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Saturday, August 25, 2012

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(Fair warning to Sabermetric worshippers- this post will not be liked by you)


I find it a little curious that Gonzalez's power numbers have dropped this season. The big thinking on him by many was "Get that guy out of Petco and he will start assaulting the ball even more." Largely that has not bared out in his power numbers. He went from home run totals in San Diego of 40 and 31 in his last two season down to 27 and 15 this year in Boston. His slugging was up last year but is 50+ points below where he was in San Diego and 40 points below his career average. Even his ISO has dropped from his days in San Diego.

(Again Sabermetric worshippers- tune out now if you have been reading this)

I wonder if maybe he wasn't comfortable being "the guy" in Boston. I know people dismiss the concept of being the guy looked at as the cog in a lineup but some people truly are not mentally able to handle that. In San Diego he was a big fish in a small pond. In Boston, he was in a huge pond and under constant scrutiny from fans up there. Say what you want about Ryan Howard and his faults- and even his most ardent supporters would admit he has very real faults- he has never had a problem carrying the Phillies for stretches at a time. Quite a few seasons he went on a couple week or month long tear in September that was the driving force in a playoff race. Also, he famously had the "Get me to the plate boys" in the 2009 playoffs.

I just wonder if AGone was feeling pressure of living up to a contract and reputation and ultimately he couldn't do it. A change of scenery may do him well.

For some reason I found myself very comfortable with Kendrick last night when it was 1-0. He's in a nice groove.

Since my post was distorted by both Fata and the poster now calling himself Not Cliff Lee, let me repost it here.

TTI: Good analysis. Ethier/Kemp/Crawford will be the best defensive OF in baseball. Beckett has alternated good/bad years every season since '05 and AGon is a giant step up from Loney. If HanRam gets his head on straight, this is going to be a very good team for the foreseeable future.

That said, given how bad the Sox are, how hated Beckett has become, to be able to unload him plus $250M in salary (owed all 3 less the $12M the Sox agreed to pay) gives them great flexibility.

The prospects they got back are decent: Sands projects as a very good MLB hitter with good power, average glove. He'll be ready to start next season.

De la Rosa is a power pitcher (96 mph) with a good changeup and an evolving slider. He's just now getting over an arm injury that cost him most of this season. If he masters the slider, he'll be a mid-rotation SP, if not, he's got setup/closer potential.

Allen Webster was a Top 5 Dodgers prospect, projected mid-rotation SP, above average stuff, killer sinker that makes him perfect for Fenway. Doing well in AA, should see MLB action next season.

DJesus is a utility INF, replaces Punto. Nothing special there. Loney replaces AGon.

I'm pretty sure this means Vic won't sign with the Dodgers next season.

I'm still not ready to join the Kyle Kendrick Fan Club, but I will let my membership lapse in the I Hate Kyle Kendrick Club. Whether it is smoke and mirrors or more maturity, I'll take a Phillies win any day of the week, as they are rarer this year than before. Now we only need nine more straight wins to a winning record. Who would ever think last year that this year's team would be eight games below .500 at this point (or any point) of the season!!??? Cholly's got to go!

TTI, it's possible, but I would counter that he had a 153 OPS+ last year, the second highest of his career. If it's pressure that's gotten to him, did it only manifest itself this year?

From a numbers standpoint, it appears as though AGon has seen far fewer strikes in his time in BOS than in SD. His Zone % has been on a steady downward spiral since the beginning of his career. Started at 55.7% in his first year, and dropped all the way to 43.6% in his last year in SD, and has been at 39.8% (2011) and 41.2% (2012) in his time in BOS.

The problem for AGon is that his Swing% has never really altered in his career. It was in the low 50s/high 40s in SD, and it's been in the low 50s/high 40s in BOS (49.2% in 2011, 51.9% in 2012).

If you're seeing less strikes, and yet still swinging the same, what should be expect to go up? Your willingness to swing at stuff outside the zone. And what do we see?
O-Swing%

2010: 31.8% (SD)
2011: 35.5% (BOS)
2012: 37.2% (BOS)

And this trend had already started in SD. As he's seen less strikes, his O-Swing% has gone steadily gone up.

To me, that's more informative about why he's declined a bit in terms of power numbers in the past couple years. The ISO decline actually started in Petco.

