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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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BJ Upton is about to sign with Atlanta. Probably a blessing. Don't need another .240 hitter.

Fatti, you may very well be right about Figgins ability going forward.

My calculation is simply that the Phils have a glaring hole at 3B, and if for some otherworldly reason (Divine intervention), Figgins can catch lightning in a bottle it's worth a ST invite. If he can't play anymore they'll lose little more than rent and meal money for 6 weeks.

Posted by: awh | Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 05:07 PM

You may call it divine intervention or a miracle, but I'll call it a freak occurrence. (1,000 internet points if you get the reference)

Nothing on the big trade today? I'm still trying to find out which "near major league ready" players we had to part with.

Where do we go now? I don't want Fowler. Maybe Victo?

Hey, if people on the board don't like
Quintero I hear that Matt Treanor is still available.

His wife is pretty hot and I hear she has a lot of hot, beach babe friends. :)

Hi, Josh Hamilton!

Cyclic - love Hamilton's ability, don't like his price tag or baggage.

I hope they don't get Upton. I've never thought he'd be werth the money.

Personally, I'd rather take the risk bringing Vic back on a 3-yr. deal.

I hope we don't overpay Michael Bourn now.

Hope he doesn't turn into Philly killer.

5 yrs, 70-75 million for Upton

Please no Vic ughhhhhhhhh

Thank you Atlanta!

Well, it looks like Upton is headed to Atlanta and I get my wish. Hopefully the baseball gods will not allow him to be a Philly killer.

He hasn't hit above .246 or ahd an OBP above .331 since 2008.

Upton, in a shopping 28 PA vs. the Phils in his career: .182/.333/.273

"whopping" 28 PA...

Adderall supposedly keeps you sharp and focused during the long grind that an MLB season is. What happened to the good old days when players would smoke and drink beer in the clubhouse? And stay out till the wee hours getting trashed like Mickey Mantle and Co.

Hook, what did Vic ever do as a Philly that was so awful? Sure, he had a bad walk year until he was traded, but I'm not willing to toss him on the scrap heap because of one bad year.

My theory has been that the Phillies would shop Lee (once Greinke signs), sign Hamilton and use the difference in money to sign or trade for a middle of the rotation guy. Obviously that is a gamble on Halladay, but he should be decent next year, no?

r00b about to tender a seven year, $210 million dollar contract to Bourn.

Yeah, I wouldn't mind Vic coming back.

5/75 is around the absolute top of what I would have paid for Upton. On the whole, I wish the Phils would've signed him, and I wish a team other than the Braves had signed him if not the Phils, but I can't get too worked up about passing at that price. It's a big contract with a risky player.

Much more important is what the Phils do going forward. A short (2-year) deal for Pagan seems the best option to me, if you can wait it out and get away with it.

That's actually about right for Upton. He has a low BA but is a legit fielder, is just getting into his real prime and has power. He's like Mike Cameron, sort of, only maybe better. (Mac - there are lots of different kinds of .240 hitters out there. Upton is probably the best kind of .240 hitter you can get. Just like Quintero's like the worst kind.)

noname: why the Fowler hate? Apart from the potential injury stuff, he doesn't look too bad. He's kinda fast, and he actually can hit a bit.

Look at last year enough said.

Andy, re: Fowler

Look up his Home/Away splits.

I guarantee Vic's 2013 ends up closer to his 2011 than his 2012.

Andy's comp is perfect - Mike Cameron, based on the last few years. That makes Upton a hell of a player, and probably worth that 5/$75M given his age and the chance he rediscovers the on-base skills he showed earlier in his career.

Plenty of fish still in the sea, though. No need to lock yourself in the garage with the car running yet.

Is Upton to Bourn a push? HR total last year notwithstanding, I'm not sold on Upton's power. Braves lose a top notch glove in Turner's CF.

Does Upton join the Rollins club of sub .300 OBP lead off guys?

I will say that Upton signing with the Braves instead of the Phillies makes it likely that the Braves are, on the whole, the better team come the start of the season.

