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Friday, October 19, 2012


This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting off seasons in recent memory. And that's pretty odd considering there really aren't a lot of marquis free agents out there. Hamilton's situation is fascinating, and all of the big spending teams need a lot of help. The Dodgers inexplicably bailed out the Red Sox who now have tons of cash to spend but nobody to spend it on. Well, that's a bit of hyperbole but you get the point. Not a lot of FA help for them. The Sawx, Phils and Yanks all have lots of holes to fill. They could be fighting over players like dogs fight over bones. And even after taking on that massive amount of payroll I still see the Dodgers throwing money around. There first shopping spree didn't turn out as planned but I have a feeling that won't deter them. It's early yet, but I'm getting a Daniel Snyder vibe from them. Should be interesting.

Always felt like the Phillies under valued Orr a bit. He's pretty mediocre but it's a much better brand of mediocre than Mini provided. He could play outfield and 2nd or 3rd. The only advantage to Mini was he could play SS. Liked him better than Fontenot too.

There's no way Polly comes back. The Phils will exercise their $1M buyout on him. And Frandsen, flat out, is NOT an everyday player.

clout: Yes, Frandsen is NOT an everyday player. So I hope you're ready for the Galvis/Frandsen platoon at 3B in 2013 with the slim hope that Asche is ready to man the hot corner starting in 2014.

I wonder if the Phils could shake loose Wilson Betemit from the Orioles, now that Manny Machado has taken over 3B there. He's not a good defender at 3B, but the guy can mash RHP (.282/.349/.475 career), making him a potential platoon mate for Frandsen. He's also versatile enough to give Cholly late-game options, such as moving him to 1B in Howard's place.

I agree that Frandsen ideally should not be an everyday 3B, but I maintain that he is less "not an everyday 3B" than Galvis, Martinez, Orr, and even Polanco at this point, and he is probably equally "not an everyday 3B" to several of the available FA 3B.

I read that Betemit was expected to be available with Machado's emergence. I've always liked his bat, but he feels to me like Wigginton: you get him expecting below-average defense at 3B, but after a few weeks, you realize that if he plays every day at third he'll make 75 errors.

ColonelTom: I did not see your post before I posted mine.

Betemit's the guy they should have signed last year (not Wigginton).

Given the Phils strong preference for defense over offense at 3B and how they apparently had no interest in Betemit last offseason, hard to see the Phils suddenly making a move for him.

Polanco will be lucky to get a MLB guaranteed contract at this point.

These are his number the last 2 years:

.269/.323/.334 (.657 OPS) in 851 PAs

At best, he's a utility infielder that should get 150-200 ABs, PH, and start a handful of games at 2B/3B.

At worst, he is a 37-year old guy who simply can't play everyday and has had several injury issues the past 2 seasons.

Pass even at $1M. The last thing the Phils need is another broken-down geezer who can't hit anymore or stay on the field.

I think Polanco's offensive upside is .270 AVG/.620 OPS next year.

Those kind of numbers even for a utility infielder are anemic.

DH Phils - Great minds think alike!

Betemit's not good at 3B, but he's better than Wiggy both offensively and defensively, and he's several years younger. He's also cheap salary-wise ($4.95M total over the next 2 years) and probably won't cost a ton in trade.

Swisher doesn't like getting booed

"Earlier this week Nick Swisher talked about how getting booed by the home crowd at Yankee Stadium really upset him and apparently he wasn’t alone."

Don't come to Philly then Swisher. He's the type of guy that if he gets out to a slow start here he will be booed regularly by May.

Circular firing squad in the Bronx. Don't put much stock in it - everyone's frustrated and blaming everyone else. Swisher would be a very solid pickup for the Phils if the contract's not ridiculous.

Heh, I had a flashback moment and read "Brunlett" in the headline.

I need to catch up on my sleep this weekend.

I guess the issue on Betemit's defense is: exactly how bad is it? Are we talking Kevin Frandsen bad or Ty Wigginton bad? One is maybe a 30th percentile defensive 3rd baseman, who makes too many errors but can also make some really nice plays. The other is such a butcher that, to start him at 3rd base is like ceding the other team one extra base runner per game.

I could live with Kevin Frandsen bad if the guy is a decent hitter (which Betemit is). But if he is Ty Wigginton bad, he would have to hit like Miguel Cabrera to make up for it -- and even then, I'm not sure.

Come on cards. Wrap it up and get WS started. Sooner we get this over with. The faster the offseason begins.

hook, I had that very same thought a moment ago and came in to post.

Betemit has had consistent negative defensive bWAR values for his career.


