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Monday, December 02, 2013


Nats land Doug Fister. Phils land John Dingleberry, Jr. Sounds about right.

John Mayberry, Jr. Damn auto-correct.

You didn't really think that Amaro would cut ties with a fellow Stanford grad, did you?

Nats get a pitcher that could be a low-end #1 or a great #2 starter in the NL.

Phils bringing back John Mayberry.

Not sure how else it could get worse for Philly sports between now and Spring Training. Michael Vick getting cut, signing with the Cowboys, and running the wildcat offense all the way to the Super Bowl?

Why fix what isn't broken...65 wins here we come!!!

Dickie: No, Auto-Correct was dead on that time.

Rumors have Rendon going back to Detroit...I guess he can play 2B for them or even 3B and they keep Castellanos as an OF.

All I think about is that day the Mets got Johan Santana for 10 cents on the dollar and the Phils finalized their contract with Chad Durbin.

It looked even bleaker then, right?

If they gave up Rendon, that's a pretty steep price. But it's hard to argue this doesn't substantially improve the Nats in 2014 -- and, as far as I'm concerned, they were already the NL East favorites.

r, Cotillo tweets that three or four players will be going to Detroit, likely including second baseman Steve Lombardozzi and 22-year-old, left-handed pitching prospect Robbie Ray.

Hearing Ian Krol (LOOGY), Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray?!?

Wow, what a bad trade for Detroit if that's all they're getting. Pure salary dump for them almost...all so they can afford Scherzer.

There's gotta be more going back to Detroit, right?

Lou M non tendered lets get him

Fister should be pretty great going forward in the NL, but it should be noted his numbers seemed to trend the wrong way the past two years slightly. I would think they perk up a little bit moving to the NL but it should be noted about the slight decline.

He wouldn't be a terrible option as a backup...especially if we could stash him in AAA. Kratz isnt exactly young.

Fister will be their #4 starter behind Stras, Gio and Zimm...not a bad 4th option if that's all they had to pay. Even with his numbers trending the wrong way.

Nats just go a lot scarier and the Phillies stayed with status-quo. F'n Amaro.

If that's the combo of players going back, I'm going to assume Rizzo is getting Dombrowski a yacht or something for Christmas.

Yup, its confirmed....its just Krol, Lombardozzi and Ray going back to Detroit.

What a brutally one-sided trade.

When a team trades its older star players for prospects, that's a re-build.

When a team keeps its older star players and adds a couple of good veterans, that's a re-load.

When a team keeps its older star players and most of its other players and adds a couple of average veterans, that's a re-run.

NEPP: Yeah I mean I'm not criticizing the Fister trade in any way.Just pointing out the obvious on him while saying if those trends are an aberration he will be great.

GM Carson: Why are the Nationals any scarier than they were last year and the Phillies upgrading their corner outfield spot is the status quo?

The addition of Doug Fister gives them 4 great starting pitchers. That's scarier.

The addition of a 36 year old outfielder that seemed to come off a fluke season.

Do I really need to explain, or you just trying to pick a fight with me?

Two things stick out in a quick glance at Fister's record: he's stingy with both his walks and his HRs.

GM: People were using the scarier label last year with the Nats and crowning them after the off-season. Didn't work then.

And even if Byrd reverts to 112 OPS+ like a few years ago he is an upgrade over what we had. If he reverts to like a 96 then yeah he isn't.

Also again- note that Fister's numbers did drop the past two years. That can't be ignored completely.

As TTI notes, his WHIP shot way up last year and SO/9 dipped a bit.

Definitely a bit of a concern going forward.

But for the minimal package they gave up and his projected $6.9 million salary in 2014? What a steal.

Yeah if that package of players is truly what they gave up then they bilked the Tigers.

He also had a .332 BABIP last year compared to .298 for his career. I suspect that overwhelmingly accounts for his increased WHIP.

Dave Cameron: This trade is nothing short of a bonanza for the Nationals.

Nats get better. We get s***! way to go Rube! What a joke!

Fister's drop in production also coincides with him leaving Safeco... although Comerica isn't much better

He actually improved after leaving Safeco. His numbers for Detroit have been much better than with Seattle.

