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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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Assuming Cole is interested in a trade to teams with a chance to win in the next few years, the NTC is just another item for negotiation.

curt, I absolutely agree. However, it also lessens the Phillies leverage, and extremely limits the base of teams with which they can trade (i.e. only ones in or on the throes of contention - those of which whom may not be so inclined to deal away young, just about ready for prime time talent).

But, on it's face, yes, that's a small sticking point. And I certainly didn't mean to stymie further discussion with respect to the Cubs situation, as it really was great conversation. Just pointing out that the haul we'd be likely to see in return would be limited as Cole's NTC would be yet another hurdle to a deal being done (and saying nothing that the Cubs aren't quite knocking on the doors of the playoffs as of yet...).

If teams couldn't be pressed to give up enough for Cole when a trade might have strengthened them for the short-term chance at winning it all, will it not be harder to persuade them to give up value now when everyone will be starting anew?

During midseason trade talks, I felt that more would be gained by an offseason trade, but according to that July article, the Cardinals didn't want to give up young pitchers to get Cole last summer. Why would they want to do so now? And don't we need to acquire pitching if we trade Cole? Even if we're looking down the road a few years, we have a few potentially very good young pitchers, but not enough for a whole rotation....although perhaps that problem can be solved later.

Franzke & LA ‏@FranzkeLA 19m19 minutes ago
I haven't gone through old LA quotes to confirm, but I'm pretty sure at least two of these umps (Cooper & Meals) suck
http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/11715511/four-umpires-get-first-world-series-call


Four umpires are to work the WS for the 1st time.

FYI, news from the Arizona Fall League retweeted by the Phillies:

MLB Pipeline ‏@MLBPipeline 7m7 minutes ago
Roman Quinn leads the AFL in SBs

Last I heard, Quinn was impressing with his speed post-surgery even in Clearwater... Although looking at his numbers, he got caught a bit more often than last year despite the same number of steals (through 20 more games played) despite a higher OBP.

That said, his FLDG% leaves something to be desired from a CF... But this was his first year playing there.

Also, did anybody else catch that Boog Powell is in the A's farm system?

"During midseason trade talks, I felt that more would be gained by an offseason trade, but according to that July article, the Cardinals didn't want to give up young pitchers to get Cole last summer. Why would they want to do so now?"

GBrett, that's easy:

They might be more motivated now because they got their asses handed to them by the Giants.

The giants scored 3, 4, 5, 6 and 6 runs in their games against the Cards vaunted pitching.

They could have had Cole taking at least one turn in that series - a pitcher with a postseason ERA of 3.09, who has been dominant in the postseason except for one year in 2009.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamelco01.shtml#pitching_postseason::none

Take 2009 out of the equation, and Cole has pitched 62-2/3 playoff innings and given up 12 earned runs - a 1.72 ERA.

I'll stick my neck out here and say that the Cardinals overvalued their prospects and it cost them.

The problem is that most teams are overvaluing their prospects these days, and they've managed to sell a large swath of the "hardcore" MLB fans on that valuation as well.

Alas, such are the new baseball economics thanks to the QO and the "hard" slot-linked signing bonus cap.

I doubt they'll stay that way for too long, though, simply because teams will realize that their prospects flame out at too high a rate, and with more TV deals getting signed every year the difference in buying power between the "mid-market" and "large market" is shrinking considerably.

If anybody has any interest, here is "Red Alert: A New Nasty Boy on the Phillies?"

http://isportsweb.com/2014/10/20/red-alert-new-nasty-boy-phillies/

Again, thanks for reading.

Sabermetrics comparisons with Myers, Dibble, and Charlton.


Tal i know some of the b'leaguers are impressed with E Martin. I never was too impressed. More so a gut thing. Im also extremely Leery on resigning J. Williams. He has im going to into a frog/dud the moment im signed written all over him. Maybe hes turned a corner but its highly suspect. Ive been wrong lots of times so who knows...lol..

PLM,

Williams on a one-year deal and only club options at most.

