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Thursday, October 31, 2013


I really hope Ruben was taking notes on the formula Boston uses at the plate. You need guys that are going to grind out at bats. That's how you get guys like Wacha to break. I remember waiting inside the stadium for the parade to get there for almost 5 hours on this day 5 years ago. It was the most patience I've ever exhibited in my entire life. I'll never forget that day. 5 baseball years seems like 50 real time years. I'm hopeful that some of the youth they will trot out next year will stick. I'm excited to at least see guys like Asche, Ruf (hopefully provided he is used properly), Revere, Brown, Diekman, etc.

Has Moyer been considered for the pitching coach position?

Fvck that...its about Production.


The Red Sox only had 2 guys hit 20+ HRs during the season. How the hell can you win like that? How I ask? How?!?!?!

1 player with 100+ RBI. I don't get it. It defies logic. Total lack of production by their offense.

I wonder if their team OBP of .349 helped them push a few runs across? I really wonder. Oh wait what's that you say? They led all of baseball in runs scored?

that make you feel better Joe? there's radio stations for rants too.

Sorry to inundate an internet blog with ramblings. You'd think that was the whole point of blogs.

considering the fact that you probably didn't know what OBP was until last year, i think the radio is the best place for you.

You got me riggs!

instead of rambling like a lunatic, which is what talk radio is for, present your plan for the offseason. that's more constructive than using a stat which you just learned.

Why would I lay out my plan for the offseason to discuss with you when you are some internet tough guy questioning my knowledge of the game?

I'll be very surprised if RAJ aquires anyone he actually targets.

I wonder what type of money Benoit will want on the open market?

I'm gettin' too old for this sh8t

possibly because you don't have a plan and are a neophyte to typing instead of yelling into a phone.

I would think that having a bullpen that posted a season ERA below 4.19 (27th in MLB) might help too.

The free agent pickins are beyond slim so really there aren't many moves that can be made. 2014 is going to need to be a year where they can find out what guys like Asche, Franco, Brown, Revere, Ruf, Hernandez and Galvis (blah) can do. Can they be viable options moving forward? Can Hernandez be that versatile bench utility player this team has needed while they have shoved Michael Martinez down our throats. Can Asche or Franco provide long term stability at third instead of having to plug that hole each year with an aging Punch and Judy hitter? Next year they need to see what they have internally because they are still throttled by the Papelbon and Howard deals. Unless of course they want to move Papelbon which I'm all for and they can try to get a Benoit or Balfour for less years and a lower AAV.

Their bullpen wasn't that spectacular. Uehara really stepped up for them but they were mostly middling during the regular season. Of course middling would be a welcome sight considering the drek that this team has trotted out the last two years.

I miss Jake and his eternal optimism.

Good thing that Rube saved a couple of million last off-season by going with Chad Durbin over Koji Uehara.

One could also mention the dumptruck of money given to Mike Adams but that would just be piling on.

Boston posted a 3.70 BP ERA in the season, and a 1.28 in the post-season.

A 3.70 won't save you if you have mediocre to poor starters, but with guys like Cliff and Cole up top, and surprisingly good performances from Pettibone and Kendrick for at least half the season, it probably would have equated to nearly-2nd-place, if not actually.

Durbin was so good for that 2008 Phillies team though. I mean it was just so odd that didn't translate to success in 2013.

wait - it takes more than one facet of the game to be a successful team? that's impossible.

durbin was signed in 2013 for his success in 2008? that's a new one.

It's a joke you dickhead.

When I look at the RedSox' roster, I'm struck by its economic efficiency. There are no $25M per year players, who play more like $5M per year players. There are no over-the-hill veterans who are locked into their jobs solely because their salary makes them untradeable. And they have an unhittable closer who makes little more than $4M.

Not coincidentally, they were also able to sign a slew of solid complementary players during the 2012-2013 off-season (Vic, Uehara, Napoli, Drew, Gomes). Who knew that there can actually a tangible baseball benefit to not overpaying for players? I always thought that the only benefit was to ownership's profit margins.

Fun read, jr. Broke a couple smiles and a chuckle.

Of course, lets not forget that Uehara wasn't signed to be their Closer...they had a couple of other guys that flamed out/got injured first. Guys that they paid quite a bit for in trades and what not.

