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Thursday, July 25, 2013

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I've always felt that Zolecki has better sources than Salisbury...but Salisbury is usually pretty accurate.

I'm looking forward to Opening Day 2026 when Utley Howard and Rollins all take the field in wheelchairs.

Keep Utley, Lee, Brown, Hamels, Revere...trade everyone else.
Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 08:17 AM

The problem with that is that everyone you want to trade has virtually no trade value...

Yessssssssss

3 games under .500, extending Utley seems like a pretty big waste. If I'm Chase, don't I want to get to free agency at this point? Wouldn't an AL team suite his game better at this point? I mean, he still is an above average 2B, but I would guess that the extension will be an Amaro special (3 years with an easy vesting option for a fourth year). The ability to DH twice a week will really save his knees (assuming he wants to be able to walk after baseball).

I am generally good with an Utley extension.

The only thing I wonder is if having guys like Utley and Lee, who obviously want to win, keeps them from actually committing to rebuilding and finding new young players. If that means they do things like sign the Delmon and Michael Youngs of the world, then it's a shame.

But Utley is still a very good player and should be a Phillie for life. And if the contract isn't too bad, you can always just trade him next season.

Again, Utley and his doctor have stated multiple times that being active on his knees HELPS the knees. Why would being a DH appeal to him then?

So basically expect a 'sell off' that will get you whatever Michael Young and Ruiz can acquire.

In other words, don't expect any change to the list of top 5 prospects in the system (which Amaro is surely aiming for).

I wonder if this means Rollins is being shopped?

TTI -

"An industry source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that Middlebrooks hasn't been discussed with the White Sox in "any context." "

Is it possible that the Phils don't really want to give Utley an extension? They'll make a half-hearted offer to Utley. He'll refuse it. They'll trade him and they can pretend that they did everything to keep him in Philly.

So basically expect a 'sell off' that will get you whatever Michael Young and Ruiz can acquire.
In other words, don't expect any change to the list of top 5 prospects in the system (which Amaro is surely aiming for).
Posted by: Iceman | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 08:50 AM

I would guess that neither of those two is going to bring back a single prospect who will even crack the top 10, at this point. 1/3 of a season of Michael Young just isn't worth all that much, especially since he really can't play 3B adequately. And Chooch has effectively murdered his trade value with the season he has had. If those are your "big trade chips" you really aren't doing much on the trade market...so a holding pattern it is, I guess.

Smoke screen. They'll trade him before the deadline and say they weren't able to agree on numbers. This way both parties save face and say they tried.

All reports I've read indicate that Amaro has refused to even discuss Utley in trade talks, so I doubt this is grandstanding on his part.

I'm looking forward to Opening Day 2026 when Utley Howard and Rollins all take the field in wheelchairs.

In Utley's case, it would be a wheeled lawn chair.

Chris in VT: And the mention right below that on MLBTR (where I'm presuming you got that quote) says they have discussed Middlebrooks. So it is a matter of who do we believe in the senario?

Anything longer than 2 guaranteed years and I'm not happy.

TTI - Speier's quote is an "update" on the MLB.com story that MLBTR quoted...basically Speier checked into it and heard back that it was untrue.

Or, probably more accurately, the Red Sox called the White Sox about Peavy, the White Sox started the conversation asking for Middlebrooks, and the Red Sox said "we're not even going to talk about him."

At which point a White Sox rep leaked that they had discussed Peavy for Middlebrooks with the Red Sox, and a rumor was born.

2 YR/$26M with a vesting option for games played or plate appearances for a 3rd season, also at $13M. Wishful thinking I know, but what I would like for Utley.

My thoughts of Keep/Trade.

Keep- Hamels, Lee, Utley, Revere, Brown, and KK. Everyone else is open.

Trade Chips of Value- M. Young, Chooch, and Papelbon.

I can't see how Utley doesn't take anything less than 3 yr/$45M with a decent buyout option for a possible 4th year.

Trade Chips of Value- M. Young, Chooch, and Papelbon.
Posted by: GM-Carson | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:11 AM

Those "trade chips" have pretty dubious "value" on the market.

