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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Comments

Put Kendrick in the bullpen. Trade Bastardo for a bag of balls and a fungo bat.

Okay, looking at 2013's budget after all the recent changes. Here's where we stand at this point:

We have $136.8 million committed to 10 players. The following guys are arbitration eligible:

Pete Orr
David Herndon
Antonio Bastardo
Nate Schierholtz

I dont really expect Orr to be tendered an offer but Herndon, Schierholtz and Bastardo are pretty much locks. That brings us up to 13 guys (though Herndon is out till mid-summer with TJ surgery so its 12 active). Figure something like $4 million to control those 3 which brings us to $140.8 million.

The following are pre-arb guys that will be automatically renewed:

Domonic Brown
John Mayberry Jr
Vance Worley
Michael Martinez
Michael Stutes
Justin DeFratus
Freddy Galvis
Joe Savery
Josh Lindblom
Eric Kratz
Kevin Frandsen
Jeremy Horst

I expect all 12 to be back (either here or AAA). Of the 12, I expect at least 6-7 have locks on 25 man roster positions in 2013. Figure another $4-5 million or so for those guys. So we're at around $145 million.

That leaves us with $33.2 million to spend under the luxury tax and we need the following:

CF (starter)
3B (starter)
utility IF
setup guy


This is very doable...particularly if the FO goes over the tax as seems likely (given their trouble to get under it this year to prevent the escalating clause. Even if they got 1 year of Youk at $13 million and a guy like Upton at $10-12 million per, they'd still have cash to get those secondary pieces.

Rube will have the money to make a splash, it will simply depend on him actually being intelligent enough to do it.


Of course, if Rube goes and gives Bourn a mega contract, all bets are off. At that point, he'll be scrambling for secondary pieces to fit it all under the budget.

J. - I hope they take your advise. Like many BLs, I haven't understood why they keep trying to make KK a starter. He has been much better this year out of the pen; let him settle into the middle-reliever roll. I haven't checked the stats, but even when he starts with his "good stuff" it seems like the hitters figure him out the second/third time through the order - that sounds like a reliever to me. He may even work his way to be the 8th inning guy, since we obviously can't count on Bastardo.

Michael Bourn "strikes out a lot and doesn't have a great on-base percentage. He's going to be 30 years old, and guys his age do not get faster. I'd be careful," a scout tells Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies have been rumored to be interested in signing Bourn as a free agent this winter, with the Nationals and Braves also in the mix for the center fielder.
I agree.

There's still value in both these guys for sure. But in Kendrick's case especially - just have him step aside in the rotation and see what they have in Cloyd. See what Kendrick brings to the 'pen the rest of the way. They may have nothing in Cloyd. Also not ready to deal Bastardo for a bag of beans, either. He's probably still the second-best reliever they've got.

I think Cloyd will be a massive disappointment to all those who want to see him up in the Majors. He sits 87-88 mph and tops out at 90 mph. From a RHP, that's very very marginal. Velocity isn't the end-all, be-all of pitching but Cloyd is right at that minimum velocity for a guy to succeed at. His location is good but its not that great as to make up for such below-average velocity.

I'm personally more interested in Rosenberg taking the next start.

Rosenberg has basically a fastball and little else...that might get messy.

Cant hurt though so why not...

Put Kendrick in the bullpen. Trade Bastardo for a bag of balls and a fungo bat.

Posted by: Bert Wedemeyer | Thursday, August 09, 2012 at 10:45 AM

OK, provided we trade Bert Wedemeyer for a cliche to be named later.

Bastardo having a major setback this season, he's actually been closer to 'consistently bad' than inconsistent, which is much worse.

Bullpen pitchers are so fickle, he could light the league on fire all over again next season and I wouldn't be surprised - but from last August to this one, there's been little hope.

NEPP, If you go by AAV won't the committed payroll be around $6.5 million higher when you account for Hamels/Howard (+$7.4 Million) and Nix/Kendrick (-$850k)?

Also, nice to see KK will earn $4.5 million next year. Good work if you can get it.

Sign Madson to pitch the 8th.

