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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Comments

@JSalisburyCSN

"The Phillies were the first to express interest in B.J. Upton. But their best offer was five years for $55 million"

I read somewhere that Walden is a name the Phils might pursue. I imagine he's available now that Madson is inked.

As far as CF is concerned, I'm totally predicting a Victorino reunion now.

The Phillies want to stay under the luxury tax. Expect cheap and prepare to be underwhelmed.

Brian Wilson is a hate-the-face for me. Can't stand the antics and stupid, rehearsed celebrations. Paps' "idiosyncrasies" (and that's being nice) are enough for one club.

As Ice mentioned in the previous thread, RAJ had to know 5/55 wouldn't get BJ here. Likely one of those deals where - hey, if he takes it, great - if not, oh well.

I'm not big on allowing personal feelings to get in the way of baseball decisions, but eventually you reach a line where a guy is such a douchebag that, however good a baseball player he might be, I simply don't want any part of having to root for him.

Josh Hamilton toes right up to that line. Brian Wilson just blows past it.

Span to the Nationals.

Nats just got Span.

Scotch - Hardballtalk reported yesterday that Walden is available. Might be worth a look.

Aaagh--I was really hoping the Nats would get Bourn instead, to save Rube from signing him. Now Boras is sitting by his phone chuckling and waiting for Amaro to offer a six-year, 105 million deal for Bourn.

Sil - agreed on both: I don't want Mr. Beach Boy, and RAJ knew that wouldn't get Upton...

...which leads me to believe he plans to make a serious push for either Bourn or Hamilton (please God, let it be the latter.)

For one thing, the Phils apparently wouldn't mind going over the luxury tax this year. Remember that when they traded away Vic & Pence, the line was that they couldn't go over in consecutive years.

Not a bad hunch that FO's offer to Upton gives you a sense of how much they want to spend in CF. Why spend $100M on Bourn when Vic, Pagan, and others are out there for less?

Aargh, wanted Nats to get born too. Leaves door open for Rube to pay up, but then again...doesn't Boras lose some leverage w/ the Nats out of the race? History has shown to wait it out w/ Boras, then agree to a 1 yr deal in the spring (ala Madson).

Why not go after both Vic and Pagan? Yes, the offense would be lacking but the outfield D would improve dramatically. That would still leave money to go after much needed additional pieces without breaking the bank.

I'm going to pray at night that RAJ isn't suckered to overpaying for Bourn now...I'll take Mayberry out there every day over a 9 figure contract to Bourn.

Just thinking we might end up with Bourn gives me a headache.Starting to hope Raj and Vic had a deal before his trade.

Something tells me we're going to get 3 more David Bells.

I'm confused. If BJ Upton didn't get a nine figure contract, why would Bourn get one? Just because he is a Boras client doesn't mean he will get what he wants. See Ryan Madson and Adrian Beltre.

Vic and Hamilton works for me.

I'm glad Washington got Span, actually. A lesser Bourn. It's a smart move for them long-term (they have a habit of doing that), but he doesn't make them better next year than Bourn would have.

Bourn's price tag just ticked down a bit, I believe. Still, if the Phils are going to break the bank, I'd rather them do it with Hamilton.

If RAJ only offered Upton 5/55M, would he really offer Bourne 100M? Does he really like Bourne that much more?

I liked Span and would have liked to seen the Phillies get him. Now we will settle for overpaying for Bourn. Ruben doesn't have time for creativity and thinking of someone to trade from the system for Bourn. It's much easier to sign a big contract. Hopefully the overpay and length is lessened since the suitors are dwindling for Bourn.

Sucks about Lopez. Really liked that news when it broke. If he isn't healthy then I'm glad they found it out now.

I understand the concern about giving an enormous contract to Bourn but one thing that people seem to be missing is that, with Atlanta out & Washington out, and 2 other perfectly viable centerfielders on the FA market, his price might well be coming down. Of course, he's represented by Boras, who likes to string out the market until January or February, and the Phillies obviously aren't in position to be strung along like that. But if you could get him to take a 3-year deal, I'd do it. I actually think Bourn's a better all-around player than Upton, even if, ideally, I'd rather have a RH bat.

