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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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3.51 ERA in Petco...whats that translate to in CBP? 8-9 ERA?

It's related to Contreras, in that they wanted to make an inning-eating depth move, but this guy cannot start out the season as a late inning reliever. Contreras threw primarily in the 8th inning when healthy. He only had 11 appearances in the 7th inning in 2010.

Phils starters will usually go at least into the 7th. In 2011, when they failed to do that, the Phils usually used Herndon or Stutes.

Games pitched:

6th: Herndon 9, Stutes 7

7th: Stutes 20, Bastardo 13, Herndon 12, Romero 10, Lidge 8, Kendrick 8, Schwimer 4, Baez 4

8th: Bastardo 34, Stutes 29, Herndon 14, Lidge 12, Baez 11, Madson 9, Romero 7, Contreras 5

Let him compete with Herndon for appearances.

Qualls WAR:

2008: 2.1
2009: 1.2
2010: 0.2
2011:-0.3

I finally figured it out: r00b is aiming to build the first MLB club to lose 90+ games, all by a score of 1-0. It'll fit perfectly into the theme of the 2012 Phillies DVD yearbook, "Making More History!"

Without Danys Baez and Lidge to kick around, fans needed a new bullpen whipping boy.

Seems to say something about their faith in DeFratus, Schwimmer, Herndon, and even Stutes to eat innings out of the pen.

With all the talk of the need to pinch pennies to avoid a luxury tax and also get more infield depth, this one seems like a head-scratcher. Is Contreras in such poor shape that they have this little faith in him to get out of Florida in April?

So is Qualls more valuable to the club than say a legitimate backup SS?

Odds are that Herndon/Schwimer/De Fratus could equal his production far easier than Mini Mart equals Valdez.

Qualls #s at CBP is probably the most irrelevant stat I've seen thrown out so far. 1) Small Sample Size, 2) He won't be pitching to the Phils hitters anymore.

I have no problem with this if they treat him as unproven to pitch in key spots at first. Assuming Bastardo gets the 8th inning, the 7th inning is a wide-open battle among the relievers.

Just look at those games played leaders from last year. Stutes is young / had trouble down the stretch last year. Herndon is no better than Qualls and many of those appearances were probably low leverage. Romero, Lidge, and Baez are gone.

We'll probably be seeing Aumont and De Fratus unless someone surprises.

would rather have seen that 1.15m spent on an upgrade on the departed Valdez. The Upper levels of our system have plenty of potential bullpen arms but not many utility infielders.

***Qualls #s at CBP is probably the most irrelevant stat I've seen thrown out so far***

Um, nobody threw that out there. I merely asked what his number would translate to once he got out of his cavernous home ballpark to a more neutral park like CBP.

NEPP: MG wrote, "For what it is worth, Qualls has gotten lite up at CBP:

13 G, 11 1/3 IP, 2-2, 11.12 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 K/BB with 7 HRs allowed

I think he gets hammered at CBP especially after it warms up a bit & the ball starts flying out of the park in late May/early June."

Was that in the last thread? I didnt see it...thus the confusion.

re Valdez: I think they're just relying on Rollins staying healthy and Wigginton as a solid backup for Polanco / Utley. Valdez was a "full-time" UT in that he was their primary backup at 3 IP positions, but you'd think with the acquisition of Wigginton they just have a role like that on the team anymore. Mini-Mart is just Rollins' batboy at this point. Do they need to spend $1M+ on Rollins' backup? Depends I guess.

NEPP: Yeah, it was last thread, and I think just about every beat writer has mentioned it on twitter.

The schtick is getting old Gtown. Stop being a troll and try and actually discuss the advantages and disadvantages of moves or potential moves. The comments you make are perfect for the philly.com commentators where stupid is the common theme.

You being an @ss does not add to the conversation which is what this website is about. It just further proves you know nothing about baseball and just come to get a rise out of people, which may be your entire point. Anyway I've wasted too much time on you already.

To me this is a meh move. It's one year at a low cost. Hopefully this doesn't mean that Contreras is out for longer than expected. I would also like to see the young guys get a chance to shine but I guess the team thought it needed insurance.

Seems like these are the more relevant splits

Home
2011: .221/.259/.294 -- .957 WHIP (.264 BAbip)
Away
2011: .303/.359/.458 -- 1.570 WHIP (.311 BAbip)
vs LHB
2011: .320/.381/.500
2010: .392/.448/.583
2009: .298/.324/.404

hmm. may want to keep him away from lefties.

