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Friday, December 09, 2011

Comments

Albertross!

I am officially anointing myself as the charter member of "Lerud Dawgs Dweebs". It is a special club for all of those BLeaguers who vow he will overtake Schneider by June.

Wow, I posted one time praising the Cardinal's being able to compete without breaking the bank and suddenly I'm their biggest fan?

I am not a fan of the Cardinals. I was never a fan of LaRussa's managing until this postseason. I found him highly overrated until then. In fact, As I've posted before, I'd seen Charlie outmanage him on many occasions prior to this postseason.

The only point I was making was that they seem to find ways to win without spending beyond sanity. Someone pointed out that Lohse was overpaid. And he was. The Phillies offered him 3/21 and he bolted to the Cards on a one year, lower paying deal. They then made the mistake of thinking he'd be above average on a four year deal. But you'd be hard pressed to point out too many times they've overpaid for what they've gotten. Rich Harden was a bust and I can't think of too many more.

They turned Ryan Franklin into a closer with good result for a time. And remember, if Matt Holiday doesn't drop an easy fly ball, Franklin is a hero taking them deeper into the playoffs. The Phils couldn't turn Ryan Franklin into a passable low leverage reliever.

And when Franklin started stinking the place up, they moved on.

Their pen was lousy? Yea, by most measures it was. But maybe that means spending 15 million per on a closer is mostly wasted money. Didn't five guys have saves for the Phils last season? If they didn't make the Lidge mistake, they'd have had one of the cheapest pens in baseball and the result would have been about the same.

It's easy to shoot holes in any approach. But the Cards have spent a lot less money than the Phils and have won a whole lot more WFCs. And They won 2 since 2006.

Sometimes having more money to work with makes you approach things in an expensive way. That's what Rube suffers from. Omar Minaya was a pretty competent GM with Montreal on no budget. But the minute he had a big NY budget, he sucked.

There is no honor in the Cards letting Pujols go. Seems like a big middle finger to their fans.
Of course, it's possible that once Tony left that Albert didn't want to play there anymore.

As fate would have it, I was in Mudville when the Mighty Casey sold out!

The St. Louis TV and radio stations talked almost of nothing else. Even the local christian rock station. They have lost all their World Championship joy. Sporting goods stores have either cut prices of his jerseys or are flat-out giving them away.

The Cardinals simply don't have the ability to take the kind of financial hit that Pujols contract would have been. Not if they want to field a competitive team going forward.

I bet they'd have gone 20 million over ten years though. And the difference between a 200 million contract and a 250 million dollar contract is essentially zero to the person getting it. But it can mean a great deal to the organization paying it. In a way, Pujols probably did them a favor by not tying up that big a percentage of their payroll for the next ten years. We'll see how the fans feel about it in six or seven years when he is producing Shane Victorino numbers as a DH for 25 million per.

Another possibility: Pujols is just remarkably greedy. His attitude over the years has certainly left a bit to be desired. Regardless, I'm glad that particular bat is out of the NL entirely, & esp. glad it's not heading to Miami.

Dave - Pujols greedy? Didn't he stay in St. Louis for a long time on a below market contract? How is he greedy now? He gets to move to Anaheim, which is very nice, and make an above market contract. Yeah, I might have stayed in St. Louis for less, but he did give those guys a discount for the last ten years. People on here are fond of using WAR for evaluating contracts. I wonder how many thousand WAR he's been worth above his contract value.

Don't hold your breath on a Rollins deal. His agent probably went on a binge from the Pujols deal, and he might not sober up until after New Years.

People are quick to level charges of greediness at players who sign big free agent contracts. Do you know what I think is greedy? Depriving your family of $40M because you would rather work in front of millions of people you don't know in one city instead of working in front of millions of people you don't know in a different city.

I don't begrudge people for taking less money, but I certainly don't blame people who don't. $40M goes a long way.

And I've always thought of Pujols as a hard-working, quiet, religious man who generally keeps to himself. Not sure what you saw to say "his attitude leaves a bit to be desired."

I also agree with aksmith's point that Pujols doesn't owe the Cardinals organization anything.

DH: I would never call a player greedy for taking as much money as he can get. But I have immense difficulty wrapping my head around the concept that Pujols would have been "depriving" his family by playing for a mere pittance of $210M. I also have difficulty wrapping my head around the idea that $250M allows Pujols and his family a quailty of life that they couldn't have gotten with only $210M.

