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Monday, November 07, 2011


If we sign Jimmy to a 3 year deal could we get 1 year out of him at SS, then 2 years at 3B?

Any reason he couldn't outperform what we have seen from Polanco and Pete Happy there? Granted, he is not the protoypical 3B, but the Phillies have won with less.

Sure...if we want a below average offensively 3B for 2 years.

We won with a below average offensive 3B because we had elite power at 2B and SS...two positions where power is pretty rare.

As free agents go, Cuddyer makes a ton of sense considering the need for power and versatility at a number of positions. Sounds like the Phils will get this done, then expect the focus to shift toward the bullpen.

My only concern with Cuddyer (who I think is worth a 3 year deal around what we gave Ibanez) is that he apparently has trouble in LF due to hearing issues. If that is the case, does UC move him to RF and put Pence (a better defender) in LF?

As a 1B replacement/super utility guy, he's exactly what we need.

Also, our strong pursuit of him tells me two things:

1. The FO has zero faith in Howard being back at 100% next year.

2. The FO has nearly zero faith in Domonic Brown emerging as a legitimate LF in 2012.

NEPP: Why would hearing issues matter? It's not like this is football, where you need to hear the play calls. Tyson Gillies is legally deaf and he seems to have turned out just -- uh, never mind.

***Why would hearing issues matter? It's not like this is football, where you need to hear the play calls. ***

Calling balls in the air I would guess. From what I read, he's legally deaf in his left ear so he has issues in LF and at 3B as a result. I could see where it would affect that. Obviously, he has played both positions sparingly in recent years so he could obviously spot-start but it might be an issue if he were to become our full-time starting LF.

"Calling balls in the air I would guess"

Yeah, I suppose so. Seems like an obstacle that could be overcome, though.

I dont think its a major issue at all but I could easily see UC "thinking outside the box" and thus moving Pence to LF to make a spot for Cuddyer (who isn't the greatest RF on earth).

Again, I'm 100% for signing Cuddyer as I think he's a perfect fit. I believe I mentioned that several times from the moment Howard went down with the Achilles. Most of my comments were along the lines of "I know it will never happen but it would be awesome if we signed Cuddyer next year".

How about the report the Phils are in on the Cuban defector who plays CF? Could be just "showing" interest to drive up value, but I wonder if they might be entertaing the notion to trade Vic...?

Now that Vic is no longer a Gold Glover, he's dead to me. They should just outright cut him.

Vic is also in the final year of his contract. Signing Cespedes (a great move by Rube if it happened) would be a great replacement move as it gets us younger and likely cheaper. Cespedes is 26 and will garner a smaller AAV than we're giving Vic.

We could keep Vic, use Cespedes as a 4th OF. We could trade Vic, we could trade Pence, etc etc.

3/$30 for Cuddyer sounds a bit pricy, but he would really add a lot of value for this club.

super utility for 2011 (or everyday 1B if Howard is out for an extended period).

starting 3B in 2012, and beyond, perhaps.

if Rube gets Cuddyer, does that mean he is out on Reyes? that would be dissappointing, to me at least.

A decent prospect from a small Caribbean island? Get outta here.

If I was a major leaguer I don't think I would want to hear what the crowd had to say a majority of the time.
I believe these issues are far less pronounced that indicated. I think there have been players with varying degrees of hearing problems over the years without it getting in the way. Not that these names are even appropriate, there are a series of players nicknamed "Dummy" throughout the history of the sport (I believe the Phillies had two in the ancient days) and most played outfield just fine.

Michael will not hear the crowd in his final couple years if he plays RF. He is a sensitive guy.

I don't want Cuddyer if it's a three-year deal.

I'd prefer signing Derrek Lee to a relatively cheap one-year deal to play first. If and when Howard returns, Lee could platoon with Howard and be a defensive replacement.

For versatility, rather than Cuddyer, I'd prefer a player who can play key defensive positions very well. Either Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis could fill in well offensively and defensively at 3B, 2B and SS. Both players are under contract with the Angels.