So he's basically David Herndon? Throws a sinker/slider combo and gets murdered by LHBs.

Yeah, that's just what we needed in the BP.

Sophist: Yes... absolutely, avoid lefties. That's one of the reasons his numbers are so awful in CBP, the lefty-power of the Phils lineups he faced.

Good thing no other NL team has LHBs in its lineup.

meh provided they treat him like Chad Durbin or a Herndon plus, and not like a right-handed complement to Bastardo (though he was good against righties last year). And he's got some upside and durability. But if gets thrown into an important role, that's a weird risk.

Amaro said this just yesterday:

“He’s out to 120 feet, no symptoms and he’s progressing well,” Amaro said. “If he doesn’t have any set-backs or anything I’d think he’d probably be close to being ready for Opening Day. I think that he’s a viable candidate to pitch in the seventh or eighth. He pitched in the ninth for us a little bit last year and did a good job. If he comes back and pitches pain free, I understand he’s in very good shape, he’ll pitch in the back end for us.”

Durbin was actually really good in 2008.

Of course that meant he got way way too much use in 2009 based on a memory.

He basically smells like a Herndon clone...which begs the question of why waste $1.2 million on him when we have better internal options?

Not a fan at all of the Qualls signing & I love veteran relievers like this. He's been a mediocre reliever at best the last 2 years who has gotten hit a lot more while missing a lot more bats.

This really all goes back to Contreras and his lack of progress. Contreras was originally scheduled to start throwing off the mound in early Jan. He still hasn't. At least a month behind his initial rehab schedule from Nov.

I think Qualls gets hammered at CBP especially after it warms up a bit & the ball starts flying out of the park in late May/early June.

I would be really surprised if he finishes with an ERA under 4.00 and doesn't blow at least 4-5 games late in the 7-8th inning year.

I would have rather seen them gamble on Lidge at $1M instead & hope he stays healthy. Even with one-pitch, Lidge is still a better reliever than Qualls.

If Contreras is healthy, the bullpen will be alright but I am not looking to the prospect of Cholly having to astutely manage a potentially mediocre/above average group of middle relievers over the course of this season.

NEPP - Yup only it is only guaranteed that Qualls pitches in high-leverage spots early instead of Herndon.

Yeah, NEPP, and Qualls could be good too. I just meant that when Durbin first signed I don't recall him being a backend option from the beginning. He worked his way there. Just a glance at his 2008 game logs, and it looks like he wasn't a late-inning regular until after June. He started the season with ~50 IP at a 1.50 ERA, 37-16 K-BB, .225 BA against. About half his early appearances in April-May-June were prior to the 7th inning or in garbage time. I could be wrong about this because I'm going by recollection and just looking at the game logs real quick.

Yet one more head scratcher.

Does anyone actually discern the plan behind these moves?

Don't like Wigginton. Don't much like Qualls. Don't like the Nix move. I can see where the Thome move could work out. Don't like leaving Minimart as the sole backup shortstop for the oft injured Rollins.

I actually think Brian Sanches is the best pickup in the pen, and Willis may turn out well with a little luck. But Qualls is a wasted million plus until proven otherwise.

Is it possible the budget is so tight that Valdez had to be moved before Herndon II could be brought in?

Career wise, Qualls does have decent GB rates so he might do okay in CBP...as long as our defense shows up.

57.5% GB rate for his career.

Herndon has a 55.7% GB rate as a comparison. Neither is a true GB pitcher which I would consider a minimum of 60% GB for that.

Sophist~

Qualls is Contreras replacement as far as Truck being healthy, not pitching the 8th.

What I can't understand is that they had 1.15 million for Qualls but not 1.25 for Theriot? Amarao places far too much emphesis on pitching & none whatsoever in other areas of need. I'll bet now they'll sign Dimitri Young because they probably feel they need help @ 1b. That could be ok. Too bad he can't play SS.

How could his war in 2010 be better than last year?

If he's not pitching the 8th or high-leverage innings in the 7th, he's not Contreras' replacement.

I would pay good money to watch Dimitri Young try to play SS.

Wigginton as a solid backup for Polanco / Utley

In the sense that he's not a liquid or gas, I'd agree. Solid like a piece of toast, I'm afraid. Maybe he has some bounceback in him, but I'm quite dubious.