---How will Chase Utley manage to keep those two quiet and away from the TV cameras?

Especially when he doesn't arrive until July.

Joe D - So RAJ doesn't have time for creativity and trades for a CF but does have the time for creativity and trades for a setup man like Lopez?


I wish some posters used valid and logical reasons to dislike RAJ instead of ficticious musings they make up in their peanut sized brains.

I wouldn't offer Bourn 1 penny above what BJ Upton received. As a matter of fact, I'd offer the same as the deal BJ turned down - but that's just my opinion.

If the Twins are interested in selling off pieces relatively cheap, Rube should probably go ahead and give them call about Josh Willingham.

@Red....I would have been happy with the Lopez deal. I was actually surprised that they were going that route. I commend Amaro for that but there is no doubt in my mind he is now going to just throw coin at Bourn. I guess he can't win with me. Every other offseason he is the first one in the pool. Now he waits and he loses. Span was the guy for me. Never Bourn. And at least if they got Upton he'd give you some pop but I don't think he would have worked here. There are very few answers out there this year. I don't envy RA Jr. but he might want to look at his rotation and try to move someone (ehem Cliff). And I get that we don't know what we are getting with Doc this year so dealing Lee will be risky but let's see something different. This team has holes, many holes.

The key for the Nats is that, by getting a CF, they move Werth/Harper to the corners, put Morse at first, and let LaRoche walk. Span is relatively cheap (2 years, $12 million guaranteed--basically he gives you 80% of Michael Bourn for what will be like 20% of the price), meaning the Nats should have some money sitting around.

Am I predicting the Nats sneak in and sign Zack Greinke? I think there's a chance. More likely, they reload their rotation by bringing back Edwin Jackson or signing Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, or Anibal Sanchez.

Either way, this looks like a solid move for the Nats.

Who would give Bourn the deal he's asking for at this point? The Reds certainly can't afford it. Seems to me it's the Phils, Reds and Giants left, and Hamilton, Pagan, Vic and Bourn are available. There is no reason for any team to give in to his demands.

I'm with BAP here. His price is coming down. And if it comes down to BJ Upton-like or a bit lower, I would definitely do that deal. People are really discounting what he would bring to the team because they are dreading what he'll be in 3 years. RIGHT NOW, he's an ideal leadoff hitter that is an elite defender and elite base-stealer. He'd improve the team in 2012.

In fact, the idea of Bourn AND Vic (for LF) intrigues me.

Iceman: "RIGHT NOW, he's an ideal leadoff hitter"

You know Bourn has a career OBP of .339, right? And basically the same walk rates as Jimmy Rollins?

Put my vote down for Hamilton and Vic

I have no idea where this team goes now. What the philles offered upton was fair. Atlanta gave him more. Looks more like Bourne has no market. I would break bank on a combo of josh and Ross or pagan. Hell even Vic if we can get Hamilton. Prefer pagan because lead off etc... So many ways to go now. Still need 8th inning and 3rd. Still think galvis and Kevin play there.

Why would you put Vic in LF? I'd put him in right, and put our other crappy OFers in LF.

With Hamilton and another OF piece (Pagan, Vic), I'm not that worried about Frandsen/Galvis at 3B.

Hell, if we got Vic for CF on a 2 year deal, Hamilton for a 5 year deal, and some type of setup man, I'll be perfectly content with a Frandsen Galvis 3B.

Span going to Washington suddenly made the market much better for the buyers of center fielders. Bourn and Hamilton were probably going to get the most money but with a bidder ouot of the picture you are now looking at the Reds, Giants, Phillies, and only the Phillies are usually the big spenders.

This market just got really interesting too tradewise because they can hold a line on a Fowler or Bourjos and not have to pay a premium cause they can get a decent fallback like Pagan still possibly.

Span is a nice pick up, I've read that Meyer might end up being a reliever because he has a poor ability to repeat his delivery, mainly due to his 6'9 frame.

Reds are said to have no interest in Bourn...who else is shopping for him? How marvelous would it be for Ruben to sit on his hands all winter and end up with Victorino, Bourn, Pagan, etc. all begging us for a team friendly deal?

