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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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"In June 2012, outfielder Marlon Byrd faced a 50-game suspension after testing positive for tamoxifen, a substance banned from Major League Baseball and many other sports. Why would an athlete want to take a drug normally used by breast-cancer patients? The answer lies in some interesting biochemistry.
Many breast cancers have receptors for estrogen, a hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body. When estrogen molecules fit into these receptors, like a key fitting into a lock, the malignant cells become activated. Tamoxifen blocks these estrogen receptors, interfering with the cancer's ability to grow and develop. This is why scientists refer to tamoxifen as an anti-estrogenic agent.
Now let's turn our attention to a home-run slugger taking steroid injections -- usually synthetic testosterone -- to grow his muscles. Large doses of the male hormone cause the body to produce additional estrogen. This in turn can result in enlarged breasts, a feature that most power hitters find unappealing. To counteract the effects of estrogen and mask their steroid use, these players may opt to take tamoxifen. That means anti-estrogens don't really enhance performance, but, because they alleviate symptoms of PEDs, they appear on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of more than 200 banned substances and methods."

Saying Byrd taking a "breast-tissue decreasing drug" isn't an indicator of PED use is the same as saying Manny Ramirez testing positive for HCG doesn't mean anything.

Byrd was taking a medication that is well-known to be taken by steroid users to counteract the negative aspects of testosterone-boosting substances. You don't need to be a genius to figure that one out.

It's never a good sign when one of your players is concerned w/ the size of his own breasts. The Phillies should issue Byrd number 36D.

Your 2014 Phils:

CF Revere
2B Utley
RF Byrd
1B Howard/Ruf
LF Brown
SS Jimmy!
3B Asche
C Ruiz


Byrd doesnt cost them $8 million next year, he saves them $10 million from paying Choo and probably $7-8 million from paying Cruz...thus, he frees up money for other positions to be filled.

Jeez.

Ugh.

***Jim Salisbury reported Monday afternoon the Phils are still looking into Peter Bourjos (via trade)***

Not a chance...the 2014 outfield, barring injuries, is already set with Brown/Revere/Byrd from left to right and likely Mayberry/Ruf on the bench.

People are aware that Chooch will be 35 in January and served his own 50-game suspension, correct? And his body has also been through the meat grinder.

Question: Is the correct term for a Mayberry/Ruf bench "Muf" or "Ruberry"?

Siedman also believes that Manny Ramirez was just trying to stimulate his ovaries to release eggs.

I completely agree, Jason. Chooch is a huge risk too...especially if he wants 3 years.

Pierzynski is also a risk given his age and usage (1600 starts behind the plate at the MLB level...not alot left on that tire really).

There really are no good answers at this point thanks to a long series of moves and decisions over the past 5 years. This is what happens when you have bad leadership...bad decisions get compounded by further bad decisions and then even worse decisions where you dont have any good options left as you've painted yourself in a corner. That's the phase we're in right now under Rube.

Mick O: both options have their merits. Can we use them interchangeably depending on the situation?

Corey Seidman just averaged Byrd's age 29-33 seasons, and told us that all he needs to do is put up those numbers in his age 36 season, and he'll be fine.

I wonder if the Phillies sponsor a 'Baseball 101' class over at CSNPhilly.

JW: Things haven't changed around here. We like our indignation.

A high floor? I guess. If you can consider any 36-year old to have a high floor. Did Michael Young have a "high floor"?

He's a 2 WAR player, maybe, this season and next, and that's likely being generous. That's fine, and for $8 million a year, basically market price.

But it doesn't move the needle on this team. There's very little they can do to make me thing this season isn't basically lost and irrelevant already, and certainly signing Marlon Byrd doesn't do anything.

I'd feel better about the Byrd signing if it was for one year. The money doesn't bother me, FA's are overpaid - story at 11.

Also, overpaid Chooch >> Pierzynski, even at Ruiz's age and given his injury issues, IMO. Not to mention, we're all going to hate having to type "Pierzynski" on a regular basis if we sign him.

I like this move...now get Tanaka and two relievers!

