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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

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Playoffs are such a crapshoot

"John Bowker, one of the worst Phillies of all time..."

I'd like to thank Mini Mart for ensuring that "one of" is now required when referring to any other Philly and "worst of all time."

Referring to clout's post at the end of the last thread, I'd love to have Span on this team. Fowler might work, too, but not as high on him.

My fear is that the cost of any trade (in players/prospects) is going to be even higher than the inevitable overpay that any of the FA options. With so many guys nearing the end of their playing lifecycle, that's a concern of mine. I think I'd rather overpay in money/years than in younger talent.

Bowker...hit something? Two homers, no less. Check him for PEDs.

"Ham Fighters." That is all.

I'm 99% sure that I'll prefer "Ham Fighters" to whatever random team name they come up with for Reading.

One of the worst Phillies ever? Come on, the guy had 13 AB's.

"While the board clamors for Upton, no comments at all about potential trade targets Dexter Fowler and Denard Span."

I, for one, am not at all opposed to making a trade for a centerfielder. In fact, I'd prefer it, since none of the FA options really excites me that much & they're all going to be expensive. But, since I have no idea who might be available in a trade, or what it would take to get him, it seems sort of speculative to start throwing trade possibilities around.

If Fowler is available, I would prefer him to any of the free agent CFs (notwithstanding my concerns about his Coors-aided numbers). It's not that he's necessarily better. It's that he's younger, cheaper, and under team control for four more years. He'd give us the flexibility to throw our money at other areas.

BAP - Agreed and another name to add to that list is Coco Crisp. He's making $7M next year ($1M buyout or $7.5M option for '14) and I bet could be had relatively cheaply in a trade.

Throw in Schierholtz? and one of their starting pitching prospects at Reading or a lower pitching prospect at low A/rookie.

Give the Phils their starting CF next year and allow them to have the financial flexibility to make 1-2 decent-sized moves yet via FA instead of committing at least $10-11M next year to Upton.

Willard: It's the Nippon Ham, Fighters. Nippon Ham being the company that owns the team. Even weirder, no?

I read that the Reading Phillies organization purchased domain names which appear to suggest their name will be the Reading Fightins. it was on the blog CrossingBroad if you care to check it out.

What about adding Jason Bay?

Dexter Fowler's name has been mentioned across multiple threads for several weeks now. Its just that no one knows for sure if he'll be traded and for what. Upton is a free agent so we know he's available and we know what it'll take, cash.

BAP - Agreed and another name to add to that list is Coco Crisp. He's making $7M next year ($1M buyout or $7.5M option for '14) and I bet could be had relatively cheaply in a trade.

Posted by: MG | Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM

Then there's this:

The Athletics are telling teams they will keep their outfielders (Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Young, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Seth Smith) and rotate them while not using a traditional DH.

Is Span on the trading block? I haven't seen any rumors.

Eh, he's an OK idea if corner OF and 3B are both upgraded.

Span doesn't give you anything special tho, low power, ok speed, left handed, more dropoff than upside in my opinion.

I am all for trades, but with Ruben and his track record makes us gun shy on this board. System is on uptick and lot talent starting to emerge. Now say you do a Worley, Valle and may for upton then yes. A long shot trade, but using as example. But other then that spend money fill holes stay healthy.

Ken r said philles will be in on Jup

I still don't understand the attitude some have that 'Oh, I think this player is too expensive, so I don't want him,' like you're at the mall or something.

I want players that are going to be good and be good for years. Period. Coco Crisp wouldn't be a fit for this team. I don't care if he costs 1$/year for twenty years. They might as well just sign Vic, who is better.

iceman: Vic and Crisp are pretty comparable. Why is Crisp @ $1 worse than signing Victorino?

Again, if the Phillies want to get their swagger back, why are you even cussing and discussing Crisp and Victorino?

I don't get it. The only way the Phils upgrade the up the middle is in a trade. While there are many available free agent outfielders, none of them comes with a clean slate.

