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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Everyone's favorite postseason sure thing Ryan Theriot is still available.

Even if Galvis is nearly ready to step in if Rollins gets hurt, why would you trade away a depth guy like Valdez whose presence would allow Galvis to further develop in the minors for a bit longer in the event that Rollins misses significant time? I don't really understand the team's recent handling of guys who are on the cusp of being ready for the bigs. Well, okay, I don't understand why they handled things the way they did with Brown and I'm not seeing the logic of what seems to be going on with Galvis.

I bet the Phils like Theriot.

Valdez was the firewall between a major league roster and a Mini-Mart. He was the best UT we've had in a long time. I fear that despite his below average hitting ability and his profound proclivity for involving himself in double plays on both sides of the ball, he will be missed unless there is another signing in the works.

I guess it's not Prince Fielder.

Horst, at least, gives us another lefty relief pitcher in the system. And, as Well. That's about it.

JW, "unexplainable faith" in minimart.

How about "unfounded faith"?

Of course, based n the fact that Horst threw an ERA below three and nobody knows him, I fully expect him to jump up the prospect charts into the top ten among the posters at Phuture Phillies.

(James, of course, will know better.)

Ugh. Plays on my fear of 400 MiniMart PAs. Hopefully Amaro has something else up his sleeve.

Last thing: absolutely dynamite photo Jason. Top notch. Best photo I've seen of Exxon. You can practically hear the GIDP on the way.

First the Exxon .....when is it going to stop?.....when??

Interesting move. Given how hard up the Phillies are against the luxury tax, I could definitely see this as making the books balance for one last move.

If Galvis logs 300 PA this year, do we see him beating .249/.294/.341? My guess is that his final line would be pretty close to that.

Judging by this Gelb blog piece, the move is a salary dump and we're stuck with Mini-Mart for another glorious season, but this time as our first line of infield defense when Hamstring Rollins, No-Knees Utley, and Faberge Egg Polanco go down:

This trade really stinks in my opinion--sacrificing the best utility man on an already shaky bench--unless Rube is lyingn in the linked piece and Keppinger or someone similar is in the works. However, I think a likelier explanation is Rube's apparent desire to prove he didn't make a lousy Rule Five pick last year by keeping Mini-Mart in the majors as long as possible. It could also be a simple manifestation of what seems to be Amaro's fetish for collecting every cheap left-handed reliever available--gotta catch 'em all!

Galvis posting anywhere near .249/.294/.341 in 300 MLB PAs without any further AAA seasoning? That seems verrrry generous.

Valdez's relief appearance in extra innings and win was my favorite moment of the 2011 season.

He was a very valuable player for this team for the past few years.

Good luck to him in Cincy.

This makes me nervous - yeah, the avg wasn't great, the DPs hurt; but I remember some clutch hits when we needed them most; and my god what defense, best infield arm on the team. Great pitching needs solid defense behind it - I hope we're not giving away more runs than we're getting with whoever takes his place. There were times during the last two years that I said he was my MVP ('course there were other times when I cursed).

If I'm Joe Savery, I'm not buying any property anytime soon.

Here's the thing about Galvis that people forget. He has played shortstop and only shortstop. With his defensive instincts, I have every confidence that he can eventually learn to play 2nd, and maybe even 3rd. But the place for that learning to take place is at AAA. Until that happens, he's not a utility infielder; he's just an emergency shortstop.

I agree with JW. This move smells like a prelude to anoter move. I really can't believe it was all about saving $500K.

A $500K salary dump? Who's ever heard of such a thing?

Galvis hit .278/.324/.392 between AA and AAA last year, so I don't think that matching Valdez's line is out of the question. ZIPS has him projected at .261/.299/.359, which seems about right.

Abandon the Keppinger theory (and all hope of a decent utility infielder with it). MLB Trade Rumors says he's close on a deal with the Rays. I can just picture the following lineup at some point in June:

1B: Mayberry
2B: Orr
SS: Mini-Mart
3B: Wigginton
LF: Nix
CF: Vic
RF: Pence

With the infield full of injury-ridden players and the backups including Michael "Mendoza Line" Martinez, Rube had better hope that Pence and Vic repeat their career years and that Mayberry turns into Hank freakin' Aaron--otherwise the remaining aces are going to be losing every more 2-1 or 3-2 games than they did last year.

Keppinger looks like he is about to sign with the Rays for somewhere slightly north of $1M.

BAP, this one is squarely on you. Clearly Rube read your post yesterday about Mini Mart working on his swing all Winter and being in the best shape of his life and didn't detect the sarcasm. Now look what you've done.