The team that wins the offseason is guaranteed nothing. However, we Phillies fans are guaranteed something: losing the offseason and bad baseball during the season. This only makes it worse. If Tanaka becomes available, Rube better offer 70 million to his Japanese team. It's only money and it doesn't count against the cap.

F'n Amaro, alright.

I'm totally sick of him. He must have something on Monty for him not to be fired. Like I said, absolute joke!

Maybe the Tigers are clearing payroll space to make a run at Tanaka or another top flight pitcher in addition to locking up Scherzer long-term. That's one of the only ways this would make sense as a pure salary dump (Tigers just saved about $6.2 million next year with this trade).

Dave Cameron's analysis is always laughable to me in many ways. I do like the part where he says basically, "Fister is good even at runs allowed while pitching in front of the Detroit Tigers."

That is fine analysis until you realize he is moving to a team that had 26 more errors last season and is much worse on the left side of the diamond- even with human statue Cabrera at third last year.

If John Dingleberry Jr. is a real autocorrect, that's comedy gold.

Fister is a great add for the Nats, no doubt. Especially as a 3rd or 4th starter.

Given that the Tigers were trying to dump salary and were last year relying on Phil Coke as their primary LH reliever (and also Smyly, who should probably be a starter), adding Kroll is not a bad addition to their bullpen. He throws hard and for a while this past season, was untouchable.

Lombardozzi is a throw-in utility guy.

Prospect pitcher I have no idea about, but was supposedly the Nats' 5th best prospect.

NEPP: I think it is just clearing space for a huge offer to Scherzer.

Also- I know there is very little excitement for Byrd and resigning Ruiz but the Phillies are better than last year's team right now even if it is only minimally. It is foolish to say they are not, or that they are worse.

But I realize in light of the Nationals upgrade people won't rationally see that.

Cameron is the author of one of my favorite articles ever: 'Nats Steal Denard Span.'

This one, though, is actually a steal.

*** I think it is just clearing space for a huge offer to Scherzer.***

Yeah...probably. Scherzer is projected to get $14.8 million next year in $8 million raise basically. If they lock him up, they're probably looking at an AAV in the low $20 million range...say $22 million per?

Lots of money needed just for that.

At this point, I hope that attendance tanks and tanks hard. If ownership is going to make the fans suffer through the smug idiocy of this general manager, they should incur some financial losses for the privilege.

I'll be damned if I'm going to spend an entire day driving down the turnpike and back and spend hundreds of dollars on tickets, food and parking to see a John Mayberry Jr. make two million dollars for no justifiable reason.

I won't be guilted out of my money with talk of "loyalty" and being a "real fan". I pay my cable bill and I'll watch the game. If they want any more of my money, they're going to have to start earning it, and that begins with the dismissal of the general manager. They're content to be mediocre. I'm content to watch Comcast from my sofa.

    NEPP: I think it is just clearing space for a huge offer to Scherzer.

    Also- I know there is very little excitement for Byrd and resigning Ruiz but the Phillies are better than last year's team right now even if it is only minimally. It is foolish to say they are not, or that they are worse.

    But I realize in light of the Nationals upgrade people won't rationally see that.

    Posted by: The Truth Injection | Monday, December 02, 2013 at 09:07 PM

C'mon now, TTI. The Phils wildly outplayed their Pythagorean last year; added the same bunch of recycled crap, and you make this statement?

May we quote your on June 1 (2014) when the Phils are 10 back; perhaps behind the Nationals? And Clifton is already making noises about leaving?

TTI~ Being only nominally better doesn't amount to much. You do understand that, right. RAJ had a chance to improve this team going forward and didn't. We all know what the reasons are. 1. He's incompetent and 2. Money. He wastes it when he doesn't have to (Byrd) and doesn't want to pay FA's what the market says he has to, albeit ridiculous. That's all there is to it.

Every talks about Howard's contract being an albatross and as he hasn't been healthy it is. But there are 2 starters and a closer making a helluva lot of money. And once again RAJ doesn't bring in the offensive pieces to support the pitching. Hell he hasn't even filled the pitching holes.

