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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


repost: Since I think the Phillies will go past the 2013 luxury tax, I hope they blow by it, and not just by a little bit, to get some competent bullpen pieces and a 3rd baseman.

I think it's all apparent to us the state of the finances. This obviously tightens the purse strings a little bit.

That being said, history shows that we have been wrong every time we thought they would stop spending. We thought tying up Howard would prevent us from signing Hamels. We thought signing Halladay would prevent us from signing Werth- which we didn't do, but a week later signed Lee to an even bigger contract. And we all thought the Lee contract meant Cole was definitely gone.

Now we think the Hamels contract will prevent us from doing anything. As far as I can remember, the only guys we haven't been able to sign 'because of money' are Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Theriot and Chone Figgins.

Basically, I'm not worried about Rube spending the money it takes to field a competitive team. I'm worried about the judgment he'll use when handing out that money. And tying up one of the best pitchers in the game in his prime is hardly the poorest judgment he's shown the past few seasons.

I don't really get all teh hankering to move Pence. But if the team did, how about Pence for Adrian Beltre (now or in the offseason), if the Rangers want to hang onto Olt so bad, let's help them open up a spot for him. (I know such a deal is unlikely).

The reviews are coming in as predictably as the sunrise:

GtownDave: "Unless the Phillies commit to paying the luxury tax for a few seasons, they're f*cked."

Fatalotti: "Great pitcher, but this deal is ludicrous."

NEPP: "FWIW, this deal leaves us with around $7 million (assuming they dont bust through the luxury tax) to fill holes in LF, 3B, 1 SP and various bench/bullpen spots. So, they will either have to move a ton of salary (but still replace the production of that salary) or go the super cheap route again."

Still waiting for the predictable responses of BAP and Jack to complete the picture.

Just because of age, Hamels is much more likely to live up to this deal than some of the other mega-contracts the team has put out there in recent years.

Every team has a budget, but the Phils aren't the Nashville Predators. Howard's contract didn't prevent Doc's, didn't prevent Lee's, didn't prevent Papelbon's. Not one of these contracts prevented Hamel's extension.

The only thing in the Phils way is the quality of their decisions on how to spend all the money they've been printing. This is a big market team, and they won't be hamstrung financially. Not once have the Phils not got their guy for financial reasons. You can argue with their targets (Howard, Polanco, Ibanez, Papelbon first), but it's getting harder to be worried about other people's money.

"As far as I can remember, the only guys we haven't been able to sign 'because of money' are Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Theriot and Chone Figgins. "

Dont like this argument at all. While those types are the ones who might have been in rumor mill, there are endless other possibilities this team could have declined to pursue based on salary of others.

clout, how about giving your assessment and stop acting like the queen of the clique, who has nothing but snide remarks about other people?

My take: Amaro paid a premium, but this contract is not an albatross.

"The Phils couldn’t significantly change the mix if they tried, and that's no small point for a 45-55 group that is also the oldest in baseball."

Very well put, JW.

I'd be looking at trading anyone making significant money at this point. They may have to bite the bullet and take less (prospects) in return. But they almost are forced now to move a bunch of guys..whether they want to or not.

This team isn't winning anything in 2012. If you win 2 out of 3 in 10 straight 3 game series, you only get back to .500 And this team has shown no ability to even do this, unless playing the Houston's and San Diego's and Milwaukee's of baseball.

Signing Hamels is nice, but Rube's tenure now will be based on how he sheds payroll before the 2013 season. How he is able to maneuver to remake the rest of the roster around the 5-6 mega-millionaire corner-stones. Its a 25-30 man roster. How he deals with spots 10-30 is what is most important.

What do I see happening? Pence and Vic are gone. Brown takes over in either RF or CF. Platoon's in both LF and either RF/CF. Likely Mayberry/Nix in LF. New 3B for sure (possibly acquired in a Vic/Pence trade in the next week). They are going to have to have guys like Stutes, Scwhimer, DeFratus and Deikman grow into roles in the pen, to go along with Bastardo and Papelbon. Possibly sign a veteran or two in the off-season to add to pen.

