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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Watching Mark Reynolds play defense, hit .200, and strike out 200 times a year would take 5 years off of my life.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Ryan Ludwick, who declined his mutual option and is a free agent.

"Watching Mark Reynolds play defense, hit .200, and strike out 200 times a year would take 5 years off of my life."

Is that incremental to any time that Howard takes off doing the EXACT same thing, or are they supplementary?

Lore & Willard~ I didn't say the platoon between Frandsen & Freddie was a good one. There just aren't many good options IMO.

Youk's option was declined yesterday also.
And yes for the record, i'd look into Soria & Ludwick as well.

WP: It's supplementary. "Days off of my life" is like WAR; it's a counting statistic that keeps accumulating throughout the player's entire career. So far, the tallies are:

Howard: 5 years
Lidge: 5 years
Bruntlett: 3 years
Other assorted Phillies relievers: 3 years
Kendrick: 2 years
Mini-Mart: 2 years
Rollins: 1 year
Utley: 1 year
Werth: 1 year
Wigginton: 1 year
Schneider: 1 year
Pence: 0.5 years

If Howard performs to recent career norms in 2013, and we trade for Mark Reynolds, I project to have died about 2 years ago.

BAP's rankings there are fascinating. I'm not sure how Bruntlett and his one bad year with limited playing time (and limited overall drag on the team) could be above Pence and his stroke-inducing antics in just one full season here- coupled with his dismal clutch stats and playoff bed-crapping last year.

Plus, Howard with five years? Is that some sort of rip on his contract? At the very least the very, very good cancels out a lot of the bad with Howard. I'm still taking pills from what Pence put us through.

The point when Days off my life will finally exceeds days left of my life will be when Jonathan Singleton is getting paid under $1M/yr in 2014, 2015, and 2016 while putting up better numbers than Ryan Howard when he is paid $25M/yr for those exact same years.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Ryan Ludwick, who declined his mutual option and is a free agent.

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM

Clout, I would love to see RAJ take a shot at Ludwick, however there is this:

The Reds need outfielders and will consider working out a new deal with Ludwick. Both sides are “very interested” in discussing another contract, Heyman reported two weeks ago.

BAP, I guess it just shows that we're all wired differently.

Personally, Mini Mart has taken more years off of my life than my ex-wife, years of hard partying, and the occasional trip to In-N-Out Burger combined.

Will be interesting to see the reliever market shape up this offseason (unless Ruben decides to jump in and screw the whole thing up again). Soriano and Soria now in the mix, im sure other options will shake free before everything gets underway, Phillies will definitely be in the mix. Lets just hope it doesn't cost double digit millions this time.

I doubt the Phillies would put a butcher like Reynolds at 3rd considering the team's history at the position and the organizational focus on pitching.

Oh yea, and Brandon League is out there now too.

League signed with the Dodgers for 3/22.5m

Mixed emotions on bringing Polly back. I love Polanco and what he did/could do when healthy. My fear is when we need him the most he is liable to be on the DL. Thus the next option(assuming he will platoon w Frandsden) will again be Martinez. Also the possibility I see with Polly is his body giving out and he decides to retire mid-way through season. Thus again thrusting Martinez into the role.

JW: I don't know about a League of Shadows secret society here, but I can certainly identify a Legion of Gloom among some of the posters!

WP: Mini-Mart took 2 years off my life during his first season with the Phillies. Since then, I've viewed him as comic relief -- to the point that I think I'd actually miss him if he were gone next year. The good news, however, is that he has no chance of being gone next year.

That's a good point on Polly. If you dislike Mini Mart (and let's be real here - why in the hell wouldn't you?), you probably can't argue that signing Polly as a utility guy is a good idea. It's highly unlikely that he'll remain healthy for all of next season for even that diminished role. At which point, Mini remains next in line, just a bus ride away, to take the spot, like an opportunistic ambulance chaser. And that doesn't even touch on the unlikelihood that we can trust Cholly to limit Polly's use to just a utility role.

So, a Polly signing, even at a reduced price, probably means his being misused or even worse, more Mini Mart.

Just thinking about that/typing that took another 18 days off my life.

