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Thursday, July 26, 2012

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So the rumors are that the Phils asked for Brad Lincoln for Victorino and the Pirates countered with Jared Hughes.

Do we really want to trade our starting center fielder for an average relief pitcher (Ondrusek or Lincoln)? Remember, if a pitcher is any good, he would be starting (or closing).

"Remember, if a pitcher is any good, he would be starting (or closing)."

Good rule of thumb right there.

Victorino for a relief pitcher seems like a poor trade to me.

I'll make a bet that if the Phillies lose 2-of-3 or get swept by the Braves, Victorino is in a Pirates uniform on Tuesday.

Wait, so Ryan Madson ... no good all those years?

Ed Wade flashbacks.

If the Phillies get swept, I would rather have the draft picks for Vic than a middle reliever. I could have seen Robbie Grossman coming back for Vic, but he was part of the Wandy Rodriguez trade. Starling Marte might be too much to hope for. After that, there are guys who they probably won't trade (Taillion, Cole, Bell, Heredia) and guys who aren't worth it.

Javier Lopez ... middle reliever picked up by the Giants in 2010 for the stretch run. Key to the World Series that season.

Remember, Madson was a failed starter who was able to become good enough to close/setup. He didn't get to that point until later in his Phillies career. Guys who get sent from the rotation to the pen absolutely see it as a demotion.

Pit probably wouldn't trade Alen Hanson or Greg Polanco either. They'd be good returns on Victorino, but they wouldn't be any help for the Phillies in 2013 or 2014.

Lincoln's numbers from the first two years of his career don't look so hot. He's having a good year this year, but I'd rather go after a guy with a little bit of a track record.

He's under team control for several seasons, though, so he's a guy they could slot into their bullpen for quite a few years to come.

What's with all these generalities over relief pitching? Everyone watched the Phils from 2008-on, right? Romero, Madson, Lidge in 2008? Did Papelbon see going from the rotation to ninth inning as a demotion? 50 million reasons why he didn't ... Brett Myers is another guy who preferred the 'pen ...

Phils asked LAD for reliever as well, apparently.

Giants got Javier Lopez for a 27 year old AAA career minor leaguer with a spotty track record in Joe Martinez. If we can get Lincoln for JC Ramirez, I say we do it. But for Victorino. . . . m'eh

Fightins: the idea that you are not a good pitcher if you aren't a closer or a starter is ridiculous and unsupported by facts.

Ask the Braves if they think Venters isn't any good.

One of the biggest reasons why the Phils won 102 games last season. They were able to secure leads after the starter was finished ...

Lincoln has been in and out of hte Pirates rotation for a few years. He's a former no. 1 pick (top 5 overall) and can hit 95 with his fastball. Has good control and an effective curve. This is his first year in the bullpen and he has been very good in that role. Would be a great arm to pick up.

I don't really like the idea of trading a starting everyday player for a reliever. Actually, I kinda think it's nuts.

But, since Vic is a short-term rental who doesn't have all that much value, I could probably accommodate myself to the idea if we got a really top-notch young reliever. I'm not sure Lincoln is it. He's having an excellent year &, notably, his strikeouts are way up. Maybe he learned a new pitch or something. But his numbers the last 2 years were flat-out ugly & his minor league numbers are uninspiring. And Hughes doesn't excite me either.

Hey - also got John Bowker in that trade.

What about Mariano Rivera? He was a starter at first...

The alternative is to trade Vic for a pair maybe something that resembles, for example, Jonathan Pettibone and Tyler Cloyd. They could turn into Andrew Carpenters.

BAP - Not saying you have to like it, but 'nuts' is a bit much given the Phils traded Bourn for Lidge and ...

"One of the biggest reasons why the Phils won 102 games last season. They were able to secure leads after the starter was finished ..."

Our starters were also going 7 and 8 strong innings on a nightly basis. This year they looked gassed by the 6th.

Jason: Not to be argumentative here, but I think I get what people are saying. Just about all great relievers that I can think of began their professional careers as starters, no matter how short of a time that was. I understand the point that they were starters before they became pros because they were better than everyone else in their high school, college, independent league, etc. But, the point remains, that other than closers (and set-up men on teams with elite closers), relievers just aren't very good. Or at least inconsistent.

"... Brett Myers is another guy who preferred the 'pen ..." A distinction here is important, too. Brett Myers is another guy who preferred closing, not necessarily being in the 'pen.