I think the correct play all along was to wait out the market. There were too many CFs out there for all or even any of them to get what they wanted to ask. I certainly have my preference, but none stood out as enough better or worse than the others for me to be disappointed with any coming off the market. Especially when ones from a trade which takes money away from the FAs. They should do fine in that department. I'm not concerned at all about giving big money and years to Bourn or anyone. My one worry would be trading for Fowler, but hopefully the price is just way too high.

The bullpen is certainly a foggier picture. I'm sure there's a decent amount of trade options that haven't been mentioned anywhere on top of guys like Walden. The FA market has only barely begun to shape together also. There's only a few guys I wouldn't mind throwing money at, like Sean Marshall, but of course relievers are always risky.

I don't think Wilson would go anywhere away from the West Coast, which is fine. I'd expect him to either get paid by the Dodgers or take a paycut with SF. I agree with the hate towards him on the field, but I actually kind of like him off it. A lot of that has to do with Pat Burrell aka the Machine, but I like hippies like him in smaller doses.

Since nobody asked here's Amaro's plan working out to get Choy what he wanted - 3 new outfielder's:
1. Vic in left.
2. Bourne in center.
3. Hamilton in right.

All three combined would now likely come cheaper than had they lept first into the pool seeking a BJ and a Ross.

Cholly not Choy.

If Vic would take a 1 year deal, I guess I'd consider it, but I'm just not into the idea of bringing him back. Rather see some GM creativity.

I have a hunch Fowler is coming in. Wasn't there a blurb recently that the Phils aren't interested in Bourn? Perhaps, that changes if pricetag comes down.

- Understand the real reluctance of giving Bourn a 5 year (or even 6) but I don't get who people act like he wouldn't be a real upgrade for the Phils in CF next year especially defensively.

- Upton set the market ceiling now for CF this offseason I bet at $15M/year (besides Hamilton who is kind of a unique case). Vic and Pagan are still out there. Fowler is on the trade block with the Rockies demands likely having to come down a bit if they really do want to move him this offseason.

More importantly, what teams still really could use an upgrade in CF. Phils, Giants, and maybe the Reds although the Reds don't have big dollars to spend after reupping Broxton. Mets released Torres and are looking at cheap options in CF. Maybe the Rangers if they don't resign Hamilton but there really isn't another big payroll club out there right now really looking at paying big bucks to a starting CF

Shaping up to be a buyer's market and I wouldn't mind Vic back here at all on a 1-year deal where he tries to rebound & opt for FA next year in what looks less crowded in CF.

- Lopez is a really a huge blow. Getting him for Cloyd and Valle would have been a steal. Phils only finally brought up Cloyd because they literally didn't have another option besides maybe Pettibone and Valle was written when they acquired Joseph.

Phils NEED a veteran RHP reliever who is setup caliber almost as much as they need a starting 3B.

- News on Youkilis has been pretty much nonexistent the last week. Still want the Phils to go after him hard especially if it is only a 2-year deal.

Frandsen/Galvis or Mini-Mart combo on Opening Day would be the worst 3B in MLB I bet. Bill James 2013 projections on Youkilis border on insanity but if Youk can even hit .250 with a .350 OBP and 15-20 HRs while starting say 110-120 G, the Phils have to make a run at him.

Braves really overpaid on Upton too if the max the Phils offered was 5 yrs/$55M and that was the next closest deal.

Better really like Upton because they paid over a 20% premium to get him. Still stunned that it wasn't Amaro who did that instead.

You think that 5/$55 wasn't a real number, and put out there to make the Braves look like they overpaid?

Beard - I think it was real. Imagine the Braves thought Amaro was going to offering Upton close to $15M/year and that is why their offer was so large.

The Braves' FO thought their offer had to be close enough or nearly identical to what Amaro was offering so that Upton was really choosing the city/team without the money being a real factor.

MG- I agree with you on Youk. The alternative is having the worst 3B or 3B platoon in the league. It's almost like taking your medicine. If a difference-maker like Hamilton isn't brough in, the offense can't afford to have the black hole of all black holes at 3B.

At worst on a 2 year deal, Youk becomes a platoon guy that can spell Howard against tough lefties.

