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Thursday, December 12, 2013


More garbage....other teams signing difference makers.

clout: Hernandez is a fine rotation backender at a good price.

No he's not. He's a terrible, also-ran SP who has no business in an MLB uniform. There's no upside here and no hope that he'll be anything more than a guy that posts an ERA around 5.00 with poor peripherals.

He's a GB specialist that no longer produces GBs at a high enough rate and he is HR prone now moving to a park built to hit HRs in.

The only upside is that its likely a 1 year deal at a very low base rate.


Oh, the Phillies signed a back-end starter?

Still wouldn't mind if the Phils sign another low-end starter too although I doubt the will.

There is basically no organizational depth right now at the starter spot considering the health status of Pettibone (still supposedly hadn't been throwing off the mound even at Thanksgiving and was month's behind his initial rehab schedule) or Morgan and the complete unknown quantity that is MAG.

People laugh but I wouldn't mind a Chen signing for a 5th starter/possible bullpen guy, take a flyer on a veteran reliever who will come cheap (still would love to see F. Francisco here), and trade Mayberry for a legit 5th OF who can actually play CF if necessary and call it an offseason.

NEPP: You're really dug in on this one, aren't you?

What did you think the Phils would do for a starting pitcher?

Another point MLBTR mentioned is we may get Rosin back yet, if he can't stick with the Dodgers - and net a tidy $25K in the process!

(Shameless re-post)

***What did you think the Phils would do for a starting pitcher?***

Maybe sign an MLB caliber guy?

Every team needs 7-8 starters over the course of a season. Lee, Hamels, Gonzalez, Kendrick, Pettibone, Hernandez, maybe Morgan... There is still work to be done to fill out this rotation, and a glaring jump from the top two to the bottom group.

For a #3, obviously Tanaka is the best FA option. Following that, Suk-min Yoon is coming over from Korea and it appears his profile is being overlooked.

Don't know if anyone noticed, but the Phillies also lost a SS in the Rule 5 AAA Phase - Jonathan Roof.

Got drafted out of high school by the Bosox who couldn't sign him.

They were the ones who took him this morning.

Also, I will take Clout's bet regarding the major-league performances of Rosin and Munson, the guy the Phillies signed.

I got Munson.

So the rotation as it stands is...


with Pettibone as the 6th option?

So 2 top guys and 3 question marks going forward...should be a fun season with a lot of 3-4 game losing streaks where we hope Hamels or Lee steps up to snap a streak.

Remember the original Roberto Hernandez that Ed Wade signed when he was like 40? Amaro making homage to his mentor.

I'm far from a John Lannan fan but he had better numbers as a starter overal than Roberto Hernandez so it sort of does a disservice to Lannan to say this is better than him.

This move is John Lannan, Part II. I expect it will work out about just as well.

This, plus the bulk of TTI's 10.37AM post from the prior thread, & NEPP's 10.45AM post in this thread.

If Comcast & the Phillies are barely making an effort, I might as well phone it in, too.

3.60 xFIP, 3.66 SIERA last year and moving to the NL. I like this signing.

I also wish the Phils had signed Corey Hart to that 1/$5M-$8M deal as a RHB option for first base and to rotate in the OF. Are the Phils thinking Howard will play 140 games this year? Productive games? They need a legit backup 1B. I guess that man could be Utley with some of the Phils young middle IF depth. Rather have it been a guy like Morse or Hart.

"MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reports (on Twitter) that the Cubs were also very competitive on Hernandez, but Hernandez really wanted to pitch in Philadelphia."

Really? Wow. Though I guess that's just the lesser of two evils "well the Phils will win 75 gamees, while the Cubs will win 65..."

Carmex didn't even post a 5.00 in the ALE, and his 53.2 GB% clocked in at 7th-best in all MLB among pitchers with at least 150 IP (so I'm not sure where the "He's a GB specialist that no longer produces GBs at a high enough rate" comes from).

Given Amaro stating the other day they weren't going to increase payroll from last season (and likely will end up with a lower one), they only had $10-$12M left to spend this offseason on other FAs.

They simply got priced out of signing anyone better unless they moved a salary.

