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« Saturday chat: Uncertain times for fringe Phillies | Main | Game, set, season as Phillies set to sell »

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Comments

To answer JWs last question. Screw it up.

Not saying they will or should, but if an AL team knocks you over for an offer for Utley to DH, do you do it?

Pblunts - you probably have to do that. Recent history with Utley has shown, he won't be playing 145-150 games at 2B again.

Chase isn't going anywhere. He still sees himself As a second basemen. When the fact is a DH position is def what he needs. This season has been "goofy" who knows what's going to happen from here till tues.

So long Pence?

Nix starting in RF today.

You simply have to trade Pierre and Blanton, because you are getting nothing for them when they're done in October.

Victorino, you have to deal unless you can't get anything you value more than a sandwich round pick (and that's assuming the team is willing to offer Shane the 1-year, $12 million deal--if they are not, then you have to trade him no matter what, obviously).

That much is simple.

Pence is hitting .153 win one extra-base hit in his last 59 games. They wanted to give Nix a start at some point. Hudson on the mound.

@Hugh I would bet teams will call about him. Only one more year on a fairly reasonable contract and if he's just hitting could be a big difference maker. It would be an initial PR hit but most Philly fans are saavy enough to know he's likely done (or highly effective) as an everyday 2B. Going to be interesting.

Should be interesting. At least the last two games (should have) removed any doubt from even the most hardcore optimists inside the organization. Time to sell & retool for 2013 & beyond.

I say thank God the real Phillies showed up again in Atlanta, ending that why-can't-us illusion against a bullpen nearly as bad as their own last week.

They still can't beat better teams. Period. The end. Bombs away.

Chase isn't going anywhere now, but we'll see about this off-season. With more time for him & the Phil's to evaluate his career options, seems like they might come to the same conclusion.

But, RSB, who is the real Kratz?

Jack: ERxplain why there is no compensation for Blanton and Pierre. You are assuming no arb offer? I know the CBA threw out all the old rules.

I foresee some new wrinkles in the Phillies trade plans.

Clout: The CBA now says that there's no arb offer requirement, and there's no "type" of FA as ranked by Elias. Instead, all FAs are the same, and all will result in sandwich pick compensation IF they are offered and decline a 1-year, $12 million deal (instead of arbitration).

There is an open question as to whether they would offer that to Victorino (I think they should, but some there have said they wouldn't). There is no question, at all, however, that they won't offer that deal to Pierre and Blanton. Therefore, Pierre and Blanton will leave for nothing. As such, you have to trade them now for anything you can get.

Agree with Jack:
Pierre and Blanton have to go for whatever you can get: (utility AAAA INF and salary relief). I initially thought Victorino should stay for $12.5M since I figured he would turn himself around.
However, if he continues downward trend and is unhappy on his next team, Phillies might be able to resign him as FA on the cheap. Was really hoping to get a Top150 prospect for him though. Could be an 11th hour deal to see if some team will cave on a Victorino rebound.

I'd also try to get rid of Wigginton and Fontenot for younger pieces. Luna/Frandsen handle those details. Maybe when Polanco returns he can get traded post waiver.

I cannot see any team offering enough to get the Phillies to trade Utley. Agree that discussion should happen in the offseason.

Jack: It's not actually a flat one-year, $12M that they would have to offer. It's the average salary of the 125 highest paid players from the previous season. I don't think we can know precisely what that is at this point, because it will be affected by incentive bonuses. But MLBTR estimated that it would likely be somewhere between $12M and $13M.

BAP: Thanks for the supplemental info. Makes sense, as you need a formula that adjusts for salary inflation or deflation.

The new system for FA draft pick compensation sounds very similar to the whole franchise tag system in football.

Halladay has 1,999 career Ks.

BAP, so, basically what you're saying is that the Howard contract continues to screw us over?

Fata: Yes, except for the crucial distinction that in football, players cannot refuse the franchise tag and sign elsewhere. In baseball, anyone who thinks they can make more than that amount on the open market can just refuse the offer and become a FA.