Either Callaspo or Izturis and Lee together would provide much better defense and more versatility at no greater cost than Cuddyer alone. Offensively, any edge that Cuddyer might have over Lee would be offset by the Callaspo/Izturis edge over Valdez/Martinez/Orr.

I don't see why Pence couldn't be moveable, position wise, if need be. He started as a CF, before moving to RF. And it's not like he's the greatest fielding RF in the game. Net/net, if Cuddy NEEDS to play RF, I don't see why it would be a deal breaker.

If the choice is Rollins or Cuddyer... i will take Rollins. You can't spend 8+ million a year on a guy without a full time position with a manager that doesn't platoon. If you want to make Polanco your utility guy that is one thing... but I would look at other candidates for 3B if that is the case.

Thome having to play 1B is an argument in favor of keeping Rollins. Gotta keep those throws out of the dirt.

How come I keep hearing from people about Victorino being traded? I don't really see how that makes much sense ....

Are the people I socialize with just ignorant?

Willingham and Betemit.

speaking of Yoenis Cespedes, deadspin just posted his showcase video on their site. pretty funny stuff but also pretty impressive...guy looks like a freak athlete. where are these rumors that the phils are involved coming from?!

I wouldn't bet on Vic being traded, but he comes up in conversation b/c he'll be a FA after this season, and just came off a nice season. He's a tradeable commodity.

Sanchez to the Royals for Melky Cabrera.

If this Cespedes kid is the real deal, maybe they should offer him Raul money. That gives them some power and speed and apparently, a great fielder. Put Vic in right, Pence in left and the kid in center. He costs them no draft picks or players in trade. And they're likely to give that money to Cuddyer if not to Cespedes. Mayberry goes back to being a fourth outfielder, or in the present, first baseman.

I see Howard going forward as a real void in the lineup. Even if he fully recovers, his offense is in decline and I don't see it improving unless he stops trying to pull the ball. And I don't see that happening. So it would be nice to have Mayberry around to platoon with or spot start for Howard as well as be that extra outfielder for a few more seasons.

Im obviously Cuban and would love to sign Cespedes, but Im sure Miami will sign him. Im not really interested in dropping a bunch of money on Cuddyer though. Hes a nice player, but Dom deserves a chance to be a full-time OF without having to significantly outplay a veteran. Howard is still in for the long haul at 1B, and Cuddyers strengths at first arent much different than an average 1B. Plus he costs draft picks to sign. Id much rather focus the money to SS, with Reyes or Rollins, if Jimmy doesnt get a ridiculous offer somewhere else.

just watched the Cespedes Youtube video. maybe i'm a sucker, but i'm all in! the guy is a total freak athlete. $30M? i'd pay $90M!!!

(anyone have a valium?)

we get him, we trade Vic and Dom to retool the farm. who's with me?

(raiding my medicine cabinet)

of course, i couldn't help but wonder what are the contents of Cespedes' medicine cabinet whilst watching him workout.

Probably old news, but here's Zolecki's take on Thome playing 1B:
"Thome indicated to Amaro that he believes he can play first base three to five times a month, if needed. Gload started just 11 games in 2011.

"I've always loved a challenge," Thome said. "Let's face it, when the Phillies call and they want you to come over and be part of their club, it's something for me. I looked in the mirror and said, 'OK, I haven't played first base, but also I like the challenge of preparing over the winter to get ready for it.' It'll be a great challenge. It'll be fun. We'll see what happens."

Thome believes that if he simply prepares to play first base he should be able to play there occasionally. He didn't even field ground balls in the previous two seasons with the Twins and Indians because he knew that he had no shot to play there, so he opted not to risk injury practicing. But if he knows that he might be needed and works out -- he said he could arrive to Spring Training early to begin that work -- then he thinks that he can handle the workload and the extra wear and tear on his back. "

3 years $30M to Cuddyer would be a mistake. He's a nice player, but not that nice of a player. I know Amaro has to be creative when piecing together this club, but Cuddyer doesn't solve one of the biggest problems- SS.