Carmona is better than Lannan as long as his HR/FB isn't freakishly large. Appears to be a junkballer now who is sinker/changeup/slider almost exclusively now. Wonder if the Phils can get to him adopt a cutter in spring to bring a bit more diversity to his arsenal.

Certainly like Hernandez more than a guy like J. Williams and even Lanna last year. There was zero upside with Lannan. He got hurt and was crappy to boot.

At least there is some possibility Hernandez is tolerable as a .500 starter who can be competitive in most starts as long as he is pitching in a HR-friendly park.

Looking at Rosin's numbers, it appears that he has a much higher K/9 when used as a reliever, an is much more effective.

And the Phillies converted him to a starter...

WTF is running this team?

Career xFIP:

John Lannan: 4.48
Roberto Hernandez: 4.25

***Are the Phils thinking Howard will play 140 games this year? Productive games? ***

I would put money on them penciling him in for 155-160 Games this year...and honestly thinking its gonna happen.

I hope to be pleasantly surprised by Hernandez, but just looking at his career numbers I doubt I will be.

Sophist: Ruf is the back-up first baseman.

Did I miss it, or are we really going this long without a "7 year old scouting report' joke?

Can you please stop using xFIP as if it matters? As mentioned before, its only that low because he's a HR machine. HRs aren't fluke hits...they mean the pitcher left one up that the hitter crushed. Its like saying a hitter has a really low BABIP while ignoring the fact that he hit 60 HRs to lower it because they werent "Balls in Play".

FIP is a much more accurate gauge of what type of pitcher he's been.

Maybe Carmex thinks Lee's and Hamels' efforts will rub off on him, like others did with Doc/Lee?

Or maybe he just loves McClure?

"Are the Phils thinking Howard will play 140 games this year? Productive games? They need a legit backup 1B. I guess that man could be Utley with some of the Phils young middle IF depth. Rather have it been a guy like Morse or Hart."

Sophist, nice to see you back!!!

I believe they consider Ruf to be the backup at 1B.

Did I miss it, or are we really going this long without a "7 year old scouting report' joke?

Posted by: LorecorE | Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I mentioned it in the previous thread that he was a really good pitcher 7 years ago for one season...

What upside was there possibility with Lannan? He K/9 was less than Hernandez, didn't have a single pitch that was rated even above average, has worse command than Hernandez, and wore down considerably by the 3rd time through the lineup not able to get to the 6th inning last year.

Lannan sucks. The best thing about him was that he hadn't gotten hurt before and been on the DL and he didn't even do that last year.

Any chance of signing Ugueth Urbina now. Please RAJ make it stop. Carmondez 33yo who really believes that. If true he is too young to make the roster. If Petti can't beat this bum out he should retire

As long as Hernandez doesn't hang too many sinkers/changeups at CBP that end up going out, he'll be okay.

If not, yeah he'll an ERA near or over 5 and suck.

Ok, fine. Career FIP:

John Lannan: 4.55
Roberto Hernandez: 4.53

Fausto is the type of guy that should be getting a ST invite this time next month...not a guy you give an MLB contract to in December.

Morse base goes up to $6MM.

I can't believe Rube brought back Roberto Hernandez!! Another over the hill former Phillie! He must be at least 45 by now!!

Kidding of course.

This is what losing teams do. They take the dreck that no winning team will touch. And Rube is becoming truly adept at doing what losing GM's do.

Anyone want to guess if this ownership will even bid on Tanaka if he's posted? I'm guessing they won't even make a token attempt. And has everyone noticed how downbeat Rube has been anytime he's questioned about MAG? He's actually saying he doesn't know if the elbow will hold up. What? Has he finally realized that his medical staff decides diagnoses by throwing darts?

This is the age of Rube. Expect nothing but losing records and boring baseball until he's put out of our misery.

MG: I know Lannan was one of your punching bags last year so you are getting in some last licks, but you are far off here.

There's literally zero harm in meeting the posting request of $20MM if they feel there's no chance to sign Tanaka.

The money doesn't even go into an escrow account (to my knowledge), so it's just a verbal agreement. I fully expect the Phillies to meet the posting bid, and not win the negotiation... But hey, stranger things have happened.