I want Amaro to acquire someone who is not even in the discussion.

Was Victorino known to anyone before the Rule V draft? This is what I mean, which is why all this hand-wringing about all has-beens on the free agent market is useless.

My bet is that the player who ends up in CF is someone not even on the radar screen.

How about that for boldness?

Always liked Mathieson, Fought back from injuries, never given a chance. Resign him Ruben!

I don't profess to understand why people are saying that Vic & Crisp are comparable. Vic was terrible last year, whereas Crisp has his best season since 2005. That is stipulated. But before last year, their season-by-season OPS+:

2011: Vic 130 Crisp 91
2010: Vic 101 Crisp 112 (75 games only)
2009: Vic 110 Crisp 91 (49 games only)
2008: Vic 107 Crisp 94
2007: Vic 95 Crisp 83

Their defense and base-running are roughly even.

I get that what happened most recently is a better predictor of next year's results than what happened 3 or 4 years ago. But, when you look at the two players' overall body of work over the last 5 or 6 years, there's really no comparison. Vic has the much higher upside & has been a much better all-around player. Not to mention, a much more durable one.

Didn't know this about Upton.
From Zolecki:
There are a lot of reasons to like Upton, but it is worth mentioning he has not hit better than .246 since 2008 and has not had better than a .784 on-base-plus-slugging percentage since 2007. He strikes out a ton. Upton had a .298 on-base percentage last season. He has been benched in the past for a lack of hustle. He is not exactly a sure thing.

No thanks on BJ

Matheison has a nice arm, but I don't think he has the ability to contribute at the big league level.

I agree with mainerob that the Phillies will end up with someone if CF that no one is talking about. Pagan and BJ Upton have potential but both come with issues. Not sure either are what this team needs.

http://www.mtrphilly.com

Lorecore; Ck out Span's career OPS vs LHP

So the SF Giants and their Nippon Doppelgangers both win their respective World Series?!

clout: its under .800 - nothing special as i originally stated.

bap: Look at Vic and Crisp's last three seasons, and explain how they aren't "comparable".

Vic: .264/.334/.432 - 106 OPS+ with 46 HR and 92 SB
Crisp: .266/.324/.418 - 101 OPS+ with 27 HR and 120 SB

They are 1 year apart and play a good CF. Good luck wasting your next post on convincing yourself thats not considered "comparable".

mainerob: Care to elaborate on possible candidates for your prediction of a nonFA/nonrumored CF that isn't a "has been"?

lorecore: 5 of the last 7 seasons Crisp has had an OPS+ of under 95. Amaro would have to trade players to Billy Beane to get him after a career year. This team has money to spend. Why the F would you trade players/prospects for someone like Crisp when Vic could be had relatively cheaply, and is the better player? Makes zero sense.

I take back that I wouldnt want him on a lifetime contract for $1 a year. With the big CF market this year, you couldn't pay me to take him. Pretty good chance he doesn't improve the 2013 Phillies at all.

bap: Good news. Amaro says backup catcher is Kratz's job to lose.

Because spending $7M on Crisp allows the Phils to have cash to spend elsewhere including going after a Youkilis to play 3B or another corner OF bat like Hunter or Swisher.

Yep Upton and Howard batting back to back. Strike out Kings, SRISP Duo- ...

My friends in Oakland say the papers there claim Crisp doesn't want to leave Oakland. Guess that makes Vic more realistic than Crisp, if one has to decide between the two.

One site said IF Hamilton signs with the Brewers they'd consider trading Corey Hart. Is that remotely true? Is it realistic for the Phils to get him? Utley--Hart--Howard--Ruiz would be a nice 3 through six in the batting order. Hart will make 9.3 million in 2013.

The Ham Fighters should play a series against the Iron Pigs to determine the porcine world championship.

Just for the sake of clarification:

Am I the only one who absolutely does not want Kevin Youkilis as the Phils' 3B next year? I keep seeing him name came up, but no one is dismissing it outright. Admittedly, I may have missed someone's disparaging remarks.