Personal preference for CF:

1. short deal for Pagan
2. trade for Fowler (assuming not getting fleeced)
3. short deal for Victorino
.
.
.
.
783. Bourn at the $'s/yrs being kicked around.

@ScottLauber: Hearing #Phillies, too. RT @Ken_Rosenthal Some say #RedSox for NH native Brian Wilson. Don’t rule out #Dodgers

Oh boy.

"I will say that Upton signing with the Braves instead of the Phillies makes it likely that the Braves are, on the whole, the better team come the start of the season."


Jack, you better hope like hell that CJ never catches wind of that post, of you'll be hearing about "the scary, greatest team in baseball" for next year or so...

WP: I mean, it can't be that controversial consdering the Braves were better than the Phillies this past year, right?

If Rube signs The Beard, I may surrender my lifetime Phillies Phan card. I just don't think I can do it.

Aside from the vast unlikeability, what has Wilson done in the last 18 months or so that makes anyone think he won't flame out, anyway?

Dare I say, I might actually rather have Cody Ross?

Jack, not saying I disagree one bit. I think you're right.

Just saying that some will take that and run with it.

Braves/Phillies comp - remember, the Braves are pretty much tapped out financially, and the Phils have plenty left to spend on OF/3B. The winter is young.

Fowler, f*ck no.

HOME
.295/.395/.487/.882
OPS+ 123

AWAY
.248/.331/.367/.698
OPS+ 77

Let this be the last time he gets mentioned as a viable option.

ColonelTom: Ok, but the Braves are tapped out financially *because* they just signed the player the Phillies most wanted to sign to make themselves better.

That's like saying "yeah, the away team might be up 3-0, but the home team hasn't hit yet." Well, yeah, but they got a lot of work to do just to make it up.

Good deal for braves. Not a game changer bit certainly will make the braves a tougher opponent.

SSS alert:

Fowler's career numbers in CBP

.306/.358/.429/.787


Also, I know people say that the Coors split should scare you away but CBP is a hitter's park too and with the crazy cut out in right he could get plenty of triples here.

I will also say this on Fowler. You would be acquiring a guy who is going to be entering his age 27 season and is coming into the prime of his career. His OBP+ has gone up every year since he was in the league and he has a nice OBP that would look good at the top of the order.

How about pagan and Hamilton

Not getting Upton makes me think Amaro will go cheaper in CF and spend bigger on a corner outfielder (Hamilton? Swisher?)

Hamilton would make me sad. Swisher would make me physically ill.

I hope all you guys who didn't want Upton are right. I just have a feeling he is gonna have a monster year now that he signed with the Braves.

Pagan, Youk and Swisher would round out the offense nicely. I have a feeling it will be Hamilton, though.

Keppinger is also a guy I would be inquiring about.

That's cheaper than we thought Upton would go for...hard to see that as a bad move for Atlanta.

5 yr/$75.25M for Upton supposedly. ~$15M per is a big deal on a team with a payroll that has been $90-$95M the past several years.

MG, exactly.

The Braves have basically elected to pay Upton the money they were spending on Chipper plus a couple mil. more. It remains to be seen how much they'll be able to spend on ther pieces they may need going forward.

Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Twinkies Denard Span is also on the market.

Worth kicking the tires, at least.

I don't agree with the folks who see Fowler's success as purely a product of Coors, but I'd be much higher on him if he didn't have such awful stolen base numbers for a dude who's supposedly so fast. The last 2 years he is 24 out of 38. That's pretty bad, especially for a high OBP guy.

Last 3 seasons for Denard Span:

.702 OPS, 95 OPS+

And his defense isn't to the level to make up for that issue. He's solid in CF but not game-changing defensively.

***I don't agree with the folks who see Fowler's success as purely a product of Coors***

As one of the people arguing against him, I'll respond. I don't think he's purely a product of Coors but I don't think he's a 117 OPS+ hitter outside of Coors either.