I tried defending the Lannan move last year, and got proven wrong by his suckitude, but I'm going to give it another shot with Fausto.

Any takers on a o/u of a 4.50 ERA in at least 20 GS?

smitty - Where was it mentioned that MAG's elbow wouldn't hold up by Amaro? I think that would've been really big news around these parts.

Lore: I think St. Jude might.

More seriously, I might take the under there. Depends on how many of his starts are vs. the Braves.

I mean, chances are Hernandez is not very good. Of course that's what the chances are--he's signing to be a 5th starter on a bad team!

But as far as those guys go, I fail to see what there is to complain about. Better this than a 2 or 3 year guaranteed deal for Bronson Arroyo, right? And there's at least the possibility that Hernandez's xFIP actually is representative of what he can do, and so there's a chance he can pitch well. And if he doesn't, what have you really sacrificed? Anything? The team is going to lose a lot of baseball games regardless of who the 5th starter is. So it seems like signing a guy for low-cost who has a little bit of potential upside is a solid enough move.

At the least, I fail to see how this inspires some sort of vitriol. I think Amaro is the worst GM in all of sports, and even I can't get worked up about this. What were people expecting?

I completely forgot about Ruf. Wow. I would still have liked to see Hart to give them more options.

John Lannan: 4.55
Roberto Hernandez: 4.53

Posted by: Jack | Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

That's not exactly an endorsement...

"I completely forgot about Ruf."

Sophist, no worries, r00b has already done the same thing...

All I want to know is, does Roberto have more wins than Kendrick???

Well they needed an arm & they got one. Albeit not much of one. As long as the contract is reasonable ok. It was plain to see that they weren't going to overspend on Arroyo etc. Maybe RAJ has something else up his sleeve.

I hear Munson has a rubber arm. Or, is it a rubber hand? I forget.

As anticipated, RAJ has added another piece of crap to a team that finished 21 games out of first place. Why would any rational person waste even a minute of their time following a team that has a moron for a GM and zero commitment to winning?

All I want to know is, does Roberto have more wins than Kendrick???

Bah! I'm so sick of the focus on these damn newfangled stats like "Wins" ... Sabermetrics is ruining this team! Does the freakin' guy look "Pitcher-ish" or not?!

Maybe RAJ has something else up his sleeve.

If I had to guess I'd go w/ a bunch more middle fingers for the fan base.

Can't wait to use the term munsoned this season.
munsoned (v.) - to be up a creek without a paddle; to have the whole world in the palm of your hand and blow it. a figure of speech.

Papelbon really munsoned that 3 run lead.

Without reading all the comments, I'm not sure how anyone can say Fausto Carmona has more upside than Bronson Arroyo.

gobaystars: I thought the same thing, "I didn't know Roberto Hernandez was still pitching". But I guess he's a different guy. Or it's an elaborate hoax the original Roberto Hernandez has pulled off in order to change his age and still pitch. Are we sure it's not the same guy?

TTI - How does Lannan not suck as a starter? There isn't a single thing he does at an above average level.

I added in the last thread but I wouldn't mind another starter/swingman being added due to the lack of organizational starter depth, sign another veteran FA reliever on a 1-year deal, and trade Mayberry for another backup OF who actually can play CF defensively at an acceptable level and call it an offseason.

Is this a good team or was this a good offseason? No but the outlook that was pretty much guaranteed when they decided not to trade Lee last year at the deadline and resigned Utley.

Redburb - Amaro made the comment that he didn't know how the elbow will hold up on MLB Network just a few days ago. Don't have the exact quote. But I believe it was on the Hot Stove morning show.

Clearly they are concerned about his health and that's why they renegotiated the deal. And if MAG wasn't concerned about his own health, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have allowed the Phils to cut his deal down to something less than Roberto Hernandez is about to earn for sucking out loud.

Sophist - Yeah although I would like another OF who can actually play CF if Revere gets hurt again or isn't able to play everyday.

Mayberry is atrocious in CF after the last 2 season showed and can't be the backup CF option again.

I'm fine with the signing, depending on the contract, but man, what a bitter pill to swallow as we near the anniversary of Cliff spurning the Yanks to sign with our team.

