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Thursday, December 19, 2013


Short answer - yes

If he wouldn't pay 1 year/4 million for Uehara last year, why would Amaro do that kind of deal for Downs this year?

Downs isn't a "closer" or a "setup guy," so Amaro won't be wasting any money on him.

Sure...but he wasnt ever going to do it.

Meh. If Downs were right-handed, I'd be more upset about it, as the Phils really need a righty more than a lefty.

The White Sox will probably end up dumping him for a C-level prospect next July. Downs netted the Angels Cory Rasmus at last year's deadline. If everything breaks right, Rasmus might be the next B.J. Rosenberg. I'm not convinced that's worth $2.5M (2/3 of Downs' annual salary) to a sub-.500 team like the Phils.

"There was certainly one spot to carve out for Downs, especially with the Phils not knowing what a post-PED Bastardo will look like."

C'mon, Corey, you're a PROFESSIONAL and, thus, supposed to be informed.

They DO have an idea of what he'll look like post PEDs.

I'll take the contrarian approach & say that I am glad we passed on Downs. If you sign a 38-year old reliever and he gets old overnight, then you've accomplished nothing. If you sign him and he pitches well, the Phillies will still finish 25 games out of 1st place and, near the end of the year, RAJ will extend him for 3 more years at $6M per year.

"C'mon, Corey, you're a PROFESSIONAL and, thus, supposed to be informed.

They DO have an idea of what he'll look like post PEDs."

Illuminate us. What will Bastardo look like post PEDS?

Corey, to help you out, here are Bastardo's stats from the DWL:

13.2 IP, 0.66 ERA, .732 WHIP, 4 BB, 23 K.

Do you think the Phillies scout the Dominican Winter League or not?

If the answer is yes, then why wouldn't they have an idea of what "post-PED Bastardo will look like"?

Oh, and for reference, I pulled the data from the site here:

Yes and performance in the DWL translates perfectly to MLB...yuppers.

awh: Couldn't you have just said, "Bastardo is pitching in the DWL and doing well, so the Phillies should have a pretty good idea of what he'll look-like post-PED?"

As opposed to: "you're a PROFESSIONAL and, thus, supposed to be informed?"

Also, I agree with bap on this. I'm glad they passed on Downs, especially at that price.

Dismissing bap's talk of an extension, Bastardo looks to be fine, they have to find out if Diekman is real, and they have other options that they need to find out about.

This team:s strategy is becoming pretty clear:

Keep enough payroll flexibility so that if Howard really does come back with a vengeance and they stay healthy and manage to compete, someone like Downs can be added at the deadline.

No need to make the commitment now, and if they're not competitive then there's no need to make the commitment at all.

Amaro already has Downs.

Even though Down's Syndrome is not a laughing matter, I'm going to say that however long this thread lasts, Zing Wins It Going Away.

bap, no, I could not have done it that way, because frankly he SHOULD KNOW, especially since I and others have posted Bastardo's DWL stats on this site earlier in the Fall.

No excuse.

JW never made that kind of mistake. He always did his homework.



"Yes and performance in the DWL translates perfectly to MLB...yuppers."

golly GEE, NEPP completely missed this pertinent item (or ignored it):

Do you think the Phillies scout the Dominican Winter League or not?"

Reading comprehension, NEPP... reading comprehension...

awh: Perhaps he DID know but he didn't share your view that 13 innings of DWL stats, and a handful of scouting reports, can tell us what to expect from post-PED Bastardo next year.

Or perhaps you did...even if they do scout (which I assume they do), that doesnt really help them see how he'd handle MLB players given the level of competition down there simply isnt the same.

I'm always suspicious of relievers' low ERA numbers. Downs probably went for the best that he could get. He is old. Amaro needs to go young.


Am still

Asinine comments

For beerleaguers
And the
Greater community.

Meh. Downs would have been another pointless expenditure. This team is gonna be so bad it will manage to both suck, & blow.

