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Monday, September 24, 2012


From the last thread:

If anything, he's throwing too many strikes.

Sounds entirely counterintuitive, but in Lee's case I think this is entirely correct. At the very least he might want to stop grooving a first pitch meatball right in the center of the zone.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Monday, September 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Very similar to Schilling in a lot of ways. He simply refuses to walk guys so he occasionally grooves a pitch in a hitters count.

If Amaro finds the Fountain of Youth in Florida during the offseason, the Phils are the NL East favorites next year.

How could you bet against the Nationals at this point?

Pretty hard to at this point...given that Harper will be a year older, Strasburg will be unleashed next year and Rendon is still developing.

The Nats are a very solidly built franchise with a ton of cash to spend.

As long as the Phils continue to make marginal moves during the offseason, they are doomed to mediocrity. They need to clean house and look for the best deals they can get. It starts by replacing the GM who put them in this hole. Then Cholly. Then Howard, even if they have to pick up a quarter of his contract. Then Halladay. Then the fungible crap like Wiggington, MiniMart, Schierholtz, etc. Who they get in return in unanswerable at this point, but when you are served a rotten egg, you are not obligated to lay another one to replace it.

Dom Brown's 2011 numbers (210 PAs): .245/.333/.391/.725 OPS+ - 98

Dom Brown's 2012 numbers (179 PAs): .241/.330/.386/.716 OPS+ - 92

Why on earth would anyone believe that it's going to be better in 2013, and why on earth do I still see everyone penciling him into our 2013 OF? Corner OF is probably the only position out there where the FA market provides meaningful upgrades, and where we're not already locked in with proven incumbents or unmovable salary. To cede one of these spots to a player who has been a below league average hitter in 459 career PAs, would be a sure-fire recipe for another average to below average offensive team in 2013.

Because, um...he well he's a young, um, HEY LOOK OVER THERE!!!

No they can't. Not as presently constructed. This year showed what haoppens as other teams get better and you do not. Amaro tried to fix things with spit and bubblegum and it didn't work.

And they don't have many players in the Minors, a la Harper or Trout etc. who are ready to step in. They have to improve via aquistions, and where are they gonna get a 3rd from? They can get the RH hitting outfielder, CF, and 'pen pieces. Maybe even a starter if need be. But RAJ's gotta do it right. Not with bench players who are forced to play a lot because of injuries. And I don't have the faith in him to do it.

As much as I love this team, thankfully, mericfully this year is over. It was over really at the AS break.

Can the Phillies withstand the divisional power shift?


L.V. doesn't want Dom. Maybe another year of seasoning at Reading will help him find his power stroke. He'll then turn 26 (Ruf's old age).

b_a_p: I agree RE: Dom. He is what he is, & that is mediocre. Brown in RF, Galvis at 2B, who knows what half-ass maneuver r00b will pull w/ regard to LF ...

At this rate it's not even going to matter what happens in CF, because the rest of the lineup will be barely competent, old, injured or some depressing combination thereof.

Meyer: I see Dom as trade bait, and nothing more. He doesn't hit RHP well enough to be a platoon piece and another season in the minors would be utterly pointless.

Obviously, his trade value isn't what it once was. He's not a "centerpiece of a trade" kind of prospect at this point. But, for sure, there are still teams out there who would be intrigued by his upside.

I don't think the phillies have any advantage over the braves or nats at this point but they will still be a very competitive team next year. The Braves and Nats can get injuries, or go on cold streaks too, sames as the phillies. Their going to just have to fight a lot harder to stay near the top.

At least the Mets and Marlins are still laughably bad.

3 good teams in the division is better than 4 (like the AL East where there are no easy games).

The best thing going for the Phils in the future is that Atlanta's ownership won't spend the big bucks, so once their home-grown talent reaches FA, they are most likely gone. Although I hate the Braves with a passion, I have to tip my cap to their player development department. Except for a few years ago, they manage to field a contender almost every year given their "limited" budget.

Atlanta also has probably the worst tv deal in all of sports and they're locked into it for something like another 15 years.

They're screwed financially compared to every other team in the NL East.

The Braves have the best scouts in the least when it comes to pitching. An elite pipeline of talent. The Rays also have great scouts.

Well we nabbed Dom Brown from right under their noses. Or did we steal Brown from that other chop team?

re: scouts: it also helps to actually have 1st round picks and when you do have 1st round picks you don't blow on "athletes" who haven't played much baseball in their life (Hewitt).

