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Monday, November 21, 2011

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Verlander wins MVP.

just a stupid choice, imo. if Boston had made the playoffs it was going to be Ellsbury. b/c our new closer blew the final game of the season, it's Verlander.

in the NL, Kemp was acceptable as a non-playoff participator b/c he had such a great season. but the same somehow doesn't apply in the AL w/ Bautista or Ellsbury?

Verlander had a great season but it was not great enough for him to win both the Cy and MVP. in my opinion, of course.

I'm not big on a pitcher getting Cy Young and MVP.

Isn't Fultz also related to Charlie Manuel?

I forgot all about Fultz. He was solid in an era of putrid Philadelphia bullpens. This is probably why I forgot him. My memory of those years is of Uggie, Geary, Tejada, Rhodes and a still developing Madson. Fultz gets forgotten gor not being a disaster.

Funny that I never thought it at the time, but in hindsight, I wish I could have predicted that someone like Andy Tracy would go on to be a coach or manager after his playing days wound down.

According to his picture, Aaron Fultz pitches in the woods.

Fultz's ERA against right-handed hitting squirrels was excellent.

Sadly, due to the time spent in the woods, his DITHL (deer in the headlight factor) factor was a bit higher than most.

Sandberg safe for another year.

Whoa, isn't the retention of Sandberg a way bigger deal than any of the other stuff? Or did we already know he was sticking around?

For whatever reason, Aaron Fultz was one of my all-time favorite Philly relievers. In an era when Ed Wade was striking out on one "experienced major league reliever" after another, Fultz was signed off the waiver wire, with no expectations whatsoever, and actually proceeded to give us one great season followed by another pretty good one. I actually remember being puzzled when we let him sign with Cleveland after the 2006 season, then proceeded to play much of 2007 without a single lefty in our bullpen, until we eventually grabbed Romero off the waiver wire.

Looks like a hemlock in the background. Fultz must have campaigning for this Crosscutters gig back in 2006.

Glad Sandberg is back. They'll be glad he's still around when they realize it's time to fire Charlie at the end of next season.

My Fultz Memory:
I wasn't completely sober, but I remember
being very mad at Fultz for doing poorly (probably blowing the lead) in a game that Madson started. I really wanted the win for Madson.

I do remember the Beerleaguer "Campaign button" for Madson to be a starter. Good times.

BAP - Fond of Fultz? He was good in '05, bad in '06. How can you forget the key FA acquisition of 'Weird Beard' Rick White in '06?

The thing I remember about the '06 bullpen was how much of a letdown they were almost all season highlighted by Rhodes & Franklin blowing up in the 1st half & Gordon in the 2nd half.

Joe Nathan 14.5 million.

2 years

Daniels tenure in Texas started out really shaky with some horrendous trades (especially the Gonzalez trade to the Padres) but I would love to have him running the Phils instead of Amaro.

Papelbon>>>Nathan.

If the Rangers had the money to sign Papelbon they would rather have him 100 times out of 100

Papelbon is, on paper and in reality, clearly a superior bullpen piece to Nathan. Stil, a fair to fortunate payday for Nathan given his recent history. May they not be Tom Gordon or Brad Lidge, but rather, be they hale and hearty throughout the terms of their contracts, allahu akhbar.

Yeah Papelbon is a better closer than Nathan but the now have already committed >$95M to just 5 players in '13 (Howard, Utley, Halladay, Lee, Papelbon) and ~$65M in '14 and '15 to 3 players (Howard, Lee, Papelbon).

Amaro keeps backloading contract after contract and it hasn't come back to bite him yet.

'12 is really the 'last harrah' for this group and I really hope that Lee/Papelbon avoid a serious injury over the next 2 years or the Phils will have serious money locked up in players that really underperform.

After Amaro announces JRoll's resigning at say 3 yr/$42M with a $13M option for '15 (you know it is coming), Amaro will have turn plaid as he will have take the Phils directly past light speed and into ludicrous speed.

I honestly had a brain mush on Fultz's name in the history of the organization and just finally looked him and realized I labored under the belief he was Brad Clontz (formerly of the Braves and Bucs) for the past few years.

I don't know what happened in the last thread but I feel the need to get some Kung Pao chicken.

MG: Fultz's 4.54 2006 ERA looks bad by today's standards but, in 2006, it came out to an ERA+ of 103. The WHIP was pretty ugly but I still remember that I had more confidence in him than most of the other Phillies relievers of the day -- which, admittedly, isn't saying much.