Byrd was kind of a different animal last season. 144 strikeouts marked a career high significantly. Swing for that contract. I'm with the eggheads however. Doesn't move the needle greatly, doesn't handcuff them greatly. Saw someone post that the Red Sox, Dodgers, Cardinals wouldn't dare sign someone like this. I could see all three of them do it.

Whether Byrd is a good signing or not, it really doesn't affect Ruf too much, as he will be starting daily at 1st base by early June.

Who would move the needle of the available options? Stanton? Price maybe? If they grabbed the best three free agents, they'd probably top out at, what, 83 wins.

jbird: "Whether Byrd is a good signing or not, it really doesn't affect Ruf too much, as he will be starting daily at 1st base by early June."

Agreed. I already have Ruf penciled in at first and will wager that either Chase or someone not on the opening day roster, maybe Franco, will be your 1b by the end of the season.

Just 3 years left on the Howard contract, right?

And that ridiculous payout, of course.

I must admit to a little confusion at the "this money could have gone to international FAs" talk. Leaving aside, for the moment, the Phillies' propensity to not look at international FAs, $8MM/year is going to be lower than what most of the good IFAs get, and that's not even factoring in the posting fees, and the additional years.

Especially if these are "second-tier" IFAs, where you can't be certain they won't perform worse than the second-tier MLB FAs. You can say it's worth taking a gamble on them, and that's generally true, but it's more of a gamble than 2/$16MM for Byrd either due to cost, length, or both.

Also, last I heard, Nippon Baseball Association hadn't finalized their new posting system, so in fact there's no way to post at the moment.

Its also pretty preposterous to mention the $189M luxury tax as the Phillies budget.

Regardless if you agree with the decision or not, the Phillies payroll has mirrored the performance of their operating revenue for decades. If the Phillies didn't increase their operating revenue, or their projections dont foresee an increase, their payroll will not either.

The luxury tax increasing in 2014 has as much affect on Oakland's payroll than it does on Philadelphia.

Nah, Ruf will be traded before January, either for Bourjos or some reliever; then he'll proceed to post a +800 OPS for the next several seasons and Rube will say "we're happy for him, but I wouldn't do things any differently, since he didn't fit the needs of our team...no one could have forseen that Ryan would hit the DL in Spring Training, after all."

JW - Nice to see back on the board. Hope that Comcast doesn't have you having C++ nightmares.

MG: Thanks. Just a radical shift in careers, family and the need for a break after doing this nearly 10 years. Haven't posted since February. Absence had nothing to do with CSN or Comcast. It's all me.

The Phillies know that men are the predominant demographic which views their product. Hence, the signing of a player with big breasts.

"which Byrd was using to reduce the excess tissue in his breasts."

Marlon Byrd has breasts.

Not a great move, not an awful move. Frankly, I'd rather see Byrd in right field than the out-of-position players and assorted dreck we have been parading out there since Pence was shipped out.

Lorecore - Yup. Monty hinted as much the other day and Amaro did too when they said there was no reason that a team with last year's payroll ($165M) shouldn't be able to put out a contending team.

Normally I'd agree but not with the dollars the Phils have allocated to the likes of Howard, Papelbon, Adams, and JRoll nor the caliber of young talent on the roster and that will likely play this year at the MLB level.

Need to see the other moves the Phils make but I would bet money they are nearly identical to the Byrd signing with maybe a trade thrown in for a younger player if the Phils aren't able to address their outstanding needs (C, SP, bullpen) via FA.

Phils appear to be just biding their time until the new TV deal kicks in but the problem is that they don't have the kind of farm system & younger ceiling talent at AA/AAA at bank on a real uptick in '15 right now nor does it appear they have some kind of larger strategic vision on where the organization should head beyond just signing another FA veteran to a long-term, large deal.

Regardless if you agree with the decision or not, the Phillies payroll has mirrored the performance of their operating revenue for decades. If the Phillies didn't increase their operating revenue, or their projections dont foresee an increase, their payroll will not either.

This. A million times, this. Not that I believe the Phillies should throw money around up to the luxury tax limit this coming season -- they absolutely should not -- but the fact that anyone believes they might is borderline insane.