***Not one of these contracts prevented Hamel's extension. ***

Yeah, it just prevented them from getting quality supporting players...I think Omar Minaya showed that this route usually doesnt pan out too well.

Also, I wouldn't be too crazy about that vesting option. If Cole pitches 200.1 innings in 2018 but with a 4.75 ERA, we're going to feel pretty stupid paying him the next season. The same with Lee's vesting option...if he has a mediocre season in 2015 but still goes 200 innings, we might just regret having to pay him $27.5 million in 2016.

I wish Sophist posted more. I'm a fan.

clout's assessment is that budgets dont matter and that he will not make a comment so that he can hold off a couple years and tell people they were wrong.

Also, all long term deals are overpays...which makes them okay somehow. Though how locking up over $20 million a year to a mid 30s Lee, mid-30s Halladay, early 30s but aging quickly Howard, and very good but not elite Hamels is a good expediture seems a bit iffy to me.

Especially for a team that is already going the super cheap route with bench/bullpen pieces (how's that working out so far this year?)

lorecore: Sophist explained it better than I did.

Basically, if they want a player, they're going to go get him, no matter what we claim to know about the budget. I think all we've proven over the last few years is we know nothing about their limitations.

What a predictable clout post.

Edmundo: You mean the predictable, tiresome, repeated blah, blah, same themes over and over, which prove wrong 95% of the time doesn't bother you? Only when someone points it out (which happens rarely) are you bothered?


FWIW, I agree with you on Hamels, but we won't know for sure until we see how he pitches for the next 6 years.

But Iceman the Phillies didn't sign Ryan Theriot! I mean, they would be sure fire WS favorites then!

Locking up hamels through his prime years is well worth the $. He will only get better, IMO.

They are definitley paying the luxury tax the next two years.

I honestly don't see them moving anyone but Polanco and putting Galvis at third when his suspension is over.

Basically, with all the money they have spent, they probably decided its better to keep these guys intact and give them the mental edge they can still win it(not arguing whether that makes sense, but seems like how the FO thinks). Also, i think they keep pence because they won't be able to get a replacement level player for his salary this off-season and it works out nicely that both utley and pence will come off the books at the end of 2013.

Wildcard move: Texas pays big for Worley.

There is no way Hamels signs here NONE. Oh wait.

My man crush on Sophist and his constant desire to MAKE SENSE. Grows more and more.

Any thoughts on who they're going to get to play 3B, LF, CF next year?

I really really hope Rube has a long-term plan that actually addresses these issues.

I also really really hope that this year's reticence to not go over the luxury tax is a one-time thing to avoid penalties and that they bust out the salary to $200 million going forward based on the impending TV deal in 2015.

I was one of those who was sure he would never sign. I was wrong. I am very surprised.
I see this deal as a sign that the owners want to win or more precisely want to continue winning. That's progress for Philly. It means building a tradition which a savvy owner knows goes to the bottom line.
Yes its expensive but that is likely what others might have paid for his services, perhaps even more--think LA. The message is if you want to win you have to pay for it.

Posted by: RK | Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Agree with JW about validation of Philly brand (alluded as much in my post above). Totally disagree about RAJ as a deal maker. He is good at signing but that is a function of the owners willingness to spend (it's not his money). He is bad at trading and that has been pretty well established.

NEPP: "Yeah, it just prevented them from getting quality supporting players...I think Omar Minaya showed that this route usually doesn't pan out too well."

For those who wonder how NEPP can possibly know this, he acquired a copy of Rube's budget from DPat's secret source.

That is how NEPP was able to declare definitively yesterday that Hamels would not be re-signed.

***I honestly don't see them moving anyone but Polanco and putting Galvis at third when his suspension is over. ***

Such a move would at least give us the worst offensive 3B two years in a there's that.