While I agree with the general idea that we might as well trade the likes of Blanton, Pierre, and Wigginton for whatever we can get, I suspect that this idea will quickly lose most of its luster if/when you actually find out what we can get -- which I suspect will be the functional equivalent of nothing. That said, I still think these trades need to be made, for several reasons. First, it will help make sure we get under the luxury tax threshold, which is potentially important because it would give us more leeway to exceed the threshold next year. Second, we need to find out what we have with guys like Dom Brown & Tyler Cloyd. Trading the likes of Blanton & Pierre would clear up the roster space to allow that to happen.

Jack: Assuming the $12M number is correct, your assumption is correct. If the number turns out to be $8M, I wouldn't be so sure.

But, assuming it's $12M, with no return at all, then, yes, you have to deal Blanton and Pierre even if the best you can get is organizational filler.

I know clout likes to be a contrarian, but if he honestly thinks that Blanton and Pierre (especially Pierre) are going to be offered contracts in excess of $12 M, he's crazy.

For as nice a season as Pierre's having, he'll be lucky if he surpasses 1.5 fWAR. And I think the Phillies have to be pretty tired of Blanton's act so far.

Well put, BAP. The sooner everyone (RAJ?) can resign themselves to te act that we don't, and likely won't, need to win this year with whatever we get back, the better off we'll be.

BAP: Of course. No one is expecting Jurickson Profar in return for those guys.

Chances are, you wont get anyone of value at all. But someone with a .0001 percent chance is still better than nothing. And yes, you move salary and roster space in order to let some kids play. Given that this season is a disaster, there's no point to not letting kids play. If the team doesn't do that because they feel they need to sell more tickets, then they're not doing what's best for the longterm baseball product, which is a shame. Not that anyone is paying 100 bucks a ticket to see Joe Blanton pitch and Juan Pierre play LF.

Unfortunate that my post came after clout's response. My apologies. Not quite as crazy as I thought.

Clout: Well, we pretty much know with certainty it's going to be around $12 million. But even if it were 8, I assume you were referring only to Joe, right? I mean, Juan Pierre has been great and all, but paying him $8 million next year would be insane.

Fatalotti: Yet another distortion of my position by you. And in record time! See the post above yours.

"BAP, so, basically what you're saying is that the Howard contract continues to screw us over?"

WP: Exactly! If we hadn't driven up the entire market by paying him $25M per year, the average cost of the 125 highest-paid players would probably be more like $6M instead of $12 to $13M. For $6M, we'd definitely offer arbitration to Vic and maybe even Blanton. For $12M to $13M, probably not. So the Howard contract will not only cost us $25M next year, but also two compensatory draft picks in next year's draft.

Clout, see my 12:16 mea culpa.

Jack: Yep, Joe B. No chance Pierre makes $8M.

Greatest irony in the history of Beerleaguer: clout getting all hot and bothered because another poster misstated his position.

I totally agree with BAP. Howard's contract has destroyed baseball.

Worse than the Black Sox Scandal.

BAP: Even bigger irong: That you of all people find it ironic, given that you do more distorting of others' views and build more strawmen than any poster here (although Fatalotti and I give you a run for your money).

clout: You'll have to show me even a single post where I distorted someone's view. That is not my schtick.

Look, I don't have much to hang my hat on around here. Don't take away my Post Distorting trophy.

It's all I have left.

BAP: LOL. I'd be curious to see what Iceman and TTI say about that, since I've seen you distort their views.

clout: If you say so . . .

I may occasionally exaggerate someone's views to make a point. But it is not my habit to distort anyone's view. I don't really find it terribly enjoyable to debate someone whose views I've distorted.

Pierre, Blanton and Vic should all go before the deadline. Fontenot seems like a post waiver guy to me for org filler, at best.

Back to Utley-this team has seven bloated contracts of guys who are aging, injured or in decline (Vic, Lee, JRoll, Utley, Howard, Blanton and likely, Halladay). You could make an argument that Pappelbon could be on that list. I would be shocked if Blanton's next start is in a Phillies uniform, we might even be able to get something useful for him.

The Galvis injury/suspension really has mucked up the waters. I think-and not saying it would have been smart-that Jroll or Utley would have been gone if he had stayed healthy and away from the Conte's office. Now, I have no idea how they could possibly count on him at all. For anything. It's scary to think Amaro could be counting on him, but scarier to think he is in charge of fixing this mess he created.