Hugh: Ah, ok. He was converted from a starter. That explains the uptick in strikeouts & it gives me a little more reason to believe that this year's numbers might be real. Plus, his walk rate is really low, which I also like.

Still . . . how many teams trade their starting centerfielder for a reliever? Even given Vic's present circumstances, it just seems like insufficient return.

This year they looked gassed by the 6th.

All the more reason they need middle relief.

to say middle relievers aren't good pitchers is an overstatement. They are limited pitchers though. The good ones usually have 1 or 2 strengths as well as a couple weaknesses that get exposed when they face a lineup a couple times.

Oakland has relievers coming out of their ears, we can't match up with them (without giving up jimmy)?

This year they looked gassed by the 6th.

All the more reason they need middle relief.

Now THAT I can agree with.

Sophist: Bourn was not our starting centerfielder. He was the odd man out in our outfield.

BAP- what kind of player would you expect in return for Victorino, a 2 or 3 month rental having a down year?

If you can get a guy that fills a void (and middle relief is a gaping void) and is under team control for quite a few seasons to come, I would consider that sufficient return.

trade Pence for Marte and keep Victornio for the rest of the year! Play brown, Victorino and Marte in the outfield!

IIRC, Bourn was nothing more than a September callup who provided pinch running and some defensive replacement value prior to the Lidge deal.

"Sweep, or take two-of-three, and the Phils could not only hold steady on the trade front, but actually become aggressors before Monday night's non-waiver trade deadline."

It's a nice idea, but who do we have on the farm that any team might want for a player that is ready to contribute at the MLB level?

I highly doubt that they're moving Brown at this point.

People seem to forget how bad our bullpen is.

Iceman: As I said, I understand all that. My preference would, of course, be to get an OF or 3rd base prospect, but it's probably not possible. If we got a really good, young reliever, I wouldn't be outraged. But it's hard to tell from minor league numbers, and small sample size major league ones, which relievers are actually good. We are at the peril of the Phillies' judgment, which is a fairly frightening place to be.

There is some irrational exuberance on the board today. Even if the Phils sweep the Braves, to really make gains on the 2nd WC, they also need losing streaks from 5 other teams.

I don't think trading Victorino for a bullpen piece constitutes "selling."

For relief help, I'd much rather sign a couple of failed starters and convert them to relievers like was done with Chad Durbin and Chan Ho Park.

This being done in the off-season of course.

Isn't irrational exuberance part of being a fan?

If memory serves, last year the Cardinals' bullpen sucked in the beginning of the year, causing them to lose games and fall behind. Then the bullpen improved towards the end of the season. Think the same could happen to the Phils? Kendrick sure has been good lately. Other than the meatball served to Braun yesterday, Bastardo has been effective.

Is this too optimistic?

Thoughts?

BAP - not our starting CF, no, but he could have been a starter on several teams, and was immediately a starter for, well, the Astros. Bourn was *not* a September call up. He played over 100 games for the Phils in 2007 with an OBP near .350 (age 24) and stole 18 bases in 19 attempts. He won a GG two years later. He was a legit player.

Not the same as trading Vic, and I mostly agree with you, but sometimes these things work.

instead of making a trade with Pit for a reliever, why don't we just call up Jason Grill. . .i. . . crap! Well maybe we could just move Vogelsong or Travis Blackley to the pen because they've been pitching so well as starters. . . .

***the bullpen improved towards the end of the season***

Because they traded their starting CF Colby Rasmus for bullpen help...

Sophist: 105 games but only 133 plate appearances. That's 1.27 PA's per game. not exactly an integral piece.

Just to be perfectly clear, Bourn played for the Phils in April of 2007, and was on the roster through all of July (hitting .284/.361/.394) before he tripped on the bullpen mound at Wrigley - I think - and hit the DL. He came back in mid-September.

I'm not opposed to adding a good, young, bullpen pitcher who will be here a few years, I just think Victorino is an overpay.

JBird - He was 24 years old. The Phils had Burrell, Rowand, and Vic. Rowand started 155 games in CF and had a career year. Bourn wasn't our starter, but he was ready to be a starter at that time. He was a September callup the year previous, and more than held his own that season.

In any case, this is a slight diversion. My point was merely that position player for reliever deal can work provided the reliever is good enough.