Besides, aren't you the one who just wrote, "Bastardo looks to be fine?" Unless you're privy to what the scouts have seen, it would seem that you're basing your opinion on a 13-inning stat line in the DWL.

awh -- Thank you, I really appreciate that help. That 0.66 ERA in the Dominican Winter League should translate seamlessly to the majors, where Bastardo has always exhibited tremendous command and confidence when he encounters adversity.

Suitable response, or should I go back and use more caps lock?

I'm sure signing a 37/38 YO reliever would've went over swimmingly around here.

"...even if they do scout (which I assume they do), that doesnt really help them see how he'd handle MLB players given the level of competition down there simply isnt the same."

Isn't it the JOB of baseball scouts to look at players and make certain determinations?

If playing at a level or two below MLB tells scouts nothing, then why did Gillick personally scout KK at Reading before he was called up?

Why was Hamels scouted before he was called up?

Why do GM's and assistant GM and scouting teams Scout their own minor league systems for potential call-ups?

NEPP, you keep digging deeper hole for yourself because your being completely counterintuitive, and in denial of what MLB teams actually DO.

(And here I was enjoying the day because we agreed about 5G hotdogs.)

Hey, Corey, I referenced the Phillies scouting him too, or are you gonna be as ignorant as NEPP and ignore that also?

Keep digging the hole fella, you'll get to China someday...

Stop trashing my homey Rube. That N- saved me from the Jews.

Stop being such an ass, awh.

awh -- What is inaccurate about what was written above? What does the Phillies' scouting Bastardo in the Dominican Winter League have to do with how he'll perform in the majors, or whether a pitcher with well-documented confidence issues will be able to live up to his previous standards after an embarrassing situation?

What does that have to do with the Phils not pushing for a lefty specialist with more of a track record, and why would it create such an animus initial comment from you?

Take a deep breath buddy.

Let's try another avenue, Corey.

You work for Comcast, with guys like Salisbury. You've has your work linked over at mlbtr. Congratulations.

Presumably, that gives you enough juice to at least pick up the phone and ASK someone at the Phillies whether one of their people has seen Bastardo (who could be an important piece for them in 2014) in the DWL and get their opinion?

Corey, could you see if I could get my Triple Play intro rate extended for another 6 months while you're on that phone?

Yeah, just file these all away in the suggestion box, ya heathens!

awh -- That opinion would assuredly be "Looks good, throwing well" no matter the case. Changes nothing in regard to which Bastardo will show up in April. Point is that the 'pen is thin. And that Downs was a cheap, short-term option that would protect against the possibility of Bastardo (or even Diekman) not maintaining their previous levels of unhittability


Hell, I want Corey to get Ed Snider on the line. The Flyers are pitiful & I demand an apology, dammit!

No they should not have. They don't need another 37-year old. In today's article, Amaro has already said he going with his in-house guys. I understand what he's saying. "The money is crazy and for what?"

However, they were players available that could've helped this team. Fister and Fowler were mentioned in the article.

So even though he has had a 3rd consecutive poor off-season, it's better he didn't further damage the pharm or make the payroll skyrocket. But that approach will eventually probably cost him his job. We are looking at another bad season up ahead.

I'm thinking that Rube wouldn't consider nearly 4 mil with an option (based on ?) given to a situational lefty at 38 y.o. to be cheap.

Were this a near championship team in need of a situational lefty to climb the mountain to greatness, I'd say sure. But this abortion of a baseball team is in need of no such adornment.

Just gonna point this out here... Corey Seidman has a typepad login. It's how he posts his articles.

I notice that Corey Seidman's posts in-thread have been anonymous handles, not someone using the same typepad login.

All appropriate apologies if that's actually him, of course.

I wouldn't have minded seeing Downs here. He has been very tough vs LHB his entire career yet still had very solid numbers vs RHP.

The only way the Phils are going to be competitive this year is if they luck out in 1-run games and have a much better bullpen than last year.

Lincoln was the only thing they did to fortify the bullpen so far this offseason & he doesn't move the needle much one way or another.

Phils are pretty much tapped out financially though and it appears that they will come in with an Opening Day payroll that is even less than last year.

