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Friday, November 22, 2013


Of course, there's this tidbit from that Jayson Stark article mentioned earlier today:

If the trend in this sport is that teams are getting younger, the Phillies apparently didn't get that memo. In their current roster configuration, five of their prospective starting position players next year will be 34 or older. And in case they're wondering, only four teams since 1900 have had five players, age 34-plus, who played at least 120 games in a season -- the 1985 Angels, 2002 Giants, 2003 Astros and 2004 Astros.

On one hand, those teams averaged 91 wins. On the other, baseball wasn't testing for greenies then!

So um, yeah...age isn't just a number.

When you mentioned Ortiz, you forgot to mention how good Barry Bonds got as he entered his late you say, Age is just a number.

From the other thread, on the subject of the Angels' OF depth:
You know, NEPP, when I look at that list, I see their OF as a place of depth that could conceivably be dealt from. A Calhoun/Trout/Hamilton starting OF should be a run-saving one defensively, while Trumbo's your spot-starter in LF while splitting 1B/DH time with Pujols (and, to a lesser degree, Hamilton at DH). With a glove-first 4th OF -- as I believe Cowgill is and Bourjos certainly was -- you've got enough pieces that you can rest guys while still running out there a lineup that should pull its own weight offensively and defensively, with the capacity to do a fair bit more than that if Hamilton can get his act together.

Not that I think the Angels should deal another of their OFs, because you've got to assume Hamilton's going to be a 100-120 game guy with his injury history. But if they thought it necessary, they probably could without needing to add an OF who's tied to draft pick compensation.

It is not so much the age number, it's the number of games played. Likely the more games played the increased probability of bodies wearing down. Worn down bodies get injured. Therefore, it's the injuries that are the actual cause of our problems because But For the recent rash of major injuries that either take the guys out of the line-up or hinder them from being their productive best the team would likely have been more competitive. It is also the proximate cause, because the number of games played by the fellas has increased it was forseeable that the injuries would occur. In summary, Rube is likely liable for negligence management of a major league baseball team's roster which inflicts emotional distress upon fans :)

Long live the tort.

"But he realizes that he's stuck with these guys, in large part because of his own doing. Hence, he is trying to put the rosiest possible spin on the Phillies' outlook, so as to at least convey the impression that he has a viable plan. "

Prettty much it BAP

And the issues compounds when the younger, supposedly more durable players like Revere and Brown also get injured...Now Revere's injury was a bit freakish but Brown has shown a troubling inability to stay healthy throughout his professional career.


"In summary, Rube is likely liable for negligence management of a major league baseball team's roster which inflicts emotional distress upon fans."

I'm willing to be the class representative.

A few questions.
How does Ruben still have a job?
Will this team be booed as it takes the field on opening day?
Have you ever seen an offseason so universally ripped by every local and national media outlet?

"Age is just a number" is one of those expressions that you only hear in one context: the context of a washed-up or over-the-hill athlete desperately trying to convince himself that he's just as good as he ever was.

The sick thing is that this lineup could actually be pretty good if everyone remains healthy.

Of course, my Powerball ticket could be pretty good if every number were selected in the drawing.

IF Howard is healthy and relatively productive (say a 120ish OPS+ guy)...
IF Utley can hold off Father Time and stay healthy again...
IF Rollins can continue his high OBP/high BB routine from the final 2 months of 2013...
IF Byrd can repeat his flukish 2013 effort...
IF Chooch can repeat his 2nd half or even better go back to his 2012 numbers...
IF Dom Brown shows his 2013 effort was the real deal and build on it...
IF Ben Revere can be the guy from May-Jul who hit .347...
IF Cody Asche can be a league average bat (100 OPS+)

Yes, if all those things happen, this will be a decent but not great offense. It will go from being atrociously bad like it was last year to maybe middle of the pack in the NL. Even if all those things happen, its not a great offense and we all know that all of them wont happen and that that 1-8 lineup will almost never be on the field at the same time.

It's not just the increased risk of injures. It's that performance declines after you've hit your peak.

