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Saturday, January 26, 2013

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rolo: Once again, it's not about the money. Same thing with Delmon Young. It's about the opportunity cost. He got a guaranteed MLB deal with an option for 2014. He's going to be given a slot in the bullpen to open the season. You know that.

Sure, if he's terrible for three straight months, they'll probably DFA him. But that means you've sacrificed three months of bad pitching, and for what?

It's not as bad as the Delmon deal, because at least Durbin has the upside of being average. But what's the point? A guaranteed contract for a guy who is no different from a whole bunch of guys you already have competing for the jobs. I just don't understand why. It's an obsession with "proven veterans" that is just entirely misplaced.

Rolo~ Not a thing. Hven't spoken with him. There's really not much to talk about.

"I can't help but wonder is Amaro is accumulating arms to make another deal."

I was thinking the same thing; a right handed reliever on the roster may be part of an upcoming trade. The question is, a trade for what? Surely they're not still in on Soriano, are they?

Jack, I don't disagree, I was just making the point that it's not so much money that they can't rectify the situation if it turns bad.

Still, Durbin had a decent 3 years in Philly, and had a decent year with Atlanta in 2012, almost all of which woul dbe preferable to the dreck the bullpen produced in the first half of last season.

Pull the trigger Ruben. GM'ing is obviously a crapshoot and it's your time to be lucky.

Per Ken_Rosenthal:

Phillies announce signing of free-agent IF Yuniesky Betancourt to minor-league contract with invitation to ST

"almost all of which woul dbe preferable to the dreck the bullpen produced in the first half of last season."

Yes, and almost all of which would be less preferable to the sterling performance that same bullpen produced in the second half of the season.

Of course the first half of last season was a terrible performance by the bullpen. But if that's your baseline, *anything* will be better--including just using those same relievers. For a potentially relevant example, see the second half of last season.

Yuni Betancourt? Holy crap. It's official. Rube is a troll.

Yuni Betancourt AND Delmon Young.

Is there something below dumpster diving?

Landfill looting?

Jack, for some reason you think I am disagreeing with you. I'm not.

Once again, it;s not tha tmuch money that they can't release him, or, as they did with Qualls, trade him for some dudes or cash considerations.

Betancourt is the only player they could have possibly found with a *worse* walk rate than Delmon Young.

Betancourt has walked in 3.3% of his plate appearances as a major-leaguer. If I was signed to a major-league team, went up to the plate and never swung the bat, I could probably luck into more walks than that.

rolo: If you agree with me, then stop bringing up the money. As with Delmon Young, the money is completely irrelevant.

He is not good, but FWIW, Betancourt>Mini-Mart.

But then again, anyone>MM...

Yuniesky Betancourt couldn't hold Steve Jeltz' jockstrap. Remember when it was the OTHER teams who settled for crumbs at the banquet of free agency? Almost every signing is mediocre. It's as if RAJ sits around and says: "I don't want the best player at a given position. I can't justify getting the worst player. Give me the guy in the middle.. Yeah the average one."

Sil: Actually, last year Mini-Mart put up -0.5 WAR in 45 games. Betancourt produced -0.8 WAR in 57 games.

I think Betancourt is a better baseball player than Mini-Mart. But the fact that you can even legitimately compare them kind of says it all.

Fake to third, throw to first is now a balk. Not sure how I feel about that. I enjoyed Scott & Larry's banter around that goofy move whenever it happened. I eagerly await the first time they cover the new rule on the mic this season.

Since the same people are whining about every single MiLB deal and every FA the team has tossed a minimal contract to, maybe those posters could run through a couple guys they'd actually like the team to acquire for about $1m or less.

oogie, Betancourt is much closer to "worst" then "average".

By the by, of the bottom 20 players in terms of WAR last year, the Phillies currently have 5 of them:

1. Joe Mather (-1.5)
4. Michael Young (-1.4)
13. Ryan Howard (-1.0)
14. Yuniesky Betancourt (-0.8)
19. Delmon Young (-0.7)

The guy they released to make room for Michael Young, was 20th on the list was Ty Wigginton (-0.7). We also traded away Wilson Valdez last year, who came in at 10 (-1.1).