Chris: That story is written as all the rumors they have heard at that time. When that site does updates on stories they time date everything, (like the "Rangers targeting Pence, Rios, Morales" story) and the Peavy story isn't time dated.

What probably happened is Speier heard one thing and Merkin heard another. No one knows exactly who either person was talking to. They could very well not be talking to the same club or could be talking to different people in the same club.

Utley's making $15M this year and that is what he made last year. He isn't going to take an extension where he makes much less next year.

Maybe a slight bump down since the Phils likely want to heavily backend his deal because of all the contracts they already have on next year.

Maybe something like $13M, $15M, $17M with a possible 4th year option at $17M but more realistically a $3-$5M buyout option.

TTI - read the actual Speier piece...he is posting a response and update to Merkin's story.


Maybe something like $13M, $15M, $17M with a possible 4th year option at $17M but more realistically a $3-$5M buyout option.

Posted by: MG | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:17 AM

I'd rather due $17, $15, $13 million actually...front load it so its not a killer deal in that final year if he's not effective anymore.

"...being active on his knees..."

Ah, this brings back memories!

I can see it now. They will trade Lee and in order to calm people down the same day they will announce the Utley extension. Book it.

I hope they trade someone who can actually bring back something of value.

As Iceman notes, having a "sale" where you only trade Michael Young and Chooch is not really doing much to bring assets into the organization.

It's going to be hilarious when Nate Schierholtz brings back more in value than anyone the Phillies actually trade.

I did read the Speier piece. That does not change the idea that perhaps they are talking to different people in the organizations. I have no intimate knowledge of who either guy's source is- do you?

Jack, that is a depressing thought.

Amaro seems to have zero intention of trading Lee or Utley, or of eating money on Papelbon's contract to facilitate a deal, so I think this is going to be another disappointing deadline.

I think that Rollins likely will be on the block, with the interest in SS and the complete lack of them on the market. Both St.Louis and Oakland could use Rollins.

I like the idea of an extension for Utley, as I said before he will only be on this team after the deadline if they sign him to an extension.

I'm pretty pumped to see this year's Felix Rodriguez deal.

Question for the general public..

What is more frustrating to watch? Pence going back on balls last year or Delmon coming in on balls this year?

Keep Utley, Lee, Brown, Hamels, Revere...trade everyone else.
Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 08:17 AM


Add Ruf to that list.

It would be great to give Utley the deal Rollins got and flip Rollins for some kind of pitching help.

No killer instinct on this team. They hit .500 and coast, going through the motions. Time for Cholly to announce his retirement and have his two month retirement tour. Sell off the entire team. Sign a bunch of 15 year old latin American players and be done with it.

They better extend him. No one else on this teams seems to want to win.

“In order for us to make a run, we have to play really, really good,” Manuel said. “We have to win a high percentage of games. It’s kind of tough for us. We better play like hell.”

Duh? Cholly they are playing like hell right now. They suck.

Where do I get in line to trade for the most aged/underperforming/overpaid pieces from a bad team?

"I'm looking forward to Opening Day 2026 when Utley Howard and Rollins all take the field in wheelchairs."

Rube's comments on Opening Day: "Their range isn't quite what it used to be, but they're better than any of the other infielders we have in the system."

"They just need to play and produce better. I mean, they're good players. You can see what they used to do on the back of their baseball cards. They just have to go out there do it again."

Yes, I'm sure that Rollins is just the kind of guy that St. Louis or Oakland is looking for to fit perfectly into the hitting culture.

Keep Brown, Hamels, Lee everyone else can be traded.
But again would you trust RAJ to make the trades? I wouldn't.

Jack: Reading between the lines, while you "hope" to get value you essentially want them traded no matter what regardless of whether that's good for the team or not. You just want them gone. Am I correct?

I did read the Speier piece. That does not change the idea that perhaps they are talking to different people in the organizations. I have no intimate knowledge of who either guy's source is- do you?

Posted by: The Truth Injection | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:36 AM

Well, I'd gather Speier has better sources in the Boston organization than Merkin, and considering Merkin is a White Sox guy (and he seems to be the only one with a source saying they talked about it), I'd say the scenario I laid out is pretty likely. The ChiSox want that rumor out there to drive up the price for Peavy, and Merkin's the guy they leaked it to. Not that hard to figure out...

