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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Can we fast forward to the 2015 season?

I was thinking more like 2017.

I'd love to hear Harry Kalas' voice again introducing Abreu every AB. Money given to the Kalas Charitable Foundation everytime if there is one.

I guess the caveat is it's not over yet, but could you have actually planned a more ridiculous off-season? This move will light up the season ticket lines, just like the rest of the moves. The good news is that Amaro continues to inch closer to the unemployment line. Well, that is until he's brought back as a "special advisor."

If Amaro wants to trade Ruf, I fully support that idea actually because I don't think his value will be higher, that he has a clear spot on an NL roster especially with Howard at 1B, and will be 28 this year. Ruf isn't going to be a worthwhile piece of this team when they do indeed potentially start to upturn again.

Just depends on what he can get but if he gets a younger piece that helps them moving ahead forward then he should do it.

Gaudin sounds like a scumbag. Well done Phillies! Way to make this team more likable

Will the Phils have an additional Breast Cancer night where Gaudin gives out free breast exams and instructs all women 30 and under in proper manual detection techniques?

Sandberg, Bowa, Cholly, Abreu, Byrd...heck of an offseason as long as you aren't interested in a good baseball team.

Hot Stove is pipin'!!!!!

I really think if Abreu makes the team- it is going to make Mayberry expendable. Mayberry's value to them was being the right handed batter off the bench AND being able to play center field. They signed Byrd who can easily slide into center when they decide to give Revere a breather or want to use Ruf or Abreu late.

Plus Ruf is a more natural fit to play first base as a right-hander if they need to give Howard a breather or platoon him in any way.

I just wonder what the people complaining about this are looking for. This is a minor league signing for a guy who has value as a left hander off the bench and an OBP guy- if he happens to make the roster. He would be nothing more than a depth guy.

If you hear 'Viva La Vida' by Coldplay this spring, don't be surprised if there is a Scott Rolen appearance.

Was Amaro monitoring Urbina's performance in the Venezuelan Winter League Penal/Parolee League too?

I liked Abreu when he was first with us. Then again, I also liked my dial-up internet connection when I first had it. Doesn't mean I'd sign up for it today.

Here's a fun game. Which Phillies will do better in 2014 than they did for the legendary 2004 team that Amaro is trying to put back together?

Rollins: .289/.348/.455
Utley: .266/.308/.468
Howard: .282/.333/.564
Abreu: .301/.428/.544
Byrd: .228/.287/.321

And for good measure, even though they are technically different people:

Roberto Hernandez: 4.76 ERA, 1.52 K/BB

In dark times like this I can't help but question why we criticize bandwagon fans so much. Surely they'll be making better use of their time over the next three-four years.

TTI: What are people complaining about?

You mean, other than the fact that our GM's offseason apparently consisted of hopping in the Delorean back a decade?

Between Rube and that moron on the Seahawks my admiration of Stanford as an institution of higher learning has rapidly evaporated...Ivy league of the west my ass. CCP of the west more like it.
Posted by: kilbillrain | Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 03:38 PM

I am thinking the same about Wm Penn Charter grads Rube and Monty.

TTI~ I posted this on the last thread, sorry.

TTI~ Thanks for being nice. I thought you might have that in you.

Answers: 1. Yes they do.
2. Difficult to answer at this point because players like Sizemore are already off the board.
3. I don't have a problem with the dollars involved. Very reasonable. If he's cut, no harm, no foul. It's his age and his poor defense that are issues. He may be tearing it up in winter ball, but can he turn on a 95mph fastball late in a close game when he needs to?

Added: Do you think RAJ is just hoping for lightning in a bottle?

Lets sign Glanville, Jason Michaels and Ricky Ledee next. Can't wait for spring training this year.

DPat: I think Amaro has decided that Abreu would be a no risk signing. It's a minor league deal to a guy who has been tearing it up this winter. If it continues then he makes the roster on a low contract. If it doesn't he is gone.

Maybe they still have a bunch of Abreu jerseys in storage that they need to get rid of....that would explain this signing quite nicely.

I'm sure RAJ told Bobby the fences at CBP are much more padded then the Vet. I guess Lyle Overbay was too young to sign before the Brewers did. This could be the oldest spring roster in mlb history.

Bobby Abreu will either be cut or he'll be the leadoff hitter when they play in AL ballparks. :)

Um...Abreu played at CBP for several years...he's quite familiar with the walls there.

""Bobby has had a nice winter season," Amaro said earlier. "We have decent reports on him."

Still, I'm disappointed, because lorecore is correct. The Phillies haven't scouted Bastardo to check him out.

I wonder what Aaron Rowand is up to...

"Bobby has had a nice winter season," Amaro said earlier. "We have decent reports on him."