I don't take any offers as legitimate except the ones that actually get signed as contracts. If it comes out only through a second-hand media report, I have no reason to rely on it as fact.

Some people claim Madson was offered 4/44 last year. Some claim it was actually 3/33. Who knows? Truth is, we have no idea.

Jack- nice deceptive use of statistics. You are one of the only people on earth that think Bourn isn't a good/great leadoff hitter, and the fact that you would compare him to Rollins in that context is a joke.

Rollins, 2009-2012: .253/.316/.410, 108 SB/22 CS, 8.6% BB rate (8.9% in 2012)
Bourn, 2009-2012: .280/.348/.378, 216 SB/51 CS, 9.1% BB rate (10% in 2012)

You're right- they're clones. Please stop trolling.

Can Rollins play third? If yes, then Freddy to short. And then sign three OF's.

And just for fun, here's Span- a guy people are fawning over as a great fit at the top of the lineup- over the last three seasons:

.271/.334/.367, 49 SB/11 CS, 8.5% walk rate

He had an outstanding year in 2009, but at this point, that looks like an outlier. The last two seasons, he's logged just 800 ABs due to injury.

Now, I happen to think Span is a great pick-up for the Nats over the long-term (I also like the fact that he can hit LHP) and probably gives them wiggle room to make another move or two. But if Bourn isn't a very good leadoff hitter, by Jack's bizarre standards, Span is even worse.

Not sure what is giving me higher blood pressure, the posters coming to grips with "tolerating a Frandsen/Galvis platoon" (under ANY circumstances), or the conventional wisdom swinging to Bourn somehow being a terrible investment no matter what.

I certainly agree that his asking price is ludicrous and would be a terrible investment. However, he's still a very good player and could add value if his price tag comes down (as it follows suit that it would with one less suitor). To flat out have "no interest" makes no sense when you consider we have no current CF. If the dynamics change to a more advantageous deal (particularly in terms of years), I think it's a wise consideration.

Is this why clout refuses to discuss finances of prospective moves? You have to be able to differentiate between "value" and "cost."

WP- great post.

Bourn's price has scared off virtually every poster (including me- and he's one of my favorite players), but that certainly doesn't mean he is without value if they sign him. And as his price comes down (which I believe it is), allowing the possible addition of other players, his value increases.

Of course, I can't help but think back to Prince Fielder last year, laughing as the weeks went by without a contract, thinking he was costing himself tens of millions. Then Detroit got desperate and gave him a 200 million dollar contract. Crazy things can happen. But the market being what it is, I can't imagine a universe where a team would give Bourn the nine-figures he is asking for.

Out of all the centerfielders whose names have been floated around this off-season, Span was always the one who excited me the least. I'm actually glad to see him go to the Nats because it means: (a) they won't be signing Bourn; and (b) they probably won't be re-signing LaRoche. Replacing the 2012 version of Adam LaRoche with Denard Span is a significant downgrade. It's not a 17-game downgrade, but it's a downgrade.

Bourn isn't quite the difference maker that Fielder is.

Bourne doesn't scare me. It's the price attached that makes me cringe. Now if we could get him for 4 yr say 50 then I'm good. How does anyone feel on ludwick to play left. 2 yr 16 mill? Looking like Hamilton could be going back if no one like philles or sawx get in. Winter meetings are going to be nuts.

"Replacing the 2012 version of Adam LaRoche with Denard Span is a significant downgrade."

Exactly. And signing Upton to replace Bourn (and Chipper, additionally) is probably a lateral move. The only thing that concerns me about the Span move is that it gives WSH the room to make a significant signing.

These were good big-picture moves for the two franchises, but for 2013, it shouldn't scare anyone. Ruben is doing the right thing here and waiting it out. There will be enough pieces left in a few weeks for him to fill the necessary holes and find a few bargains. The Lopez thing still sucks, though.

I'm forced to admit my begrudging respect of GM Rizzo.

"The only thing that concerns me about the Span move is that it gives WSH the room to make a significant signing."

That's very true. And it will likely be a starting pitcher since Jackson is gone & they're pretty much set at all 8 everyday positions.

