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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Bonus: Extra left-handed PH

Can #11 be far behind?

Good won't have to Waste a pinch hitter if he's Up in 7th. Some how cholly will screw it up

Sherrill vs LHP in his career: .180/.241/.275

If Sherrill doesn't sign for much more than Dtrain, then this was pretty much a waste of a $1M. If Sherrill gets a multi-million/multi-year deal, then I'm completely fine with Dontrelle.

Lorecore - what if Willis outperforms Sherrill this year? Will it be a waste then?

@ orecore: But how does Sherrill stack up against LHB? Just yanking your chain just a tad.

That one came out of nowhere. Dontrelle is such an intriguing storyline. I love the signing and he could be used as a pinch-hitter in a pinch.

redburb: then Ruben hit on 19 and got a blackjack.

Sherrill has alternated good year/absolutely terrible year for every season he's been in the majors...hes due for another terrible year in 2012. I thought it was pretty odd myself but look at his stats...8 years of it.

Willis: .665 OPS in 447 PA
Valdez: .621 OPS in 1032 PA

lorecore: Sherrill signed for $1.2M LAST YEAR, when he was coming off a season with a 6.69 ERA, a 1.93 WHIP, and a .311 BAA. This year, he is probably the best LOOGY on the entire free agent market & coming off a solid season. There is no way in the world he signs for 1 year, $1M.

nepp: yeah, it def looks that way - but check his splits in his bad years.

2010: .573 OPS against
2008: .534 OPS against
2006: .412 OPS against

bap: Well, the market seems pretty quite on Sherrill. If he goes for anything under $3M, i'd say the Phils would have been much smarter to sign him instead.

put me down for some Hung-Chih Kuo as well. you acctually expect any Phillies LOOGY to be used against only LHBs?

This is UC we're talking about...Sherrill would have a good couple outings and suddenly be a setup guy facing all sorts of RHBs.

lorecore, I agree that Sherrill is a better option, but we don't know what he's asking for.

Now that the Phillies have signed Willis, it changes the market and Sherrill may have to change (lower) his demands.

The same is true of Rollins. With most of the other teams filling SS needs, it changes the market for him.

Every signing at every position canges the market for teams and players who are still looking.

They do not operate in a vaccum.

Thus, IMO, while Sherrill is the preferred option, if he signs, say in 2 weeks, for near what Willis got, then it might be more of an indication that the market had changed that much, more than an indication that he would/could have been signed at a similar number by the Phillies.

As an example, remember Chad Durbin? I believe he was offered a one-year deal by the Phillies at about 2MM(he held out for a 2-year deal), but by the time he signed th emarket had dried up.

D-train is finally on the Phillies! I can't express how excited I am about this. This is better than when they signed Fernando in 94. I want to see flat brim caps on all of our pitchers this year.

???????? Ours is but to question.

lorecore - Sherrill is the better option but he will also get more than $1.5M I bet next year. I would imagine he signs somewhere between $1.5-$2M coming off the season he did last year. Probably closer to $2M given his numbers last year.

Phils just don't have a lot of cash to fill out the rest of their bullpen especially for a veteran LHP reliever who will be a LOOGY (but used more vs RHP than he should be if he starts to do well).

awh - It doesn't change the market for Sherrill really that much. He's still the best LHP reliever available besides probably Oliver. There are other veteran LHP relievers on the market too including Wheeler, Romero, Oliver, and some of the non-tendered guys including Kuo.

Phils were linked to Sherrill a few weeks ago, guess they were scared off.

The FA starter that I wanted the Phils to convert into a full-time reliever was Duke though.

Latest report I saw from Oct is that the DBacks declined his $5.5 option for '12 and that he might face a tough time getting a guaranteed deal next year. Maybe he is losing

Willis' stuff will translate into a protypical LOOGY (4-seem fastball around 87-88 MPH, heavy slider, and with some other stuff mixed in including some curves/changeups).

The problem is that with Willis his command is so erratic. It will be Romero redux. It is why Duke is a better play as a situational reliever.

No Duke doesn't have quite the velocity that Willis has nor is his slider is best offspeed pitch (its his curve) but he would be the better fit I bet as a situational reliever because his command/control though are both vastly superior to Willis.

