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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Wow!!! Pierre, Mayberry & Nix...Now THAT's must-see TV.

I'm sad.

It seems we have now solidified a top 10 pick in next June's draft which we won't lose by signing a top free agent.

Why would anyone compare this year's haul for Pence to last year's?

Pence is one year older.
Pence's OPS is about 40 points lower than it was at last year's trade deadline.
Pence is closer to free agency.
Pence will be more expensive next season than he was this season.

All good reasons the return for Pence was less this year. It doesn't make much sense to compare the two. Apples and oranges.

J.B. is still looking up.

Anyone want to make some predictions on our final record now that most of the pieces have fallen into place for the last 2 months?

We're 45-57 right now with 60 to play.

My guess is we go 25-35 down the stretch and finish with a 70-92 (.432) record.

That means we probably stick around the 7th overall pick...where we are right now actually.

***All good reasons the return for Pence was less this year. It doesn't make much sense to compare the two. Apples and oranges.***

All part of Rube's brilliant plans to buy high, sell low on players.

Perhaps Pierre is still a Phillies b/c nobody wanted him?

this team is pathetic

BAP: Your OPS+ comparison is misleading, of course, but not because of Schierholtz's platoon split. It is misleading because Pence is underperforming, Schierholtz is probably overperforming, Pence has a better OBP which is more important than SLG, and maybe because park factors might overstate the difference in parks.

All else equal, for a part-time player, I think I would rather have a heavy platoon split: I think it makes a part-time player more useful.

Phils win tonight behind a D Brown pinch hit home run. Cliff gets win #2. And the run begins.

Oh, wait...I just woke up from a dream...

I also am sad.

On the other hand, it'll be interesting to see the D. Brown sideshow for the next two months.

***I think it makes a part-time player more useful.***

Are you familiar with our Manager and how he uses "platoons"?

Schierholtz will see far more LHP than he ever should...especially in the later innings.

KAS: The point about the years of control is fine.

The point that Pence is playing worse and so you can't hold that against Amaro is sort of missing the whole idea.

If you buy a stock at $25, and sell it at $15, do you get to say "well, it isn't my fault the company underperformed in earnings and the stock dropped?" No, you made a bet that it would go up. You lost.

Amaro made a bet that acquiring Pence was the right move and that he was the player he was paying for. Turned out, he bought high on Pence and his performance wasn't sustainable. He doesn't get an excuse for that--it's his job.

What kind of lineup will they start against left-handed pitchers? Now their starters are mostly left-handed hitters.

You mean they have to keep playing these games? I forgot how this works. I thought they'd just surrender, hand over their bats, get deloused and hope for the Red Cross to show up with some coffee and cookies.

NEPP - Yup. Its funny too to hear people say 'well you can't compare we Amaro gave up to get Pence to what he got in return.' Yeah it certainly is and it is definitely an 'apples-to-apples' trade.

Rube overpaid originally and got less value than he gave up.

Apparent too the Phils will are going to go 'Value Village' in the corner OF spots next year too with a combo of Nix/Mayberry/Schierholtz/Brown while trying to obtain a CF in free agency I bet.

Not sure whether to laugh/cry if Amaro goes out and pays a premium price for Bourn (5 yrs/$65-70M) to start in CF.

Amaro will have overpaid twice in 2 years for 2 OFs while looking like a buffoon in the process.

Chuck A. you were be dreaming but it was a rehashed dream from last April.

Jack: But Amaro didn't make the move with the intention of trading him in a year. He made the move with the intention of Pence helping us to another playoff run.

When that didn't happen, for reasons beyond Pence's control, Amaro decided it helped the team more to deal him now than pay him $14M next year.

I don't know if that's the right choice. But Pence was a "stock." He wasn't brought in with the intention of his value going up for a trade later. That's just not true.

That should say Pence wasn't a stock.

***Apparent too the Phils will are going to go 'Value Village' in the corner OF spots next year too with a combo of Nix/Mayberry/Schierholtz/Brown while trying to obtain a CF in free agency I bet.***

They almost have to as all 4 of those guys are cheap and under team control. We're locked into those 4 and whichever FA CF they sign.

I fully expect it to be Bourn and I expect it to happen on the first week of FA for a massive price that is more than double any other CF (as Hamilton is more of a corner OF). It will be Papelbon all over again.

Amaro is making Minaya look like a solid GM.