What's the longest contract going for a non-closing reliever right now? 2 years? Maybe 3 (Brandon Lyon comes to mind, and he wa signed as a closer).

There's a reason why faltering closers are replaced by setup men who then perform better. Finding a consistent relief pitcher year-to-year is luck.

If Vic is traded for a reliever how much does the loss of Vic's defense affect the overall pitching?

"Bill James 1988 Primer

#10: A great deal of what is perceived as being pitching is in fact defense."


So, is trading Vic for a reliever actually productive? How many runs does Vic save with his superior defense, and how many more runs would be surrendered without his sure hands in CF?

In 2013, does losing him for 1200+ innings have more of a negative impact than a middle reliever who might pitch 50-070 innings?

People seem to forget how bad our bullpen is.

Posted by: Bedrosian's Beard

I only WISH I could forget.

Sophist, good memory with Bourne on the bullpen mound at Wrigley.

I think he was in that game because Vic had gotten hurt and then Bourne hurt himself shortly after, then they both missed a fair amount of time.

Coincidentally, what does everyone think about the similar bullpen setup in SF? I think it's lame (since it's a relatively new park) but gives them an advantage because their relievers are used to sitting on that tiny metal bench.

***In 2013, does losing him for 1200+ innings have more of a negative impact than a middle reliever who might pitch 50-070 innings?***

Not if we sign Bourn to play CF.

"50-70 innings"

NEPP, of course, but what if they can't sign either of them?

Quite honestly, our bullpen is deeper now than it was earlier in the year. Schwimer has improved considerably as he has pitched more. KK has returned to the pen & pitched well. Horst has been a pretty nice LOOGY. Diekman & Savery stink, but so do the 6th & 7th relievers in many bullpens.

It basically comes down to this: our bullpen problems would more or less be solved if only Bastardo returned to being even halfway decent. Granted, I haven't seen much evidence that that's about to happen. But is it really less likely than Brad Lincoln coming to Philly and continuing to pitch as he has this season, and this season only?

I went to the Astros game last night. Their starter pitched 7 innings giving up one run. In the bottom of the 7th, they pinch hit for him with former Phil Ben Francisco. Ben Fran flied out too shallow to even advance a runner. In the top of the 8th, the dis-Astros sent three no name dodo pitchers to give up another run. Somehow, the L'Astros scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead. With two out in the 9th, their new "closer" Francisco Cordero showed that he was no Brett Myers by blowing the save and losing the game.

There were about 50 to 100 Reds fans that made more noise than the rest of the fans that I suppose are still Astros fans. I'm surely glad that I'm a Phillies fan. My daughter wore her Chase Utley jersey to the game.

Bud Selig should man up and fine the Houston Astros big time for decimating their team and letting their club fall below MLB standards by playing all no name AAA type players.

Thanks NEPP. Forgot about that.

I agree with BAP. If Bastardo were the Bastardo of last year, I'd have more confidence going forward.

Yeah Bastardo is the one throwing this whole bullpen off and of course Manuel's use of him. Maybe they need to see if Kendrick or Schwimer is up to the task of being the "8th inning guy" even though the role in general is stupid.

Repost from last thread:

With any position, you have to decide based on the makeup of your team, what is the more valuable commodity for a given postion: offense or defense. For 3b, for most team the answer is offense. Certainly, in an ideal world you get both, but,
all-star players aren't easy to come by.

If you had to lose a guy like pence to make an offensive upgrade at 3b, if the return isn't better or equal to the offensive production your losing, then it's a bad trade, unless it's a developing/cost controlled player like Headley. So then the question for Headley becomes, do you see his offensive production increasing over the next few years, or staying the same? If it's not increasing, then i don't know if it's necessarily a good trade in the short term, or long term necessarily, should they be able to move pence for another player with better upside, perhaps at a different position of need. As many have said, headley is a nice player, but not a player that should be coveted per se, because his offense really only puts him about the middle of the pack for 3rd basemen in the league. I realize we have a desire to get younger, and should, but, it doesn't necessarily have to be at a pre-determined position does it? And will it be harder to get a league average offensive 3b with average defense next offense, or an offensive OF, since getting an elite player at either position is not an ability the phils will have. My point in all of this, is that there may be a better player we can acquire for Pence, just not at 3b.

BAP: "My preference would, of course, be to get an OF or 3rd base prospect, but it's probably not possible."