It's crazy isn't it bap? You'd almost think that the save leaders from year to year changed like the leaves on the trees and it might not be that wise to spend a ton of money for a guy who throws 65 inning a year? It's mind blowing really. But you have to keep these over the hill veterans around though you see. You need to keep that casual fan interested because nothing says good baseball like making sure 23 year old Stephanie from NE Philly can wear her pink Rollins shirsey to dollar dog night and watch her 78 win Phillies.

those over the hill veterans like victorino? i would love to have seen the reaction here if he signed that deal in philly.

Joe: Durbin was serviceable in 2010 (last time as a Phillie before this year) and downright good in 2012 (3.10 ERA, 1.311 WHIP, 130 ERA+ in 61 IP).

Putting all our eggs in the Durbin basket would have been dumb, and they should have cut him before they did, but when Adams went down, and something like 3-5 other injured relievers (mostly young guys), we didn't really have anyone better to rely on, unfortunately.

Even Bastardo started imploding in early May, and other than Papelbon, he was the only guy who could reliably put up a 0 until something like late August.

Everyone at the time agreed that Vic was a massive overpay for Boston...and I mean everyone baseball wide.

Of course, now it looks to be a moot point given that he was a big piece in a WS win for them.

Vic has always been one of those great role players that championship teams need to have.

Given the Phillies budget issues, I dont see Vic at 3/39 as being a possibility last winter...they already spent themselves into a corner.

i would really like to hear joe's plan for the offseason. he sounds like a tear it all down and start from scratch kind of guy. i'd like to hear his plan.

Riggs, what is your plan?

riggs, did you not see my post? 2014 is going to be a year to play the guys in the system because there is no point in thinking you are going to compete and spending money on a treasure trove of trash that is the free agent market is pointless.

Victorino couldn't be brought back. He was part of the malaise that took over this team. Ever hear of a change of scenery helping someone? That and financial stability? He was able to get both things in Boston. Good for him.

Victorino's beard does indicate that his WtW stat increased exponentially this year.

The Beerleaguer record will reflect that I wanted the Phillies to re-sign Vic. I did think 3 years, $39M was an overpay, given his poor 2012 season. But the counterpoint to that argument is: Delmon Young.

sign paul maholm as a 3/4. sign josh johnson, good bounceback candidate. also would take a flyer on gavin floyd, assuming he's healthy

rotation: hamels, lee, mag, maholm, floyd/pettibone/kendrick/johnson

kick the tires on ellsbury. if you can sign him, shift revere to left and dom back to right. if not, sign someone like chris young and see if he has a bounceback year. the corner OF options stink on ice.

as for the bullpen, i'm more inclined to let the young arms work it out. grooming martin in a setup role. of course it won't hurt to bring in a few arms. i'd have to look at the free agent lists

do not trade anything on the farm. do not sign any free agent that has a qualifying offer. the farm needs a rebuild, so those picks are precious.

the only way back to the top of the division is through the draft imo. getting a top ten pick is nice.

***Victorino couldn't be brought back. He was part of the malaise that took over this team. Ever hear of a change of scenery helping someone? That and financial stability? He was able to get both things in Boston. Good for him.***

To be fair to Vic, the Dodgers thought he was an awesome clubhouse guy too in the 2 months he was there and the BoSox absolutely love him. I dont think Vic by himself was at all the problem in Philly even in the end. 2012 towards the deadline was just a toxic situation all around. Vic's more of a complimentary guy anyway, not a clubhouse leader.

@bap: Yes, when I went through the off-season posts about Vic last night after clout's accusation, you and Jack were both heavily in favor of bringing back Vic...I recall TTI was as well. I pretty much just bashed Rube for the most part. We all thought the 3/39 was a high price as did everyone in baseball but the consensus was that Boston when with a higher AAV to avoid going to a 4th year as Cleveland was offering Vic something like 4/44 at the time. Sophist made several good points along those lines...back when he still posted here.

Also, Vic is built for Fenway...especially as a pure RH hitter these days. His numbers are ridiculous there.

BAP: I think we'll have to see what the following years bring before that counterpoint has the full force that it could.

If we end up with a better, or much-less-expensive-but-still-adequate option for at least half the length of that contract, I don't think hindsight (even if Shane goes on to post great numbers the next 2 years) is a fair barometer.

the FA pitching market is littered with bounceback candidates. of course you run the risk of these guys staying hurt and/or never returning to their former selves. doesn't hurt to sign these types of guys if you feel that this season doesn't mean anything.