I think we'd be vastly disappointed by him...especially as he doesn't have a great defensive reputation.

Other particulars on Span that might be of interest: He's owed $11.25 M over the next two years with a $9 M club option for 2015 or a $250K buyout.

If Amaro really wanted Upton, I have a hard time believing he wouldn't have been in red pinstripes especially after Amaro likely got his setup guy for next year at under $2M.

Amaro could have easily beat that contract...makes you wonder who he's actually targeting.

Have an odd feeling that it'll be Hamilton to play LF with a trade for a guy like Fowler to handle CF.

Surprised if Salisbury doesn't get a quote from Amaro regarding the Upton signing where Amaro says 'it is all part of the plan' while doodling the number '32' repeatedly on the legal pad in front of him.

I'm picturing Rube's office much like Russell Crowe's in A Beautiful Mind but instead of hundreds of articles of conspiracy theories with lines drawn, its thousands of photos and articles of Josh Hamilton.

Jack has thought the Braves were better since the 2010 season, so I'm not sure how this changes things in his skewed reality.

In the objective world, Upton replaces Bourn, who was dynamic in a different way, and is better defensively. It certainly gives them more power, but he and Uggla will combine for about 400 Ks next year to go with their 50-60 HRs. And Chipper will be gone, Hudson a year older, etc. Basically, the Braves did a good job filling one hole in their lineup long-term with this move, but I think they are essentially the same caliber team they were last year: certainly formidable, but not at all unbeatable, and even able to be passed on paper depending on how Amaro decides to re-tool the offense. This is a team that was a bullpen implosion/Chipper Jones miracle away from being easily swept by a severely depleted Phils team in September (yet again).

I warmed on Upton more as the months went on, mainly because of his youth and speed. But Atlanta just gave 15 million a year for five years to a guy that had a sub-.300 OBP last year. That is crazy. For once, it wasn't Rube making the overpay. Depending on who 'Plan B' is for CF, for now, I'm sort of glad Wren swooped in to save Amaro from himself.

Hamilton 4yrs, 110million

Williard Preacher -

You forgot this number on you CF preference

1,922: Mini Mart is named the Phils starting CF on Opening Day

Does Amaro make a crazy offer for Bourn behind door #1 or Hamilton on behind door #2.

I am guessing #1.

For once, DPatrone actually might have been right when he said the Phils weren't going to get the starting CF they wanted in FA when Upton signed with the Braves and Bourn with the Nats.

I was also warming to Upton, but not disappointed we didn't get him. I think Hamilton is a bad idea at any realisitc price. I've always liked Pagan's game and as long as it isn't more than 3 years I'm down with it. But something tells me RAJ has something other than free agents up his sleeve to fill OF holes, and I don't just mean Fowler.

***Does Amaro make a crazy offer for Bourn behind door #1 or Hamilton on behind door #2.***

Both.

In all fairness to Jack, against the inevitable strikes against him, the 2012 season produced a Braves team, "scary offense" or not, that was a full 13 wins better than our hometown nine. Since that time, they've lost Chipper Jones and Michael Bourn, and added BJ Upton. While they still have work to do, on paper they're the better team today, unless someone can guarantee a significant win swing resulting from a full season of Howard and Utley in light of the remaining voids to fill.

It's a bit premature to determine who will have the better team on paper when April rolls around until we see what our esteemed GM gets done, but the ball is firmly in Rube's court...

***Does Amaro make a crazy offer for Bourn


Posted by: MG | Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 06:57 PM

That's what I fear.

"1,922: Mini Mart is named the Phils starting CF on Opening Day"

Not only will I turn in my Phillies Phan card, but the second this is announced as official, I beg of you to alert my girlfriend that my body can be found in the garage.

Oh, I take it as given that Rube doesn't want to be one upped and, as such, offers a partial ownership stake to Hamilton and/or Bourn.

That, or he signs Grienke to leave us all scratching our heads.

***That, or he signs Grienke to leave us all scratching our heads.***

That would be the definition of insanity.

