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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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I had this crazy idea: If you could take any MLB player and clone him into 9 copies, you could field a team of 9 "identical" players.
Waldez has pitched, was (I think) our emergency catcher at one time, and I expect he could also play 1B and outfield.

Which players, if cloned, could beat him?

Valdez to get $930,000 according to mlb trade rumors.

If I was Pence's agent and the Phils came to me with an extension offer, how do you take anything less than what Werth got last year?

***how do you take anything less than what Werth got last year?***

You realize a couple of facts:

1. Your client wont hit the market for another 2 years and nothing is certain in life.

2. The general opinion among GMs is that Werth was wildly overpaid and that his contract did not set the market going forward.

I'd love to see a team of Wilson Valdez clones play a team of Rick Ankiel clones.

repost: $15M to Hamels is the highest arb-eligible contract for a pitcher in MLB history.

Lincecum on the verge of breaking that.

While a longterm agreement would be preferable, not going to arbitration (a Phillies staple) is good to hear.

Hopefully this means the Phillies/Hamels negotiations won't be too tumultuous.

5 years/$92.5 million

Book it

It will be interesting to see what Kershaw gets from the Dodgers after winning the CY.

I believe it's his first year of arb.

@FanFromFifty

Interesting question. I'd like to think that most ML-caliber shortstops could hit at least 80 on the gun if they pitched from the mound. It comes naturally with having the arm to play SS. Given that, I'd guess that Rollins himself would be a better candidate, and somebody like Tulowitski would be your best possible 'all-9er'.

Which players, if cloned, could beat him?

Ichiro and probably Rolen (in his prime) to start with.

On Valdez:

Good for him. Here's a guy who toils in MiL for years, getting a few cups of coffee along the way, and finally, at the age of 31, is able to stick with an MLB club. He performs well, and turns that into a decent payday that most normal people would envy.

I'd go with most good shortstops. I'd add Pujols in his youth and A-rod when he was younger too.
The best compliment ever paid to Rolen was when Kruk said he could win a gold glove at any infield position.

Might be fun going at it from the other direction - there are a handful of pitchers who field well and are passable hitters, including our very own happy-go-lucky lefty.

The advantage of a rotation (err, full staff!) of Cliffies might even offset the big losses to range and power. Synchronized team sprinting to the field and dugout.

Historically, could we do better than a team of Mays-in-his-prime-clones versus one of Bonds-in-his-prime?

Valdez couldn't get a hit of himself.

And he couldnt get himself out.

If Hamels hits the open market, he'll be the most attractive pitcher, probably right there with Matt Cain. The Dodgers will be under new ownership by then. I just think a 7-year, $160 million offer from L.A. is something they'd be willing to do, and something Cole is holding out for. I don't think he's taking anything less than what CC got.

He's a Dodger in 2013. Dear Lord I hope I'm wrong about that.

If you make them play a full season and account for improvement at each position then you'd have to say Bonds or Mays would be good choices although Bonds never had a good arm. If you don't allow for various clones improving and you just go with their day 1 skills then you would almost have to go with a strong armed guy with range and a strong bat.

Here's what the combo of Orr/Mini Mart/Valdez wasted last year:

578 ABs - .225/.278/.313 (.591 OPS) with 4 HRs with 9 SBs

If there was one area I was hoping that Amaro would upgrade, it was the utility infield spot especially if Polanco/JRoll/Utley were going to be the starters again.

Valdez probably will give them a .630-.650 OPS but even by utility infielder standards the offensive production the Phils got last year was putrid out of the 3.

For all the talk of Howard being out, the Phils can get by without his overall production especially it resembles the last 2 years although they will miss his raw power.

What the Phils can't do though is have Polanco/JRoll/Utley go down for a prolonged stretch because the guys who will take there offensive ABS (same cast as last year) will be so limited offensively.

I've never seen a better third basemean than Rolen in his prime. And I saw Brooks Robinson.

Drew: Cliff Lee's 5yr/$120M deal includes his guaranteed 2016 salary of at least the $12.5M buyout.