BedBeard- yeah, you will never convince me that the Strasburg shutdown was the correct call, but as far as building a team goes, he has done an excellent job. I don't even think the Werth move was as bad as some say it was- the right player, just an insane price. It certainly hasn't precluded them from fielding a championship-caliber club.

BAP- the only silver lining there is that their pitching could not have been better, one through five, last year. So if they went nuts and signed Greinke, it sure would help, but I'm not sure how much, considering they almost maxed out last year. I still hope they re-sign Jackson, or buy high on Lohse, because that wouldn't do much to improve them.

BAP: There's a lot to unpack here. But a few important pieces to remember are:

1. Adam Laroche was unlikely to replicate 2012 Adam Laroche's production.

2. The improved outfield defense of a Werth/Span/Harper outfield is a pretty big upgrade.

3. As Iceman has noted, if they use the money saved on Laroche to upgrade somewhere else, then they likely have replaced the dropoff in production from Laroche to Span.

I tend to think the Nats won't win 97 games again next year, simply because most teams that win 97 games can't do it again the next year--you have to have more things go right than wrong to win 97, even for a very talented team. But do I think they'll win 90-95 and be the favorite in the NL East? Right now I do. And the future looks pretty good there, unfortunately for the Phillies.

Doubt if Upton replaces Chipper's presence in the clubhouse.
Nice to talk about lead off hitters and spelling Howard against tough lefties but what makes you think Cholly will change, Howard plays every day and Jimmy bats FIRST.

Bourn's price is dropping like a rock...just keep waiting him out, Rube.

Aren't Howard and Bourn besties?

Maybe they'll each get a bff boost if they're on the same team?

Cyclic, ARod and Jeter were besties before the former came to town, too...

Jack: I agree that Laroche probably wasn't going to duplicate his 2012 numbers. I'm just saying: those numbers were a big reason for their 97-win season & now they're gone. Now, if they go out & sign Zack Greinke or Shaun Marcum, then they will have reallocated their resources in a way that makes them even better, on paper, than they were last year. But as of today, they're a little worse -- though, no doubt, they're still considerably better than the Phillies.

There we go.

Mo Rivera, coming off a major knee injury at Age 43 gets $10 million guaranteed for 2013...with a bunch more in performance bonuses apparently.

Wow.

Pirates outbid the Yanks for Martin?!

If Amaro waits out Boras and signs Bourn at a very reasonable deal (say 4 yrs/$48M), I am liquidating all of my assets, quicking my job, and partying until the world ends on Dec 21st.

Frandsen/Galvis at 3B would make me long for the days of Dobbs/Helms/No-Hit Nunez

I do think that if the Phils don't get anybody else at 3B they seriously consider moving JRoll over there in the spring and putting Galvis at SS.

I really don't understand how people are comfortable with a Frandsen/Galvis platoon at 3B.

You all realize that Frandsen is a lot worse than what he showed in limited time last year, right? And that Galvis can't hit, and has never played 3rd before?

lorecore: Sorry for the late response to your question about how Josh Hamilton is a lousy deal on anything other than a 2-year basis:

• ColonelTom (Colonel - let me know if this was not you) cited a list of "B level" outfielders that flamed out or have begun their decline by age 31. Yes, Hamilton was a beast with his 41 HRs in '12, but he's human and entering his age 32 season. In this PEDs-scrubbed era of MLB, I want nothing to do with...
• An injury-prone china doll with a history of substance abuse. Fact: Last year, Josh was "out of sorts"; initially because he claimed he stopped "dipping"; then he got all weepy about an undefined personal matter. Since 2009, games played –
2009 - 89
2010 - 133
2011 - 121
2012 - 148 (contract season)

Yes, I’m aware he had an MVP season in '10 playing 133 games. Think he's got that in him again? I don't.

Mr. Hamilton screams of a player who gets his money, then backs off the throttle (or overplays till he's hurt?) just often enough to collect his check. Face it. This free agency season flat-out stinks for OF and 3rd baseman.

Good luck RAJ. Please do not offer extended contracts to Hamilton or Bourne for that matter. With the luck of Philadelphia teams this year, both those guys look to be nothing but dead money sooner than later.

Go young for OF help; or gamble on Vic. Doc or no Doc, if Lee bounces back, we have pitching to spare. Also, if Howard stays on the field for 150 games, who knows? The man’s been known to carry a team, more than once.