No surprise i actually advocated getting Byrd this season. One a one to two year deal. Now that he is older Meh. We all know Rube love his 35+ yo players. Its the same Rube all over again.

JW: "I could see all three of [sox cardinals dodgers] do it."

Marlon Byrd at 2yr/$16M is not a terrible deal in general. I think it would fit for a lot of contenders that could use a complimentary piece for depth. There are much worse deals than Marlon Byrd out there, for any team.

However, this isn't an isolated incident unfortunately. It further affirms that the Phillies are stuck in the same thought process that has turned them into one of the worst teams in the league. They still are trying to plug holes in a sinking ship, and do it with aging veterans who have flashy "production" numbers surrounded by statistical red flags that are viewed as some type of witchcraft instead of warning signs.

Whoever can't already hear Amaro's voice in their head telling the media in June that "Byrd just has to be better" hasn't been paying attention.

Again, I must go back to what is fast becoming one of my favorite RAJ quotes, made only 12 days ago: "We have to try to be creative, maybe a little more creative if we can."

Then he signs a 36-year old ex-Phillie who doesn't walk, and is linked to a 37-year old catcher who drew 11 walks last year. Very creative. I mean, absolutely no one could have foreseen that RAJ would sign a couple of guys in their late 30s who don't walk. It's so totally different from everything he has done in the past.

Glad to have you back JW.

On the topic of bringing in guys to make this a playoff team. Those moves could just as easily not matter either meaning we are digging a further hole giving up prospects and a ton of money.

jbird: "Whether Byrd is a good signing or not, it really doesn't affect Ruf too much, as he will be starting daily at 1st base by early June."

Agreed. I already have Ruf penciled in at first and will wager that either Chase or someone not on the opening day roster, maybe Franco, will be your 1b by the end of the season.

Posted by: J. Weitzel | Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 03:15 PM


Where will Ryan Howard be?

This is a perfectly fine move for a 4th place team with no prospect of being any better next year. We weren't saddled with another long contract, and didn't lost either of the 2 talented minor leaguers. Marking time until that next infusion of young talent.

How would the answer to this poll question read if it was taken inside and outside Philadelphia? Which move will pay off more for the Phillies: Utley (2Y, $25M, vesting options) or Byrd (2Y, $16M)?

nonamephame: (piggybacking on lorecore's answer) or the trainers will have to put him down after he pulls up lame on the field yet again.

Pretty obvious JW, Utley is the Chuck Norris of Baseball... or maybe Chuck Norris is the Utley of life.

Byrd was only signed because David Price will be here soon and Brown is part of the package going to the Rays.

Book it.

JW: Byrd. The Utley deal will yield a negative return sooner rather than later.

Something something tweet thingy (unconfirmed report) says that Chooch has a 2 year/$20M offer on the table.

Thoughts?

JW: "I could see all three of [sox cardinals dodgers] do it."

Lorcore: "Marlon Byrd at 2yr/$16M is not a terrible deal in general. I think it would fit for a lot of contenders that could use a complimentary piece for depth. There are much worse deals than Marlon Byrd out there, for any team."

Agree - I meant that I don't really see any of those teams signing him as an everyday starter like RAJ does - you said it yourself. 4th OF/platoon, OK, sure.

Also don't like the idea of paying an player for peak [lucky] performance in the past vs 'getting creative' and signing someone due for a rebound, whether post injury or past unlucky etc. Though I thought 3 for 39 was an overpay at the time, Victorino's deal with the Red Sox still had some of those characteristics - and hey look what happened. As a player, he's also a cut above Byrd.

Did he cost them a compensatory pick? Don't recall.

Don't know from which team - it was a Rosenthal tweet.

Vic couldn't be offered a QO by the Dodgers because he was traded mid-season.

mlbtr is reporting that Chooch may have an offer from the Rockies at 2/20 with an option...

oops, not Rocks. Red Sox?

Sil beat me to it.

If this is true, then RAJ made a major mistake not trying to extend Chooch during the season, assuming he didn't.

Pass on Chooch. And I love Chooch, but pass.

I wasn't a Chooch supporter early on but came to really appreciate what he meant to the club. 2 yr/$20M is a deal the Phils should walk away from with much hesitation.