I would be fine with short-ish deals for:

Pagan
Vic
Hamilton

Completely against:

Bourn for any price

More info is needed (trades):

Fowler (I know I said "f*ck no" a couple minutes ago, but I didn't take into consideration that the bulk of his bad away splits took place in ATT, Petco, and LA)
Span
Bourjous

Sign Hamilton to handle LF and then bring back Victorino to play CF again.

I was an early proponent of Upton but, amazingly enough, Iceman and clout managed to change my mind -- and once I changed my mind, I wanted no part of him. I'm actually relieved to see Atlanta get him.

I do want Fowler, though, for the reasons TTI states in his 5:59 post. For all the talk about his home-road splits, I just don't recall too many players who put up big numbers in Colorado, left while they were still in their prime, and then stunk it up for their new team. Vinny Castilla was one. But guys like Holliday, Gallaraga, and Pierre all carried their success to their new teams.

Someone please enlighten me on why Amaro should give up a significant package of players to get Dexter Fowler. His speed has led to a 37/21 SB/CS rate the last three seasons (just 12 SB a season for a guy that is supposedly fast). The best you can say about him defensively is that he's average, and that would be basically discounting every defensive metric that says he has been consistently below average. His BABIP last year was near .400, aiding his numbers significantly. And his Home/Road splits are absolutely cavernous- too cavernous for any reasonable person to simply ignore and call it a fluke. And that's not just from last year- it's over his entire career.

I'm honestly wondering what I'm missing here. He seems like the sort of guy that people here make fun of all the time- he's got a lot of tools that make it seem like he should be a great ballplayer, but none of it actually translates to the field.

As a complimentary piece, that isn't going to require an A+ package of players, assuming he isn't THE main offensive addition, I guess it would be fine. Otherwise, I just don't see it. At all.

Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
"Watch out for #phillies to surprise everyone and sign Hamilton,'' said one prominent agent. A scout told me the same thing.

Hamilton is the only FA out there capable of upgrading the middle of our anemic lineup.

Iceman, Ok, here goes:

1. BABIP isn't luck when it's driven by a higher LD percentage, and Fowler's was a career high 27.2% last year. His previous high was only 21.6%.

2. He is a true leadoff hitter, who actually draws walks.

3. His 2012 season didn't come out of nowhere. He was a top 100 prospect for 3 straight years in the minors and, at only 26, he's just entering his prime years.

4. If he performs anywhere close to his 2012 performance, you've got him for 4 years at far less money than you'd have to pay for any of the FA centerfielders.

5. Concerns about park-inflated (or deflated) numbers usually turn out to be overblown. Matt Holliday wasn't supposed to hit well when he left Colorado. Adrian Gonzalez was supposed to be better for Boston than he ever was for San Diego. And so on.

6. If he does prove to be a Coors Field artifact, you can non-tender him and move on. There's no long-term commitment required, as there would be for Vic, Hamilton, Bourn, etc. -- all of whom come with their own bundle of risks.

I agree with MG/NEPP - Ruben could have beat 5/75M easily. So Upton either had a strong preference for Atlanta, or ruben wasn't really prioritizing Upton as some writers have speculated.

***6. If he does prove to be a Coors Field artifact, you can non-tender him and move on.***

Of course, if you just emptied out your farm system for him, that kinda royally blows.

See PENCE, Hunter

Fowler strikes out a bunch for a guy with no power.

Scott Miller ‏@ScottMCBS
With Upton delivered to #Braves (pending phys), prediction is Bourn goes to #Nationals or #Phillies - lots of industry types leaning Nats

Really, someone thinks that the Nats might get Bourn. They've only been saying that publicly for almost 2 seasons now.

Great insight there.

JW: "The Phils are in pretty desperate need of that and can't box themselves in with anymore mega free agent deals."

While true, I'm not sure dealing away their near mlb talent is really that much better of a strategy.

I am fairly convinced that we are looking at a cheap option in center and big money to Josh Hamilton in left field for the next few years.

