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Saturday, January 26, 2013


Well good for the Marlins........

They'll sign the Youngs next season

Not the first time the words 'Marlins' and ' suck' were used in conjunction one with each other.

Yeah, that reads much better without the word 'one.'

Well worth a quick read and timely for Phils fans.

converted reliever Lendy Castillo DFA'd by Cubs. They forced him into the majors straight from Lakewood because he was a Rule V where he obviously struggled. His first two seasons of pitching with the Phils were pretty promising, wouldn't mind picking him back up.

Qualls will end up saving 40 games for the FIsh this year and be an AS selection.

Bonehead: "Gillick also seemed to be able to keep the farm system fairly intact by his 'Gillick Rule', which reads, "In every trade, always get the other guy to throw in a minor leaguer."

That's not the 'Gillick Rule.' That's the 'C.J. Henry' Rule.

Ah yes, C.J. Henry. I know where you're going with that.

Gillick did have his share of clunkers. The man wasn't perfect. But he was a net positive. And he was better than Rube is.

The Marlins' said Qualls is a low risk/high reward kind of guy.

Qualls has reportedly been working out all winter and is in the best shape of his life.

While I'm sure the Phils will do fine vs the Fish this season, i fully expect Pierre to score on a hit-and-run bloop from Polanco before Qualls shuts the door for the save at least once.

If you have twitter, take a look @darrenrovell last picture. 1985 SI cover of Mike Schmidt as the highest paid player in baseball, $2.13M

Sophist: Thanks for the link to the BP article. Are you a subscriber that can get the full article on Amaro?

The way Gillick's mistakes- and there were some huge ones- are glossed over because of one championship is really something else. And some of his mistakes aren't going to go down as 'mistakes' (the trade for Lidge) because of some extreme good fortunate. I mean, should he get credit for that fluke season that Lidge had? I don't know. You could make an argument either way.

It's tough to imagine Amaro getting the same type of leeway if the players hadn't folded in 2010/2011 and walked away with a title. There's something to be said for going out on top, I guess.

It's also funny how Gillick gets credit for the entire '08 team. He certainly added some nice pieces, but he wasn't the guy that oversaw the drafting/acquisitions of a majority of the most important players on that team. True, he managed to scrape up Blanton and Moyer, and in the playoffs they might as well have been Pedro/Schilling. I guess you have to give him credit for that. But he was knee-deep in good fortune more than anything.

Phinally a good day for Philly sports...Flyers win big; Sixers secure their best win so far this season; Villanova with a huge upset; and the Gnats are ever-so-slightly a worse team (see the subject of this post).

Oops - The Marlins are the team that got worse today.

Iceman: Gillick has been "knee deep in good fortune" at every stop in his long and accomplished career. Soeither he is a tremendous example of the saying, better lucky than good, or perhaps the sample size on his career is large enough that we can determine that Gillick made his own luck and is one of the best GMs of the last 30 years.

I hope that Qualls last long enough with the Fish to pitch in some Phillies games and give up a ton of runs. I guess being with the Fish proves that a turd will sink to its lowest level.

Iceman: Gillick merely a product of good fortune? Lidge a fluke?

Gillick is a hall of famer and Brad Lidge had one of the most unhittable pitches on the planet.

I know you like to defend the current state of your favorite baseball team, but is taking cheap shots at their successful past really make you feel better?

Good News - The Phils will get to face Chad Qualls

Bad News - So does the rest of the NL East

I thought Gillick was more lucky than good during his tenure here.

The Lidge trade & Werth signings were great moves. Moyer turned out to be a real bargain.

Gillick also made the worst trade of the past 25 years (1 win by Garcia for Floyd and G. Gonzalez) and signed arguably the worst FA in franchise history (Eaton).