From the last thread, RE Ted Williams. I remember the story of him touring the Louisville Slugger bat factory. While examining a batch of his model bats, he picked one up, and said it was too heavy. They checked it, and it was 1/2 an ounce heavier than the others!

I don't know how Pujols decided to take Anaheim's offer but, it clearly wasn't because they offered the most money. The Marlins did and the opportunity to make that money in a tax friendly state, making the difference between the Marlins' and Angels' offer much more than $21MM. I'm sure the money was important, though. There was a definite sense over the previous offseason and last season that he had soured for working for the Cardinals. At the end of the day, that's what he was doing - picking his employer not the fans.

I would probably spend the extra $4.4MM annual gross in no thoughtful way. For all we know, Pujols will devote it to charitable works, or to the support of dozens of illegitimate children he's fathered in every major league city he's frequented. WGAS.

"But the Cards have spent a lot less money than the Phils and have won a whole lot more WFCs."

The Cards won most of the WS whilst outspending the Phillies.

Well, I'm wrong in record time again. Rollins agent to meet with Phils on Sat.

Nah bunk it i wouldnt had offer Pujols a ten year deal its just to long. In the long run the Cardinals will benefit from not doing this. The Cardinals tried to sign him. Its not like they tried so i dont see it as the sticking a middle finger to their fans. Where in the world do people get this from. The same people saying that are the same people bitching about Howards contract. Oxy_ _ _ _ _.

I don't know that the Cards used to spend more than the Phillies. Back in the old days, when the Phillies were one of the teams that spent essentially no money on players, it may be that the Cards spent more. But Gussie Bush was a tightwad as well. In fact, that's why Steve Carlton became a Phillie.

But in the current era of baseball, if you take about the last thirty or so years since the Carpenters sold the team, I'm not sure that the Cards spent more than the Phillies at all. Is there a link that has that data?

Having guys like Bush and Purcey in the system is always a good thing because they can plug a hole for 15 days when the inevitable injury happens.

Who knows, maybe Purcey will "figure it out".

Its always nice to have AAAA players in the system.

Goody
Ted Williams invented ISO 9000

I think it's funny that the Cardinals are praised for their financial management when they made quite a few errors that led to them not being able to resign Pujols. I was listening to MLB Radio this afternoon and Jim Bowden and his host were schooling callers bitching about the deal.

Bowden made the point that when they signed Holliday they bid against themselves and went extra years and extra cash with Holliday. And Kyle Lohse is getting almost 12 million dollars this year for them. Between the two of them that is 29 million dollars. They also just resigned Lance Berkman to a 12 million dollar deal.

It isn't Pujols that stretched the budget to where the Cardinals were unwilling to sign him. They let the best player in baseball go over about 4 million dollars a year. Pujols by all accounts had every intention of going back to the Cardinals and then the Angels blew him away with an offer once the Cardinals couldn't finalize the deal.

Flat out, the Cardinals blew it with Pujols and it may cost them significantly for the next few years.

Berkman at $12 million is a pretty fair deal...especially now that he's their starting 1B (great backup plan for them).

Were he on our team, he'd be by far our best hitter.

If you're the Cards, would your rather pay Berkman (.959 OPS) $12 million in 2012 or Pujols (.906 OPS) $25 million in 2012?

Honestly, they probably made the right choice to not go nuts on Pujols.

goody/RG -- Good stuff! Anecdotal stories abound about Ted Williams. Supposedly, he could read a vinyl 78 rpm record label while being played...

and could intercept the spin of a baseball immediately upon the departure from a pitchers hand.

I suppose that's how you sit at .3998 in game 152; play both ends of a double header and go 4 for 6, bumping your average to .406 for the season. He had no fear of failure at any point in his career. Sportswriters hated his guts – for good reason. His bat spoke with eloquence beyond words.

I suppose that’s why he flew prop aircraft in WWII and live to tell about it; then flew fledgling jets in Korea and laughed off the terror of such a new technology. And went on to torment – but never beat – the stinkin’ Yankees. And hit it out on his last AB in the AL in ‘60.

Golly, I hate Paapellbawn. Could I still qualify as a Sawx fan? Hate the big money; hate Fenway; love the storied ballplayers. It’s all I had (beside Bunning, Short and Allen) growing up.

I love watching games in Fenway but those seats are brutally uncomfortable.