Maybe Duke is trying to still stick at the MLB level as a starter because of the larger paycheck but his agent would be much smarter to advise him to transition to a LOOGY role. He could have a career for another several years making ~$1M or more.

If Duke only signs a minor league deal or if Sherrill only gets $1.2M or so, then this was a bad signing.

Not sure but wasn't Dubee the pitching coach when Dontrell was with Florida?

Last year, Willis held LHBs to a .369 OPS. He allowed 7 hits in 55 at bats, only 2 XBHs, and had 20 K's against only 2 BBs.

Those numbers are very, very encouraging, especially the control numbers. It's like he was a totally different guy against LHBs.

MG: are you really telling me that if Sherill goes for $1.2M or $2M, that changes how you would react to this deal?

Looks like a high risk, high reward, low cost move. I like it. And I expect that Dontrelle's velocity would increase just a bit as a reliever.

lorecore - Possibly but I don't think the Phils have a lot of excess dollars to round out the pen especially for this role. Amaro, Proefrock, and others have been pretty adamant about that this entire offseason.

Sherill's a better LOOGY reliever than Willis but it depends on how much he gets. If he gets less than $2M, it probably wasn't a great signing but Sherrill's had periods of absolute awfulness (after ASB in 2008, 2010) mixed in really strong periods too.

Phils under Amaro seem to be more enamored with relievers who throw a bit harder & have higher K/9 rates while sacrificing a little control.

Two caveat though the Phils are building their bullpen on though are that Bastardo stays healthy & duplicates his performance from last year and that Contreras stays healthy. If one of those 2 happens, the Phils would be fortunate.

Besides the crazy notion of investing big dollars in a closer long-term in his 30s, I wanted the Phils to bring in a couple of other veteran options especially another RHP setup up. They just don't have the bucks likely to do that with the Papelbon signing.

Even if they are largely done with the bullpen, I still hope they can sign another veteran RHP (Mota/Cruz) who would come fairly cheap at around $1M or even slightly less as a bit more depth/insurance for the 6th/7th inning.

aksmith - Yeah. He ranged from 87-91 last year as a starter. Imagine that goes to the low 90s as a reliever.

Dontrelle Willis. Brings back memories of about 6+ years or so ago, there were some rumors he might be coming to Philly.

Those were the pre Hamels days when Jon Lieber was the Phils' big dude, and just the idea of maybe getting someone as high profile as Willis seemed like a dream the Phils would never turn into reality.

Like the move now for reasons many have expressed here.

"awh - It doesn't change the market for Sherrill really that much."

MG, your statement is not in conflict with anything I posted. Unless you take the position that it depends on what the definition of "that much" is. :)

Anytime a potential bidder, especially on with the Phillies' financial resources, drops off the board, it changes the market.

You may argue with yourself as to the degree.

Like the Willis move on a couple of levels. But to all those who say we don't know the Phillies' budget, I think we just found out what it was.

Aramis Ramirez just signed what looks like a very reasonable contract to play third base for the Brewers. The Phillies apparently backed off of negotiations for him. If what he got was what he was asking for, then the Howard contract likely put the kibosh in the deal. So, we can now see the tangible effects of overpaying Ryan Howard. The left side of the infield could have been Ramirez at third and Rollins at SS. Now they are still stick with the incredible shrinking man at third for another season.

Maybe Willis can pick up a third baseman's mitt. Stranger things have happened.

But in reality, if Willis can play the outfield a little, I could see Charlie keeping his bat in the lineup, and having him face lefties, while replacing him for a righty or two. No, I couldn't really see Charlie doing this. But I could see a more creative manager doing it.

@lorecore: If you hit on 19 and get a 2, you have 21, not blackjack (A+10).

tweet from Jerry Crasnick: "Want to know why Prince Fielder is the 2nd coming of Jimmie Foxx? Scott Boras has a 73-page book to explain."

Scott Boras is such an 8ss.

This latest batch of has-been (Willis) and never-weres (Wiggie, Nix) signings has a distinct 1990s flavor. Bad imports, bad teams, bad memories.

smitty, the Phillies budget is likely pretty close to what it was last season. That means it's not unlimited.