***Texas pays big for Worley. ***

If you trade Worley, you need to fill 2 SP spots next year (Blanton & Worley's). Sure, you could go nut and use KK and Tyler Cloyd...but that's a pretty scary thought given the issues with Lee & Doc this year.

Also, giving Hamels this much makes me wonder if the FO knows Doc's shoulder is far worse than is admitted so far.

Ryan Reynolds DFA'd and traded for a scrub prospect to the Rays. He's having an awful year, but the Phillies should have got him since they have 0 other options. He's had two full seasons of over 100 OPS+ out of his last 4 and under team control for another 3 years.

Given their 3B state, that would have been such a smart low risk move.

***For those who wonder how NEPP can possibly know this***

So you feel that Mini Mart and Chad Qualls are good bench and bullpen pieces? That was part of Rube's cost saving plan this season due to the luxury tax issues.

johnnysanz: Sophist is my all-time fave poster. There were several more like him who used to post quite frequently 4-5 years ago. As the blog gained posters, the quality of the posts, predictably, declined. sophist and posters like him decided to move on.

Nepp - Don't agree but I could be persuaded. This isn't a question of who you'd prefer they had signed, but who they actually preferred but passed on in light of $$. We're just speculating at this point of course. I think Amaro preferred Wigginton, etc. and the hope that Doc/Lee/Hamels/Rollins/Vic would keep the ship afloat until Utley/Howard return.

Do you think $$ prevented the Phils from signing Aramis Ramirez, Rollins, Scutaro, and an actual 1B this offseason? Not even the Yankees have backups could enough to start on most MLB teams (Eric Chavez is their new starting 3B).

Sophist has hours to bill.

***Sophist has hours to bill.***

Maybe JW & Comcast have some law advice issues...perhaps a deal could be worked out here.

Make it happen, JW.

Am I out of line in not wanting to heap too much praise on Amaro? Yet again the only feather in his cap is the ability to sign a big check that was handed down to him by ownership. I'm way more interested in the subsequent moves after this signing and I can't say I have a good feeling about them. Like I said in the previous thread, I'm thrilled Cole signed though.

Fatal: Doesn't it kind of dawn on you that every time a top player signs, you think its ridiculous? Shouldn't you be reevaluating how you perceive contracts?

Posted by: lorecore | Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

He'll have to wait until Fangraphs makes a post about it before he alters his view.

clout knows the intention/lives of other posters as much as he claims BL Posters know about the phillies budget.

Fangraphs did weigh in, by that all-time Phillies hater, Dave Cameron, lauding the deal. I still think it's an overpay, and I think it will prevent the team from filling multiple holes over the next few years. Sorry to disappoint you, TTI.

I think Amaro preferred Wigginton, etc. and the hope that Doc/Lee/Hamels/Rollins/Vic would keep the ship afloat until Utley/Howard return.

Not only do I believe this was r00b's plan, I believe he persists in thinking it sound reasoning. Prepare for a salary dump in the form of Pence, & possibly (fingers crossed) Polanco, & a lot of familiar faces on the team in '13. To r00b it'll be 2012: The Do-Over.

Also lorecore, I don't think all mega deals are ludicrous. I thought the deal for Lee was great, as he had shown the ability in the past to be the best pitcher in the game (or damn close to it in 2008), and then he followed that up by having a monster season in his first year with the Phillies, where he earned way more than the $25 M he was paid. I think the deal for Kemp was a good deal for the Dodgers, I think the deal for Votto was a bit of a stretch for the Reds, but I don't really have much of a problem with it. I never had a problem with the CC deal.

The common thread among all these players? They were all elite players, capable of having a monster season, where they were legitimate CY/MVP candidates. I think Cole is a great pitcher, but I don't think he's shown that ability yet. Maybe he'll get there, who knows.

TTI: The difference between the Cain deal & the Hamels deal is that overpaying Cain made sense for SF's situation, while overpaying Hamels is continuing to throw money into starting pitching when gaping holes exist all over the remainder of the Phillies roster.