I want Youkilis more than most here, but I would never trade assets for a guy like Crisp just to have the extra pennies to sign him.

Hamilton looking for 7 years $175m. wow. I think in supposedly post-steroid baseball, you'd have to be crazy to give him 7 years without some seriously well written out clauses.

Youk has a lot of red flags, he just has fewer red flags than everyone else available to play 3rd.

What about David DeJesus as a platoon partner with Mayberry?

Either play them in CF or RF.

DeJesus against RHP- .292/.367/.449 (.816 OPS)

Mayberry against LHP- .284/.328/.547 (.875 OPS).

DeJesus makes $5M next year and the Cubs would probably take a borderline prospect for him and might even eat a million.

I personally think signing Youk would be a mistake and a waste of money. I would prefer they try to sign Chavez and platoon him with Frandsen.
I also think they should go after BJ Upton even though it would cost a 1st round draft pick. I wouldn't be upset by not seeing the Phils pick a high school kid with lots of tools who wont be in pro baseball 5 years later.
I think Rube will make some kind of trade for either the BP or RF.
Just my $.02

iceman: I prefer Vic to Crisp, but if Vic is getting 3yr deals on the market, then I think Crisp would be the better stopgap acquisition - if thats the route Ruben is going.

My main quarrel with your original post is that Crisp didnt fit at any price, but yet Victorino would - when they represent a very similar type of player.

lorecore: I'm not going to get into one of these debates which turn on where one chooses to set the cutoff point. Fine: they've been comparable for the last 3 years. But they haven't been comparable over their careers. Vic certainly has the higher upside. In fact, Crisp doesn't really have ANY upside. Even at his best, he's just a quintessentially average centerfielder.

"Am I the only one who absolutely does not want Kevin Youkilis as the Phils' 3B next year?"

No. I would be aghast if they signed Youkilis.

Reverend: What about Youk makes you so worried that Eric Chavez doesn't? To me, Chavez is hands down more likely to give you nothing. Obviously both guys come with more risk than you desire, but Chavez was basically playing himself out of baseball until last year. Youk just had his first down year, which once he got out of Boston, wasn't even that bad.

bap: agreed, they are comparable players over the last 3 years, while Vic has shown he can be the superior player over their careers. If both were FA, i'd value Vic higher than Crisp, but not by more than two contract years or over $5M AAV.

Depends on whether or not Youkilis gets the 3rd year he is supposedly looking for. Signing him at 2 yr, $18M isn't a big deal because at worst he is a wash in the 2nd year & the Phils buyout an option for '15.

These are Youkilis' numbers the past 2 years:

.246/.355/.434 (.789 OPS or 111 OPS+) with 18 HRs in 434 ABs in ~120 G.

That would be a huge offensive upgrade over what the Phils have gotten the last 2 years at 3B:

2012: .272/.315/.357 (.672 OPS) with 5 HRs
2011: .266/.323/.342 (.665 OPS) with 8 HRs

I am a huge fan of bringing Youkilis on as long as his back isn't a huge question mark.

Youkilis isn't going to give them 140-150 G but I would definitely take his ability to work BBs and hit for power out of the 6th hole.

Chavez is even a bigger injury liability than Youkilis and last year was the first year he had put up good numbers since '07. No thanks.

Frandsen had a nice year but he is a sub. 700 OPS guy who plays average/below average defense at 3B. A platoon of Frandsen/Galvis at 3B would be the worst Opening Day 3B hands down.

I would still prefer a trade for a 3B (Gordon or Moustakas) than signing Youkilis but Youkilis is the only FA option that could give the Phils adequate offensive production at 3B next year.

lorecore: "clout: its under .800 - nothing special as i originally stated."

Actually what you originally stated was that Span wasn't "anything special" in part because he is LH. That indicated you didn't realize he's always hit lefties better than righties. To the tune of a .776 OPS, which is pretty impressive for a guy with no power.