For a two-month rental of the 2012 Shane Victorino? I guaran-damn-tee it's not possible. In fact, I'm not shocked at all that the Pirates wouldn't deal Lincoln for him.

Yeah, Vic missed the first few weeks of August and had a bad finish to the year. Phils also had Werth. You can pretty much date his emergence to that weekend as well. I think he started pretty much every game in RF from there on out and posted out of this world numbers. Previous to that he only started in a dozen games or so and was looking pretty terrible (werthless). Didn't play a single game in 06.

So thank you bullpen mounds.

If Vic were having an average Vic type year, we might have a shot at getting something valuable but a .700 OPS Victorino simply doesnt bring much back in trade.

So basically Vic tanking has hurt not only our season in general but any ability to even move him for value.

Johnny Venters is terrible since he is neither a starter or closer.

All guys who pitch out of the pen that aren't closers stink.

BAP, you think our bullpen problems are solved by the rebound of just one pitcher? You really have faith in the rest of the guys you mentioned to hold down the fort the rest of this season and next?

Share some of what you're smoking, please.

Bourn was considered a very good prospect and his debut with the team made it look as though he was even better than advertised. Folks who didn't think Bourn would be an everyday player didn't read the scouting reports. At the time of the trade, some posters here suggested the Phils would regret dealing Bourn.

clout- what, you don't think we could trade Vic and some dudes to Texas for Mike Olt?

Quite honestly, our bullpen is deeper now than it was earlier in the year. Schwimer has improved considerably as he has pitched more. KK has returned to the pen & pitched well. Horst has been a pretty nice LOOGY. Diekman & Savery stink, but so do the 6th & 7th relievers in many bullpens.

It basically comes down to this: our bullpen problems would more or less be solved if only Bastardo returned to being even halfway decent. Granted, I haven't seen much evidence that that's about to happen. But is it really less likely than Brad Lincoln coming to Philly and continuing to pitch as he has this season, and this season only?

Posted by: bay_area_phan


That's a good point, BAP. It explains one reason why we've won more games lately, too. Our BP has sometimes been able to hold the line. Bastardo had a few promising games but only a few before he struggled again, so I don't think anyone's confident in him right now. But moving KK to the 'pen helped it, I've said that before, and Schwimer has improved (thank goodness).

Of course, the trade was a huge part of why we won a WS so many of us accepted it as the cost of that championship.

Without Lidge being perfect in 08, we likely dont win.

Kutztown: To be precise, the Bastardo of April thru August. You don't want the September 2011 Bastardo.

Btw, free agency comp is now down to 1 pick.
You used to get 2. And, that pick is now a 1st-2nd round sandwich pick, no matter what the circumstances. In the past, you received either pick 15-30 from the acquiring team or a sandwich if the pick was protected (1-15).

So people need to start refreshing their expectations when they keep saying that "I'd rather have the picks." If you are in a position to acquire 2 decent assets, you are probably going to find yourself ahead rather than keeping the guy and only getting 1 pick.

While the value for trading players has diminished for the acquiring team (no comp for midseason acquisition) the value of players offered has also diminished (2nd wild card, less sellers) and the value to retain has also diminished. I fully expect to see at least some value in deals as the deadline nears.

Vic will give us a pick in the 40-50 range next year...assuming we offer him a 1 year, $12 million deal and assuming he rejects it.

Mind you, next year's draft class is said to be extremely thin.

Trading him for an established MLB player is likely the smart move given that we're in last place and need a historically great run to even think about a 2nd WC.

Do people here really love for playing "gotcha?" I thought this was supposed to be baseball/Phillies talk. Relievers are relievers for a reason: they weren't good enough to be major league starting pitchers (aside from those who were injured as starters). Are there some relievers that have turned themselves into exceptional relievers? Certainly. But the fact is, every relief pitcher in the majors was a starter throughout his entire career until he reached a point where he was no longer a viable major league starting pitcher, at which point he became a reliever.

Mitch Williams, for example, came up as a starter, and because of his delivery and effort, said he could either "pitch the first 3 innings or the last 3 innings," meaning, for those of you who want to take what I'm saying out of context, he couldn't pitch those full 6 innings.

Johnny Venters is obviously a good reliever. If he could pitch for 7 innings the way he pitches for 1 inning, then he would be a starter.

Not to mention that I'm not positive that Vic rejects a 1 yr/$12M tender...

