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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Comments

Will: "I have to chuckle at the argument that we shouldn't trade Hamels because we'll never get anything of value from a contending ballclub in need of one of the best LHP in baseball. As if no team has ever fleeced another by trading them a rental.
What did a half season of Larry Andersen cost Boston again?
Frankly, I'd be satisfied with a 3B prospect that can field and hit for league average. It's better than nothing."

This is typical from someone who knows very little about baseball. A half season of Hamels would yield a prospect in a trade. Keeping Hamels all season long yields a supplemental first round draft pick.

In both cases the yield would be a crapshoot, given the chances of any one prospect becoming a good MLB player. You might get Bagwell in the trade. Or you might get him in the draft (he was a 4th rounder).

My only point is that those, like Will, who claim that trading Hamels will yield value and keeping him won't, don't know what they're talking about. As usual.

Good analysis of Dom Brown by MG at end of last thread.

If he pans out, he'll be a solid player, not a star. I think he can learn to play league-average defense. There's time.

I'd like for the Phils to take the rest of this year as a developmental season for guys like Brown and Gillies (when he's healthy again). Phils need to get an idea of who they can count on next year before they start messing around with aging veterans who are over priced.

A down season like this might be needed for the long term success of this franchise if they handle it the correct way. Selective selling along with some minor league promotions. Do not try any patch work by trading off the future.

clout - Aren't they likely to be better off getting a player who contributes at the MLB level if they trade Hamels than a draft pick (especially if it is a high school pitcher)? Odds definitely say so.

Not advocating that but Will has a decent point.

MG: Yes, the player they get in a trade would certainly be closer to MLB ready. But if we're dealing Hamels we're basically in 3-4 year rebuild mode, no?

MG: Or maybe I'm missing the point. Are you and Will saying that the Phils should tarde Hamels, not as part of rebuilding, but to IMPROVE the team so it can make the playoffs this year?

Hard to believe anyone would think that.

Tyson Gillies:

.264/.312/.388 (.700 OPS) in 273 ABs at Reading in '11-'12 so far. Even this year he only has a .750 OPS. He's another guy who is fast but is a lousy baserunner.

No reason at all he gets called up this year. Gillies might have a future as a backup CF because he is pretty good defensively but he needs to show more offensively especially since he is minimal power.

That Guy: Are you suggesting that Tyson Gillies should be recalled and put into the Phillies lineup?

If so, why?

Ever since I've heard the Cubs are willing to eat most of Soriano's contract, I've had this strange image in my mind of Amaro taking the bait. It seems like the desperate move that either saves the season or blows up in their face.

I don't think anyone knows which way the Phillies will go this season, and it won't start to clear up for another month. By that point Utley will be finished with his rehab and in the majors or back on the DL. If he looks bad during his rehab assignment or goes back on the DL, then the season is probably over, time to sell. If he comes back strong, I'd say we have a punchers chance.

Isn't the selling from a not ready for prime time team in 2006... selling mediocore players like Bell and Lidle... and a fan lightning rod like Abreu....

much different than selling on Hamels or Lee??? maybe not much different for Vic or Pence who I guess fans have soured on some...

but to me it seems like a completely different situation....

Get healthy...
Lee and Hamels have something like 40 starts for the rest of the season...

Even if they are a little less effective than last year over those next 40 with a returning Halladay... the phils absolutely have a chance to still be in the mix...

I just don't see he how we would be a better team in 2013 by selling. Its highly unlikely you will be able to get Major League ready prospects.

You sell now... you are giving up on 2013 too.

clout - Of course it wouldn't improve the team this year. I just don't think the Phils have a strong chance to sign him given their current payroll.

The move I wanted them to explore was trading Halladay. Went out window though once he went on the DL.

Staff anchored by Hamels/Lee is much more preferable than one by Halladay/Lee moving ahead forward.

Scotch: If Amaro had no interest in signing Abreu, a LH hitter they desperately need, as a free agent why in the world would you think he'd trade for Soriano, who is a worse player and RH????