Downs also gets a ton of GBs because he exclusively uses the sinker and keeps the ball in the park.

He wouldn't have much trade value at the deadline even if he pissed that well but he wouldn't be hard to move either as a lefty specialist making $1M over the final 2 months.


Who would have thought not signing a 37 yr. old reliever would have provoked such a catfight. Need I remind you Santa is watching.

Amaro is paying Adams $7M this year and there is probably more than a 50/50 chance Adams doesn't even pitch this year.

Really am looking forward to him being fired at this point.

Do think the Phils will sign another reliever but it will be a bottom of the barrel type at $1.25-$1.5M.

Best. MGism. Ever.

"I'll take the contrarian approach & say that I am glad we passed on Downs. If you sign a 38-year old reliever and he gets old overnight, then you've accomplished nothing. If you sign him and he pitches well, the Phillies will still finish 25 games out of 1st place"

I'm with bap. Though I don't think it will be as many as 25 games...

Just don't substitute that "G" for a "J," GTown.

And if Amaro DID sign Downs then all the Comcast Cretans would have spun up an article about Amaro not being imaginative and just recycling through the same old, tired, arms. Instead of could, woulda articles how about some writing that is the product of some old-fashioned story gathering? This is a waste of space. Dig a bit and get us some possibilities to the plan being put together by Rube. Do something!

Here's a story: I'm a major leaguer.

" Fister and Fowler were mentioned in the article."

DPat, not again?

Most teams didn't even KNOW Fister was available. That's a fact, and many GM's have been quoted to that affect.

I'll lay any odds you like that Amaro didn't know either.

But it's OK..

In DPat World an alternate reality takes hold.

"Dig a bit and get us some possibilities to the plan being put together by Rube. Do something!"

LB, II, that takes work.

C'mon - everybody's available.

I have been known as Fister in the Strawbridge men's room for years.

Xavier Paul, signed to a minor league contract by O's, is a better player than Tony Gwynn Jr.

I certainly see the side that says "we'd be up in arms if RAJ signed a 37 y/o reliever" despite it being a 1 or 2 yr deal, as the 2014 roster as it is is likely to be the physical litmus test of everyone's favorite debate "Is age any indicator of injury likelihood?"

However, as much as I have every interest in seeing this team improved regardless of the planning horizon, I'm pretty well resigned to the fact that I'll be watching some pretty suboptimal baseball next season (though, as I've often stated, I'll take bad baseball over no baseball at all). So, I wouldn't have had a problem with signing Downs. Sure, he wouldn't have meant the difference between playoffs or not, that ship has likely already sailed. And he would have taken a roster spot from the "in house" younger guys competing for some experience and relevance, but I also don't think that if any of those guys are bullpen arms we can build around in 2015+ that any additional time in AAA is going to hurt.

Basically, more than talking about rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic, the Downs conversation is about whether or not it makes sense to upgrade one of the chairs from plastic to wooden. It's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

It couldn't hurt adding Downs to one of the worst bullpens in baseball, but I don't think that's the point. I think the Phils are done spending this offseason with the exception of some minor league depth signings. I think Amaro is very close to the number Monty told him not to exceed, and unless something extraordinary happens (a blockbuster trade that's either revenue neutral, or more likely trims payroll), the team we see now will be the team we see in April.

Now if they can all just find a way to stay healthy. They are after all, "built to win."

Paul is a much better hitter than Gwynn but he can't play CF (and he's a poor defender in both corners too).

Still, he would have been a nice LH bat for the bench as a 4/5 OF.

DPat: Please tell us who we would've traded for Fister or Fowler.

Cliff Lee for Fister instead of Aumont and Ramirez.

TTI~ I can't. Just mentioning what was in the article. Go ahead and read it. It reads that both of those players were basically "stolen" by the teams that acquired them. I'm not saying the Phils were a match, just pointing out was written.