2007: .220
2008: .231
2009: .274
2010: .213 (last year in SD)
2011: .210 (first year in BOS)

This year could just be a down year for AGon, or the league has made a great adjustment to him, and he will continue to decline until he makes an equal adjustment back.

I'm feeling a bit vindicated by Kendrick’s recent fine innings and his performance as a starter in particular. As I’ve noted several times in the past, it’s absurd to think he’s anything but a starter – he’s got no “out” pitch, and certainly can’t challenge a hitter with a fastball in the strike zone.

Sinker/slider/change-up pitchers need a routine; they need to establish their release points and simply “trust their stuff”. Props to clout for the insistence that when command is not an issue, velocity becomes secondary.

Just one more thing – a dreaded golf analogy. I’ve heard that golfing greats never think of their swing anytime on the course. All they do is visualize a shot that will hit a target. It appears KK’s in a similar grove. He’s not agonizing over mechanics; he’s simply taking his best pitch for a given situation and envisioning his target. Good for him that more often than not of late, he hits it.

Hey RAJ/Chollie – leave Kendrick the he!! alone! Toggling him to and from the ‘pen is a recipe for failure, and will probably ruin his career.

clout, I never even responded to that post, so not sure how I distorted it. But since everyone distorts all of your posts (thus never allowing you to be wrong), I suppose it's just a reflex for you to assume that your post has been distorted.

Fatalotti: As liar and distorter in chief, your explanation is laughable.

Here is what you wrote: "Yeah clout, the Red Sox go two straight seasons without a playoff berth, and have gotten 2 horrible seasons from Beckett in the past 3 with Crawford being virtually non-existent.
Keeping them around would have guaranteed them a playoff berth."

My post said nothing about keeping them. In fact, it praised the Sox end of it and the prospects they got.

But, again, you are the board's chief liar and distorter.

Um Clout, I was responding to this, which you was directly aimed at me (notice the first word). I never once responded to the longer post. It does give me the warm and fuzzies that you consider me "chief" of something, though. Despite the fact that you claim the same thing about everyone, I'm going to trust you this time that I am truly am the best.

------------
Fata: The Red Sox won't be contenders for the next few years, but they definitely win the "Good Budget Award" from you and other budget-obsessed posters, and we all know that's far more important.

Posted by: clout | Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Dodgers just went all in with 3 Jacks after a weak flop.

If I am a Red Sox fan, I am ecstatic about this deal. Dumped what arguably might be the worst contract in baseball right now (Crawford), dump a malcontent/out-of-shape/red flags everywhere starter who over $17M the next 2 years (Beckett), and only have to give up Gonzalez.

Besides Lackey, they don't have another bad contract anymore, cleaned up Epstein's gigantic mess, now don't have to make questionable moves/trades now due to payroll concerns, and can figure out what they want to do this offseason.

Like a breath of fresh air that will allow them quickly to move back into question instead of beings stuck in limbo which is what they were with there current team.

I am sure Beckett loved this deal too. He was getting booed almost unmercifully at this point in Fenway & from reports had stopped going out around town.

Playoffs need a bad guy and the Dodgers are it for me now. Really enjoyed the Phils being them in '08 and '09 when they had joyless Torre and jerkoff Manny. I would even root for the Nats/Giants over the Dodgers at this point.

Total starts/Starts with 2 or fewer ER/Starts with 3-4 ER/Starts with 5+ ER

Kyle Kendrick 18/12/0/6
Roy Halladay 18/9/5/4
Cliff Lee 22/9/7/6
Cole Hamels 25/13/10/2
Vance Worley 22/10/9/3

KK has more great starts than all our starters except for Cole, but he has no average starts while the other four average 8 each. And his blow up starts are more than all but Cliff, who also has 6.

How about a more reasonable reason for A-Gon's decline in slugging... he's 30. Back in the old pre-PED days, players actually showed declines in slugging after peaking in age 26-27-28 years.

I don't think there's any evidence of the pressure of being "the man" at play Herero it would have manifested itself last year, right? And there's less pressure this year because the team sucks.

Re: Jery Sands

As Keith Law notes, he's repeating AAA at age 24 and plays in one of the best hitter's parks in the world.

