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Thursday, December 05, 2013


Wilson has pitched 15.2 innings since 2011 and he just got $19 million guaranteed?!?

Kershaw should demand $40 million a year and hold to it given the amount of ridiculous money the Dodgers are throwing around.

Why even give a worthless POS player like Manship a minor league deal? Especially this early in the signing period? He doesnt even offer the smallest amount of value as he has conclusively shown that he cant even be a spot guy at the MLB level. There are plenty of org depth guys out there and there is zero need to give them a deal right now. The AAA staff should be for fliers on guys that might have some upside, not terrible guys that should be washing cars for a living.

I imagine it's an ungauranteed MiLB deal.

Alternatively, they want him to be the captain of the new attraction in the "Kiddy Korner" outfield: the ManShip.

Why not sign someone who could actually make the team?

Or someone that might actually help even the AAA team out?

What NEPP said. Just because it's a minor league/depth signing does not mean it isn't idiotic in the extreme. There are a finite number of AAA roster spots. Why would you give one to an absolute no-hoper?

In other words, yeah, it's a depth signing and must be judged in comparison to other potential depth signings. But even on those terms, this move is so weak as to leave me completely disgusted.

Who says it's AAA? Maybe Williamsport needs some help.

I can't even be bothered to think about the signings. There really isn't much on the market that would make a difference to the team at this point or at the level the Phils are willing to sign. The Phils have two great pitchers, but the offence will still live or die by Howard and whether or not he is healthy and producing.

On the one hand, I love the smallest details that show up on beerleaguer. On the other hand, if someone one can give a report of Howard's health, rehabilitation, or even how many times he has been to subway, I feel like that would give me far more insight on next season than the signing of someone that will likely not even make it out of spring training.

On the third hand--really Nieves? We can't do better than a 36 year old catcher to back up our 35 year old catcher?

Leave my son Jeff alone. He is a good boy.

Dorothy Manship is a saint!

Is this a prelude to signing Bud Manstrong?

Sharky's Machine!

I don't have access to old scouting reports at the moment, but my recollection was that Manship was college kid projected as potential rotation back-ender. Decent command, mediocre stuff. His minor league stats suggest he topped out in Triple A. He could eat some innings for LV if healthy. He should be 14th in line for a recall in case a starter goes down.

From MLBTradeRumors: 2:39pm: Heyman reports that Nieves is guaranteed $1.125MM and can earn up to $500K in performance bonuses (Twitter link).

At least it sounds like its a 1 year deal for once. Bully for Rube for learning hopefully.

$1.125MM for Nieves. Meh.

NEPP: If it's a 2-year deal at $562.5K, I'd honestly be just as ok with it.

Per the recent Keith Law speculation, perhaps we should be asking: who represents Jeff Manship?

Or is he not good enough to have an agent?

offseason = saved!

Nieves isn't a strong defensive catcher and why that even posted in the article?

Jeff Manship sounds like a fictional name of one of leather-clad gentleman at 'Blue Oysters' in the Policy Academy series.

Amaro has signed total bums so far on minor league deals except Camp.

NEPP~ Yeah the Manship signing is pure BS. Mujica gets 2 years 9 mill plus from the Bosox. The Phils were linked to him but it probably would have taken more years and money for him to come here. We used to be where Boston is. So these are the kinds of signings that RAJ will get.

Steve: I am certain that the beat writers will report that Howard shows up at camp in the best shape of his life.

DPat - How is the Mujica signing related to Manship in any way? Apples and oranges.

Even 2 years ago, the Phils were getting at least a few semi-interesting players on minor league deals.

This year they are getting the likes of Brignac and Manship.

As harsh as it sounds, NEPP is actually correct: Signing Manship really can be viewed as a waste of a AAA roster spot. this is a guy who hit a wall in AA in 2008, and has only pitched 50 decent innings in AAA in 2009.

The likelihood of him ever helping the big club is contingent as to whether he's willing to work as a clubhouse attendant.