See, bWAR works!
[/bait consumed]

Betemit's pretty bad at 3B - probably a notch worse than Frandsen but better than Wiggy. You'd definitely sub for him defensively in the late innings.

If we are talking to the O's about bad fielding 3B's, what about Reynolds?

...but he feels to me like Wigginton: you get him expecting below-average defense at 3B, but after a few weeks, you realize that if he plays every day at third he'll make 75 errors.

Posted by: DH Phils | Friday, October 19, 2012 at 11:49 AM

This was supposed to be an exaggeration, but FWIW, Wigginton's 8 errors in 175.2 innings at third would translate to 67 errors in a 1458-inning season (162 times 9). Also, I thought, if anything, Wigginton should have been charged with more errors.

Those 67 would-be errors still don't give us the complete picture of just how atrocious Ty Wigginton's defense is. The error stat leaves out all of those ground balls that skipped past him into LF, despite being only 6 inches away from where he was standing.

The Phillies 2013 solution for 3rd base. Cost effective and ideal.

The Phillies 2013 solution for 3rd base. Simple, inexpensive, effective.

*Link didn't work first time.

Thanks for putting Wiggy's errors into the context of a whole season at 3B. It's a vivid image of just how spectacularly bad he was.

GM-Carson: Yankees will retain Chavez when they deal A-Rod.

Concur with KAS. Chavez will stay with the Yankees, with A-Rod splitting DH and 3B with Chavez to lighten both guys' workloads. Besides, I don't think the Phils need another perpetually injured player.

Chavez and A-Rod will split DH/3B if A-Rod stays, that is. If A-Rod goes and they don't receive a 3B in trade, Brandon Laird could step up and share 3B with Chavez.

Any way you slice it, Chavez stays in NY.

o's need a backup catcher.Keep Ruiz and Kratz,offer everyone else.
Will be surprised if Achse is 2014 starter.

Hook, It doesn't matter if the Cards wrap it up tonight or not. There will still be 5 days off before they start the WS...something I REALLY hate.

The Phils need a 3rd stringer backup catcher. They will hold on to or even sign a has been ML catcher. I got a feeling Kratz is more of a .220ish hitter than the hitter he portrayed. Joseph and Valle are still a season away I have a feeling the Phils will hold on to these two for now.

ColonelTom: A-Rod will never wear Yankees pinstripes again. That ship has sailed.

Yeah, but at least I won't have to see hunter and his smullet.

KAS - you may well be right, but it'll likely be a terrible move for the Yankees when they do it. They will end up eating a ton of salary and will be left with a much worse option at 3B when (not if) Chavez goes down to a catastrophic injury.

Have the BL faithful weighed in yet on a potential A-Rod for Ryan Howard deal?

A-Rod for Howard deal? Oh man, that sounds great. I'd love A-Rod as a Phillie. You know, so it could pain me to watch every single game he's in and actively root for him to fail while rooting for the team to succeed around him. Sounds like a dream come true.

Any deal for A-Rod is a losing deal.

(sorry to be an ass, but really...)

ColonelTom: "Have the BL faithful weighed in yet on a potential A-Rod for Ryan Howard deal?"

You don't want to bring that up again. Feel free to check the last couple threads. More than enough virtual ink was spilled on that topic.

Stop dreaming of trading Howard. We are stuck with him....A-Rod is not coming to the Phils. The bloggers just put that idea out to give people something to talk about.

I'm sort of at a loss as to why it would make any sense for the Yankees to trade A-Rod AND pick up all but $10 or $12M of his remaining $114M salary. The guy had the 3rd highest OPS among AL 3rd basemen last year. There are no other 3rd basemen in the Yankees' organization who could come remotely close to that.

If the Yankees could shed a sizable portion of A-Rod's salary by trading him away, of course it would make all the sense in the world for them to do it. But if they're going to pay almost his entire salary anyhow, I fail to see any benefit in getting rid of him.

To recap, the A-Rod for Howard deal would be dead on arrival.

Neither team would trade its dead weight for the others'.

BAP: That's sort of how I feel. I don't think it's a given at all that "A-Rod will never wear Yankees pinstripes again."

He's a decent player on an enormous contract. Since you're paying it either way, you might as well keep him until you have a better option to replace him, and then dump him. Given that A-Rod was about league-average as a 3B last year, I find it hard to believe they could easily replace him without spending a large amount of money (and despite being the Yankees, I've heard they are trying to trim some money from the expenses side of the ledger).

Howard will serve out his contract with the Phillies. Arod? Nah.

I'm just looking forward to Gillies being a better major leaguer than J.C. Ramirez. Wasn't that our long ago gentleman's bet, Clout?