Legion of Gloom. Great stuff.

lorecore: I'm not a gambler, but if I could get even odds on RAJ spending 8 figures on a reliever, I'd be on that in a heartbeat. Especially with options like Soria and Soriano shaking loose. It's gonna happen.

I can't believe League got 8 mil/year.

I don't see how League's contract effects the relief market that much. Colletti said yesterday that League was going to be the Dodgers' closer in '13 and not Jansen.

Basically paid League as a closer and $7.5M AAV isn't that much for a going closer on the FA market.

It will get ripped by the WAR zombies and saber-guys but I like the signing for the Dodgers. Dodgers needed another backend bullpen arm & League goes nicely with Jansen and Belisario.

Just need to sign a LHP reliever (Choate would be a great fit) and they have the makings of a very nice bulllpen.

Reynolds was a guy I wanted last year to play 1B while Howard was out. No interest in seeing the Phils sign him to play 3B.

He's horrendous at 3B and a liability on the basepaths. Put up a line of .213/.326/.450 (.775 OPS or 107+ OPS) with ~30 HRs a year playing home games in 2 of the best parks in baseball. Power and above average BB rate aren't enough to compensate for his other limitations as a full-time starter at 3B.

For those who were in favor of potentially dealing Pitching to KC: Royals acquire SP Ervin Santana from the Angels for 27-Year Old AAA Reliever Brandon Sisk.

Nice buy low by the Royals there.

MG: Clearly everyone knows you are giving up defense at third. The question is would the power potential offset that? I think it is far more debatable than you are trying to pass it off as.

Yeah. Let's be clear: if Amaro gave League that contract, we'd all be hearing about it for the next five years. Well past the life of the contract.

From MG, that is.

And I never claimed they set the market. It's just an overpay. Other than that, spot on post from MG.

Looks like the market for relievers will be stocked this off-season. Amaro has the opportunity to be aggressive and hopefully with the dearth of relievers it creates a buyer's market.

Ervin Santana had one of the more bizarre 2012 seasons you'll ever see: a 5.16 ERA accompanied by a preposterously (and unsustainably) low .241 BABIP. The reason: he allowed homeruns by the bushel (18.9% HR/FB ratio) and had only a 69% strand rate.

Considering that Santana is due to make $13M next year, and the Angels picked up only $1M of his salary, I'm actually shocked that they were able to get someone to take him. I mean, I could easily see him bouncing back and being decent. But, in a FA market that is deep in starting pitching, the Royals surely could have found someone with less risk, and more upside, who wouldn't have cost them $12M.

"Looks like the market for relievers will be stocked this off-season. Amaro has the opportunity to be aggressive and hopefully with the dearth of relievers it creates a buyer's market."

I've read and re-read this five or six times and I'm not getting it. Unless you have a different definition of "dearth" than I do, wouldn't a stocked market pretty much be the absolute opposite of a "dearth of relievers?"

When I was in high school, "dearth" was one of the words on our spelling/vocabulary test. We had to spell the word and use it in a sentence. One of the kids wrote, "Dearth is the 3rd planet from the sun." Another one wrote, "Dearth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father."

When it comes to the greatest technological innovations of the last 100 years, I would like to cast my vote for the technology that allows us to follow Venezuelan Winter League games in real time on Gameday. Tonight, for instance, I can follow Darrin Ruf as he tries to hit homeruns off opposing pitcher Victor Zambrano, and as he tries to shag fly balls behind his own pitcher, Les Walrond.

Is there a dearth of fungible relief help? If so, BL might explode.

It's way too much money for League. He's probably worth $3-4m a year on a 2 year deal. But what do I know.

ruf can consider his venezuelan experience a success if he comes home with both kidneys.

In my clout-inspired BL rolodex, I have here that one of the guys that MG "really wants Amaro to stay away from" is Mike Adams because his friend in Texas said he sucked this year. This was before it was revealed Adams was pitching hurt. Now, he thinks Brandon League was a 'nice signing' at ~8 million a year for three years.

Please compare the career of these two pitchers and explain how this makes any sense. Adams has been a monster for five seasons, keeps the ball out of the seats (even in the little league field in Arlington), and a season in which he was pitching hurt and MG's friend thought he sucked, he had a 140 ERA+- compared to League's 115 CAREER ERA+. League had a 104 ERA+ in 46 games with Seattle before coming to LA and pitching well for two months.