FWIW, Qualls' agent mentioned that Chad has been working hard all winter and that he's in the best shape of his career.

So there's that.

The only real value this provides is that it's going to light a fire under the likes of Stutes and the other young up-and-comers. Not a bad thing for these kids to feel a bit of competition for roster spots.

Other than that, I don't see any real upgrade here. As far as keeping him away from lefties, isn't that why RAJ has basically assembled an entire bullpen of LOOGY's? - Willis, Bastardo, Diekman, Savery and Horst?

aksmith - If the budget was so tight, they wouldn't have signed Qualls. They would've gone with one of the younger guys. They wanted a little insurance in the pen with a vet. That's what this move is.

The pen competition will be something to watch during Spring Training.

"What I can't understand is that they had 1.15 million for Qualls but not 1.25 for Theriot?"

They clearly had the money. Maybe Theriot prefers splitting the role with a rookie in SF to being Rollins' batboy.

Herndon and Qualls are not clones. In Herdon's "career" year last year, he still sported a WHIP of 1.368 and a BB/9 of 3.8. Apart from Qualls' bad 2010 which he split between two teams, his worst WHIP in the 7 other seasons is 1.319 and his career WHIP is 1.269. And his worst BB/9 in those 7 other seasons was 2.8 and his career BB/9 is 2.5.

I wish he's strike out more hitters... and I'm concerned he'll be misused... but he's a better reliever than Herndon.

Signing LOOGYs and having UC use them properly are two different things entirely.

"FWIW, Qualls' agent mentioned that Chad has been working hard all winter and that he's in the best shape of his career."

Dammit, Rube was fooled again!

CJ, I dont think the argument is that they are clones for their entire careers just that they are basically the same player going into 2012.

Sophist~ No doubt the Phils are worried about truck's health, that's why Qualls was brought in. not to pitch the 8th, but with Cholly, you never know.

Durable and experienced relievers are always a plus and with him only signed up for a season, unlike Baez, if it turns out he does nothing but throw batting practice he can be cut loose fairly easily. With Kerry Wood and Lidge off the market, Qualls was the next best option I suppose. I'm just not sure it was one worth taking.

Charlie has said in the past that he doesn't believe in LOOGYs.

Qualls' agent also mentioned that he's learned how to spin straw into gold and he's been riding his new unicorn to workouts.

It's as if just anybody can play on this 102 win team.

***They clearly had the money. Maybe Theriot prefers splitting the role with a rookie in SF to being Rollins' batboy. ***

SF is also a pretty nice place to live. Lots of good restaurants, wine country an hour north, etc etc.

With the K rate down, pretty much the worst case scenario is Qualls in a tight game in the 8th, pitching to contact with Mini-mart at SS.

Sophist hits the nail on the head. Some people here can't understand that some players would much rather have a platoon role than be the 3rd guy off the bench, regardless of money.

NEPP: I'd be surprised if Herndon suddenly started showing Qualls' level of control. Not saying he's a pinpoint pitcher, but he's going to allow fewer base runners than Herndon. That's all I'm saying.

"Charlie has said in the past that he doesn't believe in LOOGYs."

Good thing RAJ is calling his bluff and stockpiling them. Glad to see they're again on totally opposite pages.

Edmundo - If Wigginton can adequately defend third -- spelling Polanco or allowing Polanco to spell Utley -- and OPS higher than .700 then he's a solid backup a those positions.

Everyone loved Valdez and here's what he did as a Phillie: .254/.300/.351.

Wigginton is no star, but in the last three years he's hit .254/.313/.411. That's an upgrade as far as backup 2b/3b go, and 3b defense isn't so important (and Polanco's defense is so good) that they won't lose a beat as far as Valdez goes.

You may not like him as the primary guy keeping Howard's place, but I won't argue that. Ideally, you have Mayberry/Brown in left with Mayberry at first when Brown/Nix start) and Wigginton getting spot starts at first. As a backup to our oft-injured 2b and 3b, Wigginton is a good pickup.

Qualls is brought in to compete with the farmhands and rookies for a little over a million? Then why were Sanchez and Willis brought in? For their good looks?

If money weren't an issue, Redburb, then why was Valdez sent packing for a AAAA pitcher? Have they actually replaced him? Because if Wiggy/Martinez is the plan, then Valdez was a better choice.

Sophist - So you're saying that Wigginton is a better player at this point than Wes Helms was when the Phillies picked him up? Because he stunk, and his career track looks eerily like Wiggy's.