PLM,

Thanks. I plugged that hole on the length of the Williams' deal I anticipate.

Thats all i would offer him with out any options. Hes to highly suspect for me. The problem is if he bombs out they dont have much in the minors to step in. Morgan and Pettibone are the front runners both coming off injuries.

PLM,

The club options are if he proves himself. In other words, each option season is based on his success on an annual basis. There's no guarantee except if he performs like last year.

It's not a mutual option, a player option but maybe a small buyout of $100,000.

PLM, I'm fine with them bringing JWilliams back, but here's how I'd address your concern:

A one-year deal, perhaps with a team option (I need to think more about that).

The one year deal has a base salary and bonuses based on IP

His 2014 contract was for $2.1MM, and he'll be looking for a bit of a potential raise and to build more value, so I'd do this:

Base: $2.5 MM +
50 IP, 500K bonus
100 IP 625K bonus
150 IP 750K bonus
200 IP 750k bonus

If he pitches 200 innings (he's never pitched more than 175 combined - MLB/MiLB), he can make himself almost as much money as he's earned in his entire career and set himself up for a decent 1 - 2 year deal if the Phillies don't have an option.

For him to accept the option, it would probably have to be at least $4 - 5MM, maybe more.

Lastly, if his agent creates the perception around MLB that Williams indeed turned a corner (he says he was heard-headed before getting to Philly and didn't trust his catchers) and can eat +/-150 innings - at or close to league average - then there will be competition for his services and he may get offered a deal similar to the deal for which the Phillies signed Roberto Hernandez last season - 1yr./$4.5MM.

That's still cheaper than they signed Kendrick, so it could provide decent value, and Williams - if he pitches anywhere close to how well he pitched with the Phillies (OK, probably not THAT good but let's say he pitches to a <4.00 ERA), he could wind up being one of the most desirable trade pieces on the market given his contract.

I regard Williams the same way I regard Sizemore. All players, even bad ones, have normal up and down periods within a season. If you catch a player in one of those good periods, it's easy for a team's brass to convince themselves that they, alone, were the ones to channel the guy's talent and help him "figure it out." In reality, 99% of the time, the explanation is as simple as: they happened to catch him in one of his hot streaks.

The Phillies should count themselves lucky that they caught Sizemore & Williams in their "up" periods. They should then recognize that there is absolutely zero reason to believe that either is capable of performing at that level -- or any level above recent career norms -- over a full season. In other words, they should thank these guys for their service & move on. Re-signing either guy would be horrendous.

AWH,

Although you put a lot of thought into your proposal, there are medicals and scouting reports the team has, and I personally don't speculate for that reason. It makes correct analysis almost impossible, and I need my track record for repeat and increased readership.

Most of my thinking is published. It involves research, writing and editing, which doesn't leave much time for long comments too often.

Williams only had nine starts or two months of work. He hasn't been successful out of the 'pen either.

However, it was a minor point in the article that was not about Williams, but how he affects decisions down the road.

Based on PLM's question regarding the article, the point was the length of the offer that wasn't originally in the piece.

Good article on how the Royals built their team: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/10/21/6995375/building-the-kansas-city-royals

A mix of smart draft picks, foreign signings, trades -- mostly involving prospects in exchange for MLB players -- and modestly priced FA signings. Far different than the "dump them all for prospects" policy favored by some posters here.

Williams pitched for 3 teams last year -- the Rangers, Astros & Phillies. All 3 were among the 10 worst teams in baseball. That's not a coincidence. Jerome Williams is not the kind of guy who good teams sign. He's the kind of guy who bad teams sign -- usually out of absolute necessity, like when someone else gets injured or doesn't work out & the team's other internal options all fail. Jerome Williams is a Plan C, not a Plan A.

I realize that the Phillies are precisely the kind of bad team that signs guys like Jerome Williams. But do we really have to concede to that fate before the season even starts? That's what we'd be doing by re-signing Jerome Williams. I'd rather take a shot on someone who actually has a chance (however slim) of being good. If he ends up not working out, there will always be other Jerome Williamses available on the waiver wire.