The way this fiasco is shaking out it that the Phillies have two top-end starters and the back-end beggins and ends with the latter three. Take your pick: KK, Hernandez and an unproven Gonzalez.

Bottom line: they have zero middle of the rotation starters. Along with a shaky lineup, a non-existent bench (no depth), few proven bullpeners, and an incompetent GM, we can look forward over the ensuing years to high picks in the draft.

What a hoot!

"I tried defending the Lannan move last year, and got proven wrong by his suckitude, but I'm going to give it another shot with Fausto."

I remember having a huge argument with awh and lorecore and others, when I said that Lannan was a good bet to be horrible simply because extreme ground-ball pitchers, with no K ability, are prone to having wretchedly bad years. Carmona's the same kind of pitcher as Lannan, but I take solace in the fact that he has already gotten his wretchedly bad years over with. In fact, I count 4 such years on his ledger. So, maybe, under the law of averages, he'll be merely bad, instead of wretchedly bad, this year.

Arroyo is basically KK and signing him to a 3-yr deal @ $11-$12 M AAV would have incredibly foolish.

Hell, even Arroyo admitted last offseason that he doesn't have much margin for error anymore including any further decline in his velocity.

No sense for a team like the Phils to sign him to play in a HR-friendly park for a team that won't contend this year or next.

Cabletown should have been able to get at least 2 low effort threads out of the Rule V draft. One preview with links to other sites, previous guys taken by the Phils, a "where are they now" bit and then the post-mortem.

I feel like every single comment trying to find the optimistic spin on any Phillies signing starts with "though he's [thirty something], he still..."

Rollins, Byrd, Utley, Howard, Bowa, Wade, a lousy pitcher named Roberto Hernandez ...

r00b is going all-in on the '04 10 Year Reunion squad theme.

Why would any rational person waste even a minute of their time following a team that has a moron for a GM and zero commitment to winning?

Posted by: Hitman | Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Says the guy taking out time to post on a fan site dedicated to the Phillies. Perhaps you should follow your own advice.

smitty - I hadn't heard the exact quote you were referencing. Haven't watched too much MLB network recently. I know the original deal was renegotiated.

Dave - Maybe a Millwood or Myers minor league signing to round out the '04 reunion?

I hate this team

This is probably the best signing of the off-season for the Phillies so far. (Yep, faint praise.)

I just can't work up any dislike. It's a one-year deal with zero risk for a team that likely won't compete unless it captures lightning in a bottle.

He set career highs in K/9 and K/BB last year. However, he set a career high in HR/9 as well. The question is whether that was bad luck, or bad pitching. For a couple million dollars (doubt it's more than $3M), I'm willing to find out.

Howard wasn't on the 04 squad btw.

I lied. He was.

Redburb: Yes, he was. Sept. call up.

MG: I'm kind of hoping for "Sweet Lou" Collier. He fits both the current regime's definition of "versatility" (piss poor at a variety of positions), & their preferred age range (antediluvian). Sounds like a "low risk, high reward" acquisition to me!

Yeah after I posted I checked out baseball reference.

KAS - Yeah that is kind of how I feel. This and the Rule V pick are the only moves I actually like they made this year offseason.

Indifferent to Byrd, Chooch resigning was foolish given the 3 yrs, and there isn't another move that has been interesting/compelling.

Kind of reminds me of offseason in the 90s. The Phils would sign a couple of mediocre veteran FAs to modest deals and it would end up being a pretty boring offseason over all.

While I agree, I tend to find baseball preferable to no baseball, so even a boring squad is more enjoyable than... Well, this.

When you look at a Rule 5 pick and say to yourself "He might not be the worst reliever option we have on the 25 man", you've hit rock bottom as a fan.

Omar Infante is looking for a 4 year, $40 million deal.

In what universe is that justifiable?

Basically their rotation (& lineup) is looking similar to a "Stars & Scrubs" approach often used in fantasy (yes, I know, fantasy & real life are very different, but work w/ me here.)

As long as the stars are healthy & a scrub or two hits, the team is great. But if any stars falter (ala Doc, Howard), it's a lost season.