Things I don't get:

- Now that the Lopez trade didn't go through the Phils can still rely upon on internal options to pitch in the 8th effectively if they don't sign a veteran reliever or that this system is absolutely loaded with young relievers who are ready to contribute on Opening Day.

The only way you can think this way is if you have selective amnesia regarding the bullpen last year and for some reason believe a large number of marginal bullpen relievers/prospects the Phils have can magically transform into solid relievers.

There are two young relievers with good stuff & the possibility of turning into guys you want to see consistently in high leverage spots - De Fratus & Aumont. That's it. Same last year in the spring and it will be the same this year.

Phils need to acquire a RHP reliever who has the ability or track record of success of having done so. Unfortunately, it now means the Phils likely have to dip their toes in the FA waters and hope the make the right move.

If $55 mil is waht the offered Upton, no wonder he didn't take it. Tells me they didn't really want him, but shows the phans they made an effort, even if it was a half-hearted one.

If you're gonna pay big $$ for a CF at this point it's gotta be Hamilton. He's a game changer. I still say Bourne doesn't put us on a level with the Nats or Braves. If they got him, they still need other offensive pieces, and I have no dea where they'd come from. Same thing applies to Fowler and you'd have to trade for him.

I have no doubt RAJ will get the 8th inning guy he needs. But the offense? I just don't know.

If it were my job to do, I would do something about third base before addressing the outfield. I am with the people who say that getting stronger in the outfield but going with the status quo at third does not fly.

Limo~ Short of trading for Headley, or A-Rod, or signing Youk, what could they do?

MG: I think Chad Qualls is available. He has a track record of success in the 8th inning.

cut fastball: guys in their 20's just don't hit free agency all that often, especially the good ones. If you want a superstar in his 20's you need to grow him yourself or trade for one from a have-not team who's about to test the market. I'd offer Hamilton a 3-$75m with 2 $25m vesting years based on games played that would push it to 4-$100m or 5 $125m or something there abouts and see what he says. That's a more than respectable AAV while protecting the club and incentivizing the player. He'd still be young enough after the 3 years that if he didn't make the vesting option but could still play, he'd be able to get a 1 or 2 year deal at good money. Guys in their 30's really shouldn't be expecting 7 year deals anymore.

Wait, wait, what is this "if Lee bounces back" stuff?

Jack: I think Qualls was available at mid-season last year too! But of course, Amaro sat on his hands while the 8th inning was a season long weak spot. That bum!

Again, if it were my job to do, I would find a way to make a deal for Headley. The Phillies number 7 is available and sure would look good on him.

Unikruck: Lee will bounce back if he becomes more clutch and hits more rbi's in games where he pitchs or if he starts pitching to the score like the true ace of the 1980's, Jack Morris. till then, he sucks.

jb: Ah, OK. As long as we're clear on definitions.

Now that the Lopez trade didn't go through the Phils can still rely upon on internal options to pitch in the 8th effectively if they don't sign a veteran reliever or that this system is absolutely loaded with young relievers who are ready to contribute on Opening Day.

The only way you can think this way is if you have selective amnesia regarding the bullpen last year and for some reason believe a large number of marginal bullpen relievers/prospects the Phils have can magically transform into solid relievers.

_______________________________________

What in the blue hell are you talking about? It is clear that Amaro thinks he needs to upgrade in the 8th inning and he tried to work out a deal to bring in a very good reliever for that spot. Do you honestly think he is just going to think now "Well, Lopez didn't work out- time to go with the young guys again."

Seriously?

With the TV money available to the Phils soon, I fail to see that paying a luxury tax in 2013 is an important consideration.

I would sign one of the big-time players available and fill the Phillies' other holes by signing other available players to 2-3 year deals. That means a willingness for the 2013 payroll to hit the $200 million mark.

I prefer signing free agents to making any trades involving the franchise's top prospects. Another year of player development will enable the Phils to better determine whether or not there are any future stars down on the farm. Long term, developing its own stars is the best way for a franchise to maintain excellence.