NEPP: Problem is that the gave Berkman 12 million when they knew the Pujols issue was still there. It's a stupid move. They also have to hope that Berkman continues to rejuvinate his career there instead of the downward trend he was appearing to be starting on.

My ISO comment is just a big business joke (I don't want anybody quoting me). I heard those Ted Williams stories too. I worked with an electronic supplies co as a part time thing years ago and an ancient movie theater projectionist I met swore to me that Ted had an agreement with a suburban Boston theater where he could come in early in the morning and watch movies with the lights up so he wouldn't have to expose his eyes to light level changes. The story sounded like sh8t to me because we expose our ways to way more than that daily and you never see Ted wearing shades or anything like that in old movies. But hey, who am I to question a .400 hitter.

OP: "There is no honor in the Cards letting Pujols go. Seems like a big middle finger to their fans."

OP, I agree. The thing that amazes me is how all of the negative commentary being directed on blgs and by ostensibly sane proffesional sportswriters is that Pujols was "disloyal" or that loyalty doesn't matter to him. Doesn't loyalty run both ways, or are MLB players chattel to be played with by billionaire owners?


Anyway, smitty has it right. The Cardinals simply couldn't afford to match the offer. They are one of the top revenue teams, but Dimwit, I mena DeWitt, has loaded the team with a lot of debt, and those interest and principal payments must be made.

Looks like we get Jimmy for 3 years, or Furcal for less. Either works.

NEPP - Depends on where you are at but the seat down the LF field line facing CF in Fenway are the worst in MLB yet they still are expensive & a tough grab.

By the way, the Sox are pretty out of money now since Ortiz accepted arbitration even with Papelbon and Drew coming off the books.

They are going to with scraps and internal options to round out the rest of their roster. Almost certainly won't be able to afford Madson as their closer & will have to go with Kelish/Reddick as their starting RF next year.

Sox can afford to eat one bad contract and maybe even two but they have over $55M tied up next year alone in Dice K/Crawford/Lester/Jenks.

TTI - Yeah the Cards didn't have enough free payroll but even if they did Pujols would be eating up $25M of their $105-$110M payroll next year.

Would have been a bit challenging going ahead forward building a competitive team around that if the Cards kept their payroll at around the $100-$110M mark for the next few years.

Pujols took the money. Good for him. Let's just not say it was anything else but the money really. All of the stuff about respect/etc from Pujols and his agent is just horse$hit. As my uncle who was a police detective in Philly for a long time has told, "95% of the time the motivation for a crime was either money or pu$$y (lust). The rest of it is filler and bull$hit people just tell themselves to make themselves feel better about what they did."

Amaro's offseason:

Is shaping up to be one giant clusterf@ck if JRoll doesn't resign here and instead takes a deal with the Cards instead. Leaves him scrambling to trade for a SS instead.

He also set the market out on Papelbon which looks out of place with what other closers got and other FA got in general (with the exception of Pujols).

Oh, the Madson market has almost completely dried up with the Angels now officially out of the running and the Red Sox too with Ortiz accepting arbitration although they might make some room for Madson on a 1-yr deal at $7-8M according to some reports.

Amaro is going to look like a total boob if Madson ends up somewhere on a 1-yr deal at $7-8M instead.

At this point, I imagine JRoll and his agent have him backed into a corner a bit and that Amaro is going to have to definitely give a 4th year and possibly even a 5th year which would be really ill advised.

curt - JRoll still has the Cards to use as leverage and his agent is meeting with Amaro today on a Sat.

Tells you a couple of things including how important/desperate Amaro wants to get JRoll resigned and I imagine implies that the sticking point is that it is the 4th guaranteed year because Amaro has been adamant in every piece I have seen him on about '3 years for JRoll' and I am sure which instead would include an option for the 4th.

Amaro resigns JRoll to a say 4 yr/$48-52M deal it is 'Check' and 'Mate' for this franchise in '14 and '15.

Wouldn't surprise me if all 3 end up a Lehigh but Purcey has by far the best shot at making the Phils (probably 30-40 chance he makes an appearance at some point before Sept) at some point next season and probably higher if the Phils don't sign another veteran FA LHP reliever.

Check out our Phillies Jingle Bells remix. You'll laugh and cry.

I have a feeling David Purcey is next season's Steve Register

I'm amazed George Sherrill hasn't gotten squared away by the Phils yet. They love that guy.