The Royals have a really good CF in Cain, and a pretty decent SS in Escobar. I wonder how they managed to get them. Hmm.

clout, thanks for that link. Interesting.

Mr. Phan, I suspect that is really a rhetorical question, but not knowing everything before hand like some folks, I had to look up the answer. I suspected they were acquired for a good pitcher of some sort. To state the real trade: it was Cain, Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi coming back for Zach Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. And I guess if anyone would have proposed such a trade on the internet before the fact, There would have been a comment on how hilarious it would be to think Yuniesky Betancourt had any trade value and long diatribes on the greatness of Greinke and lots of stats to support it.

Bastardo at ~$3M is exactly the kind of reliever the Phils should bring back if they want to be a bit more competitive and potentially want to move an asset at the trading deadline/waiver if they desire. Not a prohibitive salary for 2 months and Bastardo has been a quality reliever despite some ups and downs.

Phils also have little organizational pitching depth right now at AA/AAA either among starters or relievers. It is likely they are going to have to sign 2 'AAAA' starters again to just round out the LV rotation to start the year given the uncertain status of Morgan & Pettibone among others. Reading might need a minor league journeyman too with only 3 locks there to start the year (Biddle, S. Gonzalez, Milner).

Chung: I don't disagree with any of that. I was just ribbing clout a little to make the point that a star-for-prospect trade actually WAS part of what brought the Royals to their present situation. Although, in fairness, Escobar wasn't a prospect; he was already an established player. Cain & Jeffers were the prospects -- and Jeffers was actually the one who was supposed to be the blue chipper.

Mike Arbuckle was interview by Kevin Cooney. Quotes:

"[O]ne of the many things that stuck with me is that the minors has to produce a player and a half a year for the big league club. That’s one guy that sticks and another that could come up for half a season to contribute when things happen. That’s the way I’ve tried to operate."

“I know that Marti was involved in every decision I made as we put that core of players together,” Arbuckle said. “I don’t know what happened, but Marti didn’t become an idiot after I left. I still believe in Marti Wolever. I would hang my hat on his judgment. Again, I’m sure people had their reasons for making a change. But I would never back down from knowing his ability.”

“Quite frankly, it wasn’t like what we did in Philly was a brain child,” Arbuckle said. “We were smart enough to look at Atlanta and Toronto. It’s the same blueprint to build and sustain success anywhere. We followed the same process from (former Phils GMs) Lee Thomas to Ed Wade. They were willing to have the patience not to do the quick fix with low ceiling guys. We’ve had the same capability here and that’s why we’ve enjoyed the success that we’ve had here in Kansas City.”

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/sports/arbuckle-finds-happiness-in-royals-postseason-run/article_468d9e2f-801d-567e-8798-7f5872a5d3a5.html

As for trading Revere, if the Phils could get a package similiar to what the Twins received they should strongly consider it.

Revere isn't a long-term answer here and by the time might be competitive again ('17 and that is a big if) he'll be 29 and due decent dollars even though he is arbitration-eligible through '18.

Revere is a decent stop-gap on a team headed nowhere next year but once his salary gets north $5M annually in '16 he becomes a lot less desireable. Imagine he'll be the starter in CF here by default the next 2 years and after that the Phils will strongly consider new alternatives especially with a new GM/manager in place with no real ties to Revere.

Followed the success of Lee Thomas? Drafts under Thomas were an unmitigated disaster and really lucked out in '93 largely though one of the things that Thomas did do somewhat well - secondary trades and scoring on a few hits

Jayson Nix has replaced Christian Colon on the Royals' WS roster. At least one fan speculates it's due to injury concern, whereas Morosi attributed it to: "Greater defensive versatility and more experience as pinch hitter for NL park." Corey Seidman said it "feels like a cruel joke".