I agree with JBird

"People who think Brown is going to be a franchise-caliber player and an offensive stud are sorely mistaken. He's got the potential to be a solid power who hits for a high average with moderate power (20-25 HRs) and good speed."

I don't think Brown is likely to reach the peak you describe, but I would argue that high average, moderate power, good speed, and Brown's plate discipline is absolutely an offensive stud.

You're talking about something like .300/.380/.520 with speed. That's like Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran last year: top 15 offensive players in baseball.

Who has said anything about moving Lee? Hamels is the issue because of his impending FA and the likelihood the Phils won't be able to come up with an offer (~$25M AAV for 6-7 years) that keeps him here after this year.

Maybe we can take a look at the Los Angeles Kings as an example of how to do it. In midseason, they were in turmoil. They replaced their coach, restocked their lineup with bigger guys and barely qualified for the playoffs. They beat the nos. 1, 2 & 3 seeds in their Western Conference playoffs to make the Finals. Last night they won the Stanley Cup.

Let's see, Step One was replacing their head coach. No, Rube will not make this move. Cholly is safe! Hence the Phils are locked into this doldrum pattern and will finish the season near .500 with crap bench players up and down the day to day starting line-up.

clout: While far from a sure thing, surely you would agree that an existing top 50 prospect, with a proven track record at various levels of the minors, is of substantially greater value than a random, non top-15, first round draft pick in the hands of the Phillies. That doesn't strike me as a terribly controversial point.

@MG -- read JW's header:
"Or they could do the opposite and trade players like Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton or even Cliff Lee in an attempt to go young, or get immediate help in areas of need."

Clout: 3-4 year rebuild? I doubt it. You could trade Vic & Hamels and still be able to compete next year if you spend wisely on the available outfield free agents. Halladay-Lee-Worely is a good top of the rotation for 2013. Sign a guy like Upton or bring back Victorino and a #3 starter, spend your savings on the bullpen and 3rd base. Only way 2013-2015 are rebuilding years are if Howard and Utley are toast but they don't retire. Howard's not retiring even if he gets his leg amputated. You know what the mortgage on his Venetian Canal alone is?

"But if we're dealing Hamels we're basically in 3-4 year rebuild mode, no?"

If that's your premise, then we're going to be in that 3-4 year rebuild mode whether we trade him or not.

Players who hit ~20 HRs a year aren't going to SLG .520 typically. Sub. 500. Brown isn't going to be a guy who hits .300 either.

My bet on Brown is that his ceiling is .280/.360/.470 or so. That's still very good but he's a lousy baserunner and likely to struggle defensively.

Basically get a 3-4 WAR win player max. Nice asset to have especially if it is cost controlled but it isn't a player you can build a team around either.

I think the real question isn't, what can we get for Hamels. It's what can we get for Chad Qualls. That is the key to 2013, imho.

MG: so Brown is essentially the next Hunter Pence?

Didn't Salisbury(?) write yesterday about the possiblity that Lee could be moved. He wasn't predicting it would happen, just the fact he it wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world. He'd have to approve the trade, something that may not happen since he was looking for stability.

We can't get squat for Chad Qualls. Or Joe Blanton. If they were of value, we'd be in better shape right now.

I'd explore what we could get for any of our good players, but Amaro damn well better do his homework and get good, fair value back for them if he trades any of them away.

MG: A half year of Hamels isn't going to get you a Jason Heyward quality prospect. Two and a half years of Halladay might.

Jason Heyward was the #5 prospect in baseball in 2009 and #1 in 2010. I don't think anyone is expecting to get that for Hamels or even Halladay. I think the 2 guys mentioned most here have been Olt and Castellanos who came in #43 & 45 on this past offseason's Baseball America list

"That Guy: Are you suggesting that Tyson Gillies should be recalled and put into the Phillies lineup?

If so, why"

Yes, I'm advocating Gillies get a call up at some point this year. He's already on the 40. He's probably the organization's #1 CF prospect. His defense is MLB ready. His power hasn't shown up yet but he's already showing an abilitiy to get on base with negligible platoon splits. Who knows, maybe if Galvis got a chance before everyone annointed him as ready we could have saved 33mm last offseason.

