Big Names Top Offseason Wishlist

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, November 09, 2009 02:05 AM | Comments: 120
Analysis, Arbitration, Payroll, Posts

Coming up two wins shy of another World Championship was, indeed, a tough pill to swallow, but the Phillies were simply the second best team in 2009. All of the ugly flaws of this team made their way to the surface in the World Series, whether it be a lack of situational hitting, a decrepit bench, or the continued struggles of ’08 heroes and ’09 goats, Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge.

Brian Cashman, along with whichever Steinbrenner is currently running the Yankees, spent close to $210 million on the 2009 payroll to limit weaknesses, field a near-perfect team, and win a World Series. Congratulations to the two men and their quarter-billion dollar payroll. The money was thrown around properly and resulted in celebration, and a flustered Mark Teixeira running around the field exclaiming, “We did it!” as if this was a bunch of rag-tag players nobody believed in. To that, I “LOL.”

Room for Improvement

But what I took from the World Series is that, as incredible as the Phillies were this past season, there were still many aspects of this club that needed, and will need, improvement. It’s truly amazing to me that I even sit here writing this piece, as a fan and analyst of a team that had a better year than 28 other clubs, all of which were surely envious of the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.

Alas, here we are, entering a great time of the year – the offseason. Some call it the “hot stove,” although I don’t really understand why. It’s one of those unexplainable things, you know, like the nickname “Melky” being derived from Eudernyi Cabrera.

The Phillies have the chance this offseason to transform into a near-perfect team. With two consecutive World Series appearances, exponential growth in local and national popularity, and some hefty contracts coming off the books in 2010, Ruben Amaro will have some serious cash to spend in the coming months. If spent properly, there is no reason the Phillies cannot wrap up the NL East early, sweep through the playoffs, and reclaim their rightful trophy from the feminine hands of Johnny Damon and company.

Off the Books

First, let’s take a look at which contracts come off the books next season.

  • Brett Myers is gone, which is sad in some ways, but necessary in others. The long-time Phillie understood how to endure the expectations and tough-love from Philly fans, probably because he was such a blue-collar guy, himself. I, like all of you I’m sure, wish Myers all the best in his future endeavors, but am glad to see his $12M salary erased from the Phillies payroll.
  • Also subtracted from the payroll are the $8,833,333 the Phillies were still paying to Adam Eaton, and $6.75M to Geoff Jenkins. Due to buyout provisions, the Phils are still on the hook with both players in 2010, but only for a combined $1.75M.
  • Matt Stairs made $1M in 2009, but due to declining power and usefulness, he will only receive a minor-league contract from the Phillies next year, if he receives one at all.

Quick math shows that this is $26,833,333 coming off the books in 2010. The Phillies opening day payroll in ’09 was $113M, fifteen million dollars more than the 2008 opening day payroll. But, according to Mat Swartz, a Phillies fan and writer for Baseball Prospectus with a doctorate in economics from Penn, the Phillies have shown in recent years that they value marginal wins over strict payroll trends.

What this means is, under Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro, the team has shown a willingness to add players who can contribute a win or two (think Kyle Lohse, Joe Blanton, etc.), because the difference of winning 90 games instead of 88 will also boost regular season AND playoff revenue, making the added contracts well worth the price of admission.

For this reason, it is not unrealistic to expect the Phillies to spend MORE in 2010 than they did in 2009. A payroll between $125M and $135M is, by no means, unreasonable.

Plenty of Raises

Just so we’re all on the same page at this point, let’s recognize that the subtraction of $27M from the contracts of Myers, Eaton, Jenkins, and Stairs would leave the 2010 payroll at $86M. But, we then have to factor in the raises that certain players have that will increase the ’10 payroll.