And regardless of what happens the rest of the season, I want Sandberg coaching this team next year. Chollie outlived his usefulness-if you can call it that-after last season. His shelf life is over here.

The next few days should not be dull.

Anyone think Blanton pitches nearly this well the rest of the season including through Sept?

I certainly don't. What he did show is he has had a nice rebound year. As long as he finishes the year avoiding the DL, I imagine he ends up with a 2 yr/$12-14M deal next year with an option. Any team that has a HR-friendly park (especially one in the AL though) is going to regret signing him.

Sure are those who are sabermetrically-oriented and worship xFIP as the end-all of pitching stats which paint Blanton in a much favorable light.

This is a guy who gives up a ton of HRs and has since he came over to the NL in '08. Blanton probably has had some bad luck this year on HR/FB but he is going to average well over HR/9. Closer to one a start.

I would also venture that his BB/9 is going to end up being largely a fluke this year & that it will bounce back above 2.0 BB/9.

Understand why the O's/Blue Jays might consider trading for Blanton especially the O's since they are so desperate for starting pitching. Camden Yards is a HR-friendly park and one of the better ones in the AL.

Jim Thome update:

.261/.354/.391 (.746 OPS) with just 2 HRs and 6 RBIs in 79 PAs in an O's uniform.

Slumped a bit the last week which have driven down his number a bit. O's though are fading fast as their hitting as slumped & their pitching has been pretty horrendous since the ASB with an ERA near 5 (4.97 ERA).

SRS ratings of AL East teams:

Yankees: 1.1 (cream of the crop in baseball seemingly every year)
Red Sox: 0.5 (last place still)
Blue Jays: 0.4 (4th place)
Rays: 0.3 (3rd place)
Orioles: -0.4 (2nd place somehow)

The Orioles will not finish the year 2nd in that division.

I will miss MG's essays on Blanton when he's traded.

I will miss Iceman's snide comments about MG posting his opinions about a Phillies pitcher on a Phillies forum.

clout- BAP has distorted his own position (by claiming he never said certain things, or that he shouldn't have been taken seriously) far more than he's distorted mine. It does happen on occasion though.

Just pulled all the 2012 contractual obligations from Cot's, and using the column for 2012 labeled "salary + p-r bonus", the average of the 125 highest paid players is $13,121,686.

This appears to a maximum average, I'm guessing, assuming every receives their bonuses and such. I'm not sure how to go about finding the minimum (or if someone's already done the work), but I don't see the number dropping below $12, and I don't see it getting anywhere near $8M.

Assuming it hasn't already, this place is getting dangerously close to Jumping the Shark.

General thumb of rule in baseball is to try to go .500 or so against good teams (those with better than .500 records), clean up against bad teams, play well in your division, and do well at home.

Phils haven't done any of those things this year.

- Phils are 21-29 (.420) at CBP largely aided by their recent dramatic sweep of the Brewers. If they finish anywhere near that mark, it will be their worst winning pct at home since CBP opened.

- Phils are an abysmal 11-24 (.314) in the NL East. Doubt they finish that badly but I think I heard the other day that would be their worst winning pct in the NL East since the modern division formats in '69.

- 17-30 (.362) vs teams that today are better .500. Good teams have just abused the Phils this year and their record resembles more closely that of a bottom-feeder:

2-1 vs DBacks
2-6 vs Braves
2-5 vs Dodgers
3-4 vs Pirates
2-4 vs Giants
3-1 vs Cards
2-4 vs Nats
0-3 vs Blue Jays
1-2 vs O's

Just for final measure if the Braves win today vs Phils that will have won 6 straight vs. Phils and that will be their longest winning streak against them since '96-'07 when they were routinely victimized by the Braves.

Iceman - Do you think Blanton gets moved then and you do think he will do well? I doubt but it depends on where he largely ends up (HR-friendly park or not; AL or not).

The teams with at least 5 players in the top 125 highest MLB players:

Yankees: 11
Red Sox: 10
Phillies: 10
Angels: 8
Cardinals: 7
Breweres: 6
Dodgers: 6
Marlins: 6
Tigers: 5
Giants: 5

After the trade deadline, there really aren't strong reasons to follow the team one way or the other for the first time in a long time.