Did Rube sign Jimmy to a 6 year deal yet?

"Amaro is going to look like a total boob if Madson ends up somewhere on a 1-yr deal at $7-8M instead."


MG, you can't really say that. Sure, the Phillies set the market on/with Papelbon, but he was the best closer (at least by track record) available, and at the time that's where the "market" was.

Had they not signed Papelbon, and, for instance, he had signed with the Marlins, and Madson were still out there, what makes you think that the market wouldn't be different for closers today?

The agents for all of the closers/relievers still available woudl be playing other teams off against the Phillies, and probably be more successful (you can argue to what degree) in securing multi-year deals.

If Madson was still available and Papelbon wasn't, and, most importantly, the Phillies with their financial heft were still lurking and their presence was driving up the price for other teams, do you think Boras just might be able to get Madson a multi-year deal somewhere?

I think that he might, because if the Phillies were still looking the whole market would be different.

Conditions change with every signing, and you don't seem to acknowledge that.

Scotch Man, the Phils were also talking to the A's about one of their LHRP. They may not be totally convinced that Sherill is the guy they want.

MG:

I disagree with your belief that Amaro's going to look like a boob.

Heath Bell, an older man at 34 (vs 32), signed a 3 year deal at 9 million a year. Papelbon has a a better WHIP, K/9, and BB despite pitching in a hitter's park and against much tougher lineups. Papelbon also had a better season in his walk year, Bell's K-rate dropped alarmingly last year.

Signing Papelbon or Madson to that contract set the market. If Amaro had paid 10 million a year, the Bell deal would have been for 8 million, perhaps. And, rather than try to sign the top talent like K-Rod or Madson, teams instead decided to fill the roles on the cheap, by trades (Blue Jays) or signing tier B/C closers (Mets, Rangers, Twins).

It's left Madson out in the cold and forced K-Rod to accept arbitration. The Phillies acted like a big market team, signing the best available closer (Madson has a better track record), and that's bullied other teams out of the market. If Madson signs to such a bad deal, it's his agent's fault, not the Phillies.

Besides, Madson is a Boras client, meaning Boras will try to make a team desperate for his services so he gets Papelbon's contract. You'd better believe Boras is telling everyone that if Papelbon is worth 4 years at 50 mil, Madson's worth 4 years at 52, or 54, maybe even 5 years and 60 million.

Excuse me, Papelbon has a better track record than Madson. Stupid cut and paste...

Lerud needs to capitalize the R and add an e.

In re: Purcey

Substantial height: . {check}
Substantial weight: . {check}
Former first round pick: {check}
Lots of "raw stuff": . {check}
No demontrated ability: . {check}
Obvious invitation to Phillies ST?

Of course.

"maybe Purcey will "figure it out"."

Carson - That kind of thinking once put J.D. Durbin on the roster.

Looks like MG has had too much caffeine.

Anybody have a guess at who the 'mystery team' was in on Pujols? I would expect the Cubs to have made a play on him and, now, on Fielder. It's too big a chance to alter the balance in their division with St. Louis and Milwaukee losing huge pieces, you add one of them if you can.

awh - How was that 'the market at the time' when Amaro signed Papelbon? Not one other FA closer had signed yet. Amaro set the market.

If anything has shown this year, it is that teams realized that the reliever/closer market had a number of options available this offseason and that locking up relievers to long-term contracts at large dollars is generally an awful idea. Amaro in insistence to be a 'first-mover' misread & misjudged the market.

So even if the Fish had signed Papelbon, what other teams right now are in the FA market and willing to pay big dollars? Only team that might be left is the Red Sox and even they have stated that they won't go big dollars/years for Madson.

It would have left Bell & Madson dangling in the wind and given the Phils even more leverage.

GodfatherSJP - So fine maybe Amaro signed Madson to a 4 yr/$40M or 4 yr/$44M deal early instead and it left Papelbon blowing out in the wind looking for a suitor that was willing to pay him $10M+ annually over 3 or 4 years.

Either way the Phils overpaid and Amaro made a mistake.

The Phillies should've waited until someone else signed the guy they wanted.

I'm reminded of what I used to tell my 7-year old when he'd horde his money and build 1 house at a time in Monopoly: the object of the game is not to save the most money; the object is to use that money to make the other guy go broke.