Is Bastardo's solution simply a case of making him a LOOGY? His performance is much worse against righties this year for some reason.

NEPP: We've seen plenty of Phillies pitchers who had great AAA stats & were terrible in the majors. Hence, I have no expectations that Cloyd is going to be any different. I do, however, part company with those who believe that we know this definitively because he doesn't throw hard and scouts tell us he can't be any good. The guy is 14-1 with a 2.07 ERA. And he's no one-year wonder; he was also very good last year. He has earned his shot.

There are plenty of decent soft-tossing starters out there. The vast majority are left-handed but there's no reason that has to be so. Bronson Arroyo & Shaun Marcum are two soft-tossing RHP who have been considerably better than 5th starters.

Liked Rosenberg 2 years ago as a potential RHP reliever before he got hurt & kind of fell off the map a bit.

Really surprised if Rosenberg though was able to stick for any kind of duration though as a starter. Classic hard-throwing RHP reliever with a decent fastball & slider.

I know I'm considered a Bastardo apologist or whatever, and I acknowledge that he's just walked too many guys, but his xFIP last year was 3.56, and this year it's 4.01.

He isn't that different--he's just walking a few too many guys. If he can get that fixed and get a little better luck, he's still a fine piece of the bullpen. Though I agree he's probably miscast as a pure 8th inning setup guy, at least right now.

Closer to $3 million higher once you account for Papelbon (-$500K) and Utley (-$3million). Still plenty of room to make some major signings.

Sophist: Other than the nostalgia factor (which is a lousy basis on which to make decisions), I continue to be perplexed that so many posters want us to bring back Madson. And I'm downright dumbfounded that you, of all posters, wants us to do so.

How many guys bounce right back from TJ surgery and are effective in Year 1? How's Adam Wainwright doing this year?

I'd much prefer the Phillies to make the playoffs. But since they're not, what's the harm at trying a few things, i.e. Rosenberg, Cloyd, etc? It doesn't matter if they lose every game until the rest of the season. They're in an enviable position in that they can see what they have against MLB talent, rather than a few innings in ST. It's not like they're doing this in May where the Arb clock would be a bigger issue.

Trotting out Kendrick to pitch in the rotation was ridiculous when you have guys knocking on the door. Especially since the concerns are that you don't know what they'll give you at the MLB level. You can find out what they have right now without sacrificing a playoff berth. In previous years, it wouldn't have made sense being that the Phils were battling for playoff spots and/or best record in baseball. Not this year.

What's the harm? The Phils will drop further in the standings? Is there a prize for finishing 4th instead of 5th that I'm unaware of?

BAP: What about signing Madson to a 2-year deal, then? Something where you pay him very little next year as he works his way back, and then a real salary, but at something of a discount, in year 2?

You take risk, but you also give yourself the chance of having him locked in for 2014 as a top relief arm.

Bastardo needs to go back to the minors and work on whatever he needs to work on and get his head on straight.

Phils just have to hope Bastardo bounces back next year with better fastball command. Clout beats that drum endlessly but he's right. Simply too many outings this year where Bastardo has little/no fastball command at all.

Results in all kinds of problems especially when he gets really behind in the count (2-0/3-1)& almost is forced to throw another fastball.

Cholly to his credit has been mixing and matching with him a bit more.

Difference between Bastardo and Kendrick is that Bastardo still gets benefit of thinking he might rebound or get better. Verdict is definitively in on Kendrick: high-priced bullpen piece who can pitch multiple innings and spot start. That's it.

If Madson comes cheap, then sure, sign him. See what he's got. If he's still looking for top setup guy or 2nd tier closer money, then move on.

Jack: Sure, I guess that would be ok in theory -- although: (1) it wouldn't do much for next year; and (2) I doubt very seriously he'd do it.

My only point is this: there is a huge list of FA relievers -- especially when you throw in all the older starters who aren't really good enough to be starters any more. Yet, other than Iceman's occasional mention of Adams, the only specific name that everyone keeps bringing up is a guy coming off TJ surgery. He's an odd guy for people to single out as a cure-all for our bullpen. If it weren't for the fact that he's an ex-Phillie, there is no chance in the world that anyone would be bringing up his name.