Sophist is one of the best. Next post is the predictable reader weigh-in, so keep 'em coming, people.

Gtown - Yes. I'm not saying I agree with the decisions Amaro makes, but I do think very little prevents him from doing what he wants.

OTOH, I would go into every season with a $45M+ infield, two all star level OF, and a $60M+ rotation. Not very often will that result in a playoff deficiet like this one. It would take, I don't know, the closing of a 5-6 year period of solid winning, and a bunch of DL stints for that to happen. Amaro doesn't even need to be an average GM for the Phils to be contenders year in and out.

As opposed to the Gtown 2013 plan which was trade Hamels for some prospects that could possibly pan out and fill in the rest of the rotation and roster with "some dudes."

Criticizing Amaro's bench is kind of weird. Wigginton, Pierre, Nix, Thome, Fontenot, and Galvis contributed well above their collective price tag. It would be a stretch to call any of those 6 guys anything but a good move (I'm including giving Galvis a shot as a "move").

The bullpen, of course, was awful, and that is a fair criticism.

I remember finding Beerleaguer back in 2007, and visiting so often while I was deployed in Kuwait during their push to the postseason, that the IT admin blocked it because of how much bandwidth it was using. =(

Maybe he was a Mets fan.

@ Sophist

Great point, and one often missed by people who complain about bench players.

If your bench players are good enough to start, they sign on someplace to do so. You're not gonna hold on to even an average player if you keep him riding the pine. Most players would rather start for the Royals or Astros than ride the bench all year for the Yankees. They want to play the game, not watch it from the dugout.

IMO, excellent signing to keep Hamels. This is a pitcher in his prime. And with his resume, this is the price any team would have to pay to get him via free agency. You want a top pitcher under 30, you're gonna shell out 5-6 years and $120, minimum. End of story.

Everyone complains about the Howard contract, but it's a bargain compared to what the Angels have to pay Pujols, the Reds have to pay Votto, and the Tigers have to pay Fielder, simply in terms of length of deal. You want to sign a top 1B, guess what? You're spending over $20 million a year for 5-6 years. Minimum. Hamilton's gonna get that contract and more this year.

Yes, Dave Cameron had this glowing endorsement about the deal:

You can’t make that many win-now moves at the expense of your future, and then decide that you went too far and it’s time to pinch pennies. In the Phillies situation, only two decisions make sense – keep trying to win as many championships as possible until these guys can’t play anymore, or tear the whole thing down and start over. Letting Hamels go in the interest of fiscal prudence is trying to cross a bridge you already burned to the ground.

b_a_p Day: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Pence (RF), Wigginton (3B), Pierre (LF), Kratz (C), Worley (P).

No Polanco, no DL. And Charlie pours more cement on his King of the Jackasses Monument by sticking Wigginton at 3B, a position at which he's made at least one Error or gross misplay every single time he's started there.

jbird - "Since I think the Phillies will go past the 2013 luxury tax, I hope they blow by it, and not just by a little bit, to get some competent bullpen pieces and a 3rd baseman."

The big question is whether they'll look to get under the luxury-tax threshold in 2014, when it goes up another $11M to $189M. If they don't care about that, they can go hog-wild with long-term offers this offseason. But if they do care about the 2014 cap, they'll have to find/keep some guys on expiring contracts, since impact players don't usually sign one-year deals (except for the occasional Beltre).

Why does that matter? Well, if they don't deal Pence, he's on an expiring contract, making him a good fit for the 2013 club. Likewise, if Vic isn't traded, they can offer him arbitration and, if he accepts, keep him on a one-year deal. Their salaries (probably about $27M between them) would clear after 2013, along with Doc's $20M and Utley's $15M if they don't exercise his option. Add Chooch's $5M, and that's a total of $67M off the payroll after 2013. They'll have a ton of needs to address, starting with an extension for Chooch, but they'll also have a good chunk of change to work with whether they're minding the cap or not.