BTW, BJ Upton, who you slobber over, has a career OPS of .758, which is well below your magic mark of .800.

Galvis is raking in winter ball. That's good enough for me. Ruf is leading the Venezuelan league in homeruns. We're set. Actually glad to see Rube not make any preemptive strikes this year. Leave them to Ryan Howard.

lorecore I think Chavez can be had on a 1yr deal and platoon with Frandsen which should limit the injury risk. I also think he will be cheaper and it will allow money to be spent in the outfield and BP.
Also this was his second down year in a row.
2011 .258/.373/.459
2012 .235/.336/.409
Splits between BOS and CHI
2012 BOS .233/.315/.377
2012 CHI .236/.346/.425
While in Chicago he had more walks and a little more power that is not someone who I would want to invest multiple years with. So I think his 2012 splits are that bad and I also think he wont play in 100 games next year.
If I am missing something please tell me.

I think we should have our own BL awards. Beer Leaguers could vote on other posters. We could have multiple categories. For example, Dumbest Poster, Best Poster, Most Obnoxious Poster. We could add special categories like Most Moronic Poster in a Supporting Role. We could have lifetime acheivement awards. Hell we could even have official nominations for the moronocracy. Can you imagine the competition for that one? This could warm up the old hot stove which was apparently doused by hurricane Sandy.

Carson: DJesus/Mayberry is not a bad idea offensely, but the book on DeJesus is that he is a well below-average fielder in CF, which is why he hasn't played there much in recent seasons.

Reverend - That's the issue with Youkilis. Do you think is closer to the version in Chicago or the one in Boston?

He hit 15 HRs in just 292 ABs as a White Sox.

If Amaro thinks Youkilis can give the Phils a line of .250/.350/.430 with 15-20 HRs next year at 3B in 120-125 G, he should sign him if he can't make a trade for a 3B.

MG: I totally agree with you on Youkilis. Good analysis.

clout: Care to make any statement whatsoever from your last post? Do you prefer Span to Upton? Do you think Span's OPS vs LHP as a LHB makes him a special player? Is there anything that Span does that would classify him as a special player?

donc: Excellent idea. I hereby declare my candidacy for the Moronocracy.

BAP: I had you in mind for the Presidency. I'm sure someone will second.

Rev: if going low at 3B and spending bigger on OF/BP pieces, than obviously Youk isn't a good decision.

I don't think Youkilis is going to command a deal over two years, or much over $10M/yr - so i don't view him as much of a risk.

Playoffs are such a crapshoot

Posted by: Cyclic | Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM

I just had to acknowledge that this was a great 1st post for this thread.

donc: I'm flattered by the nomination, and humbled by the enormity of the responsibility which goes with the job.

BAP: I can just hear the chants now. Four More Beers! Four More Beers!

What about Michael Young at 3rd. Rangers send some cash we send over a B prospect. Rangers would love some salary relief.

Also Youk is listed as 6'1, and I think he is shorter then that, so as we all know he is not tall enough to play 3B.
I can't remember where the cutoff was for height since that conversation was a few years ago.

***He hit 15 HRs in just 292 ABs as a White Sox. ***

Though it should be noted that he hit 12 of those 15 in a launching pad of a home ballpark. CBP, despite its rep, isnt nearly the offensive park.

The only way I could ever put my stamp of approval on a Kevin Youkilis signing would be if it were a one-year contract, or a one-year contract with a fairly stringent performance-based vesting option. And there's simply no way I can imagine his accepting that type of deal.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb
Games played (2010-12): Kevin Youkilis, 344; Placido Polanco, 344. One of those guys is four years older than the other.

And this from Gelb, too:

...if Amaro had more opportunities to evaluate Ruf at the major-league level, perhaps there could be some clarity on this winter's strategy. Amaro believes he could piece together an outfield if he only acquires a centerfielder this winter. That plan is tenuous because there are more than a few unknowns among the current outfield candidates.