For 2014 and beyond, the Phils should try to avoid the luxury tax by keeping the payroll with perqs below $189 million. Since I believe that the great Roy Halladay still has a few hundred more quality innings left in his arm, the best way to avoid the luxury tax in the 2014-2016 period may be to say good-bye to the declining Chase Utley. I will be sorry to see him go.

To be specific, I would sign either Greinke or Hamilton, add Youk for 3B, sign Pagan and/ or Vic, and add a veteran 8th-inning guy.

If the Phils do not add the big-time player, I think the team is conceding NL top-tier status to teams like the Nats and Dodgers.

Neither B.J. Upton nor Bourn is what I call a big-time player.

You need stars to win. The Phils are down to three stars - Hamels, Lee and probably Halladay. With the Nats on the rise with young studs like Strasburg and Harper, who are only going to get better, and the Dodgers apparently willing to spend whatever it takes to build a winner, IMO, the three stars the Phils have are not enough to be the NL's best team again.

The only impact player out there now is Josh Hamilton (he of 43 HR's and 128 RBI's). Sign Hamilton and Pagan or Vic for CF and you not only have a shot at the postseason but you have a lineup that is worth buying a ticket to see.

ethan martin was first projected as a 3b. apparently he could really hit. and he's 6'3" and 200 lbs. let's see what he could do at 3b this spring.

TTI - Reading other Phils' blogs. There is a huge difference between the concept of the variability of relievers' performances from year-to-year largely due to the small sample size (not that controversial) and the misguided one that most minor league relievers who post average numbers at AA/AAA should be able to do so at the MLB level or that most mediocre relief prospects can produce solid numbers over the course of a full season.

I don't get MG's "don't get" post. He's arguing with himself regarding the Phils getting a quality bullpen arm. You argued since the season ended abou the Phils needing a veteran reliever. They "trade" for the guy ftom the Astros, and your next post is about the need for another bullpen arm. Weird.

I don't get cut_fastball's Hamilton thing. He's a huge risk, but when you say you would have a problem giving him the ML minimum, you're arguments are no longer worth reading. Sorry, time for some AAA "seasoning".

MG: Your 9:47 post makes zero sense.

You say that the Phillies can still rely on the young guys. Then you say the only way to think that way is if you forget the way last season played out. Then you indicate in teh last paragraph that you think the Phillies might not make a move for a veteran now and may have to go into free agency.

You have railed for months now they need an arm and need to get one in free agency and now you are against that.

If you say you've seen stuff on other Phillies blogs then go have argue there with these "things you don't get." If you're gonna bring it over here then at least frame it as such by saying, "I've seen on some other blogs...." You say things here as if it is commonplace here and everyone should know what you are talking about. You end up looking like a crazy person arguing with your own constructed arguments.

Got to agree I think Shane is on his way back. I believe they shook hands on this when they traded him. They haven't put their house up for sale yet. I truely believe this was done strickly to get rid of salary for 2012. I would prefer some one for the future, like Stanton or Bourjos. Bourn or Hamilton GOD I hope not would take Shane back first.

Of course the rumor mill has the Phillies as unlikely to bring Shane back. 7 teams have talked to him and we're not among them.


Hamilton and Pagan FTW!

Shane and Pagan would be nice. Less power than Josh, but two switch-hitters with speed in front of Chase Rhyno, Chooch (eventually)and Ruf/(insert name), there's potential to win games w/o waiting for the 3-Run HR. Maybe Ryan and Chase relax when a double scores 2 rather than relying on a bomb. RAJ would then finally have a nice balance. Hopefully his manager goes along with the program.

If the team brings in Hamilton, they have a lot more leeway to "go small" at CF and 3B. Hamilton-Pagan-scrub for RF-CF-3B might be a financial wash with Swisher-Bourn-Youkilis, for example.

That's the difficult part with the holes on the club. And all the pcs available to mix and match. I personally would like to see pagan and Hamilton. Get lead off and move jimmy down. Team is another nats move like signing zac to looking like wild card team then a division contending one. FO has to see this and with the TV deal (which all baseball tv personalities) are saying the philles waiting for what LA gets to see what they are.

Generally, the Phils have been a team that gets rid of outfielders when they become free agents or shortly before, not one that acquires them afterwards.

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EST. 2005

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