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Friday, July 20, 2012


They better get back some grade A almost ready prospects if they move Pence or else Singleton, Cosart, & Santana would be a massive overpay for a year of Pence.

G-Town (from the last thread): I think what you said- Amaro throwing everything out the window because he's determined to sign Hamels- is correct. And I guess that means Rollins is on the table.

I mean, I'll say this for Amaro- at least he goes after top talent most of the time. But his lack of planning even a few months in advance before he makes huge, franchise-altering decisions, is alarming.

Who are the teams that are seriously looking at OF help? Pitt, NYY?

If Stark is right and Pence is getting more interest than even Hamels (!) at this point, they better damn well be considering moving him.

If you can bring back Olt in a deal for Pence, save money by using Brown in RF and filling the void at 3B using another cost-controlled guy, that seems like a win-win situation.

That's what I am afraid of. Rube not getting what he should for pence. If they can't swing a deal that rewards team. You keep hunter move to left put dom in right. And you sign a center fielder.

They better not trade Pence.

If they trade Pence, I suspect that $12M qualifying offer to Vic is as good as a done deal. I don't think they'll let Vic go, especially with any defensive concerns that might linger for Brown.

I also suspect that JMJ/Nix (maybe even Pierre?) shouldn't be written off for 2013 in LF. Especially if Hamels resigns and they need cost certainty.

I guess I don't see where rebuilding the entire outfield is a probability.

I've been just about the biggest supporter of Dom Brown here, and even I am more than a little skeptical of the center field experiment.

I don't see any way in which Brown plays CF for this team next season.

The Hook- yeah, the idea of actually getting something of value for Pence is the idea.

If you look at it as a choice between dumping Rollins, Lee, or Pence (are there any other candidates I'm missing?), the return you'd get from Pence, plus savings, plus the fact that the drop-off from Pence to Brown would not be as much as the drop-off from Rollins to Galvis or Lee to ?? (Kendrick?) doesn't seem that complicated.

And if it's a matter of Rube not wanting to admit that he chased the wrong white whale at the deadline last year...we already know that! All is forgiven if he makes it right.

Classic internet discussion:

1) I point out that of the players currently in the organization, I would advocate a Pridie/Mayberry CF platoon next year
2) I point out in the very next sentence that my suggestion would be to sign Michael Bourn
3) 90% of responses point out how stupid it would be to have Pridie/Mayberry as a CF platoon

Anyway, Brown has to be the guy next year in one of the OF positions. This team desperately needs low-cost production and it has to come from Brown.

You made the mistake of assuming two guys who basically stink are going to be back next year. Should just have moved forward with your Bourn suggestion.

I have trouble seeing how it would make any sense for a team which lacks offense to trade away its best hitter. The odds of Olt being a complete bust are considerably greater than the odds that he's going to come right in & improve upon the 120+ OPS+ that is Hunter Pence's career line.

DH: Yes, I think Brown will start in one of the corner OF spots.

OF is the strong suit of next winter's free agent class. It'll be much easier to replace Pence internally (Brown) or externally (Upton, Bourn, Quentin, etc) than it will be to get a 3b or SS.

The smartest guy in the room got the wrong white whale last year, and whiffed on a chance to get Mike Adams. Anybody think Texas may have a need for a guy like Pence or Victorino in return?

BAP: The only argument that makes any sense for trading Pence for Olt is that the 2013 Phillies aren't going to win anything, but Olt might be part of a winning 2016 Phillies team, or something.

People assume there that Amaro has some kind of long term plan that is coherent. I don't.

My sense is that his strategic plan went to hell last Oct starting with Howard's Achilles injury and has continued straight through today including Utley's injury status this spring & a team that is not in playoff contention as the trade deadline approaches.

I get the sense this FO is in 'panic' mode to resign Hamels to avoid the PR hit/perceived drop in season ticket sales this offseason, has to avoid salary in order to do so to safely stay under the luxury tax threshold next year, and is going to scramble to round out cheap options who will be able to fill in the rest of the roster this offseason for next spring.

Kind of the 'doubling-down' on stupid strategy if you ask me that is almost entirely reactionary instead of being proactive.

There's no way the Rangers are dumb enough to give up Mike Olt for Hunter Pence.

My biggest doubt on the DOM in CF experiment would be:

If he could play CF at even an average level, why wasn't he playing there earlier in his career? How do they not understand that his value would have been 10x higher as a CF?