What would anyone be comfortable paying Ellsbury?

"I think we'll have to see what the following years bring before that counterpoint has the full force that it could."

I'd agree with that. And, frankly, if we had given 3 years, $39M to Vic, we might have finished 20 games out of 1st instead of 23 (and possibly lost our top 10 protection in the process). It would have taken far more than one move to turn the 2013 Phillies into a good team.

"What would anyone be comfortable paying Ellsbury?"

About 0 years for $0.00 per year.

BAP: I'd go as high as 0 years at $3MM/year.

Here's my brief thoughts on going into 2014:

First and foremost, I dont think there is a discernable path where this team is a playoff contender in 2014 and most likely even 2015. The Phillies need to recognize this reality and start looking at a 3-5 year plan on rebuilding the franchise from top to bottom. The FA talent pool simply doesn't have the players that the Phillies would need to rebuild even if they were willing to spend up there with the Yankees or Dodgers. We have too many aging veterans entrenched due to high payroll and that same high payroll would prevent any meaningful changes. We also dont have the farm system to make trades to fill those holes. We could probably get away with 1 decent to moderately big trade but our farm, while slowly improving, is still very thin. Our current crop of young prospects/young MLBers doesnt have any superstars either. It has some guys that could be good complimentary players and fill some role positions but there are no young Chase Utleys or Jimmy Rollins knocking on the door with the possible exception of Maikel Franco who could be the best 3B we've had since the Rolen trade. Even he has some red flags and won't be any impact before 2015 (as he probably sees a cup of coffee in late 2014). Asche and Revere have limited upside but could be 2nd division starters (not exactly ideal if you want to go to the playoffs). Brown might have turned a corner this year or this might have been a fluke. It was his first mostly healthy season in years so who knows. Ruf seemingly has an MLB caliber bat but he's older and doesnt have a position available as Howard is the 1B due to his salary.

Next year, we have Rollins, Utley and Howard entrenched in the same positions theyve held for the last decade and only 1 of those 3 showed themselves to still be an above average player in 2013. Even Utley showed signs of age though so predicting a big Age 35 season next year is a big leap in the dark.

Yeah, I know that's a lot of negative thoughts and I know many of you are saying "damn, all NEPP ever does is bitch about how bad things are". Sorry, but that's where we are right now. Until the Organization drastically changes its mindset at the top, I dont see it getting much better. Step 1 of any plan going forward should be to kick Rube to the curb and get Monty out of any baseball decision making. I dont see that happening and I dont see us being much more than a 4th place team next year.

That's pretty much my sentiment as well. They just need to roll with the outfield the way it is. They have 2 cost-controlled guys in Revere and Brown. Just hope you can piece meal it with the 3rd spot and that Revere can return to pre-injury form while Brown avoids injuries and plays like he did early on.

What would anyone be comfortable paying Ellsbury?

Posted by: Joe D | Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Maybe he becomes the Michael Bourn of this off-season and nobody meets his numbers until there are no other options available. At that point, I could see giving him a 3-4 year deal at around $10 M AAV but even that would be very very risky.

Here are the concerns about Ellsbury:

1. He almost NEVER stays healthy
2. Speed based game for a guy going into his Age 30 season.
3. LH hitter in a lineup heavy with them. He still hits for average against LHP though at least.

Here's his OPS+ numbers:

2007-2010: 93
2011: 146
2012: 84
2013: 114

He's averaged 122 games a year over the past 3 years and just 104 games per year over the past 2. He's not exactly a guy that stays on the field.

Paying for Ellsbury will also include your second draft pick, which in this draft could be a very good prospect. No thanks.

I would plan on signing only guys who will not get qualifying offers. No exceptions.

Tanaka only costs money. Get him. The minor league starting pitching in this organization is atrocious. Kendrick and Pettibone ended the season injured. I would pay what it takes to get Garza, if he remains available, since he can't get a QO. He and Tanaka should be good with Hamels and Lee at the top of the rotation.

If there's an upgrade in the outfield who won't get a QO, then get him.

But this year's theme has to be save the draft picks. Of course there will be tension between Rube wanting to save his job and saving those draft picks. But the solution is easy. Fire his worthless butt.