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd have all passed their peak. Therefore, the probably that they will be worse this year than last year, even comparing their healthy selves from last year to their projected healthy selves from this year is great.

Sot it's the increased risk of injuries and the increased probability of deteriorating performance.

Two for the price of one!

There's also the fairly strong possibility that one if not more than one of those listed will completely hit the wall in 2014 and be non-existent. Rollins or Utley (despite his great 2013) could provide negative value in 2014...same with Howard, Chooch or Byrd. It happens all the time for guys in that age bracket and its not really that predictable.

Our own manager is a great example of that...he went from being a perennial 140 OPS+ guy from Age 29-32 to just a 109 OPS+ hitter in his Age 33 season and a 83 OPS+ hitter at Age 34 when he retired for a year. He came back at Age 36 but was still a below average hitter for those final 2 years.

Trammell also comes to mind...relatively healthy and productive at Age 32, injured and mediocre at Age 33, missed most of his Age 34 season but had a dead cat bounce at Age 35 where he posted a 4.0 bWAR...and that was it. After that, 3 injury plagued ineffective years where he was replacement level.

So, um...good luck with this strategy, Rube.

Marlon Byrd's splits are still awesome:

2002-2012: 97 OPS+
2013: 138 OPS+
at CBP: .583 OPS

There's a very real possibility that he's utterly terrible and below replacement level starting in 2014 and is just another anchor around the neck of the franchise.

Brown broke his hand on a swing in March 2011 in what could be classified as a freak injury. He came back in May and played in all but 7 games through the end of July without missing consecutive games. He was then demoted to AAA following the disastrous Pence trade.

In 2012, they kept Brown in AAA til Pence was traded on July 31st. He came up as a starter and played in all but four games the last two months of that season.

In 2013, Brown played in 99 of the first 100 games (97 starts) until he sustained a concussion. This caused him to miss quite a bit August. Them he had an Achilles issue in September, when there was no reason to play him, and they played him sparingly.

This notion that Brown is some fragile china doll is basically a myth. He's been more unlucky than anything, as no reasonable person would classify breaking a bone in your hand while swinging, of suffering one concussion, as the result of being 'fragile' or 'injury prone.' The Achilles is worth keeping an eye on, but that didn't pop up until September of this year.

Total wins for the season is also just a number.
Less than 81 is not a good place to be.

A two-year, $18 million anchor. Yeah, that's the heaviest anchor you'll ever see.

I'm sure those splits at CBP are instructive. The ball just doesn't fly off his bat as well in the humid Philadelphia air.

Iceman, Brown had injuries in the minors too...various minor leg and knee issues.

Its not really just a myth...he's just perpetually banged up.

He had hamstring issues throughout the 2nd half in 2010 for example. He missed bits of time in 2009 for various minor injuries too.

2008 and 2012 are the only years where he was really fully healthy during full-season ball.

***A two-year, $18 million anchor. ***

Or the difference between Chad Durbin and Koji Uehara the last 2 years...but yeah, its all meaningless money and I'm sure that Rube will just go sign another OF if Byrd reverts to the 93 OPS+ hitter he was from 2010-2012. I'm sure he wont get 3-4 months of everyday ABs to prove that its a slow start or that he'll figure it out in a new city, etc etc. Rube has always shown himself to be a guy that immediately admits mistakes. That's why he pulled the plug on Delmon Young so quickly last year.

***I'm sure those splits at CBP are instructive. The ball just doesn't fly off his bat as well in the humid Philadelphia air.***

So...which do you think is more predictive of his 2014...his fluke 138 OPS+ in 2013 or the entire sum of the rest of his career? Even if you took his previous 3 seasons prior to 2013, its still a very bad 93 OPS+. Yes, focus on the somewhat joking CBP split I posted (which was actually over 200 PA so it wasn't just one of those weird 20 PA things...he's pretty much always sucked in CBP).