Likewise, some posters seem to think that the team which gets the trophy at the end of the baseball season is the team which puts together the most cost-effective collection of contracts. But, in fact, the object of the game is to put together the best baseball team possible. They very likely did overpay for Papelbon but, if you want the best player, you pretty much have to set the market. You won't see me crying when the Phillies sign the best player available at his position.

Bed Beard made me laugh and BAP is right on the money...spent on the best players.

BAP - The object of the game is to ensure that your team has enough wins to make the postseason. That's it.

It isn't Monopoly either since your can't bankrupt other teams and run them out of business.

Future payroll flexibility also matters a ton too. I don't understand why people don't seem to understand that with the Papelbon signing and if JRoll is resigned for 4 yrs then the odds of a Hamels' extension this offseason are very remote & he walks next year.

Paying and tying up huge parts of your financial capital in aging and underwhelming/underperforming assets is a surefire recipe for disaster.

The issue now is that if Amaro resigns JRoll to a 4-yr deal at $12M annually, he completely sinks his financial flexibility in '14 and '15 with roughly over $90M committed to just 5 players in '14 (Halladay/Lee/Howard/JRoll/Papelbon) and over &75 in '15 committed to 4 players (Lee/Howard/JRoll/Papelbon). This has immediate consequences this offseason starting with the Hamels' extension. It isn't just something he has to worry about 2 years from now.

If JRoll walks, then Amaro has to roll the dice on Furcal or more likely make a panic trade to get H. Ramirez & in the process clean out what is left of his MLB-ready talent (Worley/Brown) and likely 1-2 prospects so that when '14 and '15 do come around this team.

H. Ramirez though isn't cheap and comes with a price tag of $15M starting next year and moving up to $16M through '14.

Amaro has created a very strong team with great starting pitching and a good enough offense to win a championship for next year even if JRoll isn't back. In the process of doing that though, he has started to back himself into a corner financially and through some of the trades he has made to acquire that talent. He complicated that this offseason by committing to Papelbon and especially if he resigns JRoll to a 4-year deal.

The extra deal to JRoll is huge and Amaro knows it. It basically prevents him from working out some kind of heavily backloaded deal that gives Hamels a low base salary in '13 but that dramatically escalates in '14 just like he did with the Lee signing.

This post is to give clout and awh something to whine at me about. I'm otherwise done with the subject for a while, but thought I'd at least give this holiday present. It ought to be worth a half dozen posts for Jason's sake.

Phils 2011 BU (Before Utley): 3.8 R/G .676 OPS
Phils 2011 UtS (Utley's return until September): 4.9 R/G .715 OPS
Phils 2011 SwU (September - with Utley): 3.8 R/G .683

Basically, in September, the Phils with Pence and Utley were as good offensively as the Phils were without the two before May 23. When I allude to them lacking in offense, THAT is what I am referring to. How they were as bad in the last month as they were before May 23.

Now. Go ahead. Castigate me. Tell me I'm blind and ignorant and stupid and what not. It's what you do.

"The extra deal to JRoll is huge and Amaro knows it. It basically prevents him from working out some kind of heavily backloaded deal that gives Hamels a low base salary in '13 but that dramatically escalates in '14 just like he did with the Lee signing."

Meant '14 and '15 instead. Give Hamels a low-base in '13 of say $11M then kick that up a bit higher while going to say $20+ M in '15 after Halladay leaves.

MG: I get that payroll flexibility is important. I get that you can't make a habit of overpaying. But I can't bring myself to be outraged when we overpay to get an elite talent. Once we start talking about the improvements that we might have been able to make elsewhere if we had signed Ryan Madson instead of Jonathan Papelbon, we're engaging in sheer speculation. To that speculation, we add yet another layer of speculation when we ponder whether Madson + this hypothetical additional improvement would have helped the team more than just Jonathan Papelbon.

Bottom line to me: we got an elite player. I probably wouldn't have paid that much for him because I don't value closers as much as RAJ does. But I'm pleased to have the best reliever on the market & I can't bring myself to care that we paid too much.

I think using September, when the team hit cruise control and Uncle Charlie stopped using a regular line-up, might skew those numbers a bit, no? Also, Ryan Howard playing on one leg possibly had an effect, but I'm just spit-balling here.

Looks like Furcal is re-signing with the Cards, according to Ken Rosenthal. Maybe RAJ gets hand again?

I thought I would post this for Clout. He's always arguing that fastball velocity is irrelevant.