As opposed to the Gtown 2013 plan which was trade Hamels for some prospects that could possibly pan out and fill in the rest of the rotation and roster with "some dudes."

RedBurb: If you & the other members of the FO Ass Kiss Brigade hadn't fled the moment the Phillies began tanking, you'd know the above statement is a complete falsehood.

**Doc's option, not Utley's - Utley's contract doesn't have an option.

***total of $67M off the payroll after 2013***

Sweet, we could sign 2-3 more top SP.

I've been here the whole time Gtown. Started a new job. Just haven't been posting until recently. I know you wanted to sign Bourn.

And I'm not even going to dignify your name calling because it shows how low class you are.

**No Polanco, no DL.**

Does Fontenot have a "No 3B" clause in his contract?

Why persist in starting Wigginton there? Could we not just put Utley's lawn chair out there instead?

NEPP: Just in time to make Kendrick the next $24 million AAV pitcher!

Extension for Chooch? He'll be entering his age 35 season after next year, and catchers usually don't age too well past that.

RedBurb: Low class? You mean like deliberately lying about someone's stance on an issue just because you don't approve of their POV?

***Extension for Chooch?***

4 years, $60 million.

Budget isnt an issue anyway.

" If you & the other members of the FO Ass Kiss Brigade hadn't fled the moment the Phillies began tanking, you'd know the above statement is a complete falsehood."

Must admit, that is one of the best Beerleaguer ripostes I've seen in awhile. If you drew Venn diagrams of the BL posters who are members of the FO Ass Kiss Brigade, and the BL posters who completely disappeared during the 6-week period in which the Phillies were playing themselves out of the playoff race, the overlap would be considerable.

Fata: This has to be crushing for you.

NEPP: Cameron pretty much unambiguously endorsed the deal. You picked out a paragraph where he criticized the overall plan that makes it seem like it was a criticism or damning-with-faint-praise of the Hamels deal. You could have picked the final two paragraphs where he summarizes the article:

The Phillies aren’t there yet. Their 2012 struggles show that this kind of plan is fraught with risk, but the last five years shows it can pay off too. If they keep the band together, everyone stays reasonably healthy, and they can fill a few holes on the cheap this winter, the Phillies can be contenders again in 2013 and maybe even 2014.

The Phillies probably will have to trade Cole Hamels eventually. They just didn’t have to trade him this week. For now, keeping him and trying to hang another banner was the right choice.

I don't think PR really had much to factor into this, while that may sound like a logical idea and all, i think it vastly underestimates the true business/on-field implications a deal like this is evaluated on.

The most refreshing part of this deal is that Hamels' last year will be his age 34 season. Every other $20M man (Doc, Lee, Howard) was signed with their Age 32-33 season as their first year of the deal. It really hammers home that Hamels' contract has such a lower level of risk than others that have preceded it. Thats why I think the detractors of this deal are off-base when thinking that this is 'just another example' of Amaro throwing out money.

The budget always matters. But, this deal points to one thing - the Phillies are going to spend in excess of the luxury tax threshold in 2013. Sure, they'll likely shed some guys to save some money this year and, they may move Pence to try to gain flexibility for other areas next year. But, they're going to retool and try to make a run at it. That's very good news.

About putting Galvis at 3B - Would it not make more sense to ask Rollins to switch, as some have suggested before, & let Freddy play SS?

Not that this helps our offense. The goal in not resigning Polly is to improve our production from 3B, isn't it? Or is it merely to save the $5.5 million his option would cost us.

Plus, we'll need someone to spell Utley at 2B. I suppose that's Martinez or Orr, isn't it? I have no idea whether Utley can play an entire season even with a few days off per week.

I get the impression that some people would like the Phillies to have a fire sale (like the Marlins are doing) with an eye on younger, cheaper players. I'd like to know who these younger, cheaper players are, how the Phillies will get them, and how they will make the Phillies contenders.