Iceman: The big advantage to Fowler for me is that he is young and could be a top of the lineup guy for a few years. Yes his defensive metrics point in a direction but the same thing that people point to as bad for his offensive numbers is also bad for his defensive numbers- he plays in Coors Field. That stadium is deep and requires a center fielder to cover a ton of ground as it is huge in the gaps. Look at the dimensions:

Coors Field: Left Center- 390 feet, Center- 415, Right Center- 375

CBP: Left Center- 387 feet, Center- 401, Right Center- 369

So there is less ground to cover to some degree.

As I pointed out in my 5:57 post, people focus on the Coors Field home/road split but as SSS shows- his numbers are very good in CBP in his career. Also, CBP (especially in the summer plays as a pretty good hitters park). I think there will be some drop off but a guy who is entering his prime is a big deal to me. I wouldn't give up A+ prospects for him but I don't think ultimately that is what the Rockies will get for him despite that being their beginning point.

tti: "but as SSS shows- his numbers are very good in CBP in his career"

Why would you disclaim a stat as SSS, but then use it to help prove your point?

BAP- what argument are you trying to make? That all of these individual players are to be judged the same because they played at Coors Field? They are all individual cases that need to be weighed differently.

Pierre was 24 in his last year in COL and was so bad that he put up a 69 OPS+ despite some severe H/R splits. When he went to FLA his career turned a corner and he put up his best two seasons (age 25 and 26), then began a steady decline. I'm not sure what his case has to do with Dexter Fowler except that, like Fowler, his H/R splits were enormous.

Castilla has a slight bump in his numbers at home in his last year at COL, then his numbers jumped off a cliff in Tampa.

The Big Cat was a freak of nature that produced into his 40s. His last year on Colorado, his OPS was .086 better at Coors than on the road. A slight difference, but not much of one. A tOPS difference of 109/91. For comparison, Fowler had more than a .260 difference in OPS at Coors this season.

Matt Holliday saw only a slight dip in his numbers when he went to Oakland, but his H/R splits in Colorado were not egregious in his final season there. A 110/89 tOPS split, and a .105 difference in OPS. His line on the road that year: .308/.405/.486/.892. A force of nature both at home and on the road. It was clear even before the trade that he was not a Coors Field creation.

The same can't be said for Dexter Fowler. Here are his career splits:

Home: .295/.395/.487/.882, tOPS+ 123
Away: .248/.331/.367/.698, tOPS+ 77

And his splits for this year, which is the numbers that the Rockies will use to demand a massive return for him:

Home: .332/.431/.553/.984, tOPS+ 127
Away: .262/.339/.381/.720, tOPS+ 68

Away from Coors, he is borderline impotent. It isn't even a debate. It's a multi-year track record of severe splits. Juan Pierre, Andres Galaraga and Matt Holliday have nothing to do with it, and aren't even remotely the same cases.

That on top of the fact that he isn't very good defensively and is a poor base-stealer, and I'm not sure why he would appeal to anyone.

CBP plays as a HR friendly park but it suppresses 2Bs and 3Bs...due to the small dimensions.

Fowler isnt a HR hitter, he's a guy that hits good number of doubles and triples.

I don't mind Fowler at the right price. Worely plus a C grade prospect is probably as high as I'd go.

BAP- I just addressed the H/R split argument, but there is more risk than you're letting on. You may be able to just 'non-tender him and move on,' but in order to acquire him you're going to have to part with a Pence-like package of players that he is most certainly NOT worth.

I can see the argument that he draws walls and can bat leadoff, but as far as I can tell that's basically the only thing he's got working in his favor.

TTI- I like his youth, and I like that he could bat lead-off. Like I said earlier, if he could be gotten as a complimentary move to a big offensive addition (Hamilton) for a modest package of players, I'd probably be all for it. But Colorado is going to be want to blown away in order to part with him, and that would leave our system basically barren- along with probably giving up a piece or two from the major league team. With plenty of CF options still out there, I just don't see how it's worth it, or how it's the best move for the team.