Basically, it seems like MG will narrow down who Amaro is most likely to sign (Bourn, Adams, Hamilton) and decides they are the players he 'really wants Amaro to stay away from.' I think the only guys he has ever advocated Amaro signing are Melky Cabrera and Randy Choate (to play every position on the diamond). Just really bizarre.

League was overpaid and lucky he hit the LAD lottery. If Amaro made a signing like this, he'd be rightly ripped. I'm not even sure why Jansen is getting demoted. Is his heart condition this serious?

"I think the only guys he has ever advocated Amaro signing are Melky Cabrera and Randy Choate (to play every position on the diamond."

I think you need to update that Rolodex. I don't think a single day went by last winter in which MG didn't call for us to sign Joe Nathan and Zach Duke, and to re-sign Brad Lidge.

To further the discussion on days taken from lifespan by particular players, Corey Sideman has an article on the Phillies acquiring A-Rod.

Herndon dfa by Toronto already

Madson a free agent. It makes no sense but I swear hell end up with a higher aav and more years this offseason than last.

I don't think he will let Boras turn down good offers and wait 'til the last minute for better and better ones after an injury year.
Would love him back in Phila.

Are those reporters quoted in Seidman's article serious? 2 prospects and take on 7-8M for ARod for FIVE years? Da Rod probably has a couple of solid years left and then he will be venturing towards Wigginton territory for the last 2 or 3. Not worth it.

Besides, the Phils don't need another guy who will miss 40+ games.

WP: Meant "depth", typed "dearth".

Context should've indicated the former and not the latter anyway

Iceman: It is almost as if MG says crazy things as a habit. Also, MG's friends he mentions are similar to me as when DPatrone mentions his source.

Yankees want Torii Hunter. Oh, well. That was a nice thought.

MLB Trade Rumors prognosticates the Phils getting Upton, Adams and Youkilis as their three big FA signings. Obviously predictions aren't worth much, but I thought it was interesting reading an unbiased outsiders perspective. He also thinks Bourn is going to the Nats.

TTI- I thought similarly for a while, but I think he probably actually has these friends that are as odd as he is.

Upton, Adams, and Youk wouldn't be a terrible offseason. Lot of injury risk. But really though, unless the Phillies also add Hamilton and Greinke, 2013 hinges on the health of Howard, Utley, and Halladay. I do still think the team should add 2 outfielders instead of just 1, and let Brown and Ruf duke it out for left with the loser going to AAA or getting traded.

Upton Adams and Youk would certainly address the Phillies biggest area of needs. They are most likely top 3 at each of their given position so I would estimate roughly $30M spent to acquire all three for just 2013 alone.

If they're willing/able to spend $30M this offseason, I think thats a pretty effective way to do it.

"They are most likely top 3 at each of their given position" - I meant to clarify 'of the available players in free agency'

Ice~ I saw the article per MLBTR as well. The writer aslo said he didn't think the Phils could afford all 3 but I disagree. I think they can.

Those 3 players would be nice. Per MLBTR"s chat yesterday Ben Nicholson-Smith in anwering a question said the Nats are the favorites in the East, the Braves are there too but he wouldn't rule out the Phils.

I find that intriguing. My question to you is do you think that given the moves the Phils have to make, if they make the right ones, can they seriously contend? The Nats are where the Phils were in '07 &'08 and are very strong. I don't think the Phils can overtake them if both teams can stay healthy. How ever I do think the Phils can leap-frog the Braves. Thoughts?

A thread or two late, but just wanted to say goodbye to the big truck - grabbing him for the bullpen in 2010 was an amazing move by Ruben, as he was a solid fixture in a very uncertain pen that year.

Sadly, Ruben spun that into a two year deal and was immediately thrust into pitching everyday in 2011 with injuries to the pen, leading to a predictable injury to Truck himself, and ultimately turned out to be the end for him.

DPat: Pre-offseason odds have the Phillies @ 15/1 to win the World Series, 4th best in the NL. The Giants are favs @ 10/1 with the Nats(13/1) and Reds(14/1) rounding out the top 3.