Rube should offer Bourn 10 years/$250 million. So that Nats sign him for more than that.

It's kind of ignorant to discount the success that kendrick has hard as a starter, and as a reliever at times. They are working him the same way they did with Madson. Madson turned the corner when they finally stopped jerking him around and let him just be a bullpen guy. The Phillies need to the do the same with Kendrick, or, trade him to a team who will do just that, because he'll never get to prove anything being shuttled back and forth all the time. He's clearly shown he can't start one week and relieve the other. But, when he's had a few weeks of one or the other, he's had some success. I'm not saying he's gonna turn into Roy Halladay or Mariano Rivera, but i think he can have an effective ML career if he's allowed to just fall into one role or another.

One could argue that KK has already had an effective ML career given that he's been in the Majors since 2007.

How about trading Cole to the Red Sox for Josh Beckett, even up? Rube can even offer to eat ALL of Cole's salary to make this happen and get a proven stud like Beckett!

Nepp: I'd agree with the fact that he has. But plenty of people, including the phillies management, seem to want to dump on the guy, though they are partially responsible for his failures at times.

If you look at Kendricks stats his biggest outlier is his k/9 is up more than a 1k per IP. He's at 3.6 and last year was 2.4. The only year he had k/9 above 3 and an era plus above 100 was 09' which doesn't count because he only had 26 IP.

Overall, since he's not a strike thrower, only a 4.4 k/9 average for his career, and is at his highest rate this year of 6.4, they'd be wise to let him finish out the year as a starter.

I find it kind of silly that in one breath, people are clamoring to let AA pitchers who still will benefit from minor league conditioning to take the place of a guy who is at point in his career where he needs to prove what his role is, and can only do it a the ML level, considering none of these games have any meaning, with our less than 2% odds of making the post-season.

Father (clout)

Why has thou forsaken me?

Kendrick's fielding independent pitching, BABIP, and Left of Base % last two season:

2011: 4.55 / .261 / 76%
2012: 4.66 / .312 / 69%

Basically, he's pitching pretty much the same than last year, very similiar batted ball ratios with a somewhat offset increase in both K and BB, but he's not getting as lucky as last year.

KK is effective is when he's had low BABIP or he's inducing a lot of groundballs. In 2012, 2010, and 2008 he had GB% under 45% and/or BABIP above .300; while 2007, 2009 and 2011 he's had BABIP under .300 and/or GB% in the 50%'s.

KK is an every other year solid player...this bodes well for us in 2013 as he's due to have a good year.

So no worries.

Michael Bourn made a tremendous play last night at the fence that probably caught Ruben's attention just enough so that he will massively overpay for him.

BAP, the idea is, yes, Madson will probably be fairly cheap given that he's coming off the TJ surgery. of course if he's asking for a 4 year deal at $8 M per, you tell him to shove off, but if he'll come here and pitch on a one year deal on the cheap for a chance to reassert himself into the closer tree, than I don't think it's a bad move at all. He'll certainly be better than everyone in our bullpen save Paps, even coming off surgery, and the hope is that he'd be more willing to sign a cheap deal to return to a place where he's comfortable and had success.

Nobody ought to view him as a guaranteed panacea for our bullpen woes, but if he comes on the cheap, it'd be a fantastic move.

I like Bourn, but I wouldn't pursue him as a free agent because of the Ks. Way, way too many for a singles/doubles guy. For a team that already has OB and K problems, it's not a good choice.

Cloyd's upside is Kendrick and Rosenberg is not as good a prospect as Cloyd.

Sorry guys.

Phils do have a prospect that could make an impact and his name is DeFratus.

And concerning Adam Wainwright, there's actually a very good reason to believe he's pitching fine (if not better) this year.

His K/9 is the best of his career, his BB/9 is the best of his career, and his GB% is also the best of his career. As you can predict, he's got the best xFIP of his career, as well, at 3.01.