I enjoy some of your posts Gtown, but you were basically saying deal Hamels for a chance of possibly getting some decent talent back, then filling the holes with the likes of Bourn (which isn't bad) and other guys. I don't understand how that's a lie on my part. I stated your exact plan for 2013.

Low class is name calling.

Now that the question of Hamels has been answered, are we contenders to win a championship in 2013 without another major addition to the roster?

- I was 100% dead wrong and eat crow (which I imagine would be awful given the extenet of crap crows eat).

- Glad to see Hamels back since I enjoy since him pitch. He has also become a real fan favorite again since the '09 season.

- One skill that Amaro has shown me as GM is that he has been able to obtain a premium player almost always paying a premium price to do so in dollars/prospects. He has to show he can find value signings in FA which has had a pretty mixed track record on.

- Iceman is right about the Phils' expanding constantly surprising us with additional payroll until last offseason. They said all year they would stay under the luxury tax and they did. If the Phils aren't willing to go under the luxury threshold, they are aren't going to be able to put enough quality cheaper talent around this aging core.

- Building a team based around starting pitching is the riskiest thing to do in baseball given the incredibly high rate that pitchers getting injured. When it works out like it did in 2011, you have a dominant team. When it doesn't like this year, the team often scuffles.

- Definitely means that Cholly will be back again next year too. If the starting pitching is dominant and they go deep in games, they should be fine. If it isn't and he has to often make tough choices on pitching changes in close games, he won't be the right guy to manage this team.

Fata: This has to be crushing for you.

Posted by: The Truth Injection | Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

You're just trying too hard now. Time for you to give up your quasi-obsession with me, huh?

Here are a couple ideas for all of you to tear apart..

1. How about Prepping Choch for third..
2. a Send Valle to Fall league..
2. b. or try to gear a trade with toronto to get
D'arnaud back ( he is on dl right now, but s/be ok by spring 13 (?)
3. See if we can make a trade to the a's (now a contender) to Michael Taylor

And how did I get lumped in with the FO kiss ass club? I've stated multiple times that I don't like the way RAJ evaluates talent and don't think he is the right GM for a rebuilding club. Yeesh Gtown, talk about deliberately lying.

***Plus, we'll need someone to spell Utley at 2B. I suppose that's Martinez or Orr, isn't it? I have no idea whether Utley can play an entire season even with a few days off per week.***

Ideally, you would sign an offensive first guy that can handle 3B/2B defense at least at a mediocre level. That way, you can still give Galvis playing time at 2B, 3B & SS as a defensive first replacement and give Utley the rest he needs but not completely lose out on his bat in the lineup.

Caveat: This theoretical player cannot be named Ty Wigginton or Michael Martinez.

I first read this when I was in college around 25 years ago, and it's still floating around on the Internet. It somehow strikes me as mandatory reading for everyone who frequently posts on Beerleaguer.

NEPP - Mike Fontenot?

***Building a team based around starting pitching is the riskiest thing to do in baseball given the incredibly high rate that pitchers getting injured. ***

Before 2011, no team had ever had 2 $20 million pitchers on its roster. Going into 2013, the Phillies will be the first to have 3.

We dont have anything that would make the Jays give up d'Arnaud and Michael Taylor is 26 and he sucks.

I know the deal is a ton of cash but we are talking about locking up a 28 year old pitcher through his age 34 season. A pitcher that right now is probably top 10 in all of baseball, at worst- the third best left-handed starter in baseball, a WS MVP, a NLCS MVP, and is entering the prime of his career. I can't get overly upset about it.

Also, for the team, this ensures (provided Lee isn't traded) that our strength remains a strength for one more season. After that Doc is probably off the books and can be resigned cheaply if wanted and Lee and Hamels top your rotation. If Lee is gone you have Hamels left and you have sent a clear message to your fan base that you value Cole- a guy you drafted and nurtured as a top tier guy in this league. That should not be dismissed.

Will - Have to see how a few guys in particular Howard/Utley/Halladay look the rest of the year & the health of the team in spring training.