Re: Dom Brown

Went to the game yesterday with some family and a family friend who scouts in the minor leagues (part-timer at this point given his age who scouts the teams in Mid-Atlantic but primarily in Eastern League/New York-Penn League/International League)

Brown has the same limitations he had at Reading 2 years ago - his instincts/first steps at reading a ball off the bat are poor (watch him at the game & he freezes almost every time initially instead of breaking on the ball once it is hit) and he simply can't handle fastballs on the inside part of the plate.

At the AA level, a lot of the pitchers don't have the ability to command and control of their fastball on the inner part of the plate to hitters. At the MLB level though, it is a completely different story. Hudson got Brown yesterday to weakly hit

As more video becomes available on Brown, more team realize he can't handle that fastball and will increasingly continue to pound him inside both early in the count to get him behind and when they need to get him out on a 2-2 or 3-2 count.

Brown simply either needs to make the necessary adjustments to handle that pitch or he isn't going to hit enough to stick at the MLB level as an everyday starter for a prolonged period.

He also was notably limping though yesterday especially on balls where he had to sprint to make a grab. It wouldn't surprise me if he has his knee scoped this offseason.

Braves/Nats both have much brighter futures than the Phils moving ahead forward. Only thing really holding the Braves back is that they are earned by a corp parent (Cox Communications) who regards them generally as an unpredictable asset which is out of place.

Phils are still better off than the Mets/Fish. Fish are back in 'sell-off mode' with reports I have seen saying they will have to reduce payroll by at least $15-20M this offseason. Maybe they hold a fund raiser this offseason where you pay $ amount to throw items at Loria. Mets are a mess too with reduced payroll capacity, a few bad contracts yet (Santana, Bay), and a mediocre farm system.

Is Hitman serious, or is his post supposed to be a joke?

With the second wild card, I don't think it really matters if you can compete with the Nats. The Braves, I think they can hang with them next year if the right moves are made in the off-season.

The Fish are a joke and Loria is the worst owner in sports...but he makes tens of millions every year thanks to revenue sharing.


this is a depressing thread, but the situation is what it is.

Three big concerns I go around and around with (not that there aren't others), none of which have terrific answers at this point.

Is Dom for real? Not looking good, appears at best he will be a decent complementary player, with little possibility of an upside as a potential all star, as people had hoped a couple of years ago.

Will Doc bounce back? I think there is a good possibility of a better year next year. May be not to the level of the best pitcher in the game as previously, but still very capable.

Can Utley move to third? I don't see this as having much chance of working out. I simply don't think he has the arm for it, or even close. I'm surprised knowledgeable people see this as a potential solution, but hey, we're all peanut gallery GMs, right?

#1 goal for the rest of the season: Stay above .500.

Utley to 3B is a massive mistake.

I wouldn't say the Phils have been depressing to watch. It was a close game yesterday where Hudson just pitched incredibly well (especially through the first 5 IP) and Kimbrel just blew them away.

Kimbrel was really impressive yesterday. Throwing 95-96 with command and a wicked slider. Take him over even Chapman at this point just because of his command. Might be the best pitcher right now in baseball for a single inning.

Also helps that Fredi hasn't run him into the ground this year either. On pace to work 60 G, 60 IP which is notably down from last year (79 G, 77 IP)

I wouldn't say the Nationals season is "suddenly" a 100-win team, like it came out of nowhere. This team was consistently at the bottom of the standings, since about '94 when the strike wiped them out. They've had multiple years with top draft picks to help build this team.

And even then, I don't necessarily think this team is going to win 90-100 games a season. I don't think their roster is that great. This is one of those seasons where things have gone very well for them, similar to the '93 Phillies. They may have more staying power than the '93 Phils, but I don't necessarily think they are suddenly a powerhouse for years to come.

The Braves on the other hand are more dangerous. They are always in the mix.

I think the Phillies had one of those horrible years when not much went right. There's no question they are getting older and have to start to focus on developing for the next generation/wave, but I also don't think this team is inherently "done." The Yankees keep winning and retooling, even when they get old.

I stated plainly in the offseason, that this team (2012) was worse than last year's team. I didn't like the additions of Nix, Wiggs, Thome, Qualls, etc. Not even taking injuries into account, but everything Amaro said after losing in the NLDS - we have to get younger and have better at-bats, and then he goes out and signs those guys (old and not patient). So this season is on Amaro heavily, in my opinion. To bounce back next year, they can't keep signing mid-30s retreads. They can withstand this "power shift" but they can't keep signing these kinds of guys they signed last year at this time.