How he can have the best peripherals of his career, while sporting, significantly, the worst ERA of his career, is perplexing, to say the least. But I'd be careful about using him as an example of a pitcher who comes back from TJ surgery poorly. I'd take Wainwright on my team this year in a heartbeat going forward. He's still an ace in my eyes.

Paul: Bastardo was used as a LOOGY last night.

The fact that after 4 years Jack finally acknowledged that Bastardo has inconsistent command counts for something.

The guy's stuff is too good to give up on. You just have to hope the command improves with experience.

There it is: Wainwright's LOB% this year is a staggeringly low 66.8% (career mark of 75.6%). Also, his HR/FB% of 11.7 is much higher than his career mark of 8.1%.

Speaking of Jack, he compared Lindblom to Schwimer in terms of quality. Schwimer is a Grade C prospect. I believe Jack's comparison is on the money. Both guys will be useful, neither has much upside.

Clout: I agree on Bourn. It would've been great to have his last 6 seasons at cost-controlled salaries (which of course the Phillies originally could have had).

I'm less than thrilled about paying for his next few years at high salaries, as his legs presumably slow down. As Clout notes, the strikeouts are too high, and those don't decline as you get older. His walk rate might improve (they tend to increase with age), but his average will decline accordingly (as he gets less hits due to speed), and betting on a guy's defense and baserunning in their 30's is usually a sucker's bet.

...and betting on a guy's defense and baserunning in their 30's is usually a sucker's bet.

Posted by: Jack | Thursday, August 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM

Fortunately, our general manager isn't a...

ah, sh8t.

Fat: I think FIP and xFIP are useful, but I'm not so quick to assume that they mean more than ERA. Wainwright aside, most pitchers take 2 years to make a full recovery from TJ surgery, and a not-insignificant minority (15%) never recover at all. Point is, even if you could get Madson at a discounted rate, the discount is there for a damn good reason.

"The guy's stuff is too good to give up on. You just have to hope the command improves with experience."

You certainly do. Unfortunately, this is what the cubs have been hoping Marmol would do for years and he has better "stuff" than Bastardo.

i'm probably a sucker, but I think Lindblom is better than the likes of schwimer and crew. I think he should be starting in the minors right now instead of us all hoping guys like Cloyd and Rosenberg are going to give us anything next year. Whats the harm?

Fatal: Wainwright's season LOB% of 66% is "Staggeringly" lower than his career 75% ? Really, thats staggeringly?

So Mike Lieberthal is a 'Legend' according to the Phils' Facebook announcement about his upcoming Wall of Fame addition?

.275/.338/.450 (.788 OPS or 102 +OPS) with 150 HRs in 13 yrs.

Solid professional here who was never quite the same after some of the injuries he sustained after '99 but 'legend' isn't the adjective I would use to describe Lieberthal.

lorecore - Lindblom was absolutely awful in his last year as a starter in the minors. We have several guys other than Cloyd/Rosenberg (Trevor May, Jon Pettibone, Ethan Martin, Julio Rodriguez) that are probably closer to big-league ready for a starting role. I'd leave Lindblom in a 7th-inning role and find someone else to eat innings.

As for the bullpen, De Fratus's numbers in AAA look very good so far. With Lehigh Valley in the playoff hunt, he might not be called up until their season is over, but we'll see him in Philly at some point before the season's out.

*closer than Lindblom, not Cloyd/Rosenberg

Lieby is indeed a pretty weak WoF inductee, but it was a fan-voted thing. I'm not sure what that says, but it says something.

CTom: I don't want to stick up too much for Lindblom, since he isn't some star in the waiting - but May Pettibone Rodriguez Martin are all plenty away from challenging MLB hitters in any capacity.

lorecore - no arguments there, but I think Lindblom as a starter is, for lack of a better word, a non-starter.

OK, I'm in agreement with the prevailing sentiment on BL on Bourn and Madson. Bourn is too old, strike out too much and will cost too much. Pass on him. Madson is damaged goods, only sign him if the cost is realistic, not what he was worth last year with closer or 8th inning money. As for KK, he's overpaid and should not start again unless all the other pitchers take ill. I still hold out hope for Bastardo. He's got the stuff, he just needs to calm down, concentrate and control his wildness.