  • Jayson Werth made $2.5M in 2009, and will make $7.5M in 2010. He’s a steal at both prices.
  • Ryan Howard goes up from $15M to $19M, once again, a steal at both prices.
  • Chase Utley goes from $11.3 million to $15.3 million.
  • Raul Ibanez goes from $7.167M to $12.167M.
  • Cole Hamels’ contract is raised from $4.35M to $6.65M.
  • Ryan Madson goes from $2.33M to $4.83M.
  • Finally, Greg Dobbs goes from $1.15M to $1.35M.

All of these raises equal a $23 million payroll increase from 2009 to 2010. When subtracting the $27M from Myers, Eaton, Jenkins, and Stairs, then adding the raises, as well as the $8M option that was just excercised on Cliff Lee’s contract, the 2010 payroll is $108M as of today.

The Arbitration Guys

However, this leaves out the contract statuses of Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton, Clay Condrey, and Chad Durbin, all of whom are subject to arbitration this offseason. Last year, the Phillies successfully avoided arbitration with guys like Hamels, Howard, Madson, Blanton, etc. by working out deals prior to the hearings.

The following are merely educated guesses based on what players made in 2009, what they will be worth next year, and Ruben Amaro’s preference toward locking guys up during several arbitrations years.

  • Shane Victorino will likely be signed to a deal similar to that of Jayson Werth (2 yr/$10M.) I could see Victorino getting a two-year deal as well, between $8-10 million. So, his 2010 salary will be in the $4-5M range.
  • Carlos Ruiz will also likely be signed to a two-year deal, totaling $6M. Can you believe he made $475,000 in ’09?!
  • Joe Blanton made $5.475M in ’09, he will probably settle for around $6.5 in 2010.
  • The Phillies will likely only keep Chad Durbin OR Clay Condrey, not both. Based on the fact that Durbin would command at least $2.25M next season, while Condrey would make $1M or less, Condrey looks like the more efficient, safer choice.

These theoretical raises to Victorino, Ruiz, Blanton, and Condrey would add approximately $15M to the 2010 payroll, making it $123M.

The Undecideds

This leaves three guys – Chan Ho Park, Scott Eyre, and Pedro Feliz. The Phillies have already contacted Scott Boras about re-signing Park, which, if accomplished, would be a deal worth about $3.5M. Eyre has said that he is undecided, but if he returns, it will be with the Phillies. I’m guessing that he comes back after a stellar 2009. He’ll match his 2009 earnings, making $2M or slightly more.

The decision to decline Feliz’ club option was made over the weekend. If the Phillies had exercised his option, he would have made $5M; the buyout costs just $500,000. Based on a bad offensive second half and a lack of postseason production, I think Ruben Amaro will explore other options at third base. Feliz has been a great defender at the hot corner, but the Phillies could greatly improve their offense by signing or acquiring a better offensive third baseman who will get rid of the “black hole,” as my brother calls it, in the seven-spot.

The Wishlist

Now that the boring part is over, let’s take a look at potential upgrades the Phillies could make. If the contract issues are worked out similar to my hypotheses, the 2010 payroll would be around $125M, before any additions are made. Some tinkering needs to be done, and I believe Ruben Amaro is the right man for the job.

Roy Halladay

You thought you were done seeing his name on this site? Think again. The Blue Jays STILL need to rid themselves of Halladay while he still has some value, and this winter is the time to do it. The pricetag on Halladay will not be as high as it was several months ago, because now the team that acquires him will only have his services for one season. He is a free agent after 2010, a season in which he is scheduled to make $15.75M.

The idea of trading for Halladay is not as unrealistic as you may think. He would be a MUCH better option than John Lackey, the top pitcher on the market that every Phillies writer is seemingly already calling for. Why? Because, A) he is undoubtedly better, and B) he’ll be cheaper.

Lackey likely won’t earn $15.75M or more in 2010, but he will receive a five or six year contract, similar to the value of what A.J. Burnett made. It would be unwise for a team like the Phillies to commit five or six years to a pitcher like Lackey, who will likely not be worth the money several years down the road.