So as he maintains status quo, he's looking again at a 70-75 win team no doubt about it. The only good thing that may come of that is he could be gone and deservedly so.

Will - The GM is David Montgomery. Ruben Amaro is Montgomery's publicist.

I'm beginning to understand that, Cut, but Montgomery had just as much of a stake in the team when Pat was the GM.

Obviously, Monty is capable of presiding over a team that gives a damn about fielding a contender. I can't say the same about Amaro.

"It is foolish to say they are not, or that they are worse."

Well, you also thought it was foolish to believe that the 2013 Phillies would finish closer to last place than first, so your track record on these things isn't so great. I can think of lots of reasons why the Phillies, as presently constituted, are no better than last year's team. I mean, the only addition they've actually made is Marlon Byrd, and he was absolutely terrible in each of the 2 years before last. He could very easily turn out to be worse than the Ruf-Mayberry-DYak combination that manned RF for us last year.

So, other than one addition who may or may not be an upgrade, our team is exactly the same as what we had in 2013, but everyone's a year older. Including guys like Utley & Lee, who were still very good last year but aren't going to stay that way forever. Doesn't seem terribly foolish to say that, as it stands today, our team is even worse than last year's. But even if it's better, the difference is so infinitesimal that it's hardly worth commenting upon.

DPat: You have like negative credibility on anything you say because you have purported to have insider sources in the past and get hyper focused on one thing without ever having an answer to anything.

Obviously- marginally better is not a good thing. But please find where I said it was. Also, please find where I said I thought that the Phillies being even better in a minor sense meant they were going to be a considerably better team this year. I didn't- for either one. Just pointing out facts.

Also, you can't complain about him paying Byrd (at what appeared to be market value according to projections) and then be pissed he won't go way over market value to sign guys. Do you think this team is considerably better going forward paying 8 million AAV for Phil Hughes or 11 AAV for Scott Kazmir?

cut: All I am saying is that Byrd upgraded the outfield corner spot they needed. I still need to see what they do with the rotation and bullpen before I would start making any grand statements about what I think. Sorry if that is different from reactionary posting you prefer.

Cut: "C'mon now, TTI. The Phils wildly outplayed their Pythagorean last year; added the same bunch of recycled crap, and you make this statement?"

Yeah, that's an excellent point. Even if you want to be wildly optimistic and assume that Marlon Byrd is worth the 4 wins that he was worth last year, that gets us to 70-92, which is actually 3 games below where we finished last year. Because, going by Pythagorean record this was a true-talent 66-win team last year that had to significantly over-perform to win 73 games.

And now that my rant is over, please accept my apologies for using a player's WAR as a literal proxy for the number of wins he is worth. I promise to never do it again.

Lou Marson non-tendered by Cleveland.

Based on the Navarro contract he should be worth at least 750K.

Will at 9:16, right on brother.

Well, you also thought it was foolish to believe that the 2013 Phillies would finish closer to last place than first, so your track record on these things isn't so great.


You understand the difference between a guess and some of the statements being made in here right?

And really- it is not like you have hit on every prediction you have made on here. They ended up being much worse than I anticipated.

Also, again- I know people on here have a problem with anything that isn't a visceral reaction in one way or the other. I'm not declaring the Phillies playoff contenders or anything. They are slightly better than last year. Maybe 76 wins better, and certainly not playoff better. But I think too many on here have blinders based off their hatred of Amaro and the ownership group (which granted is understandable to some degree). But some people go overboard in providing what they feel is a fair analysis.

Reading all groaning and whining about the Fister trade reminds me of when the Mets traded for Johan Santana.

I didn't know a team's Pythagorean record stays constant from year to year.

Maybe that was a math class I missed.

Unless tix are steeply discounted on Craigslist, of course.

Marson missed basically all of last year due to injuries but he was an okay backup catcher in 2012...maybe worth a flier going into his Age 28 season.

***Reading all groaning and whining about the Fister trade reminds me of when the Mets traded for Johan Santana.***

Except of course that the Phillies franchise is in a vastly different place than it was going into 2007.