So plenty of people think the Phils are serious contenders.

FA market for solid setup relievers has been around $4-$4.5M/year the last 2 years. For closers at the lower end it has been $7-8M/year.

I imagine League was looking for a closer's job and if that is the case it wasn't really an overpay at $7.5M/year. That's been the going market rate for closers.

Saber guys can argue all they want to that it was an overpay for a relief pitcher and that paying closers that kind of money makes little sense from an efficiency standpoint. Great. It also completely ignores the market reality too.

No a huge fan of League but given the Dodgers' need and payroll it makes sense for them. Not like they are signing some hasbin like Valerde for 1/2 yr at $4-5M and hoping that he has some life left in his arm.

Yeah I did want the Phils to sign Duke on a minor league deal, resign Lidge last year to something close to veteran league minimum and go after Nathan instead of Papelbon.

Lidge flamed out almost right away due to injury but Duke pitched well enough of the pen last year for the Nats in a limited stretch & Nathan had a stand out year for the Rangers.

Papelbon had a decent year but he did lose a little fastball velocity & is set to have his salary increase to $13M this year.

I wouldn't mind Adams here but he strikes me as being a crapshoot too. Reading a bit on thoracic outlet syndrome & surgery. At least 5-10% have conditions that return after the surgery and the surgery has a really wide variation in success (50-80%) with no symptoms reported after a year.

Adams though probably only gets a 1-yr deal though given his medical complications until teams see that he can return & be effective.

Still have a feeling that the Phils are going to go after Betancourt or Belisle if the Rockies turn down either one of their options.

MG: So if the Dodgers say "League will pitch the 8th inning" its an overpay, but if they say "League will pitch the 9th", then its OK?

How does that make sense, its the same exact pitcher.

lore, second the sentiments on Contreras. I enjoyed watching him pitch, albeit nowhere near enough.

If the Phils are healthy especially Utley and Halladay, they will contend. That's the crapshoot with this team next year that even if Amaro has a solid offseason is that this team still could be an 85-win max team if their high-priced, aging talent isn't on the regularly.

lorecore - But that is ignoring the market and the prices that have been set for relief pitchers.

If League was looking for a closer's job, then yeah I imagine his agent was looking at no less than 7M/year on a multi-year deal.

Maybe he would have been lingering out there because no team wanted League as their closer at their price. Possible if the Dodgers hadn't signed him.

Still would have bet that League would have gotten $4-5M/year at a minimum on a multi-year deal given his recent numbers, age, and lack of injuries.

We all know the Phils' requirements for this off season: 3B, OF, OF, BP. We all know these requirements must be met within the constraints of a payroll budget.

Don't forget, though, that Rube has an additional, off-field requirement: Big Splash.

For the sake of season ticket sales, for TV ratings (especially with the upcoming new TV contract), and after an 81-81 season, part of his job requirement is to make a splash-worthy move.

With the lack of OF, 3B free agents that are worthy of a big-splash contract, I predict that a blockbuster trade will be aggresively pursued.

MG: Look at Brandon League and Matt Lindstrom's numbers. Career numbers pretty similiar and both coming off two strong years, each with "closing experience".

League gets a 3yr/$22M deal, Lindstrom gets his $4M team option declined.

How am ignoring the "market"?

Lorecore: League has 52 saves the last 2 years and Lindstrom has 2. Doesn't make it right, but it does explain it. The "proven" closer market is a bubble.

I guess my point would be if you're paying a premium for a "proven closer" then you don't know how to do your job well.

GM's should pay for the best pitchers regardless of some random role. When you start paying a premium because they've saved games in the past, you start wasting money.

KAS, just another example of the bizarre market inefficiencies that pervade baseball. It definitely is "wasting money," but a solid majority of GMs seem to do it unthinkingly. A similar phenomenon is how GMs/managers will use player salaries as a factor in determining who gets play time (e.g. if a player is on a huge contract, he'll get the innings/GS even if someone cheaper would actually outperform him--because otherwise it feels like you're wasting money, even though that's an Econ 101-level fallacy).