Trying to analyze from LA's point of view:

Gonzalez is a huge upgrade at 1B. HUGE. Beckett may be revitalized by moving back to the NL and pitching in Dodger Stadium, which is a pretty good pitcher's park, and the NL West, which is a pretty good pitcher's division. Position players coming off TJ surgery typically are back after 6-9 months, so he could still be ready for opening day 2013. And, perhaps, the change in culture to the more laid-back West Coast will help him. More than likely, Beckett and Crawford will not live up to their contracts, but if you can get a reasonable facsimile of both in their heyday this trade is an upgrade at 3 positions.

If money is literally no object, then it's a fine trade. But they're looking at a 200-220 million dollar 2013 payroll depending on what they do in the offseason, and with the luxury tax...

If I were a Dodgers fan, coming off the McCourt years, I'd be in heaven over this type of deal. If I were a Red Sox fan, I'd be ecstatic for the opportunity to reset the franchise and move forward with a more likable team that isn't loaded down with a ton of massive headache-type contracts.

Overall, I guess, it looks like it could be a win-win for both franchises.

In light of the Boston/LA blockbuster, couldn't we have lost at least one 8-figure "ace"? For a couple of viable prospects?

So many holes to phil on this Phillies team.

Chris in VT, don't the new penalties for exceeding the luxury tax threshold in multiple yeas extend beyond just monetary to actual draft picks? As such, couldn't a deal that puts a team in position to exceed the luxury tax in multiple years be bad, even if raw money isn't much of a concern for the squad?

KAS: What klaw doesn't note is that Sands has been bothered with a sore hamstring, which kept him from getting recalled earlier this season and (along with position surplus)is why he's repeating the level. Klaw also doesn't mention that Sands had a career OPS above .900 before he ever showed up in Albequerque.

The age is a legit concern, but he was signed out of college and got a later start.
I think he'll be an everyday major league player. His K rate is low for a power hitter and he can play corner OF and 1B.

"The Red Sox won't be contenders for the next few years, but they definitely win the "Good Budget Award" from you and other budget-obsessed posters, and we all know that's far more important."

This almost made me spit out my morning coffee. Well done.

Fata: It's terrible to spend money. Teams shouldn't do it. Players are overpaid. The Dodgers franchise is now ruined.

Chris: Theoretical Dodgers lineup in 2013:

HanRam
MEllis
Kemp
AGon
Ethier
Crawford
AJEllis
Gordon

Rotation: Kershaw-Billingsley-Capuano-Beckett-Harang.

Bullpen: Jansen-Guerra-Belisario

Issue is whether they use HanRam at SS and add a 3Bman. That would be a mistake. Gordon won't hit much but his glove and speed are valuable enough to play him, especially in that lineup.

Chris in VT, don't the new penalties for exceeding the luxury tax threshold in multiple yeas extend beyond just monetary to actual draft picks? As such, couldn't a deal that puts a team in position to exceed the luxury tax in multiple years be bad, even if raw money isn't much of a concern for the squad?

Posted by: Fatalotti | Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

From what I've read, there are no draft pick penalties for exceeding the luxury tax, just increasing penalties for multiple-offenders in dollar amounts:

Starting in 2013:
First-time offenders: 17.5 percent
Second-time offenders: 30 percent
Third-time offenders: 40 percent
Four-time or more offenders: 50 percent

The draft pick penalties come in to play when you exceed your "amateur signing pool", whether through the draft or international signings.

To be honest, I'm not sure a draft pick penalty is THAT big a deal in baseball anyway. Losing a first round pick is obviously never a good thing, but what is a mid-to-late first round pick actually worth? How many of those players ever even become viable ML players, let alone have an actual impact on the team's on-field performance? Yes, it's great when they do, but draft picks in baseball are like lottery tickets, even from round 1 on. So instead of 53 lottery tickets (or however many rounds there are in the draft nowadays), you've got 52. Is that REALLY a big deterrent?

clout - That is more than likely your NL West champion, and quite probably the preseason favorite for the NL pennant in 2013. That doesn't even include any potential offseaon additions, and considering the owners don't seem to give a crap about a budget, I could see them making another big move...The Dodgers have really been a sleeping giant for years, and McCourt really decimated the franchise. With new, obviously deep-pocketed, ownership, I wouldn't be shocked to see them become the "Yankees West."