Let's also not forget the Abreu/Lidle trade where he not zero value in return and paid a pair amount of cash in order to do so. Gillick also got lucky he wasn't able to trade Burrell twice for table scraps and pay a decent chunk of his salary in the process repeating the Abreu trade disaster (getting zero in return for an asset and having to pay a lot of cash in order to do so.

lorecore- what the hell are you talking about? Judging Gillick has nothing to do with the current state of the team. It's judging him for what he was and what he did in the time he was here. It has nothing to do with 'making me feel better,' whatever the hell that means.

The team won a championship during his tenure. I'm not sure what could make me 'feel better' than that. If you take offense to an objective analysis of what he did while he was here, I apologize. Only a complete idiot would claim that he didn't get really lucky with a lot of his moves.

Your reaction is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The guy is untouchable despite having a very mixed record here (if you look at his individual moves) and had a large part of the championship team that he's given full credit for already in place when he stepped into the GM chair. Of course, a lot of what GMs are judged on is completely based on good fortune. That doesn't mean that's the right way to judge them, of course, but much like with managers (Joe Torre, for example), if you're behind the wheel for a title or two, it doesn't matter how or why it happened. You're given full credit and defended to the death by fans who don't care to look at circumstances objectively.

"That's not the 'Gillick Rule.' That's the 'C.J. Henry' Rule."

No, Sir, it is not.

It's the Freddy Garcia Rule.

He will pitch great against the Phils.

As jbird stated, gillick has been lucky every place he's went. After winning rings 15years apart and taking other teams to the playoffs in between, isn't it time to credit him for the results and not luck?

I interpreted your post as pitying Ruben since he's not as 'lucky'. I feel no such way.

Conway -- the best BP writers moved on to other outlets or MLB jobs. I stopped subscribing awhile ago.

The Phils need not worry about the fish they already have a lock on 3rd place.

Gillick, himself, when being interviewed in the locker room after the 2008 WS win, specifically gave credit to Ed Wade for bringing in some of the pieces of that championship team.

So, in Gillick's "defense" he didn't take all the credit.

Every GM has his hits adn misses. Gillick was no different.

So, if the BL consensus us that the playoffs are a crapshoot, then all a GM can do is build a team to make the playoffs and hope they win short series.

Gillick elevated four different franchises. He obviously possesses a certain level of skill.
He also seems to have a good feel for knowing when its time to leave.

@akennphil4_13: Congrats to our family friend Chad Durbin, signed with the Phillies!! Time to get a 2nd World Series ring with them! ⚾

Has since been deleted. Hmm.

lorecore- then you either misinterpreted or I didn't make it clear enough- my feelings on Gillick have nothing to do with Rube. It is true that if the players had managed to not blow it in 2010/2011, he'd be viewed differently. I'm not sure how that can be argued. But he was handed a much more complete team than Gillick was, and didn't have to construct much of a team in his first 3 years as GM. His job was to pick out the expensive FA he wanted to sign as ownership kept adding payroll. You can hardly call him unlucky.

It's not contradictory to say both that Pat Gillick got somewhat "lucky" here, while also saying that he is far, far above Ruben Amaro as a GM.

In fact, that's basically what I would say about it.

Jack, based on current track records that's an accurate statement.

"Gillick also got lucky he wasn't able to trade Burrell twice for table scraps and pay a decent chunk of his salary in the process"

Honest question- did I completely miss this part of history? When did this happen?

Iceman, Burrell had a FNTC and it was reported that he nixed a couple of trades that Gillick had worked out.

rolo- oh yeah, the infamous FNTC. Forgot about that.

I was in school at the time and I guess I just completely missed those would-be trades. Thank goodness it didn't happen. Burrell was one of my all-time 'love him/hate him' athletes, but they wouldn't have won a title without him.

What could RAJ have done with a staff of Hamels, Floyd, Gonzales, Moyer, Myers to start his tenure? Always viewed the Abreau deal as an addition by subtraction but it sure could have been a bigger addition had Gillick made a better deal. Austin Jackson was in the Yanks farm system at the time and would have made a nice "Gillick rule" lesson for RAJ to see. Sorry Gillick gets a nice thank you from me for 2008 as does Wade but Gillick deserves no more accolades for his time in Philadelphia anymore than Wade does.