MG- League is worth what he's worth as a pitcher. We've been down this road a million times on BL. Shouldn't matter what inning he pitches or wants to pitch. He is not an 8 mil/yr pitcher, period. And they already had a 'PROVEN CLOSER' in Jansen! Just a weird signing and a waste of money.

DPat- I think competing with the Nats hinges on the bounceback years of Halladay and Howard (and Worley to a lesser extent). The Nats maxed out their talent last year with the pitching they got. If the starting pitching can bounce back for the Phils and Amaro makes the necessary moves to help the team, yes I think they can compete. But those are big ifs. Especially the Halladay 'if.'

People saying they have no chance, though, are letting their negativity blind them.

Thanks Phans! Let's see what happens. Will/should be a very interesting off-season to say the least.

LaRoche just saved the Nats big time. He declined his mutual $10M option after the Nats picked it up.

Now they can move Morse to 1B and use that $10M to help bring in a CF and move Werth/Harper to the corners. If they get Bourn at leadoff, it moves everyone down a notch until you've got guys like Espinosa and Desmond as your 6/7 guys - that could be a very good lineup.

Iceman: Nats maxed out their pitching talents, but if Harper continues to progress (a good bet) and they upgrade center field (a reasonable bet) they could offset some regression from their pitchers. I think they probably fall back a little, maybe win 3 or 4 fewer games next year. Phillies could pick up a dozen games in the standings with full, healthy years from everyone plus some free agent additions.

jbird - Exactly. It doesn't really make sense to pay huge dollars to a closer but as a closer League isn't being overpaid if you compare him to the contracts closers have got the last 2 years on the market.

People can argue to they are blue in the face about what closers are worth but if you benchmark him to comps it isn't.

Do that stuff all the time on looking at M&A numbers. Numbers may be completely irrational to an outsider but in that particular subsegment that are within margin.

MG: "It doesn't really make sense to pay huge dollars to a closer but as a closer League isn't being overpaid if you compare him to the contracts closers have got the last 2 years on the market."

So you're saying it doesn't make sense to do it, but it kind of makes sense to do it? Good argument.

lorecore, I agree about Contreras.

* * *

This is a good piece on Worley. I think he'll do well next year.

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse
Worley's whirlwind year improving. It was much more than his elbow injury that made things tough this yr. #Phillies

In terms of what the going rate for closers are on the FA market, the Dodgers' payroll, and their need for another backend bullpen arm, yeah I do like the deal for the Dodgers.

It is a bit of gamble that he pitches like he did his final 2 months with the Dodgers but one with some potential upside.

All of the crazy deals the Dodgers have made the last few months and salaries they have taken on, this one doesn't even make the top 5.

Even from a WAR/saber perspective, let's say League is around a ~1.0 WAR. Maybe if he has a very good season 1.5. If he struggles, 0.5.

Basically earns his paycheck if he pitches very well.

Dodgers have Crawford at $20M, Beckett at $16M, H. Ramirez at $15.5M, and Uribe at $7M. Those are all contracts that much more potentially problematic from a production standpoint next year given their contracts than League.

Brett Myers awaits his $22M contract, because ya know, he's a closer and all.

MG: My surprise at your reaction is that this move with League is Amaro-like. Big contract early in free agency, particularly when the reliever market may be a buyer's market.

How does what other 'closers' make, or what other crazy contractd the Dodgers handed out, pertain at all to the fact that League is not good enough to be worth the $8 million dollars he'll be paid? It isn't that complicated, but watching MG spinning himself in circles trying to justify it is pretty funny.

BAP: Those priceless misuses of the "dearth" have me laughing.

the word dearth, rather.

I saw this headline and had to laugh. "Report: Colon Hit In Mouth By Line Drive."

Too easy.

So Ryan Madson declined his 11mm option. Does he expect a multi year deal coming off of elbow surgery at 32?

lorecore: League has 12 more saves in the last 2 years than Myers has in his career. I don't agree with MG that it's a good deal, but I think there is a reason the deal was made and it makes sense from a certain perspective, it's just that it's a dumb reason from a limited perspective.