And it also makes it very obvious that they weren't blowing smoke about Hamels...If he hit the open market, I'm 100% sure that they would have signed him to the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history. So I guess the Phils DID get a hometown discount, of sorts...

clout: All fair points. To me, his ceiling appears to be average ML corner OF/1B. If he offered more defensive flexibility, he'd be worth more. I'm not convinced his power will translate as easily to the ML level. Will he be better than an .800 OPS regular? Perhaps.

All three acquisitions/extensions (Beckett, Crawford, Agon) were praised nearly unanimously when they were made -- and the total lack of reckoning of that fact by the same population of analysts who now unanimously condemn LA's actions is just a little bit unctuous.

That aside, I think the Dodgers made what's on the whole a mistake. Had they relegated themselves to Agon/Beckett, were that possible, I'd be mostly all for it: I think Beckett will be significantly better in the NL West (for all the usual reasons; and if ever there was a seeming case of a team/media/fan environment warping a talented player's performance, the Boston-Beckett marriage was it).

But to my mind Crawford will never again be a useful player, and that albatross contract alone (which guarantees him a starting spot for likely at least two years) isn't, I don't think, worth two months of Agon/no James Loney and a precarious playoff appearance.

A lot of it unknowable ifs make it difficult to be too judgmental. Did the Dodger's positively seek out Crawford, or was he the price of getting Gonzalez? What can we expect the first base market to be like in the coming off-season (free agency and trade)? What's the Dodger's long-term revenue forecast? Etc.

Still, not a trade I'd have made.

Chris in VT: GREAT POINT!

With the way LA is throwing money around, how much would Hamels have gotten from LA on the open market?

I think this is the line of thinking for those critical of the Dodgers: "The Dodgers overpaid for those players, compared to players they could have signed as free agents this offseason. If they were willing to take on X dollars of payroll, they probably could have gotten better value this offseason than what they got yesterday." (I hope this isn't too much of a straw man I've built here. Someone correct me if it is.)

I'm somewhat sympathetic to that line of thinking, and it makes sense, but there are other factors. One: the free agent market is not very liquid. There is no offensive impact player of Adrian Gonzalez's caliber available via free agency this year. Another issue: there is no free agency now. Presumably part of the rationale was a desire to incrementally upgrade the '12 team, making them more likely to catch the Giants for the division (avoiding the wild-card game) and, failing that, less likely to miss the playoffs entirely. They had to pay a premium for a midseason upgrade because there is no midseason free agency. Finally, there may be some amount of positive PR associated with this kind of midseason "big splash" move that would be lessened if a similar move was made during the offseason.

Klaus: The Crawford and Beckett deals were terrible in hindsight, but understandable at the time.

Crawford was coming off a career year and 7 out of 8 years of an OPS over .780, coupled with tremendous defense and 45-60 steals. Was the contract too long? Of course. It was, but they always are. It was nearly I possible to predict how bad he would be right away.

Beckett was 65-34 in his first 4 seasons with Boston and as recently as 2011 he had an ERA+ of 150. He was very good for them every year except 2010.

Gonzalez had the second highest OPS+ of his career in his first season with Boston. He's also one of the best gloves at first.

DH, are you saying that Josh Hamilton is not the offensive impact player that AGon is?

This would have to be the biggest blockbuster deal in waiver trade history, right?

Mike G: Yes.

Beckett deal made sense and he was a huge reason why the Sox won in '07. Crawford deal didn't and the Red Sox essentially big against themselves since the Yanks were the only other real contender for Crawford. Case of Epstein spending money because they had money to spend.

Dodgers just blew their wad for this year and next year. Understand why they made the deal. NL is wide open this year especially with the Nats shutting down Strasburg. It also benefits them to win the division instead of the WC. Bar is probably a WS flag even if the playoffs are a crapshoot.

Emptied out their farm system though & dramatically reduced their payroll flexibility. Same thing Amaro did and is largely being chastised now for since the Phils didn't get/win a WS title in '10 and '11.

KAS: Both the Gonzalez trade/extension and the Beckett extension are deals I would have done. Crawford not -- for reasons not original to me (and personally, save for Tim Raines/Rickey Henderson, Crawford's skill set simply isn't one I think it's wise to pay large free agent dollars/years for as a general matter). My point, though, is that a lot of the analysis of Epstein's past moves and the "idiot" Colleti's current work are conditioned by a lot of distinctly non-analytic biases and nearly aesthetic level romanticizing about certain teams/front offices vs. others. I'd like it if the "analytic" community would do a better job of recognizing that and shape the tone and complexity of their discourse accordingly.