Not sure how comfortable I am in a plan that rides on such a huge assumption.

5-4-1: The other way of thinking about this is that the extra pick gives you more money to spend in the first 10 round picks you have, so if you use those funds strategically you can actually outperform the slot by picking a mix of unsignables and folks you want to pay above slot for.

"BAP, you think our bullpen problems are solved by the rebound of just one pitcher? You really have faith in the rest of the guys you mentioned to hold down the fort the rest of this season and next?"

It would go a long way toward helping our bullpen problems, yes. I do have confidence in Schwimer going forward. His early problems revolved around an inability to throw strikes, and that has never been a problem for him in the minors. As for Horst & KK, I'm not sure. But KK, while not as good as he has looked lately, is still considerably better than the dreck we had in the pen earlier in the season.

Vic accepting a 1 year deal would actually be a pretty good outcome for them.

IMHO.

Even if he accepts the qualifying offer you can work out a trade like the Braves did with Soriano. It's not ideal but you'd have to think that Victorino under a 1 year 12.5mm contract would be enticing for a team over a long term deal with Bourn or Upton. Plus that team would be entitled to draft pitck compensation at the end of 2013 if they choose.

Fightins, I'm not sure of your point here.

Its just not possible to have a bullpen full of starters without a starting role and closers without a closing role.

Some guys find a home in the bullpen for these reasons and become career bullpen guys.

Just because a guy has gotten a label as a setup pitcher or a middle relieve doesn't mean that guy isn't worth acquiring.

Would I love to move Victorino for an adequate bullpen arm? No of course not, but you have to admit that the Phils need to do something to right this ship, because it doesn't appear that there is an option in the organization that is going to fix this.

5-4-1: The other way of thinking about this is that the extra pick gives you more money to spend in the first 10 round picks you have, so if you use those funds strategically you can actually outperform the slot by picking a mix of unsignables and folks you want to pay above slot for.

Posted by: MPNPhilly | Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I suppose you could look at it that way, but 2 first round picks is not going to be offset by being able to sign the 1 first round pick over slot. There are plenty of teams willing to pay over slot who would end up with 2 very good prospects out of it.

"I'm not shocked at all that the Pirates wouldn't deal Lincoln for him."

Exactly. Very telling to me that a team that hasn't sniffed the postseason for decades wouldn't give up so much as an unproven middle reliever for a postseason veteran like Vic. Speaks to the fact that he's a rental and the value of pitching, even middle relief.

Based on what I have read, watched and seen on blogs, Chase Headley appears to be the only viable ML ready 3RD baseman – (internet is never wrong)

To me, he’s above average at best, but not enough to give up more prospects for…

("That's HEADLEY"- "this is 1874, you can sue her!")

-------------------
Also,
So many trades have occurred this week, that many of the teams who had needs, have had those needs fulfilled via trades, or do not need, or want what the Phillies are peddling...
-----------------
Shame about Polly's back acting up at such an inopportune time, as the O's would have been takers, obviously, not now though

I predict that one day we will see Schwimper throw a wild pitch while intentionally walking someone. Dude's got the yips.

JW: Just the latest fetishism for young, cheap players and prospects in the game. Pence should definitely be the bigger return on investment if traded. I don't really see the benefit of dumping Victorino for a sub-Abreu trade return unless you are signalling that this is a straight salary dump which I don't think helps put asses in the seats which then also plays into setting up the next Kabletown tv contract.

I also don't think that Vic accepting the qualifying offer is the worst thing in the world.

I guess my issue is that I'm not especially comfortable with a front office approach where the "plan" is to tender and see what happens, then react from there. I'd like to think that they'd want to control the situation a bit more.

BTW, Dom Brown DH'ing last night doesn't tell us much about any real trade plans either.

I don't see the Phillies having anything of real value to trade. Even the guys with "value" come with either extremely high price tags and/or are rentals. I can't see the Phils trading for anything of significance at the deadline, middle relief included.

Let's see, Polly last played on July 22, meaning the Phils have until August 1 to put him on the 15-day DL.

Short bench for the Braves series?

I'd only be interested in Headley if it was involved in a three team trade where we basically traded something like: Pence to the Pirates and a C+/B- prospect to the Padres, Pirates sent prospects to the Padres, and we got back Headley (and preferably a reliever arm). Kick in some money on Pence contract if it improves the reliever arm considerably.

