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Friday, July 27, 2012

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All your base are belong to us!

Say we hadn't be thwarted by PIT and CIN... what would they do in CF?

Start Pierre every day and platoon Mayberry/Nix in LF?

Probably not Tyson Gillies.

All your crappy middle infielders belong to us! Last year or so: Luis Castillo, Rafael Belliard, Kevin Frandsen, Pete Orr, Mike Fontenot, Andres Blanco, Wilson Valdez, Josh Barfield ... missing about a dozen others.

I just got back from a pretty off-the-grid vacation, and I feel like I'm in some alternate dimension. The Phillies have gone 8-3, Sophist is posting again, Utley is going 3-5 with 2 2Bs, Ryan Howard is mashing; is it 2007 or something?

Reposting from last thread. BL posters often ask for just one example of the budget being the reason for not acquiring a player:


I think we're all fairly certain that the Phillies would have been better with Aramis Ramirez at third and JRoll at short this season. And both were readily available. Anyone here think the "budget" was the big stumbling block to signing both of them? Because it looks like a real possibility to me.

Or is it because Rube and everyone else felt that somehow Polly would be healthy and productive and better than Ramirez. Because I doubt Rube or anyone else really thought that.

But with the Hamels signing, it looks like once again, just a little late, ownership may have decided to up the budget again. Seems like the same thing that happened with Cliff Lee. He was too expensive at 9 million but just right at 24 million per season. All it took was about a year to decide to spend more.

If Amaro really believes that 'this series determines the season' (which I don't and he is just saying that because he won't publicly concede like Gillick did in '06), the Phils' chances of sweeping this series are pretty remote.

Love the matchup tonight for the Phils but really hard to see them winning the next two days too (Blanton vs. Minor; Halladay vs. Hudson). Blanton gets hit hard by the Braves and have to favor Hudson right now over Halladay.

aksmith - we just had an entire thread in which it was obvious that upgrading from Polanco to Youkilis wouldnt have made a bit f difference in the Phil's season, so I would guess many posters here would take issue with your statement that the Phil's would be "better off" with Aramis at 3B.

Just keep McCann in the ballpark and we should be okay.

If the Phils sweep this series, then by all means Rube should bet the house.

If not, he should sell everything that's not integral to next season.

But I think they win one of three and Rube doesn't sell.

Forgot Mini-Mart somehow.

Chris - Yeah, I read that thread with some amusement. But picking up Youk was a talent decision as it couldn't possibly have affected the budget for this season. The White Sox picked up very little salary. Did the Phils blow it? Possibly. But it's hard to know that Boston was asking for or if Rube offered anything.

The Ramirez non-signing before the season was largely motivated by salary, in my estimation. And we are certain that Rube didn't offer him a contract.

As for the Phils, they get the superior version of Hamels tonight (Night/Home Hamels). He's 6-0 at night this year in 8 GS (just 5-4 in 11 GS).

Hamels numbers this year have dipped from last season but he has also pitched in a ridiculous amount of day games so far this year.

In this day and age, most starters typically have ~2x as many starts at night as they during the day. Hamels is no different the past 3 years (65 GS at night; 32 GS at day).

I look for Hamels for dominate tonight with a Phils' win. Only 3 Braves' hitters have decent numbers vs Hamels:

McCann (14-51 with 2 HRs)
Prado (15-45)
Jones (10-34 with 2 HRs and a 1.003 OPS)

McCann and Larry are hitting well lately. Hamels keeps them in check tonight & Phils win this game comfortably.

They were paying Polanco $11 million this season and actively tried to move his salary. I would say that keeping him had more to do with a sunk cost, "We're already paying him, might as well see if he's got anything left instead of paying two 3B $11 million apiece" mentality than "We've got a firm budget" mentality.

I don't think the Phils even know what their exact budget is (the process to sign Lee took a week)- it's all about the players they want that are available. But I also believe (like in the Ibanez case) they are not willing to to toss massive amounts of money out the window just to tell a player to go away. Eaton was a special exception to that rule.

Interesting bit from Stark:

- The Cubs continue to push to find a destination for Alfonso Soriano, who is on a tear at the moment (nine extra-base hits in 42 at-bats since the All-Star break). The bad news: Soriano has $36 million coming in 2013-14. The good news: The Cubs are offering to eat all but $2 million of it -- and might take it all if they get the right prospect.

I know Soriano's a bum as far as most are concerned, but for 1 mil per? I'd give up some value for that...it would be a definite power upgrade in LF

MG-- They're in Atlanta

Polanco's making 11 mil this year? Since when?

