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Sunday, March 11, 2012


What could the Phils offer to bring in D'Arnaud? That would be something.

From the last thread: "That's why opening the checkbook for Pabelbon still feels like gilding the lily. This team has immediate needs at first and second base, and we dump $50mm on a reliever."

When you have a team built around pitching, spending on a closer makes sense (esp. with the playoffs in mind). You could argue Amaro acted hastily and could have grabbed a similar commodity for less. But it makes sense to prioritize a Madson replacement.

What didn't really make sense was finding IF depth on the cheap considering the question marks at 3b and 2b. The Phils could have used the Wigginton/Kendrick/Qualls (or whatever) money differently to get someone like Scutaro as a super-super UT (someone who could start at SS on multiple teams and rotate at 3B, SS, and 2B for the Phils).

Well, Galvis is essentially blocked, so there's that.

I'll throw out a couple of names: Blanton, Galvis, Brown, d'Arnaud, Escobar, Gose.

Is Gose a better prospect that Brown?

Galvis isn't blocked if Utley can't play.

Blue Jays prospects (Sickels love their system and has them rated #1 right now):

Galvis is interesting as trade bait but the only problem is the Jays already have their version of Galvis - Adeiny Hechavarria who is a solid glove but questionable bat even after his numbers in Las Vegas last year.

If the Phils can move Blanton and another prospect to fill a more immediate need (C, 3B, CF) for a prospect who will be ideally ready to start next year, I want Amaro to make that deal in a cocaine heartbeat.

Blocked at his position of most value.

Perfect time to sell on Blanton. He looks fit, this new version without a fastball can even work in the AL, and I would love to see the Phils free up salary so they have ability to make an additional secondary moves this spring or a significant one at the deadline.


JW - Bringing in not just D'Arnaud but Escobar as well would be game-changing. Galvis is someone I'd love to see them "sell high" on in the right package despite their need for a UT guy. He's more valuable in the right trade than as a 22-year old UT guy collecting a coupla singles.

Might take more than Blanton, Galvis, Brown from the Phils to get all these guys though. Do the Jays need a SP?

Is amazing how far Drabek's star has been tarnished after a solid spring training last year.

He isn't even in their rotation plans and he struggled in his first spring training out too.

Basically went from being considered their #1 prospect to almost an organizational after thought.

Always had control issues to one degree or another but he strikes me as a guy the Blue Jays have tinkered way too much with including his delivery and pitching arsenal (junked his slider, picked up a cutter, and threw his best offspeed pitch (curve) notably less).

Strikes me as a classic top-rated pitching prospect who experienced some poor performances at the MLB level, got way too much of an overhaul, and now represents a great potential for another organization to pick him up while his value is really depressed & try to straighten out the kinks so he can be a middle rotation starter that is cost-controlled for a few years.

Brown's value is probably diminished right now. Bad time to trade him.

Unless Galvis really hits this year, his value is at a maximum and if the Phils can get any kind of decent prospect who could step in next year (especially at 3B or CF), they should do it without hesitation.

Yeah, the red flag with Drabek wasn't his MLB struggles last year. It was that he went back down to AAA-Las Vegas and was even worse.

If a team is willing to take on Blanton at almost all of his salary, the Phillies will NOT be receiving any prospects of note in return. That is an absolute pipe dream to think we could get anything of value for him. It would be a salary dump.

Jack - That is what I think it would amount to largely because of Blanton's elbow status and impending FA to a lesser degree.

If it is a straight-out salary dump so the Phils have the cash to potentially sign an Oswalt or make a move at the deadline, it's a foolish move.

If they trade Blanton then they must acquire another 3/4 starter type of guy. The Phillies are weak in the catchers department. With their best prospect been at least 3 years away. No secret Tuffy and company are 3rd string emergency call up catchers. If Utley knees are as healthy as a 90 year old then Galvis may need to be called up. I could see a trade Blanton for Travis and another MLB ready or near ready prospect.

Jack - Blanton alone, yes. I think the thought -- which may be a pipe dream as well since most trade speculation is -- is that he's part of a package with others players.

Not looking good Juan. more relief pitcher type prospects think we have enough relief pitchers both prospects and formers...unless its someone who is a almost sure fire thing...we need positional players

"I could see a trade Blanton for Travis and another MLB ready or near ready prospect."

No chance in hell. Not even in 2008 is Blanton worth a guy like D'Arnaud. D'Arnaud is the best C prospect in baseball right now according to many.

Blanton and Galvis aren't getting d'Arnard. If it is say Brown and Blanton for d'Arnard and a second-tier prospect or two, then you probably have the more realistic basis for a starting point in a discussion.