Lorecore, 66% for a starter is pretty damn low in my books, especially when he's been 76% and 80% the last 3 years.

BAP, I'm sure some of Waino's ERA is due to things other than variance/luck. I'm not excusing his ERA, but it's just damn hard in general (TJ or not), to post a K/9 of 8.46, a BB/9 of 2.15 and a GB% of 53.5% and have an ERA of 4.03. Certainly, he was awful earlier in the year, and the regression is in effect (certainly appears to be the case, as his ERA was at 5.77 as late as May 17th).

I don't really know what point I'm trying to make right now, but I suspect that Wainwright is back to being the pitcher he was last year, and is now fully recovered from TJ.

Bastardo was not helped last night by the decision to intentionally walk Chipper.

The guy has control issues and concentration issues. The intentional walk set him up to fail and he obliged.

Lindblom cooperated by finishing off the inning like it was Braves in-game batting practice.

fatal: I didnt look at Waino until now other than the career/2012 numbers you posted - so yeah i'd agree that 66% is well off his recent high 70, 80% strand rate.

His BABIP, HR/FB%, LOB% are all up considerably while all of his peripherals are as good or better than his usual dominant seasons. Looks like calling Wainwright's year a struggle is pretty offbase as you were trying to point out.

Bubba: You are completely wrong. Are you not familiar with the last 20 years of baseball that say Chipper Jones is one of the best hitters in baseball?

There is no possible logic behind LHP Bastardo pitching to switch hitting Chipper Jones with a man in scoring position during a tie game and a base open, with a lefty on deck, a base still open, and a righty warming for Uggla if need be.

Bastardo and Lindblom didn't get the job done, but the situation was played perfectly by Manuel.

lorecore-
I hate intentional walks, particularly if the pitcher does not have good control to begin with.
I'm aware of Chipper's career stats and that baseball othodoxy call for the intentional walk to set up a LH match-up.
But, just like last night, intentional walks wind up as part of a big inning.

I think BAP said that the Phils would have to give Madson 6 million guaranteed dollars before he even pitched an inning after having Tommy John. At that price I can understand why he'd be throwing a conniption fit.

Those of us in the real world know that it will not cost nearly that much- and if it did, it would be in incentives which we would probably all be happy to see paid out if he attained them. So yes, he would be someone to target.

clout- since you don't like Bourn's high K numbers, I'm guessing you'd also be against signing BJ Upton?

He said High Ks with no power. Upton has decent to good power numbers for his career.

In regards to the Phils Wall of Fame :
Maybe MiniMart will make it someday based on the fact that he's probably the WORST player in franchise history and the fact that we despise him so much, probably as much as anyone since Adam Eaton (and that was for different reasons).

---------------------------

"Bastardo was not helped last night by the decision to intentionally walk Chipper."

Was think the same thing when it happened. I'm not saying that Chipper should have been thrown beachballs, but at least pitch to him and see what you can do.

"Solid professional here who was never quite the same after some of the injuries he sustained after '99 but 'legend' isn't the adjective I would use to describe Lieberthal."

Me neither. Especially since "legend" isn't an adjective.

Just teasing . . . not trying to be the grammar police.

With Bourn, you are absolutely banking on his speed, and really nothing else. He doesn't walk nearly enough where he'll have a great OBP once he can't leg out infield singles anymore, and if he's not stealing copious amounts of bases, his OBP in the .335-.350 range isn't nearly as appealing. His BAbip over the last 4 years has been between .329 and .369. If that dips dues to a decrease in speed or a minor leg injury, you're talking about a below-to-well-below average hitter.

As it stands now, he has a career wRC+ of 100. He's been better from 2010-2012 (108 wRC+), but he's not nearly been an offensive weapon. He's been a SB guy and a defense guy. That's a very nice player to have, but will you get that player as he enters his 30s? I don't know, but I wouldn't be comfortable banking $12-14 M a year on it over 5 years.

BAP, you're supposed to wait for the rest of it.

...

...

"ary!"

I dislike intentional walks in general, and I loathe the move of intentionally walking the bases loaded, especially when the pitcher on the mound is a wild reliever like Bastardo.