In the past 3 years, Dom Brown has missed games (both MiLB & MLB) due to the following injuries --

March 2011: Fractured Right Hamate

May 2011: Sprained Right Thumb

March 2012: Sprained Right Thumb

March 2012: Stiff Neck

May 2012: Left Hamstring

July 2013: Concussion

August 2013: Right Achilles

Otherwise, he's been perfectly healthy.

Byrd has a total of 241 PAs at CBP. 182 of those PAs were in 2004 when Byrd had his worst season. So, only 59 PAs at CBP in the last nine years.

Even if all things go well for the offense, we still need to improve upon our pitching numbers from last year and our defense which affects those numbers.

The Phils did not luck into a protected draft pick for 2014; they earned it.

In recent years, we have talked about a winning formula: play .500 ball against the good teams and mop up on the dregs. Now, the Phils are one of the teams to be mopped up on.

Let's see what the Phils do the rest of this off-season. If they make no other moves to improve the defense, that will be one missed opportunity. If they give us more re-runs by keeping Kendrick in the rotation, that will be another missed opportunity. If they keep the payroll at $160 million, that will be a third missed opportunity.

There's a good chance I'll be tuning in Mike Trout instead of the Phillies next season.

speaking of games played as the critical number, howard played 159 games in 2008, 144 the next year, 162 in 2008, 160 the next, 143 in 2010 and 152 as recently as 2011. sounds like overuse of your most prized asset. was that rube or chollie?

Ruben is not so dumb as he sounds sometimes. When things were going well for the team, the PR aspect of his job was very easy. Now that things are going badly, Montgomery, Ruben and the rest of the gang must resort to the con. We are witnessing an attempt by the Phils to con the world into believing that they will be producing a good product in 2014.

This team is so old they are changing the name from Citizens Bank Park to Senior Citizens Bank Park.

It's so old that they plan to replace the dugout Gatorade with Ensure.

It's so old that they plan to hire Boy Scouts to help the players get to the plate from the dugout.

So old "The Star-Spangled Banner" will be replaced by "Nearer My God To Thee".

I mentioned this before and im sure it has been bought up. Revere is the only SB threat on this lineup. They could of used another SB guy on this squad.

and revere may never again be the guy who tumbled across the plate into a kip-up. it all depends on the severity of the fracture(s). one thing sure is that he will wear utley-like armor on that ankle. will it effect his running to first? we'll see. and if he has a plate and screws in there i expect him to be tentative in all aspects of his game. just the opposite of what you need in the sparkplug.

Curious to see how the cold weather will affect Reveres foot.

i'm a big ben fan. i hope he is just briefly tentative. i wonder if he has to alter his slide so that his good foot strikes the bag first. i wish him the best and will be rooting hard.

In sports, when a player says age is just a number it doesn't ring true. The overwhelming data says otherwise. Yea, you kind find a Torii Hunter here or a Carlos Beltran there, but these guys are the exception that proves the rule. When a baseball player hits his mid 30's he's already in decline. A couple of the old Phils may have decent years, but many of them will be injured and/or play poorly. Amaro attempting to sell this team as a contender is an absolute joke. He insists on using the word re-tool instead of rebuild because he needs to sell tickets. Last year they lost over 550,000 fans. There will be another drop off in fans this year as selling season tickets for 2014 is something only the best salesman in the world can pull off. That's not Amaro. No one is fooled.

The rebuilding should have started at the trade deadline. Fans would be more likely to spend their money to watch young players develop knowing they won't compete in 2014, but that the future could be bright. Now the fans are left with an old, non competitive team and a not so bright future. This is going to get ugly and stay ugly for years to come.

I get the impression that Amaro plans to load up on free agents aftwr the 2015 season when Rollins, Paps and Lee are off the books. On the books will still be a decrepit Ryan Howard, a washed up Ruiz and Chase Utley - who may have lost his battle with chronic knees by then. Also with the huge infusion of national TV money there will be very few marquee free agents. Even the small market teams will be locking up their young stars for years to come. Look at the Longoria and Votto deals as examples. So when people say that Price, Heyward, Weiters etc. will all be free agents in 2016 I wouldn't bet on it.