Yes, AT, and I can imagine all our regulars playing to their prime numbers in 150+ games. We can imagine whatever we want. How does Valdez help all that much if every IF regular is hurt? Valdez is a 34-year old UT player who would be lucky to have an OPS+ above 75 and an OBP above .300 next year.

All those guys go down, Valdez isn't saving the day.

AT: Not that I like this trade . . . but would replacing Mini-Mart with Valdez really make you feel better about the hypothetical lineup you just drew up?

1B: Mayberry
2B: Orr
SS: Mini-Mart
3B: Wigginton
LF: Nix
CF: Vic
RF: Pence

and I will add

C: Schneider

That looks like a Francona Sunday lineup.

WP: Well, let's put your theory to the test. I hear that Erik Kratz is in the best shape of his life & has spent the whole winter working on his swing.

Funny but strengthening the bench was supposedly one of the Amaro's offseason high priorities but this what the bench will likely look right now until Howard's return:


That's an awful bench & I don't know which RH bat gets PH ABs off the bat if Wigginton starts. Almost imagine the Phils will make another move for player who hits RH.

Only way they don't is if Nix gets most of the PT in LF & Mayberry sits on the bench as the RH bat. Really hope they don't do that but very well could shake out that way.

BAP, If you just got Chooch traded for cap space, I'm advocating a ban.

What a stupid trade.

No way is the organization resigning themselves to "the future savior" Galvis as a utility/bench guy this season. If they're advocating that Brown could use another season at AAA, Galvis sure as hell doesn't need sporadic playing time at the MLB level if they really think as highly of him as it sounds. They'd be better served to trade him while he still has "prospect value," especially after last season.

I'll be 100% floored if Galvis makes the big league squad in a bench role. I suspect there's another move coming. I just hope and pray that it doesn't resemble a garden gnome.

So who's the 19th inning relief pitcher now?

And who's the emergency third catcher now?

Andy - you're an idiot

AT: Not that I like this trade . . . but would replacing Mini-Mart with Valdez really make you feel better about the hypothetical lineup you just drew up?

I'm not AT, but for me the drop off on defense is enough to make me very worried.

I will miss the orange goatee ... but not for long.

As much as I enjoyed having Valdez on the team, and all the versatility that he brought (especially defensively), I can't exactly say that I'm afraid of him becoming a "Phillie killer." Just a hunch, though.

Just wait for the other shoe to drop. RAJ is just clearing 500K to go the extra mile and get Cespedes, obviously.

If this was a salary dump, I can't believe something better isn't coming in to replace Valdez. Nobody dumps half a million of salary for no reason. Maybe the Rays or Pirates, but the Phillies?

I've been pretty critical of Rube's money management, but even I have a hard time believing this is about money.

I really am interested in the draft class of 11 to see where they place them.

This move is puzzling. Kind of bordering on retarded, if RAJ doesnt have some type of other deal(or viable explanation) in place. This is unless they have faith that Horst might be the next Venters. Or it could be they just found out Contreras is shot. Either way you had a decent Utility infielder that you just traded a way for basically a prospect, with one of the most injury prone infield in Baseball.

"A $500K salary dump? Who's ever heard of such a thing?"

Pirates fans.

As for the trade, if it's not a prelude to another pick up, I don't understand it at all. Unless, perhaps, Horst has something Exxon does not. Quick... somebody check retrosheet, has he ever pitched the 20th inning?

I don't like this deal at this moment. Valdez is extremely valuable and versatile. Can't hit much, but utility guys don't as a rule. Maybe they've been in contact w/ Juan Castro.

Maybe they've been in contact with Fidel Castro. He might have a utility infielder who'll work for cheap.

I don't see what Horst brings that we don't already have in Bastardo, Willis, Savery, and Diekman (who I just now even noticed was on the active roster).

Plus, they didn't even add Horst to the roster???? Gotta be a salary dump or precursor to some other move. No doubt about it, unless RAJ is aware of some team we'll face that has nothing but left-handed batters.

Andy - you're an idiot

Posted by: MisterZoomer

I know you are but what am I?

Clearly Amaro wanted Horst for his 448 OPS+. He looks tall enough to play 3B, too.

Michael Martinez is $hit and always will be $hit. He's not young. He's already reached his potential, and his potential is $hit. I'm okay with him playing in Triple-A and coming up in September, but not for a full season getting lots of at bats due to our elderly infielders.

Keppinger looks like he's going to the Rays. Betemit signed a cheap deal with the O's. Aaron Miles and Ryan Theriot are still out there, but not really an upgrade over Valdez. Miles hits for average at least I guess.