Utley to 3B is a massive mistake.

This cannot be overstated.

Moving Utley to 3B to make room for Galvis is a failure on every conceivable level.

I really don't want Galvis in any starting position, unless he can actually hit.

So yeah, if Utley moves to 3rd so Galvis can be an automatic out at 2nd..umm no thanks.

***They've had multiple years with top draft picks to help build this team.***

They also have an owner who is willing to spend.

Good to great pitching and a solid lineup along with a willingness to spend is a dangerous combination.

Would Upton move the needle enough to justify what he's going to command in free agency? The Phillies need to draw some lines with veteran add-ons, and I believe they started the process by dealing Pence. Who moves the needle? Cole Hamels does. Jonathan Papelbon does (too much money, but he does). Pence no. Vic no. Upton? Bourn?

I think Upton and another piece would be helpful. Reasons why Upton is better than Bourn for us:

1. RH
2. Power hitter
3. Maybe a little cheaper than Bourn.

Starting Galvis anywhere in '13 will probably guarantee more losses of the 3-2, 2-1 variety.

Also, you'd still have a 30+ SB guy with Upton. He's got a great speed/power combo.

I would much rather target Upton in the FA market than Bourn.

Iceman- My post is not a joke. The joke is their lineup. The joke is 5 hits over two games. But it isn't very funny. Your comment that: "I think they can hang with them" is pathetic. Those who cannot come to grips with reality and resort to wishful thinking are right in step with the Phillies management responsible for their decline. If they are commited to fielding a highly competitive team, then they cannot get there by wishing that they may slip into the post season by competing for the last wildcard slot. Is that what you want?

What I suggested is that they start the rebuilding process in earnest, and you somehow regard that to be a joke?

Phils simply need good luck on the health front. If they have that, they will be a playoff team next year considering they make a few FA upgrades including a new CF (Bourn/Upton) and other additions.

Biggest single worry I have is Halladay. One of the dumber things I have heard the last few days is that he will rebound next year 'because he is competitive.' Doesn't make much of a difference if his labrum/rotator cuff need shoulder surgery this offseason.

If Halladay is largely a nonfactor again next year, then yeah it is hard to see this team be going enough to win 88-90 games to get back to the playoffs.

Bourn is truly a great defender but we really need offense. He's a 97 OPS+ hitter the last 3 years and a 90 OPS+ hitter for his career.

He also has zero power, is entering his 30s next year and a significant platoon split:

vs. RHP: .726 OPS
vs. LHP: .641 OPS

The last thing we need is another hitter who gets neutered by LOOGYs.

Would Upton move the needle enough to justify what he's going to command in free agency?

No. Especially in light of the apparent plan to shift the gaping chasm of offensive ineptitude from the 3B position to the 2B position.

At this point, I wouldn't be shocked if Upton gets more than Bourn in FA.

No one is mentioning Hamilton. I guarantee you he is on Rube's radar.

Talk about a guy who will 'move the needle.'

***They've had multiple years with top draft picks to help build this team.***

That would be a terrifying thought...because signing him guarantees that Rube goes the bargain bin route everywhere else (just like last winter with Papelbon).

Package Dom, sell high on KK, and throw in a prospect like one of our young relievers to get Todd Frazier.

My above post should have quoted Iceman's Hamilton comment, not the previous Nats draft picks one...copy/paste error.

The problem is JW, is that salaries even for less than top players keep skyrocketing. To get a guy you really want you have to overpay (Cuddyer to Rockies etc.) To get a guy like Bourn what'll it take 5/75? He K's 150 times a year. They don't need another 150K-a-year player. That's way too much money for him. But he's a Boras client, he'll probably get it.

True, they moved Pence (to avoid paying him) but are they really better off now? They still have to replace his RH bat. If it takes 15 million a year to do that, what have they gained (other than whom they got back in the trade)?

And I'll ask again, who's playing 3rd? No one out there of note except Headley and the price would be way too steep for him, I think. Point is there gonna have trouble just filling there own holes with good players at a reasonable cost, let alone trying to move the needle.

Bourn's losing himself money with the way he's tanking in the 2nd half. It hasn't just been a normal slump. It's been like 60 games of ineptitude.