The Phils need to improve their scouting, drafting and player development and start building a team again. Trading Lee, Utley and Ruiz could have netted some good young talent that could have been combined with guys like Franco, Biddle, Hamels. Unless JP Crawford is fast tracked and can handle a quick ascension he won't be ready by 2016.

To sum it up, the Phillies are screwed for years and years to come.

So tired of this age nonsense.. The Phillies are mostly over 30, not over 40. In 1983, the 'Wheeze Kids' made it to the World Series, then in 1984 they got younger and with the exception of that fluke season in 93 when 1/4th of the team was juiced up, didn't even make post season till 2007. Age means nothing.

I think a more meaningful number than average age is median age. The median age (equal number above and below the number) is 34.5. The are 4 players in the lineup over 34.5 and 4 players below that number. However, included in that "under" number is Ryan Howard, who looks like he's playing older than any of them.

So yeah, you can point out all the examples you want of players who hit their prime in their 30's. However, one key point about that....they don't play on the same team! Given that we have 5 players 34 and older in the lineup, chances are good that ONE of them will have a great year. Chances are also that they won't collectively have the year needed to make a post season run.

Also, the flaws with some of these guys over 30 are not just health related. Jimmy will need to be motivated by something other than...well...I don't know what motivates him. Howard will have to learn how to lay off a breaking ball out of the zone. Marlon Byrd and Chooch will have to make sure they don't do anything they did before 2012.

If all that goes fine, we still have problems beyond our #2 starter and anything trotting out of the bullpen, but I'm sure Troy McClure will fix all that.

*Fans would be more likely to spend their money to watch young players develop knowing they won't compete in 2014, but that the future could be bright*

Totally agree. It is something different entirely to root for new talent and hope for their upside than to hope older players don’t fail too quickly. With one the trajectory is likely to be up; with the other, the best that can happen is a slower decline than expected. Even if the record is mediocre with both options, with the first there is the potential to be delighted by new performances and the knowledge that next year may be even better. With the second there is simply the exercise of hoping the ship can stay afloat. A different fan experience altogether.

The additions of Bowa and McClure don’t do much, either, to help the image of becoming different, younger, and more forward-thinking.

The Torii Hunter/Carlos Beltran analogies don't work for me. Hunter could reasonably be expected to be good at age 38 because he was good at age 37. And 36. And 35. And 34. Same logic with Beltran. He had the 2 injury-plagued seasons but, when he was playing, he was still good.

Cliff Lee falls into the same category as Beltran & Hunter. He's 35 but it's reasonable to assume he'll be good next year because there's no sign that he has declined at all. But Howard? Rollins? Ruiz? Even Utley, albeit to a lesser extent? We're talking about players in their mid-30s who have had multiple successive years of decline. I can't think of too many players who have reversed such a trend. The only 2 who come to mind are Marlon Byrd & David Ortiz and both have failed PED tests in the past. At least Ortiz has been smart enough to not get caught for the last 10 years, though.

GTown is including two minor injuries Dom had during Spring Training 2012 where he was held out for precautionary reasons because, you know, it's spring training.

Normally I would think it was a joke, but like most things GTown says, I think he genuinely believes these things should be counted against him.

This is how myths turn into conventional wisdom. I fully believe most WIP listeners think Brown is a china doll, much like GTown does, for reasons that most rational thinking human beings would laugh at hysterically.

He probably also thinks two freak injuries like his hand breaking during a swing and sustaining a concussion are because he's just a fragile little fairy.

What about the injuries in 2009 and 2010, Iceman? Sure, one was due to a fastball to the hand but the other was a month off due to a hamstring pull.

But yes, keep ignoring that he's only had 2 full seasons in the past 5 due to various injuries.

Who gets a concussion diving for a flyball???

I have never denied the fact that Dom Brown has always been healthy & available to play, except when he hasn't.

You also forgot the month he missed in June 2012 due to knee inflammation...the month after the hamstring pull in early May.

He's a real ironman.