I'm sure there was a reason why he never was moved to CF - because he couldn't play it effectively. Lets hope that they simply let him stick in RF since he was comfortable there and the Phillies had more need there, and that his lack of ability to play CF was just glossed over and they are now just discovering it.

If the Phils are indeed over the luxury threshold currently, I imagine the one player they are absolutely desperate to dump at the deadline is Blanton.

Blanton won't be back here under any circumstances next year and Phils save a little over $2.5M AAV under the luxury tax threshold calculation for the final 2 months if I am correct if he is moved.

If there is a guy to dump for reasons of staying under the luxury tax threshold, it is Blanton.

BAP- What are you talking about? Nobody is saying Olt, or Brown for that matter, is going to "improve upon Pence's career line." Nobody.

The fact is that, as DH Phils says, Brown needs to be somewhere in the OF next year (the worst-case scenario is CF). The difference between Brown's salary and Pence's will be around $13 million dollars. If you can somehow get Olt for Pence (and this is really a pipe-dream at this point- not even sure the Rangers are looking for a Hamilton contingency plan yet), you are saving yourself another $4 million by not exercising Polanco's option (or paying for one of the bottom of the barrel options on the FA market), and more than likely improving your offense at 3B at least a little bit.

That's $15-17 million in savings that can be used to improve the team in other areas (CF, bullpen) by cost-controlling two positions, one of which is a glaring need.

And for the record, the team 'lacking offense' is seventh in the NL in runs scored.

BB: That wasn't even my point. The point was to illustrate the fallacy of expressing payroll issues as X players owed $Y million, because it ignores that 8-10 players on every roster are filled at or near league minimum.

DH: I try hard not to misrepresent others' posts, as I hate it when people do that to me. Your statement was "In my scenario, with me as the manager, CF is a Mayberry/Pridie platoon." You didn't really qualify the statement, except to add, in the next sentence, that you would backload Hamels' contract enough to sign Bourn. I interpreted the two sentences together to mean: "Bourn in CF is my dream scenario but, if not, we can use a Pridie/Mayberry platoon."

"I get the sense this FO is in 'panic' mode to resign Hamels to avoid the PR hit/perceived drop in season ticket sales this offseason."

I would think reasons go far beyond 'avoiding bad PR' and ticket sales to try and lock up your homegrown lefty ace in his prime when everyone else of value on the team is on the wrong side of 30.

TK: we were dumb enough to give up Singleton, Cosart, & Santana. Olt is being rated only slightly higher and in some cases lower than Singleton.

lorecore, I'll go you even one better on the discussion about Dom in CF. If he was/is ever in their plans to play CF at the big league level, why the hell was he still playing LF last night?

For God's sakes, MICHAEL MARTINEZ was the AAA CF in last night's game.

Bank it, Vic is back roaming CF next season.

DH Phils: You booked Hamels at $23M AAV in your example, with no CF other than Pridie on your roster.

Then you say you want to backload Hamels contract to get Bourn.

How much do you estimate signing Bourn for? At least Around $10M right? So you're going to pay Hamels $13M in the first few years and then $33M later? Does that really make sense to you?

Along the same lines, Michael Spidale was your RF for the Iron Pigs last night.

To me, if Brown is an option at either CF (pending Vic being traded/leaving via FA) or RF (pending Pence being traded), don't you think they'd cut bait on the "develop Brown as a LF" project?

DH: apparently you need to come up with an excel spreadsheet and chart all your what if analysis on the Phillies 2013 roster and send it around.

DH pretty clearly said "If I were GM [...] I'd try to sign Bourn."

Not really that complicated.

I realize that I am being misinterpreted in large part because my argument was disorganized. In my original post, I had $11M left to spend on 2 relievers or 2 relievers and a CF. If they brought in 2 veteran relievers at $2M apiece, that would leave $7M for Bourn. The Hamels backloading to get Bourn the ~$12M I suspect he will cost wouldn't be as extreme as lorecore suggests at 3:25.

I didn't realize the luxury tax only considers AAV, which is a fair criticism of my "plan".


SS Rollins
CF Vic
2B Utley
1B Howard
C Ruiz
RF Pence
LF Pierre
3B Polly
P Worley

Sounds like from the Stark rumors that this 6 game home stand is being treated as the official crossroads for this season?