KAS: Yeah, look, I get it. I understand all of it.

I'm just saying, you can't completely excuse Amaro for getting a much worse return on a player who's performing worse than when he acquired the player. Part of Amaro's job is to correctly predict which players will perform better and which will perform worse.

KAS: Like, say for instance that Bourn was acquired last year for a price equivalent to what Atlanta paid for him.

Now, with Bourn having a career year, if the Phils were in the position of selling as they are now, they'd probably get an even higher return than what they sent out, desipte Bourn having one less year of control and only being a two-month rental.

KAS - Pence was a gamble...just like any stock is. The Phillies gambled and lost. I'm ok with that because if you don't gamble once in awhile you never get anywhere. It's a hard lesson and a lot was given up to get him but those guys aren't up in the majors yet either so all that really remains to be seen. It will be YEARS before we can properly evaluate all of this.

Jack: I'm not excusing anything. I'm on record saying I think we should have gotten more for Pence. It just doesn't make much sense to use last year's deal as a benchmark. I mean, we did get a year of production out of Pence as well.

There are reasons to criticize Amaro for this deal (was it enough? was it even necessary?), but I just think comparing it to last year's deal is the weakest route.

I don't "buy high" on players. That's just insulting. I merely wait until they have displayed their true abilities by seeing their peak performance for 4-16 weeks in something called the Major Leagues -- Perhaps you've heard of them? If you know of some other "magical elf" way to predict how a player is going to play after these trades, I'd sure like to hear about it, Mr. Unicorns Black Hole Global Warming!

NEPP: I'll guess a final record of 72-90. First team to ever follow up a 100 win season w/ a 90 loss season.

Is Amaro have an JD? I wasnt aware he went to Law School.

NEPP - Calling that scenario 'Circle of Stupidity' if it happens and sadly I think there is a decent chance it does.

Sure Amaro has tried to pry Headley loose but there are going to be alot of other teams looking to pick up him if the Padres do move him this offseason.

I don't get how people think Amaro had a good day. He didn't especially if you think Blanton and Pierre should have been moved. Pierre likely could have been moved at some point but that didn't get done either.

Just not a good day for Amaro all around.

When is the news on Halladay and Worley being shut down?

Jack: Would they get more for Bourn today than was gotten for him last year? I'm not sure. I believe proximity to free agency is a HUGE factor.

Is there that much difference between Bourn and Vic? Yes, they are different kinds of players, but they are both All-Star CFs. There's a difference in age (1 year, 11 months), but Vic has been a better overall player in recent years. And yet Vic got us a lottery ticket and a middle reliever.

I dont see us getting Headley.

I see us signing Maicer Izturis to play 3B...and probably another bargain basement guy.

We'll probably give Izturis something like 2 years, $8 million with 3rd year option (a massive overpay but its a sellers market).

That or we'll go for a guy like Kelly Johnson and hope he can handle 3B.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/31/orioles-place-jim-thome-on-dl-activate-robert-andino/

Want a 'win' trade for Amaro - getting rid of Thome when he did and getting something of value in return.

Thome wasn't going to fill any role here once Interleague play ended with their being a decent chance he would visit the DL again.

Pence is not a stock. He was a product purchased to fill a need at the time. Rube didn't care about the price because he had a huge need--a World Series title--which he thought Pence's acquisition would ensure.

Turns out they didn't win the WS, so it didn't work out. But the whole 'sell high/ buy low' thing is silly. Its not like the whole idea is to sign a guy when he's not valued and then get rid of him once he is, independent of any on-field and overall team performance. Its not fantasy baseball.

Well I guess it's gonna be easier getting day of game tickets to see the Phils again..

KAS - What point are you trying to make? Bourn would have gotten the Phils more today than Vic. No one would have argued that given the years they are having.

Phils need at least 2 RHP relievers including a setup-caliber arm. Lindblom fills one of those spots. The one thing that is nuts is the people who keep insisting the Phils have internal solutions to fill those spots. They don't or they would be pitching for this team already.

MG- team needs to add offense. If they don't get Bourn, who would you suggest?

You would be upset by this just because Amaro passed on him last year? What a bizarre line of thinking. We can be upset at him for that now. If he gets Bourn, at least he's righted his mistake.

MG: You may want to go back and read the discussion.