Jack: I liken the MM-Betancourt comparison to being the less smelly turd. Enjoy your lunch everyone.

Fake3BThrow1B is a balk. Yea. Next step: let's not let the pitcher step off the rubber without a throw. If you want to stall, you have to take a little risk.
And make LHP actually step towards 1B when throwing over. I'd even go for a chalk line on the pitcher's mound.
And if a batter was allowed 1 step out only per PA, I'd like that too.

Jack, the money is relevant in this sense:

You brought up the fact that it's "A guaranteed contract for a guy who is no different from a whole bunch of guys you already have competing for the jobs."

True dat, but it's not a Mike Adams sized contract, and Durbin does provide some depth.

Besides, what difference does it make if the money is guaranteed or not? If it's not that much money (it's not) and the Phillies have shown the willingness to eat money to move or release players (they have - see: Thome, Jim; Jenkins, Geoff; Eaton, Adam) then the fact that the contract is guaranteed is irrelevant.

Durbin provides depth, and relatively low cost - and little opportunity cost. They stuck with Qualls as long as they did because of all the injuries last season (Contreras, Stutes). With all the young live arms they have waiting in the wings, I don't think they'll give Durbin wuite as much rope.

They cannot afford to, and they know it.

There's nothing wrong with this deal by itself. The team could do a lot worse than Durbin as the worst arm in the pen, and probably would do worse if they'd have given the spot to a fourth young reliever that has proven nothing.

Here's the problem, to me, and it's entirely related to money: Durbin is making $1.1 million. Delmon Young was signed for $750,000. As long as Young stays away from the hotel breakfast buffets, if he's on the roster all year he'll be paid $1.35 million. So you're paying these two players, at minimum, $2.45 million- not counting incentives that could push that above three million.

Matt Lindstrom, a much better baseball player than either Young or Durbin, signed with the White Sox for 1 year, ~$2.5 million (I've seen both 2.3 and 2.8...splitting the difference, it's 2.5). He is certainly a better RP than Durbin and could pitch the 8th, close, or pitch in middle relief.

Would I rather have Lindstrom than Young and Durbin, for basically the same price? Um, yes. I do not understand the whole 'four quarters = 1 dollar' mentality that some GMs have (apparently Rube also uses this stupid philosophy). Two mediocre/poor players do not equal one good player simply because they take up twice as much space. This team would've been better off spending on Lindstrom and not bothering with Young or Durbin. That's my problem with the deal.

But yeah, as far as people that are disappointed because this keeps Mike Stutes out of the bullpen, I couldn't disagree with them more.

jbird: If the options are Delmon Young and Yuni Betancourt, I'd rather acquire nobody. There is a much better chance that those guys make the team *worse*, rather than better.

The worst possible scenario is that Young and Betancourt have good springs, and make the team where they play relevant roles.

Durbin is certainly a step up from those two (who the last couple of years have been close to the worst players in all of MLB at their positions), but he's still not a guy I would've signed. He's no improvement on what we already have, and guaranteeing him a spot in the bullpen is a poor decision.

Iceman: But Durbin is no better than Stutes, as I pointed out above.

So how can you be glad Stutes is out of the bullpen, but also be glad Durbin is in?

Sometimes when I read the posts to this site, I think it be a good idea to change the site name to Wine Leaguer.

This portends another move... Galvis and one of the young BP arms for Soriano?

Phillymaas, you belong on Homophone-leaguer.

Glanville: I fear this portends throwing a bunch of crap at a wall to see what sticks.

I'd like to be wrong. I would also not care for the deal you mention - I'd like to see if Galvis can improve his hitting with another year at AAA.

"Dumpster diving" does suggest SOME level of picking through to find the hidden treasures in the refuse. Rube is just bottling up the bilge.

jbird-- Hell, Matt Downs got a minor league deal and he's a better player than Betancourt. Plus, you'd have to go back a month and see who was available that RAJ didn't want. He's gone from the Ferrari to the Fiat to the Focus.

All this debate about Amaro's abilities as a MLB GM can be put to rest...Yunesky Betancourt.

Ruben decided he'd try these "newfangled metrics" to help evaluate players. So he went on Fangraphs and sorted by WAR, to help him figure out what players to acquire. What he didn't realize was that he was sorting in "ascending" order instead of "descending."