Wasn't Valdez sent packing because he was redundant? Phils made a choice they were fine with Mini Mart filling that role. Is there really another explanation?

Truck's great year in 2012 will make this a pretty useless move.

Because Valdez was worth something to another team, that's why he was sent packing. If you would've told me that the Phils signed Valdez to a minor league contract a few years ago and he would net back a lefty reliever in 2012, I would've called you crazy.


And for all the love that Valdez gets, he was a minor league signing when he came to the Phillies. So maybe the next backup INF will be from a minor league signing.

hopefully going from ~75 appearances with the padres to ~45 appearances with the phils will keep him sharper

If he was redundant, why did they even tender him a contract?

How bad is your bullpen if you give Chad Qualls 75 appearances?

The Padres had a really good pen last season. Maybe their starters were the reason Qualls got so may appearances.

Mini Mart sucks and it is almost inevitable that he will get at least as many ABs as he did last year (209 ABs).

My bet is it 250-275 with a horrendous slash line.

100% of Vadlez' value was the ability to play a mlb level SS, that is it. Any conversation concerning Valdez and possible replacements that doesn't discuss the ability to play shortstop is irrelevant.

You give Mini Mart 250 PA and I bet his AVG is below .190 with an OPS around .500-.525.


He hit .175 in the 2nd half last year FWIW.

aksmith: I'm sure if I took some time, I could find someone with a "similar" career path that didn't stink. I'm not sure why we would make a judgement on Wiggy based on Helms. Doesn't make much sense.

Phils bought high on a part-time player who should have been platooned when we signed Helms. Then we gave him 163 ABs against RHP.

Wiggy has been a full-time player for years, does not have a bad platoon split, and is more versatile in the field.

But if we just want to declare that Wiggy sucks because "his career track looks eerily like Wiggy's"... so be it.

***100% of Vadlez' value was the ability to play a mlb level SS, that is it. ***

Perhaps the Phillies feel that they will simply call up Galvis or Frandsen if Jimmy is out for an extended period with Mini Mart as just an emergency spot starter guy.

Still stupid but maybe that's the plan.

It's amazing how quickly a former Phillies player becomes a Hall of Famer on Beerleaguer after he leaves... especially when they were universally despised while on the team.

***It's amazing how quickly a former Phillies player becomes a Hall of Famer on Beerleaguer after he leaves***

Wait, who are we talking about now?

CJ - So you have Wiggy in the "good enough" column. Your characterization of what he's been his entire career is fine as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. He is at best a mediocrity at this point, at worst, a liability at every position in the field and at the plate.

He's cheap enough that the Phils could dump him if he's Helms II, but I see little evidence they're ever willing to do that. Baez and Romero are the only players they've dumped in season in a while, and I can't think of a single position player who was dumped.

The good parts of the Wiggy and Qualls deals are the length of contract. Somehow, Rube forgot to add the obligatory second year.

aksmith - I don't see the similarities between the two players. Different ages and track records prior to arrival. Helms was coming off a ridiculous career year and was just 30/31 at the time. There's no comparison.

Wigginton was an above average hitter in 5/7 seasons prior to age 30. He's older and not the player he was, but his last three seasons are still better than pretty much any of Helms' seasons.

Very different career tracks and trajectories diverge all the time anyway. Besides that you're exactly right.

"It's amazing how quickly a former Phillies player becomes a Hall of Famer on Beerleaguer after he leaves."

Part of it is that time and distance allows for a changed perspective, usually a more balanced one. For example, Howard had his share of detractors from the very beginning, even in 2006 when he hit 58 home runs. Dig up old video of that season when he walloped No. 58 for a little perspective.

CJ: i guess i should have clarified that Valdez's value was very small - but that small peice was all tied to his SS defense - thats all i was saying.

I'd imagine if Rollins suffers bumps or bruises that require him to miss short stretches, we'd fill with Mini Mart or someone from the minors... and if he suffers a serious injury, we'll go find someone to fill.

I just can't get all that weepy over the loss of Exxon because he could adequately play SS.

redburb: #1 Gtown is much less stupid when he makes what he thinks is funny posts compared to when he actually tries to debate his feelings, so please let him go as is.