Chung: Greinke trade was a steal for the Royals, but even that wasn't as rich as the talent you think the Cubs would give up for Hamels. The other problem with your analogy is that the Brewers were on the cusp of being a contender. The Cubs aren't. And, again, Theo is not stupid. Finally, Yuniesky, as sucky as he is, was an everyday MLB player. Altherr isn't and is unlikely to ever be.

BAP: You're right and note the word "mostly."

"A mix of smart draft picks, foreign signings, trades -- mostly involving prospects in exchange for MLB players -- and modestly priced FA signings."

MG, regarding Bastardo:

If you go look at that FanGraphs list I linked on the previous page, and you delve into it, you will note that, despite his ups and downs (which all pitchers go through, but the SSS of relievers make it look more pronounced),

of all LH RP since 2010 who have pitched at least 230 innings, Bastardo has the

2nd highest K/9 (behind only Aroldis Chapman)
12 lowest ERA
4th lowest FIP
8th lowest xFIP

Yet there are those here who wanted to dump the guy for a bag of balls at the last deadline.

But you are correct, he’s exactly the type of guy they should re-sign, because at the trade deadline he could be quite valuable if he has a good season.

Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki 1m1 minute ago
Phillies sign RHP Jerome Williams to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract . Deal includes performance bonuses, team announces.


I see they're really aiming high for 2015.

Incentives could boost its value to $4 million.

Gbrett just heard about it the moment I logged on and read your post lol...

Well, he got the incentives wrong, but who was the guy that nailed Williams' base salary?:
.
.

"His 2014 contract was for $2.1MM, and he'll be looking for a bit of a potential raise and to build more value, so I'd do this:

Base: $2.5 MM +"

Yeah, that's impressive, awh. When I signed on to read today's posts, I thought at first that you were describing the actual terms of the contract, not making a prediction.

That's a pretty solid deal, all things considered. Costs less than Hernandez, probably should expect about the same kind of results.

If we can turn him into the same kind of return we got for Roberto, it'll be another huge positive.

Apparently, in the last 10 years, the team that wins Game 1 has taken the series...except once.

Of course, it would be the 2009 Phillies who are the exception to that.


Going to be tough for the Royals to beat Baumgarner, especially if Shields is mediocre again. He did pass a kidney stone and get some rest since he last pitched - maybe that will help. (He and Verlander have pitched the most regular season innings of any pitcher, so there could be fatigue at play, per MLB on XM.)


After having only recently reconnected with my best friend from my KS years, thanks to the magic of Facebook, I was touched to receive a Royals t-shirt from her today.

BAP, I assume you're rooting for SF, although I do recall you saying it would be tough to root against the Royals if they made it to the WS?

For you long-time Phillies fans:

@BaseballHall 7 hours ago
#TodayInHistory: 1980 - The Philadelphia #Phillies win the first #WorldSeries in franchise history. Mike Schmidt is named Series MVP

OK, so Shields sucks.

And you can count on Baumgarner bringing his A-game.

Watching Pence in another WS, yet another "How does Rube still have a job?" moment.

Finally out of the top of the 1st! Geez! "Big Game" Shields, my foot!

I liked Pence a lot better when he played for the Phillies. And he seems to be better at getting the big hit since leaving the Phillies, or is that my skewed perspective?

By the way, my dad read in the newspaper that since the Royals were last in the postseason, the Cardinals have played 128 postseason games. 128 postseason games in 29 years.

That's why it's kind of sickening that the Cardinals get extra "competitive balance" draft picks. They obviously have no trouble staying competitive, regardless of their "small market" status.

"BAP, I assume you're rooting for SF, although I do recall you saying it would be tough to root against the Royals if they made it to the WS?"

Yeah, it's hard to work up any hate for Kansas City but I am indeed rooting for the Giants.

Nothing gets the blood flowing about the 2015 Phillies like knowing that Jerome Williams will be on the team.

Fatalotti! I was wondering where you were when the postseason began. I figured you'd be excited to watch Mike Trout in the postseason (although it didn't pan out for him/the Angels) and good baseball.