Chooch may deliver close to that value over the course of the contract but a team very well might be stuck with a $10M backup catcher in '15.

Meant without.

JW, this is the cost of quality catching at the MLB level.

The market is short, and if teams want anyone good, they're going to have to pay up. The fact is that there are just not that many guys at the MLB level as talented as Chooch. He's better than the guys who started on half of last season's playoff teams.

Look at what Molina got, and what the speculation is that McCann will get. That's the market for the better players.

In that perspective, 2/20 for Chooch is a bargain.

Look at it this way:

What would Molina have gotten had he hit the open market?

At least what McCann is going to get, and probably way more.

Chooch has averaged over 3 WAR for the last 4 years, and if 1 WAR is worth 5MM....

I could see the Phils with a three or four-headed catcher situation next season, anchored by someone like Navarro.

Does anyone have a link to that Philly.com or Philadelphia Magazine about the inner workings of the front office? It was written pre-2008 WS and was remarkably prophetic about what would happen with Utley/Howard/Rollins in decline. I know it was posted here several times, was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction

The article ostensibly said that the owners was basically a boys club and if Amaro was named GM there wouldn't be much accountability

Just a shame about Tommy Joseph. Because this is exactly the scenario the Phils wanted to avoid when they made that deal. For once the Phils had a plan in place with a young player waiting in the wings.

Barajas is available . . .

Yeah, seems like only yesterday the farm was supposedly overflowing with catchers who would be ready to step up post-Ruiz. And then there were the "Baby Aces" before that. And the year they were mentioning Brown in the same breath as Stanton and Heyward. Good luck Mr. Franco.

Wonder if the Phils could pry loose a guy like Iannetta from the Angels for the right secondary prospects.

Who would you rather play for next year (2/20) Phils or red soxs? It's a no brainer.\
R.Billingsly: Who else is being traded for Price besides Brown?

Iannetta isn't a bad idea, MG.

At 16 miliion over 2 years, for a 36-year-old, who has had only one good year in his career, this is a bad signing. I can't say it enough. 2 years 8 million would have been better. And he may have taken it, considering he only made 700k last year. only then would it have been ok.

This has to be coupled with something else, to make it even somewhat viable. And I'm not talking about a 37-year-old catcher either. If they want a catcher and they can't bring back Chooch, the choice is Salty. Period, end of story.

If it meant the Phils would actually be competitive the next few seasons, I'd match that offer for Chooch in a heartbeat, even though he is in decline defensively.

As it is, I wish him well with his new team and sign someone similar to a Navarro to pair with Cameron Rupp behind the plate.

Molina has hit the open market. Jose Molina though.

Reds signed Pena and I wonder if R. Hanigan is available. Rather the Phils traded for Hanigan and signed another backup than gave some like Pierzynski a 2-yr deal at moderate dollars.

What exactly is Rupp's projected ceiling? I thought it was a fringe MLB catcher who might stick if his defense is strong enough as a backup.

MG: I like the Hanigan idea in & of itself, & even more so when compared to the Pierzynski/Navarro options.

JW - Iannetta has his limitations but he is signed to a moderate deal ($10M the next 2 years) and walks a ton which this lineup desperately needs.

He would be a nice stop-gap solution and if the Phils could trade a guy like S. Gonzalez (his value will never be higher and seems to have some serious questions on just what his ceiling is) I wouldn't mind that move at all.

Dave - It would free up some money for Amaro to address the starting pitching need unless the Phils really are going to with KK, MAG, and ??? as their 3-4-5 projected into camp.

Given Amaro's love of starting pitching, I would be stunned if the Phils don't sign/trade for a veteran starter as the 3/4.

2/20 with an option (likely a vesting one) is too much for Chooch right now...at least on the Phillies.

Might as well commit to a full rebuild instead.

MG: As will I, although r00b still hasn't closed the door on the idea of Halladay possibly being that guy. My guess is that he wants to wrap up the catching situation first, but that's just a guess.