Edgar Renteria says he's willing to become a utility infielder. Carlos Guillen would be an interesting signing on a minor league deal.

Really, I just don't understand this trade.

Rube's on the verge of the impossible -- weakening the 2011 bench.

I officially hate Michael Martinez. He probably wouldn't be our best option for Reading as a SS.

Seems like a really puzzling trade to say the least.

Unless another move is coming or unless Valdez was also sleeping with Jen Utley.

It would have been funnier had he signed Omar Vizquel for the bench but unfortunately for us the BlueJays snatched up that young rising star.

Just read up on Miles; being a shorty myself I kind of like the idea of a 5 foot 8 infielder who can still take down a would-be kidnapper; like Exxon, he's also taken a brief MLB turn at pitching.

Maybe RAJ is saying he thinks Galvis is what he is, a utility guy in the mold of Valdez, and is possibly ready to start the season, or shortly there after, with the Phls.

Not loving this trade or really understanding it, but as a member of the moronocracy, I'm going to bide my time and wait and see how this plays out before blasting it.

Where's "Get Rube a Water (so he sobers up)"? Sounds about what is needed. WAAAY too many holes in this fragile infield to squander Exxon's leather and overall sturdiness.

Hard to believe, Harry...

probably had to clear a roster spot so we could flip Rizzzoti for Evan Longoria.

Just Longoria? We better be getting back something else too.

Bob - "...I'm going to bide my time and wait and see how this plays out before blasting it."
Bob, I'm with you.

AT - "...otherwise the remaining aces are going to be losing [even] more 2-1 or 3-2 games than they did last year."
In low-scoring games (winning team scores 3 or less), the Phillies were 30-15.

I know 30-3 or 30-5 would be better, but come on, 30-15 is pretty good.

Also, from the time Utley returned they had the highest-scoring offense in the league and among the fewest games with 3 runs or less.

Changes from that lineup:
- Howard will be out to start
- full year of Pence
- no more Ibanez and his .707 OPS

Thanks to JW for having perspective, which many people on BL (most notably AT in this thread) seem to consistently lack. Reading these comments you would think that we just traded away Cliff Lee for peanuts again. Look at the slash line above and honestly ask yourself if the Phils are going to miss that this year.

I know, I know, it's cool to hate on Mini-Mart. And Valdez had some very nice moments in his two seasons here. But this goes back to a few weeks ago when we were discussing the myth of Valdez, and why he is revered as if he's some irreplaceable piece of the puzzle. Valdez is the essence of replaceable- in fact, I'd be shocked if this trade doesn't preclude the addition of a player that improves upon what he gave us.

Some people wanted to let Rollins walk and replace him with Valdez. Now the same people are up in arms about letting Valdez go. Just a complete lack of perspective.

"I know, I know, it's cool to hate on Mini-Mart."

Iceman, I don't think people hate mini-mart. we just don't think he's an MLB calibre baseball player.

***Look at the slash line above and honestly ask yourself if the Phils are going to miss that this year.***

About 100 points in OPS and better defense at all 3 IF positions they both play?

Other than that, yeah, Mini Mart is interchangeable.

You have to assume there's another move coming or that they're freeing up space on the roster for Cespedes or Soler.

Otherwise, it makes no sense to offer Valdez arbitration, sign him to a fair deal and then suddenly flip him for a AAAA reliever.

The hand-wringers have dutifully trotted out their arsenal of sky-falling material with the shocking departure of difference-maker Wilson Valdez, the double-play hitting machine, who once every season or so will blast one out of the park.

Of course, they will claim that Amaro is out of his gord with no succession plan, because, frankly, he can't be replaced. After all, how many scubeenie utility infielders, who, once in a lifetime win a 19-inning game, are out there to take his place?

What a lousy organization! Again, I bet that no one of you has lived and mostly died with this franchise since 1950, as I have. Give it a rest. See how it plays out. Patience can be a virtue. Carry on.

"Some people wanted to let Rollins walk and replace him with Valdez. Now the same people are up in arms about letting Valdez go."

Iceman, I'm not one of those people (not do I agree with them), but their line of thinking is actually pretty consistent.

If they were willing to let Rollins walk and replace him with Valdez, it stands to reason that they'd be "up in arms about letting Valdez go."


Good bench players matter...regardless of what people think.

Is there anyone who really thinks Michael Martinez is a legitimate MLB player...even as a 25th man on a roster?

No, awh. We hate him. You are clearly not a baseball fan if you don't hate Minimart.