MG- Blanton has a 2.93 ERA against ATL this year with a CGSO at Turner Field. And put into context, his sub-4 ERA against them last year was decent, for him. Other than that, they hammer him.

They told Eaton to go away. And Jenkins too. And if the budget is a unicorn, who would care about the 11 million?

And I take that number with a grain of salt, since his entire deal was only 3/18. They weren't so much hamstrung by the 11 as they were given an amazing gift of the first two years of the deal.

Chris - Depends on how much salary they are willing to eat. Makes for an interesting cheap source of RH power potentially though in LF.

Imagine it would take a major prospect to get him if the Phils were willing to eat $4-5M each year of the contract.

Amaro is going to get have to get creative to free up enough salary to make any moves this offseason.

Phils fate was decided weeks ago with the poor play - losing in so many different ways: poor defense, bad starting pitching, bad bullpen .. they just never have clicked this year. The Brewers horrible bullpen presented a mirage to Phils fans. Better luck next year.

People forget they won 102 games last year, but it EASILY could have been 106 or 107 if they didn't take their foot off the gas late Sept.

107 wins is a .660 winning percentage. If they can replicate .660, they win 42 more games and 90% chance of getting a wild card with 87 wins.

Iceman: Polanco's making $6.2M this year, not $11M. But your larger point is correct: the reason the Phillies didn't go after an upgrade is because they were already paying Polanco $6.2M and didn't want to double-pay for a 3rd baseman. Which is exactly the point of those of us who think that overpaying a player (whether in money, years, or both) has consequences.

Cyclic - Dope. That was a pretty obvious overlook. Don't like the Phils quite as much then.

Call it more of a toss up then.

MG - Stark's piece said the Cubs were willing to eat all but 2 mil of the remaining 36 due him over the next two years, and even all of it for the right prospect.

Jim - Agreed. They won 3 of those games in their last AB, had to come back in every one of them, and did so against arguably the worst bullpen in the NL besides the Mets.

Chris - I imagine that is only for a pretty highly rated prospect.

Phillies in "serious talks" to send Hunter Pence to the Giants according to Dennis O'Donnell over in San Fran.

Please enough in the pre-game show with this 'making the playoffs' cr@p.

Possibly, but it's worth checking out at the very least.

Dom brown two more hits tonight. System really starting to get some prospects AA and below. Hopefully team keeps going and rube can't trade anyone yet. Dom S from hunter trade is flat out smoking the ball.

It is going to be the Cards that put an end to Phillies WC hopes. Not to mention 7 against the Reds. Oh, Brother

How did I think Polanco was making 11 million? Maybe I confused that with the Ibanez deal. They obviously feel pretty similar.

BAP- the years are a different issue altogether, and we agree there. Tacking on extra years to aging players is foolish because you're pot-committed (see: Polanco and Ibanez). That is a lack of judgment, and Amaro's judgment with contract length is certainly something that can be scrutinized. I don't see how it relates to people thinking they know what the team's budget is.

ak- they bailed on Eaton and Jenkins because they were hurting the team so much it was actually worth the money to pay them to go away. There was a chance Polly had something left in the tank. I think it was more of a judgment call, and a poor one at that, than budget constraints.

That Pence thing is for real? Wow.

Well, I'm not sure who the Giants have that would improve the team. But if they want to acquire prospects to go after Headley...

This was a tweet yesterday:

Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
more execs thinking #phillies wont sell big. NL exec: "if they get w/i 5 games by sept, i bet they make the playoffs.''


I was surprised by the optimism. But it would be exciting!

We have 7 teams ahead of us in the WC race right now and are 9.5 games back in that race.

One game at at time. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. I'd love the excitement of a run this 2nd half, but I'm not exactly counting on it.

Re: Pence trade possibility

Could we pry a reliever from the Giants?

For Pence, you had better get a lot more than a reliever.

The Giants coughed up Wheeler for Beltran, and he was a rental.

I would bet we could talk Sabean into bending over for Pence.

GBrett- yeah, I would hope Amaro would ask for one of their relief arms, as they've got a lot of them.

Angels get Greinke. Weaver, Greinke, Wilson Pujols, Trout . . . They are absolutely stacked.

And the Angels are getting Greinke. Damn.

For Pence, they need to get back pieces that fill a major hole next year (ie an OF or 3B)

I dont know that the Giants system has anything in it at that level.

Sabean loves to deal though and he'll pay top dollar...so hopefully Rube culd make a good deal if it happens.

Angels got Grienke for Jean Segura and two AA pitchers.

And there was speculation maybe OF Gary Brown and/or OF Francisco Peguro would be part of the return in a Pence to San Fran deal. Not from any official source mind you, just fan speculation.