I do think the out-performing of their Pythag is a little bit of an erroneous argument. I understand the value of the Pythag over 162 games, but everyone here watched the games. What the Pythag doesn't tell you is that there was an unusually large amount of games where a guy like Durbin, Valdes, Horst, or some other bullpen arm that didn't belong in the MLB came into a game and poured some serious gasoline on the deficit. That has to be taken into account a little bit. The bullpen is still wretched, but it's better just because those three won't be in there.

The other side of that coin is that, with all the losses attributable to the bullpen (and there were far more than ever before in the history of BL), you'd think that would mean they would actually have UNDERPERFORMED their Pythag because of the late leads that were blown. But that's not the case.

I think the team just sucked, and will probably suck just as much next year- there's no reason to think they'll be any better or worse at this point.

The 2013 Phillies were a very bad team from top to bottom...that Pythag record is probably pretty accurate.

Also, last I checked, we're still bringing back that same bullpen in 2014 right now.

Holy crap is that fister deal actually finalized?!

"And really- it is not like you have hit on every prediction you have made on here."

I never claimed that I have. But there's a difference between making a prediction and calling another person's prediction "foolish." There's certainly nothing foolish about thinking that an aging team, whose only off-season move to date has been to add another old player with numerous red flags, has not improved even in the slightest bit.

NEPP: We started last year with Durbin, Valdes, and Horst in the bullpen. Not a one of them will be back.

Diekman looked to turn a corner last year so hopefully he could continue that. And hopefully they stay with the Ethan Martin in the bullpen experiment. Again- slightly better to start 2014 just by subtraction of garbage. Not monumentally better by any stretch but better.

Will - I get a sad, sad feeling that Montgomery kept his yap shut and listened to Gillick. They are both about the same age. The results of that fling were a net positive.

Regardless, I've done a "180" on Amaro. He's not too proud to do Montgomery's bidding, e.g.: puff up his chest (the Madson/Boras incident) or cry crocodile tears (Manual); and walk away laughing as he collects his huge check. Amaro knows he's punked. He simply rolls with the Montgomery punches as necessary. He's actually a bright baseball man, but he knows how his baseball bread is buttered.

One key bit of evidence was his solemn announcement the team needed to take "...a better approach..." at the plate after the sorry bleepin' show they put on in the 2011 playoffs. Guess what. Montgomery chimed in and declared "...homers put meat in the seats..." or some such nonsense. There's the genesis of the "production uber alles" mantra, Nothing else could explain the abandonment of the rational (OBP, sacred?) for the profane (Production!!!) mantra.

Yuck. What a mess.

> I'm totally sick of him. He must have something on Monty for him not to be fired.
> Like I said, absolute joke!
> Posted by: DPat

Monty has his arm up RAJ's @ss and is working his mouth like a ventriloquist's dummy. Monty is the problem.

BAP: These people aren't predicting. They are stating it as fact. There is a huge difference. You're a smart guy so I know you see that and are just being argumentative here.

OK, I'll play devil's advocate. Lombardozzi is one of the better utilitymen in baseball and still quite young (24). Ray is 22, bounced back nicely from a hideous 2012 and, as a LHP with a heavy sinker, could spend a decade as a solid bullpen piece at a minimum and a solid closer if he hits full potential. Krol limited LH hitters to sub .600 OPS at age 22 in his first taste of MLB and could be a reliable LOOGY in a couple years. Finally, in addition to some slippage in his secondary numbers, Fister is heading into his age 30 season and is no slam dunk to repeat his 2012-13 results.

That's the best I got.

*** We started last year with Durbin, Valdes, and Horst in the bullpen. Not a one of them will be back.***

Yeah, because they guys that replaced them are just so much better. A guy coming off a PED suspension, a super wild Diekman, maybe Ethan Martin if they realize he's a reliever and not a starter, maybe DeFratus?

Papelbon will be a year older...Adams is a complete question mark, etc etc.

The bullpen will not likely be significantly improved and even if it were, this is, at best, a 75 win team on paper right now.

Indians non-tendered Tyler Cloyd.

NEPP: So wait: You think Durbin, Valdes, and Horst is approximately equal to Bastardo, Diekman, and Martin?