Clout: As far as Michael Young goes? Of course I want him gone. There's zero value to him being here past July 31. So anything you get for him is worth more than zero, even if it's a prospect with a 1% chance of ever making it. I mean--there's no argument against that, right? If there is I'd love to hear it.

Chooch is likely the same way, though I have more sentimental attachment to Chooch. They're not going to make him a qualifying offer, so again, there's no real value to him being here past July 31. If he wants to come back on a cheap 1-year deal after the season, there's nothing stopping him from doing so regardless of if he's traded. That's a completely separate decision.

Lee and Utley are different--there you'd have to get a lot of actual value.

Papelbon I'd happily see leave, but that's a pipe dream at this point and not worth discussing.

It's going to be funny when Clout bashes whatever trade we make for Young as not being good.

"Keep Brown, Hamels, Lee everyone else can be traded."

Just a reminder, the Phillies have 34 home games left this season and, by all accounts, there are still plenty of good seats available to all of them. For that reason alone, you won't see a "fire sale" that would put an even lousier team on the field this year.

It's also why the media has run with the "Rube is a buyer" story, as that's just how RAJ wants it (sells more tix). Going to be interesting to get his take after the deadline however. If he was truly a buyer, he'd have acted before the Mets/Cards/Tigers run of games, rather than fielding a team consisting of Quintero or Mini-Mart (among others - looking at you John McDonald).

Best we can hope for is a "pseudo" buy/sell, where can capitalize on some sort of value of someone like a MYoung and get someone a bit younger that will be more than a two month rental, without waving the white flag entirely.

Here is my prediction: Utley will be extended, Lee won't be traded. Papelbon & MYoung probably will be traded, and Ruiz could go either way.

As a fan who hasn't given up on the season with 61 gms left, I'd be ok with this.

Jake, that's probably about as good as we could hope for. I'd also be pretty good with that (depending on how badly RAJ gets fleeced on the Paps/Young/Ruiz trade angle).

Jack: I'm not a fan of giving up something for nothing just because it makes you feel better emotionally. Not a smart way to run a team.

It's also why the media has run with the "Rube is a buyer" story, as that's just how RAJ wants it (sells more tix). - WP
-
Sell more tickets to the 2 remaining home games before the deadline?

This sentiment is probably expressed in the prior thread, which I haven't perused yet, but why on earth does a team that is purportedly built around pitching have such awful defense and a bad bullpen?

Clout: What value is there in keeping Michael Young past July 31?

Serious question. The answer is obviously zero. He's not a good player--his offense and defense wash out at this point so that he basically brings nothing to the table. He's not going to be here past this season, and you can't get compensation for him after the season (remember, we taught you about this new system yesterday).

So answer the question. What value is there to him being on the team past July 31?

If he was truly a buyer, he'd have acted before the Mets/Cards/Tigers run of games, rather than fielding a team consisting of Quintero or Mini-Mart (among others - looking at you John McDonald). - WP
-
Don't underestimate the sheer incompetence of Ruben Amaro Jr.

One would think that a GM in buy mode would help the team *BEFORE* their toughest stretch of the season, but Ruben Amaro Jr. is no typical GM.

Wait, does a player have more value at July 18 than he would have at July 30? Is that an argument?

If two months of seeing Cody Asche helps to decide whether he can play here--and I'm not sure it does--then getting rid of Michael Young "just because" has some value.

This sentiment is probably expressed in the prior thread, which I haven't perused yet, but why on earth does a team that is purportedly built around pitching have such awful defense and a bad bullpen? - jbird
-
I'm still waiting for just one reporter to ask Ruben Amaro this question.

Or if you wanted to build a team around pitching and defense, why would you go out of your way to actually bring in Delmon and Michael Young and start them every day? They're two of the worst defensive players in all of baseball.

MR: What diff does it make if Asche plays 2 months now or the first 2 months of next season?

Because Amaro is bad at his job?

Jack - That would be the follow up question to wtvr senseless answer Rube gives.

Clout: Because you could decide whether you wanted to acquire a 3B in the offseason between now and then?