Great job RAJ. Bobby hit Low A ball pitching in Venezuela.

The most important question is will BJ Rosenberg give up the #53 Jersey?

I'm available.

Actually Bobby isn't too familiar with the walls since he never got near them.

Jack-- Utley and Byrd.

They weren't exactly pitcher's duels in the playoffs. Jeepers he has a RBI every other AB.

David Dellucci available? Lou Coliier?

TTI~ I agree, it's a no-risk signing. So is Gaudin. But if the risks don't pan out, then RAJ's still gotta find replacements for both guys, and they'll need to be on the big-league roster, because his team is not complete, Yes?

Forget Mayberry and Ruf. Manny is looking for some fun. Better call a meeting Rube.

Hey, do you guys need a backup catcher?

DPat: Take a stand here and don't evade the question:

You are Amaro- who are you signing?

Lieby looks a little worn but hell why not!

The only thing older than the Phillies are the jokes about how old the Phillies are.

I'm in the best shape since 2005 coming off my TJ surgery and ready to fill out that 5th starter spot!

Get the 'The Wolf Pack' back together!

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 29m

Phillies used 18 position players in 2004. Just five are still active in baseball. All five are Phillies property.

If the point of the offseason is to try to make your ball club a contender, then of course this offseason has been an utter failure.

But if the point is to troll beerleaguer, I literally can't think of a better signing.

Maybe Rube got a new mandate from his Comcast overlords: drum up traffic for our Phillies blogs!

Abreu killed it in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .322 & finishing 10th in the league in batting. To put that number into a little context:

The league triple crown was won by 42-year old Alex Cabrera, who flamed out in the minor leagues 14 years ago.

The 2nd leading hitter was Corey Aldridge, a 34-year old with a .267 career average in more than 6,300 minor league PAs.

The 3rd leading hitter was Carlos Sanchez, a 21-year old who hit .241 at AAA last year.

The 9th leading hitter was Adonis Garcia, who hit .256 at AAA last year.

The 12th leading hitter was Joe Thurston.

The 15th leading hitter was Freddy Galvis.

The 18th and 19th leading hitters were Ender Inciarte & Ezequiel Carrera.

Thome hasn't techinically retired I don't think... Last I heard he was awaiting a call.

Just saying.

Wasn't Bobby shipped out in order to change the clubhouse culture/chemistry? Now he's back? To do what? Piss off Cole and Cliff when he can't come up with a shallow fly to preserve the game because he would have had to actually run towards the ball.

BAP: To be fair, I heard Rube and his scouts have some good reports on Corey Aldridge. I could see them signing him up, and while he is a bit young and inexperienced, you could get him on a 2-year deal with an option so he's locked up for his prime years at ages 35 and 36.

BAP wins the thread although there are likely going to be plenty of winners on this ones.

So you're saying we should have signed Alex Cabrera?

TTI come off of it, man. Amaro himself said he would need to "be creative" this off season. What, exactly, has he done so far this off season that has been even slightly imaginative? To date, a high school kid could have put this off season together.

Polanco isn't retired yet either -- and I could SO see him ending up with the Phillies this year, if Cody Asche flames out. I can even see certain posters applauding the signing on the ground that, if he stays healthy . . .

Call me crazy but I think Tanaka is putting this team together. Mackanin, Wade and Charlie probed deep enough to discover a recurring dream Masahiro had since 2004 about playing baseball in America.

pblunts: Please find a quote where I praised Amaro for this off season.

TTI~ I would have gone after Sizemore as my 1st choice. I know he's coming off an injury. He would have cost more and I believe he's only 31.

TTI I think it's apparent that people on here aren't upset by the Abreu signing, per se. When put into the context of what had transpired so far is what bothers me and I imagine most people. You mentioned you "don't know what people are looking for," which certainly seems to be a passive aggressive defense of the off season.

Again, does this off season at all seem like it had a plan behind it or was made up as it went along? No injection of youth and no clear upgrades to the pen or bench.

Gaudin is a shitheel, & I was tired of Abreu (& Byrd for that matter) almost 10 years ago now. This franchise has gone from comedic bad to sickeningly unlikable. I can't imagine actually paying to attend more than 2-3 games, & those mainly based upon who's playing for the opposing team.

"We have decent reports on him."

From 2005 i take it rube?


Few wanted to clean house after 2011. They didn't. This IS the plan. I find it fun.

PB~ I'll answer that. It certainly seems like it was made as it went along, doesn't it?

They didn't go after any "top-tier" guys and even 2nd-tier guys with the exception of Byrd. We've guys come off the board and now RAJ is shopping strictly at the value-village counter. To be honest, I guess I expected this to happen given the already high payroll.