He's wrong.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/you-shall-know-our-velocity/

So who else is possibly in on Rollins if Cards are out of equation and the Brewers have conceded?

I'm predicting a 3yr deal for Rollins @ $14 per. 4th year option.

yeah i think a three year deal is pretty imminent at this point. bravo to rube for waiting out the ss market.

Andy -- Great post. Empirical evidence points to -- today -- that Chase is no longer a threat as an everyday player. He just can't maintain his short, uber-effective power stroke late into the regular season after playing every day for prolonged periods.

Maybe, just maybe Big Piece reinvents himself and goes the other way enough to break the back of that !!@#$ "shift". Lord knows we need the September-shreddin’ Ryan Howard of old, and soon.

So, is it that the Cards paid too much for other players to sign Pujols, and that makes them stupid?

Or is it that Rube went out and overpaid the best darn reliever in the world, so his hands will be tied when top free agents or Cole Hamels need to be signed, but it's great to have the best reliever on the planet so Rube is fine.

Looks to me like the Cards have a top first baseman, as pointed out, who would be better than any hitter on our team. And he was a backup plan. And they have cost certainty on Wainwright, Carpenter and Garcia, who are as good as our big three, certainly in a short series.

And they have a bunch of younger players manning positions of importance with more ready to replace them in the minors.

Yeah, their model sucks because they couldn't resign Pujols. Better hope the Phils don't have to face them in the playoffs this year, that awful, poorly managed Cards franchise.

aksmith: "Wainwright, Carpenter and Garcia, who are as good as our big three"

please stop talking.

I was driving home from VA yesterday and listened to MLB on XM for a few hours.

Some guy called in complaining about how the Cardinals can't compete with the big markets. I never call into radio shows but I really wanted to. This guy made me furious.

Were the Phillies a "big market" team prior to 08ish? No. They won with the following lineup:

C- Ruiz: Signed as a international free agent for 8k signing bonus
1b- Howard: drafted
2b- Utley: drafted
3b- Feliz: Journeyman who was not a big time FA
SS- Rollins: drafted
RF- Werth: a retread whose career was thought to be over
CF- Victorino: rule 5 draft
LF- Burrell: drafted

SP:
1- Hamels: drafted
2- Myers: drafted
3- Moyer: traded for in 07. old
4- Blanton: traded for in 08.
5- Kendrick: drafted

Closer-Lidge: traded for before 08

There was no big name FA there. The phillies won their way to an empire. And we have (gulp) Ed Wade to thank for that. Don't be jealous, Cardinals.....figure out how the Phillies became relevant again and duplicate their business model (attract young fans and make the game a "hotspot" or the place to be if you are between the ages of 18-35)

Furcal about to re-sign with the Cards for 2 years at 14 million; who are the Phils bidding against on J-Roll now?

uhoh now Rube is going to feel the pressure to offer Rollins a fifth year....lol

Is there anyone who won't be happy if Jimmy is back on a 3yr deal? For as much flack as Rube gets for jumping the market on Papelbon, he should get credit for waiting out the SS market to get the guy he wanted at the years & dollars he wanted.

Glad rube held out on Jroll. His market is gone. Hahaha

At this point, if you are Rollins, do you take a one year deal somewhere and just "tear it up" and steal dozens of bases in the hopes of signing bigger next year or do you suck it up and take the lowly 3 year deal that Rube dangles now that the market doesnt dictate more?

lol...when you're an aging, declining SS and someone offers you 3 years at top dollar you grab it. Then you hope you get more good months out if him than you got out of Lidge or Raul.

Lol Pujols just called Jered Weaver- "Jeff Weaver" Lol.

If I was rube I would go 3 year 27 million now. Make Jimmy take his "terms" and stick em................ Good job rube. Nailed best closer, told borass to shove it. Hear cuddy isn't getting the offers he wants too!!!
Cards are gonna kick tires on Beltran too

Pujols always loved Weaver's work in McCloud and Gentle Ben.

Well played Ruben. Well played.

Unless their is some surprise team and their could be looks like J-Roll will sign with the Phils. No i dont think RAJ was been shrewd i think he was just taking a huge gamble on not signing J-Roll and letting the market work itself out. I would of love to know what his Plan B would of been.

Yes, I'll stop talking.

However, what I meant to say was that Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia are as good as our big three in a short series. And they're not too shabby during the regular season either.