***. And Frandsen, flat out, is NOT an everyday player.***

That's not fair, clout. There are plenty of AAA clubs that would be more than happy to have him as an everyday guy.

He should definitely be back next year...on the bench.

I don't miss watching Pence make plays like that.

I dont miss watching Pence.

See, that was even more efficient.

Big time gaffe by Lynn.

Blows my mind that pitchers historically have so much trouble throwing a ball to someone other than their catcher. Haven't these guys been tossing with friends since they were children? Shouldn't throwing a ball 40 feet be about as easy as it gets?

Maybe it's so easy that they get careless?

With Barry Zito pitching against the Cardinals' potent offense, the Giants would do well to keep pouring on the runs.

Zito is a Cy Young worries about him locking them down the rest of the way.

The number that the Phils should be focusing on this off-season is the amount paid them under their next TV contract, which can dwarf their entire payroll. With that in mind, the Phils should spend big this off-season and screw the luxury tax.

Most of the proposed solutions at 3B and the OF are small moves that will not return the team to the elite level. In addition to such small moves, the Phils should also be looking for difference makers, either through free agency or by trade.

Most commenters assume that the Phils' rotation next year will again be top flight. While I expect Halladay to bounce back, another injury to the Big Three could kill the season again. Adding another top starter to the rotation will improve the team more than the proposals for 3B and the OF.

The other points to keep in mind are that the Nats are now a tough competitor and that the Dodgers seem determined to spend their way to success. It is not enough anymore to win a wildcard slot. If the Phils want to win the division let alone be the best team in the NL again, they should continue to think big.

Jon Heyman tweets:

scutaro with terrifc play. having great postseasom. 1NL exec suggests #phillies as landing spot for him. "polanco-like"

Hard to explain.

I liked Hunter Pence while he was here and actively rooted for him. But I'm glad to see him not contributing to the Giants in these playoffs. If he was tearing things up and being a difference maker for them, I would hate it.

Buster Posey is a really good player who came back from a pretty devastating injury to play well this year. I ought to really like him; if he was a Phillie I'd be a huge fan (even though he does have that trademark face). But he plays for the Giants so I love to see him struggle.

And the Cardinals are a scrappy, tough team who deserve to be where they are. But they got in the Phillies' way to the WS last year so I don't like them and am incredibly petty about it.

I know I should be better than that, but I'm not. Sad.

Scutaro? You mean the guy we could have traded peanuts for last winter?

Yeah, I could see us getting him and him completely sucking next year.


My feelings are about the same re: the Cards

Marco Scutaro: journeyman 3rd baseman/infielder; lands with the Giants late in his career; proceeds to have an anomalously good year; follows it up with a great post-season; then immediately goes on the FA market. Wait a minute. Haven't I heard this story before? Ah, yes . . . David Bell. Yep, I could totally see Scutaro signing with the Phillies.

Hopefully if they do sign Scutaro, they are smart enough to give him a 2-3 year deal...preferably a 2 year deal with a 3rd year vesting option.

I mean, I'd hate to have him only suck for us for 1 year.

Oddly enough, Scutaro didn't even have a great season this year.....what he did have was a great 1/3 of a season with the Cardinals, because he flat out sucked with the Rockies this year, to the tune of a 75 wRC+ during this time with Colorado.

He had two good offensive seasons in 2009 and 2011. Every other season, he's run the gamut from poor to mediocre.

Great outing by Zito, by the way. Even crappy pitchers will have great outings from time to time.

I was just thinking; if you're a Rangers fan, who have you been rooting for in this series?

Have you even been watching this series?

Zito's curveball is awesome this inning.

Cloyd = Zito?

Why Bochey is sticking with Zito here is beyond me. This is an elimination game, Beltran and Holiday coming up, high pitch count for a 34 year old pitcher, and you have fresh arms in the 'pen. You've got 7+ out of Zito, get him out of there.

loved that 2nd Zito bunt

Zito's performance tonight has to be one of the most improbable in recent postseason history.

He hasn't pitched like that in the postseason since '06 ALDS. Basically been a guy who has a 5+ ERA on the road the last 4 years and has been a terrible pitcher outside of AT&T Park.

Rube, screw the Lux tax and look at the new TV money. Sign Hamilton and Upton and a veteran reliever and you will be right back in it!