"Gillick deserves no more accolades for his time in Philadelphia anymore than Wade does"

Ed Wade was the GM for 8 years and did not make the playoffs once. I understand that the core of the team was drafted during his tenure, but its not like he didn't benefit from them himself. Rollins Utley Burrell, even a ROY year form Howard, were all giving Wade's teams production - so why couldn't he get a team into the postseason if he's so worthy of praise?

Wade was the GM when some very good talent was drafted. But don't forget that he tried to trade Howard for a never was pitcher. And he tried to give Victorino back to the Dodgers at a financial loss. And all those midseason, awful relievers. Yuck.

Gillick did owe a lot of his success here to Wade. But let's not go overboard in praise of Wade. In fact, Arbuckle was in charge of a lot of those drafts that netted the talent, and from what at least one scout who used to post on said at the time, Wade had very little to do with the draft as GM. Also, that scout was the one who said what a coup it was to get Gio at the time he was obtained. Turns out he was right on the money with that one. Gillick certainly did mess that trade up almost beyond comprehension.

Nobody is always right on those things. But Gillick got just enough right to win a championship. I wonder what would have happened had he not jumped ship almost immediately.

Wade was abysmally bad when it came to formulating deals involving major league talent. The toughest part of a GMs job is to figure out/weigh the difference between what you're trading away/trading for in MLB talent, and the prospects you're being offered/willing to offer in return. A lot of the deals have ramifications for years to come, and can potentially help/hurt your team for years. It's impossible to be right every time. Outside of the Pence trade, Wade's track record with this at both his stops in the majors was very poor. It's why he was fired twice.

But whether Wade had a big hand in drafting the core of this team, or if some scout who used to write on is to be believed (seriously?), the point is that a GMs reputation is almost never as black-and-white as fans make it out to be. Gillick made some God awful decisions that really hurt the team- just not enough to offset the unbelievable amount of good decisions that led to the team's championship in '08. And I don't think it's tough to figure out why he bailed when he did- using the formula he did that year, it would have been almost impossible to expect the chips to fall so perfectly into place again.

The guy is a HOFer when you put his entire career in perspective. No doubt about it. But when you evaluate his short time here, he made some very good and very bad decisions, and was very fortunate with a lot of the lottery tickets he managed to hit on in 2007-2008. It isn't all black and white. Just like it's not all black and white with Wade or Rube- though if Ruben builds a team during this transition period in the image of players he is describing in the media, in a year or two, it will be impossible to defend him.

Gillick specifically requested final say on the draft, which is something Wade never had.

I think with Amaro the gist of the problem is this: I don't think we have fully seen yet the way he would build a team. I think we can see what he values (pitching) and the paradigm of thinking from which he would operate (more old style than SABR star based).

What we have seen from him is setting up the pitching staff he coveted, and we have seen him tinker with the offense. I do have some respect for him in that there are moves he could've made but they are moves that may have only paid short term dividends. I know some on here look at things as either "Win now or the window closes." I don't see it that way. I think what makes the window close is cashing your chips in to win now. I don't know that Amaro has made many- if any- moves to increase the window but I don't know what he could've done to do so. Swisher maybe would've done that but I can understand the reluctance to give a 32 year old a 5 year deal. I can understand the reluctance to give a 28 year old in BJ Upton, who has holes throughout his game, a 5 year deal.

But what we have seen is a GM who is trying to tinker with his roster and so far has not succeeded. And really, a lot of GM's suck at that. Ed Wade brought in a ton of talent but it was almost all through the draft. His major league tinkering trades sucked. Gillick was a better tinkerer.

Maybe it is the optimist in me, but I want to believe that should Amaro need to rebuild the team he would do it in a way that gets us talent with a reliance on both old and new metrics of measuring achievement. Again- there is no one right way to build a team. The problem with maybe letting Amaro build the team is if his ideas are bad, we are in for some doldrums.