Is there anything that can get our blood flowing about the 2015 Phillies? We all feel like they'll be a bad team again, but they need pitching. I feel like Williams is not too expensive, and I'm OK taking a chance on him.

I have no problem with the Williams signing. This team needs bodies for the next couple years until the Howard/Lee/Ruiz contracts burn out, so one-year deals are perfect for next year.

Still, Williams does not evoke even the least bit of excitement.

And I don't have cable (haven't all season), so it's been tough to catch any games. And, to be honest, as the Giants and Cardinals kept winning, my fear of getting too invested just to watch the Giants or Cardinals win another World Series was a little too much to handle.

If the best thing you can say about a signing is that it doesn't do any long-term damage to the team's payroll structure, that is pretty faint praise. Mini-Mart didn't do any long-term damage to our payroll structure either.

Nice to see you Fatalotti.

The boner pill and Jeter commercials are making me anxious to see what else is on TV.

"And, to be honest, as the Giants and Cardinals kept winning, my fear of getting too invested just to watch the Giants or Cardinals win another World Series was a little too much to handle."

I completely understand, Fatalotti! If I hadn't once lived in the KC metro area, I wouldn't be invested, either.

Good to see you here.

I just realized I've been spelling Bumgarner wrong. You would think his name's spelling would be burned into my brain from seeing him in the postseason so much.

Mike Zagurski continues to, just barely, stay employed playing baseball. Good for him.

https://twitter.com/bnicholsonsmith/status/524659685409181696

2nd and 3rd, no outs & they score 0 runs? I had no idea the Phillies made the World Series!

That last half-inning was reminiscent of watching Phillies baseball.

Oh, I see it triggered the same memories for BAP.

This game is making me happy that I'm not watching the Phillies. I'd be even more frustrated with this starting pitching performance if this were the Phillies.

Let's hope Duffy fares better, but even so, it's a hole the Royals are going to be hard-pressed to climb out of. Giants' SP is better than KC's, and their BP is just as good.

I heard a couple of pundits recently say something to the effect of "once KC loses a game, the bubble will burst and they won't win another"

If the Giants manage to win their 3rd world championship in the last 5 years, they will have the honor of being the worst team in the history of American sports to ever accomplish that feat.

What a pleasure to hear Raul's interview!

BAP: All credit for that goes to Commissioner Selig whose greed for TV money has rendered the regular season near meaningless.

The Giants have stumbled onto the recipe that the Giants of football fame stumbled onto a while ago.

In a sports culture where parody is king, do your best to be just good enough every year, and with how random the postseason is, you have a shot at winning every time you make the playoffs.

Once they expanded the playoffs to include another Wild Card team, that strategy became all the more sound.

When I'm older and my kids ask me, 'What's the most improbable thing you've ever seen in sports,' the Giants winning 3 World Series in 5 years with a mediocre roster and a garbage starting lineup will be number one and it's not even close. Second would probably be Eli Manning winning two Super Bowls, but even he's only one player on what were two good teams.

Those Giants teams had great defensive lines, and in one season, a stellar running game, but they always had shoddy secondaries and linebacking corps, and the wide receivers those years weren't anything special. They were just good enough, and got some exceptional play in the playoffs, as any team can look fantastic over a 3-4 game sample.

I give the SF Giants credit for recognizing the culture and the market, and not trying to win 100 games in any one season, but being content to go for 88-90 wins year in and year out. Sometimes, it blows up (they did win 76 games last year), but overall, it's not a bad way to do business.

For anyone that continues to say Revere can't start on a contender, Gregor Blanco is the starting CF on this year's World Series champ.

Oddly enough, Fangraphs thought that Blanco and Revere were equally valuable this year (2 WAR), though for different reasons (Revere's baserunning and Blanco's bat).

I don't know about saying that the Giants are undeserving (although I like to say that). Their pitching is quite good, both SP and the BP, n'est-ce pas? Their defense seems solid if not outstanding. Their hitters seem able to capitalize on mistakes. They make it to the postseason, which says something.