As everyone knows, I thought the paid too much for Byrd, but he's certainly an upgrade over what was in RF last year. I would've gone after Salty being younger than Chooch and a switch-hitter, but I really don't have a problem with Chooch being back. I would have signed another arm for the 'pen. And maybe brought in a better starter than Hernandez. They tried with Feldman but it didn't work out.

Basically though they didn't get younger or that much better.

"If you hear 'Viva La Vida' by Coldplay this spring, don't be surprised if there is a Scott Rolen appearance."

I love how MG makes fun of Sarge/TMac for the stuff they say while live on the air, but he posts gibberish like this daily that makes sense to no one but himself.

Made sense to me. Rolen likes Coldplay

Sounds like nothing more than an obscure reference to at bat music.

I'm expecting "Dirty Laundry" at some point, myself.

pblunts: How does that comment- spoken directly in the context of the Abreu discussion- read as a passive agressive praise for the offseason? That's insanity.

I can't say with certainty if this is thrown junk at a wall in the off-season. I think right now the Phillies are in a spot where you go year by year. They have a lot of money tied up in guys that they can't necessarily trade so you can't really "blow it up." They almost need to got he route they are going. And I completely understand the anger at all of.

With the poor options at hand- ones Amaro created- I think he is doing okay this off-season. But that is only with some very lowered standards that his actions put us in. If it is praise, it is damning with extremely faint praise.

$2M for Bastardo. Another catcher, the 11th SP and a couple UTL players and we're set.

Bubble Butt Bastardo signs a one-year, $2 million deal, which includes performance incentives.

Let's be real.

They aren't going "year by year." They don't honestly think they can compete. If they thought they compete, we know that Amaro would have done something substantial. Everything in his history indicates he will make a big move in order to make the team competitive for a title, whether it's spending money or a trade.

The truth is they know they don't have a chance of winning, and they are acting accordingly with regards to signing big-name free agents. That's probably a good thing. They recognize it isn't worth it.

But they also have decided internally that, for whatever reason, they have to pretend to be competitive, and so they are signing retread veterans and saying stuff like "if everyone is healthy, we can win," and they refuse to trade veteran guys who the fans love. I think this is misguided (fans will get over trading Cliff Lee or Chase Utley quicker than the front office thinks--the fans aren't idiots), but it's the Phillies M.O. to keep around their own forever, clearly.

That's what is happening.

I should say, it looks like TTI actually agree on most of what is going on (though I am probably more explicit than he is that the team is not going to compete and knows it). The difference is he thinks the front office is doing a decent enough job given the constraints.

My problem is not what they're doing given the constraints. My problem is that they are the ones who created and in some cases are self-imposing the restraints.

Well, Abreu was a 6 Win player in his peak. If he can just recapture that along with bounceback seasons from Howard, Rollins and Utley, there's a really good chance of 85 wins in 2014.

I can say the same thing somebody else said and just change it around too.

2 things:

1.) I said at best they win 78 games- not really competitive.

2.) I said the same thing about the constraints.

TTI: Ok, fair enough.

I guess what I don't agree with you on is that they have to go this route now.

Why not trade Lee and Utley? And Rollins if you can? (Assuming here that Papelbon and Howard are untradeable).

I also don't think that just because you're bad doesn't mean you should not sign veteran free agents or make trades.

You should just make smart ones.

The Phillies never fire anyone and never have.
In 1970 Bill Conlin called them "an archaic organization rampant with nepotism." Somethings never change.

The Good News

At least we don't have to hear this heap o'crap team is "gutsy" by Wheels or 8 months.

The 2014 Highlights reel will be given out on a mini-CDROM for free in with Phillies Franks.

There will be none of those pesky sell outs for the Sawks/Yanks series.

The Bad News

The following will play out 25 times a day on 97.5...

Caller: Hey Mike, this is Joe from the NE, is it a violation for my sister in law to wear her old skin-tight 53 jersey to the bar?


Did Conlin consider nepotism good or bad?

I advocated trading Lee for like a year now. People have scoffed on here and said "He brings in crowds." People complain all the time that Rollins has no trade value.

And honestly- make smart moves is simplistic. Of course that is what you do.

Lee, hmmm. That's a great idea. Re-sign Travis Lee.

Really, if we're going to win 70 games next year, I wouldn't mind seeing Bobby suit up. Always been a fan of his game.

Let's not discount the fact that the likes of Utley, Lee, Rollins (and hell, even Howard, considering that recent other signings make his look slightly less a sunk cost) are all still tradeable up through August. And, considering that there are doubts on them in their age now, they actually are likely to command even more of a return then, as the "buyers" are looking for some missing pieces for a pennant run. I actually think that holding onto these guys makes some sense*.