For someone w/ a Stanford education, r00b sure plays the lottery an awful lot. But that's the corner he's backed himself into now.

NEPP, Due to the prolonged exposure, I'm not sure of the exact date, but anytime I even hear the phrase "Rule 5," I got into PTSD flashback mode thanks to none other than everyone's favorite versatile (f)utility player.

Mini Mart has ruined any possible optimism for Rule 5 guys, and they automatically come with a stink that even past success stories like Victorino can't wash away.

As usual, sophist is right and the Moronocracy is wrong.

So Hernandez-Carmona gets $4.5M with $1.5M in incentives.

Higher base then I thought, but not significantly out of line. Assuming if he achieves his incentives, that's good news for the team.

clout: 'Tis true... Sophist has the highest average for being right in Beerleaguer history. A first-ballot Beerleaguer Hall of Famer.

nokwurst, I'm fine with a team with a constrained budget embracing a "Stars & Scrubs" methodology (someone like San Diego, for instance). However, any financial constraints the Phillies face are their own doing, so they're not absolved of responsibility for a lack of flexibility with payroll.

Everyone anticipated a slight hangover from the recent run of "glory years." My biggest disappointment lies in how their "Stars & Scrubs" ideology has been deployed, in that it's tied up even more money into players on the downward arc of their careers. Any "upside" isn't rooted in development, and is instead is a "hope they can find one last flash in the pan year." Basically, the Phillies are the anti-Marlins. Both teams will be bad, but at least if any of the Marlins "scrub" players over-perform, you can reset expectations that they might be developing or figuring things out. If any Phillies players over-perform, the immediate first thought is "wonder if they found some undetectable PED's."

If you keep telling yourself that he's a legitimate SP, maybe it'll even be true.

Yeah, except for that part where I forgot about Babe Ruf.

You guys forgot to mention that Biddle is probably going to be in the rotation in June, so even if Carmona is a disaster, you won't have to deal with him for a full season.

If he's healthy and adequate, you've got your long man for the year as Biddle learns the rooms. In a head-scratching off season, a one-year flyer on a pitcher moving to the NL makes a lot of sense

Rooms = Ropes

Biddle will be needed to fill the rotation spot vacated when we deal Cliff Lee for an awful package of prospects...

I'm still waiting to hear whether or not there's some sort of 2nd year can almost assume there will be whether its a team or vesting option with a small $500K buyout to bring it to $5 million in total guaranteed salary.

Based on the season Biddle just had at AA, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for him to save the day.

2014 - Tanaka and The Magic Beans

Hernandez gets 4.5 million with an extra 1.5 million in incentives possible

This signing is good, as long as we didn't overpay... The real question is, Is Byrd much better than Ruff, or should have used that 8 million a year on a pitcher and had Ruff start in RF...

It pretty much appears that $5 million is the new base contract for any FA veteran who isn't a ST invite or minor league deal.

Outside of a couple of relievers, that's been the going rate we've seen this off-season.

Keith Law: "Roberto Hernandez became much more attractive to the Phillies when they learned he was older than he'd said he was."

Amaro should just keep handing out 2-year deals to vets, hold onto his draft picks, and see what kind of deals are out there for guys like Rollins, Lee, and Papelbon as we get to midseason. Just be a highly inefficient but entertaining 80ish win team for a couple years and don't do anything to limit yourself for 2016 and beyond.

This strategy will produce a lot of Byrds and Fausto Carmonas. But this is the hole created by a good run and an overactive GM (signing Howard early, trading for so many aces, trading for and trading away Pence). It didn't have to be this bad but it sorta did. I just hope Amaro doesn't screw it up too badly.

Barring no other moves, the payroll is now right at $160 million for 2014 (assuming arbitration goes as expected, etc etc)

Not a lot of talent on that 25 man for $160 million.

Anyone think the Mariners will regret the out-years of Cano's $240 million contract?

Sophist: I largely agree with your post (1-year deals would be preferrable to 2, to me, but that's a minor point), but I have one quibble:

What on earth about this team is entertaining? I watched last year and it was dreadful. The only thing I enjoyed was seeing young guys like Hernandez and Asche play.

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