Ruf is chief among them. Amaro receives frequent reports from Jorge Velandia, the team's assistant minor-league field coordinator who also serves as GM for Tiburones de La Guaira, Ruf's winter ball team.

"He keeps telling me he can play left field," Amaro said.

The Phillies will put more trusted sets of eyes on Ruf in the coming weeks before he departs Venezuela. Charley Kerfeld and Bart Braun, two of Amaro's special assistants, may watch Ruf.

Beyond that, Amaro must decide whether Ruf's development and Domonic Brown's promise are enough to limit outside outfield additions. Whatever the case, Amaro is warming up to the idea of Ruf.

"He can hit, man," Amaro said. "He has power. I like it."

Conservative prediction for Darin Ruf in 2013:

157 GS (all in LF), .374 AVG/.563 OBP/1.231 OPS, 57 HR, 45 2B, 7 3B, 178 RBI, Rookie of the Year, MVP, WS MVP

NEPP why so low with the Ruf predictions? You are never high on Phils prospects.

NEPP, where's the Gold Glove?

***where's the Gold Glove?***

Come on now, he's learning a new position. He wont win his first GG until at least 2014.

I can play CF, and I'm cheap.

One last thing from me about Youk. Here is his OPS+ from the last 6 seasons;
117, 144, 146, 157, 123, 99
I am no statistician but I think I see a trend that is not going in the right direction.

NEPP, if I crunched the numbers right, you predict 997 PAs for Rupp. Starting with 230 extra bases and a .294 ISO, you get 782 ABs. The delta between the OBP and AVG means he walks 215 times to go with his 292 hits!. With all that, he creates mre than his share of outs -- 490. That means you are predicting even better OBP for many on the team. I could John Maybeberry and Dom Brown with +.600 OBPs easy.

Reverend: There's not a person in the world who argues Youk is on the upswing. The question is whether he can give us enough in one year to be worth it. Remember, the 3rd base bar isn't very high.

"***where's the Gold Glove?***"

From the scouting reports it sounds like he wears it in the field.

"NEPP, if I crunched the numbers right, you predict 997 PAs for Rupp."

It's his trickle-down effect on the rest of the offense. Opposing pitchers will be so afraid to pitch to Ruf that they'll throw nothing but fastballs to all our other hitters -- enabling us to bat around over and over and over again, so that Ruf ends up with 997 PAs.

Reverend - that would be bad news if you signed Youk expecting his prime years production (and you paid in $$ and years for it). I don't believe that's what people expect and are proposing. Youkilis is an injury concern and an aging player, but he's perfectly capable of high OBP, 110+ OPS+ at 3B (maybe 120 games). He'll be 34, though, and maybe he's a .750 OPS player now. So sign him to a reasonable 2-year deal and make sure you have some plan in case he spends 2 months on the DL.

Wow. Check out Youkilis' "AWAY" splits over the last 2 years. Kinda crazy. Very solid before then. Could be nothing.

Sophist pretty much nails it.

I doubt Youk signs a 1 year deal so if the Phils decide he's the guy, it's gotta be a two year deal.

And if you sign him for 2 years, you're hoping for an above average bat (105-120 OPS+) and hoping he's healthy enough to play 120 games.

I'm not sure I'm on board the Youk plan. Part of me thinks the Phils will cobble together an internal solution and hope Asche is ready by late 2013 or 2014.

I agree with risk on Youkilis but he seems like the only FA 3B that is a significant improvement. He seems like a 'good guy' and getting on base ahead of Howard makes Howard a tremendously better hitter.

If Youkilis plays I think he will be valuable even with a low BA and fewer HRs, but paying Youkilis to be on the DL is dumb. Even worse is having no alternative to get his bat in the lineup from 1B or DH.

I think Phillies might need to overpay to get him since I am sure AL teams with 3B needs will be after him as well.

The positive thing about Youk is that if you signed him on a two year deal, and it doesn't work out at 3B, you have a guy to platoon with Howard at 1B. At the very least.