Sign another top tier (high priced) starter and Rube will be fried. Especially with the whole OF a complete question mark. The Phils have little choice but to ride the big three starters. Theres too much money already committed to that area. OF course anything is possible. Remember the four aces plus Blanton. I dont see Rube signing another top of the rotation starter. There's a lot of IF's and i do agree if one of the the three go down the season is thrown into disarray. Thats the chance the Phils/Rube are going to have to take. What will most likely happen in traditional Rube fashion he will probably bring in a journeyman type or someone(has been) coming off a down year at best.

If the Phils were to sign Youkilis, Pagan, Victorino, an 8th inning guy, and Greinke, they would be the NL favorite in 2013. They would incur a luxury tax, but might be able to get below the threshold in 2014. From a financial standpoint, the most important factor is that the Phils field an elite team all during negotiations for the new TV deal, which kicks in after the 2015 season.

Tuffy Gosewisch could've made the majors this year. Eff Rube.

Too bad Pence isn't still a Phillie. JW could use this to replace the Bruntlett/rainout graphic:

I really dont understand the hard on for Youklis or Upton. People complain about strikeout guys or old injury prone guys dudes with low BA then suggest the same very players over and over. My guess is someone some where suggests on a blog then the whole entire blog community runs with it. I dunno scratching my head.

Wiggy's officially outta here. The Phils won't be picking up his option. Pierre will be allowed to become a free agent. Why not Upton AND Pagan with some combo of Mayberry or Ruf with Brown to form a platoon and keep/ trade the odd man out in ST. Leave Hamilton for some team that'll babysit him for 20 mill a yr. I don't think Ross can play the OF well enough. Swisher is ok. I just don't like the guy lol

Wiggy's officially out of here? Is that official official, or merely your opinion official? Because Ruben has been known to double down on bad ideas. See: Michael Martinez. In fact, I'm not completely sure he won't pick up Polanco's option.

I almost expect him to pick up Polanco's option.

Luis: its because Youk & BJ will actually be available. My preference is Miggy Cabrera and Mike Trout, but I don't think they are going to be falling into Amaro's lap anytime soon.

What part of 'they took the name plate off Polanco's locker' do some people not understand? He isn't coming back.

Mike Trout isn't available? He's only making 480k, so maybe Rube can step in and overpay, like he usually does, like 3y/$8m.

Seeing as all Trout does is strike out, he'll likely fit in just fine.

I may have missed it, but does anyone have any insight as to why Ruf is playing 1B in Venezuela? I thought he was going particularly to work on playing in the outfield.

After Brian Schneider batted .176 with a .502 OPS in 2011, did any sane person think RAJ would re-sign him? I can't imagine Polanco or Wigginton will be back next year but, until I've heard that the Phillies have actually declined both players' options, there will be a small bit of doubt in my mind.

bap has a point. Thought for sure Schneider was gone. Thought I wouldn't see mini-Mart with the major league club this year. Was wrong about those things and could be wrong about Polly and Wiggy too.

BAP is right on the money. I will believe it when Rube says it publicly, and not before.

What don't we get about a two dollar nameplate being removed from a locker? Yeah, that's probably definitive.

Schneider was re-signed after a 102-win season. Plenty of goodwill towards the team for their recent run of success, despite what you read on BL.

There is no such goodwill this off-season, and changes need to be made. There is no way the front office will bring back dead weight like Wigginton, Schneider and Polanco, especially with cheap, capable replacements (Frandsen and Kratz) for two of the three. There is zero chance. These decisions have already been made. And yes, the nameplate thing is significant- are you serious aksmith?

Whoever wants to actually make a gentleman's bet that even one of those three will be back (as players- I wouldn't be surprised if they just let Schenider hang around in the dugout like he did most of the year), please put yourselves out there and say it, instead of these meaningless, veiled statements that have no purpose other than to slam the GM.

Iceman: I make my living trying to come up with arguments, even where there's absolutely nothing to argue. And even I find myself unable to formulate a plausible line of reasoning which might lead RAJ to bring back Wigginton. Nonetheless, I can't agree that there's "zero chance" -- especially given RAJ's history of bringing back guys that no other GM in baseball would have brought back. "Zero chance" will exist only when the decision has been formally made.

For Polanco, I CAN come up with a plausible line of reasoning. It goes something like this:

"There are few available options at 3rd base. Polanco's an excellent fielder and a good clubhouse guy, and might still have one more decent offensive season in him if we give him a lot of off-days and if he can avoid the many bad injury breaks that have befallen him over the last few years. And we're going to have to pay $1M just to dump him so the real cost of keeping him is only $4.5M. Who are we going to find who's better for $4.5M?"

Mind you, I think that line of reasoning would be thoroughly asinine, for about 20 different reasons. But I don't think it's utterly implausible. In fact, it's not all that much different from the line of reasoning they employed last off-season, when they chose to go into the 2012 season with Polanco as their starting 3rd baseman.