I don't agree with people who think he should be avoided because he's a LHB, but I can't say his second half hasn't changed my mind about what he's worth. I thought he might have genuinely improved as a player based on what he did last year and in the first half. Doesn't look like he's really worth what he'd probably be asking for.

I'll reiterate how pleased I was to hear they're interested in Cody Ross, in addition to signing a CF. A lineup with Mayberry and Ross against LHP would be pretty formidable, and Ross is a guy you could start everyday if the plan would be to bail on Brown.

"They also have an owner who is willing to spend."

The Nats are on pace to have just about the best record in baseball. They will draw about 2.4 million fans. I wonder if that justifies their owner spending even more. I also wonder if they think that with all of the success this year, that 2.4 million or so is there ceiling. I'm guessing not, but you never know. I would think that they should have drawn even more given their season. I know that a deep playoff run could be very profitable.

Iceman - I think you are right that the Phils will come out of nowhere to make a run at Hamilton.

It's probably an ill-advised move for the long-term with plenty of potential downside but it fits in with Amaro's FA strategy (identify a premium FA, lock him up early by paying a premium in dollars/years to do so).

If Amaro resigns Bourn, the move will be the 'Circle of Stupidity.'

If he signs Hamilton, 'Boy Genius' Wild Gambit'

NEPP- it is terrifying, for more reasons than just that. I don't know if there's ever been a more high-risk FA that will command 100 million.

I think my choice would be Pagan. Sign Ross, too, and you've really improved your OF.

Iceman - Much rather see a 'spread the wealth' option too with a mix of Pagan/Ross/utility infielder possibly/1-2 RHP relievers.

Not a fan at all of blowing almost all the cash on a guy like Bourn/Hamilton.

Hamilton is a bad idea. I don't worry about his personal issues nearly so much as his health. Honestly, an OF Hamilton in CF & Brown in RF? Their bench replacements will become starters by mid-March.

DC and N. Virginia is tough for a couple reasons (on getting fans):

1. Orioles used to be the team in the area.

2. Huge transplant population due to gov't jobs.

Still, if they have a winning team, I think people will go.

They've raised their attendance by 19.9% this year from last year.

2012 attendance average: 29,084
Increase from 2011: 4828
Best attendance in DC: 33,728 per game in 2005.

For reference, it takes 37K a game to have 3 million in attendance for a season.

***Sign Ross, too, and you've really improved your OF. ***

Ross seems like a guy that would completely and utterly suck once he's on our team.

Of course if the Nats have trouble selling out in the post-season(which is unlikely), I think ownership will be left in a quandry.

And Iceman, I disagree on Hamilton. I don't think Rube would touch him with a ten foot fungo bat.

Brookover makes a very good point that the Phils may need to pursue a FA starer if Halladay has offseason rotator cuff/labrum surgery which makes him a question mark for the 1st half of the season next year.

If it comes out over the next few days that Halladay indeed is being shut down for the year & will have shoulder surgery this offseason, that is the 2nd time in the last 2 years that the medical staff/trainer on this team have screwed up in a huge way with a key player.

Maybe even make that 3 if you consider Utley earlier this year but I still think that was on Utley for not doing what he needed to soon enough & not keeping the Phils informed this offseason while he was out in CA.

Speaking of outfield, Kelly Dugan has to be the most intriguing prospect in the entire chain right now. Wonder if they'll jump him right to Double-A if he shows well in ST. Would be a great little development if he can be on the big league radar in 2014.

Another issue with Hamilton is that he's not really a legit CF defensively. He's much more of a LF. So we'd still need to go get a CF. Or we'd have terrible OF defense.

***If it comes out over the next few days that Halladay indeed is being shut down for the year & will have shoulder surgery this offseason, that is the 2nd time in the last 2 years that the medical staff/trainer on this team have screwed up in a huge way with a key player. ***

That'd be awesome...just awesome. If it were the case, they should fire Rube, the entire FO, Dr. Ciccotti, every single trainer in the organization and then rehire Rube just to fire him again.

Philadelphia BBWAA 2012 Mike Schmidt MVP Award: Carlos Ruiz

Philadelphia BBWAA 2012 Steve Carlton MVP Pitcher Award: Cole Hamels

Philadelphia BBWAA 2012 Dallas Green Special Achievement Award: Jimmy Rollins

Philadelphia BBWAA 2012 Tug McGraw True Pro Award: Juan Pierre

(all per Rob Maaddi, via Twitter)

An infusion of youth from the farm system would go a long way to offset the depreciation of the core group of players. If some/all of the group of Larry Greene, Mitchell Walding, Jon Pettibone, Trevor May, Jesse Biddle and Tommy Joseph are as good as advertised, the Phillies should continue to stay competitive.