Jeff Manship's best buddy is Buzz Lightbeer.

MG: Nieves is considered throughout baseball to be a good defensive catcher. It's how he's held an MLB job for 10 years. Don't get fooled by defense metrics, which are inaccurate enough for other positions, but really bad for catchers.

If anyone's Manship should be questioned, it's Rube's.

Here's a pic of Buzz:

clout - It is Bako redux. Yeah he was a good defensive catcher but no mas.

DPat linking the Mujica signing with the minor league deal of Manship is hilarious. You can't make this stuff up.

Manship was clearly Rube's Plan B when the Mujica sweepstakes fell through.

Again, you don't have to put a guy you sign to a MiLB deal at AAA. You can put him at AA, A+, A-... Don't think you can put him in rookie ball, but you can stash him at extended Spring Training for a while too.

There is zero point to sign a guy pushing 30 with a 7ish career ERA to any sort of deal at all...which is the overall point being made.

Amaro has wasted over $2M now on Nieves and Frandsen.

Inability to assemble a decent bench or allocate dollars efficiently on the last few roster spots really has hurt the team the last few years especially with the injuries to regulars. Positive this year will be no different.

MG: Or Steve Lake, his closest B-Ref comp. Phillies fans around in the early '90s remember Lake.

And DPat wonders why I call him a dope

clout - Again Lake was actually a decent defensive catcher even if he was a zero offensively.

I would bet bottom dollar Nieves sticks this entire year unless he gets hurt and sucks (~.250 hitter with an OBP below .300, no pop, and crummy defense).

I would bet Rupp would be a better backup catcher and at nearly $1M less.

MG: I don't agree on the crummy defense, but barring a huge e-RUPP-tion in spring training you're probably right about the rest of it.

To be fair, we don't know if Frandsen is going to end up on the team. Kratz was shipped out for something of value, after all.

That said, it's likely he's a waste.

Hell, I would have rather seen Marson here. Amaro just has this fascination with decrepit journeyman catchers who once were adequate MLB players but are washed up.

Frandsen got a guaranteed MLB contract though and when has one of those guys not made the Opening Day roster during Amaro's tenure?

He will make the roster because he's on a guaranteed deal and he's out of options regardless. They're not going to eat it even on $900K...they might release him at some point during the season but it wont be before Opening Day.

MG, I don't get your whining about the Nieves signing.

1) It's not for an amount of money that's going to make a difference.
2) Do you really, with his track record of getting dinged up, expect Chooch to make it through a full season without going on the DL?

Which leads to:

3) Doesn't it make sense to have depth at the catching position given it's physical demands?
4) Who else would YOU have signed as a backup catcher?

Here's the FA list from MLBTR:


J.P. Arencibia (28)
Henry Blanco (42)
John Buck (33)
Hector Gimenez (31)
Ramon Hernandez (38)
Koyie Hill (35)
Lou Marson (27)
Michael McKenry (29)
Miguel Olivo (35)
Humberto Quintero (34)
Kelly Shoppach (34)
Kurt Suzuki (30)
Taylor Teagarden (30)
Yorvit Torrealba (35)

I wouldn't mind seeing if Marson would take a minor league deal so we could stash him in AAA...I doubt he will least right now. He might be willing to do that in February though if nobody else has given him an MLB guaranteed job.

There are a couple of guys who are better on that list including Buck, Marson, Shoppach, Suzuki, and Arencibia.

Nieves is almost as bad as anyone on that list and yet he got a decent raise from Amaro.

NEPP, I wouldn't mind seeing Marson signed also, but all the guys on that list are going to be looking for MLB jobs.

They won't sign MiL anywhere until they're sure their MLB options are exhausted.

If a guy like Marson signs, it will probably be mid-to-late January.

"There are a couple of guys who are better on that list including Buck, Marson, Shoppach, Suzuki, and Arencibia."