Those having this magical attribute are among the modern blessed. They wander about with a sense of moral superiority toward the mere dollar chasers power walking by. The psychology of the occupiers requires suffering. Living in a tent in the middle of downtown Toronto is proof that they are sincere in their nonsense. No parlour socialists here. Just True Belivers.
With a surging "tea party" movement embracing his brand of ultraconservative nationalism, Pearce looked like the ultimate force in Arizona politics.

I agree with Nike Shox Outlet. I wish Rube would sign more players with magical attributes.

from MLBTR:

"Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes could obtain $45MM and suggests the 26-year-old will eventually sign for “quite a bit more” (Twitter link). One evaluator told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that Cespedes will sign for “way over [the] top” money (Twitter link). It appears that he’ll cost $35-50MM, if not more."

That's a lot of money for an unproven commodity that's already 26 and likely to need at least some cursory time in the minors and some time to adapt to the culture.

Jose Contreras can be his roommate. We need to keep our Cuban ballplayer quota up at 2 anyway. The only other option is bringing back Danys Baez.

MG will do anything and everything to undermine Rube.

Rube signed the much better closer and locked up that position for the rest of the core's championship window. Meanwhile he compliments Daniels for signing what amounts to a lottery ticket for 2 years (with a 3rd year option) to close for a team that has made the World Series two years in a row, which forces their already elite closer into the starting rotation (I bet that will end well).

Daniels has put his team in a much more precarious position with this move, but MG still slobbers over him and disses Amaro.

I'm hoping Yoenis is establishing residency with either Danys or Jose this morning. What's the big deal with going over the Luxury tax limit anyway? I'm sure MLB uses the extra money wisely.

***which forces their already elite closer into the starting rotation (I bet that will end well).***

Well, it did the last 2 times they tried it (CJ Wilson and Alexi Ogando)...you know, last year and the year before. They've wanted to make Feliz a starter regardless of which closer they signed. Its almost like they have a track record with this sort of thing.

Are we sure that Cespedes' 26 really isn't 36?

MLB should let the Phils have a few more million to play with after dicking them over with the draft pick they have to surrender for Papelbon but don't get for Madson.

I concur with the Scotch Man. I brought this up at dinner the other night and the missus told me to bitching about it and pick up the "g8d damn" pizza already.

There's a rumour that Cespedes' name is really Leo Nunez

NEPP - Exactly. They also have Adams in the bullpen and not have some extra cash to attend to other areas (additional bullpen arm, money free up to make a trade) they need to shore up.

I am baffled how people think giving a 31-year old Papelbon (who lives on his fastball) what might very well be a 5-yr deal at huge dollars for a closer is a great signing especially long-term.

Yeah Amaro shored up the closer spot next year but at the cost of giving up a 1st round pick and almost certainly sacrificing long-term value in '14 and beyond.


I am not surprised that Nathan got 2 yrs but there is definitely some risk in especially since the 2nd yr is guaranteed instead of just an option.

The reason Epstein ran away from the Sox GM job (besides that he really couldn't accomplish any more there) was the simple fact that he had handed out a bunch of terrible contracts recently which really tied his hands in '12 and '13. Yanks have some real troubling long-term contracts too but they have another 30-40M to play with more than the Phils & Red Sox.

Who knows, maybe Cinco Ocho will want to become a starter to get away from the daily grind and reveal himself as a value deal ace.

MG is praising a GM for signing a 37old reliever coming off his worst season ever, which happened to be after his major arm surgery the year before - for $7.5M/yr?!

And FYI - $12.5M is abuot 7% of the phillies payroll - which is almost exactly what Nathan's salary is to the Rangers.

Epstein left a team with terrible contracts given by him, to a team with terrible contracts given by the previous GM.

lorecore - But it isn't only about next year and Amaro backloaded Papelbon's contract so that the Phils will likely be paying him $13M annually from '13-'15 and '16 if it vests which there is a decent chance.

I'm not upset with the Papelbon signing at all. I was just pointing out that the Rangers have a very good track record of converting relievers to starters. If they think Feliz would make a good starter, they are probably right. In their situation, where they have a couple good closers already on the roster, it made sense to go with a lesser option as if it doesnt work out, they can always use Feliz instead.

Will the phils take a look at that japanese ss that just became available? Probably will be reasonable and the posting fee doesn't go towards lux tax, right?