Some people are doing all they can to keep the Charlie doesn't platoon myth alive.

Re: Thome
Everyone is basically agreeing that this is a move for the postseason and he will be of limited use in the regular season. The same can be said of young players with great speed who would waste a roster spot over 162 games but in a short series are really usefull. Do you think high payroll teams that are confident of playoff births will start stashing vets on the DL and youngsters in the minors until Sept then add them to the roster for the playoffs? When Oct rolls around they can dump their 5th starters and long relievers in favor of a 20 yr old pinch runner or a 40 year PH slugger who aren't of much use during the season.

In other MLB news, Royals traded Melky Cabrera to Giants for Jonathan Sanchez:

My first reaction: what the hell SF? Bad trade. Cabrera had a career year and he's not a starting SF on a good team. Yeah, Sanchez is a middle of the rotation starter, but he's young, cheap, and he's got good stuff. Only way this makes any sense is if Sanchez is hurt a lot more than publicly known.

It's not going to happen, but a 2/3/4/5 of Utley, Pence, Howard, and Cespedes would be pretty drool worthy.

As for Cuddyer, he's the kind of player who will never hurt your team, but I do worry he may not help it enough for 3/30mil. RH bat, defensive flexibility, high caliber character... he's got all the hallmarks of a protypical Amaro pick up.

But if 30mil can get you Cuddyer for 3 years or Cespedes for 5, wouldn't the smartest move be for the younger player with the higher ceiling?

If they sign Cuddyer, do they have the money to resign JRoll? It would seem not unless they find a way to move some salary for '12.

If we don't re-sign Rollins, Victorino's role becomes all the more important next year. I mean he has to be the lead-off in this scenario does he not?

Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but if Cuddyear has a hearing problem that creates problems for him as an LF...wouldn't he still have the same type of issue as an RF? You have to be able to communicate with the CF either way, and there are popups to both right and left that require an outfielder to communicate with infielders on both sides.

Vic playing CF alongside a deaf man is not something I look forward too.

And I understand it is his left ear, but you're running and closing on other fielders at different angles, and then you have crowd noise thrown in to boot.

I'm sure not a major league outfielder and can't speak to that. But I have sinus issues and often have one ear virtually out of commission, and hearing anything when that is happening is more difficult regardless of where the sound is coming from.

I'm fine with vic leading off, as long as Cholly has some willie mays hayes training for him in ST. 40 pushups every time he pops up?

If the Phils, or other team, is willing to put $10mil+ for Cuddyer, the "deaf issue" isn't really an "issue", except for BL commenters.

How tall is your thirdbaseman?
How well does you LF hear?

Re-visiting the budget (per COTs):

Right now Phillies have $114.15 tied up in 10 players (including oswalt and lidge buy-outs):


Pence and Hamels will be back for around $25 Million; so we are at $139.15 for 12 players.

League Mins (~500k) that will (gauranteed) make the team:

So we are at $141.15 Million for 16 players;
which leaves (assuming same budget as last year) $36-37 Million for 9 players.

Team Needs:
Rollins ~$10 Million
Cuddyer ~$10 Million
Madson ~$10 Million

That STILL leaves $6-7 Million to fill the following positions:
1.) 2 Utility Guys (Valdez or Martinez)
2.) Back-up catcher
3.) 4th outfielder (Francisco after declining arb?)
4.) Kendrick
5.) Cheap veteran BP piece (Lidge?)
6.) Another salary min middle relief guy

Seems pretty damn doable to me. I think Cuddyer, Rollins, and Mad-dog will all be Phillies come December 31.

I assume we need an extra bench guy bc Howard will start season on DL.

Woah, is nonamePHame implying that the Phillies, a company valued in the hundreds of millions, planned for the future and their payroll model is not completly unsustainable? They aren't just making it up as they go and they don't have to cut payroll drastically? They worked out the math for what guys would make years down the road and what money could be alloted to other positions? Amazing.