#2 I disagree that Valdez was traded for Horst because they valued him as a lefty reliever. I think they traded him for an extra $500k to help pay for the Qualls. When they tendered Valdez back in early December, I don't believe they thought Qualls(of his ilk) could have been had on a $1M deal. Once they saw it was possible, they dumped Valdez to the first team who would take him and went after a reliever they thought could be a safety net.

Also, Qualls was rumored as a Phillies trade candidate back in July, along with Mike Adams. They must have liked what they saw enough to deal with the drop in SS defense from Valdez to Martinez.

Well, Sophist, the fact that Helms was coming off a better year and was younger than Wiggy sure speaks volumes about how good Wiggy is.

The guy plays the same positions as Helms about as well as Helms did, which is not very good. And he's older and in decline. Okay, I was wrong. He's a great addition for 2 million.

What does Mini Mart adequately do besides waste a roster spot?

lorecore - You're obviously an idiot. They did not dump Valdez to clear salary, and especially not for Qualls. I have been notified by many esteemed posters on BL.

Shame on you.

I guess I still don't exactly see the Valdez move as "leveraging organizational redundancies," as that would infer that Valdez and Mini-Mart had a similar skillset that they brought. Asides from the whole 'versatility' intangible, I don't see much more of a similarity. Valdez is definitely replacement-level. Martinez is inferior defensively, offensively, and by all accounts was only on a MLB roster because of Rule 5 last season.

If Qualls somehow loses his ability to pitch a ton of innings, he's got no real value to the Phillies. After last season's endless hand-wringing of Cholly's bullpen use (Madson, in particular - even in non-save games), Qualls is actually helpful in that he can pitch very frequently. However, that particular upside only comes into play if he's not squandering away runs in those frequent outings.

If Valdez was traded for Horst, I'd love to know how exactly those embracing that line of thinking anticipate Horst will be used.

I may come around to that line of thinking if Savery/Diekman wind up in a trade soon, but other than that, he's nothing more than the 5th lefty in the organization. You could make an argument that they traded away a legitimate MLB utility player for a player who might actually wind up in AA.

Martinez would be our AA starter as an Org Filler guy if not for last year's Rule 5 status. And that assumes we dont have a legit prospect that needed to play SS in AA.

For the (large)crowd of posters who will be counting the rotation's pitch count by Opening Day, the additional bullpen arm might signal the team's effort to try and start limiting innings this season by acquiring more than enough relievers to put it on cruise control once this team has a double digit lead on the inferior NL.

Prediction: Chad Qualls wins the Fireman trophy after Papelbon blows out his elbow on Opening Day. Qualls will finish the year with a historic 67 Saves in 94 Appearances for the WS winning 2012 Phillies.

aksmith - Your argument was that Wigginton will stink because he's career arc, prior to his arrival, was eerily similar to Helms.

You clearly did not examine that arc closely because they are not similar at all. You're wrong. If you want to backpedal and say Wigginton will stink for some other reasons, fine. But he and Helms are not similar players.

Wigginton was a solidly above average hitter his entire career up to age 30, while Helms had a couple of flash in the pan years and lots of mediocrity.

Wigginton age 24-30: .270/.330/.460.

Helms had 2 seasons prior to age 30 as good as Helms average line.

Wigginton is older now, yes, but he's hit .715-.730 OPS in the last three years. About a 90 OPS+ player. Helms had above a 90 OPS+ just three times in 13 seasons. Wigginton has aged into a player that's still better than Helms pretty much ever was besides a career year.

If Wigginton gives you 90 OPS+, which is his 3-year average, he's one of the better 2B/3B in the league. Heck, NL average production at 3B last year was ~.700 OPS.

"If Wigginton gives you 90 OPS+, which is his 3-year average, he's one of the better 2B/3B in the league."

That should say backup 2B/3B in the league.

Wigginton's career arc is "eerily similar" to Chris Sabo's. I predict a .750 OPS from Wigginton this year.

See how easy that was? It's a BS argument, and my comp still has more validity than yours.

NEPP-- It's possible that Valdez was offered a contract because it was the only way they could trade him at all. Qualls is past his prime, but as was stated earlier, he doesn't allow a lot of baserunners, but he doesn't strike batters out much either. I just can't figure out the lack of urgency for a decent middle IF. This ignorance of the IF is analogous to Andy Reid's disdain for quality linebackers.