His actual salary in in those 5 years is $107.5M. If his option was picked up, he would make $27.5M in 2016 to bring his max contractual value to $135M.

I am with kruk. Go with cliff lee. Good pitching ilbeats shitty hitting all day

$15M was more than I was expecting what Hamels would get. Hopefully a sign the Phils gave him a few million extra, avoided arbitration, and he will sign an extension after the season starts for 4-5 years?

What are the odds that Polanco/JRoll/Utley each start at least say 130 G next year?

20%?

MG: If Polanco is OPS'ing in the .650's like he did toward end of 2011, then his time off won't be too devastating.

If Hamels signs a 4 year extension, he is still in line to hit FA when he is 32. He could be in line for 2 $100 million dollar contracts.

One player I could clone and have play all nine positions in MLB?

That's easy. Micah Owings. Good enough pitcher who can really hit & is a decent athlete who probably could field most positions acceptably.

lorecore - You still probably take a defensive hit and an OPS hit that is notable.

It was the one area where I was hoping Amaro could swing a deal to bring in someone a bit better than Mini Mart/Orr.

Shawon Dunston is my choice for all 9

Haven't been around for a while.

Let me make a guess.

BLer's Debbie Downers and Negative Nancys have been hand-wringing and pearl-clutching from the fainting couch about the disastrous off-season, in which RAJ locked locked in the best rotation in baseball and a top closer, along with all the other key elements of the team that won 102 games last season, 13 ahead of the team that many BLers laid awake at night worrying about, and for the second year in a row had the best record in baseball.

Am I right?

I don't understand the assumption that Cole is destined for L.A.

He grew up in San Diego, which is farther from L.A. than Philly is from N.Y.C. (93mi vs 125mi) He obviously likes living in Philadelphia, as shown by his CC condo instead of a fortress out in the burbs, and he's never said anything in the press about being unhappy here. Given the public info the last few years my guess is his preference would be to stay here if they meet at a reasonable price.

While anything can happen in FA if the price is high enough, I really can't see Cole aching to play for the Dodgers, a childhood rival in the midst of a clusterf**k divorce/rebuilding period.

Phlipper - Um. Nope.

Nine of Aaron Miles would do alright. Roy Oswalt prolly would too. Back in the day, of course, Glen Wilson, mebbe, and before that Cookie Rojas. Joe Morgan probably would get beat to crap but he, at least, wouldn't clog up the basepaths.

***Joe Morgan probably would get beat to crap but he***

The only problem with Joe Morgan would be deciding which Joe Morgan on the team to give the MVP trophy too. Did you know he's the only Red to ever win the WS and the MVP in the same year?

Also, his daughter goes to Stanford (though she probably graduated by now I would think).

Andy -

Really? There hasn't been wide-spread hand-wringing about RAJ's moves this off season?

Well then, I offer my apologies. Maybe BLers have finally come around, and will actually appreciate the quality of this team this coming season.

I don't know how well they would do... but I would like to see 9 Chooches...

***I don't know how well they would do... but I would like to see 9 Chooches...***

It would never work...none of them would be tall enough to play 3B.

Shouldn't the market for Hamels be more or less set? Give him Weaver/Verlander + a couple million.

Just a small correction to one of the above posts. Cole Hamels very well may like it here ... but he does live in a huge fortress in the burbs (Newtown Square). He only lasted about 6 months in Center City before he and his wife decided they needed more privacy.

Phlipper - It was only the Papelbon move & even that move has plenty of advocates.

Are you really going to keep up this schtick for another year?

Phil Fact - Yup. Halladay both a place too in Newtown Square right off 252 that isn't far from Hamels from what I understand.

I've seen Hamels' wife from time-to-time in Newtown Square when I am usually there on Saturday/Sunday mornings at Gentile's and Hill's Seafood.

His agent hinted around we are ready for free agency and gonna cash in!!!

MG, phlipper (a charter member of the Sir Alden Trio, BTW), had been at this schtick for years.

Expect no changes. Expect no insight. Expect much hindsight.