I'm confused as to why the Blue Jays are trading Travis D'Arnaud for anybody.

Jack - I think it what you hinted at. Phils are just trying to dump Blanton and his salary, Jays could use a veteran starter, and were checking up on Blanton to see what he looked like yesterday.

I would think Galvis is one of the least likely candidates to be traded anytime soon, considering the combined 5 disabled list trips for Utley, Rollins, and Polanco last year, and the questionable abilities of Michael Martinez. I also have doubts the Phillies or Manuel would want any part of a guy like Escobar, whose work ethic has been called into question repeatedly in his career.

"Blanton and Galvis aren't getting d'Arnard. If it is say Brown and Blanton for d'Arnard and a second-tier prospect or two, then you probably have the more realistic basis for a starting point in a discussion."

Yeah, this and the possibility of simply dumping Blanton on the Jays are the possibilities I was discussing.

Jack - It's mentioned in JW's header. Jays have Arencibia.

Amaro was true to his word about Galvis all of a sudden seeing a ton of time at 2B. It's his 3rd start at 2B in the last few games.

I almost wonder if Amaro doesn't think that highly of Mini-Mart while Cholly likes him.

On a separate note, its early spring training yet but these lineups the Phils are trotting out vary to blah to pathetic. I would say today's is closer to pathetic.

Shut it lady.

She probably isn't going to advertise the huge amount of strip clubs in St. Petes/Tampa Bay area or the huge number of escorts/prostitutes.

Porcello has really good stuff Wheels? I know its spring training but no need for that level of fluff.

Qualls just looks bad. He's landing off-balance, looks like something is wrong.

Play that JRoll makes with routinely even 2 years ago. Noticed that he has lost a step going to his right into the hole for balls.

Breaking News!!! 32 year old man not as fast as 30 year old man!!

gobaystars - It is a big deal because the Phils signed JRoll to a 3-year (4-year extension) in large parts because of his defensive value.

It's not a big deal because you were waiting all spring to rip rollins for anything.

Sophist: You would really have to LOVE Arencibia's defense in order to keep him and his .282 OBP (and .319 in the minors) at age 26 over D'Arnaud, who projects to be above-average both offensively and defensively.

Blanton alone being traded would have to be a straight salary dump at this point, and at that, the Phils would have to eat a significant portion of his salary.

If they could put together a package of Blanton, Brown, Galvis, and maybe another very good prospect, and some cash for D'Arnaud and Escobar, maybe that could get done.

And if the Phils could somehow swing a trade for D'Arnaud, that would mean Valle starts splitting time at catcher and third base, looking to the future.


Was Juan Pierre brought in to show the guys how not to do it. Is he the reverse Thome?

Pierre with the small ball fail on the bunt to get the runners over.

Posednik has looked better in camp so far from what I have seen.

Thome routinely takes grounders on a chair too? Awesome.

Imagine playing fungo with Utley and Thome both on lawn chairs.

Juan Pierre is just a very good baseball player anymore. The things people think he's good at (defense, basestealing, "small ball"), he really isn't all that good at. He consistently leads the league in caught stealing percentage, his range is diminished at this point (and he never had an arm), and while he led the league in sac bunts last year, he also had a worse perecentage of successful sacrifices than Roy Halladay.

Wow, I managed to screw that post up with a key omission. Obviously I meant that Juan Pierre is NOT a very good baseball player anymore.

This is a nice little game we've got here.

Jack - You don't have to love anyone or anything, but if you have a fairly competent starter you'll be more inclined than otherwise to trade a hot, unproven commodity for something you might value more. Maybe the Phils can pull that off. Maybe they can't. But it's in the news. If the Jays think Arencibia is a mediocre placeholder until the second coming of Jack Bench, then you are right. But nothing is that clear cut.

Pierre is not that good anymore true. But, like a relief pitcher, he has value if used just right. I just don't trust that he'll be managed perfectly -- no player is -- so I'd rather see his roster spot go to a less flawed player.

But he can play all OF positions and is a year removed from hitting .275/.341 (unless he's speed is just gone, he's probably still a ~.275 hitter). In the last 5 years he's stolen about 75% of the bases he's attempted (over 300 attempts). He needs to be more choosy but as a backup, be won't have much choice.

He's the perfect example of a guy advanced stats expose as over-valued, but he still has his uses.

I hated everything you just wrote

Juan Pierre the idea may make this team despite of what Juan Pierre the player does.

Has Pete Orr ever played OF? He does pretty much what Pierre does but better.

Nix dropping catchers in the Grapefruit League! Boom!