I note that Rollins is approaching hit number 2,000. He has a shot at 2,500 hits by the end of his current contract (with the option year). He will be 37 entering the following season.

How close does Rollins get to 3,000 hits?

Angels BL- "Boy are we going to suck in 2015."

As reviled as he has become amongst Phillies fans, dumping Pence at this point would be utterly stupid. He's the only viable OF batter the team has. If the club is serious about going over the luxury tax in order to win they'll keep him around for another season.

Maybe CF Gary Brown (#38 on BA pre-season).

He's in AA and decent.

***As reviled as he has become amongst Phillies fans, dumping Pence at this point would be utterly stupid. He's the only viable OF batter the team has. ***

I agree...I cant imagine going with 3 new OFs next year.

Brown is a top 50 prospect and would be someone to legitimately be excited about. He's still only at AA, though. Not sure if he'll be ready to contribute next year.

Peguero would be a perfect fit in the Phillies' organization. He has 92 walks. Unfortunately, I don't mean 92 walks this year. I mean 92 walks in 2,472 career minor league PAs.

FWIW, Segura & Co would have been a solid return for Hamels had we dealt him. Segura could have plugged into SS for us and pushed Jimmy to 3B. He's a very solid SS/2B prospect with good speed.

I agree on Brown, bap...I dont see him as MLB ready to start 2013...I expect he makes the majors next year but not until the 2nd half.

Giants 2 top prospects at 3B:

Conor Gillaspie (already been called up and having a good year at Fresno)

Chris Dominguez (solid 2 years before this year but really struggled badly at AAA Fresno this year)

Neither guy is the kind lynchpin prospect the Phils would likely want for Pence in return.

Panik was a solid MI prospect before this season, not sure how he's done this year, though.

MG: Never overestimate the kind of prospect the Phillies might take. Remember the Lee trade.

Time to sink or swim next year with Brown. With the Hamels signing, Phils are almost going to be forced to given him a prominent role.

What the Phils will need is a RH OF power bat if they move Pence. Why Soriano is somewhat attractive in that regard because he is still a 20-25 HR guy who likely wouldn't cost the Phils much in a trade.

Use a combo of Nix/Brown/Mayberry/Soriano (Soriano as the starter in LF) and look to sign a free agent CF or bring back Vic for another year via arbitration.

i wonder if the giants are ready to give up on brandon belt. he's been a LF.

Texas is going to be desperate now for a big time starting pitcher.

Don't believe that Rube isn't looking to move Lee. And Texas is really going to want him now.

Hopefully get a 3B prospect to plug in there and look to use the freed up cash from moving Pence and his likely $15M salary to address bench/bullpen areas.

Still wonder how interested and hard the Phils will go after Adams this offseason. It is clear they desperately want to upgrade their RHP relievers.

Well, Sheets if finally scored on, but runner on 2nd with no outs will be stranded.

Sheets' curveball reminds me of Myers' when he was with the Phils. Obviously not good for us if he's this sharp.

MG-

How much power production do you think a Nix/Mayberry platoon would provide for a full-season?

I think you could get 30 HR's from that platoon. Nix could hit you 15-20 and Mayberry is going to hit 10-15 (pretty easily).

And combined, they won't make much money.

Moving Lee hurts the Phils in a potentially big way if they really want to be a team built around starting pitching again but his contract has the makings of a real stinker in later years ($25M in '14 and '15 and a $12.5M buyout in '16)

atta boy, hunter.

Giants Top Prospects according to John Mayo:

1. R-Handed OF Gary Brown, 23 YO, AA, #37 Overall (2012: 104G, .290/.353/.410, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 28 BB, 62 K, 28 SB)

2. R-Handed OF Francisco Peguero, 24 YO, AAA (2012: 80G, .266/.293/.398, 5 HR, 56 RBI, 12 BB, 65 K, 1 SB)
*Currently on DL- Left Side Strain*

3. R-Handed Reliever Heath Humbree, 23 YO, AAA (2012: 1-1, 5.52 ERA, 32G, 13 SV, 31 IP, 25 H, 2 HR, 15 BB, 26 K, .217 AVG, 1.29 WHIP)
*Currently on DL- Mild Flexor Strain*

4. L-Handed Reliever Eric Surkamp, 25 YO, MLB
*Has Not Played in 2012- Strained Flexor Tendon*

5. R-Handed C Tommy Joseph, 21 YO, AA (2012: 77G, .295/.313/.400, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 22 BB, 60 K, 0 SB)

Pitch around to get the Pence, the guy we would be stupid to get rid of.