I don't understand your apparent desire to keep Michael Young and then lose him for nothing. What possible reason could you have to want that?

Jack: I suspect if Rube knew that he'd be without his best starter, his best setup guy, his best CF, his best power hitter and tht his starting catcher would be awful, he wouldn't have acquired the Youngs.

Jake, I'm thinking more about the to ticket sales for the games that occur after the actual sell off. If Rube "sells," I don't expect that it will have a positive impact on attendance/revenue, which is why it behooves him to wait until the last minute. Selling, now or at the deadline, will impact attendance at all 34 remaining home games.

Well, I guess if he was a total washout, you could make other 3b plans over the winter. That said, though, I know that 2 months either time is only the dreaded sss.

Redburb - If your question was in response to my 10:58 post, allow me to clarify:

I was saying that Ruben has been claiming that he wants to be a buyer, but the team has to prove they are worthy of being buyers. So he admits that they need to be buyers to compete, but he wants them to prove they are worth it, while playing without the needed additions, against 2 of the best teams in baseball.

Ruf should not be on the list of players that are 'untouchable.' He might actually be able to fool a team into thinking he has value as a starter in the league. I just hope the Phillies aren't the team that end up being fooled.

If the team makes a decision on Asche based on his first two months in the league at the end of this season, then...well, I guess that's the way Jack wants them to run things.

"I just hope the Phillies aren't the team that end up being fooled."

At least we always have our $125M man blocking him to save them from themselves....

(gulp)

It's pretty standard for team's to give tryouts at the end of a season to younger guys, the proverbial cup of coffee. Why is Jack getting harassed for suggesting the Phillies should do the same thing?

Iceman: No, actually, that's not how I want them to run things. But two months of information is at least a little better than zero, right?

I also want them to run things by recognizing that there's absolutely no value whatsoever to keeping Michael Young past July 31, so they should shop him immediately and trade him for the best offer they get. Simple as that. Right?

Sure, there is only limited value in playing Asche for two months in 2013. But limited value is still greater than zero value - which is what keeping MYoung is worth.

Iceman - So you would trade Ruf, a prospect who has actually produced in the majors, for prospects that haven't yet produced in the majors?

I mean, there's a lot of moving parts right now, and a lot of things to legitimately disagree on.

I just can't fathom how Michael Young is one of them. I mean, I know Clout is being Clout, but no one else is actually arguing for keeping him, right?

Keeping Utley Sounds like great news to me.
Keep the players who are performing and get rid of the rest. Building around the guys who are performing means less building. Unless you are playing at Junior Woodchuck GM you don't trade them just to get something back with no plan.

I already know what will happen. The Phillies are going to trade Young, and probably for a mediocre prospect.

Then, when the mediocre prospect turns out to be mediocre, Clout will hold it against me and others and say "I know you thought [mediocre prospect] was going to be a star, but that was a terrible trade because [mediocre prospect] is mediocre."

Just get me to the plate, boys.

This Michael Young discussion is dumb. Obviously, you won't get a great prospect for him but, just as obviously, he's worth more than a no-hoper prospect (i.e., Anthony Hewitt, Troy Hanzawa). He'll get you SOMETHING of value, even if it's a Single A bullpen prospect like Ryan O'Sullivan (whom we got for Blanton).

Cost controlled role-players come from somewhere, and often it's from "mediocre" prospects.

Our future Phightin' Phillies:
1B - Darin Ruf
2B - Cody Asche
SS - Freddie Galvis
3B - Maikel Franco
C - Tommy Joseph
LF - Domonic Brown
CF - Ben Revere
RF - Kelly Dugan
SP - Cole Hamels
SP - Jesse Biddle
SP - Adam Morgan
SP - Kyle Kendrick
SP - Jonathan Pettibone
Closer - Ethan Martin

I'll go to war with these guys.

"Why is Jack getting harassed for suggesting the Phillies should do the same thing?"


Ahh, its just Iceman. Its his schtick. Most folks here are cordial to each other and he never has been and never will.

Teams going nowhere usually start to play younger inexperienced players in August and September. Makes no sense to continue to trot out veterans, who have no future with the club and who you already know what they can and can't do at this level.

