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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Drew has a $10M mutual option for 2013, but that kinda thing seems more likely than Headley at this point. Not really much of an offensive upgrade at all though. Drew and Rollins are 90-110 OPS+ players at this point.

Amaro will throw money at OF and the pen. There are no 3B options.

Maybe JW can look it up (or someone else could)...

Who has made more trips back and forth between Allentown and Philly in one season? Escalona or Savery?

Its got to be pretty close now.

Why don't they just DFA Schneider? Maybe they think they can get a bag of balls for him sometime before Sept 1st?

Issues with Headley:

1. He's not nearly as good as what he'll cost.
2. He is another guy that gets eaten up by LHP
3. He wont be all that cheap (probably $8 million next year in Arb and $10-12 million in 2014)

I know we need a 3B badly but paying through the teeth for one isn't the greatest idea.

If you could center a package around Worley, I would make that deal. The team needs a quality 3B more than it needs Worley.

Yeah, just don't know how interested the Padres would be in Worley. That team is usually shedding pitching.

i am glad Diekman is being sent back == still needs 'seasoning" --he has the stuff -- but QUITE not ready for he ML

***Drew has a $10M mutual option for 2013***

I seriously doubt the DBacks pick that option up so he'll likely be a FA. If they went that route and spent big in CF, it might be a good route that avoids us having to give up Worley and prospects...if the Padres would even want Worley.

S/B not quite (quite not)

Drew's 2011 and 2012 are pretty troubling. I think you'd be paying for a sub-.800 OPS 3B who's never played 3B. If that means Josh Hamilson, okay. I guess Drew is at least still sorta young and may have another 15 HR season in him.

hmm a familiar name breaks up AJs no hitter

Despite dealing one of them today, the cardinals still have one too many 3rd basemen on their roster. Gotta go after the cardinals big time in the off-season.

Sophist: You don't really want them to overpay for Josh Hamilton, do you?

Fyi - Kyle Simon - a product of the Thome trade - was promoted to Reading and pitched 3 scoreless, hit-less, innings with 1 k, to save a game for Reading.

THAT WAS A Good trade by RAJ-- Thome for Simone and Lino

Please no Headley at any cost more than we got for Pence. I know Headley can walk and plays at Petco, but no way is Headley worth more than Pence. Headley is NOT a difference maker. He is a starter caliber 3B which is valuable but no reason to trade the farm for him.

Good game tonight- let's go eat.

After Sarge stopped doing the post game interviews, it was only a matter of time 'til Pence left town.

As for Vic, we got you from the dodgers once, we might just do it again in free agency. Have your people call Rube's people, as they say in LA.

Jack - What will Hamilton get this offseason?

Sophist: 5/100 maybe?

I don't know. I like Hamilton. Unbelievably talented player. Fantastic story. I root for him. I just think his game has serious holes that will be exposed as he ages, and I think he can't stay healthy. So I think there's a better use of resources, like Bourn and a reliever/5th starter, for instance.

Bourn may be very expensive and his left-handedness is not a great fit in this lineup, considering Brown's plate discipline could play well in the leadoff spot or the 2-hole and you can't go L-L-L-L at the top of the order.

The Phils might be best suited looking for a CF who is more reasonably priced (due to an off year) and kills left-handed pitching. I can think of an ideal candidate.

What exactly qualifies a player as a Star player on BL'er? Pence isnt a star, Shane, Werth, Aramis etc etc. Who is the perfect magical player that is a star?

Wonder if there are any 3rd basemen types coming out of the Japanese League this off-season. Not that the Phillies have ever shown even the slightest inclination to go that route. But if there are options there this off-season, RAJ would be crazy not to explore them very seriously.

"Who is the perfect magical player that is a star?"

I don't know about "perfect magical player," but I think "star" is an apt description for 2 current Phillies: Roy Halladay & Cliff Lee, with Cole Hamels & Jonathan Papelbon earning honorable mentions. No one on the offense comes remotely close to the star label although, once upon a time, Utley, Howard & Rollins all qualified.