Age/health issues aside the fact remains that the starting pitching after Lee/Hamels is a huge question mark, ditto the entire bullpen, and this is a team that once again will be average at best defensively.

I don't mind the fact that Amaro signed older players this offseason. It is the extra year(s) and that always has been the main issue with Amaro's signings. Byrd got 2 years. Chooch got 3. Now they are stuck with both through next year and well into 2015. That's the glaring problem.

Best thing Amaro did last year was not tie tie the Phils to any commitments beyond 1-year besides Adams. D. Young was a bust (and was about Amaro's 5th/6th choice in RF) but was gone by midseason. Ditto M. Young. Revere still has a chance to be an adequate starter in CF especially if he can improve a bit defensively.

Ryan Lawrence had a great article earlier this week that said the Phils are committed to Byrd/Mayberry now for well over $10M next year (Amaro said he is going to sign Mayberry and Schwartz calculated that Mayberry would get about $1.7M in arbitration) and instead could have signed C. Young for $3M/year and only had a single year commitment.

Amaro's most glaring deficiency to me as a GM is that he has no coherent plan even for the upcoming season. Maybe his hands are largely tied to Montgomery's insistence that the Phils try to ink another ~.500 year out of this team before the new TV contract kicks in next year. Even so, Amaro has shown little creativity or insight into how he might approach this offseason either.

Amaro isn't quite the fool as people make him out to be but he is unqualified for this job both strategically but especially operationally. The most glaring thing in my book here hasn't been Amaro's offseason but how ineptly and woefully this team has managed injuries, the organizational depth chart, and the team roster during the year. In that regard, I would give Amaro a failing grade and it has become almost farcical at times how poorly Amaro has handled those issues.

Strategy is hard and even if you made a sound decision you can often fail especially if it has a lot of risk or is in a market that is rapidly changing as baseball has been the last few years due to the huge infusion of cash, new draft rules, etc. When you have a leaders who is a largely a complete f@ckup operationally both in the things he handles and the people he appointments, that is a huge problem.

I meant $3M less for C. Young. The other thing that has been awful this year so far has been Amaro's minor league signings and his assertion that this organization is somehow better prepared from an organizational depth perspective.

This is almost no depth everywhere in this system right now especially in MLB-ready talent.

Comparing the 2014 Phillies to the 83 Wheeze Kids is a bit of a stretch. The 83 team was a group of smart, hall of fame bound players who lead the league in BB's and was 3rd in runs scored. They did this despite their individual numbers, which don't look so great with the exception of Schmidt.

That said, let's not discount that Schmitty had a 40 HR, 100+ runs scored, BB's and RBI's that year. I don't see any 2014 Phillie capable of doing what Schmidt did. As for the BB's and runs scored as a team, the 2014 Phils won't come close to 1st & 3rd like the 83 team did. Finding the exception that proves the rule doesn't mean the rule doesn't exist. Generally speaking mid 30's players are already in decline (i.e. Howard, Rollins, Ruiz and yes, even Utley), and more prone to injury.

Mick: Also, as I posted last week, the 83 Phillies were not coming off a 73-win season. I think they won 89 games the previous year. And many of the key contributors to that 83 team were actually young guys. Of the Morgan, Perez, Rose trio, Morgan was the only one who didn't completely suck by 1983.

MLBTR has a post up about all the Phils' moves:

Phillies Notes: Byrd, Young, Ruiz, Priorities

This team is so old, they take a sponge bath after each game instead of a shower.

So old, they have taken out a reverse mortgage on Citizens Bank Park.

So old, the players need help finding their cars in the parking lot.

This team is so old that the 2014 uniforms come with a set of Depend diapers.

This team is so old that Metamucil is considered a performance enhancing drug.

So old, the player's intro music will be played on the nickelodeon.

So old, three-fourths of the team members will be wearing orthopedic spikes.

So old they played for manager Larry Bowa. At the Vet.