According to, they have $126.7MM committed to 14 players with gtd deals, and they still have arb for the following players:

Hamels 9.5MM
Pence 6.9MM
Kendrick 2.45MM
Valdez 560K
Orr 600K

That adds up to 20.01MM before raises. Is it safe to say approximately 20% as a group?

Hamels 11MM
Pence 8.5MM
Kendrick 3.00MM
Orr 700K
Valdez 800K

That adds up to another 24MM, which would put the payroll at about 150.7MM for 19 players.

They then have Pre-Arb for 6 guys: Bastardo, Herndon, Martinez, Mayberry, Brown and Bocock.

Shall we say 3.3MM as a group?

That puts them at about 153.7MM, and they jsut signed Willis - 154.7MM - and still need to drop about 5-600K on Worley (who's not on the list).

And they still need to re-sign Rollins or another shortstop.

FWIW, b-r has their payroll at an estimated 153.3MM without re-signing Rollins.

Also, over 54.5MM came off the books from 2011, including the buyouts of Lidge and Oswalt.

Yet still, I would be interested in having Boras work for me.

curt: except in the '90's they'd be signed to be starters and we'd all have to hear about how excited we should be to have them here.

"This latest batch of has-been (Willis) and never-weres (Wiggie, Nix) signings has a distinct 1990s flavor."

I couldn't disagree more. Wiggie belongs with the has-beens, not the never-weres.

I guess Joe Savery will have to reset his expectations for breaking camp...

1yr/1 million? awesome low risk-high reward signing. His basement is 2nd lefty his ceiling in probably setup man. Its unlikely, but not impossible and for 1yr/1mil well worth the shot...

I like the signing and I'm surprised to see some negative posts on the subject. For a one year, low dollar contract, you have a lefty out of the 'pen who put up the following line against LHB in 2011 (SSS, I know): .127/.169/.200 with a 10:1 K/BB rate.

How can having that as a second lefty in the 'pen be bad? Especially when he is being paid what essentially is the vet minimum.

"This latest batch of has-been (Willis) and never-weres (Wiggie, Nix) signings has a distinct 1990s flavor."

The difference is that in the 90's, Willis would be expected to be the ace, Wigginton the clean-up hitter and Nix the 5th hitter.

Now Willis is a low risk, high reward LOOGY and Wiggington/Nix are here to pinch hit and offer a little defensive versatility.

These might not be the big sexy acquisitions of the past few winter's, but nobody is claiming them to be.

What's the market for Prince nowadays? Who needs a 1B that has the financial resources to make it happen? Miami? Chicago? Will there be enough interest to drive the price up to where Boras will want it? I can't see Prince getting an enormous deal this off-season. Don't misunderstand me, he will be overpaid significantly. But, I don't think it'll be in the ballpark that he originally thought going into the off-season.

Willis as a LOOGY for 1 million? I'll take that. Bastardo is the defacto lefty setup man for 2012 anyway. He certainly earned it, even if he faded markedly down the stretch. Willis has a career line of (BA/OBP/SLG/K-BB) .200/.274/.288/3.59 against lefties, and this is the breakdown for the past 2 years:


He was a mess in Detroit for 2008 and 2009, and his numbers are poor for 2010 and 2011...against righties. But he's very effective against lefties.

I'm actually not enamored of George Sherrill having seen him pitch in Baltimore. He's inconsistent year to year because he needs his curveball to work effectively. If he's wild, he has to take something off it and hitters clock him (see Ibanez's 2009 homerun off him in the NLCS, classic example). I'd use him as middle relief, but you can do better for setup.

Yeah, his career stats against lefties are better than Willis and he has a (very small) fighting chance against righties. But Sherrill is 1) older 2) more expensive and 3) probably fielding offers to setup instead of being a LOOGY. You don't pay a LOOGY more than 1.5 million a year, tops, even if he's capable of striking out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams on 9 pitches every time he takes the mound.

All they have to do is make sure all bullpen calendars are set to 2003 and play lots of 50 cent, Outkast and Kelly Clarkson in the clubhouse. They should be able to get two good years out of him.

I like the signing too, but most posters here seem to assume it is risk free.

Willis has never pitched as a reliever over a full season. Don't know for sure if he can do it.