Nix for player of the game.

Jack - Yeah and Pierre has demonstrated now a few times in spring training already including getting thrown out once and failing to drop a bunt successfully in 2 ABs.

Kind of surprised me that for a guy who has a strong rep for being a good bunter that he looked so hesitant at the plate.

Posdenik has the inside nod to get the last roster spot right now but who knows over the next 3 weeks. Both guys will at least another 30-40 ABs this spring and time to show the other stuff you discussed.

I have seen the future of 7th inninng!


We're going to work on small ball
We're going to work on small ball
We're going to work on small ball
We're going to work on small ball
We're going to work on small ball
We're going to work on small ball

Is it really necessary to play extra innings in exhibition games especially on days where teams have a split-squad game somewhere else?

MG- How long do they play? I thought they called it quits after 10 or maybe 11.

Last half right now. The managers discuss it and decide together based on how many pitchers they have left and what they feel like doing.

Bubba - They play a maximum of more than 10 innings in any spring training.

Just never really understood why. If the home team doesn't take it on the 9th, just call it a draw & move on.

Bubba - What gobaystars said. I just meant it is incredibly unusual you see them play more than 10 innings in spring training.

Gobaystars!: Orr has played in the OF, yes. Some LF in MLB, some RF and CF in MiLB. I have to think that the ceiling is much higher with a guy like Pierre or Podsednik than with Orr though, right?

I expect there are a number of guys in camp who are happy there are extra at bats and chances to play, and that the coaches don't mind, either. The only issue is pitchers.

Mayberry got thrown out on a pitch today that if he had gotten a better jump he should have been in safely.

2 CS of the spring and Phils now stand at 8 SB, 5 CS with Podsednik leading the way with 3 SBs (0 CS).

I could care less if veterans like Vic/JRoll aren't running that much this spring but this does seem to be a team that really could use a guy to teaching baserunning/base stealing to some of the younger guys especially the likes of Mini Mart and Mayberry.

Also haven't seen much in the way of 'small ball' either from the games I have caught including many bunts/sacs (whopping 1 so far from Frandsen according to the MLB stats), hit & run/run & hit, or aggressive base running with a few exceptions.

I know it is hard to take away much from these odd-lineups with several regulars missing (Chooch, Utley, Polanco, Howard) but it seems like Cholly is going to be content again to largely eschew small ball again this year.

Delightful rumors. I'd rather trade Kendrick and kick in no cash.

Got a slightly gloating text from a Tiger fan today that the Tigers got six hits off Cliff Lee. I responded "Who cares?"
Does it really matter what a Lee or Halladay do in Spring Training or should I slightly worry?

derekcarstairs - KK supposedly looks good today.

I rather move Blanton for several reasons including serious concerns about his elbow holding up this year, his impending FA, and the greater amt of cash that is freed up even if the Phils have to kick in $2M to move him.

I'll give a little rundown on the Phils/Yanks game in Tampa today.

Kendrick looked really sharp. Got some swing-and-misses. Threw his changeup a lot and got some outs with it to lefty's and righties. His cutter looks a lot better. Was using almost exclusively against LH. Got in on the handle a few times. Also jammed A-Rod in the 3rd, with a nice backup cutter on his hands. Very solid outing. Only blemish was he screwed up a run-down play in his final inning.

Hyatt got himself into trouble in the 4th inning. Got the first 2 outs with ease, then lost his command and looked a little nervous. A HBP, 2 walks and then fell behind with the bases loaded and grooved one that Dickerson stroked to RF for a 2 RBI single. After that, he regained his composure and looked fine. His changeup is a very good pitch. There is a huge MPH difference in it from his fastball (89-90 MPH with the fastball and in the low 70's with the change).

Nothing much to speak of on the hitters. The Yanks threw Sabathia, Mariano and Boone Logan against the Phils AAA lineup. So the lack of offense is to be expected. Podsednik looked good in a couple of AB's and made a nice running catch in LF (a ball that Brown would have likely butchered). Still pretty early, but Pods looks better then Pierre.

Mini Mart just about threw 2 balls away at SS, with low throws. Good plays by Wigginton helped him out. He seems to be aiming every throw, no matter where he plays in the field.

Dump Tubby for salary reasons or for Travis (which would be like a hooker giving you free cash on Younge Street; my Toronto reference), good deal.
Dump Tubby to pick up Tractor Fella, no way.

Drop heavy B in a heartbeat.

"Has Pete Orr ever played OF? He does pretty much what Pierre does but better."

I'm not a Juan Pierre fan, but you've got to be kidding with this post, right?