I have no particular objection to signing Chad Qualls. He used to be pretty good, until his career was derailed by a dislocated knee, and he's not so old that a bounce-back is impossible. I do, however, wonder why a guy like this needs a guaranteed contract when Brian Sanches, who has been substantially better over the last 3 years, got a minor league deal. I also share the sentiments of those who say that a viable utility infielder is a higher priority than a 27th so-so reliever.

Sophist, in his prime, Wigginton was a bad fielder, solid hitter for the positions he played. He is a very bad fielder now. I don't understand the reasoning that Polanco is a good fielder so it's okay that Wigginton isn't.
Wigginton's OPS+ for the last three years are 86/98/87. I know he was better than that before, but that was before. That's just not good enough for an offensive oriented spare part. If he's a spare part until Howard comes back only, then I'm OK with him, he's easy to cut. :)
YMMV, but I'd be adverse to relying on Polanco for too much 2B. He's old and he's brittle.
My concern over Valdez leaving is that we now have MiniMart on the bench. Wigginton becomes your 3rd best non-catcher off the bench. With Valdez, at least it would be a competition for 3rd best. Valdez can field.
I think Nix is more useful than Wigginton. I don't quite get the Nix hate. He can play all 3 OF positions and seemingly has learned to hit in the last 3 years almost as well as prime Wigginton. :)

NEPP - If Qualls get out to a strong start in April, Cholly is going to go to him early and often in the 1st half especially if Contreras is out.

He's going to get his share of IP with the Phils (at least 40-45 and probably closer to 55-60).

oogie: "It's possible that Valdez was offered a contract because it was the only way they could trade him at all"

I could be wrong, but I strongly believe that Valdez was just dumped, not traded. Based on numbers and potential, Horst is no better than the 3rd best AAA LOOGY for any franchise in the league.

Also, I appreciate the attempt, but c'mon now. Eagles haven't had a good LB since Trotter(drafted pre-Reid) while the Phillies have had one of the best INF in the MLB for last 5 years running.

"

Sophist, please don't call Wigginton a backup 2B. Find Wigginton's comparables against 4 corner backups.

Seems like another dose of "Who cares" has been added to the off season moves. With the exceptions of Papelbon & Thome , I find it hard to get the least bit excited about our newest Phillies.
And Papelbon cost us Madson, so he is a mixed blessing at best.
And Thome is more of a nostalgia thing, but it shouldn't be too much of a stretch for Gentleman Jim to improve over Gload as our primary PH.
Still, as it soon becomes February, Spring Training will be very welcome on BL.

lorecore-- I was speaking of Reid's ignoring the LB position just as RAJ is ignoring a decent backup IF, not the starting IF

I can't wait to read the book that describes what the FO thought it was accomplishing this offseason. Lots of bodies were shuffled but does anyone really think the team is measurably improved?

lorecore - Yeah I know about that particular poster. It just gets annoying post after post where nothing of value is dicussed among valid baseball discussion.

If Qualls was a target prior to the offseason and they knew that offering Exxon would be an obstacle to signing him, why was he tendered a contract then? If they wanted to save money and just roll with Mini Mart, they didn't have to offer him a contract at all. That's why I think the logic of Valdez as a salary dump is flawed.

Edmundo - It's not an ideal situation, but I would still argue that 90 OPS+ is solid for a backup and a guy that can directly spell Polanco and at least indirectly spell Utley. Why can't Polanco play 10 games at 2B this year? That's all I mean about Polanco. Between the two you have a way of spelling the IF regulars with SS as the only hole.

I agree that Wigginton is nothing to brag about and that the Phils are better off with Wigginton+Valdez. But I disagree that ~720 OPS from Wigginton in 2011 would not be good enough. He's not the above average hitter he was, but if he gives you his reduced output he's a nice addition for $2M.

Didn't they offer Valdez arbitration before Rollins signed? I think they wanted to make sure they had Exxon locked up just in case JRoll walked and they couldn't find anyone else. With Jimmy in the fold, Valdez was redundant.

Sophist, I'll take the over on 10 games missed by Utley this year. :)

I expect that among the 3 infielders, we'll see 60-75 games missed for the DL and several more rest days needed. They didn't start 135 games last year. I'm figuring this year CAN'T be as bad as last year. And I don't want to see Wigginton's bad D first hand very often.

But, for 2M, what can you expect? 2 Wilson Valdezes?

Phatti, good point on the timing and motivation.

The vast majority of utility players are either no stick, adequate glove or solid stick, bad glove. I'll take solid stick, bad glove.

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