Still tune in and listen on the radio but there aren't any younger everyday players who are interesting to follow right now. Ditto a rookie starter.

Most compelling thing will be that the Phils play better better overall baseball, are more interesting to watch, and they get strong second half from Halladay, Howard, and Utley to give some hope to the '13 season.

scott - The snide and crash back and forth gets old.

Pence/Vic updates:

"The Giants are eyeing outfielders now and Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence of the Phillies could be options in San Francisco, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes (Twitter link).

Pence is likely too pricey for the Giants, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). But as Rosenthal notes, the Dodgers might be able to afford him. Pence earns $10.4MM in 2012 and will get a raise through the arbitration process this coming offseason."

It really does sound like Pence isn't going anywhere either until this offseason.

Still is a good chance I bet he gets moved then especially with the prospect the Phils will have to pay him close to $15M next year and other needs they have to address.

MG: Assuming Brown is up and playing every day after the deadline, that's one reason to watch.

If he isn't up and playing every day, then I have no idea what the team is doing.

MG - If Blanton gets moved, we will all be glad that he's been pitching very well. And nobody will care if he then falls off a cliff. I'm not sure what you're getting at. If he stays with the team, we all expect that you're correct and he'll fade back to his normal almost mediocrity. But by then, it won't make any difference.

I see Blanton doing one thing very well this year. Pitch for a contract. If Victorino had played as well for a contract, we'd either be signing him up for a new one or getting something of value for him. But it looks right now that he won't bring back anything worthwhile. I think we actually have a pretty good chance, but not a lock, that Blanton brings something worthwhile back.

And sitting Pence today is problematic. By sitting him, the Phillies are flat out saying they are disappointed in his play. Not a tactic to up his value. And makes it more likely he is staying. I have grown to hate his style of play after watching it for a year close up. He's got holes in his game that I never saw when watching him only occasionally in Houston. the kind of holes that a professional talent evaluator should have been well aware of before trading for him.

aksmith: I promise you, PROMISE, that any team interested in trading for Pence would rather see him sit today and not get injured than cares that the Phillies supposedly are disappointed in his play.

You think other teams don't know Pence is in a slump? Do you also think that other teams don't know that Pence is a pretty good player, regardless of a slump?

Do fans seriously think that players get traded based on what they've done in their last 10 games?

Chris Johnson from the Astros to the Dbacks

Scott: You can't possibly know if the Phillies ownership group even has a shark, let alone how jump-able it may or may not be.

3rd baseman...

Rube asleep at the switch?

I know Ed Wade isn't there anymore and I don't have a clue about the value of the prospects, but the Dbax just got Chris Johnson from the Astros.

Would be good to see Dom play in the bigs this year. If he does well, people rooting for him and his team would be happier, and if he fails, his haters could gloat.

I'm sorry, when did a 4.59 ERA/87 ERA+ equate to "pitching well" in your contract year?

If you mean that it's better than his 5.01 ERA/77 ERA+ from last year, I guess you have a rather tenuous point. It you mean that he's shown he can pitch without his arm falling off, I guess you have a bit more of a point.

Sitting Pence today is a sound move. He has really struggled the past month (sub .200 AVG/sub .500 OPS) and could use a day off.

Let Nix start against start vs Hudson (good career numbers 7-21 with a HR) and give Pence his first day off this year not due to injury/health.

Things I'm tired of:

* JRoll pop-ups
* Errors
* 3B black hole
* BP failure
* SP failure
* RISP failure
* Losing

Blanton has had a few good outings amidst a vast ocean of suck. This does not equate to his having had a good FA season.

Wheels says it's very hard to pop up foul to the catcher in Atlanta, despite watching almost every game of Jimmy Rollins' career.

Tim Hudson always has struck me as a guy too who was generally overlooked. On those A's staffs, Zito and Mulder always seemed to get slightly more press.

Zito as much for his looks/personality as his efforts on the field. Mulder for his high annual win totals (averaged 18 wins/year from '01-'04 with the A's).

Hudson though has gone on to have the much better career though with a decent shot to win 200 games. Surprised when I looked that he already has 190 wins.

Not many starters the past 30-40 years who have won 200+ games I would imagine although I would be curious to see the numbers.