MPN, I like your 3-teamer scenario, but if it's the Pirates and Padres involved, you can BET paying a good portion of Pence's salary WILL be a big factor.

KK- Schwimmer has had a very limited run of success after absolutely crapping the bed multiple times when he was first called up. You are willing to rely on him in the bullpen going forward, but you don't trust Brad Lincoln, who has had even more success at the MLB level?

And if we're going to rely on a guy like Horst, who has never before shown that he has the ability to sustain success at the MLB level, and Diekman, a guy that can walk the ballpark at any given time, then we are in huge trouble.

They've had like 2 solid weeks of not looking like an AAA bullpen. Let's see if any of them can sustain it before penciling them in next year and assuming we don't need to bring any young relievers if the opportunity arises.

You know what was an even bigger reason for us winning 102 games last year than our bullpen? Shane Victorino. If we believe we have any shot whatsoever at making the playoffs this year, Victorino returning to career norms or even going on a hot streak is a much better bet than an slightly above average middle reliever stabilizing the pen. Who exactly is gonna play CF? If we get beat this weekend and become obvious sellers, then it might make sense to get someone cost controlled for the next couple years in return.
On top of that, trading Victorino would make me sad. That guy is an all-time Phillie, and a clutch playoff performer without whom we probably don't make our 08/09 playoff runs. Trading him for mediocrity doesn't seem right. And yes, I realize that's probably as sentimental as believing we have a chance at the playoffs this year.

BAP- I addressed you as KK. I wholeheartedly apologize.

Iceman, you also been addressed Schwimer as "Schwimmer." Easy mistake, just a pet peeve of mine.

On top of that, trading Victorino would make me sad. That guy is an all-time Phillie, and a clutch playoff performer without whom we probably don't make our 08/09 playoff runs. Trading him for mediocrity doesn't seem right. And yes, I realize that's probably as sentimental as believing we have a chance at the playoffs this year.

Posted by: Brian G | Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

It's not rational, but I absolutely have found myself thinking the same thing. Same thing with the Hamels signing: I don't know rationally if it's a good move, but I personally would've hated to see Hamels go.

Willard: Oh yeah, I forgot, once you get Headley you trade Wigginton to the Yankees with them taking on full freight, and take a high risk/high reward MiLB player in return.

Fightins: "But the fact is, every relief pitcher in the majors was a starter throughout his entire career until he reached a point where he was no longer a viable major league starting pitcher, at which point he became a reliever."

Actually, that's not a fact. A number of relievers were signed as relievers and pitched as relievers in the minor leagues.

Iceman: It's not that I "don't trust" Lincoln. It's that I don't see him as anything remotely close to a sure thing.

My overall point was that, if Lincoln keeps pitching as he has this year, he would basically give us the same thing we would already have if Bastardo started pitching like he did last year or even the beginning of this one. Those are both big Ifs and, obviously, it would be nice to have both guys, as it would help us to hedge our bets on two iffy pitchers with great stuff. But the bullpen would be passable as is if Bastardo pulled his head out of his you-know what. Schimwer & KK are middle inning relievers and serviceable ones.

I'll 3rd Brian's notion that Victorino is one of my favorite Phillies.

Talking about the roster moving forward, I was wondering people's opinions on this. Let's say for argument's sake that Cliff Lee is traded for payroll relief and maybe even Olt. Do they resign Blanton at a reasonable $ to be the #5? Or whatever. The question is what is next year's rotation if there's no Lee.

Hamels
Halladay
??
Worley
??

I'm not sure what people are smoking today. Vic for 12.5 million on a one year contract? First, if Amaro offers that, he's insane. And if Vic didn't take it, he's insane also. That's an amazing overpay for a guy who looks pretty bad. He'd be lucky to get that much money for two years in free agency. We're not talking Vic of a couple years ago.

And the guy who thinks relievers are all failed starters and shouldn't be valued? Holy moly. Has he never seen the Giants play a game? It doesn't matter how you get there, but if you can be a lockdown reliever, no matter what innings you pitch, you are invaluable to a team where the starters are running on fumes, which appears to be the case in Philly.

Lincoln for Vic? I'm the biggest Victorino fan here. And I'd do that in a heartbeat. And the fact that the Pirates won't do it tells you a lot.

I see JW has gotten actively involved in this debate. And he's been right on the money.

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