Iceman - Really? Yes, really. There was a guy who was a scout for another organization, but a Phillies fan from childhood, who used to post over there. And he was pretty good at knowing the prospects around baseball. A couple of the other posters knew him and ran into him around the minors as he was doing his job.

I didn't know him, but he was spot on in a lot of his evaluations and they weren't Clout-style copy and past from scouting guides.

Of course, you can choose to believe it or not. But Wade apparently had little say over the draft during his time with the Phillies. He seems to have been mostly responsible for major league matters.

When Wade got credit for drafting well, the guy used to come on the board and point out over and over that Wade had almost nothing to do with it.

As a previous poster noted, Gillick got control of the draft when he was hired. Wade, apparently, never did. So, I have to give the scout/poster credit in retrospect. Seems he knew what he was talking about.

Gillick's lottery picks paid off? Well, that's the nature of low risk/high reward moves. Rube studied at the feet of both Wade and Gillick. But he seems to have gotten the high reward part wrong. He seems more into low risk/low ceiling talent. I hope he proves me wrong going forward, but I'm not sure what in his resume would point toward that.

I certainly wish we had kept Gio Gonzalez, but its important to consider that he has been traded 6 times already (I believe) in his very young career. Gillick wasn't the only GM to underestimate gio's ability to reach his potential.

ak- I'm highly skeptical of Internet 'sources,' but I fully concede that I could be wrong on this. I'm just not swayed by 'this guy on told me _____."

Like I said, I was in school for most of the Wade era and wasn't intimately familiar with what exactly he had his hands in, and what he had no say over. I find it hard to believe that a GM would be powerless over the draft, but it's entirely possible I guess. And if that's true, he was worth less of a damn than most people made him out to be, because what he did with major league talent was horrifyingly bad (I forget if it was Wade or Gillick that had the deal in place of Howard-for-Loney, but I know he tried to trade him for Kip Wells, and that was just the tip of the iceberg).

The Moronocracy has a very powerful meme and facts are irrelevant. The meme goes like this: Gillick was the best GM ever, Ed Wade totally sucked and Amaro sucks nearly as bad.

Simple formula for the simple minded. expressed in various ways every day.

"Maybe it is the optimist in me, but I want to believe that should Amaro need to rebuild the team he would do it in a way that gets us talent with a reliance on both old and new metrics of measuring achievement."

What have you seen from Amaro to suggest that he even knows what the new metrics are, much less that he plans to use them when rebuilding the team?

If Amaro's M.O. was a mix of old and new metrics, he'd get a lot less crap around here. His M.O. is old metrics only.

Clout: if you had to rank gillick and wade's career as GM on a scale of 1-10, what would they be?

Off the top of my head, I'd go gillick 9 and wade 3

lorecore- I don't know about clout, but I'm not referencing Gillick's career as a whole. It speaks for itself. But personally, for the sake pf this discussion, I could give a damn what he did anywhere else. I only care about what he did for the Phils during his tenure here.

There isn't an argument against him being a HOF executive. I think there is definitely an argument against him being a '9' out of 10 while he was in Philly.

DH: Firstly, I said it is the optimist in me. So that isn't necessarily based in anything but hope.

Secondly, Amaro would get crap regardless of what he did.

Thirdly, I would venture he knows what the new metrics are, but that he doesn't put a ton of stock in them. He would be in the majority of GM's if he thought that way to.

It's pretty simplistic to say Wade "sucked" and Gillick was a genius. I don't think anyone actually takes that view. I think it goes more like this: Wade mostly sucked and Gillick was good with some incredible luck thrown in.

Neither was perfect. But Wade has a two team track record of sucking now and Gillick has a multiteam record of being good at his job for the most part. It's important to keep pointing out though, that Wade seriously bitchslapped Amaro in the Pence trade. It may be the most lopsided trade of his career when all is said and done. Santana as the player to be named later still makes my teeth hurt.

Most GMs don't do a ton with the draft. They sign off on the picks, especially the very high ones, but in most organizations the scouting director "runs" the draft.