It's a theoretical discussion of how much proximity to free agency affects value. I content it affects value a great deal. Jack used Bourn as an example suggesting he would garner perhaps as much or more in a deal this year than he got last year.

I used Vic as an example of a similar player who was dealt this year so close to free agency.

Lindblom will be a disappointment. Dodger Stadium has hidden his issues up till now. He's a very poor fit for CBP.

That said, he's probably our 3rd best reliever right now...and possibly our 2nd best.

Though honestly, I dont think his upside is any better than Michael Scwhimer (who has been very solid in his latest go around in the Majors).

MG: And yes, Bourn would have gotten more than Vic, for a number of reasons (age, 2012 production), but I believe Bourn would have gotten less this year than last because of proximity to free agency.

This day has made my head and heart hurt

Gelb tweets: Amaro says Brown has a spot in 2013 outfield.

On Bourn:

When you give him the 4 year/$60 milllion deal (that I'd give him) or the 5 year, $75 million deal (that Iceman said he'd give him...or was it $71 M?)

Which Bourn are we expecting? The .776 OPS guy he is this year or the .721 OPS guy he was the 3 years prior to that.

I bet he's the guy from those 3 years but with less speed as he enters his 30s. I dont see him as a 60 SB guy going forward...more like a 40 SB guy (which is still pretty good but not ridiculous good).

***Amaro says Brown has a spot in 2013 outfield.***

Well, there really isn't any other choice. No pressure on Domonator now, eh?

MG: Please outline for us what you would've acquired for Pence and Victorino.

Also, please tell us how you are privy to what went on the room as Amaro was making phone calls around to other GM's.

Trading for Pence is silly because the Phillies were going to coast to a division title anyway. Adding one bat on the margin likely doesn't make very much of a difference in a short playoff series. It did, however, "feel like" a big improvement to the MLB team at the time.

I don't remember what my opinion was at the time. I think I was ambivalent towards the trade. I'm allowed to have a wishy-washy opinion though and let my opinions be based partly on what I feel, because I'm only a fan and my opinions have no consequences. A MLB GM cannot let his emotions help him make decisions.

Look at what all the national guys are saying about the Pence trade. They like it for the Phillies. THIS is Pence's value, not Singleton, Cosart, and Santana.

Both trades today were fine. It was the trade a year ago that was horrible.

Not sure why Blanton and Pierre are still Phillies though.

I'm sure, or I hope, someone already posted this opinion but here goes: Today on BL I learned that trading prospects for veteran talent was wrong and so is trading veteran talent for prospects? How exactly does that work?

ramsey: Maybe no one wanted Pierre and maybe the Phils believe they'll get as much or more in the waiver trade period.

Most important news of the day:

Phillies are slightly under luxury tax limit now, Amaro says.

Amaro confirms Phils are under luxury tax. That's what today was all about, so points to Amaro for meeting that goal. Getting a Major League player from a contender in Lindblom is a credit to him. The Thome deal is a credit. Hamels gives them a top starter for years.

Iceman - It would be utter stupidity as Amaro has paid a huge premium (one in prospects and if he signed Bourn in dollars) for 2 OFs in 2 consecutive years with the kicker being that he passed on Bourn the first time around.

If the Phils need to get creative, I would target Pagan on a much cheaper, shorter deal (say 2/3 yrs at around $6M AAV).

I know this idea will largely get crapped on here too but the Phils are likely going to need a RH power bat. I wouldn't looking to acquire Soriano this year in the offseason either. Granted I am not sure how that impacts the luxury tax threshold but he wouldn't be a bad fixture in LF at say $3-$4M per the next 2 years with the Cubs getting a B/B- prospect in return.

It would greatly depend on how much the Cubs would pick up but they would likely be glad to clear him off the books, pay a significant chunk of his remaining $18M/year, & it would enable LaHair in LF as the starter next year.

Sebastian Valle on his way to the Iron Pigs. Joseph to stay at Reading. Per Amaro.

***Phillies are slightly under luxury tax limit now, Amaro says.***

Thank God...why dont we wait until they actually go through the tax next year to celebrate that one.

TTI - Going to play the fake hypothetical to make the returns for Pence/Vic look good or the non-trades of Blanton/Pierre look okay.

It was a salary dump day with mixed results at best.