Not shocked that both Pence and Victorino went. Amaro, during spring training, made mention several times of wanting to see more plate discipline from this team. Obviously, the message fell on deaf ears so he trades what were probably his two most undisciplined hitters.

Dragon: Sort of depends on your definition of "undisciplined." If you mean hacking at pitches 6 feet out of the strike zone, then the label definitely fits. But, if plate discipline refers to working the count & drawing walks, then Vic & Pence were actually 2 of our more disciplined hitters.

Phillies are now 1-0 in the post-Pence era. clout must have turned in early, because Shecky, Weitzel, and I could not get him to bite on our remembrances of a similar night when the team improved on the field (not on paper) in a similar way 6 years ago.

Especially, since Strasburg is about to be done for the season, Braves are the team to beat now in the East. Granted the Phillies have only had their 3 best players not named Hamels (Howard, Halladay, and Utley) for 13 games, but they are 9-4 over that time, so the 2nd Wild Card is not completely out of the question with these remaining guys...

Logged on before 10, and it has taken me till now to read 1400-1500 posts since late last nite.
My thoughts:
No strong feelings on the trades either way.
Glad Kratz is staying.(They can get thru August with 1 less pitcher because there will be no need to mix-and-match in the late innings. Let the pitchers in and see what they have.)
Clout is probably in mourning over Tuffy.
And finally, the reason Joe didn't get traded in time? The O's medical staff went into shock looking at his medical records. Studied his stomach x-rays, and still trying to figure out all the contents.

So it looks like the plan is to stay under the luxury tax this year of $178 million. Then go over it next year and pay the penalty. It rises to $189 million in 2014 so that gives you a little more room and then in 2015 the Comcast Tv deal is up and you have to figure the Phils wil hit it big in their next TV deal. Do you place someone like Utley on waivers and if somehow someway somebody claimed him just dump him for more salary relief?

I anyone else excited to see the Pence show move to San Fran's monster right field? There is no way he figures out how to play that wall.

re: discipline
Shane doesn't really walk much more than everyone's poster boy for not drawing walks, Jimmy Rollins. I don't get it.

I like clout spent weeks scolding people for daring to think that they might have even the slightest idea of what the Phillies' budget might be. Turns out, the 90% who said "under the luxury tax threshold" were correct. Congrats.

Will Any 3rd basemen be put on waivers (decent ones) soon?

"I like clout spent weeks scolding people for daring to think that they might have even the slightest idea of what the Phillies' budget might be. Turns out, the 90% who said "under the luxury tax threshold" were correct. Congrats."

Do people really need to have what happened yesterday explained to them over and over again? This statement is completely off-base.

I think BL might have talked me out of the Headley thing. The package Amaro would have to put together would be overwhelming.

If the team focuses on an upgrade in CF and the bullpen (or a 4th-5th starter to move Kendrick to the BP) that might be enough. The team is counting on Brown to give them pretty good production next year, anyway.

The options at third don't blow you away but there are certainly some options that are a clear upgrade from Polanco.

I didn't see much of last night's game but what I did see of it was enjoyable. I know this season has been an absolute trainwreck and I have ripped pretty much everyone on this roster at one point or another but in general this core is still insanely likeable. Seeing Big Piece and Jimmy laughing it up took me back to all the good times. I really hope yesterday was a step in the right direction and that the competitive fire has been rekindled for these guys as they end this season and god-willing with some competent moves gets them back on top in 2013.

Actually, Ice, it is you who doesn't get it. Rube moved $6 million in salary yesterday, which he says got them under the tax limit. $6 million is like 3% over the limit. In other words, peanuts. The Phils made sure they were in position to shed those few millions if the team wasn't competitive. In short, the luxury tax limit is and undoubtedly will remain the soft ceiling of this teams budget.

curt: right. This proves this is their 'soft budget.' Right on.