But come on now. We weren't walking the bases loaded. There was a man on 2nd and 1st and 3rd were empty. You can walk Chipper & STILL have the margin for error to walk the next guy. Chipper not only kills LHP but he absolutely kills the Phillies, more than any other player in baseball. With a pitcher on the mound who has held lefties to a .195 career average, and a LH hitter on deck, who isn't particularly good against LHP, intentionally walking Chipper Jones was an absolute no-brainer. If Cholly hadn't intentionally walked him, and Chipper had delivered the go-ahead hit, even Phlipper would have been unable to mount a defense of the decision.

I know I'm supposed to hate Chipper Jones, but good lord, he's 40 years old, and he has a 141 OPS+ this year.

141!!

Yes, it's only 286 PA, but the overwhelming majority of ML baseball players throughout history have never posted a 141 OPS+ over ANY 286 PA stretch in their careers.

The craziest part is that his 141 OPS+ for 2012 perfectly mirrors his 141 career OPS+.

An absolute 100% vote getter for the HoF when he's eligible. Yes, I know he had a kid out of wedlock (who really cares), and he's sometimes a d-bag, but it's hard not to be completely floored by this guy's career, and to wonder when his endless torment of the Phillies is ever going to end.

I'm not putting my money on this being his last year.

I'd intentionally walk Chipper Jones in the bottom of the 9th with the bases already loaded. I'd rather lose by 1 than lose by 4.

Fat: There you go. Yet, somehow the sentence still feels gramatically wrong. I'm pretty sure there's a section in Strunk and White's "The Elments of Style" which says that it's gramatically incorrect to use the words "legendary" and "Mike Lieberthal" in the same sentence.

lorecore is 100% correct on the walk to Chipper.

The notion that Bastardo was set up to fail because he intentionally walked Chipper Jones to face a lefty is ludicrous in the extreme.

BAP - I'm assuming Madson would be discounted (much less than his 1/8.5M with Reds) because he's coming off TJ and looking for a 1-year deal or so. If there's concern, ease him in as the season progresses. He had the surgery in April, so it will have been a full year. I don't see how that idea could dumfound you. It's a move with huge upside and, if successful, would really solidify the pen.

The IBB wouldn't have changed the inning if you really want to nitpick.

Bastardo actually retires Chipper(big if).
Walks Freeman.
2B to Uggla = 2RBI instead of 3.
Fransden/Howard error scores another run.

Now we only lose 11-6 instead of 12-6, and again thats the best case scenario of Chipper being reited.

I'd be stunned to see Madson come back on the cheap after the ugly end of negotiations with Ruben last time. Stranger things have happened, though.

ah dammit, there were 2 out weren't there? OK scratch that post and just keep with my first one.

Iceman: Upton is far more interesting because he is a great prospect who has badly underperformed expectations. That is radically different than Bourn.

Also, I don't mind a high K rate if a guy is hitting 31 HRs.

Finally, Upton is just 24. Which means there's still a chance he'll become the stud scouts long ago predicted.

All of these reasons are why I think Jack's notion that Bourn will get twice as much in free agency is preposterous. Upton will be the more valuable player going forward and should actually get a better contract than Bourn.

Murphy with a tweet this morning that puts Bourn's K rate into perspective:

"If you add all of Rollins popups to his strikeout total, the result is six higher than Bourn's strikeout total alone."

That alone should be enough to calm down the BL crowd clamoring for Bourn. It's enough for me.

Larry seems pretty adamant about this being his last year. He could probably play a couple more years though...especially if he was open to a move to the AL to DH.

***Finally, Upton is just 24. Which means there's still a chance he'll become the stud scouts long ago predicted.

***

Wrong Upton...BJ Upton, the one who is a FA, is 27 this year.

Sophist: I guess I just see it as highly improbable that Madson is going to return and be immediately good. It doesn't happen very often after TJ surgery. I'm also skeptical that he's going to be as cheap as people think. I believe there are teams out there who will overpay, based on his past success. The injury will likely prevent him from getting a multi-year deal, but it won't prevent him from getting a decent chunk of change on a one-year contract. That's kind of backwards, in a way, since the likelihood is that he WILL get back to normal, but it won't be until Year 2. Nonetheless, that's just the way the FA market usually works for players coming off a major injury.