Arbuckle did most of the work in the draft. Wade, of course, should get credit like all bosses do for putting good people in the right positions underneath him.

It's really difficult to compare Wade, Gillick. Amaro...not so much.

Wade took a team with a modest budget and built a core of talent from within. He brought Thome to town, which was the transitional point to the modern era of Philadelphia baseball.

Gillick took a core that his predecessor had built and added to it, concluding with a championship.

Amaro was given a championship ballclub and a budget that most General Managers could only dream of. He lured top talent to Philadelphia, but a team that was even better in 2009 (minus Lidge) was beaten. Throughout the next two seasons, he maxed out his budget and the value of his prospects to add to the club, growing reckless at the point of the Hunter Pence trade.

Ruben Amaro hit the lottery when he was given the job of G.M., and like many lottery winners, he spent recklessly and without enough attention to a plan for the future.

The difference between guys like John Schuerholz/Pat Gillick vs guys like Ruben Amaro/Omar Minaya is in this attention to the longterm good. Every GM makes bonehead trades that come back to haunt them, and most have a few lucky breaks, but not all of them max out the bank in terms of budget (yes, they really have one, clout) and tradable talent. The "win now" mentality would be better described as "lose later". Sadly, the "later" tends to last much longer than the "now"...and the "win" part is far from a guarantee.

Iceman: if gillicks moves were lottery tickets, fluky seasons, and good fortune. What exactly would you call drafting Utley Howard etc., science?

Will - Gillick was focused on the long-term good? He has done everything but that in his career.

If you look at his tenures in Toronto, Baltimore, and Seattle, he generally an aging team with its share of bad contracts while generally trading away a ton of prospects/younger players.

After his 3-year stints in Baltimore and Seattle, Gillick left disasters with almost no younger talent at the MLB level, a bunch of crummy contracts, and franchises almost completely devoid of young talent & any kind of prospects.

lorecore- well, as far as the draft goes, I fear I'm wading deeper into the pool than I'm reasonably comfortable. I admittedly don't know a ton about how scouting works or who makes the calls on players. What Jack just said about the GM not having a big role in it was news to me.

But I know enough about it, or can reasonably infer enough, to know that you have to be doing something right to build a core of young talent like the Phillies did under Wade/Arbuckle. I hardly think it happened accidentally. Teams like the Braves don't consistently draft well because they're lucky. It's not necessarily a science, but skill is involved.

On the flip side, it takes quite a leap of faith to believe that, for instance, picking up JC Romero out of the dumpster- after he had given up 213 base runners in his previous 125 IP spanning 2+ seasons- and parlaying him into a shutdown reliever for a year and a half (with a BABIP of .235 for PHI in '07/'08 vs. .295 for his career- in other words, the only year and a half he was consistently an elite, or even an above average relief pitcher), is incredibly fortunate timing, at best. I mean, if you think he saw something in Romero's p*ss poor 2005/2006 campaigns to ignore the nearly 2.00 WHIP he put up in Boston before they cut him in 2007, and knew he'd be one of the top 5 reasons they won the title in 2008, then you could probably be talked into believing anything.

Gillick's 2006-07 offseason:

Signed Barajas
Signed Eaton
Signed Helms
Signed A. Nunez
Signed Werth
Signed Alfonseca
Signed Dobbs (minor league deal)
Traded for Garcia

That's pretty much an unmitigated disaster of an offseason and it included Gillick trying to move Burrell that entire offseason in what
was largely a salary dump.

It's verboten in Philly but the '07 Phils largely won in spite of what Gillick did and not because of it.

I forgot about that Eaton deal. That's good stuff. Although to your general point MG, I think getting Werth- who was an integral part of the team from '08-'10- righted a lot of the wrongs of that off-season.

People act like great pitching grows on trees and anyone could've gone out and gotten pitchers like Lee/Halladay long-term. I present to you Garcia and Eaton- acquired to be front-line starters- as the flip side of that argument. Apparently Gillick could figure that Romero & Durbin would all of a sudden become lights out relievers, but he couldn't tell that Garcia was damaged goods, or that Eaton was a bum.