Klaus: To be clear, you feel Epstein was too highly praised for his deals while Coletti is too unfairly criticized?

I've got to really hand it to Red Sox. The Phillies-equivalent deal sends Hamels, Howard and Rollins + $12m to LA for that package. What would you guys think of that?

(Hamels contract is roughly comparable to AGon's, Howard's is better than Crawford's and Rollin's is worse (given length) than Beckett's.)

OK, DH. Thanks for the clarification.

Deal looks much better for Red Sox since they're eating just $12M of $250M on the contracts.

As Buster Olney asks, why didn't dodgers just say, "We'll eat your contracts, and you can have Loney, but we're not giving you the prospects."

"All three acquisitions/extensions (Beckett, Crawford, Agon) were praised nearly unanimously when they were made -- and the total lack of reckoning of that fact by the same population of analysts who now unanimously condemn LA's actions is just a little bit unctuous."

I'm not sure if you're referring to paid analysts or the armchair "analysts" on Beerleaguer but, either way, your point escapes me. Nearly 2 full seasons have passed since the Carl Crawford signing, and 3 since the Beckett extension. Since that time, Beckett has had two 5+ ERA seasons, including the present one, while Crawford has had a .694 OPS season followed by a 125-PA season cut short by Tommy John surgery. What exactly is inconsistent or "unctuous" about praising these deals 2 to 3 years ago, when Crawford & Beckett were both borderline superstars, and thinking it's crazy to take on what's left of their contracts today, when both have colossal contracts and equally colossal question marks?

Can someone explain to me why Mini Mart is in Right Field tonight?

Gregm, NO.

Hey, remember Dom Brown? Kid's been doing OK so far, right? Yeah. Well, for some reason Charlie decided he should have a night off. And the best part? Everyone at CBP will be treated to the RF debut of Top Fielder Michael Martinez!

F*ck this sh*t. I don't want it to come out Dom is injured, but that's the ONLY logical excuse for this nonsense. And I don't wanna hear about saving Brown from having to face a "tough lefty", either. "Ohmigawd, Dom has a career .297 OBP vs. LHP!" So what? That's J-Stroll's approx. OBP vs. EVERYONE this season, & he's leading off (again). If Brown is going to be an everyday player in '13 he needs to work on successfully facing such pitchers starting NOW.

GTown, I invite you to join as a charter member in the


Mini Mart Sucks as an MLB Player Club.


You'll be the second member (I'm first).

Dom has started 23 straight games and Phillies haven't had an off day since Aug. 9th. Big deal he gets a day off. We'll likely see his bat later in the game anyway. I mean, really, we're getting that worked up over an off day?

KAS: Yes.

Turns out the salaries remaining added up to 262M so Dodgers remain on the hook for a cool quarter billion dollars.

GTown_Dave: Okay. Slow time of the year for manufactured outrage, I guess. I mean, seems to make much more sense to act personally offended that Martinez got the start over Wiggington or Nix then the fact Dom gets a rare day off. But whatever floats your boat.

Reposted (though it appears I'm the only person who finds my comments interesting...)

Would you do Hamels, Howard, and Rollins +12m for the LA package? I would, but only reluctantly. There's no doubt the team is much worse for a few years. The only way to avoid that is to buy some big free agents, but that just repeats the cycle.

KAS: I never have to manufacture outrage in any matter involving Martinez. His very existence is an affront to reason.

Brown had 4 lousy at bats last night. Maybe he needs to clear his head. Not the worst idea.

However that means we get to see MiniMart (dis)grace RF tonight. This makes my before game complaint about having tickets to a KK game last night look petty.

I suppose Wiggy in RF would be more palatable?

Little surprised that Brown is sitting tonight especially since Gonzalez has pretty strong reverse splits vs. LH/RH bats.

Brown hasn't had a day off since Aug 9th but they do have an off-day Monday. I would have rather seen him in the lineup & just give him a blow tomorrow if he needs a few days off.

Buddy Ryan: Not sure that's a comparable package. Maybe Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard and someone... hard to find a match for Crawford. Wouldn't do it with Cole involved. Maybe with Cliff involved, but we don't quite have a deal to dump as bad as Crawford's considering he's about to have Tommy John surgery.