I do agree that most of the players they have whom are tradable haven't much value, so I know that route was difficult. I will go ahead and ask a reasonable question here. Does anyone really believe that this team is "built to win" or will even be competitive enough? I also read yesterday the article on the payroll. When all is said and done they're @ ~177. That's well below the "cap". Maybe someone who can help will became available in the Spring.

Like I said, I get RAJ's point, just like I get yours when you make good ones. But I just believe that his conservative approach (which was correct given the amount of dollars involved) will cost him his job. I just don't feel the team is that much better than it was.

I do believe however that the team will score more runs than last year (610). A healthy Howard, Chase and Byrd should ensure that. I'm not sure whether that will translate into more wins. The sticking point with me on Byrd is that I feel they paid too much that's all. I have no evidence of that, but I don't anyone knew they were targeting him or even if anyone else was at the time.

What is really the crux of the matter is the lack of attention RAJ paid to the pitching as a whole but that's because of the dollars.

What I mean is that we'll score more but can the 'pen protect the leads we could have to get to Pap?

AWH~ See above.

**** A healthy Howard***

Good to see that myth will be almost as strong as the myth of a "healthy Polanco"

Wow! We got Polanco back? That's totally awesome!!

ESPN reporting Tanaka will not post this winter. No Tanaka, no Price and no Stanton, this sounds like no hope for 2014.

I don't like dong this, but I am going to make a prediction:

If Ryan Howard comes to camp weighing 245 lbs. or less, and maintains the weight, he'll stay healthy all season.

If not, he won't.

Interesting to see the White Sox sign Belisario and add another sinker baller. Makes some sense in such a HR-friendly park but if a guy like Belisario is getting $3M then there are only going to be injured guys or real hasbins at $1 or $1.5M.

Wait what? 13 innings of Dominican Winter League of ball means a MLB team should know what to expect from a player in 2014?

LoreCorE, that's not what I posted, but go ahead and ride that straw man if you wish.


MG, welcome to the new world of National TV deals and online revenue for every team.

They'll spend even if it's just a marginal improvement.

If r00b doesn't like it and thinks the FA market is "crazy", and denies the reality of rising player salaries, then it's only going to hurt the team in the long run.

Some dumb questions:
Do players get tested before they return from suspensions? Bastardo's time was up a day or 2 before the season ended, but he didn't return.
Is it possible he has continued juicing up to today for his DWL numbers? (The season ends Sat.)
Could he then become clean by the next test?
Do they test in ST, or wait till the season starts?

"If r00b doesn't like it and thinks the FA market is "crazy", and denies the reality of rising player salaries"

By his actions, isn't he thinking this way already?

The market is now $3-$4M now for middle relievers and $6-$7M for setup relievers. Phils inability to develop any competent MLB relievers since Bastardo has really hurt them including the $20M they have invested in Adams and Papelbon and their inability in scoutingand signing ok MLB FA relievers will hinder them as much anything next season.

Can't ses how Amaro says with a straight face that he thinks this has a chance of being a quality bullpen next year. At best, Papelbon doesn't slip too much, Adams gives them something, and it is adequate with the other middle relievers. Wait and see until spring but the bullpen right now on paper is the weakest part of what looks like a below average to terrible team.

and no stantanaka

The fact that Amaro is leery of paying out big contracts for less than elite talent tells me he's finally learning from touching the hot stove (literally) and doesnt want to burn his hand again.

Amaro's comments make it more palatable for me what he did this off-season. I don't think Byrd is any great shakes but he was probably the best we could get for the corner outfield spot without:

1.) spending a ton of money

2.) committing a bunch of years

3.) forfeiting a draft pick

Hopefully Amaro learned a lesson here and adjusts his player acquirement style to improve this team. Unfortunately a change in style will probably benefit the next team he GM's for more than us.

Well, if Balfour fails his physical with the O's, I guess he could be available on a MiLB deal?

TTI - I doubt Amaro hasn't learned a thing. He just doesn't have the money to spend this year because he boxed himself into a corner and Montogmery gave him a payroll cap.