Re: Cole and the burbs
Cole and his wife have lived in the West Chester area since almost day one. They do have a place in Liberty 2 but it has always been a second home. It was almost given to them a few years back when the upper floors were first converted to condos. Remember the ads with all the kids on the bed? But anyway Cole is pretty good with being around town. He's no Cliff or Chase but he's no Doc or Madson either.

Glad to see they locked up the pitcher with the best record as well as and that other guy, Hamels.

On Hammels Contract: He was obviously going to get a generous 1 year deal. Likely in hopes of generating good will for negotiations for a new contract after this season. Really, Hammels is taking a big risk. If he gets hurt or performs poorly it he will really wish he had signed that long term extension now.

On Valdez: Good for him, he's earned it.

On Cloning: A pitcher is not going to know how to be a catcher or the finer points to the other positions. Good pitching is partly good fielding. I'd rather go with someone that knows how to field all the positions and can pitch a little over an Ace pitcher trying to catch and field. So from current players I'd take a flier on someone like Inge.
Historical: George Herman Ruth

Filter for the cloned team:
No lefties. You can't man the left-side of the infield as a lefty. So that takes Babe Ruth, Bonds and Rick Ankiel out of the running.

I would agree with going with an athletic pitcher as opposed to someone like Rolen, A-Rod or Furcal. Micah Owens sounds like a good pick.

If this was mid-season, the votes for cloning Joe Savery would be off the charts.

True, Ruth fielding anywhere other than the OF or 1B would be horrendous, but seeing how he was one of the Ace pitchers of his generation and arguably the best hitter of all-time it might compensate for the lack of defense.

Tigers took big blow VMART out for year!

hook, saw that. Huge hit to the Tigers.

Manny? :)

My mind would explode when Wilson Valdez hit into an inning ending double play with Wilson Valdez already at 1st and 2nd.

If Cole Hamels wins the Cy Young award this year, which isn't out of the question, could he be looking at CC Sabathia money? I think so. I'd say even with a top 3 finish he is.

The Phils absolutely have to tie up Hamels longterm. He is the second best homegrown pitcher they've held onto even this long in my lifetime, Robin Roberts being the best.

Nine Mariano Duncans would be a pretty good team. He could throw in the 90s and played every position on the field except catcher and played them, pretty well.

Cookie Rojas and Cesar Tovar played every position, pitched AND played catcher in MLB, but neither of them could hit nearly as well as Dunc.

Can't overlook Bert Campaneris and Shane Halter, a couple other 9-position guys, but, again, neither had Duncan's bat.

I can see Wilson holding the ball on the turn, checking out the stitching on a double take, then throwing out Valdez for the DP.

Just kind of gazing into crystal ball. 4 very big seasons coming up for the obvious Dom. 2nd John Jr. And my other two are may and biddle. All these guys have situations that will result in tough choices that will be made. I am not looking ahead but these are the ones I am gonna follow a little more this summer!

hook, 2nd John Jr.? Iz dat two diffrent peeple>

The heralded legen in his own mind, Joba Chamberlain, just avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.675MM deal.

Intersting, isn't it? He's been in MLB the same amount of time as KK -since 2007 - yet he'll make almost $2MM less this season.

What gives?

Joba the Hutt.

More than willing to trade 6 and Ty to Detroit for their injured DH.

Yeah, 9 early 90s Mariano Duncan's would be pretty good. Ben Zobrist? Hell, Jose Bautista came up as an infielder...

Joba was the most overrated prospect in the history of baseball.

Also, he likes fried fried taters...mmmhmm.


Wilson Valdez is the anti-Mini Mart. We basically appreciate and love every little thing he does and gloss over his flaws. Why is that exactly?

Wilson seems to have a great sense of timing. He played to the BL jinx several times and he was an Ex-Met.

No I ment 2nd one to watch John Jr at big leagues. I would be safe if he does what he did last season then the philles will prob go with him full time

Wilson, IMHO, always seemed to rise to the occasion when Rollins went down and gave us a nice 2-3 weeks that softened that blow...and he has a great personality it seems. Just happy to be there basically. The fact that he also pitched well in a 20 inning game was just icing on the cake.

I stand corrected on Cole's abode.