And in 2015, Papelbon will still be younger than what Joe Nathan is today.

Also if Papelbon vests his option, that means he stayed healthy and effective enough to close. Sounds like a good thing to me.

Overall - I am not a fan of Papelbon deal because I don't think closers can be trusted with such $$, but when 37yr old guys coming off injury are getting $15M guaranteed over two years - getting 30yr old closers for $50M doesnt seem that offbase.

***Will the phils take a look at that japanese ss that just became available? ***

I would guess that they will. He's apparently a good stopgap option albeit without anywhere near the power/offensive upside of Rollins or Reyes.

***Also if Papelbon vests his option, that means he stayed healthy and effective enough to close. Sounds like a good thing to me.***

This.

I think the window is still open in 2013 for this crew, barring major injury. Only questions, as of now, would be CF, a few bench spots, and a few bullpen spots, and maybe a starter. The rest are under contract or have options.

Now, they may not be the front-runners, but the opportunity is still there.

Windows stay open a long time when you spend so much $$ to erase mistakes.

The only reason this 'window' conversation comes up is because this team embarassed themselves(and us) on the field two years straight in the postseason and now we're counting the days we go without a championship again.

"Windows stay open a long time when you spend so much $$ to erase mistakes."

That is assuming that fans keep coming out in huge numbers to support the payroll even if the performance on the field declines a bit because the Phils aren't suddenly going to get a huge cash infusion from owning their own TV network the next few years.

Maybe some prospects really do emerge to allow this team to continue to be a perennial contender come '14 but I would strongly bet against that. Doesn't mean they will bottom out to become a perennial sub. 500 team but I would also bet that this isn't going to be a 90-win in '14 given the way things are aligned now.

lorecore - You are also assuming the large amount of money (~$65M) the Phils have already invested in '14 and '15 in Howard/Lee/Papelbon turns out well too.

I understand why Amaro signed Papelbon for next year & he is a better reliever than Madson. Just talking about the longer-term ramifications of that deal.

I'm not going to be the whistle-blower but somebody needs to tell the owners that this Amaro guy is spending their money to keep HIS contract window open through the 2015 season.

More fears of the fans not coming, next we'll be hearing, again, about fears of concession prices not bringing in enough $.

Amaro's job is to win now. Why don't we worry about the 2014 season in 2014?

Andrew Friedman has to worry about 2014, because he knows the Rays will never have enough money to keep their own players, let alone sign marquee FAs. I, for one, am glad to be a fan of a big-time franchise that is wholly concerned with winning the 2012 WFC, and not letting issues that might arise in 2 years affect that.

"Yeah Amaro shored up the closer spot next year but at the cost of giving up a 1st round pick and almost certainly sacrificing long-term value in '14 and beyond."

I know I've engaged in a circular debate on this with NEPP the past few days but the loss of a first round pick should not be a negative here. It's not great but it's not a debilitating move to forego that pick to sign the best closer on the market for the next 5 years. Also, we don't know anything about the long term value. That's just you speculating which isn't a factual argument. It's a guess.

"The reason Epstein ran away from the Sox GM job (besides that he really couldn't accomplish any more there) was the simple fact that he had handed out a bunch of terrible contracts recently which really tied his hands in '12 and '13."

That is pretty revisionist about what happened in Boston. Epstein was starting to butt heads with management there and the general consensus with management was that changes needed to be made. Also, if Epstein was trying to get while the getting was good why did he go to a team in far worse shape?

On the window issue: There is no set time frame on the window. If you want it to stay open it can stay open. That requires spending money and making moves that improve the team without blowing it up. At this point the window will close when the Phillies decide they need to take a step or two backwards to move forward. You are going to see some turnover in the roster at the end of 2013 but I don't think that necessarily means that they are finished competing for the playoffs. Especially since they will be adding a second wild card team (which is an excellent move by the way for the financial health of baseball).

***I know I've engaged in a circular debate on this with NEPP the past few days but the loss of a first round pick should not be a negative here. It's not great but it's not a debilitating move to forego that pick to sign the best closer on the market for the next 5 years. Also, we don't know anything about the long term value. That's just you speculating which isn't a factual argument. It's a guess.***

Giving up a 1st round pick to get a top closer=Okay
Unneccessarily giving up a 1st round pick to get a top closer because you couldnt wait a week=Not Okay

Losing a 1st round pick isn't a negative?

A CEO/GM should only be concerned with succeeding in present?

