evident. Even if you think the Phillies waste their 1st picks to avoid paying over-slot (like I do) but that doesn't mean the pick ought to be forfeit for no benefit (I don't know why we'd lose a pick and no one else would over the timing of the signing. Doesn't really seem right).

TTI: I just picked a draft and random (2005) and that 1st round was stacked. Eveb if you only look at unprotected picks, you're looking at:

John Mayberry. . ..
Cliff Pennington
Jacoby Ellsbury
Matt Garza
Colby Rasmus

1st sup:
Clay Buchholz
Jed Lowrie

the next names that popped out at me as guys who are in the majors and contributing (not just a prospect) were

4th rd: Jeremy Hellickson

7th rd: Will Venable

8th: Jemile weeks, Austin Jackson

11th: John Lannan

So, Like I said, you can find talent later, but there's more in the 1st rd to pick from (and as NEPP mentioned premium D positions go early). Why give the pick away?

Phils finally acquired a guy they have been linked it to several times since '08. Only a bad move if it turns out Wiggington is done (~.650 OPS) as some in Colorado hinted at last year after his fast start in April/May.

Even then, I am glad it looks like Phils have moved on from the idea of signing & overpaying for Cuddyer. Really hated the notion of the Phils signing him a minimum of a 3 yr/$28-30M deal. Overpaying for above average FA players entering there mid-30s is a recipe for disaster.

Looks like Amaro made upgrading the bench a priority this offseason and it will be as long as Mini Mart is not being counted on to be given a moderate amount of PT (125-150 ABs) next year by design at the outset. Means bringing back Francisco at $1.75-$2M although if push comes to shove I would rather see KK brought back than Francisco.

I have to figure that the next move is either resigning JRoll or Furcal over the next ~2 weeks. After that, the Phils will have a really good idea on how much cash they have left to tinker with making modest secondary moves.

They still need a Shortstop and im figuring they will sign at least 1 Vet reliever.

My first reaction to this trade was that Brown is not blocked from taking over in LF eventually, as he would be had the Phils signed Cuddyer to a three-year deal.

I like the move, and I like the focus on the bench, a weak area last year. I still would like the Phils to add a super-utility IF who plays good defense, someone like Maicer Izturis. Izturis could be the first guy off the bench to fill in at SS, 3B and 2B. After Howard returns, Wigginton would be an extra IF/OF. The Phils would no longer need Valdez or Martinez.

My understanding is that Cespedes needs at least one season in the minors before he's ready for MLB. Since he is already 26, Cespedes' coming to America doesn't excite me.

The Youth Movement Continues.

Hopefully the Phils can bring Moyer back and sign Jorge Posada and Arthur Rhodes.

Why not pick a different UGG Outlet for every outfit from us? Then you will love it very much.

He's versatile, has some pop in his bat and comes cheap. Good signing, Rube.

There's more than one UGG Outlet?

derek: Where'd you see the "1 year in the minors" report for Cespedes? I haven't seen that, but would dampen my enthusiasm.

Wigginton? Put me in the camp that says he's done and will contribute next-to-nothing in '12.

With that said, however, it is a low risk, high reward type of signing. $2M for a RH PH with some pop works for me.

TTI -- I agree with Jbird:

…Even if you think the Phillies waste their 1st picks to avoid paying over-slot (like I do) but that doesn't mean the pick ought to be forfeit[ed] for no benefit…

and NEPP:

...Also, lots of times, drafts are very top heavy...especially at positions like C, SS, 3B (you know, the ones we need filled in our system) so those guys are gone by the 40th pick.
Posted by: NEPP | Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM

The Phillies are thin at catcher, shortstop (regardless of Freddy); and 3rd baseman. Who were the last big-time players drafted at these positions: Ruiz (amateur free agent signing)? Rollins? Mike Schmidt?

Back in the day, Ed Wade went searching in the scrap heap for “needs”. Invariably, he’d come up with a shot middle-reliever. I think it’s time for the Phillies to start taking the first round picks seriously.

I tend to think I'd like the Phils to keep all their #1 picks. But, more important to me and the old MLB draft-be willing to spend $. For the most part, the Phillies don't.

If they kept their #1 pick last year, that would mean no Cliff Lee return...

Mariners' OF Greg Halman stabbed to death by his brother.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/greg-halman-dead_n_1104796.html

cut_fastball: Catcher: D'Arnaud a few years back. SS-the Phils went heavy on IF prospects just last draft. Who knows how they'll turn out, of course.

BB - Keith Law thinks Cespedes needs one or two years in the minors. He thinks that the Cuban league is like "A" ball. I also have seen other reports stating that Cespedes would not be in the majors until 2013.

***D'Arnaud a few years back***

And he was a supplemental pick so that actually supports the argument of "supplemental is just as good as 1st round" but in reality, elite catchers & SS & 3B typically go in the 1st round with an occasional gem found in the later rounds.