Iceman - In the '07 offseason, Gillick actually made less moves and his only real signing of any substance were Jenkins and Feliz.

Also included Taguchi, Durbin, and Benson on a minor league deal.

Also resigned Werth and Dobbs so yeah I would say the '07 offseason was notably better just because with the exception of Jenkins who was a bust Gillick didn't any a bunch of mistakes during the '07 season.

Gillick's acquisitons were overwhelmingly negative WAR in the '06-'07 offseason.

'07 offseason was simply more of a success because Gillick didn't make a series of clear mistakes like he did '06. It wasn't like he hit any home runs on players he acquired though either.

Feliz was a slight upgrade at 3B but that was only because the 3b trio in '07 was so terrible. Durbin had a very solid '08 season although he did really fall off later in the 2nd half and wasn't a big factor in the postseason.

Iceman - Garcia was the worst including the lie on the record that Gillick told where he insisted the Phils' medical staff had performed their own physical exam on Garcia.

Turned out not to be true at all and they relied only upon the physical exam that the White Sox staff did.

15 days.......

I would argue that drafting a strike out prone slugger in the 5th round turning into an MVP is about 1000x more rare than a volatile MLB reliever having a good stretch. That basically happens once a year for every team in the league.

Mg: Rowand and werth put up about 8 bWAR in 2007. I am not bothering looking at the rest of the crappy players WAR, but I guarantee its nowhere near -8.

Chad D >>> Chad Q

Durbin is a nice pick-up to soak up some middle innings in the event that every one of the young relievers craps the bed like they did last year.

Pretty clearly has some declining numbers, but he was very good in NL East last year.

"I would argue that drafting a strike out prone slugger in the 5th round turning into an MVP is about 1000x more rare..."

lore, how many 5th Round draft picks have won MVP awards?

I'd argue it's even rarer than 1000x.

Durbin redux.

Durbin in. Who goes?

Durbin is a move I can actually get behind. Using some of the payroll space on improving the bullpen and making it deeper has been suggested by many, and for good reason. A lefty would've been ideal, but Durbin is solid and you have a pretty good idea of what he'll provide.

When you throw in the non-roster invitees (Juan Cruz et al), there will be a very interesting competition for three bullpen spots.

r00b reaches out w/ a desperate hand, grasps at straws.

Rolo: "So, if the BL consensus us that the playoffs are a crapshoot, then all a GM can do is build a team to make the playoffs and hope they win short series."

I think that's the way the GM needs to think about it. That's why my opinion was that Amaro shouldn't have traded for Pence, considering the marginal benefit was minimal at best.

So, if the BL consensus us that the playoffs are a crapshoot, then all a GM can do is build a team to make the playoffs and hope they win short series.

Of course r00b hasn't done that, but it's a nice theory nonetheless.

I think that's the way the GM needs to think about it. That's why my opinion was that Amaro shouldn't have traded for Pence, considering the marginal benefit was minimal at best.

Posted by: BeantownPhilliesFan | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Exactly correct. The Phillies were making the playoffs without Pence, and were extremely likely to do so as the top seed.

I'm not sure if any of you guys listened to this week's Baseball Today podcast, but it had a discussion on the Young signing and Amaro's lack of desire to look at statistical analysis:

The BL consensus is not that the playoffs are a crapshoot. There are plenty of posters who don't believe the theory and fight it tooth and nail.

Durbin? Really?

Redburb: I'll correct myself. The sample size of a seven-game series is too small, leading to tremendous volatility in projections and predictions. Thus, the added-certainty or marginal value of adding a descent player to an already good-team is minimal at best. Using this logic, many doubted as to whether Amaro should send two of his best hitting prospects as well as arguably his best pitching prospect for Hunter Pence.