Yep, and they're still looking for more playing time than they're likely to get with the Phillies, so it's not likely they would have signed.

There may be one available later on, but right now they're looking for time behind the dish, not a job as Chooch's caddy.

I agree with you, BTW, that Nieves wasn't the best option "available", but what makes you think Amaro and his staff didn't check in with those other guys?

awh - Because Amaro likes backup veteran journeyman who once had a strong defensive rep (even if not justified anymore) and Nieves had a high batting average the past 2 years. Amaro has a love AVG and RBIs in a hitter even if they are pretty weak measures of a hitter's overall offensive performance.

In the grand scheme of things, it is isn't a big deal and it might mean the difference between maybe 1-2 games this season.

It does add up though over the course of the season though and when Amaro finds a way to place a couple of stiffs on the last few roster spots on the bench & bullpen.

I'm not saying Frandsen won't make the 25-man, I'm saying he might get traded. He was my most likely odd-man-out to start the off-season, so I still think it's possible he (or I guess Cesar?) are going to end up wearing another uniform before all's said and done.

Kinda like Kratz.

MG, Phils backup catchers (Kratz, Quintero, Rupp, Lerud) got 345 PA in 2103. Chooch got 341.

That was with Chooch serving his suspension and being DL'd for a month.

Buck: 431 PA - .648 OPS, 84 OPS+
Suzuki: 316 PA, .627/73
Shoppach: 127 PA, .627/80
Arencibia: 497 PA, .592/59

Nieves: 206 PA, .690/90

So, given that buck and Arencibia are probably looking for starting jobs, and that Shoppach and Suzuki did not perform better last season than Nieves, and Suzuki will IMO definitely be looking for more playing time than the Phillies were offering, Nieves is not a bad signing, or one that you should be lamenting.

Gee. I wonder what back-end-of-the-roster guy MG will be flogging every day in 2014?

"In the grand scheme of things, it is isn't a big deal and it might mean the difference between maybe 1-2 games this season."

MG, this is dubious, at best.

I'll agree that if Chooch catches 115-120 games next season, and the backup 42-47, that in those 40-odd games the backup works one or two will be lost because of the downgrade from Chooch to the backup.

However, if you're going to take the position that the difference in those 40-odd games between Nieves and any of those other guys will be 1-2 games, I could not disagree with you more.

I don't see that big of a difference.

I take a gentleman's wager that Nieves finishes the '14 season with a negative WAR value and stinks defensively.

MG, and so will some of the guys you mentioned.

MLB backup catchers are like the playoffs and relief pitchers:

It's a f8888ng crapshoot from year-to-year as to what you'll get.

I'd say it's a little more certain that what you get won't be good. Otherwise they wouldn't be backups, or they won't remain backups.

"Why even give a worthless POS player like Manship a minor league deal? "

Don't hold back, tell us what you REALLY think!

"The AAA staff should be for fliers on guys that might have some upside, not terrible guys that should be washing cars for a living."

Phew! For a moment, I thought you were talking about me!

All me to concur with MG: With regard to Nieves, the signing is problematic because it is a waste of resources. If we are looking for a pure backup, Cameron Rupp's on staff and ready to make the league minimum. (And his bat might just surprise everyone.) If you're looking for a marginal starter as opposed to a pure backup on the assumption Chooch is going to be limited to 100 games or so, Nieves's defense will probably give away more runs than his bat will generate, while Nieves himself is not exactly a spring chicken. By both metrics, Nieves is a poor fit that will likely squander scarce resources.

Get real,you all know Cameron Rupp
is too young.Phils way is not to give any youngsters a chance who might keep a veteran from being in the bigs.

Rupp has 98 games above the A+ level, and is not a wizard defensively. I've got no problem with him spending part or all of another season at AAA before throwing him to the wolves on a semi-regular basis. Especially considering his pretty poor OBP at the AA/AAA levels.

Juums, Rupp has options and provides DEPTH, a concept with which I'm sure you and MG are familiar.