Plus who in their right mind has any interest in watching most of the group who got dressed up in Phillies uniforms last night, any longer then we have to? You think keeping Carlos Ruiz or Jonny Pap is going to spur ticket sales in August? Fans by-and-large aren't stupid. Its why selling now won't be viewed negatively by most rational folks. I'd say the fanbase might be energized to see some new players. Some of them can't be any worse then what we already have. Almost statistically impossible.

jbird: Exactly. Even a stiff like Wilson Valdez got us Jeremy Horst, who was the epitome of a fringe prospect but went on to have a good season for us in 2012. You never know where you might find future value. But you know for a fact that Michael Young is of no future value to us.

Oh, I forgot to mention:
Managing Partner - Dave Montgomery
GM - Ruben Amaro, Jr.
Field Skipper - Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg

derek - No chance Asche can handle 2B. It's a more difficult defensive position than 3B, and he failed there in 2011, which is why he's at third now.

Denny: Actually, no, most fans are pretty stupid. Or at least emotional first, rational second. It's why they're fans of a given team instead of watching the sport objectively and not caring who wins.

That's perfectly ok, but it also influences their purchasing decisions, which is the primary method by which the Phillies obtain revenue (and will continue to be even after they get a ridiculous TV deal in place).

Philibuster: Actually, studies have been done on this.

The only thing that correlates to ticket sales and revenues is winning. Fans aren't stupid.

If you go to nearly any Phillies themed site or article, the rabble is calling for a sell-off. It's always dangerous giving the mob what they want, but I don't know that it will hurt ticket sales anymore than losing with vets has.

Two months of playing time here could be huge for Asche, who has struggled initially at every level before getting the hang of things and raking

Chris - There is a message in my lineup construction. Can you guess what it is?

Giving Asche two months this year will mean two less months next year where he has to struggle to adjust to the Majors. Almost all guys, even good players, struggle when they first come up as they adjust to the league. Get it out of the way now so he can have a full year in 2014 to see whether or not he's an MLB player.

Also, Asche has neither the hands nor the range for 2B.

If anyone's intereted, Keith Law has a podcast this morning with Matt Gelb, discussing the state of the Phils. It's actually pretty good.

One takeaway--Gelb sounds very confident that Young will get traded and that Asche will be up to play everyday starting next week.

Chris - There is a message in my lineup construction. Can you guess what it is?

Posted by: derekcarstairs | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Sorry, missed the sarcasm.

Cody Asche Since May 1:

76 G, 326 PA, .303 AVG/.359 OBP/.857 OPS

.904 OPS since June 1st in 200 PA.

Time to give him a shot.

Jack: Ticket sales are not the only source of revenues for a professional baseball team.

You can say fans aren't "stupid" in that they don't want their teams to lose, but acting like big names on teams (especially "franchise players") don't drive up revenue is ridiculous. Perhaps not as much as winning, but if you're not going to win either way there's no reason to reduce your income by swapping known-and-beloved quantities for [Young Guy 27].

Also, I do hope the "studies" you're citing aren't the 2006 Haverford College undergraduate study of the 2000-2004 seasons. Because using an admittedly-quick search methodology, that's the only study I found explicitly covering the income disparity between wins and star players.

Ticket sales are not the only source of revenues for a professional baseball team.

Gate revenue and tv deals are the two biggest. Then concessions and then their cut of jersey/merchandise sales come into it. Remember though, all MLB licensed merchandise goes into the central pot for all the teams so it doesnt really matter how many Howard shirseys they sell.

Jack, how do I find the podcast?

Agreed on Asche. Let's get young and exciting. Pretty soon they are going to have Depends night at the park.

Second base is not a "more difficult" position than third base. It's a "different position." If second were more difficult, then Utley would not be playing it. At second, you have to be able to pivot. And you need a little more range. But at third, you need a stronger arm and quicker reflexes. At third, you also have to make the charge play, which rarely occurs at second.

So, Asche is adequate at least at third, but appeared unable to handle second in his brief tryout there. And Utley, a pretty good second baseman, was a poor third baseman.

It's not about which is more difficult, it is about different requirements.

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