Upton would be a solid acquisition because he: (1) would simultaneously fill our dual needs for a centerfielder and a right handed bat; and (2) is one of the few FAs on the market who is unlikely to decline over the life of his contract.

However, Upton, alone, will not "move the needle." The problem is, he's yet another .240-ish hitter in a lineup filled with .240-ish hitters. I'm all in favor of signing B.J. Upton, but if he's the only addition to our everyday lineup, this will still be a middle-of-the-pack National League offense.

Caught a couple of R-Phils late this year and they were definitely more interesting to watch than they have been in a few years after the trading deadline. Couple of guys I was curious to see even though I didn't get to catch a Martin game.

Things to consider on Cody Ross:

1. He's a RH pull hitter who is racking up hits/HRs thanks to the Monster in Fenway. His Home/Road splits bear this out:

Home: .928 OPS (25 2B, 13 HR)
Away: .702 OPS (9 2B, 8 HR)

He isnt that guy outside of Fenway.

Red Sox would be smart to resign Ross this year. He's become semi-popular on that team that desperately needs it, he's a tailor-made RH pull hitter who tattoos balls off the monster and over it, and they have plenty of payroll flexibility. I would be really surprised if he wasn't wearing a Red Sox uniform next year.

"Ross seems like a guy that would completely and utterly suck once he's on our team."

Truer words were never written. And just so we're clear, his full name is Cody F'ing Ross. I am offended by any Phillies fan who calls him by any other name.

"Ross seems like a guy that would completely and utterly suck once he's on our team."

I have that same vibe. I like Cody Ross, but it's hard to get a read on whether he's the .800-ish OPS hitter that he has been this year, and was in 2008 & 2009, or whether he's the .730-ish OPS guy that he was in 2010 and 2011. Still, he isn't particularly old (as free agents go) & he probably won't be as expensive as many of the other options. He could definitely be a good pickup.

I'd expect Ross to be the 2013 version of Geoff Jenkins.

"The Phillies have not internally dicussed a shutdown for Roy Halladay, who is "in position" to make his next start, Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday."

Amaro: Halladay 'In Position' To Make Next Start


Because we couldn't possibly start anyone else...Doc is totally okay.

~shakes head~

I had the game on yesterday but could pay but scant attention since we had a family birthday party. I did realize that Cliff pitched pretty well - saw him get in trouble a few times at the beginning of the game, and give up his customary HR - but then he held the score....while our offense did nothing. I figured that might be because Hudson was pitching well. Saw at least one misplay in the OF out of the corner of my eye. Ugh.

I'm still depressed from Halladay's outing. I was concerned before, but now I'm very concerned. I'm anxious to find out what's going on with him, whether he has surgery and what kind, and really wonder what next season will bring.

We already have enough holes to fill without throwing a Halladay replacement into the mix. (How do you replace a Roy Halladay, anyway?)

This thread is very depressing, by the way.

I still have a question about who will play 3B if Galvis is not used in the infield. I don't think using Galvis is the kiss of death, personally, provided the lineup is bulked up in the OF, but I can not disagree that it would be so much better to have a stronger hitter in the lineup. Who do you all feel we should get for the IF?

Thanks for the list of BBWAA awards for the Phillies, GTown. I'm happy for them all.

BAP: you "like" Cody Ross? I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. Donc's right, it's Cody F'ing Ross.

Hypothetically speaking, if we absolutely had to have Freddie Galvis in our starting lineup next year, I really can't fathom why we wouldn't move Rollins to 3rd, leave Utley at 2nd, and put Galvis at SS. Rollins, unlike Utley, could almost surely play 3rd base, and play it very well. And Galvis is one of the few guys who would probably be a defensive upgrade over Rollins at the most important defensive position.

Let me be clear that I am in no way endorsing the idea of putting Freddy Galvis, and his .254 OBP, in the starting lineup, at any position. I'm just pointing out that the plan, as currently conceived, is idiotic even on its own terms. If the Phillies are absolutely convinced that Galvis's defense is so incredibly good as to justify a spot in the starting lineup, then why wouldn't you play him at the position where he could have the most defensive impact? Especially since that plan could be carried out without moving another guy to a new position which he is totally unqualified to play.