*I have the right to reconsider that statement when one or all of them miss a few months with bad backs/quads

I'm all for the Bobby A jokes about being afraid of the walls, but a couple things come to mind:
- he's not even signed to a big league deal, so it's premature to consider he'll be on the Phils
- if he does make the big squad, it's more so to play the left-handed bench bat/DH guy (you know, kind of like Ross Gload/Jim Thome...)
- assuming he fills that role, there are several other guys left out in the cold

It's funny. For as much as we bang on RAJ for his love of no-hit (f)utility guys (and rightfully so!), he's equally in love with these guys who he has no plan whatsoever to actually play defense. If only there were some middle ground.

They have locked in mediocrity at best for the next 2 years at least.

The issue is how bad this team is this year and if they fire Amaro next offseason or in '15 when his contract is up. 4 consecutive years of .500 or less baseball will be enough to end Amaro's tenure here even with the current FO.

I'm giving Ruben a B+ on creativity at this point. Don't slam the door now RAJ. Finish the job.

"Bubble Butt Bastardo signs a one-year, $2 million deal, which includes performance incentives."

I'd feel better about Bastardo's prospects if we replaced those performance incentives with performance enhancers.

In a perfect world, Abreu's career would be coming full-circle by rejoining the multi-championship core comprised of Matt Smith, Carlos Monasterios, reigning MVP C.J. Henry and Jesus Sanchez.

Did Conlin consider nepotism good or bad?

Posted by: Harry Callous | Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 06:16 PM

I'm not sure that would matter given the issues with his personal moral compass.

Hey, Bobby, get Wilton on the phone, I saw him GIDP three times in a Riversharks game but he did so with so much intensity.

I knew JW would show. Circle complete.

"For as much as we bang on RAJ for his love of no-hit (f)utility guys (and rightfully so!), he's equally in love with these guys who he has no plan whatsoever to actually play defense."

The irony is that, for the last 2 years, we've had a guy on the team who can't play defense, but can hit. And RAJ keeps finding ways to replace him with guys whose defense is no better, but whose offense is substantially worse.

If the team is as bad as most think they will be and as little fans show up as most think- there is almost no way the ownership group will let Amaro stay on.

God I hope this team won't be as bad as most think.

TTI: we can agree on one thing in this thread, that Lee should be traded. Sure the PR hit will suck, but they aren't going to hang into him because he's a draw on a 75 win team. (Or so we hope). We have to hope we get a great deal and $ relief, but with Amaro driving the bus I'm hardly confident.

For anyone who'd prefer not to click the link:

Q: So, Bobby Abreu?

Amaro: "He’s very motivated. He’s in very good shape. Our reports on him is he’s been swinging the bat well, moving well. He’ll have a lot to prove in spring, he’s going to have the opportunity. It’s a no-risk kind of deal. If he makes the club, great."

Q: How has he looked in the outfield?

Amaro: "He started playing the outfield more lately and he was moving pretty well. Probably not the same Bobby Abreu as in the past, clearly, but right now he looks pretty adequate. We’ll have the opportunity assess him all spring long."

Q: This deal kind of comes out of left field, no?

Amaro: "There aren’t a lot of lefthanded bats sitting out there, and not a lot of lefthanded bats that have the ability like Bobby, frankly. And when he started playing, we started watching. And as he continued to play, he got better and better. Clearly he was dominating in Venezuela. Yeah it was Venezuela, but it’s pretty competitive baseball and he performed in the playoffs, too. Based on what we saw and how motivated we think he is, it’s a good risk. And he said and he wanted to finish his career with the Phillies."

"Yeah it was Venezuela, but it’s pretty competitive baseball and he performed in the playoffs, too."

I love it. He's a guy who can work a 3-2 count and then make the last out of the season. Granted, it's a 25-game winter league season. But still. There aren't a lot of guys out there who can say that.

RAJ can go all in if he trades Frandsen and signs Tomas Perez. He's a smidgen older than Abreu but has roots to 2004 and is versatile. (Still playing in VWL.)

TTI: "there is almost no way the ownership group will let Amaro stay on"

Ed Wade is still employed.

Good, now we'll know who the bat off the bench is when one of those Venezuelan Winter League pitchers comes in.

Meyer-- How many RBIs does Perez have in the VWL playoffs?

re: Abreu

I like this move simply because its something worth watching this spring.

In terms of roster math, if Abreu hits enough to make the team - we're looking at:

Frandsen(guaranteed $$ = guaranteed spot)
Mayberry(guaranteed $$ = guaranteed spot)
Nieves(guaranteed $$ = guaranteed spot)

That leaves them down a SS, so it'd be Galvis.

So Abreu would steal Ruf's job, a 28yr old who had a .800 OPS in the majors in 2013 vs a guy who had a .870 OPS in the VWL. This is why this move is not "no risk".

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