***Given Amaro's love of starting pitching, I would be stunned if the Phils don't sign/trade for a veteran starter as the 3/4.***

Isn't the current rumor Arroyo? I could see him going KK/MAG/Arroyo...as disgusting/crappy as that is.

I don't mind if the Phils are 'staying the course' but the glaring problem with that strategy is that Amaro won't be the captain of the ship in 2 years.

I see little/no evidence there is any kind of longer term strategic plan or thought about how to maximize the current team or rebuild even though the Phils are somewhat acknowledging that by eschewing long term contracts in FA or big name trades.

Amaro is basically the little Dutch boy who puts his fingers in the dike that is progressively degrading overall in structural integrity. Amaro places his fingers in the holes where the gaps appear to be only to find more and more holes appearing than he can put his thumbs in each offseason.

Not generally a Rich Hoffman fan, but I can't really argue with the arguments he presents. The stat he brings up is particularly interesting and damning.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Byrd_likely_to_disappoint_Phillies.html

NEPP - Yeah but Arroyo is going to get at least 2 years at decent dollars (imagine $14-$18M).

Phils might be stuck in the next tier down with a guy like Hammel, Saunders, and Maholm.

541-- That article offers a sneak peek at the title for next year's yearbook.

2014 Phillies: A Shot in the Dark

Starting pitcher is one guy I can see Amaro waiting on a bit and seeing which veteran starters shake loose.

It is going to be another offseason of veteran mediocrity FA signings with the only interesting acquisitions being made via a trade.

"Just a shame about Tommy Joseph. Because this is exactly the scenario the Phils wanted to avoid when they made that deal. For once the Phils had a plan in place with a young player waiting in the wings."


JW, IMHO the plan was for Gillies to step in and replace Victorino in CF.

That hasn't worked out either.

If anything, the Phillies problem is that they may be limiting their options.

I had a dream that the Phillies somehow traded for Shane Victorino.

"Iannetta isn't a bad idea, MG."

I agree, he'd be a decent fallback option if not too costly.

Again with a friend who just IMed me in that Byrd is EXACTLY the kind of signing the Phils would make in the bad-old days.

A washed-up FA hitter who is his 30s coming off a very good year only to inevitably disappoint & underperform.

awh: The difference is that Gillies is someone nobody liked other than the Phillies. Joseph, for once, was respected as a legit prospect by the rest of the league.

Chad Durbin is the bad old days signing I refer to most.

I don't think it is so much that Rube loves old men, I just think he has no idea how to evaluate younger, unproven talent. Thus he always defaults to the name brand, even if it is of the Commodore, Compaq variety.

JW, I agree, there were a lot of people here who couldn't believe it was Gillies and not Michael Saunders, who's gone on to have a .242 .314 .416 line (107 OPS+) the last two years with the M's.

Of course, compared to Gillies, that's a homerun!

Saunders is getting killed by Safeco.

His OPS/away the last two seasons is .793 and .759.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb

Amaro said he plans to tender John Mayberry Jr. a contract through arbitration.

Well that's good. I was starting to worry about seeing an unfamiliar face on the team next year.

I can't seem to get Rosenthal's twats anymore. I wonder what happened?

"I can't seem to get Rosenthal's twats anymore. I wonder what happened?"

Most people would consider that a good thing.

***Rosenthal's tweets.

DPat: I can understand that you don't like the Byrd signing but saying he has had one good year in his career is absolutely false

Mayberry will be back, eh? That's far more of a damning indictment on Amaro than this signing.

Mayberry has value, despite all the hate here.

He provides depth, is Versatile™, and they might actually be able to flip him for a marginal reliever of prospect.

He'd be a decent platoon option, especially at 1B, and a team like OAK has a guy in Seth Smith who is 'nixian' against LHP: .201 .269 .313.

Mayberry would fit Billy Beane's criteria of a platoon guy who's relatively cheap, who can also play corner OF, and play in CF in an emergency.

He'd be a better option for OAK than Nate Freiman, who might be worse against RHP than Mayberry.

I bet Beane would still rather have Ruf.

TTI~ So what? It's still a bad signing. It's massive overpay. Instead of agreeing on that you pick apart a statement.

And how many more bad signings will folllow? Answer me that.

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