***, if we absolutely had to have Freddie Galvis in our starting lineup next year, I really can't fathom why we wouldn't move Rollins to 3rd, leave Utley at 2nd, and put Galvis at SS. ***

Or just put Galvis at 3B as the offensive production doesnt change and Rollins is still a great SS.

jbird: I have always thought he was an underrated player. I can't really hold it against him that he turned into Stan Musial during the 2010 NLCS. I mean, good on him for having a great series -- even if it p*ssed me off something fierce at the time.

NEPP: Putting Galvis at a position which only gets 3 or 4 defensive chances per game would pretty much undermine the entire justification for putting him in the lineup in the first place. Not to mention that, while Galvis has better range than Rollins, he does not nearly have Rollins' throwing arm.

I'm not sure why hatred for Ross should preclude us from signing him.

Home/Away splits aside (and I'm not necessarily sure that's completely indicative of the player he'd be away from Fenway), he's always killed LHP. That is a need on this team. The worst case scenario is having to platoon him with Brown or something. Best case scenario: he's the second best OF on the team, and he doesn't cost you more than 3 years/20 million.

***Putting Galvis at a position which only gets 3 or 4 defensive chances per game would pretty much undermine the entire justification for putting him in the lineup in the first place. Not to mention that, while Galvis has better range than Rollins, he does not nearly have Rollins' throwing arm.***

I'm at the point where I dont see it as making a difference because a lineup where Galvis is a starter is not a playoff lineup.

If Brown's stock was still high- which unfortunately, I don't think it is, with any team- an idea could be a Worley-Brown-Pettibone package for Headley, then signing Ross and Pagan in the OF.

Iceman - Sadly I see his price creeping a little higher than that (say closer to $9-$10M/year) given the relatively weak class of positional players that look like they will be available.

With Ross, are you paying the .754 OPS (102 OPS+) guy he was from 2009-2011 or the .824 OPS (117 OPS+) he is this year?

If you're paying the latter and you get the former (a good possibility), you're gonna regret it.

JW: "Would Upton move the needle enough to justify what he's going to command in free agency?"

Unless the past 4 years are a fluke, the obvious answer is NO.

Bonehead: "Package Dom, sell high on KK, and throw in a prospect like one of our young relievers to get Todd Frazier."

On his stupidest day of his life, Ruben Amaro will never be that stupid.

MG: "Phils simply need good luck on the health front. If they have that, they will be a playoff team next year considering they make a few FA upgrades including a new CF (Bourn/Upton) and other additions."

MG is correct. Hitman is wrong. Although Hitman may be right in a year or two.

Upton's last 3 years:

2010: 106 OPS+, 38 2B, 18 HR, 42 SB
2011: 114 OPS+, 27 2B, 23 HR, 36 SB
2012: 111 OPS+, 27 2B, 26 HR, 30 SB

Why is Upton a terrible idea compared to a guy like Bourn (who strikes out a ton, has no power and whose entire game is based on his legs yet he'll be in his 30s when he comes here?)

Considering the options out there, Upton seems like a much better fit than Bourn.

Halladay will start on short rest because he only pitched 1.2 innings in his last outing.

I still see Chooch getting a shot as a part time third baseman if he can handle it defensively. He has developed into a guy whose bat is more important than his defense. Let Kratz shoulder seventy games at catcher to save Chooch from wear and tear and the obligatory DL stint. And carrying a third catcher may not be a bad idea.

Frandsen and Galvis fill in as utility guys.

Grab Swisher or Ross for a corner outfield spot. Pagan looks to be a much improved player. Grab him for centerfield. I won't complain if they grab Upton instead. It would be nice to have some righty power in the lineup even if he doesn't hit for average.

And assume Doc can't go next season. You still have Lee, Hamels and Kendrick healthy and pitching well. Worley post surgery. Cloyd in a pinch. And there are a handful of guys who will be in AAA who will provide depth/replacements. At some point you have got to trust the farm system. It has developed some reasonable pitching lately.

You dump one of Nix/Schierholz. You hope for Dom to progress, but with two new outfielders that won't be imperative. And Mayberry fills out the reserves.

And you take a leap with Defratus/Aumont/Bastardo/Horst/fill in the blank/ Maybe new setup guy/Pap.

Looks to me like they can hang with a few changes. All it takes is a willingness to pay the luxury tax. Hopefully, they have that willingness.

smith, really. Chooch is too short for 3B.

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