For what is it worth:

Mini Mart has played sparingly since he was recalled earlier this month:

3-16 with 1 HR and a .188/.235/.375 in 5 starts.

Basically did all his damage in that game vs. Brewers facing Wolf last Sunday where the Phils won 8-0.

Probably ends up with around 90 ABs this year and would have had a lot more if he hadn't gotten hurt I bet.

KAS:

I think that's the exact comparable package. AGon's contract is much like Cole's: market rate for a premier player. Howard and Crawford are both significantly overpaid for a long horizon. Crawford's contract is worse, no doubt, but not obscenely so. Rollins at 3 more years is roughly comparable to Beckett for 2 more at those rates.

Replace Hamels with Lee makes is much easier, but that's just saying would you take all of our slop. The package has to be attractive enough for LA to accept. That's what AGon and Hamels do.

Buddy: I wouldn't do it. The Phils are going to have enough trouble remaining competitive next season as it is. And if they're not really taking a shot at getting back in the Postseason in '13, why not just dismantle the entire team, Halladay & Lee included? Or why not have simply traded Cole to the highest bidder before 31 July rather than re-signing him? There's no immediate need to shed more salary, nor would anything L.A. gave up fill the voids in CF or 3B.

Mini-Mart makes a couple of nice plays in spring training, 2011; 2 years, and 50 defensive blunders later, Cholly still thinks he's a plus defender at multiple positions.

Mini-Mart makes a nice play and a great throw from the shorstop position a couple nights ago; now Cholly thinks he can play RF.

Say what you will about Mini-Mart, but I've never seen another major league player who had his ability to influence the manager's thinking with but a single play or two.

GTown:

I think you're more-or-less correct. So should we be praising/jealous of the Red Sox? Sure, it's a bold move, but I don't see how it remotely improves them. The CC contract is bad, but not bad enough to warrant this. The motivation must really be about the clubhouse.


In retrospect, I wonder when LAD claimed Lee off waivers a few weeks ago..if the following deal could have been made- I.E. wonder if we could have cleaned up our budget dumping on LA?

Lee instead of( BECKETT) Howard instead of (Agon) - Philly provided about 15 mil in cash to LAD...

Think of the $$ coming off books...

Although Howard is still healing and older than Agon & Lee's older than Beckett

pipe dream - probably.

Buddy Ryan: A Gon does not equal Hamels. Under 30 ace lefties much more scarce than over 30 1B power hitters. And Hamels is having a great season while A Gon is struggling.

Buddy Ryan: Not just about clubhouse, but that's a big part. You also need to factor in last Year's collapse. Add in a new GM and those are the ingredients for massive change. Phillies just aren't in that position.

buy sell: Assume we get that money off our books. On what do you spend it to be better than we'd be with Howard/Lee next year?

Buddy: I basically agree w/ KAS's take. Boston has serious internal issues, & I think the "new regime" finally decided things were screwed up enough that it would be easier to clean house than make piecemeal adjustments.

Buddy Ryan - But you're forgetting the fact that Hamels would have 30 teams lining up to claim him on waivers, and Lee was taken by nobody until the Dodgers put in a claim. Hamels would never get to the Dodgers on waivers in a million years. So that means that AGon and Hamels aren't really equivalent contracts.

I have no trouble believing Howard would clear waivers, and very possibly Rollins. But no way for Hamels.

The Dodgers happen to have an ace in the hole upon which this deal hinges:

Davey Lopes will rejuvenate Carl Crawford.

aksmith,

Not so quick. Hamels wouldn't clear, but he may well make it to LAD. There are only about 6-10 teams in MLB that could take on that contract.

I would think that Crawford in LA increases the likelihood that Victorino returns to Philly. Assuming that Amaro doesn't overpay for Bourn, I can't see another team outbidding the Phil's for Shane to such a degree that he wouldn't rather return to Philly.

Do we really want Vic back? I'm not really sure if signing him at ~10 mil per makes any sense anyway.

And waivers work as follows:

NL Player goes through all NL teams in reverse standings order THEN all AL teams in reverse standings order...AL players do the same except starting in the AL of course.

How many NL teams with worse records than LA could handle Hamels contract?

On Vic: He was bad when he was with us this year, he's been far worse in LA so far.

Gelb: "Brown sits with soreness in knee. Not considered serious. But enough to keep him out.

Polanco unavailable. Back hurts when he fields. Have to wonder if season is in doubt."