Fans sellout stadiums without a really successful team on the field?

Some really foolish comments on this thread.

Effective SS signing at decent contract rate = the wooden coat hanger you jam in the window to keep it open

MG- should Amaro be more concerned with winning in 2014 or 2012? It's pretty simple

Phils revenues increases are pretty tapped out:

2011 - $239M (+3%)
2010 - $233M (+8%)
2009 - $216M (+13%)
2008 - $192M (+5%)
2007 - $183M (+4%)
2006 - $176M (+5%)
2005 - $167M (+45%)
2004 - $115M

Source: Forbes

Phils got a huge boost when they opened CBP and again after winning the WS in '08. Stadium is at max capacity, limited ability to increase ticket prices without winning/appearing in another WS, and the Phils are stuck in their current TV contract with CSN until the later this decade.

There are no new significant sources of revenues coming there way to support ramping up the payroll significantly again any time in the near future. It might bump up a bit but nothing beyond the ~5% range or so.

Chris - No it's not and that is exactly the point. You always have to make tradeoffs in any move you make.

Here we go with the budget of 2014 worries.

BB - Okay so let's say they resign JRoll and have around $75-80M invested in just 4 players (Howard, Lee, Papelbon, and JRoll) in '14 and '15?

Even if you have those 3 and the Phils go the cheaper route by '14 for a SS, if the Phils reup with Hamels and Halladay you are looking at a payroll of $105M in 5 guys in '14 and '15.

Something has to give at some point and the first starting point will be either Halladay or Hamels because the Phils are bringing both back in '14 at a ~$20M annual price tag.

MG: Yea, i'm with you - just throwing money at a problem isnt a sustainable model and I would side with you that the Phillies' operations under Ruben haven been unproportionately concentrated on short-sighted goals compared to long-term ones.

However we differ in the degree of the problem - I think its a much smaller issue than you, and that it can be fixed down the road if/when it becomes unmanagable without that much consequence.

Remember - you dont have to be the best team in the majors to be succesful. Right now the Phils are the best team, but if they were forced to maek sacrifices in 2014'ish because of poor signings today, they'd likley go from the best team down to around the top 8 - which as we all know lately has almost as much of a shot at a WS than #1.

to clean/sum up my above post:

Ruben's risky big contracts could turn out bad, but still not be enough to eliminate Phils from contention - while at the same time could turn out for the better and keep the Phillies as a powerhouse for longer than we could have ever imagined if.

I think the Phils and their payroll put that risk/reward scenario much more in their favor to take big shots as they have.

If JRoll is under contract with the Phils for the 2015 season, I'd be a little upset.

I have a hard time predicting next year's win total, because the team isn't set yet. But MG can predict the win total 3 years from now.

lorecore - Understand your point and yeah $65M isn't 'crippling' in '14 and '15 if there payroll is still at $180M or so but almost certain you will add Halladay/Hamels at $20M to that total.

BB - I think the Phils would be too and why they have serious reservations about giving JRoll anything more than 3 yrs. It is why I think they serioiusly are considering Furcal at 2 yrs/$15-16M with an option instead.

He's not as good as JRoll & is a huge health risk but the Phils wouldn't be stuck with a 4th player at big dollars long-term either.

34-year old Rafael Furcal, who used to be quite good, but hasn't played more than 97 games since 2009 & hit .231/.298/.348 over 369 PAs last year:

On a 1-year, $8M deal with a team option: a much better risk than 32-year old Jimmy Rollins on a 4-year deal.

On a 2-year, $16M deal: not a better risk -- and maybe a worse one -- than a 32-year old Jimmy Rollins on a 4-year deal.

If the choice came down to Rollins for 4 years or Furcal for 2, my vote would be for None of the Above.

MG- you still have yet to explain to me why a contending team signing an aging closer 1 year removed from Tommy John surgery to a 2-year guaranteed contract, when they already have an elite closer like Feliz, is worthy of the slobbering you're giving Daniels- and why you're slamming Rube for locking up the best closer on the market. Please explain why Nathan is the better investment by Daniels.

Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez will all be modified Type A free agents under the new CBA, accoridng to Rosenthal (Twitter links). Teams that lose these players will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team.


Seems a bit different than what some were intimating.

Bowl: This is current deal-does not cover when Phils signed Paplebon.

So basically it didn't matter when Ruben signed Papelbon. He would've cost a first round pick regardless.