BAP, you're right about the 82 team having 89 wins. The 83 team also had a strong pitching staff lead by Cy Young Award winner John Denny. Al Holland got more Cy Young votes than any other relief pitcher that year too, finishing 6th in the voting. The 83 staff led the NL in ERA and K's. So where we agree is there's many differences between the 1983 Phils and the 2014 Phils...unless Ryan Howard puts up 2009 numbers and the pitching staff goes from having the 14th worst ERA in the NL to the best ERA. I don't see it. (obvious sarcasm)

My biggest issue with Amaro says is how disingenuous he is when he said if everyone stayed healthy the Phils would have been in the thick of it this year. It's simply not true. The 2013 Phils had many holes. The fact that they have an older team is now Amaro's built-in excuse for finishing with a bad record again if/when some of these guys get hurt next year. History tells us it's likely some will go down...and I'll have to listen to this used car salesman read from the BS book of excuses again next winter.

Applications are been approved for the following players...

Ryan Howard AKA The Big Piece
Cameron Chase Utley AKA Sir Utley
Jimmy Rollins AKA J-Roll
Carlos Ruiz AKA Chooch
Clifford Lee
Marlon Byrd AKA ?

Marlon Byrd AKA ?


"if everyone stayed healthy the Phils would have been in the thick of it this year. It's simply not true."

What he means is: if everyone had stayed healthy & played like they did 5 years ago (i.e., Howard, Halladay, Rollins, Utley, Chooch), we would have been right in the thick of it this year.

Rumor has the Yankees signing McCann for 5 years and at least $80 million. Per MLBTradeRumors, they're very close to a deal now.

It's talent related as much as age related

What he means is: if everyone had stayed healthy & played like they did 5 years ago (i.e., Howard, Halladay, Rollins, Utley, Chooch), we would have been right in the thick of it this year.

Sadly, the realist in us knew that wasn't going to happen last year...nor will it happen next year.

Thank you, Shecky Dragon.

McCann is getting 5 years, $85 million with a 6th year vesting option to take the deal up to $100 million....basically a $17 million AAV.

The deal also has a full no-trade clause.

Makes Ruiz's deal seem quite a bit more palatable. Also makes you wonder what Salty will end up getting.

There's talk about the Phillies' signing Arroyo. I think Arroyo is a good choice for some teams, but not the Phillies. He is too home-run prone, averaging 1.2 HR/9 for his career. In 2013, the number was 1.4, and in 2011 an intolerable 2.1.

Arroyo has made some critical comments about pitching in CBP; hopefully, he has no intention of signing with the Phils.

derekcarstairs: I'll bet Arroyo will have nothing but effusive praise for CBP once r00b throws an extra year or three at him.

Lee didn't miss any time. Nor did Hamels. Utley played in 131 G (most since '09). JRoll played in 160 G.

Only players who missed any kind of time were Chooch (92 G) and Howard (80 G) and it wasn't their overall production was anything to right home about anyways.

This was just a bad overall team last year that was below average in every facet of the game and there isn't a single reason to think they will show any real improvement next year with the moves they have made this offseason.

Rajai Davis might cost you less on the open market than tendering Mayberry. Pretty similar players in the batters box and field, but davis has big time value on the bases.

I was a Mayberry supporter until last year. He was brutal down the stretch especially defensively in CF and looked overmatched an awful lot last year.

Not a guy I want to see the Phils bring back at close to $2M.

The next 3-4 seasons are going to be pretty ugly.

MG: Everything r00b has said points to Mayberry's return. In fact, I'd be shocked if we didn't have to suffer through another year of his bungling.

Utley only started 124 games in 2013, i.e., he missed 38 starts or close to 25% of the games. He was a PH in the other seven games he played.

With the season ending so early (no playoffs)I'm already getting antsy for Spring Training and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
The new normal sucks.

thank goodness the sixers and eagles are movin' on up. both with sharp new coaches who are adding a touch of the college game. spencer hawes, michael carter-williams and nick foles are all great stories.

The problem isn't so much the age of the team (which IS a big problem) but the insane amount of money and years left on contracts for many of these old players.