I don't know whether I'm relieved, or even more upset now.

The Polanco thing, however, has been a long time coming. He's cooked.

The Polanco thing, however, has been a long time coming. He's cooked.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM

And when Amaro picks up his option for 2013? God it's depressing that it's even a legitimate possibility...

Brown has had knee issues all year...its a big part of why he missed all that time in Lehigh.

I'd love for him to just have one healthy stretch so we could see what we've got.


Please, please dont bring Polly back.

Chris in VT: I'm really hoping Polanco's continual health issues are the necessary wake up call for r00b. Of course that just leaves the door open for his next brilliant idea -- Michael Martinez, Starting 3B! -- but I can't even be bothered w/ worrying about that right now.

Howard/Rollins/Hamels is pretty comparable to Crawford/Beckett/Gonzalez. The difference is that the Red Sox have a decent assortment of youngish talent (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Middlebrooks) around which a prospect-fueled rebuild seems viable. The Phillies really lack that, and so, like Gtown, I'd keep the three and roll the dice for 2013. Also, the Phillies clubhouse seems functional.

BAP: I think the original Crawford deal was overpraised by professional/prominent amateur analysts due in large part to the reputations of the people who transacted it. There isn't any necessary logical inconsistency between praising the past signings and condemning LA's trade, although the Dodgers' decision to pay huge sums for the decline phases of once-superstars is in essence the same decision made by the Red Sox FO. Some recognition of that might go some way to A) complicating one's evaluation of the Dodger deal, and B) reminding one of limitations of managerial reputation as a basis for evaluating deals (or simply, that such biases exist). At any rate, it's a peripheral point.

NEPP and others here in New England- Do you think the Red Sox would part with Middlebrooks and /or Jackie Bradley for Lee and other parts, perhaps a Ruf included?

Klaus: Don't think any GM would trade away Hamels, Howard and Rollins to get back Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford. Neither Rollins nor Hamels are viewed to have terrible contracts. And Hamels is clearly the best player in the deal and only one with any peak years remaining. It'd be like the Phils would be throwing in Hamels just to get rid of Howard's contract.

Ruf has zero trade value. He's 26 years old in AA.

Where can I get the application to join the "Mini Mart Sucks as an MLB Player" club?

If I'm Davey Johnson I'm telling everyone to hit it to right field tonight.

The Mini-Mart is right is a low point of the season. First-to-thirds all night!

Is Polanco trying to hide on the DL so he doesn't get his walking papers. Talking about cuts, why is Wigginton still here?

What in the hell makes UC think Mini Mart can play RF?

Has he EVER even played an inning there in his life?

Klaus: No doubt, Crawford was widely viewed as an excellent player who was almost certain to continue playing at a high level in the near-term. But, even at the time of the signing, the prevailing view was that it was a serious overpay for a corner outfielder who doesn't walk or hit for much power, and whose game revolves around speed.

That said, I do think it's fair to cut Theo Epstein at least a little slack since absolutely no one could have foreseen the disaster of Crawford's last 2 seasons. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are paying the same price as Boston (minus 2 years), even though they have every reason to foresee disaster. Maybe Crawford will completely bounce back and Ned Colletti will have the last laugh. But right now, the deal looks pretty insane -- at least to me.

"Where can I get the application to join the "Mini Mart Sucks as an MLB Player" club?"

Forming a "Mini Mart Sucks" club is a little like forming an "Earth is Round" club. The club should be for the handful of weirdos out there who DON'T think Mini-Mart sucks. Right now, the club's membership is at 3: Ruben Amaro, Charlie Maneul, and Sir Alden (formerly of Beerleaguer, and now posting on GMCarson's blog).

Does anyone seriously think there's a team that would pass on Cole Hamels if he were to be put on waivers?

At the very worst, they would keep him until the offseason, then flip him for three or four top prospects. The guy is an ace and 27 years old.

Cliff Lee? I can see a lot of teams passing. Halladay? Same thing, although his contract is pretty team friendly. But I don't care what kind of budget a team has, if Cole Hamels is on waivers, they're putting a claim in.

And all that means, is the Phillies would be forced to pull him back. He would never get to the Dodgers.

Not as convinced Hamels gets claimed before Dodgers. Who does it?