I am just saying I don't think it is a Cuddyer OR Rollins scenario. I think the Phils sign all three or at least that is what I guessed on the MLBtraderumors top 50 FA prediction game.

It would be totally unlike the Phillies to sign this Cespedes kid. As far as I can recall, the Phillies have never signed an international player who actually has the credentials to play at the majors very soon, if not immediately. The Phillies like guys with proven major league track records. And there is something to be said for that, since international players command high salaries and the Cuban and Asian contingent of the last 15 or 20 years has been a real mixed bag. For every Ichiro, there have been 2 or 3 Kaz Matsuis, Hideki Irabus, and Tsuyoshi Shinjos.

On the other hand, every off-season, RAJ says that the goal is to get younger, & it's pretty difficult to do that by signing traditional major league free agents and continously trading away your prospects for veterans. I would actually really like to see this Cespedes thing happen, but I am quite certain that it won't. He'll either end up on the Yankees or Marlins.

I'm with you noname, it isn't a one or the other situation. The Philies have planned much better than some people like to admit.

Good point, BAP. Although I don't think Shinjo commanded that much money and he was an older free agent so there wasn't even a posting fee. At the time he really was doing more as a personal challenge before his career ended and was not seen as a potential star. But guys like Iwamura or Jojima were certainly pricey near busts.


Bedrosian's Beard: That language is un-called for.

In all fairness to Kaz Matsui, he wasn't TERRIBLE, just didn't live up to the Hype. He was an OK 2nd basemen defensivley and had a few decent years with the bat. He was a terrible SS but that's the met's fault for putting him there at all.

Our own Jose Contreras is another. And Dice-K. Other than Irabu, none of these guys was a total bust. But none of them lived up to the huge expectations. Hence, I can understand why the Phillies haven't been eager to venture into this pricey market. But I'd still like to see them do it.

I suggest the Phils try going cheap in regards to backup catcher. The free agent market is pretty thin and they might already have a solid backup in the system- Erik Kratz.

2. The FO has nearly zero faith in Domonic Brown emerging as a legitimate LF in 2012."

That feels like a bit of a reach. I think Cuddyer is there more to fill the role of a Martinez or Valdez which is a huge net positive. Plus with Howard missing the first month (at least) Cuddyer gives them some much needed versatility. I don't think it is a referendum on Brown.

Why are the Phillies' ballgirl tryouts using softballs instead of say baseballs?

Godfather: Sanchez is arb eligible now and a FA in 2013. He earned $4.8M last season and likely gets a raise despite his bad year.

I'd rather have him than Melky, but the Giants have pretty good pitching and Sanchez is a power pitcher with control problems who hasn't really advanced much.

His BB/9 past 3 seasons is 4.8, 4.5 and 5.9 and his command comes and goes. He doesn't go deep into games and at age 29 you'd like to see some improvement. he has a career losing record with a good team and career ERA+ of 97 after 6 seasons.

I think it's a good roll of the dice by KC, a team that depends on bargain basement junk, but Sanchez could well be on an Oliver Perez track right now.

MG: Because they play charity softball games.

Goody - Didn't know that. Just thought it was kind of odd.

I would expect Cuddyer to be guaranteed regular playing time to get him to sign here. If everyone is healthy, and Brown and RFD get better, it will be a nice problem to have.

Anyone here besides Phame think Rollins will sign for $10M a year?

Maybe it was a 6 year contract.

He'll sign for $12-$15M a year and probably get 4 years from someone.

Cuddyer would serve two purposes: As Brown insurance and as a Mike Young-type super-sub.

You don't want to expose him too much, though, especially against RHP.

Worth noting:

Cuddyer OPS last year vs. RHP: .728
Ibanez OPS last year vs. RHP: .747

I'd rather throw money at Cespedes than Cuddyer.

All things being even.

In all fairness, the twins lineup last year was pretty horrendous with how much time was missed by Mauer and Morneau. With cuddyer in the lineup with some other legit hitters for most of the season(utley, pence, howard at some point) i think he does better and see's better pitches.