Any chance anything gets done in the next week, or do we need to wait to see how these games pan out? Any word on if/when we'll hear of Hamels decision?

wp: if thats the case, tonight may be the first time I root for them to lose.

Preacher: If the Phillies have decided they're going to do as much as they can to try & re-sign Hamels -- & that's my feeling -- I doubt the outcome of these next 6 games will have any impact. It's simply a matter of how close to the deadline they're willing to push things before making a trade. (And even I can't imagine the Phillies would be stupid enough to let the deadline pass w/out either signing or trading Hamels.)

I love that people think Amaro is so horrible at his job that he has no plan. I'm sure he has a plan, and there is a good chance I may not like it. However, I think it is silly to assume that he has no plan and is panicking to sign Hamels to avoid a PR hit.

JA Happ plus three AAA outfield prospects for Pence and Rollins. Just reported on Roger's Cable Sports.

If the Phils trade Pence, I'd want Castellanos.

Castellanos should be ready to play 3B next year. Brown could play a corner OF spot, giving the Phils two cost-controlled position players.

I then would take the luxury-tax hit in 2013 by re-signing Vic and another of the free-agent OFs.

The team still should be able to fall below the $189 million threshold in 2014 by cutting Utley loose.

My starting point, of course, is re-signing Hamels.

TTI- I don't think it's some ridiculous reason like they're worried about a PR hit like MG states, but I do think they're panicking, and depending on what he does by 7/31, it's becoming increasingly clear that if Amaro has a plan, he doesn't formulate it more than 5 minutes ahead of time.

I think the plan, up to now, has been: do whatever we can to win this year; we'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here. Now it's here.

TTI: Setting aside any thoughts of a possible FO "panic", do you not think it possible -- hell, even likely -- that r00b & Co. have had to significantly rework their prior plan(s) in light of the way in which the current season has unfolded? More to the point, that Hamels might now appear to them to be more vital a piece of the puzzle going forward than he seemed before this season began isn't beyond the realm of credulity. One has to believe that, having not re-signed Hamels in advance of this season, the Phillies assumed they'd have a full season + Postseason to work on a deal ... & at any rate would have retained Cole for one more championship run. Instead, the failure of the '12 Phillies to perform well on any level has rather dramatically accelerated to process. Perhaps it's not a panic, but I'll bet there's some urgency.

Castallanos on opening day would be a pretty agressive promotion. mid season call up is probably best case scenario for him.

Montgomery said as much regarding Hamels and his importance two weeks ago when he was interviewed. I am sure he is already worried about the likely fail off in attendance, how that affect revenues streams next year, and what their payroll will be.

It's hilarious to read on here that those in charge always have a detailed plan and know for certainty what they are doing. Often that isn't the case especially when a few things deviate from that plan.

Tonight Pat Burrell will be leading a prayer vigil. Any young single men who wish to take part can meet him at his hotel after the game.

Just a little reminder for all those who would scrap this team to start all over - last year the St.Louis Cardinals played some seriously shabby baseball most of the season and were 10 games out of first place and 10.5 out of the wild card as of August 24th.

I would be willing to bet that even with the injuries that with the addition of a 2nd WC that Amaro and the FO thought they would at least make the playoffs in some fashion. That would be mean strong revenues again this year with a strong carry over effect to season ticket renewals which start as soon as the season ends in earnest.

Now the Phils face a season where they play in front of a lot of empty seats in Sept as they play a series of meaningless games which hurts their revenue a bit bug more importantly makes it tough to get people to committ to renew right away again. Sad to say but the Phils couldnt care that much about fans who don't go to games. They really carr about the fans and companies who buy expensive season ticket packages.

They have a variety of plans, including those detailing revenue, expenses, net operating margin, etc. They have operational plans. They have contingency plans. To think otherwise is absurd. This is a billion dollar industry. They plan the hell out of it.

i agree RR. they have plans on top of plans. they have hard drives stuffed with plans. i don't know why people would think otherwise.

Also, I think MG is going way into doomsday mode with his essentially saying, "OMG- people will be flocking away from CBP next year."