This offseason has been nothing short of a disaster. All Amaro did was signing aging and decrepit veterans to multi-year deals. The only thing he didn't do was avoid giving a veteran reliever a shaky multi-year deal or surrendering a draft pick.

Have to see how things shake out this spring but this look like a 65-75 win team right now with should be embarrassing to an organization that will likely still have a Top 5 Opening Day payroll.

Given up on Amaro this offseason. He is a fool who has shown little/no ability to competently fill out the edges of a roster & this team is almost locked into irrelevance now for at least the next 2 years.

MG: I mean this in all seriousness, and not at all insulting, but when was the last off-season you didn't "give up an Amaro?"

While it's encouraging that they are reluctant to spend money on aging mediocre veterans, they still need to realize the flip-side of that.

Which is that in order to have a talented team, you need to invest in developing your own talent. They still have a pretty weak farm system and haven't shown much inclination to work creatively to add to it.

I'm all for piling in on the Phillies FO on a variety of things, but they did pick up one of the top international pitching prospects of the last 365 days.

Sure, he doesn't have the upside of a Tanaka, but MAG was a pretty big (and very surprising, to me) coup.

I'm surprised that no one on Beerleaguer has pointed out the irony that, even as he is paying $25M per year for Ryan Howard & $20M per year for Adams and Pabelbon, RAJ is declaring: "Why would we spend money that we think is going to be money not well spent?"

Philibuster - Last offseason especially with some of the comments Amaro made to the public on the record.

It wasn't even so much about the lack of emphasis on 'analytics' or statistics but his comments about the lack of any strategic long-term plan.

How many the GM of an organization stay something so blatantly ill-advised and then act as if that is something to be proud of.

Amaro likely doesn't have as much latitude as other GMs but to me the last 2 years or so on how this team has managed their roster, how they have treated injuries, and the things Amaro has said on the public record regarding this managerial style & strategy seems to display a guy who is possibly grossly incompetent to be the GM of a MLB franchise.

"Can't ses how Amaro says with a straight face that he thinks this has a chance of being a quality bullpen next year. "

Actually, MG, I think there is a chance that the bullpen 'could' be OK.

I'm not sure I disagree with you, unless you don't think there is any chance.

I think id we're going to assess the probability of the bullpen being good, then we're in agreement, because I believe that the probability is very low that all the pitchers that need to have a good season will actually have one.

However, there is a 'chance' that they catch lightning in a bottle and this happens:

Papelbon is as good as he was in 2013
Bastardo returns, no dropoff, puts up a his 2011-2013 average
Diekman keeps the command he found at the end of 2013; dominates
Rosenberg pitches like he did in August and Sept
De Fratus pitches like he did in August and Sept
Lincoln gives them his 2012-2013 averages
Martin develops into a decent bullpen piece

The depth guys stashed at AAA pitch decently when called upon

If that were all to happen the bullpen could be decent.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Oh, and if your wondering what the omission of Adams from the list above means, it means that I expect him to collect his $7MM on the season from the strategic view of the 60-day DL for the entire season.

Rosenberg's good pitching was actually limited to August. By September, he was back to being the same B.J. Rosenberg we know and didn't love. If the Phillies are counting on Rosenberg to be part of their 2014 bullpen, that is an incredibly ill-conceived plan. Frankly, I would say the same about Diekman.

Unlike Rosenberg, whose success was completely fleeting, Diekman was actually good over most of the 2nd half of 2013. Still, the reason he was good was because he had a manageable 3.8 BB/9 ratio. There is nothing in his minor league history which suggests that he can sustain anything close to that walk rate over a full season. Before his call-up last year, his BB/9 ratio at LV was an abominable 7.2. Maybe something suddenly clicked in the 2nd half of last year. But the much more likely scenario is that it was just a short-term blip and he still can't throw enough strikes to be even a passable major league reliever.

awh - As presently constituted, yeah I don't think there is a realistic chance this is a Top 3 bullpen in the NL this year in most categories.

The only question is whether is average or below average.

Out of the Diekman/Martin/Rosenberg/De Fratus/Lincoln group, how many of those guys pan out and have decent seasons for the Phils this year?