Also, his control is WAY worse than J.C. Romero's.

That said, I like the gamble. Plus it makes it more attractive for Jimmy to return.

P.S. His sample size vs. LH last year is so small as to be without value. But his career numbers do have value and they support the idea that he can be an effective LOOGY.

The Willis deal is non-guaranteed.....unless he's killing it in spring training, he's released in March. I fail to have any excitement about this signing even taking into account the left handed hitter numbers from last year. He's been an overall poor pitcher for some time now and odds are he's looking for a job or in AAA somewhere come opening day.

"This latest batch of has-been (Willis) and never-weres (Wiggie, Nix) signings has a distinct 1990s flavor."

Unlike 2009's first bat off the bench Matt Stairs, who, coupled with Jamie Moyer between two slices of wheat bread, tasted so very '80s.

"This latest batch of has-been (Willis) and never-weres (Wiggie, Nix) signings has a distinct 1990s flavor."

Great point. Except, of course, for the simple fact that Wiggie's rookie season was in 2002, and Dontrelle/Nix made their debuts in 2003...

This from mlbtr:

"•Before signing Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers pursued Jimmy Rollins and told agent Dan Lozano that they'd be willing to offer a four-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. "We can’t and sit and wait like other clubs," GM Doug Melvin told Rosenthal."

Did Jimmy hurt himself by taking his time?

There is nothing at all similar about Fielder to Foxx, besides the fact both played 1st. Foxx outclasses Fielder by a wide margin in nearly every respect.

This from Rosenthal's piece on Jimmy/Ramirez/Gonzalez:

"“They showed legitimate interest in playing for us,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “We sat down and said we can have both of them instead of waiting on Jimmy.

“In a market like ours, you can’t sit and wait for free agents. You’ve got to try to read and react. Some of it is a feel for agents. Some of it is gut instinct. But we can’t and sit and wait like other clubs. When a player of talent becomes available, you have to react quickly.”

Sure seems to me like the PHillies may have the same strategy, or something close to it:

"When a player of talent becomes available, you have to react quickly.”


Lol Jimmy not taking the deal with the Brewers.

"Foxx outclasses Fielder by a wide margin in nearly every respect."


I take this to mean Fielder is iniquitous because he's fat, yes?

Disagree with Rosenthal that Phil's should offer Jimmy a four year deal as a compromise. Who else is signing Rollins? Four years is overbidding the current market.

No, Foxx was actually the much better player. He's arguably one of the top 5 all time first basemen. He's largely forgotten by mainstream baseball fans because he played for the now defunct Philadelphia A's.

Heather, 3 years with a club option for years 4 and 5, and a modest buyout, if it's at the salary level for which Jimmy is looking.

As I've posted before: I don't have a problem with a 5 year deal as long as it's not at an AAV that handcuffs the team in years 4 and 5.

Ha, Willis is worth the risk at $1mil
Also, if you guys don't mind, check out my blog's interview with Baby Ace Jon Pettibone
and let me know what you think.

Not a big surprise RAJ has a hard on for has beens/1 year past retirement players with a potential upside. The best thing is that he didnt offer him a 2-3 year deal. So what is J-Roll waiting on. Is he perhaps waiting for a mysterious team to possibly sign him for what he wants? Is he waiting for RAJ to bump up the offer. If a team appears out of nowhere and signs he what is RAJ plan B?

Heather, you're right. I didn't realize the gap was what it was -- a tribute to Foxx

Prince Fielder is a fat vegetarian =\= Jimmie Foxx ate and drank a bunch, yet wasn't fat.

Prince was fat before he went Veg. We do not take responisbility for him being huge.

Wes - Hope you're right, but something tells me that Wigginton/Nix together will rack up 500+ ABs right in the middle of the lineup.

Jimmie Foxx is one of my favorite old-timey ball players mostly because I marvel at what could have been. I drive past his hometown (Sudersville, MD) 5-6 times a year where they have a statue and little museum.

curt: they might rack up 500 at bats, but that's mostly dependent on Howard's injury and Mayberry's continued maturation. Phillies weren't going to sign Pujols or Fielder to fill in at 1st.