Really, I think things are going to work out next year.
If Doc and Lee return to health and a semblance of past performance, they've got 3 aces.
Howard is recovering well and has looked better than many expected.
I still think Brown will be a plus MLB talent.
Bullpens are easy to turn over and we've got 2 months to see what the kids have.
Still there's a hole at 3rd and OF so that needs to be addressed but it isn't that bad.

NEPP: I have to disagree with you on Lindblom too. His numbers look pretty OK to me. He's gotten hurt on HR/FB this year, but last year he didn't give up any HR. His 4.19 career xFIP looks like a pretty good guess for what he does going forward. That's a useful middle reliever. If people are expecting a relief ace, he'll be disappointing.

So next season, for every $1M the Phils are over the luxury tax threshold ($178M), the Phils will save $125,000. That's what getting under the threshold means.

***Granted I am not sure how that impacts the luxury tax threshold but he wouldn't be a bad fixture in LF at say $3-$4M per the next 2 years with the Cubs getting a B/B- prospect in return. ***

We'd only be on the hook for the portion of his salary we'd be paying...per the new CBA.

*** That's a useful middle reliever. If people are expecting a relief ace, he'll be disappointing.***

He's a middle reliever, not a 8th inning guy. He'll likely be used as an 8th inning guy though due to our bullpen issues.

I don't think he's any better than Schwimer to be honest.

Rube did good to get a MLB reliever back for him...especially one that is cheap and under team control for several years. That will save him money in the off-season where he doesnt have to pay $3 million for a reliever.

Soriano:

Phils aren't going to be able to get a 20-25 HR OF hitter on the FA market likely as cheap either.

He's damaged goods but with a tight payroll and the need to upgrade at 3B/CF the Phils have to get creative elsewhere.

I wouldn't worry about the chemistry issues as much as when he was younger either. He was a horse a$$ who was vehemently disliked by several Yanks' veterans (Torre wasn't found of him either) but he seems like he has mellowed a lot since his turbulent days in NY/Texas.

Not sure I've ever seen a greater difference between what the BL "consensus" is and how Topton feels about things.

The Phillies became a smarter team today.

Look at what all the national guys are saying about the Pence trade. They like it for the Phillies. THIS is Pence's value, not Singleton, Cosart, and Santana.

Both trades today were fine. It was the trade a year ago that was horrible.

Not sure why Blanton and Pierre are still Phillies though.

Posted by: ramsey | Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 05:52 PM

I think this is a succinct summary of my opinion.

Yeah, exactly... if they can get a decent 3B (Headley maybe) and address the OF...then with a healthy lineup and starting staff I see no reason why they can't contend next year. A lot of ifs and variables but it's not far-fetched at all.

Today on BL I learned that trading prospects for veteran talent was wrong and so is trading veteran talent for prospects?

Uh, hmm, let's think for one second...

People have differing opinions?

2013 OF:

LF: Mayberry/Nix
CF: ?
RF: Brown
4th OF:Schierholtz

As for the tax issue, today's scramble to get under it proves the the Phillies are willing to go over for a winner. They planned to be over the luxury tax this year provided the team was winning. They weren't winning so they got themselves under. Next year with a lower penalty odds are they are willing to go over to win.

Somebody asked about the lineup against LH starters (like Detwiler on Thursday Night):

I guess it will look like this:

Rollins, SS
Pierre, LF
Utley, 2B
Howard, 1B
Ruiz, C
Mayberry, CF
Brown, RF
Frandsen/Wigginton???, 3B
Hamels, P


Man, that lineup will really throw fear in a lefty starter. 6 lefty hitters and Rollins, who is weak hitting RH.

CF won't be as hard to fill now because there are several FA players there including Vic. Imagine Amaro ends up with one of them.

3B and bullpen are going to be tougher to fill because of the lack of quality FA options, cost, and limited payroll Amaro will have after filling the CF spot via FA.

As for contending, they go as far as the starting staff carries them. That requires a healthy and productive Howard and Utley (at least 110-120 GS) too. If not, the rest doesn't really matter.

I wouldn't be shocked if Vic is brought back via FA...if they cant land Bourn. I imagine Bourn is their first choice though.

Make that 5 lefty hitters plus Rollins.

Whoever ends up playing CF or 3B in 2013, better be a right handed hitter.

Any idea what happens to Eric Kratz?

Schneider activated at backup catcher.
Valle to AAA.
Joseph at AA.

NEPP - would you rather have Vic at a modest 3yrs/$21-24M...or Bourn at 5/60??