Not to defend the Pence debacle, but I think people are really forgetting how much griping/concern there was over the offense in the first half of 2011, including here on BL. Plenty of people correctly noted at the time that the price was too steep, but unless my memory is really faulty, the consensus was definitely that an offensive upgrade was actively necessary at that point. That doesn't change anything about the objective wisdom of the trade, but it's important to add a little context to the hindsight.

RedBurb, and we KNOW who those posters are.

(Paging DPat....paging DPat...)

I assume everyone can agree that Chad Durbin is basically the definition of a fungible right-handed middle reliever?

Beantown - I agree with you wholeheartedly. Just pointing out that every offseason since 2009 there has been long, drawn out arguments on this site about whether or not the playoffs are a crapshoot. It's a really hard concept for some to grasp.

Redburb - your point is well-taken. I've only recently discovered this site as I've been in Boston since 2003 (but grew up in the Philly area), so my ignorance caused the confusion.

Mike Stutes career: 8.4 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9

Chad Durbin last five seasons (since moving to the bullpen): 7.5 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9

fumphis, I was adamant on the day of the trade, that it was completely and utterly unnecessary. The offense in 2011 going into late July was about League average, and, as I harped on far too often during that season, had been a top 3 offense in the Nl from the time Utley return on May 23rd.

While an offensive upgrade is always welcomed on any team, its cost and its necessity were the sticking points.

The team was going as far as its pitching was taking them that year, and lest we forget, they spotted their big offseason acquisition that year, Cliff Lee, a 4-0 lead in game 2, a lead which he relinquished 5 innings later.


and then competition for the final 3 spots from


In short, they're going to have 5 guys at AAA who have MLB experience, which should help.

But will they be ablemto get anyone out...?

Stutes' numbers are skewed from a hot start he got in 2011 and they ignore the fact that he had a major shoulder injury that has kept him out for most of the last year.

But yeah.

I really hope Durbin isn't guaranteed a spot in the bullpen.

It's one thing to bring a bunch of guys in and compete for jobs. That's the right approach. But guaranteeing jobs to guys like Durbin is exactly the wrong approach.

Stutes has 67 major league innings. The whole thing is pretty much "skewed" at this point.

Fat, I definitely agree and it's to your credit that you called it at the time. It's just easy to forget that even while winning 97 games in '10 and 102 in '11, there was a *lot* of fan heartburn about the offense, to the extent that a deadline acquisition in 2011 seemed like a "they'd better!" kind of move. Again, that doesn't bear on whether the trade itself was justified, since it obviously wasn't, but it was a real issue and I'm sure it was weighing on Ruben from a PR perspective at the time.

Yeah, the point is that the only thing Durbin has "proven" is that he is mediocre, and you can find younger guys with the chance to be better than mediocre who have the same skills. It just doesn't make any sense to guarantee Durbin a job over other guys when he isn't any better than those other guys. The only thing he is is older.

But hey, Amaro apparently believes you can't contribute to this team until you've hit age 35, so, good for Durbin.

Jack, I agree that the approach isn't optimal, but let's look at the contract terms first.

Frankly, if he's not making too muc money and he's mot getting batters out, he can be DFA'd.

I understand the 40-man roster is now @ 41. So a move will have to be made. I can't help but wonder is Amaro is accumulating arms to make another deal. Pure speculation.

Crasnick reproting deal is $1.1MM and 350K in incentives.

If he turns into chad Qualls 2012 he'll get moved or released.

Awwww, c'mon DPat, what does you source tell you?

fumphis - I agree that the PR could have affected Amaro's thinking-process; however, my argument would be that the GM's job is to make the tough choices and not concede to popular sentiment.

What stings me more now about the Pence trade is the opportunity cost of using those prospects. Although not completely certain, I think Arizona would have accepted a deal for Upton centered on Singleton, Santana, and Cosart.

I'd imagine he has the inside track on a BP job given the salary guarantee but if he completely bombs early on, I'd imagine they'll cut their losses.

fumphis - There was also the fact that the manager of that 2011 team was publically lobbying for a RH power bat. He mentioned it several times before the Phillies acquired Pence.

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