Juums, you and MG keep talking about "scarce resources".

When did you and he sit down with Dave Montgomery and go over the budget?

"Rupp has 98 games above the A+ level, and is not a wizard defensively."

Buster, don't confuse them with facts. Some people here think development and experience don't matter.

I'm surprised that they don't expect toolsy high school draft picks to make it to the Show in a year or two. :)

Here we are agonizing over the backup catcher again....

I like the MANSHIP signing just cause the word MANSHIP has been thrown around so much already.

Given that we went into the season last year with Delmon Young and Michael Young as starters, I find Amaro's decisions choices for the 7th and 8th men on the roster more troubling than the 24th and 25th.

There is a line of thought, that if you don't baste a turkey, it will come out dry and stringy. There's another line of thought that if you don't brine a turkey, it will come out dry and stringy.

Interestingly, there are brining and basting methods, that can cause a turkey to come plump and juicy even without the use of basting or brine.

Maybe it just depends on the bird.

Rangers just signed Big Truck to a MiLB deal.

Kurt Suzuki is going to want a starting job and will get more money than Nieves got.

Buck will want a starting job and made 6 million last year. He won't take a paycut all the way down to 1.25 million coming off his best year since 2011.

Kelly Shoppach stinks and MG has slagged him on here quite a bit. Now he wants Shoppach.

JP Arencibia was maybe a possibility but that is hard to predict as even the Blue Jays didn't want him.

I agree with you, BTW, that Nieves wasn't the best option "available", but what makes you think Amaro and his staff didn't check in with those other guys?
Posted by: awh™ | Thursday, December 05, 2013 at 04:43 PM

At this point I think we can all agree that Amaro had blown the whole "benefit of the doubt" thing, don't you think?

On Manship, we needed someone to start split squad and "B" games and mop up in others in Florida. He will probably be the 3rd starter in LV behind Morgan and Biddle and win 8 or 10 games.

Rupp may see time on the MLB roster this year anyway if Chooch makes his annual trip to the 15-day DL.

Manship also is an early contestant for the guy who pitches well at Lehigh Valley and has people calling for him to be brought up and spot start.

From MLBTradeRumors:
It appears the Cubs will cede their top pick in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft to resolve a dispute involving former Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo, Carrie Muskat of reports. The Cubs picked Castillo from the Phillies in 2011, and Castillo missed 91 days of the following season due to injury, then spent the entire 2013 season in the minors. In case of injury, players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must stick on their new teams' active rosters for at least 90 days. The Phillies will receive the Cubs' pick after they filed a grievance regarding Castillo. The Cubs don't plan to select a player this year anyway. The Rule 5 Draft will be held next Thursday.


Amaro gets TWO Rule 5 draft picks? He must be doing cartwheels in the backyard.

Dear God...TWO Rule 5 picks?!?

Worlds are colliding!!!

You beat me to it! That has to mean the 2nd and 7th pick right?
Jd martinez welcome to philly

"Manship also is an early contestant for the guy who pitches well at Lehigh Valley and has people calling for him to be brought up and spot start."

If I am the one writing that post, it is irrefutable proof that I am no longer competent to care for myself. Anyone who encounters me after such a post hereby has my consent to euthanize me.

If RAJ wants to make 2 picks, he will have to drop a person because he currently is at 39 unless he waits until after the draft to sign Nieves.

Does a rule 5 pick have to be added to your 40-man roster immediately?

Yeah I would rather see the $2M the Phils wasted on Frandsen/Nieves on pitching upgrades including a veteran reliever or to sign a slightly better starter.

Nieves is washed up and I would rather the Phils sign an available veteran C in Jan. who would have signed a minor league/major league deal and been given an opportunity to win the backup job in spring vs. Rupp. There will always be a Quintero type who likely be available then and now the Phild will stick with Nieves largely regardless of who shitty he is next year.