I've reconsidered my Orr comment. All he brings is actual speed. If that's what Pierre is here for than Orr is better at it. If Pierre can do other stuff then Pierre can stay. neither is very good and I'm not that worried about who stays. Also, Orr iss better than Martinez. Although, I'd rather Galvis make the team than any of the above.

Sucking Monkey Ballz in 2012
Pete Orr > Juan Pierre > MiniMart > Qualls

The Phillies reportedly say they'd kick in up to $2M of Blanton's $8M salary in a trade. I, frankly, can't see anyone paying $6M for Blanton -- especially at this late stage in the off-season when GMs have generally already used up their allotted budget. But if the Phillies could find someone to take on $6M of his salary, I don't think they'd care what they got in return -- which would be, essentially, nothing.

What would the Phillies then do with that 6mil? That's the question. If they use it for Oswalt or a midseason pickup then that's fine but if they trade Blanton for nothing to pocket 6mil then I am not a fan of this move at all.
On a related note, I'm surprised more poeple haven't sided with JRoll on his comments about the Phillies being able to afford Cole and everyone else.

Apparently Cholly was non too pleased by Pierre's small-ball failings either:

“We’re still looking at some of these guys,” Manuel said. “We want to see what some of them can do. Even the ones we had high interest in. This ain’t no 'gimme' BS. When we talk about winning, we want to put the best team possible on the field. Play good defense and execute for our pitching staff so when we get in one-run games we can win them.

“You’ve got to show you can play baseball the right way.”

I have a feeling that sticks with Cholly. Scratch Pierre off the list.

Of course I have no idea why Cholly lives Mini Mart so much when he is single-handedly the worst fundamental player in camp getting a lot of time. He certainly didn't saying anything when Mini-Mart ran into the first out the other day at 3B which even got Wheels notably upset in a tie game late with the Pirates.

I haven't exactly seen the Phils playing much small ball either in camp so far either including putting runners in motion, etc.

Apparently Amaro was at the Yanks' game today to watch KK today too.

Can't remember a single player that a Phils' GM has almost tried to get rid of as soon as he resigned him (Blanton).

Gillick wanted to get rid of Burrell the second he became the GM but he didn't sign Burrell's deal.

It's just odd. Maybe a bully who looks like Blanton beat up Amaro as a kid or some hillbilly gave Amaro a really tough time on the road at some point.

gobay: I agree that Orr is faster, and a better baserunner, than Pierre. But, with only 5 bench spots, I really can't see giving a spot to someone whose sole asset is speed. Pierre is a a limited, one-dimensional hitter, but he can hit for decent average and he has the flexibility to hit against both LHP & RHP. Of course, the same is true of Podsednik, who I like more than Pierre.

Gobay: I don't think they can possibly know at this point what they would do with the $6M in salary savings. The point is, though, it would give them some flexibility to make mid-season moves, as we get into the season and their needs become apparent.

I think it comes down to this: they are paying Blanton $8M to be, arguably, the 6th best guy in a 5-man rotation. That is just a poor allocation of resources, especially when they have serviceable guys like Pineiro, Misch, and Bush as injury insurance.

BAP - Have you seen Misch or Bush pitch this spring? Bush has been piss poor both times out and pitches again Tues. Looks more like a guy who gets outright released then even assigned to AAA Lehigh at this point.

I agree with gobaystars. I would be disappointed to see them move Blanton just to save cash for some potential move at the deadline.

Thome to play 4-5 inn. at 1st in Minor L. game monday. Nothing like someone w/a bad back taking wild throws from kids.

I am all about the b move. Slide in KK and the pen will be a little more formidable. Move quails to 6 inn guy. I don't want him anywhere near 7th or 8th. Pap truck bastardo stues herd or shiwm and q.Jake d stuff has been nasty. Aumont up and down. Looks good one inn then no good. Shame Justin was hurt. He def could have been in mix for pen job.

Scott p looks like a man who wants a job. And Juan is willing to give it away. He looked awful last few games. Like what I have been seeing from nix and wiggy so far. Saw James struck out on that curve. Welcome to big league pitching son.

MG: I don't have enough information to tell you whether or not I'd be in favor of trading Blanton for nothing but salary relief. What I need to know is: if payroll stands as it is, will management be willing to spend the additional money that would likely be needed to make a significant mid-season acquisition? If yes, then I agree with you; there's no point in trading Blanton just for a salary dump. But if the Phillies feel like they are already tapped out as far as spending, then I think the $6M in extra spending money would be of more value to the Phillies than a 5th starter who, arguably, isn't even as good as our 6th starter & probably isn't much better than our 7th starter (Pineiro).