And the Cards now have financial flexibility going forward. Do the Phillies have that? We can't know for sure, but it's a lot less likely.

And one further note: The Cards can now probably grab Edwin Jackson pretty cheaply and he was more than passable for them as a fourth starter.

Luis - If Rube did indeed hold off on signing JRoll because he thought the market would dry up, then he made a truly shrewd move. I would put it right up there with losing out on Halladay the first time and subbing in Cliff Lee for a lot less in trade.

We'll see if he really did that by the contract JRoll signs, if he signs. Remember, nobody was competing for Moyer a few years back, and Jamie still managed to bend Rube over and extract two years and too many dollars from him.

Luis, I'd like to offer my services as your primary editor. I'm asking for a 1 year deal based solely on performance incentives.

"Empirical evidence points to -- today -- that Chase is no longer a threat as an everyday player."

If by "no longer a threat" you mean "only the 5th or 6th best 2B in baseball and not the 1st or 2nd best 2B in baseball", then I agree.

"However, what I meant to say was that Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia are as good as our big three in a short series."

I have no idea how a group of players could be worse than another group of players during the regular season but better in a short series.

Also, based on the most recent short series:

Halladay/Lee/Hamels: 28 IP, 9 ER (2.89 ERA)
Carpenter/Garcia: 19 IP, 7 ER (3.32 ERA)

Bad news Furcal is off the market as a backup option; good news is that JRoll lost a really important piece of leverage today for a guaranteed 4th year with Cards exiting the SS market.

"Not one other FA closer had signed yet. Amaro set the market."

Yes, MG, so what's your point.

Please clarify, but your point seems to be that if the Phillies had waited they would have been able to sign someone cheaper than Papelbon.

Well, the simple fact is they could have signed somebody cheaper than Papelbon even if they had been the first team to act.

Another point: The identified the guy they wanted and signed him to a contract they thought reasonable.

Lastly, your lamentation over them signing Papelbon and possibly having to give Rollins an extra year because they may not be able to extend Hamels is premature at best.

Unless, of course, you work in the Phillies finance department and you've seen their financial statements and projections.

Only then would you KNOW that they wouldn't be able to afford to extend Hamels.

Everything else is pure speculation.

Jack: "I thought I would post this for Clout. He's always arguing that fastball velocity is irrelevant."

I've never argued that. What I have argued is against your view that a pitcher cannot be successful without velocity, that Kyle Kendrick cannot possibly have a successful career, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

The best pitchers have both velocity and location. Many posters here focus only on the first element.

Andy: You never heard me attribute the ups and downs of the offense to Utley or Pence. I simply pointed out the fact that the Phillies offense was 5th in the league on the day they clinched and fell to 7th after they rested their regulars (who missed 26% of the remaining 12 games.)

That is a fact you have never acknowledged in your bizarre attempt to convince us that the Phillies have a bad offense.

noname: Clearly you don't read the posts of the Moronocracy. Ed Wade contributed nothing to the Phillies becoming a winning team.

The won only because of Pat Gillick and the Abreu trade.

DH Phils: "I have no idea how a group of players could be worse than another group of players during the regular season but better in a short series."

Happens all the time. But only a moron would use a short series as the basis for evaluating a player or group of players compared to the full season, which I think is your point.

Yes, only morons compare the performances of players during a short series. But I believe a number of the neuron deprived here have used Rollins' good playoff series as proof that he should be resigned. That certainly wasn't me.

And if you're only going to use the most recent series when comparing the Phillies big three to the Cards big three, then maybe we should look a little more closely. I believe Wainwright pitched twice in the playoffs, and in those two playoffs, his numbers are better than anyo one of the Phillies starters or relievers, and I include both because he was the closer on the WFC team in 2006.

And if we simply separate out Cliffie's performance during this playoffs, then he'd be about the worst playoff pitcher this season. And if we also point out that none of the Phillies pitchers went on short rest, while Carpenter did, then I guess there are no real men pitching for the Phillies who can go on short rest.

In fact, when the Ace of the Cards pitched with full rest, he outpitched Doc. So, if you're simply going to use the most recent post season, I guess all kinds of things happen.

The truth is that big game pitchers show up big in the playoffs. It's not like hitting, where you don't always have control of what the pitcher is throwing, and being successful less than a third of the time can make you a superstar. A pitcher has the entire game in his hands and if he's on his game, there usually isn't a lot even very good hitters can do to him.