The reports of my dearth are greatly exaggerated

FA Closers Contracts:


Papelbon: $12.5M AAV (4 yr/$50M)
Bell: $9M AAV (3 yrs/$27M)
Madson: $8.5M AAV (1 yr/$8.5M)
Nathan: $7.3M AAV (2 yr/$14.5M)
Francisco: $6M AAV (2 yr/$12M)
Capps: $4.5M AAV (1 yr/$4.5M) - Not initially slated for the closers job in Minnesota
Broxton: $4M AAV (1 yr/$4M)
Rodney: $2M AAV (1 yr/$2M)


Rivera: $15M AAV (2 yr/$30M)
Jenks: $6M (2 yr/$12M)
Fuentes: $5.25M AAV (2 yr/$10.5M)
Putz: $5M AAV (2 yrs/$10M)
Farnsworth: $3.25M (1 yr/$3.25M)

You also had a few setup guys like Crain, Benoit, and Downs also averaged $4.5M AAV or more on there deals.

Only team that has refused to spend big money on a closer is the Rays the last 2 offseasons. Spent $2M for Rodney and $3.25M for Farnsworth but the floor for what is considered a quality setup man starts at $4.5M AAV and a closer at $6M or so.

You can argue those aren't efficient uses of a team payroll but those are the market benchmarks.

What is going to be dumb is when League puts up a sub 3.00 ERA next year with 30+ saves at $7.5M and the Phils are paying Papelbon nearly double that ($13M) for numbers really aren't that much better overall.

MG: In 6 of the last 7 years (including this year), Papelbon had a WAR higher League's career best year.

League has had only one season in his career with a WAR above 1.0. Papelbon's lowest WAR since his rookie season is 1.2.

I think League is a solid pitcher, but he's no Jonathan Papelbon.

Oh... and about Brandon League, this guy has down year written all over him. Check out these stats:

2.1% HR/FB percentage in 2012. You think that's sustainable?

Career-high BB/9 last season (4.13).

Mediocre K/9 last season (6.75).

His GB% last year was okay at 50%, but it was a career low and a number that's on the decline.

If you're not getting GB, you better have the ability to strike people out, which isn't League's strength, and you should have good control, which isn't League's strength.

I'm just glad the dodgers signed League before Amaro had the opportunity to bid.

mlbtr has their phillies' edition of Offseason Outlook. Nothing new that we haven't already talked about here, but its a very good reference for all of the possible trade candidates and FA in the OF.

In 6 seasons where he has appeared in at least 30 games, League has posted a sub 3.00 ERA, 3 times. I would say it is essentially a coin flip as to how well he does on that contract.

Simple fact is, the Dodgers are spending a lot of money on a closer when they had a pretty good option already on deck. That is not a good use of resources.

The Truth Injection: That's a strange way to look at it. League has had a sub-3.00 ERA just once in his last 4 seasons and had a career ERA of 3.60. He's never had an xFIP that was under 3.00. Hardly seems like a coin flip.

Not to mention, ERA isn't always the best way to measure relievers because a few bad outings can create wild swings.

KAS: I was only using the stats MG posted to support his cause. I didn't feel the need to go deep into the stats

Thanks for the Worley link, GBrettfan. So it sounds like BL and Worley were all practically begging for him to be shut down, but the front office is smarter than all of us. Gotta love Doc having Vance's back when he needed it.

So basically MG's liking of the League signing is just a means to rip on the contract that Amaro gave Papelbon. Don't know why I didn't see that one coming.

iceman: haha, i took that the exact same way. When i saw MG's last post about how League's deal still makes Papelbon's signing look bad, i felt like I just got done watching some goofy, but "clever" sitcom.

Started off with some random event that isn't too related to the show's overall theme, followed by progressively more confusing events until you're just about to declare the episode a waste, and then BAM.... the punchline is revealed and you are left thinking, "aw man why didnt I see that coming from the beginning!"

Zolecki tweets: Phillies hire Dave Brundage as new Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager. Brundage spent the last 6 years as Braves' Triple-A manager.

"Ice: I doubt the real Mini could articulate his thoughts as well as the "fake" Mini that posted here. Either way, I quite enjoyed those posts."

Fear not, amigo! When Rube pulls me back onto the 40-man roster in spring training, I'll be back in the same fine form! Until then, sitting on the beach down here sitting Mojitos and stroking the fat sack of cash I walked away with. Life is good!

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