So when Madson signs elsewhere we are still going to have a first round pick then? I mean we'll also get bonus picks for Oswalt and possibly Rollins yet too.

"Some really foolish comments on this thread."

yeah and MG you made two of them.

Go read my back and forth with NEPP over the first round pick thing. I'm not rehashing it all. Essentially though, it's not a good thing necessarily but it is not a crippling issue like people paint it as. This is not the NFL draft where you are looking for an impact guy in the first round. They are there in the MLB draft but chances are by the time the Phillies would've picked anyway they were all gone. I don't necessarily want it to become a trend but signing Papelbon is a nice offset to losing the first round pick.

From Bless you Boys (Tigers Blog):

FREE AGENT COMPENSATION:

Changes this year: According to Ken Rosenthal, many Type A free agents may be signed without their new clubs giving up a draft pick as compensation. Former clubs will still receive compensation in the form of draft picks. Only the most "elite" free agents will require that their new clubs give up a draft pick.

Impact: Players that will require compensation, if they are offered arbitration (and most will be) are: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, David Ortiz, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, and Jonathan Papelbon.

Players requiring no compensation are: Kelly Johnson, Ramon Hernandez, Carlos Beltran, Heath Bell, Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero, Frankie Rodriguez, Darren Oliver, Matt Capps, Takashi Saito, and Octavio Dotel. Should the Tigers wish to pursue any of these players, they may do so without giving up a draft pick.

To be determined: CJ Wilson, Roy Oswalt, Josh Willingham, Michael Cuddyer,

Why will the Phillies get a first round pick or any pick at all for Oswalt? Are the Phillies going to offer him arbitration? Would they take that risk? Unlikely.

brookob Bob Brookover
Source says Phillies will get first-round pick as compensation if they offer Ryan Madson salary arbitration and he signs elsewhere.

Would be funny if madson accepted arb and they go:

Arbitator: Well based on this contract signed by Jonathan Papel....ohh...right....you owe madson 12 million.

Since there is no budget to worry about, as I've been assured on this blog, I'd love to see Madson stay on a one year arbitration contract. What a great bullpen that would be.

Yeah, it's very freeing to ignore the budget. Since I don't know what it is, as I've been told over and over, it could be just about anything. Right?

That discussion doesn't include idiocy.

Let me see if I've got this straight.

1. The bench doesn't matter because no 25th man ever had anything to do with winning a world series. And the backup catcher could be a cardboard cutout and it wouldn't matter.
2. Draft picks don't matter because the Phillies just screw them up anyway. So, if they . . . say. . . give one away for nothing, it just doesn't matter at all.
3. Payroll is a number that is undefined, so don't think about it. It might as well be an imaginary number hiding in a hidden dimension on the other side of a wormhole.

Have I got the BL official line correct? Maybe one of the Rube stand ins here can comment. But I think I've got it right now.

You forgot:

4. Rube has failed us by acquiring two bench upgrades and the best closer in baseball.

Don't much care about 2013 or 2014 or least of all 2015. All I care about is next year. Too many variables come into play beyond next year. That and the fact that there is no guarantee I (or anyone else) will be around past next year is enough to keep me focused on next year only. I try to take it year by year and let the worry worts get ulcers over the rest.

This can be a really nice place to discuss the Phillies even when you disagree with people. But then you have wastes of sperm like aksmith that do nothing but provide snarky responses that mischaracterize what people say.

The point of the draft pick discussion was not just punt the pick because the Phillies screw up first round picks. And no one said it didn't matter, but the doom and gloom over it all is ridiculous.

TTI - I actually saw your post that mentioned me and the material that created me. This isn't usual because skipping your posts and Iceman's posts saves me a lot of time reading BL. In fact, all I need is the team's press releases and I can ignore you and Ice.

However, I am not the king of mischaracterization. I believe that belongs to king Clout. I suppose you never heard of him and his malicious rephrasings.

And while we're talking about wasting sperm, I'm glad you're getting every last drop of Rube's. Down the hatch, buddy.

While Wigginton may be a sort of upgrade over Minimart, he still doesn't play shortstop and his exact comparable at this point of this point of his career is Wes Helms. How did you like him? Pretty great, huh?

And Thome? Glad to have him back. But back is the operative word. He has a bad back that prevents him from spending much time in the field. He did well as a DH, but don't you wonder how a season of sitting on the bench for one at bat per game is going to affect him? Suppose not.

Be sure to gargle now.

