Archive for November, 2008

Setting The Burrell Parameters

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, November 19, 2008 12:38 PM Comments: 71

The one question that may determine the Phillies offseason plans is, of course, the Pat Burrell question.

It was reported yesterday that the club “set parameters” for a Burrell proposal. More or less, that means “we’re starting here, we’re ending here.” The Phillies know what amount they would give Burrell, and they know what amount they won’t give Burrell.

My parameters would start at two years, $23 million, with a third-year option at $15 million. Or: $11.5M / $11.5M / $15M.

My max is three years, $33 million, with no option, more money on the front end and performance incentives in the back end. Or: $14M / $11M / $8M / incentives up to $9M, kicking in as $3M in 2010, $6M in 2011.

I’m not keen on giving Burrell $11.5 M, then turning around and giving Jamie Moyer another $6M or so. Still, the Phils will have room to get another couple players with the cash remaining. Going up to $14M or $15M with Burrell is probably too much.

What are your parameters?


More Photos from the Parade

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, November 19, 2008 11:35 AM Comments: 7

It’s hard to believe that just 19 days ago, this is where most of us were. We’ve added some new photos from one of the floats – the imagery is breathtaking.


Phils Assemble Scouting Staff

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, November 19, 2008 11:15 AM Comments: 6

The Phillies realigned their scouting department yesterday. Philadelphia native Howie Freiling — a Northeast High baseball star (“Central mambo …”) — was named a special assignment scout. He joins Hank King, Jim Fregosi Jr., Jerry Lafferty, Roy Tanner and Jon Mercurio in new roles. Del Unser and Dean Jongewaard remain in their pro scout roles.

Some of these names sound familiar, some don’t. For some reason I’m imagining a Phillies boys’ club. These guys all sound like they should be scouts.

Boy, it’s a slow news day.


The Nation Minute – 11.19.08

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, November 19, 2008 06:00 AM Comments: 1

In today’s Minute, a recap of my view of the upcoming offseason movement.


As always, e-mail me at tim@philliesnation.com


Dempster Deal Poorly Sets Free Agent Market

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, November 18, 2008 01:56 PM Comments: 77

The Cubs will re-sign Ryan Dempster to a four-year, $52 million contract today.

The deal sets the free agent pitcher’s market, as Dempster gets a deal akin to Carlos Silva’s four-year, $48M contract last season. It tells most of us that baseball won’t quite suffer from the same financial hardship that is plaguing the nation; closer to home, it might shut the door on prized free agent names for the Phillies.

Now that Dempster is set, AJ Burnett — sought by the Yankees — should get at least $55 million over four years, and probably more. Derek Lowe will drop in for $12 million per year. Even Brad Penny, Braden Looper and other third-tier guys should get close to $10 million in 2009.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies were looking for pitching, and though they could strike a deal for a prized free-agent starter, it’s looking very bleak. Consider Jamie Moyer should get about $7 million in 2009, and you’re not looking at a top-flight name. Moreover, consider a hitter like Milton Bradley, who may get that four year deal he seeks. If Dempster can get it, why not him?

Meanwhile, the Phils “set parameters” for a Pat Burrell contract. Look for Burrell to seek a better deal, and maybe get it now.

The way the market has opened, the Phils spending spree of 2008 may resemble the 2007 experience: a couple names late in December and a low-risk, high-reward trade.


Appropriate Bottom-Barrel Options For Bullpen

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, November 18, 2008 12:39 PM Comments: 33

We’ve heard Russ Springer, Doug Brocail and Juan Cruz as rumored arms in whom the Phillies are interested. All three of these names are Type A free agents, meaning they’d potentially cost the Phillies a first-round draft pick.

The pile of middle reliever free agents is deep. Some other intriguing names, by first glance, who aren’t Type A or B free agents: Brendan Donnelly, Scott Elarton, Kyle Farnsworth, Keith Foulke, Matt Herges, Al Reyes, Juan Rincon, Jamey Wright.

Turning it over to you, who would you like to see the Phils sign for a relief spot? Or is the bullpen fine as is? Currently the bullpen includes Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, JC Romero, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey, with potential spots for JA Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Andrew Carpenter, Francisco Rosario or Mike Zagurski.


Idea Of MVP Award Makes It Hard To Rally Behind

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, November 18, 2008 10:04 AM Comments: 23

In his blog, Todd Zolecki rails on Nationals beat writer Rich Campbell from the Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance Star about leaving Ryan Howard off his 2008 National League Most Valuable Player ballot.


(By the way, that’s an official word now.)

I understand getting all pent up about MVP voting and such, but I don’t. And it’s not even the post-World Series euphoria talking. I just don’t get riled up about these BBWAA awards. Especially the MVP, since you can define the award like 10 ways, and each sportswriter chooses a different way to define it. Either it’s most valuable to his team, or most value in the league, or best player, or best player on a playoff team, or whatever. It’s just useless to debate it all.

For those of you wondering anyway (which might be four of you), my ballot for NL MVP is:

1. Albert Pujols / 2. Ryan Howard / 3. David Wright / 4. Manny Ramirez / 5. Chipper Jones / 6. Brad Lidge / 7. Johan Santana / 8. Hanley Ramirez / 9. Lance Berkman / 10. Chase Utley

But I’m no voter. Only 32 guys vote. Flawed system? Absolutely. Something to worry about? Meh.


Pujols Wins NL MVP; Howard Finishes 2nd

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, November 17, 2008 02:51 PM Comments: 26

Albert Pujols was named National League Most Valuable Player. He received 18 of the 32 first-place votes.

Ryan Howard finished second in the voting.

Though Pujols’ Cardinals missed the playoffs and finished in fourth place in the NL Central, he recorded a .357 average with 37 home runs and 116 RBI. Howard, who defeated Pujols for the award in 2006, had a .255 average with 48 HR and 146 RBI.

Ryan Braun of the Brewers finished in third place with Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers getting fourth place. Brad Lidge finished in eighth, while Chase Utley placed 15th. Really, 15th?


Phillies Also Looking At RHP Cruz

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, November 17, 2008 02:12 PM Comments: 7

We spoke about Doug Brocail and Russ Springer over the weekend, but now the Phillies are said to be investigating Juan Cruz as a bullpen option, according to Ken Mandel.

Cruz, who spent the last three years as a hot option for the Diamondbacks, went 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA last season.

Mandel points out that the Phils won’t have to wrestle with Type-A free agency rules if the free agents aren’t offered arbitration by their former teams. If the Phils sign either of Cruz, Brocail or Springer right now, they’d owe the former teams a supplemental draft pick.

Mandel adds the Phils probably won’t rush to sign a reliever.


Phillies To Hire Proefrock For Asst. GM Position

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, November 17, 2008 11:55 AM Comments: 3

The Phillies will hire Scott Proefrock as assistant general manager, according to Todd Zolecki.

Proefrock was assistant general manager in Tampa Bay from 1998 to 2005, under Chuck Lamar. He also worked in Atlanta from 1991 to ’95, with Lamar.

Most recently Proefrock worked as Baltimore’s director of baseball administration.

Looks like another Gillick network deal here. Proefrock and Lamar have worked together in the past, so this seems to make sense. Proefrock will be working with the big league roster and budget — I wonder how much experience he has with that, seeing as Tampa’s payroll back then isn’t even close to what the Phillies have now.

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