Orr maybe faster but can the dude hit. Gotta hit in order for speed to even count or BB. Pierre may not be a starter anymore but can the dude hit at least.

i don't want Oswald back

I can never keep track of MG's position on Blanton. Just a few weeks ago he wanted to move him but didn't think he could pass another team's physical- now he thinks it would be a mistake to move him after 4-5 innings of pitching in spring training.

And why is it a mystery that Rube would want to move this guy? The minute he signed the extension his career went completely in the tank.

I'd rather move Blanton and his whole salary to open up chances to acquire deadline help, or even go to an extension to one of the handful of players they might be short on cash to secure.

But if they end up having to eat portions of his salary just to dump him for no return, then you might as well keep him around to eat up his normal 200IP of ~4.50 ERA and keep your pen that much more healthy/unexposed.

Iceman: So then it was a terrible move extending him?

Jack- it's not that simple. In hindsight, it was an awful move. At the time it seemed like a slight overpay for a guy that had proven to be a reliable #4 over a fair number of years.

However if you had your crystal ball out at the time and could foresee Blanton's production falling off a cliff and sudden elbow problems for a 28 year-old pitcher with 6 straight seasons of 30+ starts, then pat yourself on the back.

the phils have depth at starting pitching. they could trade blanton or kk even up for travis!look at it this way the jays need an accomplished starter, they have depth at catcher. it's a fit if i was a GM i'd make that trade asap. if i was the GM of the phils or jays! if it's kk the phils don't eat any money if it's joe then maybe they eat 2 mil. they need a starter and we need depth at catcher what part is so hard about digesting this? why would the phils have to throw in galvis, brown etc etc so everybody here can complain we gave up too much?

Great idea: I can envision the phone call between Rube and Anthopoulos.

"Alex, you need a starting pitcher and we need catching depth. How about we trade you a pitcher coming off elbow problems with the ceiling of a fourth starter to you for one of the best prospects in baseball?"

"Sure Rube! Sounds fair to me!"

I think the Phils would be dumb to not also ask for Gose in that scenario.

Blanton doesn't appear to have much trade value this Spring. Maybe by mid-season, if he proves his health and effectiveness, he can net you a guy or two who could have a future.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the prevailing sentiment in some quarters that they need to dump Blanton's salary, now, in the hopes that they can sign Oswalt in June or July. Dump rotation depth in the form of a 31 year old coming off injury while planning to sign a 34 year old guy coming off injury, who can sign anywhere that wants him, and shortening your roster in the near term. I recognize Oswalt's resume is much better than Blanton's but, it still seems fanciful.

***I think the Phils would be dumb to not also ask for Gose in that scenario.***

They should have AA toss in Bautista too...I mean, he's pretty much surplus for the Jays now that they have Lawrie at 3B and they can toss BenFran in LF instead.

Make it happen rube!

Yeah i agree with Iceman. The Blanton move didn't look to good when it was made, but it surely didnt look like it would be a total meltdown as it has.

Would have been hard to imagine the influx of pitching the Phils would see after that Blanton signing, making any negative aspect of him look even worse.

If we traded Blanton to the Blue Jays, their best offer would be Ben Francisco.

As we all know, pitching depth is very important. Thus, it makes me reluctant to advocate trading any effective pitcher given injuries. etc. Sure, if you have enough depth then maybe you do it, but many teams have seen multiple guys break down and miss the playoffs because of it.

For those who argue that we dump Joe Blanton I offer three words:

Remember Paul Abbott!

If Amaro could trade Blanton for anything of value it'd be an achievement. But I'm not for trading Blanton just to trade him, only if they are getting something worthwhile or freeing up money for Rube's annual, mid-season add an all-star extravaganza.

awh: Even if we traded Blanton, we'd still have a 6th starter, in Pineiro, who would be a No. 4 for most teams. Plus we've got Bush and Misch at AAA and, while neither is a world beater, they're still considerably better than the likes of Paul Abbott.

The bottom line is that Blanton, KK, and Pineiro are all about equal. Hence, we are paying $8M for the luxury of having not just one, but two, viable injury replacements. That is an insane allocation of resources for a team who has 4 old, injury-riddled infielders and who is currently relying on either Galvis or Mini-Mart as the first line of insurance. If we could get $6M in salary relief that would help us make mid-season acquisitions, it would be of far more value to us than a 7th starter.

"The bottom line is that Blanton, KK, and Pineiro are all about equal"

Was this supposed to be followed by a punchline? At this point in their careers, Pinero and KK are equals?

Who is this chode on the radio with Franzke?

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