And TTI considering that most of those were bashing Amaro because they thought the CBA wasn't going to give any compensation back for Madson, which has since been proven wrong.

So, it's okay to blow a pick for Papelbon because they're getting one back for Madson?

It does make it a bit more palatable, for sure. But it still costs a pick that it didn't have to. So, people can keep apologizing for Rube's impulsiveness and lack of business acumen. But it was a mistake that cost a pick that it didn't have to, plain and simple.

And it looks like the new CBA will rule out the Phils' previous drafting strategy of saving money in early rounds for a bunch of hard sign above slot signings in later round. That first round pick will be even more important than in the past.

It also calls into question not going overbudget last draft on a catcher or two and possibly Garvey's kid. The Phils had to know it might be the last draft they could overspend on with impunity. But they didn't do it and it cost them some talent that could come back to haunt them.

It's the little things that Rube gets so wrong. He gets a lot of big things right.

aksmith - I'm not agreeing with the Papelbon contract whatsoever. I hate giving large contracts to relief pitchers in general. But as to your point, it is ok to blow a pick because they may be getting one back.
If the options were:
1. To sign Madson and forfeit the pick he would've gotten back
2. Let Madson walk, sign Papelbon and forfiet the Round 1 pick but gain compensatory pick for Madson

Now maybe you could argue for going after Joe Nathan, but if those are the two options you have budgeted for, the Phils draft position just changes by a few places.

aksmith: A gay joke? Thanks for proving that in addition to being a mental midget you are also insecure enough (and possibly homophobic enough)to make such a joke.

You are a troll and that is the only thing you try to be on this board. I disagree with quite a few people on here but guys like Jack and BAP do not make it a point to constantly be disingenuous about another person's point of view. Essentially it always comes down to philosophical differences between me and them. But you add nothing to the discourse on this blog. And you always fall back on calling those who disagree with you front office apologists. It isn't true ever but it's all you have because there is nothing going on between your ears.

I do like over and over again that you claim to skip my posts but you always seem to comment on them. Don't worry though, you are now in my skip pile because I see you for the troll you are. And I'm not someone with no character like you. I won't be responding to anything you write.

TTI: I have no problem with akmsith's snarky posts. I rather like them.

The problem with aksmith is that he almost never knows what he's talking about.

clout: Good. He's your problem now buddy.

I don't think this is the last hurrah for the Phillies but they should take the feild to "One More Time" by Daft Punk this year. I'd like that.

Do I have this right? Phillies lose their pick (31st?) in the draft as a result of signing Papelbon. Phillies gain the pick directly preceding whomever signs Madson. Doesn't this guarantee a better pick than we would have had originally?

TTI - What I don't understand is why you keep insisting that losing a 1st round is largely meaningless. Yeah you have a lower hit rate on it than in the NFL but it is still important.

Iceman - Because the Rangers were looking to move Feliz to the rotation since they might not have the cash/desire to resign Wilson to a 5-6 yr @ 18M annually, FA starting market is underwhelming this season, and some of their young starting prospects including Perez aren't quite MLB ready yet.

They are a young team but they have a ton of guys who are arbitration-eligible this year & next who will command big dollars including Cruz, Harrison, and Holland. Also have to resign Hamilton who will command ~$20M annually after '12.

Even with all of that money they are going to need to spend, they will have the flexibility to go out and sign a stud FA in the next few years especially with Young's contract expiring at the end of '13. If they want to drop $15M-20M to really sign a premier FA to do, they can.

Nathan is getting $7M next year. $1M more than I thought. Signing him would have given the Phils another $4M and change to work with instead of Papelbon.

Maybe Nathan is a disaster next year. My bet is that he proves to be a pretty good value for the $7M. Still have Adams, Uehara, Feldman, and likely will resign Oliver/Gonzalez as their primary lefty. Also have the money to go out and sign another veteran arm if they want.

Phils' primary issue with the bullpen in the 2nd half last year wasn't the closer spot. It was the 7th inning. Phils are really going to solely rely upon their younger arms to get this job done? Relying upon Contreras to have a bounceback year & be healthy all season?

Depth and flexibility are really nice things to have. Amaro is trying to upgrade the bench. Just curious to see what he will do about a bullpen that was a bit lacking in depth in Aug/Sept last year or if he is just hoping for '7s' on multiple relievers (Contreras/Bastardo/Stutes/etc)

"What I don't understand is why you keep insisting that losing a 1st round is largely meaningless. Yeah you have a lower hit rate on it than in the NFL but it is still important."