My point is I'd like to take inventory in 2012. You don't get that oppurtunity if you are frontrunning with an expectation of winning the WS. Those expecations should not be there this season so take advantage.

I want to see JC Ramirez up here at some point as well. Aumount still a WIP so I don't think a call-up this year makes sense unless he shows more consitency.

I happen to believe the Phillies are in rebuild mode right now, it's simply a matter of degrees. Keep Hamels, make a couple of good deals & maybe (if the team can remain mostly healthy) stay in the hunt in '13 & '14. Or trade Hamels, try to move Halladay &/or Lee as well, & basically start over. The question is whether or not r00b realizes this. If he thinks he had a championship-caliber team save for the fact Galvis & Polanco hit the DL, the Phillies are screwed.

***A half year of Hamels isn't going to get you a Jason Heyward quality prospect. ***

What level of prospect was Smoak or LaPorta when they were traded? Maybe not Heyward level (Top 5) but they were both Top 25 level guys traded for a 2 month rental of a top SP.

They could probably get a guy like Mike Olt for him...and even a throw-in B/C level guy is one were to use those as benchmarks. Sure, neither Smoak nor LaPorta have panned out but they were still top rated at the time of those trades.

Hamels for prospects in a trade with a contender at the deadline, then go all in for him after the WS? Isn't that "win/win"? Cole gets to pitch for a pennant, and the Phils get prospects; and the Phils try to entice him in November?

I suppose I've given up on this year. However, I agree with b_a_p:

clout: While far from a sure thing, surely you would agree that an existing top 50 prospect, with a proven track record at various levels of the minors, is of substantially greater value than a random, non top-15, first round draft pick in the hands of the Phillies. That doesn't strike me as a terribly controversial point.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Whatever. This season really stinks. When a 22-year old 2nd basemen exits with a pars fracture, "bad juju" makes as much sense as anything.

***He's probably the organization's #1 CF prospect.***

Which tells you more about the decrepit state of our minor-league system than Gillies overall future in the Majors.

Would the vast majority of people be outraged by a Lee trade? I for one would not be. I get the direction that I feel is needed for this team right now. There are however so many people with an impenetrable man-love for Lee.

There is not a single player on the roster that I would be outraged about trading...as long as we actually got a great return.

There is not a single player on the roster that I would be outraged about trading ... as long as we actually got a great return.

Exactly. The tricky part is mixing "Ruben Amaro, Jr." w/ "great return".

Jbird: "3-4 year rebuild? I doubt it. You could trade Vic & Hamels and still be able to compete next year if you spend wisely on the available outfield free agents."

They could trade Victorino and be in the same position to compete now that they were before the trade. Brown would be a substantial offensive upgrade vs. RHP (Victorino: .235/.311/.342 vs. RHP), and Mayberry would make a perfect platoon partner in CF.

The bigger question is whether they can get a meaningful return for Victorino given the down season he's having and the fact that he's a 3-month rental. Toronto, Baltimore, and the Yankees (given Gardner's recent setback in rehab) could all use him, so maybe they'd get someone useful back.

There is not a single player on the roster that I would be outraged about trading...as long as we actually got a great return.

Posted by: NEPP

Yeah this is where I'm at too.

I dont think its possible for Rube to pull off a good trade like that.

Lee is the only player who would command a "major" prospect package at this point, where you're getting at least one pretty good bet of a prospect back.

I'd be outraged if we traded Mini-Mart.

Lee is owed way too much to demand a major prospect package. You'd have to throw in a significant amount of cash.

We could get a great future closer (Aumont), middle of the rotation arm (Ramirez) and speedy starting CF (Gillies) if we play our cards right.

I'd be sad to see Lee go (& I'll be sad if Hamels is traded), but if the return was huge, then I'd understand. I think trading Lee or Halladay really would signal a multi-year rebuild and I'd be a little upset about that because I don't know if that is really necessary. Fans fantasize about trading off a bunch of roster pieces and then signing a bunch of free agents (ie trade Halladay, sign Greinke in the offseason), but it rarely ever happens that way. Lee's contract is big enough and long enough that he's not going anywhere.