If they subtract Vic and a few others I say with largely scrap heap FA additions and holdovers, I say no.

Amaro though is basically even betting once again that this year was an aberration from a health perspective and this team will rebound healthy & effective next year for the most part. If it wasn't, the Phils will likely have another year where scuffle at times and aren't good enough to win 88-90 games to makes the playoffs.

Prognosticating about next season though at this point is pretty meaningless though because the Phils are going to make a ton of roster moves & you have to see how healthy they are next during spring training. Too much variability.

***Mike Fontenot?***

Possible...very possible he's back.

A get young/cheap move I would endorse - Pence to Pittsburgh for Marte and Lincoln. Probably too rich for the Pirates without cash in the deal for next year. Marte looks like he's ready soon and, maybe in another year, he's your leadoff guy. Lincoln is swingmany but, with 3X the stuff of Kendrick, so could make your rotation eventually. Pirates adding Rodriguez with a full rotation gives them roster surplus to make that deal.

lorecore: You can't view the Hamels deal in a vacuum. Yeah, it might be a good overall deal for this one particular player, but where does that leave the rest of the team? What kind of surrounding cast is going to be attainable? Who's gonna play 3B? LF? If Pence is traded, RF? How many years does Vic get, & at what price? Do Stutes & Herndon returning solve the bullpen issues? Better hope Utley & Howard not only stay healthy, but produce in line w/ their career averages. Better hope Chooch stays healthy, & even if he does I seriously doubt he hits .350 again next season. Too many questions & no apparent answers. It feels like another case of sentimentality winning out over logic to me.

It has been shown time and time again that casual fans don't give a cr@p about what players are signed on the team - they only watch or go out to support a winning team. This varies from city to city but it is still true in Philadelphia too.

Phils are going to take a bit of a hit to season ticket renewals (say 8-10%) because of their weaker finish. Since they resigned Hamels and if they finish strong, it will probably be mitigated a bit (say 5%).

Fontenot is under team control for 2013 - definitely back.

bap: Don't worry, I'll be disappearing again. Of course, I've been largely absent since the Phils were eliminated from the playoffs last year. I have a new job that's been a lot busier than my last. I stopped by today because Cole is one of my favorite players and I'm glad they signed him.

Even if the Phils make some miraculous push, you're not likely to see me around much.

I have no doubt, however, that you and others are reveling in your misery. This is a dream season for those who thrive on being miserable Philadelphia sports fans.

I would hope that in 2014, Chooch can be resigned at a very reasonable one or two year deal and Valle can be his understudy. Huge hope, but not very far fetched.

RedBurb: Again, that is not my position, nor has it been. And if you do not appreciate being thought of as an ill-informed ass-kiss, do some research before attempting to call someone out for daring to disagree w/ Monty, r00b & Co.

Ryan Roberts to that's not an option anymore.

Dave - The is kind of what I get here. Hamels is a very good starting pitcher but Phils certainly didn't get any 'hometown discount' either at 6 yr/$144M. Even on the FA market, hard to believe Hamels would have been able to top that by much.

Maybe a few more million bucks but the only way he would have gotten substantially more was a guaranteed 7th year.

Wait and see what Amaro does now at the trading deadline & this offseason. Double-downed on an incredibly risky hand & better hope it pains out.

Even with all the possible downfalls, like if Hamels flames out or suffers a serious injury, I am still happy with the signing. In an otherwise forgettable season, this signing is more reminiscent of the "golden" 2007-2011 years much more than the awful teams of the early 2000s. Even if the team is awful over the next couple years, my perception is that they're still trying a lot harder than they ever did in the Ed Wade era. And for that, I'm thankful that it's still a great time to be a fan.

Gtown: In this instance, Cole Hamels is your best player today and in the immediate future. I think you handle his situation as a top priority, and act later to address the problems you mentioned.

Haha, ok Gtown. Whatever man.

I have no doubt, however, that you and others are reveling in your misery. This is a dream season for those who thrive on being miserable Philadelphia sports fans.