MG: Answer me why you think the losing of a first round pick is such an egregious move that will hurt the Phillies immensely going forward. There is a real chance that the guy they passed on by opting out of the first round is a stud in the future. There is a chance they are not. The alternative (as viewed by Phillies management) was the ability to sign the best closer on the market. To me, the signing of Papelbon sort of off sets the loss of the first round pick.

And again- overall in the MLB draft it is far more important to hit over the course of your picks rather than to hit on the first one. Teams have anywhere from 35-50 draft picks in a season. If you have good scouting you can tilt the odds in your favor overall throughout the draft. Again, I think too many people associate the draft with something like the NFL or NBA and those are not analogous situations.

TTI - What are the odds of success of 1st round picks vs. other picks?

again that's an apples to oranges comparison because clearly the sample size is considerably larger for the one.

For someone who constantly complains about what the Phillies draft in the first round it seems odd that you are blasting them for giving up the vaunted first round pick.

Here is my larger point though. The number of picks in baseball that hit are small regardless- be it a first round talent or something after that. But this is not a situation where the parameters of the movements are rigid. With good scouting you can tip the balance in your favor because you aren't just going after lottery tickets round after round. At some point you can begin drafting guys you target because you see something workable with them. That is far more important to me than a first round pick in the grand scheme of things. I want them to hit over the collective of their picks.

I am totally confused by this debate.

Are we getting a pick for Madson or not?

If we are, I don't get MG's point. Is he saying that keeping Madson and our pick is better than getting Papelbon and someone else's pick?

Latest example of aksmith having no clue what he's talking about:

Wigginton's "exact comparable at this point of his career is Wes Helms."

Helms, a worse fielder than Wigginton, had an OPS+ of 89 after his first 10 seasons. Wigginton's is 100.

We seem to be getting a pick for Madson, but we lose one that we would not have lost for Papelbon. We would have had two first round picks, one ahead of the team signing Madson and the one we had originally. That's one pick less than the Phils would have had if they'd waited a week or two to sign Papelbon.

TTI - I haven't read your post, except for the one I see my screen name in it. Just because I accuse you of gobbling Rube's nob, please don't mistake that for calling you gay. I have no idea whether you're gay or not. And I have nothing against gays in any way. However, I think you're clueless. That, I have something against.

Clout gets me, at least. He never agrees with me, but he knows that none of this is personal. None of us know each other at all.

Here's my opinions, to sum up.

1. Losing the pick for Papelbon was a mistake that every other GM in baseball managed to avoid. That's on Rube and his hyper aggressive overspending too many years style.

2. Wigginton is a slight upgrade from either MM or Benny Fran, however, he's well past his prime and is likely to know perform at Wes Helms level. So, while not overjoyed, I'm not despondent.

3. I'd have taken Madson for less money and four years rather than Papelbon at the current contract. Simply too little to choose between them for that money and length. Limits flexibility going forward.

4. I'd sign Jimmy for no more than 3 years and 42 mil. If I had my druthers, I'd sign him for 2 and an option year. And failing that, I'd go for a one or two year option as a stop gap, such as Furcal. But I'd rather have had Barmes or Carrol for a couple of years at low dollars until I know what they have in the minors. This recent draft could supply a handful of good middle infielders and in a couple of years, we'll have a better idea.

5. Going cheaper on SS, even if a slight downgrade from Jimmy, would allow the team to strengthen third base, left field, and I would have said backup catcher, but that's over now.

6. Schneider is a way below average catcher at this point, and below any conceivable average even for a backup. He's a hamstring and back strain looking for a bat. And he's so poor offensively and defensively that he is either pinch hit for or lifted for a defensive replacement in the majority of games he starts. Yuck.

Anything even remotely controversial there? Seriously.

Sheesh, Clout. And just when I said you get me.

Of course it's productive to go back ten years to evaluate what a player will do in his age 34 season. In another dimension. But here on Earth, the story in Colorado was that Wiggy's bat is slowing down. Yes, he's a marginally better fielder, but he's still below average at every infield position. He's got some power so that's nice. But he looks to be in decline. I don't think it's an awful move, but who is he really replacing? Looks like half of Minimart and half of Ben Fran. He's an upgrade there, but not a major one. And we don't really want him starting at third or first, which are positions of need.

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EST. 2005

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