Step 1: Turn Fair Trades Mode Off
Step 2: Trade Chad Qualls to DC for Harper
Step 3: Trade Mini Mart to LAA for Trout
Step 4: ???
Step 5: Profit!!!

The thing about Halladay & Lee is r00b went through all manner of chicanery to get them. I don't consider it realistic to believe he'll try to move either one, even should that prove a wise course of action.

Lee is the only player who would command a "major" prospect package at this point, where you're getting at least one pretty good bet of a prospect back.

Posted by: J. Weitzel | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Even with that contract? Yes he'd get a great return, but there would only be a limited amount of teams even in the running, so you have to factor that in. A lot of things would have to come into place. I actually believe that as of right this moment, the easiest player to trade is Pence. I don't see why the Phils wouldn't be able to get back close to what they go in giving him up, especially considering the smaller pool of sellers in the 2nd WC era.

Lee will turn 34 this season and is under contract for 4 more season at $25M+ in each season. If you put him on the trade market, you are talking about an extremely narrow universe of teams that would be in position to bid on him.

NEPP: You probably could get a Smoak or a LaPorta for Hamels. How often does that level of prospect pan out, versus the expected value of two draft picks? How does that relate to the value of a 10-15% chance at making the playoffs if they stand pat (hypothetically - the chance could be much lower or higher by late July)? What is the value of the inside track on negotiating with Hamels?

I'm not trying to imply a particular answer - just pointing out that there is a lot to think about here.

Yeah Ruben would really have to remodel his bedroom if he traded Doc. Those Doc posters and fatheads are stuck on those walls pretty good if you know what I mean.

Lee also has a limited no-trade clause that likely blocks trades to several of those possible targets as he does not want to play there. I would put good money on NYY, BOS and TEX all being on his list as he has had a stated interest to not play for any of the 3.

Kinda hard to trade him at that point for anything even resembling value.

Halladay would get your better prospects back than Lee, because his contract is more team-friendly (and a better pitcher). If Halladay came back healthy with a couple good starts before the trade deadline, he would net you better prospects.

But it's a moot point, because Amaro will not trade these guys.

Lee will turn 34 this season and is under contract for 4 more season at $25M+ in each season. If you put him on the trade market, you are talking about an extremely narrow universe of teams that would be in position to bid on him.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Geez, the more i think about it, the more i have to wonder about this contract. Maybe I just missed the boat on this, but this is actually a pretty scary contract. Feel free to kill me for just realizing this now, or if you disagree, you can kill me for thinking this has the potential to be a terrible contract.

38 years old at the end of it, and the guy keeps missing time for reoccuring oblique strains.

I haven't given up on this season completely, though I'm starting to lean that way. I'm not actually worried about this season. It's next year and beyond that concern me. One down year isn't the end of the world. However, if Rube isn't careful, nuclear winter could be approaching. Rube has shown his forte to be throwing gobs of cash at a problem. It now looks likely that that will no longer be an option. Does he have what it takes to make shrewd moves without a bushel full of prospects and an open checkbook? The next 6 or 7 months could decide Rube's legacy. Good luck Pal.

"I don't see why the Phils wouldn't be able to get back close to what they go in giving him up."

No way. For one thing, they significantly overpaid. No other team in baseball would have given up that type of package for Pence. For another, they got 2 1/2 years of him, whereas the team that traded for him now would be getting him on a one-year (or one-year, two-month) rental.

If the Phillies plan on being competitive in 2013, trading Pence is a dumb idea. He has his flaws and has become a popular Beerleaguer whipping boy. But the plain fact is that he has an .833 OPS and is easily the best overall hitter on the team. If they trade him away, where on earth are they going to find an .833 OPS replacement? Besides, they already need to fill 2 outfield vacancies next year.

Have i mentioned that this season reminds me of 1979? I did?

Well it does.