Opposing pitchers fear this guy!

denny - 30 HRs nope. 20-25 is realistic. Thing about Pence too is just how bad defensively he has been this year. He's stunk. Thought he would be an upgrade this year after the crappy defense the Phils got last year in RF from Francisco/Brown.

Pence strikes me a guy who will be headed to LF sooner than later.

What would moving Lee or Pence prove save for the Phils wanting to dump salary? Doesn't sound like a team willing to play devil-may-care w/ the luxury tax to me.

Dave - It wouldn't be. I don't think the Phils though are prepared to go significantly over the cap next year though. We'll see.

Gary Brown had a poor 1st half and probably knocked his value down a bit. I think he's rebounded a bit. Hes fast and a legit cf/leadoff guy. Brown, a shut down reliever and an interesting minor league arm as a throw in wouldn't be a terrible return but it'd still leave that huge gaping hole at 3b in 2013. And personally I prefer thumpers to speed guys.

After signing that massive contract, I could totally see Hamels going out & pitching a massive lemon tonight.

MG- they don't need a "RH power bat." Didnt need it last year, went and got it anyway and it made no difference.

If they flipped the haul from a Pence trade into Headley, that is a fine trade-off. I also don't think you'd see a whole new OF, as I bet Vic is kept and brought back on the cheap if Pence goes.

Say this - this lineup and team would have looked a lot better last year with Bourn in CF and Vic in RF than with Pence.

Likely would have Singleton too in their system yet too.

Scouts said that Pence could be easily neutralized in the postseason because he has so many holes in his swing & constantly chases high fastballs. Turns out they were right.

Iceman - If they move Pence, they do.

They aren't dealing Lee. dennyb's endorsement of a deal is the kiss of death on that one.

MG-

Mayberry is likely going to hit close to 15 HR's this year, in mostly a platoon.

I think Nix (with many more AB's) would at least duplicate that and probably get close to 20 HR's, playing home games at CBP. Provided he could stay healthy. He hit 16 dingers just year in 350 AB's with Washington.

Maybe I am expecting too much from Nix?

Nice start for the Phils especially for Hamels.

For the record, I'm not on the trade pence bandwagon. Unless the return is a lot of 2013 ready talent.

MG: I was surprised to learn Pence leads NL OF in Assists.

Ice-

All I am saying, is with Anaheim now with Greinke (who Texas wanted) and a rotation clearly superior now to Texas's, they are going to be desperate to do something.

Texas only cares about winning the WS. They are all in. And they still like Lee. A lot.

MG- no they don't. That's just something we'll agree to disagree on. They were doing fine last year without Pence. If you upgrade at third, it's worth it.

And the more I look at the Giants system, the more I think this would be a move setting up another move.

Full on the 'trade Pence' bandwagon. Wasn't crazy they acquired him last year for the price they paid and the thought of Amaro resigning him to a 4-5 year extension at least at $16M-17M AAV is frightening.

If Pence can get the Phils a starting CF or 3B prospect along with a bullpen piece who could help them next year, I hope Amaro flips him in a heartbeat. Pence is no bargain next year at $14-$15M.

Denny- just twisting your arm. I remember last year you and I were screaming from the hills that Rube was hot for Pence no matter what he said to the media, and look what happened.

I agree that the Rangers are probably foaming at the mouth for Lee and Amaro should be listening. I just don't think he is, and I don't think he'll even think about it unless he's absolutely blown away (which, as you say, is a possibility).

If you could get a top 50 prospect and a second decent piece for Pence, I would do it in a second.

After signing that massive contract, I could totally see Hamels going out & pitching a gem tonight.

MG: For the record, I don't think r00b should sign Pence to a multi-year deal. Just bring him back for one more season, & should the Phils by some awful turn of events tank as they have this season, trade him then.

Larry owns Hamels.

Larry owns the Phillies.

Vic has lost a step...he makes that play a couple years ago.

Last I read about Lee and Texas, the Rangers expected the Phil's to eat "a significant portion" of Lee's contract going forward in any deal. If that is the case, it's a dead deal before you even start talking about it.

I'll offer to hold the Chipper Jones retirement party at my house if he does so immediately.

CHOOCH

Chipper is a stiff.

I feel like Seinfeld whenever Newman did something, or even showed up: "Chipper."

Nice throw Chooch. Larry was really sleeping there.

Very nice play by Chooch/J-Roll.

Nice throw.

Oops, that remark lost its spark when I didn't post 'til after Chipper got picked off. Nice work.

chooch owns larry.

Suddenly Hamels can't find the strike zone with anything.

Was Uggla on the face punch list?

Come on, Hamels. Soon those pitches will each be worth over $7000. Make 'em count.

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