***the only way back to the top of the division is through the draft imo. getting a top ten pick is nice.***

A top ten pick is great...and, if we're lucky, that pick might help them in 3 years...probably closer to 5 though if they go with another HS pick like Crawford. They got a nice high pick in 2013 and used it apparently very wisely on JP Crawford...who might sniff the majors in 2018. Same with anyone they draft in 2014. The absolute void of great picks in the past decade is a big part of what's killing them right now.

I don't think this team competes in 2014, but I also don't think Amaro sees it that way. I wouldn't be shocked to see some (more) really bad signings. There really isn't any way to spend their way out of this mess...I'd rather take the lumps in 2014 and maybe 2015 and see us contending again in 2016 with a new young core...but I don't know if that's a reality either, considering the relative lack of talent in the minors. We might be looking at another 5 year downturn, in all reality.

Oh well, IMO 2007-11 was worth it.

That's a key have a GM whose back is against the wall and a guy that likely will never get another GM role in MLB. He NEEDS for them to be competitive in 2014 so he doesnt get fired....thus, watch out.

I basically agree with every word NEPP just said. But RAJ's not getting fired & he doesn't do 5-year plans. And, since he has to realize that another bad season will likely result in his firing, I expect he's going to try to make a splash in the off-season. I also expect (although this is just a guess) that, with the new tv contract, he may have the budget to make that splash.

The problem is, you can't buy what doesn't exist -- and this FA market simply doesn't have the RH impact bat that the Phillies desperately need. It has a few decent ones, but they're all going to command 3-year contracts and will likely be in decline by Year 2 (if not sooner). That being the case, I'd rather see RAJ sink his money into a starting pitcher like Tanaka, Garza, or E. Santana. It won't solve the Phillies' problems, but it will help in the near-term &, in the longer term, it probably won't screw things up as much as signing a guy like Nelson Cruz.

Sadly I think you are right Chris. Amaro is going to operate under that same misguided notion that injuries is the main reason they were held down in 2013. The smart fan knows this team needs a few down years to right itself. He can't be throwing any more money around. The fact that this free agent class is so poor should be a blessing in disguise but it won't be because he'll just give big $ to lesser names.

Will he really be fired this year if they don't perform though? I mean look at how long Wade hung around.

for as bad as amaro has been over the past two years, has he indicated once that they were held down by injuries this past season? from every quote that i've read, he never blamed 2013 on injuries.

Also is there any doubt that Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez's arm will blow up in the spring?

Actually, there IS a path to making the team substantially younger and improving in the short-term. That path is to completely ignore the MLB FA market, but go hog-wild in signing international professional FAs who are still young but ready to contribute immediately. Of course, there are no guarantees on any of these guys but, if you do hit on a couple of them, you will have gotten both better and younger at the same time. You can't do that by signing the likes of Nelson Cruz and A.J. Burnett.

The Rangers are making Cruz a qualifying offer so he would cost their 2nd rounder (around #50 overall probably).

Maybe Rube goes completely nuts and signs Garza, Ellsbury and Choo...would even that be enough to make them a playoff contender. They'd be very LH heavy and they'd still need a catcher obviously.

riggs, the problem with all the bounceback guys in the FA pitching market is that they're all going to want to go somewhere where they can pitch if they're healthy.

So, why would Floyd AND Johnson sign with the Phils if Lee, Hamels, Mag and Maholm occupy the top 4 spots, and Pettibone and KK are there as well - with possibly the inside track because they're home grown.

If you signed Maholm you'd be lucky if ONE of JJ and Floyd returned your call.

I'm not arguing about the need for SP depth, but those guys are going to want pretty close to a guaranteed rotation spot if they're healthy.

awh - the key to what you said is if they're healthy. if they're not healthy, giving them a shot for a team that isn't supposed to contend in 2014 is a good starting point to building themselves up for their next contract.

At least they didn't extend Kendrick last year after his hot start. That is one thing I will give Amaro credit for.

and believe me, my plan isn't anywhere close to being perfect. but say you hit gold with floyd and the phils are (likely) out of it come july 31st - floyd can be traded for talent that's needed in the minors.

riggs: He has said, "Honestly, I would love to bring Roy back," and he has made numerous comments about Howard needing to get better in order for the Phillies to compete. It is implicit in those comments that he believes bad health is what held these guys down in 2013. Otherwise, why the hell would you ever want to re-sign Halladay or expect Howard to get better?

Amaro didn't blame 2013 solely on injuries but he made note of it. His bigger excuse was that guys weren't performing.