For the Chooch clones, could we make it work by using ten and stacking two at 3B?

I cannot believe no BLer selected Roy "The Tractor" especially after that bang up job in left field that one momentous night.

If Mayberry is even moderately good in 2012, he'll get 600 PA between 1B and the OF. Moderately good meaning an OPS around .750.

Mind you, he had an OPS of .854 last year so that's even with a dropoff of 100 points.

You know, I'm still pissed at Oswalt for the Tractor thing. That really pissed me off and it still does.

Wilson Valdez hit .249 and .258 the year before. All the while was a decent fielder. Mini-Mart hit .196. As well Valdez has had more than a few clutch hits. Ummm thats why we over look any flaws. What more do you expect from a backup that was making 600K. He has played short, second, pitched, 3rd base and is our emergency catcher to boot. I head he once healed Cliff Lee just by smiling and waving a chicken bone. Que mas quires?

Oswalt's stunt has already changed the contract landscape of the team. Joel P had to sign a "No Competetive Yodeling" clause and Nate Bump was forced, against his lawyer's advice, to sign a "No autoerotic asphyxiation" clause.

Valdez is purely a case of perfect timing. The first couple weeks he filled in he stunk. But only enough that you didn't expect anything from him, not so bad you hated him. That lack of expectations and an endearing (if insulting) nickname made his following hot streak much more memorable. He set himself up as an underdog and there's nothing this town loves more.

Toss in another season's worth of admirable fill in play, timely pinch hits, and 19th-inning pitching heroics and there you go. Instant fan favorite.

Valdez is a rare baseball player in the Utley mode -- he anticipates where most merely react.

Lincoln the funny thing i dated an older lady for a bit. Interestingly besides been a nut case Valdez was her fav player. She actually did watch baseball and understood what was going on more than your average lady. I tried to explain to her, well he is just a backup and just a average player. The fact that he played multiple postions as well, she found impressive. In her mind, im guessing she remembers the clutch hits etc, he was on par with Ozzie Smith.

Valdez blows.

I think any bench player is over praised because all the negative outcomes are expected and accepted, and thhus forgotten, while the rare positive results are remembered. The opposite happens with the star player at times or in the case of Ryan Howard all the time.

Luis,
Was this older lady Heather, Dpatrone or Will Schweitzer?

Does anyone know how Roger Clemens was arbitration eligible in 2005. Apparently he asked for 22 million that year which is the record (Lincecum is now 2nd at 21.5 milllion). I just couldnt believe he was eligible at that age. Was it something in his contract?

gobaystars -- exactly. It's all about expectations.

On Hamels, I think this has been posted here before, but here is Hamels vs. Carlton through age 27:

Carlton.. 104-72 (.591), 124 ERA+, 1.217 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
Hamels.... 74-54 (.578), 126 ERA+, 1.141 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 8.5 K/9

Just out of curiosity, is there any source for Valdez as the actual emergency catcher? His generally versatility would make him the obvious choice if the situation ever arose, God forbid, but I don't have the impression that he has any experience there or that he has ever been even vaguely groomed for that role.

I think when a team has no third guy with catching experience the emergency catcher is the guy with the most to lose if he says no. If Valdez says no to catching he is out of a job the next day. So he's the emergency catcher. If Mini Mart makes the team he becomes the emergency catcher.

clout's hero Jack Cust is signing with the Astros.

Another Phils (MiL) player to Houston.

WOW, Kershaw asking for $10MM in his first arb year!

What the record for first year arb?

AL, about Clemens and arbitration, this is from wikipedia:

"Players with more than six years of service time and who are eligible for free agency can also be offered arbitration when their contracts are up, if they have been tendered a contract offer by his current team by the tender deadline, and have not agreed on a contract."

epicurean -- Valdez has not played catcher in the minors, majors, or Japan. I don't know about off-season leagues.

Nix has never played there professionally either, but I did find that Wigginton played one game at catcher for Norfolk in 2001. He had 0 chances in that game.

Found it:

First year arb record is held by none other than Ryan Howard at $10MM.