I'll take the BJ Upton of 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. You can have the BJ Upton of 2009 and 2012.

NEPP: I take it all back then. I thought Justin was an FA this year since this will be his 6th year in the bigs.

I have no interest in BJ.

I also owe an apology to Jack. Thought Justin was the FA. Huge difference between him and BJ. BJ will certainly get a worse contract than Bourn.

"I have no interest in BJ." - clout

I'm not totally sure how best to address this, but it's really served up on a beautiful silver platter...

It strikes me as rather unlikely that Madson would want to sign here. Granted, we dont know what "really" happened behind the scenes with the supposed offer to Madson last year, but it seems pretty clear that he wasn't happy with the way it went down. I'd guess a return to Philadelphia on a low dollar, 1- or 2-year deal is not in the cards.

***I'm not totally sure how best to address this, but it's really served up on a beautiful silver platter...***

I thought about making the obvious rejoinder but abstained...

I still have interest in BJ Upton, but only because he will be an affordable option that allows them to spend money on a starting pitcher or a third baseman via trade or some relief help.

I'd be hesitant to depend on a guy coming off TJ surgery as our setup man. We did that this year with Contreras, and look how that turned out.

Signing a guy right off TJ surgery is super risky. Look how bad Nathan looked last year when he first came back off TJ surgery. Took him another 6 months to get back into form.

Offensively, BJ Upton has been the better player compared to Bourn over the last 3 seasons.

clout: not only must you be ridiculously out of the loop of general baseball rumors when it comes to who is an upcoming FA or not, but there was so much context about playing CF, his stolen base totals, and BJ Upton's specific season he is having - that you truly must have an incredible selective reading syndrome that we all accuse you of having.

The thing about Madson however is that Rube ALWAYS gives one more year than necessary - so if we do sign Mad dog to a contract it will be 3 with an option instead of 2, which is what any other GM would look at for a guy coming back from TJ surgery.

If he rebounds, we would at least get him for another year when he's back to form :)

"I'd intentionally walk Chipper Jones in the bottom of the 9th with the bases already loaded. I'd rather lose by 1 than lose by 4."

I know this was meant as sarcasm but I think the whole notion of issuing an IBB to Chipper is a bit overblown. YES...he kills lefties and the Phillies in general. I just think that you could have at least pitched to him and made him chase something....have him make a mistake somehow.

That said, Bastardo without a doubt needed to get Freeman out and he failed. Miserably.

I say sign Madson to a 4 year, $50 M contract, if for no other reason than BL would be AWESOME next year if TWO of our bullpen pitchers were making $10+ M.

What was awesome Fatalotti was when we got to the 8th inning with a lead in 2008 and it was good night ladies. Was some of the most enjoyable baseball I've ever seen.

Justin Upton was the guy in the rumored 11th hour trade deadline deal with Cliff Lee. Could be a name to watch this offseason.

"What was awesome Fatalotti was when we got to the 8th inning with a lead in 2008 and it was good night ladies."

It was the same way last year. I forget what the record was when leading going into the 8th, but it was almost completely spotless (and I think it was 0 losses deep into the season).

The main reasons were A) Starters pitching through the 7th and sometimes the 8th with regularity, B) Stutes pitching over his head when he first was brought up, and C) Bastardo being one of the best relievers in the league until August. And of course Madson.

This year, Stutes is out, Bastardo has fallen apart, the one FA signing they made on a middle relief guy bombed, and they counted on a 40 YO coming off major arm surgery to eventually be the RH setup guy.

But yeah, I'm sure if we add nobody and just count on everything to go right next year for guys like Bastardo and Stutes and Schwimmer, the bullpen will be right back to where it was.

Is anyone actually advocating going with the status quo for the bullpen in 2013?

I dont remember anyone but then I dont post here on BL very often so there's a good chance I missed it.

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EST. 2005

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