When you have a chance to lockup a mediocre aging defensive catcher with a completely empty .297 AVG that is purely the result of a ridiculously high BABIP, you have to take it.

You have to have an opening on your 40 man roster to make a Rule 5 selection. If Nieves is not signed until after the Rule 5 draft and we make 2 selections, would have to drop someone to sign Nieves.

With the widespread criticism of the Fister trade from the Tigers' standpoint, Dombrowski is the latest example of a good GM making a bad deal, either in the form of a trade or a bad contract. Theo has made some bad deals. Pat Gillick. Even Billy Beane.

I ask the assemblage here: which GMs, current or recent,
a) have the fewest screw-ups,
b) have pulled off the biggest coups and
c) have the best overall track records?

The good news is that, if there's one area in which the Phillies' 40-man roster is deep, it's in the area of viable candidates to be dropped.

Well, they could maybe find some room on the 40 man but they'd have to clear some young and upcoming stars like Joe Savery, Michael Stutes or BJ Rosenberg or even a superstar like Jeremy Horst.

Luis Garcia...

Not to mention that they could probably put Mike Adams on the 60 day DL to clear a spot that way if they needed to too.

Nieves is on the 40man

Creates room for 2 rule 5's (pitcher, of) and your next SP.

derek: I'd vote John Mozeliak at the top of probably all 3 of those lists. Nearly every move he has made has turned out well -- i.e.,

-Jim Edmonds for David Freese.
-Gave up almost nothing to get Matt Holliday.
-Renewed Holliday with one of the few mega-deals which has actually worked out as planned.
-Shrewd FA moves (Berkman, not pursuing a bidding war for Pujols) and trades (Edwin Jackson, Edward Mujica)

Of course, he did give Ty Wigginton a 2-year deal. Nobody's perfect.

But if we get rid of Valle, who's gonna be our AA catcher who never hits enough to go further due to zero plate discipline?

He did offer Pujols like $200 million and did want him back but the Angels simply went nuts to outbid him.

Only 8 years, $212 Million to go on that Pujols another 10 year, $10 million personal services contract after that that pays him through 2031.

TTI: "Manship also is an early contestant for the guy who pitches well at Lehigh Valley and has people calling for him to be brought up and spot start."

Good prediction. After I got home I looked up the scouting reports: Almost identical to Cloyd's.

NEPP: When it comes to personnel moves in professional sports, I've always said that much of what passes as brilliance is really just dumb luck. Getting out-bid for Pujols, after offering an enormous deal, is a perfect example.

BAP - Speaking of Holliday, Beane's one-year rental of Holliday for CarGo and Huston Street is one of his screw-ups.

Rupp will never be anything more than a backup catcher, but he's good enough defensively that he could have a long career in that role, as Nieves has. I'd like to see him get another half year of Triple A, however.

Prediction: He'll have a better career than the highly touted (on BL several years ago) Lou Marson.

The Marlins just signed Rafael Furcal as their starting 2B coming off TJ surgery...he hasn't played professional baseball since 2012 and he's being penciled in as a starter going into his Age 36 season.

Heck of a franchise they've got down there.

Despite my sarcastic post of 8:03, and despite my utter disgust at the signing, if Jeff Manship goes out and puts up AAA numbers like Tyler Cloyd put up in 2012, I will be the first person clamoring for him to get a shot if we need a starter. But, based on his career track record in both the majors & minors, I see very little chance of that happening.

I've been trying to get some Indian cricket players over here on H1-B visas, but Selig keeps putting the kibosh on that.

BAP: And to complete that thought, Cloyd's dazzling Triple A numbers proved what exactly?

clout: AAA numbers never prove anything. They merely entitle the guy to a shot. What exactly would be the point of signing a 28-year old reclamation project to a minor league deal if you're not prepared to follow up by giving him a shot if he performs well at AAA?

"They merely entitle the guy to a shot."

Says who?

Last I checked no one is entitled to anything in baseball.

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