And what's said about Ruben saying guys were just underperfoming is the fact that he is too stupid to realize guys like Rollins and Howard will never perform nearly well enough for this team to be a contender. He also doesn't realize that Doc is flat out done.

He also wanted Howard to get better but he let him hobble around while everyone in the Delaware Valley knew he wasn't right.

so bad health didn't impede halladay or howard? those are pretty much facts that their health sucked this year. listen, i'm not defending amaro's track record. i just fail to see how that's blaming injuries for a poor 2013 from the entire team.

You are aware, of course, that Floyd's expected recovery time was 14-19 months and he had his surgery this May so he probably wont be pitching at the MLB level any sooner than August 2014 and might not pitch at all next year, right?

He had a torn muscle and UCL replacement in the elbow...much worse than standard TJ surgery.

no i was not aware. i thought it was standard tj. thanks for that nepp.

Did you expect Halladay or Howard to be beacons of good health in 2013, riggs?

That's the bigger issue at hand. That Amaro keeps thinking everything is going to go just right with these guys. Those days are long gone.

***no i was not aware. i thought it was standard tj. thanks for that nepp.***

I only know that becaues I was browsing through the 2014 FA lists a couple weeks ago and I thought "Hmm, Floyd, he might be an interesting flier guy to look at". Then I googled his injury and saw it. Sucks for Floyd.

howard looked pretty darn good in spring training considering what he looked like the year before.

doc - no. he hasn't looked right but there's more going on that what we are privy to.

Did you expect Howard to magically started hitting lefties?

I bet a handful of people on this blog could look good in spring training too. Those numbers are pointless. He was running around in April like an old dog that needed to be put down.

what's that have to do with anything? that means nothing to the conversation at hand.

where did i talk about numbers in spring training joe?

NEPP, good post at 11:29.

I do, however, have to comment on this:

"...only 1 of those 3 showed themselves to still be an above average player in 2013."

Yes, Utley was above average, but Rollins' season wasn't as bad as you made it sound.

Among qualified SS, he was 12th in fWAR

and 12th in bWAR:

Did he have a season that we would have hoped? No, but he was in the top half of all MLB SS.

Until I looked at the lists, I didn't realize just how offensively challenged the SS position has become.

The days of the Ripkens, Nomars and ARod's seem to be over.

(...they seem to have disappeared with PED testing, wouldn't ya know).

If Howard was used in a pure platoon situation with a guy like Ruf, he'd likely put up solid numbers on paper at least. That's ignoring his defense and baserunning woes but he'd probably have a decent OPS.

Not that it means anything but Howard's top comparable hitters list is getting very scary:

Through Age 33:

1. Richie Sexson
2. Cecil Fielder
3. Mo Vaughn

Vaughn is the only one that made it to an Age 35 season and he was wretched in that Age 35 season.

Amaro is going to think short term and stick some lipstick on this pig in the hopes that Howard becomes a 40+ homerun guy again because that's what GM's do when their jobs are on the line.

2012: Just need to tread water till Utley & Howard come back!

2013: HHU just needs to be healthy!

2014: ???? what's this year's excuse/theme going to be?

Health definitely played a massive role in the result of the 2013 season. That's not to say we should have expected perfect health in 2013 - that would be beyond foolish, and I don't think Amaro really thought that either.

In order for the 2013 team to be serious contenders, we needed pretty much everybody to be healthy. Wouldn't have matter who we'd signed last off-season, that still would've been the case. If your options are simply failing, and taking a long-shot bet on the health of the guys (the worst outcome being failing, same as the other option), then you take the long shot.

However, we could have expected at least a little better health. We certainly shouldn't have expected Adams to miss 2/3 of the season with an injury unrelated to his previous one, even if we could have predicted he might miss some time with an injury. Howard being injured was also predictable, but not - again - with an unrelated, season-ending injury. Stutes' and Diekman's injuries were unpredictable (same goes for Morgan's on the farm). Ruiz's injury after his suspension wasn't really predictable. Revere's injury definitely wasn't predictable. Kendrick/Pettibone/Lannan's injuries certainly weren't predictable either. Halladay's injury was predictable, but optimism and wishing/hoping on that front could be forgiven (before he threw that first game in Atlanta, anyway) given Doc's history.