You can have old players. You just can't have them eating up a ton of your budget and on multi-year contracts. Because once old guys start going downhill...they ain't coming back up the hill. And if they do...they are cheating.

Ohh least we've got 73 different options at the all important utility infield bench position. Can't wait for the Andres Blanco versus Mike Martinez spring training battle of suckitude. Its what makes watching a 3rd place team going nowhere so watchable and exciting. Hopefully a few of those guys can help fill in once a few of the old guys inevitably hit the DL...which is another perk of having aging players. Lots of DL time and fun roster moves for the GM!!!

This team is so old, they've petitioned the league to change the 7th-inning stretch to the 7th-inning nap.

They're so old, they have to use carbon dating to guess their age.

They're so old, the Grim Reaper has just purchased season tickets.

They are so old they fart dust

Are people forgetting in 2 years Rollins Paps are off the books and we could buy out Howard and not to mention we get the Tv contract go look at the free agent class in 2 years to name a few Justin Upton Jason Heyward people relax

We call Mini Mart the cock *&*&*r since he always blocking us from sniffing the majors.

I don't see the Phils' becoming competitive again by 2016.

If the Phils must rely primarily on the draft, they won't become a top team again until there's been at least a couple more drafts, we add some complementary players and two or three future stars, and those draftees develop into major leaguers. Even if they draft well, I think the Phils would be four years away if they rely primarily on the amateur draft.

For the Phils to be a top team any sooner than 2018, they will have to be more aggressive with their international signings and, occasionally, they will have to outbid the Yankees, Dodgers, etc. for the few high quality free agents that become available.

Cardinals set to sign Jhonny Peralta for short, 4/50+. Doesn't sound like a Cards move. They could have JRoll for 1/2 of that.Guess Galvis looked too much like Kozma.

We are just going to have to ride it out with this aging nucleus for the next 2 seasons. After that, the Rollins and Papelbon contracts will have expired. The ghastly Howard contract will be more "dumpable" because it will only have 1 year and an option left. During that 2 year period, they won’t take on any more albatross type contracts and they won’t trade any prospects of import (Franco, Asche, Tocci ,Biddle and Kenneth Giles). They will have plenty of money from the TV contract and space on the roster to use it. What happen in the drafting room in June is much more important than anything Rube does/doesn’t do in the short term. I am somewhat encouraged in that regard because their amateur scouting has been decent; the major mistakes have come from the major league scouting (Mike Adams, Laynce Nix, et al.).

Things might get worse before they get better. But they will get better—eventually

derek: Good post. FA and international signings are risky, but not as risky as expecting to develop a contender purely from the draft.

Almost no one agrees with this, but I think the best way to build a contender fast is with a balanced approach: international signings, drafting college players who won't take 7 years to develop, signing a couple key FAs and trying to trade for undervalued players.

If the Phils were to do that right, they could indeed contend by 2016.

One could argue that that's the best way to build a contender, period. And I don't think anyone would disagree. As, aside from drafting only college players, that's what all contenders do.

To the extent there's disagreement over the swiftness with such can be done, it's that it requires a lot of things to happen which are beyond the Phils control: That the draft classes of 2014 and 2015 offer a goodly number of high-upside college guys who can reach their ceilings quickly; that the international FA market offers MLB-ready or near MLB-ready talent at positions the Phils can use; and the 2014 and 2015 domestic FA classes offer good fits for the Phils' holes. If things did break the Phils' way on all of those fronts, they just might have a puncher's chance if the front office plays its cards right. But the Phils have a rather sordid history of late when it comes to hoping things break their way.

"If the Phils were to do that right...."

LOL. If pigs had wings they would fly. The Phils have never done all those things right, and under Ruben they've not done ANY of them right.

I guess cliff lee wasn't a key free agent?

This team is so old, during rain delays, the team plays bingo instead of cards.

So old, their favorite clubhouse video-game is Grand Theft Chariot.

So old, they get pulled muscles just signing autographs.

Speaking of international signings, one-time Phillies int. signing Jesus Sanchez has been signed by the Marlins.