I think Cuddyer will be a welcome surprise in this lineup ala Raul without the precipitous drop-off.

I think giving Cuddyer a 3 year deal going into his Age 33 season makes a hell of a lot more sense than giving Raul a 3 year deal going into his Age 37 season.

TTI - Cuddyer would not be a Mini Mart type. He would get near 600 PAs. He'd b a starter, somewhere.

Cuddyer wouldn't sign with us without a promise of a full-time role. Its ridiculous to think otherwise.

I think rollins will get a deal like so from the phillies:

10/11.5/13 with a 1.5 million option buyout anymore than 3/36 guaranteed is just ludicrous at this point in his career.

Let someone else overpay for him and his pop-ups. I still think he comes back tho.

***8:18pm: Talks are "advancing, but not complete," a source told's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Agent Scott Boras told Crasnick that the sides are still exchanging proposals.

7:23pm: The Phillies are making a "strong push" to re-sign Ryan Madson, according to's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also hears that the Phillies are working hard to complete a deal for Madson. However, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. hasn't ruled other free agents out.***

Cool, looks like we're gonna end up overpaying Ryan Madson to be our closer.

lol NEPP! 3 years 36 is the deal that him, rollins, and cuddyer EACH get.... which is the worst?

My money is probably on Rollins actually....but you gotta keep him.

There are approximately 700 closers available this winter...why in the hell are we jumping on resigning Madson in basically the first week of FA?

So much for letting the market set itself. Rube just cant help himself.

conshy: Obviously Cuddyer is going to get more at bats than Mini Mart would. My point was- when you sign a guy who can play first, third, the corner outfield spots, and second base you are not signing him just because you don't believe in one player.

You are signing him because he gives you a great utility player who is a clear offensive upgrade. He is a massive upgrade from Mini Mart in every sense.

Nepp i said something similar on a different they say he is asking for a 3 year contract they mean Boras is asking for a 3 year contract. If we can get him for 3 year 30 Mil that would be not great but acceptable anything more than that they have to let him walk...

I'm sorta on the fence about whether I want Madson back, or go a cheaper route, but I don't know if I fault the Phils for going after the closer they know and trust. Matt Capps blowing saves, or K-Rod punching family members in the Phllies clubhouse would drive traffic on Beerleaguer, but there's something to be said about going after who they know.

Gonna gripe about over paying Madson? Who do you sign instead? How much do they cost and how much do you trust them in the postseason? I get that closers are overpaid and saves are a useless stat that result in overpaying guys, but do you want someone who has never closed a big October game out there? Did you watch Heath Bell shrink out there this fall? The goal is the WORLD SERIES not the best value per dollar.

I think some people got married to the idea of getting the extra 1st rd picks for losing Madson and Rollins, now the thought of resigning Madson and bringing in Cuddyer (losing our #1) has shattered the dream of the Phils having multiple 1st rd picks in the next draft, when what really matters in the MLB draft is being willing to spend extra $ on tough signs to make up for the lack of #1 pick(s).

I tend to agree with BB. Paying a 7-figure salary for a guy who only pitches 50 or 60 innings per year feels kind of extravagant -- especially in a market that's deep in relief pitching. But I can't really fault the Phillies for doing it. Besides being a homegrown Phillies, Madson's also one of the top 2 or 3 relievers on the market and, when you factor in age, probably the single most desirable. Closer is one of those positions which doesn't seem that important until you find yourself without one.

I think the Phils have the money to field a team in 2012 that's as good as the 2011 version. I think they can do so without crossing the luxury tax threshold, which I expect to be at least $185 million for 2012.

I agree with the spirit of nonamePHame's comment that the Phils can take on five eight-figure salaries (Hamels, Pence, Rollins, Madson and a fifth player) without going over budget. I think, in addition, the Phils can build a strong bench without going over budget.

If necessary, back-loading contracts and deferring salaries are two methods the Phils can use to keep the 2012 payroll within budget.