I know that may never happen, but Manuel will be gone after next year. So maybe will end up being some flexibility where Howard is concerned.

lorecore: agree with you on Crisp and Vic, all things being equal. But they aren't equal. You'd have to give up players for Crisp, and the team isn't exactly operating on such a shoestring budget that they need to do backflips to acquire talent. I'm not of the opinion, like MG and GTown, that they're going to have to pinch pennies, especially in this area. It would be a completely pointless move.

If they were both FA, yeah I guess I could understand the argument.

Very difficult to guess at who is available through trades.
Getting #5 bat is key, from either 3B or OF. (At this point, I'd go Rollins, Utley, Ruiz, Howard 1 through 4).

Mayberry/Schierholtz in CF is below average across the board. Ruf and Brown may be able to hold down the corners.

Asche at 3B and Gillies at CF are possible minor league help in case of injury but are difficult to project as anything more than average at this point.

I figure there's a DH in the NL by 2014 anyway, so Youk/Howard could slide into that role.

It's interesting that so many feel that the DH is coming to the NL. KAS what makes you think that? I'm curious. I think NEPP and others have speculated about this before. The only thing I hate more than the DH is the fact that the two leagues play by different rules.

Then there's this:

The Athletics are telling teams they will keep their outfielders (Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Young, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Seth Smith) and rotate them while not using a traditional DH.

That's the A's party line. That's how they get a deal done like the Milone, Norris, Peacock, and the highest-rated of all 4 of these prospects (AJ Cole) for Gio Gonzalez.


donc: Expanded interleague play almost mandates it. When interleague play is bunched together, it makes it easier for NL teams to plan for filling the DH role. That is gone now as the games are spread throughout the year and the number of games is increased. I believe there will be pressure to make it "more fair," and the Player's Association has always been in favor of a DH.

Iceman - Pinch pennies no but if they go out and acquire Upton at $11-$12M next year it really does complicate other moves they will make and limit their financial flexibility.

Unless they are willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold by a moderate amount, they aren't going to be able to sign 2 starting OFs, a starter at 3B, and one of the better veteran setup guys via FA.

Imagine when all is said and done they acquire 2 of those pieces via FA including their starting CF.

DH coming to the NL?

Time to start another cycle of PED's and start shagging some balls in CF, Philadelphia needs me!

Makes sense to me KAS. It is ridiculously unfair the way it is now. Any team with a weak bench is at a tremendous disadvantage during interleague play and the WS as Phillies fans can attest.

lorecore: I never said Span was a special play. I just said him being LH is not a reason to discount him.

FWIW, I don't think the gap between Upton and Span is as big as you believe it to be.

It's funny when they started interleague play and added Wild Cards, I supported the former and hated the latter. That is the exact opposite of how I feel now. Interleague play seems gimmicky and with dozens of games on every week one gets to see all of the games stars plenty. And I was not, and am not, in favor of this latest addition of post-season games. But the original plan which expanded the playoff contenders from 4 to 8 I love.

Favorite beerleaguer argument of the day: Is Span "special"? Riveting stuff.

Scratch Izturis off the list

3 yrs/$9M (with a $1M buyout for '16) from the Jays.

Not a guy I figured Amaro would be interesting given how anemic his offense was last year even $3-$3.5M

MG: More evidence that Amaro intends to trade for 3B.

Thank goodness Izturis is off the list. What a terrible signing by the Jays. Had an awful OBP last year of just .320 and that was actually higher than his slugging! I can't imagine that anyone actually wanted him in Philly.

jbird: You have an odd definition of "argument." As far as I know, not a single poster has said that Span is a special player. It's 100% agreement that he's not.

and yet there seems to be an argument.

jbird: Tell me what it is so I can join.

Had an awful OBP last year of just .320

In the Lake Wobegon League maybe .320 is awful but in the 2012 AL, it was League Average. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2012.shtml

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