Geez, the more i think about it, the more i have to wonder about this contract. Maybe I just missed the boat on this, but this is actually a pretty scary contract. Feel free to kill me for just realizing this now, or if you disagree, you can kill me for thinking this has the potential to be a terrible contract.

38 years old at the end of it, and the guy keeps missing time for reoccuring oblique strains.

Posted by: Five-4-One

Nah you are just realizing it now because you (like many) were just happy to see him back. I'm sure you were enraged he was ever dealt in the first place (a topic we can continue to beat to death) and now you are seeing the crazy price RA Jr. had to pay to put a band-aid on the situation he created.

DH Phils: "You're talking about something like .300/.380/.520 with speed. That's like Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran last year: top 15 offensive players in baseball."

You name the bet, I'll take the under.

Clout: As to the 3-4 year rebuild, where exactly do you think this team is heading now anyway?

Do you think in 2014, with a 34-year old Ryan Howard, a 35-year old Jimmy Rollins, a retired Chase Utley, and a 37-year old Roy Halladay, and with absolutely no prospects at all outside of a long shot in Brown set to be good major-league players at that point, this team is going to be competing?

Face facts here. This team isn't going to be competing for the next bunch of seasons anyway. It's simply a question of when you want to concede that point.

As it stands, given how much they have invested in winning right now, I don't think you can sell. I think you have to make one last run at it if the team can get healthy, and I suppose try for 2013 and hope you get a miracle run out of the new Wheeze Kids. But this thing is over for the few years after that no matter what you do.

I haven't given up on this season completely, though I'm starting to lean that way. I'm not actually worried about this season. It's next year and beyond that concern me. One down year isn't the end of the world. However, if Rube isn't careful, nuclear winter could be approaching. Rube has shown his forte to be throwing gobs of cash at a problem. It now looks likely that that will no longer be an option. Does he have what it takes to make shrewd moves without a bushel full of prospects and an open checkbook? The next 6 or 7 months could decide Rube's legacy. Good luck Pal.

Posted by: donc

Very solid post. I've been saying this about Ruben and his checkbook for the past 2 years. It's not hard to sign a check. It will be interesting to also see how ownership reacts if this downtrend continues on the field. I assume the will tighten back up the purse strings at some point to some degree and then Amaro will have no ammunition.

"I don't see why the Phils wouldn't be able to get back close to what they go in giving him up."

No way. For one thing, they significantly overpaid. No other team in baseball would have given up that type of package for Pence. For another, they got 2 1/2 years of him, whereas the team that traded for him now would be getting him on a one-year (or one-year, two-month) rental.

If the Phillies plan on being competitive in 2013, trading Pence is a dumb idea. He has his flaws and has become a popular Beerleaguer whipping boy. But the plain fact is that he has an .833 OPS and is easily the best overall hitter on the team. If they trade him away, where on earth are they going to find an .833 OPS replacement? Besides, they already need to fill 2 outfield vacancies next year.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ok, maybe I reached a hair on the return package. However, my comment was only to say that he would probably be the easiest player to move. Also, his money could be used to basically replace him in the oufield. The prospect return would still be pretty good. Year and 2 mths is still a decent amount of time, and gives the other team the opportunity to sign long term. My other concern is the longer he stays around, the better the chance the Phils sign him long term and overpay.

Clout: Obviously you take the under on that projection for Brown.

But DH Phils' point was that the way you described him (high average, decent power, good speed, good plate discipline) is a pretty damn good offensive player. So you either have to change your description of him, or acknowledge that you described a guy who would be one of the better offensive players in the game.

DH Phils: "You're talking about something like .300/.380/.520 with speed. That's like Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran last year: top 15 offensive players in baseball."

You name the bet, I'll take the under.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I will also gladly take this action. My paypal is ready.

Nah you are just realizing it now because you (like many) were just happy to see him back. I'm sure you were enraged he was ever dealt in the first place (a topic we can continue to beat to death) and now you are seeing the crazy price RA Jr. had to pay to put a band-aid on the situation he created.

Posted by: Joe D | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Yeah, it was nice to have him back. To be honest, I wanted them to use the money to sign a bat, but still, it was nice to have hime back.