Durbin's 2013 ERA+ 43
Raul Valdes 2013 ERA+ 52
Jeremy Horst 2013 ERA+ 62

I'll bet you one trillion bitcoins that the latter threesome outperform that garbage.

Adams is the furthest thing from a question mark. He's done.

TTI - Come'on man. My biggest gripe this offseason so far is that there is no evidence so far Amaro has any kind of coherent plan for even next year. Worse yet Amaro has signed two guys in the mid-30s to multi-year deals at decent dollar amounts. There has been ZERO creativity in terms of approaching this offseason so far. At least Amaro did do that last year while not tying up resources beyond 1-year except for Adams.

This offseason has been an F so far.

MG: C'mon man. Your biggest gripe is not a valid argument, and I never said anything about thinking Amaro has a coherent plan- especially not one that matches up with MG thinking. Amaro has signed guys in their mid 30's- one at market value and one at probably what will be only slightly above value. Never said he has been creative in what he has done so far.

I will also ask for your offseason grade from now on before I give any thoughts.

Amaro definitely has a plan for's just not a good one.

"Also- I know there is very little excitement for Byrd and resigning Ruiz but the Phillies are better than last year's team right now even if it is only minimally. It is foolish to say they are not, or that they are worse."

I never said you thought it was a good thing to be marginally better. I'm just pointing out what you said. And your statement is false. They're not better at all.

And as far as my "negative credibility" and whom I know and whom I don't, it doesn't matter anyway. I haven't been told anything, and even if I were RAJ wouldn't do it anyway.

All I'm saying is RAJ has really screwed the pooch 3 off-seasons in a row now. And you can't deny that. Yet you find it hard to agree with me on that point. RAJ keeps saying the same thing every year, know he has holes to fill and does nothing. Whether Monty is behind it or not, it's not a very good performance record.

How can a team non-tender a pre-arb player?

Watching a division rival get an outstanding haul sucks, but Phils could do nothing about it.

They dont even have enough pre-arb players/prospects to do this deal without actually downgrading their current/future. I blame the rest of the league for letting a guy like Fister get dumped for pennies on the dollar.

TTI~ One more thing, 76 wins or 80 wins doesn't make them a better team than last year. I wins and losses yes, but that's just chatter. Again , it doesn't amount to much. They'd still be a 3rd to 4th place team. They finished 2nd to the Mets one year a ways back 26 games. So what. same thing here.

"How can a team non-tender a pre-arb player?"

Yeah, non-tender is the wrong term. They waived him. I believe they DFA'd him about a week ago, which meant they had 10 days to trade or release him.

the only bigger morons than amaro are the idiots that post on this worthless blog. you guys are truly the worst. idiots.

DPat: Please give it a rest for the night. You aren't even making sense at this point.

And I find it hard to agree with you because you make 20 different statements- including ones that contradict each other. Agreeing with you on one would mean disagreeing on many others. It isn't worth the effort.

Tendering Fransden would suggest** the Phillies predict that MLB will grant them a 4th option for Cesar Hernandez and can send back to AAA to expand his repitiore to CF.

Today leaves us with a terrible bench:

Ruf - sucks at OF
Frandsen - sucks at all D, only hits LHP, low power
Galvis - can't hit at all
Mayberry - avg corner OF at best, sucks at CF, only hits LHP
Catcher - most likely will suck at everything, even catching

** DISCLAIMER: "suggests" implies that the Phillies even know about 4th options and various other fundamental mlb rules and have the mind capacity to even let that affect their thought process when tendering players. There is a very likely chance that the Phillies don't even know about it, and if they did, wouldn't even realize it should influence their decision **

The Frandsen thing only makes sense if they are planning to stash him in Triple A or are working some deal to trade Galvis or Hernandez.

The latter is a horrible idea.

TTI - But neither of the moves so far moves the needle and leaves the Phils stuck with 2 veterans who will overwhelmingly strong bets to underperform/terrible bets especially beyond this year.

Literally the only good thing so far this offseason is that Amaro didn't sign a guy like N. Cruz to a 4 yr/$65M deal.