Which is how we ended up with an offseason in which we acquired three of the worst players in all of baseball last season.

Just trade for Jeff Franceour now and get it over with. We all know it's coming next.

Just to be clear, Soriano isn't the guy I'm hoping he lands, just the guy I think they'll end up with, for better or worse.

I think what's coming is Rube announcing the signing of Bourn at 3/38 smugly stating, " I waited out the market and we finally got our man."

Whenever I see Francoeur's name mentioned I always think of this:

Sil: Unfortunately, that picture could just as easily be a whole bunch of players currently on the Phillies roster.

Sil, if you reverse that picture it would look like most Ryan Howard ABs

@glanville! Why would the Cubs want Galvis? They have one of the better SS in the NL (Castro) and A young 2B who hits .265 w/ a little pop? (Barney) They also signed former Phil farmhand Adrian Cardenas. You may be able to trade for Soriano, but not w/ Galvis.

Maybe Ruben is pulling a Moneyball 2.0. Moneyball, the book is all about the economics of baseball as it applies to scarcity and undervalued assets. Sure, Billy Beane was recently reported to consider defense the new, under-priced skill, but maybe walks are over-priced in the current economic environment while "putting the ball in play" is a value. . . /s

DURBIN!

SEASON = NOT OVER

Betancourt is about 50 times the player that Michael Martinez is...and he represents yet another hurdle towards Mini Mart ever seeing Philly again.

Thus, I support this signing.

@jbird. Ruben...moneyball? lol. The guy doesn't even care about guys getting on base.

I care about production, not walks.

2012 OPS
Betancourt: .656
Galvis: .617
..
..
..
..
..
Mini Mart: .461

So there's that at least.

Who needs men on base?! F that! All you need to win in this league is 3 aces and the most expensive 65 inning pitcher in the league.

I think there are several deceased players that also posted a higher OPS than Mini Mart last year.

Per FanGraphs:

Delmon Young: 0.8 career WAR in 880 G
Yuniesky Betancourt: 2.5 career WAR in 1019 G

The above is not an endorsement of the Yuni signing.

If Betancourt is not guaranteed any money, I don't care if he's brought in. He sucks, but I think I'm actually getting used to Rube signing just about everyone who sucks.

But guaranteeing Durbin money? Sketchy move at best. And Delmon Young is truly a multimillion dollar turd in a punch bowl.

I now have to say I completely agree with Iceman's earlier post. Why didn't Rube take the money he gave to Durbin and DYoung and just give it to Lindstrom? Lindstrom is no superstar, but compared to those two he is.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Rube is assembling the Land of Broken Toys in Philly.

Only on BL:

Some of the same people who complain about giving a guaranteed MLB deal to Durbin also get down on the Betancourt inking, which is a non-guaranteed MiL deal.

With Frandsen signed I very seriously doubt Yunesky is anything more than minor league filler at this point.

Yo, new thread.

Chad Durbin's peripherals were lousy last year. He's walking more guys and striking out fewer as he gets older. He had a .251 BABIP in 2012 (career .294) and a career-high 81.6% LOB% (career 70.3%) - both of those numbers typically regress to the mean. His xFIP was 4.41 (real ERA 3.10).

In other words, why? There is a significant opportunity cost to blocking a bunch of good young arms with someone like Durbin, the same way there is for blocking Brown and/or Ruf with Delmon Young.

@Sil: I don't know I'm just trying to make sense of these seemingly senseless moves. Maybe the cubs will turn Castro around into a big prospect score as they rebuild.

(PS my very first Phils game as a kid was the Drabek no-hitter-through-26-outs that Campusano broke up in the 9th. I didn't know what I was seeing at the time so I was the only one at the Vet to stand and cheer when my team finally got a hit)

Durbin doesn't bother me. He had a 3.10 ERA in 61 IP which is more of an outlier. For the money, he'll eat up some middle innings at an ERA of about 4.00. That's fair value. On the flip side, the other drek (Delmon, Mather, Betancourt) screams of the "small market" Phillies. I really think Montgomery and the "Gang of Five" has pulled in the reins of his drunk-spending GM. They see a shrinking bottom line and their way of coping is retreating into the dumpster.

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