@ Joe D
"There are however so many people with an impenetrable man-love for Lee."

I for one would prefer having an impenetrable man-love rather than one that ispenetrable .

but hey thats just me.

It will be interesting to see what the budget is for next year given that attendance will likely be down and if we miss the playoffs, that is a huge chunk of revenue they lose out on. It becomes far, far harder if Rube's budget is suddenly slashed to $150-160 million or even lower.

DH Phils was projecting numbers *based on Clout's description of Brown*. DH Phils didn't just project those numbers--he took Clout's own description of Brown's skills and put them in number form. Then Clout says his projections are crazy and tries to bet him that they're wrong.

That's hilarious. Does no one else see that? Clout basically just bet against himself.

Ruben is going to go from Jordans to Keds and the Jordans haven't even suited him well.

At the time of the trade, LaPorta was the #23 prospect on BA's list. Smoak was #13. Te equivalent prospects on the 2012 list were Tyler Skaggs of the D'backs (#13) and Mike Montgomery of the Royals(#23). Montgomery has kinda tanked already and neither of those teams is in a position to want Hamels for a 1/2 season, and the Phillies probably want hitters (I hope). Nearest hitters to those rankings are Cespedes(#14) & Bubba Starling (#24). But they again come from teams who won't be in the hunt. Nearest prospects from teams that might be: #17 Travis d'Arnaud (Tor) & #31 Martin Perez (Tex). Olt & Castellanos are hitting well this year, but maybe hoping for that much return is actually underselling Hamels (I'd rather have Olt or Castellanos than Perez who has underperformed the scouting reports at nearly every level).

5-4-1: If you acquire a marquee player via free agency, it's going to be a potentially terrible contract. Literally, every last one of them. Your choices are to either avoid big-ticket free agents altogether, or to target guys whom you believe are lower-risk than others. I happen to think Lee is a little less risky than most because a pitcher with pinpoint control stands a good chance of having continued success into his late 30s. But he's still a huge risk.

Have i mentioned that this season reminds me of 1979? I did?

Well it does.

This is a lot more like '84 or '85 than '79. The run is done.

By the way, I believe that Amaro was quoted in late 2008, when he took the job, as saying that if he couldn't put a winning team out on the field with the current payroll (2009: $131 million), then he wasn't doing his job.

Well, we've got a $170 million payroll and a losing team out on the field.

BAP, good post. I realize the inflated value of pretty much all contracts. I actually think the basis of my amazement is that I didn't realize how old Lee is.

Jack: The original post was from MG, but yes, you are absolutely right that .300/.380/.520 is definitively NOT my projection for Brown.

clout: You managed, in one fell swoop, to misrepresent 3 things about my ~50 word post:

- leaving out the part where I say "I don't think Brown is likely to reach the peak you describe"
- leaving out the context that shows I am clearly talking about MG's peak projection, which is nobody in the world's best guess over-under projection
- partially quoting me so that my "You're talking about..." looks like a general "you", when the "you" is specifically referring to MG

Very efficient misrepresentation and misunderstanding.

"So you either have to change your description of him, or acknowledge that you described a guy who would be one of the better offensive players in the game. "

Jack - if you want to know what clout thinks his description looks like in numbers, why don't you ask him, rather than insist that his description looks like numbers he says aren't in line with his projection?

I'd use some choice terms to describe what you're doing, but I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm "changing the tone" of the blog or writing insults or vitriol.

Damn hand-wringing mouth breathers.

Phlippers here.

The funny thing is that our biggest off-season signing in 2012/2013 might very well be the $8.3 million in contract increases to KK/Pap/Lee/Chooch*.

*assuming they pick up his option...a no-brainer.

DH Phils: I can't count the number of times I have written a post in which I stated a premise, then expressly disagreed with that premise, then had clout call me a moron for stating the premise.

"There is not a single player on the roster that I would be outraged about trading...as long as we actually got a great return.

Posted by: NEPP

Yeah this is where I'm at too."

Chooch, too? Yikes...

My rational side says, 'they're only a 5-game winning streak from being back in the picture.'