Fact is with or without Hamels this will still be a team with Halladay, Lee, Utley, Ruiz, Howard, Papelbon, possibly Pence, Worley....there are plenty of guys on the team yet that fans enjoy and like rooting for. Plus I think with a lot of casual fans (not all, but many) they see this season as one that was ruined because of injuries. They will still come out next season. They might lose some season ticket plans but I think the drop there will be negligeable, and when they are competing throughout the season they will still get plenty of walk up business and fill up the stadium. And businesses aren't just going to give up season ticket plans- that is a main source of treating employees and clients throughout the summer, and it is a business expense and writeoff to them. Even in the 90's doldrums they still did plenty of business with corporation season tickets.

Ankiel is available,he can always pitch. he would fit right in with the rest of the strikeless throwing BP.
Glad all you experts know no one in the system can contribute but OLt will be an instant superstar.

I'm wondering how people value Victorino here. I am the guy's biggest fan. When they drafted him in the rule 5, I jumped for joy. I'd seen the guy in the minors and thought he would be a solid major leaguer. And he has been.

But who in their right mind would offer him a 12 million qualifying offer? He's outperformed his contract for the last two seasons, but he's seriously underperforming it this year. And he's three years older than when he signed the contract. If the Phillies deal Pence and/or anyone else and don't feel they have a replacement for Vic, he'd be insane not to resign to a similar contract to the last one. In fact, I'd offer him three years/18 mil and see if he takes it. Because in reality, that's what he's worth going forward.

Like I say, I'm a big fan. But anything more than say 3/18 is an overpay for this part of his career. If someone wants to give him 3/20 I wouldn't argue. But what other team is going to pay him more? And if they do, wave goodbye and wish him well.

Some advanced financial models on an Excel spreadsheet pivot table aren't 'contigency plans.'

I am always fascinated by people who have a steadfast believe bordering on faith that just because there are people in charge of something (even if it is expensive) that they have multiple contingency plans in place and real give detailed thought to long-term strategic thinking & scenario planning.

Sure the hell isn't the model in a publicly-traded company where you better hit analyst estimates for quarterly EPS numbers and top-line revenues. Most times people are so busy running around with their heads cut off because organizations are run so lean especially the last few years they couldn't even if they wanted to.

The harder part yet is how do the Phils plan around the likes of Utley and Howard & what they will give the team next year.

Amaro had a tough job this offseason because of Howard's injury and to a lesser degree the questionable status of Utley. My sense though is that Amaro is holding out against hope that this core has one more really good year left in them & that starting pitching can carry them to another playoff bid.

Doing whatever they can to put a product on the field that will win and keep the attendance at very high levels which are necessary to support the current payroll until the new Comcast deal kicks in '14 or '15.

Basically 'doubling down' and hoping they don't bust.

TTI - I would agree on the business season ticket holders as long as the economy doesn't go into the crapper again later this year but that looks increasingly likely.

Hell, even the IMF which is the world's greatest optimist have notably projected much lower growth rates for China, Russia, South Africa, India, and Brazil in the 2nd half of this year & 2013.

Phils can't project that though & shouldn't really be that concerned about it.

As for the season ticket holders, let's say this team finishes .500 or slightly under it. My bet is they take at least a 10% hit give or take on season ticket renewals ultimately even if they did resign Hamels. If they don't, I bet is a bit larger. Not huge but you could add a couple tics to that 10% figure. Say another 3-5%.

My concerns about Dom Brown are 1) He seems to get injured a lot; 2) His defense.

3) The amount of lotion he apparently owns. No man needs that much lotion.

FWIW- Peter Gammons is saying that three teams have told him they are backing off Cole Hamels trade discussions because the Phillies appear to be moving closer to re-signing him. Or they at least believe he will re-sign with them.

"No man needs that much lotion."

Ryan Seacrest on line 4 for you, GTown...

U seen hunter play d...... Put him in left Dom in right. He's played right a few games rehabbing. Really dom can't be no worse. Plus Dom at least sees pitches and can walk. The bank is the perfect park for him.

Dragon: The Cardinals were never 11 games under .500. They were 3 games over .500 on this date last year & 4 over it on 8-24. If that's "seriously shabby," then I don't know what phrase you'd use to describe the 2012 Phillies.

Preacher: I tend to forget Los Angeles exists. It's probably a good thing.

I wish I had that luxury sometimes...

The cardinals also didn't have 7 teams in front of them either.

Game Chat ==>

A QROPS can be a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme that has been accepted because of the government for your transfer of Uk pensions.

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