Yesterday accomplished two things: 1) Not going over the luxury tax for no reason during a season which was lost (this is why they waited until the last minute to decide if a salary dump was necessary), and 2) Making sure that, in the likely event they go through it next year, they are not a repeat offender.

I know you live in the fantasy world that this is all because of the Hamels contract, and I guess you can keep living in that world if it makes you feel better. But you're wrong.

curt, you realize that the luxury tax has a cumulative effect, right? that if you blow through it year after year, the penalties get higher. therefore, if you are uncompetitive in a given year, it makes a TON of sense to figure out how NOT to pay it, so you save the times that you do for the good years.

so if your point is there is some limit to the phillies payroll, and it isn't endless, then sure. but no one has ever argued that. in order for you to truly believe that there is a "budget" that sits at the luxury tax threshold, then you need to construct a mental scenario in which the Phils are in first place yesterday, and make all of those trades anyway.

Can you do that? Can you honestly say that if this team was in first it would have sold off 2/3 of its outfield? If you can't, then Ice is right.

Baron - You're missing the point. The Phils were obviously willing to creep 3% over the tax limit if they thought they had a playoff team. But is there any doubt in your mind that all personnel decisions are made with the luxury tax number in mind as a soft limit. We see evidence that Rube is working against that limit time after time. He's never going to blow past it, and probably isn't going to pass it at all 2 years in a row, for the reasons you mention.

Amaro saying that he moved $6M to get them under the tax limit is a joke...especially since he actually said on the air last night with TMac and Wheels that he doesn't want to "waste money".

Yes...he really did say that.

Yesterday accomplished two things: 1) Not going over the luxury tax for no reason during a season which was lost (this is why they waited until the last minute to decide if a salary dump was necessary), and 2) Making sure that, in the likely event they go through it next year, they are not a repeat offender.

Posted by: Iceman | Wednesday, August 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM

Are you saying, gasp, that Phillies management, gasp, had a plan, gasp and a contingency plan, gasp and executed, gasp, on the contingency plan? Gasp!

But that doesn't fit our silly narrative!

Looks like Amaro may have done as BLers advocated - panicked by trading Pence and Vic.

Still, I'm not sure that he had an option other than to reduce payroll for a team not heading into the post-season.

I still think a team with this rotation, Paps, Ruiz, Howard, Utley, and Rollins can compete - but there are a lot of missing pieces fo' sure.

Jack - I can see what you're saying about Hamilton, and was mostly curious what the range of values was for the CF options out there because until that moment I hadn't given any thought to what Hamilton is worth on the open market given his abilities, history, and health concerns.

I'm mostly saying that the 3B market is barren so any creative option, like the Drew/Rollins combo, might be okay but you'd have to offset the offense you're likely losing elsewhere. In the past, our 2B provided highly above average production so that the Phils could fill their OF with sub-All Stars (though very good players).

I wouldn't count on Utley for anything more than 120 games of ~.830 OPS next year. I'm not sure he has a 20+ HR season left in him as a full-time 2B. Bourn may not be making up for that loss; Vic maybe could. Only a guy like Hamilton would return the team to 2009 or 2010 levels of production.

I'd be fine with Brown-Bourn-Mayberry/Schierholtz to be honest, but that'll be an offense that struggles to be in the top 10 of the NL.

curt, just do the mental exercise I suggest and tell me where you end up.

and I am missing no points. you seem to be arguing that the phillies are unwilling to just ignore the salary cap / luxury tax threshold, and spend in excess of $200M each year...who is arguing that they are? this is an unbelievably simple point to grasp.

your energies are better focused on HOW they spend the money they spend, and not on being pissed that they are actively managing to a target that has punitive consequences driven by the collective bargaining agreement and NOT the parsimony of the ownership.