He was signed out of Venezuela and had a couple good years, but got cut in 2011 (he's not a big "stuff" guy), was signed by the Brewers and had a bad year. In 2012 he was converted to a reliever and posted a 1.63 ERA and 1.1 WHIP in AA/AAA. Last year he was 2.83 ERA 1.2 WHIP in Trip A, albeit old at 25.

He throws 90-93 with a decent slider and changeup. Projects as a useful middle reliever.

clout: At the risk of making you doubt everything in which you believe, I agree completely w/ your 11.58AM post, esp. regarding college players, & the international talent pool.

Rube has no choice but to "hope" these guys bounce back with decent years. He put this together with all his resignings. To back up now to youth and he is basically telling the brass he messed up, which we can all see he did. I think Montgomery and the rest of the brass are assuning some responsibility for this mess at this point. Montgomery simply can't pull the trigger on Rube and say we need to rebuild. Even if these guys slightly bounce back, you still have a pitching staff with holes in it. We are hoping on angels to think this team is going to get to the playoffs. No way! The stands will be empty by the All Star break, Montgomery will then fire Rube, and we still can't start over because of all the money applied to this roster. This is the ugliest of scenarios. My guess is the league's other GM;s are laughing because this whole thing reeks of hope and wishes. There is nothing sustainable about this lineup as it stands now.

Isn't Jesus Sanchez from the Abreu trade?

BB: Yeah, he was. He wasn't an international signing (well, he WAS, but he wasn't the Phillies' international signing). He was actually a catcher when the Yankees traded him to us but, after 2 years in our system, we converted him to pitcher.

As we know, Mike Trout will make serious money playing this game. The fun starts next off-season when he becomes eligible for arbitration.

It would not be a bad strategy for Trout actually to go to arbitration each of the three years with an outrageously high number. Even if he loses each time, he will receive a record-setting salary.

Then, after the 2017 season, Trout will be a FA. Ten years at some vulgar AAV sounds just about right for greatness still only 26.

In the meantime, the Phils should do everything in their power to make Philadelphia an attractive destination again.

The ownership should then resolve:
"We will not be outbid for Mike Trout's services".

derekcarstairs et al... Someone please convince me Trout is the next Willie Mays. Let's see him make an epic, drugless run at his 200th HR first. Remember, Trout and all players are just an ACL away from obscurity.

Also, this just in: Enormous contracts are albatrosses. Even if it's the Savior himself.

As long as the tight-fisted limited partnership rules the roost, and GM David Montgomery is at the helm, this team will be run by who possesses the most sentimental value to that God-forsaken bunch of coots.

Oh yeah... TV money (I can't wait to see the actual number) makes no difference. The greedy FO ba$tards will take every dime up to the luxury tax ceiling. And leave the handsomely-compensated Amaro to explain away the bullshit.

Tears, Ruben? OK. Whatever it takes.

derek -That's a plan I can get behind. No matter how outrageous the number the Phils throw at Trout, he will still be worth more than that at 26 years old.

Here's to hoping he doesn't agree to a long-term extension with the Angels.

It'd be ironic if the deals to Hamilton and Pujols made it impossible for them to pay Trout...

In 2017, the Angels will be paying Hamilton/Pujols a combined $56 million for their Age 36 and Age 37 seasons respectively.

No way that's all dead money for them.

Sorry, that's $58 million, not $56.

This team is so old, it's olde.

Dan Haren has turned his last two seasons of a 84 ERA+ (-0.4 WAR) into 2 contracts worth a total of $23 million.

He must be a really, REALLY good clubhouse guy.

This place is turning into Second City.

Cutter - Willie Mays only wishes he could have accomplished what Mike Trout has after his first two full years.

This team is so old, that the helmet day giveaway will now feature powdered wigs.

Three years for Chooch at age 35 is not bad since he didn't become a full-time starter until he was 28. Not so much wear-and-tear as some of the others. Why, Chooch hasn't caught nearly so many balls off the chin as, say, a Yadier Molina ... or even a Rock Hudson, for that matter.

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EST. 2005

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