This wasn't a guaranteed playoff team even with all of them healthy, but very few teams go into the season as locks for the playoffs - even those that do sometimes don't make it (see: Nationals, Washington). However, to say that injuries didn't sink this team would be untrue.

To add to my post about Jimmy, if he can somehow sustain what he did after Charlie was fired and Sandberg had a "converstion" with him - .250/.353/.361 - as opposed to what he did before - .252/.306/.344 - he'll provide a lot more value getting on base that much.

That's a fair point on Rollins, awh.

Still, he looks to be in a pretty solid decline. Maybe he has a bounceback year in 2014. I'm worried that his defense took a step back too in 2013 and that SS simply dont age well to begin with.

***Howard being injured was also predictable, but not - again - with an unrelated, season-ending injury.***

His knee issues are hardly unrelated to his previous leg issues...just like if you're out hiking and you twist one ankle, its not a shocker when you suddenly start having issues with the other ankle.

NEPP: Not a shocker, no. But it's also not a shocker if you don't develop another injury. As a result, you can't predict it to happen unless you're just being a pessimist about it.

Which is understandable, but in large part related to your personal viewpoint.

It should be interesting to see how Howard looks in ST next year. If he comes into camp in great shape, has lost all the excess weight that built up from not being able to work out with his legs and is seemingly healthy, I'd be a bit more optimistic on him contributing in 2014. He's never going to live up to his $25 million salary but at this point, if he could just provide decent offense at 1B, it'd be huge for them.

"...but very few teams go into the season as locks for the playoffs - even those that do sometimes don't make it (see: Nationals, Washington). "

Weren't the Nats a preseason favorite of some analysts to win the WS - or at least the NL Pennant?

They didn't even make the postseason.

"awh - the key to what you said is if they're healthy. if they're not healthy, giving them a shot for a team that isn't supposed to contend in 2014 is a good starting point to building themselves up for their next contract."

riggs, what? Am I misunderstanding you, or are you suggesting they sign guys who are unhealthy?

I believe he's suggesting taking fliers on the guys that are coming off injuries and thus wont command a top salary...kinda like teams what would roll the dice on guys like Rich Harden year after year because when healthy, he was a great pitcher.

That would go in line with his suggestions of Josh Johnson and Gavin Floyd (who he thought just had standard TJ surgery and thus made sense to roll the dice on if he'd be back in May 2014 instead of August 2014).

Its not a bad idea to do...especially on a team like the Phillies where their options are limited.

I'd be satisfied (read: I couldn't realistically expect any more out of him, given the history) if Howard ended the season with something like 450+ ABs, and an OPS in the .825+ range.

Bonus evaluation points if he has near his career norm defensive abilities. I remember him working on his D for a few years when it had been the biggest knock on him. He seriously improved defensively for a few seasons there.

Also, I didn't realize Howard was 10th in MVP voting in 2011. That's pretty surprising.

awh: I think he's suggesting that, if a high-upside pitcher is coming off an injury or down year, he might sign even if he knew he'd have to compete for a job.

Personally, I think that's baloney. The FA starting pitching market is thin. There is 0 percent chance that a guy with Josh Johnson's history will be forced to sign a one-year deal in a situation where he can't be assured of a starting job.

BAP: Or at least not a high salary for that one year (Haren, Dan; 2012), in which case he's not really a fit for us.

Apparently Ellsbury was playing with a busted hand on top of his fractured foot.

What is he, a hockey player?

Philli: Yeah, I could definitely see Josh Johnson getting a one-year deal. But it will be for a hefty salary & with the understanding that he's in the starting rotation.

I actually wouldn't mind signing him to that kind of deal. I figure that, with the Phillies' offense destined to suck next year (oh god, here comes Bedrosian's Beard's post about BAP being a soothsayer), their only possible path to competing is with a killer pitching staff. At least with a guy like Johnson, they'd be giving themselves a puncher's chance to find that killer pitching staff.

Also, despite his dreadful ERA, Johnson's peripherals actually suggest that he was about the same pitcher last year as in 2012. He had a .356 BABIP and 18.5% homerun-fly ball ratio last year.

I still say the list of guys who get qualifying offers will be smaller than many anticipate.Pence resigning the other week eliminated one guy who was probably getting one.

"The FA starting pitching market is thin. There is 0 percent chance that a guy with Josh Johnson's history will be forced to sign a one-year deal in a situation where he can't be assured of a starting job."

bap, exactly!!!

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