Fat - In the '00s, the Iggles sort of took that approach, but could never close the deal.

I don't think I'd necessarily call them undeserving. I give them full credit for their ability to consistently step it up in the playoffs. They have deserved to win under the system that's in place. It's just that, in none of their championship seasons were they even one of the top 3 teams in baseball.

bap - Yeah and that is the frustrating part. Sabean though deserves this share of credit though including making some really time secondary FA signings and in-season trades. I always thought Sabean was a bit overrated but hard to make an argument against what he has accomplished as the Giants' GM.

Giants' FO though does share a lot of similarities to the Phils though including a tight-knit group that has worked together for years and is focused on building and maintaining competitive advantages. They have never really disclosed much about how they use sabermetrics/analytics and had always had a rep under Sabean of their emphasis on scouting and player development.

Only real difference is that Sabean has had his share of successes in secondary FA signings and making in-season trades while Amaro has pretty much floundered in both areas.

Obviously player development too. Giants have turned out a bunch of solid homegrown players including Posey, Belt, Sandoval, Crawford, and Bumgarter. Helped them to avoid the long-term positional player contracts which have crippled this organization.

I'll be curious to see if the Giants give a huge deal to Sandoval. Personally, I think it would be a mistake to give him the type of 5-year mega-deal that some team is going to give him. But the Giants have absolutely no good alternatives & Sabean is much like RAJ, in that he has a strong preference to re-sign his own guys even if it means overpaying to do so.

'Big Game James' now is 3-5 in 10 GS with a 5.40 ERA in 53 1/3 IP in the postseason.

I know he didn't get the nickname from anything he has done in the postseason but man it has to be one of the most unfitting nicknames in pro sports today.

I think you can be called big game just by starting big games,

re: Jerome Williams
I flipped of KYW around 3am and the first I heard it I thought they said one year for 3 million and was kind of annoyed, but the radio kind of faded as they were saying it, so I thought I'd wait for the next time through. Then , they gave it as 2.5 million and I was more positive thinking about it . Must be the "99 cent sale" syndrome.
But 1 year at 2.5 million with incentives that could take it no higher than 4 million. That doesn't seem too bad on the face of it. I'll go positive first, it likely means they won't try to bring back Kyle Kendrick for as much as he made last season or more, that's the biggest plus I can see.
If they keep Hamels, they can go: Hamels, Burnett (if he decides for the 12.5 million), Lee, Buchanan, and Jerome Williams. That gives them a perfunctory 5, and they can put whatever they do want to spend on an improved young offense (wherever they can find some of that). And , if you deduct the 2.5 from the 8 million Kendrick pulled last season, there's a theoretical 5.5 million to put in that war chest. I'm thinking if they place Jerome in the 5th spot they can have Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez as the Long Man and switch from time to time as needed. And , since David Buchanan is not that solidly established at the 4th spot they can put him in that rotation also, if need be. I figure in the minors they can go Nola, Biddle (after/if he can rehab up to AAA), Pettibone, Severino Gonzalez, and maybe they can come up with another AAA type prospect in trade. And, if it doesn't go that well those guys can rotate up as well.

I wouldn't say the Giants don't deserve it. They're winning the games, in especially convincing fashion once they get to the World Series, so I think they certainly 'deserve' it.

But they are not a very good team. When they won in 2010 (which we witnessed firsthand), it was hardly improbable- they had a bunch of really good pitchers that got hot at the right time and turned them into a buzzsaw. The perfect recipe for a playoff run. Then they went to being garbage in 2011, and somehow in 2012 they did exactly the same thing they did in 2010 with largely the same cast of characters. Pablo Sandoval turned into Reggie Jackson. Pretty improbable, but every now and then you see that kind of thing in sports.

Then they were garbage again last year, and are making the same turnaround this time with lesser talent on the roster than in 2010 & 2012. It's officially ridiculous.

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