Then I push on and say, 'but how the hell can a team with this starting pitching (Worley's hurt and basically a 5-6 inning guy, Blanton is leaking oil, and Lee and Hamels have seemed deflated by the losing), defense, pen, and hitting actually win five games in a row?

BAP: "If the Phillies plan on being competitive in 2013, trading Pence is a dumb idea. ... If they trade him away, where on earth are they going to find an .833 OPS replacement? Besides, they already need to fill 2 outfield vacancies next year."

This. Pence is an above-average RF option, and they don't have to sign to a long-term deal this offseason to have him in 2013. If better options surface (e.g., Josh Hamilton wants to play in Philly), he can be traded in the offseason for a solid return. They'd have to be bowled over (e.g., a return like what RAJ sent to Houston) to deal Pence now.

The question of whether the Phils should be in full-rebuilding mode is academic. It's not going to happen. The Phils can't support their enormous payroll unless they fill CBP every night, and they're about to negotiate their next cable contract. A full rebuild might be more detrimental to the franchise's long-term financial fortunes than trying to compete in 2012-13 and worrying about tomorrow when it arrives.

It's a shame the Phils are at the luxury-tax threshold, because Kevin Youkilis would be a great fit for a 2012-13 reload if he's healthy enough to play 3B. Depending on Boston's OF injury issues, Victorino might be a good swap for Youkilis, as their salaries aren't that far apart ($9.5M for Shane vs. $12M for Youk). At least Youk would be another 3B option for 2013 (there's a $13M team option with a $1M buyout); the free-agent market is likely to have Polanco at the top of the list.

Before anyone jumps in and says we should be trading Victorino for prospects, I don't see him fetching more than middling prospects (think the Abreu deal). They'll have to deal one of Hamels/Doc/Lee to get top-notch prospects in return.

If Payroll stays the same, the Phillies will have around $30 million to fill 3B, CF and 1 SP while also signing Pence in his final year of arbitration.


Kinda hard to see how that happens. Also, Bastardo is arb eligible next year so there's another okay chunk of money gone from that $30 Million figure.

Jack - "In 2014...with absolutely no prospects at all outside of a long shot in Brown set to be good major-league players at that point..."

It's hard to predict with any certainty that the Phils' farm system will produce zero good players outside of the longshot Dom Brown by 2014. In 2009 I'm pretty sure nobody expected a Vance Worley by 2011, for instance.

2 years is just about an eternity on the prospect clock...many will arise, many will disappear in that amount of time.

***2 years is just about an eternity on the prospect clock...many will arise, many will disappear in that amount of time***

That's a very good point.

As Fata has said, IF we could conclude with a high degree of certainty that the team is out of it before the trading deadline occurs, then it's worth it to consider trading Hamels, as in theory you could either re-sign him at the end of the season for the same amount anyway, or you could take the money you aren't giving it to him and use it to sign someone else. I theory, no matter whether it is a sure-lock prospect or just a good prospect who has a marginal chance to turn into a pro (or a solid young player that is already established).

The down side there is that you will be committing some resources to a player offered from a limited pool - only those offered in return in a trade as opposed to, at the end of the season, using those same resources to acquire someone from a wider pool.

Of course, the key there is the determination of whether or not the team is really "out of it," and it is highly likely that they won't be "out of it" by the trading deadline - at least for those fans that aren't congenitally predisposed to be overly negative in their outlook.

If the Phillies aren't "out of it" by the trading deadline, is there anyone in their right mind that thinks that Hamels should be traded?

2 years is just about an eternity on the prospect clock...many will arise, many will disappear in that amount of time.

Better yet, a few will arise, many will disappear ...

Where did this guy ColonelTom come from and why is he posting here? His posts make sense

Chris: Guys that could be helping a championship team at the major-league level?

I don't disagree that there are guys in the Phils' system who could turn into top prospects--Jesse Biddle, for instance, is probably close to already being one.

But the chances of Jesse Biddle helping the Phillies win a title in 2014 is tiny. Even if he were to make the majors in that season, he probably would not be an impact player. And position players, even moreso than pitchers, rarely are impact players in their first taste of major-league ball.