Posted by: CJ | Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM

What a stupid comment.

NEPP: I hate seeing Roberts get moved for org filler while the Phillies are stuck with Polanco/Wigginton/Fontenot at 3B.

Yes Roberts was playing absolutely awful, but he's shown hes worth holding out for hope while the previous trio I mentioned are hopeless for any upside outside what they've already given us.

Total speculation but I think it's very possible the Dodgers would have ended up offering quite a bit more than this contract.

MG: Agreed. The Phillies are going to get a lot of lazy, syrupy praise from the local sports media, & the instant verbal appreciation of fans. But when it comes to shelling out for tickets those masses will only continue to do so if the team is winning. (As an aside, I'm wondering if the team will have the balls to raise prices again this year.) In any case, Monty & r00b are betting a lot on Hamels' contract, & on the team's success next season in particular.

Great deal for the Phillies because LH aces don't grow on trees. The Phillies no longer have a farm system full of top pitching prospects. Those are all in other farm systems. Makes it that much more important to hold on to our own.

And here's the bottom line: The Phils don't make this deal if they're not committed to spending the money necessary to fill other parts. Why? Because it's going to be a giant payroll and the only way to balance that is with the money that comes from success.

What's important moving forward is effective talent evaluation and that's the area which concerns me. Who is making these decisions and have they demonstrated an ability to identify the cheaper parts who can be successful parts of this team.

And with that... I'm gone. Catch you guys the next time the Phils make a big move.

The great irony of CJ's 11:18 post is that, without naming a single name, I mentioned that the FO Ass Kiss Brigade seemingly disappeared during this disastrous season. CJ then responded as if my post was directly aimed at him.

re: Marlins

Jacob Turner(DET) and Nate Eovaldi(LAD) are two serious upside arms they've acquired - I actually liked the Eovaldi kid a lot ever since Phils found themselves in a seller situation. Eovaldi will be in the rotation right away while Turner will season in the minors, as DET failed to do so.

They could be major upgrades over Marlins' rotation in the past, as they have upside well above what their previous top prospect arms (Sanchez/Nolasco) gave them over the past 4-5 seasons.

Was there really any doubt that this deal was going to get done? Would Rube let their best and youngest pitcher go? Highly unlikely. I'm surprised anyone thought this wouldn't happen.

"Total speculation but I think it's very possible the Dodgers would have ended up offering quite a bit more than this contract."

Considering that they just took on $31M in salary for 2013-2014, for a player in the midst of his second straight .240-ish season, I suspect you are probably right. They have a new owner, deep pockets, and play in a major media market. They'll be throwing money around like confetti on New Year's Eve.

lorecore - They may acquire Olt too. Rangers are said to be considering to move him for Johnson.

I know Olt is a 3B, but the Marlins are doing their once every 5 year sell off, and getting back some nice talent.

Marlins build a new stadium, go all in on every FA in the offseason, declare it's time to win now, and then start dismantling 2-4 years in advance of even the most pessimisstic projections.

I'm not saying im jealous of the Marlins, i'm just pointing out that they are acquiring serious talent going forward.

Im glad we have Hamels for the next 6 years, but it damn well looks like a sellers market. Despite early reports, we're seeing top #100 prospects being offered up frequently and we're not even within 72 hours of the deadline yet.

Sophist: I'd say that has a lot to do w/ the fact the Marlins are playing in a brand new, climate controlled stadium, but remain 12th in the NL in attendance, drawing an average of ~28,400 people per home game. MLB placing teams in Miami & Tampa was a bad idea, period.

Congrats to RAJ for gettinh this done. The bad PR if Hamels were not retained would have probably been terrible.

They probably over-paid a little, but it shows their commitment to him. They'll probably cut sum payroll now. But really, I believe they have the money to do what ever they want. It's just a matter of paying 17% tax next year, which apparantly the could easily affors, 'specially if they go deep into the playoffs.

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