That was weird when the Phillies signed Jack Cust for 8 days. Did he get into any minor league games?

Answering my own question. 6 games. 5 for 20 with a bomb and 3 walks.

Valdez was in LHV to start 2010 and no one expected anything from him. He nearly replicated his 2009 numbers with the Mets but, given nearly 4x more PA in a season than the year before, put up some PR counting stats (4 HR). He was not very good (.306 OBP) and had his fair share of frustrating moments (20 GIDP in 333 AB), but it's all about context. Who's going to complain about a minor league call-up with a 78 OPS+? Phils and no one better and he did as expected if not slightly better.

Through no fault of his own, Mini Mart was a Rule 5 pick, and the Phils decided to keep him up all year. The opportunity costs of this decision are completely unclear and forever open to debate, but that only makes his presence and flaws easier to complain about.

Valdez has had his big moments, most related to his arm, but Mini Mart has had his fair share of made-for-tv nonsense in limited time as well. It's all about context and bullshit narrative to me. People don't like "wasting a roster spot" so they didn't like the little guy.

Good point, gobaystars!. Werth and Ibanez both came up through the minors as catchers, so they might have gotten stuck with the job during their tenures, but I guess Valdez (or maybe Wigginton) is the most logical choice at this point. I seem to recall Pedro Feliz getting stuck in an emergency catching role with the Giants after an injury in extra innings, and I think his bad defense cost the Giants the game somehow. I can't remember the details.

That and Mini Mart is much, much worse objectively speaking than Valdez. Don't have a B-R.com subscription at the moment but I would venture to guess that Valdez may have had the lowest OPS+ in the majors among players with 200+ PA.

Sophist, mini mart did have a clutch 3 run bomb that turned out to be a game winner.

But is that eause he belongs in MLB, or because even a blind squirrel...

IMO people got down on mini mart because they thought there were better alternative for the bench.

awh - right. and, the argument was, the Phils only kept him around because the cost of finding a better alternative meant the risk of surrendering the pick. There may have been times when people thought there were better alternatives to the bench than Dobbs, but at least then there was some validity to the assumption that FO kept him around for "win-now" basebally reasons.

I'd think that roster maneuvering (all for some long term interest in keeping a 28-year old 48 OPS+ UT around for the future of something) seemed to play a larger part in his continuing presence counted more against Mini Mart. It just compounded the frustration. There just didn't seem to be any other good reason to keep this guy around. If the question is why fans esp. didn't like a player, he had everything against him: he stunk and the team's reasons for keeping him on the roster were weak and dubious.

Sophist, Eli Whiteside had an OPS+ of 63, 10 points lower than Valdez, in 236 PA.

A quick search yielded a couple of dozen players with 200+ PA and OPS+ numbers under 70.

Valdez is adequate as a utility infielder as long as he doesn't fall apart this year suddenly due to age.

Mini Mart is terrible. Even by AAA standards, he is a marginal player. Right now he probably is on the outside-looking in for a roster spot which is ideal. Little man without the perquisite little man skills except raw speed.

No Raul Grandpa's she was a former co-worker. I knew she was nuts but well you know. Unfortunately she was way to crazy even for well you know. She was the one that actually told me Valdez was the emergency catcher. I dont know how the team chooses their emergency catcher. Or why Valdez has that role, do you know for a fact that the most dispensable player gets that role. The Panda guy from the Giants is listed as emergency catcher.

awh - I meant lower than Mini Mart. Typo. My Fault. Martinez had 234 PA for the Phils last year and a 48 OPS+.

Sophist, forget that!

I don't even want to do that search. My laptop might explode.

Actually:

Tsuyoshi Nishioka - 48 (tie)
Matt Tolbert - 44
Paul Janish - 42
Chone Figgins - 39
Tyler Colvin - 38
Jaff Mathis - 37
Reid Brignac - 29
Drew Butera - 24

all had 200+ PA in 2011.

Hard to believe, Harry.

what happen to Chone Figgins?

If the Mariners ate 9/10ths of his salary, I'd love to see the Phillies take a flyer on Figgins. See if he can be reclamation project.

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