Actually, I remember Pete Orr saying he'd played in the minors with Minimart and felt the guy would be a good major leaguer. He said he was surprised he hadn't been called up by the Nats. I suppose he was just being nice. I kind of wondered if he felt the same after he(Orr) was sent down and Martinez remained with the big club the entire season.

Martinez could turn water into wine and feed the homeless on his off still doesnt change the fact that he cant play at the MLB level. It'd be one thing if he was 23-24 years old but he's pushing 30 with a .200 life time average.

Remember Steve Jeltz? He was a freaking HOF player compared to Martinez.

This is Horst-sh*t.

Geez, Mainerob. How the heck old are you?

I have been suffering and/or enjoying this team since the early sixties.

I was alive in the fifties, but don't remember much. I think I would at least remember someone as dyspeptic as you.

Hell, I had to suffer through Chuck Klein's prime with no relief...this is unacceptable!

71 days until April 5th.

Wake me up then if Martinez is on the opening day roster as the main middle infield backup.

Keeping things in perspective, yes, Valdez is a backup.

However, if benches in MLB are deemed to be important, why weaken the bench by trading away the best UT IF on the team?

also, why Valdez didn't have stellar numbers, a couple of threads ago I posted his numbers the last 3 years and compared them to the primary UT backups on the other NL East teams.

Valdez comapred pretty well. A lot of the players on the other NL East teams had slash lines in the same range a mini-mart, and some were worst.

So sure, you can take the position and "perspective" that he's only a bench player so it's not worth getting excized over.

However, as it and if it stands, viewed in the proper "perspective", the move - from Valdez to mini-mart - still represents a big downgrade, given that whoever the primary 2B/3B/SS backup is likely to get a very significant number (300-400) of AB.

Moreover, when a hitter as bad as mini-mart is inserted into a lineup, in changes the complexion of the entire lineup.

awh- the people who wanted to let Rollins walk were willing to replace him with Valdez and get nothing in return, despite the fact that Valdez is a vastly inferior baseball player. The Phillies have essentially done the opposite- retained Rollins and let Valdez go and getting (basically) nothing in return- and people are up in arms about it. They have kept the better baseball player and let go of a guy who is incredibly replaceable. Their line of thinking is either inconsistent, or just plain moronic. Either of those is acceptable.

And I don't think everyone who rags on Mini-Mart hates him. Oddly obsessed, maybe, but that doesn't qualify as hatred. Although in this thread NEPP flat out said "I officially hate Mini-Mart," so It's not completely uncommon.

With all the NL 1st baseman switching over to the AL, I might have a chance of being an All-Star again in my lifetime. Yay!

What about the possibility of Rube baby moving Polanco into the super-utility role, and making a move to put somebody at 3rd? Not sure who might be available at 3rd these days though? Just a thought.

Clearly, this paves the way for Rube's suggested move of Mayberry to third base. He's been playing third in a super secret league in one of the tiny curled up dimensions necessary for string theory to be correct.

Everyone remember Rube making this suggestion at the end of the last season? I wonder if he was joking.

Maybe the lefty reliever is part of a package to be flipped for Chase Headley from San Diego. That would be fine with me.

And awh- as it stands, with no other moves, I do think it's stupid to just assume Mini-Mart can replace Valdez. Martinez is awful in almost every phase of the game.

But as a player, Valdez can easily be replaced. That's why I said I'd be shocked if this didn't preclude another move. Why else would they offer him arb and then sign him? The move makes no sense on almost every level unless there is something else in the pipeline. It may be minor, but it wouldn't take much to replace what we just lost.

Iceman, I would go with "plain moronic". I was just pointing out that their line of thinking was actually consistent.

Maybe RAj is not all that smart. Please recal all the machinations we had to go through to land Lee.
And was he willing to discuss it? No. That tells you something right there. Can absolutely handle zero criticism not to mention rationalizing mistakes.

I just got this from DPatrone's buddy:

The Phillies are in final discussion with the Yankees, and will soon be acquiring ARoid to replace Polly. Polly will be moved to the UT position.

Apparently, the players the Yankees have requested in the trade are Hamels, Worley, Brown, May, Valle, and Bastardo, and will be sending Phil Hughes back as part of the package.

The Phillies haven't formally agreed.

Actually, ak, I'm far from dyspeptic. On the other hand, I've had knee replacement surgery, three angioplaties (heredity) and three spine fusion surgeries. I'm presently recovering from my latest fusion surgery, but, otherwise, a picture of health, which I would send you, but..

I'm a Vietnam-era veteran, and a veteran marathoner, having run Boston four times and numerous others. Is there a connection between my road-pounding and my body breaking down? You bet, but I wouldn't trade my life for anybody's.