I would say 2 max and more likely 1.

MAG is definitely one of the few interesting aspects of the 2014 Phillies season. He's pretty much a complete mystery, except for the fact several unnamed executives areound MLB who say he's "definitely in a major league pitcher". If he's "just" a setup man, that's ok at the price they ended up getting him for, but there is a fair chance he ends up a #3ish pitcher. That's very solid value.

awh: I hear Howard's down to 335. Rounding into shape.

bap, Rosenberg, like all pitchers, had his up and downs.

From his Aug 17 callup to Sept 14th he gave up no runs. It was downhill after that.

I was referring to both months as an average of what we could hope for, though I don't expect consistency from him, as no pitcher is 100% consistent.

BAP: "Rosenberg's good pitching was actually limited to August. By September, he was back to being the same B.J. Rosenberg we know and didn't love. If the Phillies are counting on Rosenberg to be part of their 2014 bullpen, that is an incredibly ill-conceived plan. Frankly, I would say the same about Diekman."

This is 100% correct.

One thing that's fun about baseball is sometimes everything works out just right. How many posters here expected the Pirates to do what they did last season? Answer: None.

It is certainly a longshot, but despite what the Amaro-haters and always-negative posters say, it really is possible that the Phils are contenders in 2014.

And then there's Brad Lincoln.

I supported the Brad Lincoln trade because they didn't give much up & there's no harm in bringing in a 28-year old pitcher who was once highly regarded. But the guy had an xFIP of almost 6 last year & has been horrid in all but 1/2 a season of his 4-year career. And the Phillies are talking about him like he's the front-runner for the 8th inning setup role.

If Brad Lincoln is the only "upgrade" to what was the NL's worst bullpen last year, that's one of the most laughable attempts at an upgrade since . . . well, ever.

"One thing that's fun about baseball is sometimes everything works out just right. How many posters here expected the Pirates to do what they did last season? Answer: None."

Read the 2013 predictions thread. Yours truly picked the Pirates to win the Division & Andrew McCutchen to win NL MVP. Of course, I also picked the Angels, Blue Jays, Giants, and Nats to win their divisions & Aaron Hicks (65 OPS+) to win ROTY. But I nailed my Pirates prediction (even if they didn't actually win the division).

"But I nailed my Pirates prediction (even if they didn't actually win the division)."

Except for the fact that you were wrong, yeah, you were totally right about them winning the division.

This reminds me of the time MG went down the list of predictions he made in the 2011 offseason, one of them being something like 'Halladay won't be quite as dominant and will have a 3-3.50 ERA' and called it a 'hit' despite missing on the prediction completely.

b_a_p picks the Pirates to win the division and McCutchen to take the MVP. Pirates win 94 and are a wild card team, and McCutchen wins the MVP. Iceman suggests he missed the prediction "completely". Tough grader.

Again, if you are calling this offseason a disaster and don't factor in the team keeping draft picks, well you really aren't evaluating correctly.

Valle passed through waivers. So he will continue on within the organization.

I assume people (MG) calling the off-season a disaster are speaking in terms of 2014 competitiveness. I am pleased they haven't sacrificed any more picks but, I would still like them to work to improve the team for next year with some lesser moves. I just can't judge the off-season a failure before Christmas.

Great post by clout at 12:30.

Yeah, clout's point was that everyone predicted the Pirates to suck. I point out that I predicted them to win their division. And Iceman gives me a 0 because I predicted they'd be even more successful than they actually were?

Off topic, but I wonder how or why Tanaka's posting affects the money paid Ervin Santana, Garza, etc. The comparison between Tanaka and them is apples and oranges. The free agent pitchers won't be paid any more or less than they would have. His value really does not apply to theirs.I understand why NOT posting increases the value of these mediocre pitchers. Supply and demand etc. Did I miss something here?

They should have went for a veteran righty. Guys like Ryan Webb and Matt Albers have been consistent and have signed for around $2.5 mill AAV for 1-2 years.

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