I'd say that over the season or the post season, a healthy Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia are quite comparable to the Doc/Lee/ Hamels troika. Not quite as good, but very close. And in a short series, I don't really know how I'd pick between them. The only positive advantage for the Phils big three is health. They have been more healthy. But results are not remarkably different.

Andy, I love your haikus, but in this instance you're wrong. Just flat out wrong, and purposely deceptive.

Your using the entire month of September is disingenuous - and you know it - because you're lumping the last 12 games in the with the rest.

From September 1st until they clinched, 18 games, the Phillies scored 74 runs - 4.11 RPG.

During 2011 the NL average RPG was 4.13.

So, during the first part of September until they clinched and shut it down - a point on which we all agree - the Phillies scored the league average RPG.


But it's OK. I understand. You saw something the last 12 games which must have given you some sort of confirmation bias about the offense, and you seem to have erroneously applied it to the rest of the season.

Wow. People are cherry picking stats to make a point? That's outrageous!!

On another note, Arte Moreno paid less to buy the Angels then he's paying for Albert.

If Furcal is getting 2 years at 14 million (which could be what the agent proposed, the actual deal may be 2 years and 12 million), then Rollins is basically stuck. If the Phils offer him 3 years at 9 million each he'll have to take it.

That's only a 1 million increase over his 2011 salary. And a coup. Considering Reyes signed for 6 years, 17 mil a year.

awh - since when are the contracts and spending not publicly disclosed? You can now exactly what their future commitments are, what their
previous spending has been, how that compares exactly with peers, and project with a fair degree what individusl players going ahead forward will command with a general range with years being more variable.

You also know on the revenue side what there attendance is and when there contracts especially radio and TV are up.

Add it up and you have both a very good idea of the future payroll flexibilty of a team will be 2-3 years out.

aksmith: Wainwright does have excellent playoff numbers over 17.1 IP. He had a dominant 2006 postseason as a reliever and 1 dominant start in 2009.

Cliff Lee also has excellent playoff numbers, even after his poor 2011 start. That's my point though, over the long run, all of these guys will put up their season numbers during the postseason.

If I were to rank the 6 pitchers, I would put Halladay on a pedestal, then the next tier would include Lee, Carpenter, Wainwright and Hamels in some order, with Garcia the next tier down. By this ranking, I think it's clear which three I would rather have, either in a playoff series or in the regular season.

MG: Suppose you end up with 6 players at $110M total in 2014 (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Rollins, Howard, and Papelbon). That's not good, but it's not a disaster. With internal options and cheap veterans, suppose you fill the bench, last 2 rotation spots, and 3 bullpen spots for $10M total. That leaves you with roughly $50M for 3 relievers and 6 regulars - probably not enough for a 100-win team, but certainly a team that will contend in the NL East.

Does anyone know how the meeting woth Lozano went today?

I would say it's almost a lead pipe cinch, bet the house on it Harry situation that Jimmy re-signs with the Phils now. But stranger things have happened. The Winter meetings showed us that so you never know.

I just can't understand how this deal isn't done yet though. Jimmy probably knew he wasn't gonna get 5 years anywhere & Rube knew that too, so it shouldn't have been a difficult problem to solve. I guess we'll know soon enough.

DH - I would take the Phils starter too, but it's not a slam dunk. I'd be happy with either. And I could buy the Cards starters for a lot less than the Phils starters. Even with their overpay for Lohse, that starting staff on the Phils would allow for a lot more spending on positions players than currently. Everything is opportunity cost.

But here's what Rube should do. Sign Cole for 5 years, up to 100 mil. And re-up Doc on his options as long as he's healthy. That gives over 60 million per season on the big three. They're stuck with Howard's contract. But as long as the fans are filling the stadium and the TV contract increases in a few years, they'll still be able to fill out a good team, as long as they don't pull another Howard type catastrophe.

ryan braun tested positive. faces 50 game ban. completely stunned.

I am hoping Willingham goes to the Twins and the negative Minn vibes push Cuddyer to us.

I think it was just a gamble that RAJ took.

They certainly hammered Braun's wikipedia page already.

Weird news about Braun. I'm having a difficult time believing it.

Braun way to cheat. You would think after manny these douchebags would get a clue. Cross him off good guy list. Prince get far way as you can. Cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

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