If the Phils landed Hamilton to man RF then I'd be fine with a platoon of Mayberry/Shierholtz & Nix in CF with Brown & Ruf in LF and Youk then at 3rd.

Lineup Vs. Lefties
1. Rollins
2. Utley
3. Hamilton
4. Youk
5. Howard
6. Chooch
7. Ruf
8. Mayberry

Lineup vs. Righties
1. Rollins
2. Utley
3. Hamilton
4. Howard
5. Youk
6. Chooch
7. Brown
8. Shierholtz

That would be fine, right?

2 YR/$18M for Youk
4 YR/$108M for Hamilton

Can Hamilton even play RF?

He's only rarely played it in the Majors and not regularly since 2009.

"Why would you disclaim a stat as SSS, but then use it to help prove your point?"

___________________________________________

lorecore: I am saying that yes I realize his numbers are limited 15 of 49 I believe with 53 total plate appearances in CBP but he does not have bad numbers there so far in his career.

I disclaimed the stat because I knew people would immediately say "Oh SSS." Just saying I recognize the latter but want to point out the former.

Iceman: I am operating under the assumption Fowler would come for something like Worley or Kendrick and 2 C grade prospects. And I am sure teh Rockies will angle for more. If they do- tell them thanks but no thanks.

Hamilton has a strong arm. Very talented athlete. Gotta think he could handle RF.

If he can, that'd be excellent for us.

LF is far easier to fill than RF.

I wouldn't take a chance on Fowler. The Phillies are in big time "win now" mode. The guy they get this year has to have a good element of certainty about them. A Pagan, for example, may not have be as cost effective or have the same ceiling or long term prospects as a Fowler, for example, but the Phils can't afford to take a risk on a player at a premium position that has a chance to completely flop.

Iceman: Well, I would not be in favor of giving up a Pence-like package of prospects for Fowler. I don't even think the Phillies have that kind of package to offer. But I would certainly be willing to give up a couple of our better prospects, or even guys like Worley or Dom.

If losing Upton means getting Bourn ,should have given Upton more.See me next year: BOURN 's best years are behind him.
If Hamilton is signed,Ruf may well be in a trade for a cf and/or 3b.

Screw that...the smarter play would be to platoon Hamilton and Ruf.

I will be pissed if the Phils sign Bourn. Unless it was for a 2 YR/$16M deal...which would never happen.

I know that clout isn't one to play the finanacials game since it's not his money, but even he would have to admit that if Rube signed Bourn to what is being speculated it will take to sign him (primarily the years involved in an overpay), it will be a bad, bad move by Rube.

I would trust Stark more than some anonymous sources that Crasnick has, and Stark says they aren't in on Hamilton. Now, it's always possible they swoop in and nab him if his demands come down due to the market not willing to meet his ridiculous asking price. But I lean towards trusting Stark here.

At this point, I almost want them to get Hamilton just to see Crashburn Alley's (specifically that douche Baumann's) head completely implode.

I'm not sure anyone knows what Amaro's plan B is. I bet we won't have to wait long to find out, though.

"Does Major League Baseball need to refine their drug policy for prescription substances like Adderall, which other Phillies take and continue to take?"

First of all, Chooch screwed up. He shouldn't have broken the rule. That said, my answer to that question from the header is: absolutely. My first inclination is to remove the TUE for substances that have performance-enhancing potential. It's unfair that Chooch is prohibited from availing himself of the same boost that his batterymate Cliff Lee used to turn his career around (not to mention make millions). I'm skeptical that doctors can accurately distinguish "need" from "enhancement." I'd also guess that those less-than-fluent in English have a lower likelihood of convincing the TUE doctors that they "need" it. There are a million problems with the current system, those are just a few. I'm open to other ideas, but I'd be willing to close MLB to the ADD-medicated to preserve the competitive balance. It would probably also have a positive effect on college and high school players, as they'd know that if they want to get to the Show, they have to do it without amphetamines.

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