I'd do the Vic deal personally.

FA CF available:

Bourn: LH
Cabrera: SH
Pagan: SH
Vic: SH
BJ Upton: RH
Scott Hairston: RH

Ha! Jason just retweeted a guy asking the same question!

Olney puts Cliff Lee on an early list of possible August trade targets.

If the Phils are under the luxury tax, what's the reason to deal Cliff Lee?

***

NEPP - would you rather have Vic at a modest 3yrs/$21-24M...or Bourn at 5/60??

I'd do the Vic deal personally.
***

I'd probably lean towards Vic in that scenario.

***If the Phils are under the luxury tax, what's the reason to deal Cliff Lee?***

We still need a 3B...plus it would give us more flexibility to spend big next winter.


That said, I'd rather keep Lee.

I will watch tonight's game as if Vic and Pence both went on the DL from the previous game's collision in right center field. The fact that it didn't happen before these trades is truly a miracle.

Post of the day, Schecky.......

With Vic in LA and Pence in SF, I still think they can make a collision happen.

Lindblom:

Read several of the scouting reports on him. Really curious to see him pitch though more in-person given how he will likely pitch his share of high-leverage spots down the stretch & next year.

Comparisons to Schwimer seem pretty apt. Both guys are tall RHP pitchers who are primarily 4-seam fastball/slider guys. Both guys throw are routinely at 91-92 (max out at 93) with mediocre sliders.

Schwimer misses more bats but Lindblom gets more hitters to chase his stuff out of the zone. Both guys give up a ton of FBs though and by extension are HR-prone.

Lindblom has notably better command though especially on his 4-seamer and is probably the slightly better pitcher. One of the guys to watch down the stretch.

Trying to figure out this 25 man roster....

Vic gone, Pence gone

Brown recalled. Schneider activated.

Schierholz added tomorrow. I guess he takes Frandsen's place? Or does Kratz get screwed and have to go back to AAA?

Lindblom also added tomorrow. I'd guess Diekman goes to Lehigh.

My thought is that it won't be long until DeFratus is brought up as well. Maybe when Blanton is moved (and I have no doubt he will in the next few weeks), Kendrick moves into the rotation and DeFratus takes his bullpen spot.

I think Kratz goes away as Frandsen is needed to backup the infield.

On Lindblom, is Savery still on the 25 man?

Pence hurt himself earlier this year in April that Lee masterpiece I thought when he ran into the wall to make a grab.

RF at AT&T Park isn't the most friendly place for an OF who has poor awareness of their surroudings (e.g., Pence)

Why does today's back and forth seem so much like the day (clout's favorite) that the team traded away Bobby Abreu. If you recall, the remaining players responded, ran off a number of wins and we were buyers rather than sellers by the end of that August, landing Jamie Moyer in a waiver deal that led pretty quickly to our 2nd World Championship. Oh ye of little faith, let's see how the core of this (and that club (minus a soon-to-be-gone-anyway Flyin' Hawaiian) respond - perhaps the Phillies will be adding rather than subtracting talent in 30 days....

@NEPP: Yes, Savery is still on the 25-man.

If I'm not mistaken, Kratz is out of options, so he could be a goner which would be criminal if Schneider survives.

Gelb: "The Phillies sold catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to Toronto."

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb

The Phillies sold catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to Toronto.

So Valle to AAA, new guy to AA, Tuffy to a foreign country. Busy day.

wes covington's ghost: Once you use an option on a player, you can option them as many times as you want that year and it only counts as one "option year", so there is no risk of losing Kratz.

They would certainly be better off with him than Schneider, though.

Sure, I like Kratz more than Schneider; but, I'm certain I'd get over it pretty quickly.

Goosewurst?! R00b just lost the fanbase.

DH- Thanks. I understand the concept, but thought he was totally out of them prior to this year.. Let's pretend that's true and cut Schneider adrift.

I hope Tuffy gets a shot as a September call-up or injury fill-in someday, following the Sardinha/Hoover path. Toronto has some holes in their catching depth with Arencibia and d'Arnaud hurt.

Rube says the Phillies are now under the luxury tax number?

Then what the he$% was all the fuss about not paying Blanton's salary to get a better prospect?

Wonder how much Amaro got? As for the game tonight, I am looking forward to watching Strasburg do his thing.

Sad to see Shane go. He has been my favorite player for the past few years. Shane will be missed...

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