Okay, I've been pounded over saying Blanton is having a good season. What I should have said is that recently, he is pitching the best baseball of his career. And he appears to be healthy, about which everyone had doubts following last season.

GM's don't always look at the back of the baseball card or even the entire season when acquiring players at the trade deadline. Sometimes, being hot at the right time is what they care about. Someone who is on a streak of hitting or pitching well can spark a team. And that's sometimes what a GM is looking for.

Does a GM care if Pence is having a great career? Sure they do. But if he's playing the worst baseball of that career, is that GM going to pay as much as if he's having another great season? Of course not. Sitting Pence may have no effect on his value, which is already getting lower by the awful at bat. But it is an exclamation point on the fact that he is having a bad season and an awful stretch.

Jack - You ask if I think GMs pay attention to such thing. And I reply that Ruben Amaro and Ed Wade and John Quinn and Lee Thomas and Woody Woodward have been GMs in Philadelphia. Do you think they made trades based on logic or emotion? I'd say equal parts of both on their best days.

Oh geez.

Something else I'm tired of: our pitchers giving up more HRs than we hit.

GBrettfan: At least it wasn't a HR to the opposing pitcher this time.

Oh, boy.

- Aces not living up to epectations

Just a mistake by Doc and Chooch. Heyward is a classic LH low ball pull hitter. Dropping a curve right into his sweet zone on the first pitch is a really bad idea.

Chris Johnson.... Would have been intriguing in my opinion.

- The stupid tomahawk

- Knowing the game is doomed in the first inning

We've hit 99 HRs and surrendered 117. 118 now that Doc gave up one.

Halladay has had real issues in the 1st inning since last year:

Last year - 32 IP, 13 ER (3.66 ERA)
This year - 13 IP, 8 ER (6.00 ERA)

Add at least another 1 ER today so far. Enough of a period to call that a 'trend.'

Stop the madness.

Make that 2 ER. Ugh. Halladay has looked an awful lot like the guy who was pitching earlier this year so far back:

- Not as much movement on his cutter/2-seam and problems locating especially early.

As I continue to check the stats to feed my grievances, I note that Blanton's ERA is now 4.59. Halladay's ERA was 4.32 before this game.

Let's start a hobby thread. Things we should do for the foreseeable future since we can't rely on the Phil's anymore. I'm thinking taking up magic.

Far more important than any supposed bullpen fixes for next year is just Roy Halladay returning to being Roy Halladay.

Unreal.

What just happened?

Man, isn't this just the way the whole season is going? Doc reaches a milestone, only to have that botched.

Jack - Agreed. If Halladay and/or Utley isn't on the field and performing at really high level, this team simply won't contend.

Far more important than any supposed bullpen fixes for next year is just Roy Halladay returning to being Roy Halladay.

Posted by: Jack


Yes. I think all our aces have room for improvement.

Sell. Sell. Sell, sell, sell.

Sell!

MG: Howard, too.

MG wrote, "After the trade deadline, there really aren't strong reasons to follow the team one way or the other for the first time in a long time."

After the trade deadline? I'm at that point right now. Last night, I watched the taped delayed Olympics on NBC run into the evening news. It was only at that point that I bothered to see how the Phillies did. No surprise as they lost a no offense game.

I can't see how a team that learned by being swept by the Rox in 2007, that you need to have the proper work ethic and attitude to win. They did that nicely for four years, but this year is a mystery to me why they are so bad. I guess that it is a combination of injuries, swollen heads, and lax effort that cannot offset Uncle Cholly's lack of managerial expertise to get wins anymore. It was nice ride, but its over.

When is Doc headed to the DL or surgery. He can't be healthy. If he is then he just lost it. Only 3 people who think he is ok are Doc, CM and Dubee.

4.50 ERA now for Doc in the 1st inning since last year.

Overall ERA is 2.91 over that same stretch.

So is there any possibility of unloading Lee's massive contract and perhaps getting a low salary, young back-of-the-rotation starter?

To piggyback on GBrettfan's list:

* Overpaid, underperforming athletes
* Ol' Country Boy "player's manager"
* Stanford Graduates
* Diminutive SS's



Gtown: I don't think anyone is counting on more from Howard than a
.260 hitter with 25-30 HRs. That's just what he is at this point.

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