Golson signs with Royals.

gobaystars: Scouting report on Tsuyoshi Wada, please.

Relievers are a gamble no matter what. The upside this guy brings makes him more than worth the risk.

MG- I am baffled with your man-love for Sherrill. He is going to command much more than Willis and has been about as inconsistent from year to year as a reliever can possibly be. Yet you think he would be the 'better option' here? Also, your conditions for this being a bad signing (Duke getting a minor league deal- who cares?) are also baffling.

The "mystery team" talking to J-Roll might be the Tigers. Of course, since the source of the othe team rumor was Rollins' agent, we can surmise that this is a desperate attempt at leverage.

***P.S. His sample size vs. LH last year is so small as to be without value. But his career numbers do have value and they support the idea that he can be an effective LOOGY.***

His minor-league split was pretty good last year too.

.222 AVG in 25.1 IP vs. LHBs with 22 SO and 4 BB.

So there's hope he can be effective.

"Relievers are a gamble no matter what."

That's pretty much how I feel too. The Phillies' recent track record is abysmal when it comes to "established relievers" who required multi-year deals -- i.e., Lidge, Baez, Gordon, Romero & Contreras (after being re-signed). Their track record on relievers signed to 1-year deals is hit & miss (like everyone else's). But at least when they miss, they're not stuck with a bad contract for another year, as they were with all the aforementioned.

Time to ride the D-Train. All aboard! Joking aside, 1 year at 1 mil. for a veteran lefty, I like it.

"(Sherrill) is going to command much more than Willis and has been about as inconsistent from year to year as a reliever can possibly be."

I agree, but not on consistency grounds. I think if you're looking for a model example of inconsistency, Willis himself is hard to top.

The youth movement continues.

Another signee whose prime was moons ago.

Ha the youth movement they going the opposite way. A bunch of diarrhea crap and BS from RAJ.

Although Willis is only 29 so....Hmmmm

Iceman - 'Man Love' for Sherrill? Nah it is simply that he is an established reliever who generally has been above average the last 5 years. He also has much better command/control than Willis.

I would rather have Sherrill than Willis but Willis came at a price where the Phils were shopping (veteran league minimum to probably around $1M).

As for Duke, it is simple. A minor league deal means that he only gets the veteran league minimum if he makes the club out of spring training & it saves the Phils ~$300k over Willis

Re: Wada
He's a Lefty with not much velocity (mid to upper 80s) and a decent chagne-up and slider. When I was living in Japan and going to tons of games (08 and 09) he was hurt off and on. He also pitched in the Pacific League so I didn't see him a ton as Yokohama Stadium, Tokyo Dome and Jingu Stadium (all Central League home parks) were my local venues. The most I saw of him was this year's playoffs and Japan Series where he pitched very well (game 1 of the Japan Series had him and Chen matching zeros). His injury issues are a few years behind him and he doesn't have the miles on him that some Japanese pitchers come with. He's never topped 200 innings. In my opinion his control isn't good enough to make up for his less than amazing stuff but he could be a passable back of the rotation inning eater or a more than a LOOGY out of the pen which is where most Japanese pitchers have done thier best work. upside=reliable but never outstanding.

Why would the Tigers want to talk to Rollins? They've got Johnny Peralta signed for this year, with an option for 2013. He's younger and a better hitter.

If the Tigers are the mystery team, I'll eat one of my hats. These teams actually would look at Rollins as an improvement (over their 2011 SS) and actually haven't signed a SS:

1) Twins, 2) White Sox, 3) Royals, 4) Astros, 5) Reds, 6) Padres, 7) Giants, 8) Dodgers, 9) Mets (w/o Reyes), 10) Braves, 11) Mariners, 12) Athletics, 13)Rays

Sounds impressive, except that:
The Royals, Padres, Mariners, Athletics, Astros and Twins are all years away from contending and small market teams (no big payday)

The Rays, Reds, and Braves are good but also aren't big market teams and would never give J-Roll a 5 year deal even if he was 28.

The White Sox and Mets are trying to shed as much payroll as possible, so no big free agent signings.

And the Dodgers are still mired in the McCourt mess, even though they just gave Matt Kemp a huge contract.