Sure, BAP, but they knew all that when they sent him home with his nameplate.

Can't believe how little was given up to get young. Wow.

b_a_p -- I made an ass out of myself in late 2010 when I castigated your disappearance during that tragic Phillies/Giants series, then apologized hyper-profusely when you showed back up after the Giants big win. Man up -- were you really "sick"?

Or, are you all Giants, and just post here because of the banter? It would not be the first time I was "punked" by a lawyer, but c'mon now. Know your friends....

You know what – I already know the answer. If (and when!) the Giants are shut down by the Cards, you’ll act if nothing ever happened. A bit reptilian, no? Geesh.

Bet RAJ didn't want to give up Mini to get Young.

Chris Young's last three years away from ARI: .226/.323/.379

I'll get over missing out on that one.

Freddy Galvis is hitting .405, which should be good news, until you see that Tomas Perez is hitting .478.

I'm not saying that keeping Polanco is the right decision, but our realistic alternatives aren't a lot better.

Here are our free agent options:
Miguel Cairo (39)
Eric Chavez (35)
Mark DeRosa (38)
Alberto Gonzalez (30)
Brandon Inge (36)
Maicer Izturis (32)
Jose Lopez (29)
Scott Rolen (38)
Drew Sutton (30)
Ty Wigginton (35)
Kevin Youkilis (34)

Internally, they have Frandsen, Mini-Mart, and Utley's good intentions that would open up a hole at 2B.

Who on that list will cost $4.5 million and match Polanco's production? Who on that list would outperform Polanco (and remain healthy) to the point of being worth the difference in salary?

Again, I'm not saying that Amaro should keep Polly, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he did...especially if they're just keeping the seat warm for Cody Asche.

Sophist - Yeah. That's is the huge knock on Young is that his power from Arizona is pretty suspect:

39 HR in 737 ABs at home (18.9 ABs/HR)
22 HR in 739 ABs on the road (33.5 ABs/HR)

Young has plenty of shortfalls (struggles vs. RHP and power pitchers, streaky hitter, poor hitter behind in the count) but I can see why Beane made the trade.

Strong defensive CF who is coming off 2 very solid years who has 20/20 capability although I think he would hit more like 15 HRs full-time as the A's CF.

Also isn't a terrible contract ($8.5M) and has an option at $11M in '14. If he doesn't work out, Beane cut just cut ties with him.

Real gamble is with Towers. Bell showed up as a blob in spring training badly out of shape and grossly overweight. In order for the DBacks to get value & for Bell to have a rebound year, they need him to really work hard this offseason to lose weight and get in shape. Guess Towers thinks he knows Bell well enough to get him to do that.

Those numbers for Young were the last 3 years. Impressive power at home, slightly below average on the road.

Polanco has a been a walking medical filing cabinet the last 2 years with almost no offensive upside next year. My bet is .270 AVG./.620 OPS at best and maybe even slightly worse

When you start to get to down to .250 AVG/.600 OPS, you start to get down to a AAAA player or Pete Orr-type.

If Polanco could stay on the field, I wouldn't mind bringing him back but the odds of that are pretty slim. Biggest reason I was against bringing Schneider last year and a big reason I am bringing back Polanco too even at $1M.

Could someone explain something to me if they know the answer and have the time?

I thought trading season in Major League Baseball began again when the World Series has ended. The rule as I know it states that from the end of the world series until the end of July is the time allotted for teams to trade players. How did Miami, Oakland, and Arizona do this trade at this time?

cut: Would you like me to produce my medical records, along with a notarized statement from jw that the name on the medical records is the same name given on the e-mail address for bay_area_phan?

I went into the hospital on October 13, 2010 with what was, a week later, diagnosed as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The NLCS started on October 16, and ended on October 23. I left the hospital around October 29, by which point the World Series was already underway.

I have lived in Northern California for 40 years. I haven't exactly kept it a secret on Beerleaguer that, when the Giants are in the post-season & the Phillies aren't, I root for the Giants. But do you really think I'd spend this much time on a Phillies blog, when I was secretly rooting for the Giants all along? That would be kind of weird, no? If intelligent baseball banter were my only reason for posting on Beerleaguer, surely I could find an analogous Giants blog out there which could fill that niche.

I concur with BAP post on Brian Schneider sorry late was on a date..Iceman also has a point...but Rube needs to put aside goodwill this is a pro team he running not a charity team..

Darin Ruf has 3 HR in his last 4 games and played LF in at least the last one.

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