I'm turning 70 on February 8 and will be celebrating with great friends and relatives. If having a great time and laughing it up with true friends is dyspeptic, bring it on!

"But as a player, Valdez can easily be replaced."

OK, Iceman, I'll take that statement on this way:

I'm going over to the espn stat sorter, and I'm going to see where Valdez OPS ranked last season against all 3B, all 2B, and all SS who got at least 300 PA.

I'll let you know what I find out.

awh - Valdez' WAR was 0.0 last year. By some measures and theories, that is the definition of replacement level.

OK, Iceman, here are the results:

Among 2B who had at least 300 PA in 2011, Valdez's .634 OPS ranked 32nd.

Among SS who had at least 300 PA,
his OPS 'would' have ranked 32nd. (He didn't get 300 PA playing exclusively at SS).

Among 3B who had 300 PA, his OPS would have ranked him 25th - and no, that is not a misprint.

Iceman, while this is only one season's worth of data, it suggests that replacing a BACKUP who, in an era of delining offense, can put up a .634 OPS, may not be as easy as you think.

Could it be that Rube is bringing back Rolen?

Sophist, good point, and it's another way to measure Valdez's value.

I merely engaged in the exercise of running the numbers to see where Valdez actually ranked among the groups of players I defined.

I am not maintaining he ahould be a starter on a contending team - far from it.

However, the 2011 data suggest he's a pretty good player - for a BACKUP - and as a BACKUP, may not be "easily" so replaced.

If the Phils want to roll with just Martinez, this is a stupid move. If they go out and get another cheap utility guy, this is and ok move. Those guys are out there. They're minor league free agents, they're trying to return from Asia, they are getting released due to roster issues. To pay almost a million for Valdez is too much. The longer a guy like him is around the pricier he gets. Time to go.

Horst hasn't been on the Reds 40-man for the past 2 years and went undrafted in the Rule V so there's no need to waste a 40-man spot on him.

He's a soft-tossing lefty, one of approximately 1,436 in the minor leagues and has never been on the Reds Top 30 prospect list.

He's a sinker/slider guy, keeps the ball on the ground and in the park when his control is good. A battler. His sinking fastball tops out around 87. If he doesn't get enough sink, he's in trouble. He's also been working on a change.

Sometimes guys like this come out of nowhere and are effective LOOGYs for a few years in the bigs and then disappear again.

The trade makes no sense at all unless the Phillies have a free agent utility guy in their sights, whom they consider an upgrade over Wilson.

Is there a player to be named later in this deal?

Luis, no PTBNL, but maybe some cash considerations.

AWH~ Good one! I'm glad you got somethin' from him 'cause I sure as hell haven't (lol).

Seriously though, I can't believe this is a move to bring up Martinez. If it is, how dumb is that? I gotta believe there's something else coming.

I wonder if they're gonna make a play for Wright, since the Mutts are in financial trouble. I could see Polly & Brown going along with someone else in return for Wright & cash. Just me speculating.

Again I just can't see RAJ giving up Valdez for a LH reliever not even on the 40-Man. Why even sign him in arb then? I'm scratin' my head on this one. 'Night everyone!

The Phightin's w/ a Mutt a third? Disgusting! Why not just bring in J.D. Drew while you're at it!

GotsomecashforOswalt. GotsomecashforOswalt. EfftheCards. Gottadump11otherlikeplayers.

Swapping out Valdez for either MiniMart or Galvis saves about $500K. I don't know where they are on room under the cap, but if they have $4M to spare and can swing a deal, Koji Uehara is on Texas's trading block and would be a huge upgrade over Stutes or Contreras as the righty setup man.

I think Brandon Inge is available due to Fielder/Cabrera. Not real exciting but he'd be cheap and best of all---he becomes the new emergency catcher.

Inge's last 5 seasons: .227/.308/.376, 80ish OPS+.

Yikes. And he's making $5.5M this year. Ouch.

On second thought, the other half of the Tigers' ex-platoon, Don Kelly has a bit more pop, is only 31 and has played every position in the field. Unlike Exxon, he has not thrown a pitch, however.

Sophist- Kelly makes exactly 900000. coincidence??? and he's tall enough (6'4") to play 3B.

via High Cheese: "Valdez/Horst could be 1st trade in history where the position player has more pitching Ws and the pitcher has better bat AVG (Horst 1-for-1)"

And the legend of Exxon grows a little more.

mainerob: I thought I was the geezer on here, but you got me by 25 days.

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EST. 2005

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