I am somewhat reassured by the way this played out, at least from a cost management/plan standpoint.***

It appears that there is some kind of limit, such as "stay in range of the cap so we can get under it if the season is going nowhere". I'm feeling comfortable that if the Phils are contending next year, with a payroll at or above the cap, that they will blow through the cap if there is an area that needs shoring up.

*** I'm still not convinced that the Phils are good judges of talent. They seem to still love their Toolsy McToolsheds even if their track record of developing those guys isn't very good.

Reading through the comments yesterday was almost as entertaining as the trade deadline itself. Some people exposed themselves as severely lacking in the knowledge department when they complained that Blanton and Pierre were still on the team. It is obvious to anyone with a 3rd world average IQ that Blanton will fly through waivers. The Phils weren't satisfied with the return they were going to get on July 31. So, instead of panicking like the ppp, they said, screw you, we don't have to deal him. With Pierre, he costs nothing and would get nothing in return. If they traded Pierre, they probably would have called up Michael El Diablo Martinez. So again, why?

Hardest decision there is for a GM: Tear down/Rebuild or plug holes to prolong this run. From my view from the couch, I vote for plug holes and go for it in 2013.

With Rube, though, I do not have confidence that, regardless of which route he takes, he will execute well.


To get under the cap, Phillies could have also traded Blanton, and if necessary throw in a C prospect to get another team to take on more salary in a trade. Though Pence makes more, Phillies sent money also so Blanton's salary alone probably would have been enough.

Phillies should have traded either Polanco or Wigginton to anyone who inquired over the last month. Keeping either of them for a possible 'run' was silly. The AAA replacements were small downgrades IMHO.

I said it last night, but it would crack me up if he put up this smokescreen about going after offense and then threw another $100 million contract at Greinke.

Obviously a fantasy baseball mentality, but nothing would surprise me with Rube at this point.

Yanks swap Qualls for McGeehee with the Pirates. No one gonna comment on that? Or do you want to completely forget about Qualls like I do?

Kutz: There were comments about it when it happened; you just have to dig through thousands of posts to find them. The upshot is that there were a few who said, "If the Yanks could turn Qualls into McGehee, why did we get nothing for him?" The consensus, however, was that McGehee and nothing are about equivalent return.

Kutztown - McGeehee is nothing special and...yes...I DO want to completely forget about Chad Qualls.

I will actually say that, when the Pirates traded for McGehee in the off-season, I was a little irked that the Phillies hadn't done so. He did have good years in 2009 & 2010. At this point, though, a bounce back is starting to look increasingly unlikely.

Qualls:Pitching::McGehee:Corner IF Scrub

Or if you prefer, think of McGehee is the second coming of Ty Wigginton.

Both Qualls and McGehee were candidates to be DFA'd. I think of it as a case of "I know my guy sucks, maybe the other team isn't using their guy right, so sure, let's trade."

"I know my guy sucks, maybe the other team isn't using their guy right, so sure, let's trade."

Funny part about that is that Joe Girardi said about Chad Qualls, after the Yanks had acquired him from the Phils, that they planned on using him "right".

PPP - Blanton wasn't moved because the Phils refused to contribute to the remaining $2.8M on his salary.

I didn't hear that, Chuck, about what Girardi said. Makes me feel like I actually know what I'm talking about. :)Cue "blind squirrel" comments in 3, 2, 1 ...

I saw Girardi on TV the other day, and he looked too gaunt, like he had some horrible disease. Was it just the bar TV angle or is something going on with him.

About Polanco:

Let's be clear here: nobody wants this guy. He's a 36 year old infielder who can't stay healthy for extended periods of time. Not when he's due over $6 million this year. No one's even gonna take him as a salary dump.

But let's remember who was available at the time:
1) Adrian Beltre, who didn't want to sing anything other than a 1 year deal
2) Polanco
3) Mark De Rosa
4) Hank Blalock
5) Juan Uribe
6) Chone Figgins
7) Resign Pedro Feliz

Let's see how the others have done, shall we?