My damn cell phone broke again. I've got like 5 missed calls from Dave Dombrowski.

awh: "Reading all groaning and whining about the Fister trade reminds me of when the Mets traded for Johan Santana."

I really hope your wrong, since Johan Santana went 16-7 with a 166 ERA+ and a 7.1 bWAR the year they traded for him.

"Except of course that the Phillies franchise is in a vastly different place than it was going into 2007."

NEPP, but is the groaning and whining any different?

Your comment actually makes the groaning and whining seem even MORE silly and idiotic.

Yes, in 2008 the team was in a different place and on the upswing, and now their fortunes seem to be different.

But all of the genius prognosticators here condemned the 2014 Phillies already - before the Hot Stove season even began. Why, according to all the geniuses here they have no nope of competing this coming season.

So, if that's the case, ETF difference does it make who the Nats trade for, and why all the whining?

It's what the geniuses expected, and being victims of their own expectations they should be happy that they're correct.

For all the criticism of brining back Mayberry, Frandsen is worse.

Frandsen would have been fine on minor league/major league deal but not it is a given Frandsen will be given a roster spot.

Franden is out of options and just signed a MLB deal. He would need to be cut and clear waivers before being sent to the minors.

Then there was no point in bringing back Frandsen

Andrew Bailey was non tendered by the Red Sox. He might be work looking at as a reclamation project.

I echo the sentiment on Tommy Hanson being worth a flier too.

And honestly- no idea what has happened to him or his control but Daniel Bard is another guy worth signing and putting in the minors to try and get right.

***Literally the only good thing so far this offseason is that Amaro didn't sign a guy like N. Cruz to a 4 yr/$65M deal.***

Dont jinx it...the off-season is long from over.

TTI: The effects of another year of aging on a past-prime team are greater than you apparently think. When the starters go down with injuries, as they are more apt to do at their ages, Frandsen and Galvis and Mayberry will move into starting roles. It won't be pretty. I expect the Phillies to have one of the five worst records in MLB.

I just want to see Amaro sacked before the mid-season fire sale on Lee, so we have a chance of getting decent prospects back for him.

There's zero chance that a couple of regulars get injured and Frandsen gets 300-400 PA and in those 300-400 PA, he is completely exposed and is a net negative.

No way that happens.

Same thing for Mayberry for that matter.

TTI, Bailey definitely should interest the Phillies.

Bard has apparently lost any ability to throw strikes - worse than "Bad" Diekman and worse than Aumont. MiL deal at best, IMO.

Hanson? I don't know enough.

Overall, though, the Phillies should be looking at everyone and anyone.

Of course, this all assumes that their scouting is good enough to evaluate the talent.

Bailey is expected to miss a good portion of next season though. If the Phils sign him to a deal, it would be a 2-year deal similar to what Nathan and Soria have signed.

For an organization and a GM that supposedly touts itself on scouting, they have really struggled on assembling a bench and a bullpen.

Frandsen sucks. He hits LHP alright but that is the single thing he does above average. He's slow, doesn't walk much or have patient ABs, has below average power, and is below average defensively except at 2B and can't play SS or the OF.

No person in his right mind would give the offseason an 'F' so far. First of all, we only just passed Thanksgiving. Second of all, signing some overpriced FA like Ellsbury or Nolasco or Cruz would've been way, WAY worse than what has happened so far. Getting someone like Benoit or Mujica on a 3-year deal would also be way worse (admittedly that's still possible).

Of course, MG gave Rizzo an A+++ for his deals with Haren and Span last off-season, so I'm not sure what the grading curve is here.

Julio Urias is the Dodgers' no. 3 prospect according to BA. He's a lefty pitcher whose fastball is in the 91-96 range, but has touched 98. Urias made 18 starts in A ball this year and was dominant.

Now the good part. Urias was only 16 when he was brought up to the A team in July.

It would be inexplicably stupid -- and yet quintessential RAJ -- if a total stiff like Frandsen makes the opening day roster at the expense of Cesar Hernandez.

I am just stunned at the moves being made. This front office must live in a bubble. How do you bring back the same time and expect different results?

Wouldnt put it past him for one second BAP. Im still waiting for this creativity he spoke of.

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