That leaves the Giants, who do need an offensive upgrade. But, they have to deal with arbitration for Pablo Sandoval, Madison Bumgarner, much of their bullpen, etc. and Baseball Reference estimates their payroll will be $120 million this year. I don't know if that's their limit or not, but it matches 2011 salaries. Thing is, Rollins ain't gonna solve their offensive problems. They've got Sandoval and Posey to hit. And Nate Schierholtz is average. That's it, really.

SFG scored just 570 runs last year. 3.51 a game. NL average was 664.2. Rollins ain't gonna make up that difference.

Thanks gobaystars.

I say we trade polly. ( I can wish) . Sign Jimmy for one year, and cuddy. It's amazing how this market has shaped this winter. I can't remember when a lot of big names can't get what they want. Beltran, Jroll, cuddy, prince.

Godfather~ with Willingham going to the Twins I can see Cuddyer coming here. I could also see Jimmy leaving for Detroit. That could be why he hasn't re-signed yet. He could be using the Tigers as leverage, but The Angels coming out of nowhere to get Pujols showed me Lozano was not happy with the Cards offer and he's not happy with the Phils offer either.

I want Jimmy back because I'm not confortable with Galvis at short. Rube should;ve gotten this done with Jimmy or should have gotten antother SS. Instead, he signs Willis which is not an immediate need at this point, non-guaranteed contract not withstanding.

Jimmy Foxx was Babe Ruth's successor as the top slugger in baseball. He was No. 1 in the '30s.

Foxx's teammates on the A's included Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons, and Lefty Grove, all HOFers. Cochrane was probably the greatest C in baseball history prior to 1950. Grove was the No. 1 pitcher of his era.

We hear a lot of talk about the '27 Yankees being the greatest team of all time, but a good argument can be made for the '29-'31 A's, the last of Connie Mack's great teams.

Does this mean Fielder's career is going to collapse into an alcoholic haze in his early 30s too?

Not exactly a selling point IMHO.

Cuddyer, come to poppa

I mean it this time, I am outta here. My agent doesn't want to waste any more hookers or blow on RAJ. I will see ya all in Toronto.

Cuddyer is not signing with the Phillies. Seems ridiculous. We don't need him.

No Name~ How so? Tell me how the lineup is better than last year if Jimmy doesn't re-sign. Even if he does. The answer is it's not. You have to remeber Howard is not currently there.

If Jimmy doesn't return, there is absolutelt no pop from the left side of the infield with Polly & Galvis. They need Jimmy, and could use Cuddyer. I don't think they'll get them both. They may not get either.

The scary thought is, what do the Phillies do if Rollins does leave? What is plan B now?

The second incarnation of Steve Jeltz is plan B.

The Steve Jeltz references are old and tired, Luis. Be original.

I watched live as Steve Jeltz nearly blew Curt Schilling's game in the series against Atlanta in the playoffs in 1993. The constant mentions of that horrific choker, who I believe did that more than once in the series after being brought in as a defensive replacement, are causing distress in my nether regions. Please stop.

I could be but its just beerleaguer no need to waste brain cells been original. (:

Uh Mr. Renteria is a two time World Series MVP. I think he is very much a SS on a World Series team!

Good grief, is this team screwed if they don't sign Jimmy.

Steve Jeltz wishes he was on the 93 team.

Ho-hum another December 14th. It's time for the big signings. How's about Rollins and Cespedes.

Meyer, naah.

RAJ is going to get Jimmy re-signed and then do a deal with Oakland for BOTH Gonzalez and Bailey.





You're right. Pitchers rule with Rube on Signing Day.

Godfather-- Peralta would slide over to 3B if Rollins goes to Detroit.. Their 3B situation is: Inge (sucks) and Don Kelly,Danny Worth (next to no experience in MLB).. The tigers are built to win NOW (like the Phillies).. These factors are why the Tigers are possible suitors.

can we replace Steve Jeltz references with Desi Relaford? I hated watching that guy "play".

Jbird, lets skip BOTH.

How about we use Ivan de Jesus?

He didn't give us heart palpitations, he only cost us Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg. :)

Someone actually thought Jeltz was on the 93 team? I was 9 years old and still remember every member of that team.

Oh, it was aksmith? Nevermind.

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