1) Blalock and Feliz are out of baseball
2) Beltre's by far had the best numbers of any of them, but he rejected any multi year deals that year. Why? Because he wanted to have a monster year and then get a really big contract. A gamble, sure, but it really paid off for him. And he costs 16-17 million a year now. You think payroll is an issue now, imagine paying Beltre $80 mil over 5 years until he's 36 with a vesting option for $16 mil when he's 37.
3) Mark DeRosa was so riddled with injuries, far worse than Polanco, that he's been reduced to a bench player. And his OPS the past 3 years is a good 100-150 points under Polly's. And he signed for the same amount of money for 2 years.
4) Chone Figgins has been a disaster out in Seattle. His first year, his OPS dropped from .786 to .646, he's lost his starting role and this year it's at .517. And he's owed $26 million more for 2012-2014.
5) Juan Uribe signed a 1 year deal that year, which made sense given he wasn't a full time 3B during his career, his bat was never that great (career OPS .716-.720 in COL and CHW, 2 of the biggest hitters parks in baseball), and his defense is decent, but nothing special. So he signed another one year deal with SF, won the World Series with a .750 OPS, then signed a 3 year deal LA for $21 million...and now his .552 and he's reduced to a bench player.

So, given that list, Polly comes out as a pretty good deal, no? Beltre did not want a 3 year deal and would not have signed one here. And he's definitely not worth 5 years, $80 million. Not to be a complementary piece behind Utley and Howard. The rest have been disasters, far more than Polly. At least Polly can put up an OK average and his OPS is above .600. You can't even say that about the rest.

In the context of who was available, signing Polanco comes out as the best move.

Qualls was even worse in his very limited stint in NY. Didn't have a comment yesterday on getting moved to the Pirates.

Guess he realizes that he is lucky to be earning $1.15M this year & that it will almost certainly be the last year he gets a guaranteed MLB deal.

The Baltimore Sun writeup suggests that the O's were both unwilling to absorb salary from Blanton and unwilling to part with their good prospects.

Given that, why would we trade Blanton to the Orioles?

The article suggests that when negotiations resumed, the O's were willing to eat a portion of the salary, but it doesn't say how much.

Godfather - I had no problem with the Polanco signing. Yes, it probably was one year too many. But that's the gamble you take with some of these contracts.

Edmundo - I forget where I heard that comment from Girardi...probably on TV or something. And, yes, the man looks gaunt as hell. Kinda scary actually.

What are the odds LA gets Vic to try hitting RH all the time, and he goes on a tear?

Vic should have given up the switch-hitting experiment YEARS ago.

What are the odds LA gets Vic to try hitting RH all the time, and he goes on a tear?

I would think it would be very hard to suddenly look at major league pitches from the same side. I can't see this happening in the heat of a pennant race.

Polanco was not the worst of those deals. I actually figured he would become a utility guy for his last season. Paying $6M for utility guy is expensive but Phillies payroll would allow for it. He actually played a better 3B that I expected. I am still shocked that he was not used as a 2B given all of Utley's issues.

Last year, it was obvious that Polanco was injured. At the trade deadline last year, I thought the Phillies should have traded for a 3B/OF type. I was pushing for Mark Reynolds (he's bad too). Wigginton would have been a player I advocated.

Again given Utley and Polanco's injuries, having a part-time 3B starter was a team need. For this reason, I did like the Wigginton acquisition. As many, predicted he is not very good either.

3B will be black hole for Phillies next season. If Polanco made $1.5M, I'd be okay with him back, but the option just makes it worse. I think Phillies grab some AAAA or old 3B guys and see who makes it from Spring Training. Sign a FA CF (Vic,Upton).

Pedro Feliz in an "old 3B guy" and is available...

Kidding of course...but I agree that they shouldn't pick up Polanco's option and just just use AAAA guys or cheap fill-ins. This guy Frandsen looks like he can play a little.

Headley would be nice but he'll cost an arm and a leg.

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