Pittsburgh? No.
Arizona? Maybe... but doubtful.
Milwaukee? Maybe... but doubtful.
NY Mets? No.
San Diego? No.
Miami? No.
Colorado? No.
Chicago? Maybe... but doubtful.
Houston? No.

I do remind those who hate Mini-Mart that it isn't his fault that he's a lousy baseball player. Here's something that will keep the statheads around here up at night: There are 30 teams. Each team has 25 players on the active roster. If one estimates that 12 of those players are pitchers, that leaves 13 position players. Based on those numbers, Ruben Amaro believes that Michael Martinez is one of the 390 best baseball players in the world.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe Arizona throws up a block. They'd figure no way Phillies give Hamels away for nothing, so they claim and don't offer anything back.

Scott: Actually, it just means Amaro believes Martinez is one of the best 13 position players in the Phillies organization or in independent leagues who can also play shortstop. Still likely a dubious assumption.

I'm sure of it now. Let's see. Mini in RF and Werth in LF. There must be some point system in Mini/Werth unholy wager.

I could see every one of the listed teams taking Hamels, or at the very least, blocking him from getting to the Dodgers.

He is the kind of cornerstone player that you build a franchise around. He is young and you know exactly what his contract is going to be for 6-7 years.

Of course Chicago would take him. San Diego? Hometown kid? Absolutely. Even Miami would take him. Could you imagine Hamels/Josh Johnson? Loria may be cheap, but he's not stupid.

I don't know about Houston, but even they would have to seriously consider it.

And it's not like they really have to make a serious offer. In fact, were I San Fran, I'd give any team that blocks him a prospect out of my farm system for a bag of balls.

Just saw Darin Ruf is going to play winter ball in Venezuela. Keith Law is probably going to try to have him killed.

If it hurts Poly to field, then he's of absolutely no use anymore. Time to admit he won't get you anything in trade and give him the buyout.

Martinez? I'd rather see any of about four SS prospects in the system than him at this point. And as far as playing the outfield, I don't know what universe has a place for Martinez in the outfield but can't find a place on the forty man for Ruf. Put Schneider on the 60 day and bring the guy up for goodness' sakes.

Today's thread and the calls to dump Hamels, Rollins and Howard really show that payroll flexibility is the new most over valued commodity in baseball. Dump payroll and sign who? Greinke and Hamilton? Guys who will not sign with Philadelphia (or Boston) under any circumstances? What do people propose Philadelphia would do with all this flexibility? Sign Bourne? Why? Sign a lesser starting pitcher? Why? Have Galvis play short next year on a bad back and no PEDs? Piece together an awful rotation? I don't get it.

Can someone explain to me why Mini Mart is in Right Field tonight? No,we can't even explain why he's on the roster so how could you explain his playing RF.
I'd rather see Hamels or Lee in RF.Bet Doc's thrilled.He'll probably go 3-4 and have the defensive play of the game.

gobaystars - Nobody was saying to dump Hamels, Howard and Rollins. The Phillies clearly have nobody to replace any of those guys.

And frankly, I don't care about the money spent if they put the best team on the field that they can. The only reasons anyone here cares about money spent are two:
1. If they have a budget that they are up against, then which players you sign makes a big difference. That forces Rube to make choices and I don't trust he'll make the right ones.
2. Some GMs do better on a limited budget instead of a big budget. Minaya was the classic case of this. He did much better in Montreal than NY.

I don't think baseball players are overpaid. They get what they can and so would anyone else if they could.

I truly don't care if the luxury tax kicks in at 180 mil or 300 mil. If an owner can't make money at a certain payroll number, then don't pay it or sell the team to someone who can.

But simply dumping Hamels/Rollins/Howard to get payroll flexibility denies the fact that there is production with those three players that would be difficult to replace. That would take a GM with a far reaching plan. And I don't think anyone here believes Rube has one of those.

Nice start by Roy. I hope he's "feeling it" tonight.

Martinez in RF.
LOL In what universe is him on the field even acceptable? They really can't find someone better then him?

Mandy Housenick: "Per Jeff Schuler, Michael Schwimer has not reported to Triple-A Lehigh Valley."

Looks as if the disagreement between Schwimer & the Phillies over the former's injury status is about to reach a head.

Nice start for the Phils. I'd like to see them get a few more in advance of Gio settling in.

L.A. mentioned Gio was windmilling his arm after each pitch. Seems to have trouble throwing strikes so far.

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