You are right about Worley, but that's the exception far more than the rule (and Worley wasn't even in the postseason rotation, though obviously he would've been on every other MLB team). I bet there are some minor-league pitchers who will contribute to the Phillies, at least in the bullpen, by 2014. I'd be shocked if any position player, outside of Brown, became good enough to make an impact on a playoff-caliber 2014 lineup (I'm not including Galvis).

Galvis is no longer a prospect as he has 200 MLB PA. He's now just an MLB player...FWIW.

So is Brown for that matter.

And I think Brown is a longshot, as well. I'm just saying he's the only guy who is close to major-league ready and might possible have quality major-league talent.

Maybe Tyson Gillies suprises and becomes a sensation, or the 2014 infield of Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez shocks the world.

But that strikes me as a really, really small possibility.

I don't quite understand these people who say keep Cole and ride it? If we are 10 back in wc sell sell sell. Cards got in because epic collapse and our division was weak. That being said we would have to jump all our teams and keep eye on giants. No way. When other teams get desperate and see a window to make move rube( this won't happen) has to be fast and keep other teams in loop. Say tigers are three out or Texas who in three ahead. They need to make the move because yanks and rays aren't going away and best chance will be at division. So moving Cole and Shane is a way to get a good prospect and let other players move up. In free agent them you can get other needs. This has been a goofy season

Jack - agreed, the possibility is small. Just pointing out that your definitive statement that zero will be ready is not really accurate. Overall, though, I agree that the farm system is pretty barren and not likely to produce a big influx of talent by 2014.

I doubt it, Phlipper. I read a piece a while ago - it had to be April - that suggested it might be viable to trade Hamels rather than lose him at the end of the year. I linked the article here. I'm pretty sure no one thought it was a good idea.

But it's a matter of prediction and how one views the state of the team that determines whether the Phillies are out of it - until it's a matter of math, but that comes too late for the trade deadline.

Chris: Ok, maybe not zero, especially when your point that pitchers in particular can have an impact early is taken into account. That is true.

And by the way, I'm not saying that the roster in 2014 won't have some guys on it that are currently in the minor leagues. It definitely will. What I'm saying is that I highly, highly doubt that team is competing for a championship.

A guy like Cesar Hernandez might be a quality major-league 2B in his major-league career. He will almost assuredly not be one in 2014.

Where are people getting these stats on how far back St. Louis was in the WC race last year?

As near as I can tell, they were very close to the WC position pretty much the whole 2nd half of the season - in much better shape than the Phils are now.

By 2014 best case scenario: Brown is in the outfield, May is in the middle of the rotation, Cloyd might be your #5 starter, Aumont is pitching the middle innings in front of Bastardo & Paps. Biddle is looking at a late season cup of coffee.

St. Louis was tied for the wilcard lead with Atlanta on June 12, 2011.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings/_/type/wild-card/date/20110612

At last, Jack and I actually agree:

"As it stands, given how much they have invested in winning right now, I don't think you can sell. I think you have to make one last run at it if the team can get healthy, and I suppose try for 2013 and hope you get a miracle run out of the new Wheeze Kids. But this thing is over for the few years after that no matter what you do."

Jack - "And by the way, I'm not saying that the roster in 2014 won't have some guys on it that are currently in the minor leagues. It definitely will. What I'm saying is that I highly, highly doubt that team is competing for a championship."

Agreed, but not because of a lack of quality prospects, but rather a lack of production out of Howard, Utley, Rollins, etc. That is what is going to kill this team: bloated contracts to past-their-prime stars who don't live up to expectations, not the weak farm system.

Jack: The words DH Phils used were MG's not mine.

A full-on fire sale is
#1: Impossible due to the untradable contracts the stars have
#2: Very unlikely to be approved by an ownership group that needs a competitive team to keep filling the coffers and have leverage to renegotiate the TV rights.

So, while I could see them trading Hamels and/or Victorino (for instance), I don't see any way they go into tear-down mode.

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