I also think that the Phils can continue to inject youth into the roster without adversely affecting team performance. Converting an older team into a younger team should be a gradual process. IMO, the only youth move for 2012 should be to turn LF over to some combination of Brown and Mayberry.

Going after a guy like Cuddyer is not necessarily an indictment of Howard, Brown, or Polanco. It could just be a realization that while you cannot accurately predict exactly who will get hurt, you can predict with near certainty that someone will get hurt.

Over the last 2 years the Phillies have started Wilson Valdez 162 times, Ben Francisco 90 times, Michael Martinez 48 times, Greg Dobbs 30 times, Ross Gload 24 times, Pete Orr 24 times, and Cody Ransom 9 times. That's 395 starts worth of junk at bats.

It would be nice to give some of those at bats to someone who can hit. It would also be nice to be able to give a healthy Utley and Polanco a day off every week or so and not lose anything offensively.

DH Phils -

395 starts for bench players over the last two years. That's almost 200 games each year. As high as that number is, it likely will increase dramatically in 2012 because of Howard's injury. To prepare for the worst, I assume he will miss most of the season, i.e., more than 100 games, and I assume that he won't be all that effective when he does play.

It will take at least two players to take up the slack. Those two players need to be able to play the infield positions.

Even if Rollins returns, somebody other than the regulars is needed to start a lot of games at SS, 3B, and 2B. As a practical matter, Cuddyer is not that guy. He does not have the glove for those positions.

A much better choice to back up SS, 3B and 2B is Maicer Izturis, a utility player with one year remaining on his contract with the Angels. Izturis has a good glove, plays all three positions and has a .728 OPS with little power.

Cuddyer can do a tolerable job at first base and right field. He has a .794 OPS and hits with good, but not great, power. For 2012, he would be a reasonable replacement for Howard. Cuddyer and Thome could combine for 25 HRs (I assume Thome will only be used as a PH and DH.).

Signing Cuddyer, who will be 33 at the start of next season, though, is probably not really a good solution to the Phils' problems because he will command at least a three-year deal at $10 million + per. Howard should be back full-time at first in 2013, so that Cuddyer would be the Phils' RF for at least 2013 and 2014. That would mean that Domonic Brown is no longer in the Phillies picture and that the team will continue to get older. Unless the Phils are able to trade Brown in a deal for a young 3B like KC's Moustakas, Cuddyer is not the best fit for the Phils.

Instead, the Phils should sign somebody to play first on a one-year deal. Derrek Lee would be a good choice. He's much better defensively at first than Cuddyer, comparable offensively, and signable for well under $10 million.

Why does anyone care that Cuddyer doesn't have a 'true position'? He would be of great value to this team for that very reason: he's got Mini Mart-like versatility with the ability to actually hit a baseball.

If anything, signing Cuddyer this early would give Rube a bit of flexibility regarding what areas to target in free-agency. Cuddyer could fill multiple roles for this team depending on who Amaro is able or unable to acquire, aside of being a very good addition to the lineup.

As far as throwing Madson big money, whatever. We probably weren't going to like who plan B was, and Madson might be the best reliever on the market. With a bullpen that is nothing but a bunch of question marks right now, it would be nice to have at least one sure thing.

TTI - i get what you're were trying to say now. thanks for clarifying.

i wonder, if of course we sign Cuddyer, what would the plan be for 2013? would he be our everyday 3B? it sounds like that's his worst position. both corner OF slots look taken (Pence and Mayberry, hopefully) and Howard will be back at 1B.

R.I.P. Smokin' Joe.

How about they offer arb to Jimmy, let him go to sign elsewhere, get two draft picks and sign Hiroyuki Nakajima? And grab Cespedes, too. I'm sure they could afford it if we all go out and buy, like, a gazillion ceegars from Middleton.

Since 2006, Cuddyer has played 814 games. Of those 814 games, Cuddyer played only 40 games at positions other than RF, 1B and DH.

Rather than a versatile player, Cuddyer is a RF/1B who fills in at other positions, on an emergency basis, maybe a half dozen times a season.

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