I think Cuban baseball is closer to AA than A ball.

FWIW. In a way, its like the old Negro leagues...there are MLB quality players and A ball quality players and everything in between. So Cespedes has faced MLB quality pitching but its just been inconsistent across the 8 seasons he's played there.

I wouldn't categorize Wigginton as high reward. He's just not that type of player anymore. It's a good, serviceable acquisition.

Keith Law just hates him because the Phillies watched him work out.

everything i've read on Cespedes says he's MLB ready. personally, i have no idea, but i can't imagine that someone is going to pay $30M+ to stash him in AA/AAA. the tools are there, he's 26 years old, and he'd be making buku bucks. if i had to guess, he's in someone's starting lineup on opening day.

All of these moves are just preliminaries to the main event of the off-season: the December 8 Rule 5 draft.

I look forward to whatever fantastic talent we snag in the Rule 5 this year. I also look forward to this player clogging up a roster spot for months on end despite being no where near MLB ready.

Cespedes' 32 year old best friend who switched names with him back in the academy in Cuban is probably available.

I don't know that I'd pay the money Cespedes is rumored to be asking for as he's never faced a major league pitch.

On to the Phils. Wiggy was brought in to replace Martinez, not Cuddyer. Not saying they're going to sign Cuddyer though. RAJ will make 2 more moves for the offense. I believe. One is a SS. The other I think will be an OF bat.

Wiggy brings great versatility as an infielder, but as I said in the last thread, not the kind of bat they need for the middle of the lineup.

I wouldn't be unhappy with Rollins re-signing & I wouldn't be at all surprised if they go after Reyes if Jimmy doesn't work out. Rube's got a trick or 2 up his sleeve still as he's showed with the Lee signing last year.

Which Rule 5 player do the Phils waste a roster spot on this season? A middle reliever is a good possibility.

Wigginton doesn't play shortstop and he plays all infield positions at less than average to be charitable. How can he replace any middle infielder?

I'm thinking that this will be a Wes Helms type move. He looks like the comp to me. Over the hill and mediocre at best for his time on the Phillies. Four years ago, when the Phillies first wanted him, he'd have been fine. But now? Rube is just making the team younger, if younger means a shaky infielder who is 34 years old.

Not the worst move. It's cheap. He's mediocre, which is better than awful. But the team has not gotten better because he's on it.

I think they will still keep Martinez and send him to Lehigh Valley. He didn't do too bad and can play 3B and the outfield plus they like his speed. He is a potential call up if someone gets hurt. Would like to see Rollins get done now and possibly another bat. For me the question is do they also go after a 3B like Ramirez and try and trade Polanco? Ramirez will not play as well defensively but would hit 25-30 HR's at CBP. That kind of RH bat would look good in the lineup. Assuming that could happen you could be looking at:

Rollins
Utley
Pence
Howard
Ramirez
Victorino
Mayberry
Ruiz

Not too bad.

Looks like RAJ has failed AKSmith once again!

BB - Yeah, you'd think he would know better by now. Right?

Greg, did you see where Jayson Stark reported Bill James’ finding that CBP was the toughest HR park for right-handed batters?

That was surprising, but the fact is that Wrigley is much more HR-friendly than CBP.

Aladou,

I did not see that. Interesting for sure. There's no doubt that Wrigley is also a hitters park, but Ramirez should still hit 25-30 HR's at the Bank too. Having a power hitter like that who had 26 HR's and 93 RBI's behind Howard is huge. There are not too many players out there that are available to get that can put up those types of numbers. The issue last year was scoring runs, and Ramirez definitely would help that. If they sign Rollins they can throw fits with having him and Victorino hit left or right to better matchup against opposing pitchers. Pence hits for power and average in the 3 hole and Ramirez hitting behind Howard should give him some of the protection he hasn't had lately. You could even play around with hitting Ramirez 3rd and Pence 5th as well and then you have 2 serious long threats back to back. It's not Holiday-Pujols-Berkman like, but close.

I agree on Ramirez, I've been hoping the Phils would go for him since the days of David Bell, but a couple of points:

- the Phillies actually led the league in scoring from the time Utley came back in May, although they seemed to have trouble against better pitchers, so I wouldn't be averse to getting some more pop.

- CBP is actually not much of a hitter's park. If it were there would be more runs scored in the Phillies' home games than in their away games. Since 2008 there have been 1% more, and when you compare that increase with other parks, it makes CBP 13th out of 30. There have also been 3% more HRs at home, which is 12th out of 30.

We have been spending time at the Indiana Dunes with some of our homeschool buddies, and our kids have taken well to to the art of the camp fire, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Above, Marin collecting long, thin sticks that can poke through our treats for the fire. Below, cold, bare grey and brown tree branches. Lots and lots of branches. We are again down to the blue sky for color, when we can see it.

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