New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous has subtly stated that the Halladay talks will only involve a few teams, because many do not have the finances or young talent to acquire the former Cy Young winner. The Phillies are one of those few teams.

What would it take to get Halladay? After consulting with several other prominent baseball writers, the consensus seems to be J.A. Happ, either Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor, and a fringe prospect. This probably sounds similar to the deal that was once on the table, but keep in mind that Kyle Drabek would stay put, as would either Brown or Taylor.

To those thinking that Happ and Brown/Taylor is still too high a price to pay for one season of Roy Halladay, let’s take a look at a little bit of logic. Having an outfield of Ibanez, Victorino, and Werth means you do not need two great outfield prospects, you only need one, at most. If Brown/Taylor gets traded to Toronto and becomes an all-star, very well. That doesn’t change the fact that both face major roadblocks.

Losing a very good rookie like Happ would be hard, but is there any doubt whatsoever that Halladay is a massive upgrade over Happ? Sure, Halladay would only be around for one year while Happ could be for five, but isn’t the goal to win now, while this nucleus is in its prime and still intact?

At first glance, the notion of trading for Halladay may seem unrealistic, but due to his impending free agency, he is actually a relatively cheap acquisition. Expect the Phillies to once again make a serious push for him.

Adrian Beltre

For a while, I was calling for Chone Figgins. During Game Six of the World Series, I wrote on the Phillies Nation twitter that I would be the campaign manager for “Figgins to Philadelphia 2010.” But Figgins is coming off of a career year, will likely carry a price tag greater than his actual worth, and would realistically be a weird fit with the Phillies. He is more of a leadoff batter than a seventh hitter, so either he, Jimmy Rollins, or Shane Victorino would have to drop in the order. It wouldn’t be an ideal situation.

Adrian Beltre, on the other hand, would be a perfect fit in Philadelphia. He is an incredible defensive third baseman, ranking in the top three in all of baseball in Ultimate Zone Rating in five of the past six seasons. Not only would there be no dropoff in the field from Pedro Feliz to Beltre, there would actually be an improvement. With the exception of 2007, Beltre has finished with better defensive metrics than Feliz in every season since 2004.

Beltre is also a much better hitter than Feliz. Discounting this past season, in which Beltre was limited to 111 games due to injury, the former Mariner and Dodger has compiled a slugging percentage above league-average every year since 2001, hit 25 or more homers four times, and better than 35 doubles three times.

Beltre’s clear flaw is plate discipline, but he represents an upgrade over Feliz in THAT category, too. Beltre’s career .325 on-base percentage is not ideal, but it is a massive improvement over Feliz’ unbelievably low .293 OBP.

Since Beltre is coming off a down, injury-riddled season, he will be much less expensive than Figgins. At age 30, with better speed, power, plate vision, and defense than Feliz, Beltre would be a very nice addition to the Phillies.

J.J. Putz

Putz was awful for the Mets in 2009, so it was no surprise when New York declined his $9M option for 2010. Despite never finding a niche with the Mets and missing half the season with an elbow injury, Putz would be a good low-risk, high-reward signing.

The flame-throwing righty would serve as an insurance policy to Brad Lidge, should Lidge struggle again. Putz’ presence would also allow Ryan Madson to remain the setup man next season, even in the event of continued scuffling from Lidge. As we saw this past season, taking Madson out of his eighth inning role creates a domino effect where every reliever must begin pitching outside his comfort zone. Adding Putz would aid this potential problem.

Since so much uncertainty surrounds the former Mariners closer, Putz will likely command an incentive-laden contract. If he meets many of the incentives drawn out in his contract, you will know that he’s done his job as a late-inning reliever. Signing Putz and letting Durbin or Condrey walk would significantly improve the bullpen.

Yorvit Torrealba

Torrealba is the prototypical backup catcher: he is a powerful right-handed hitter who can be very dangerous when in the midst of a hot streak, but below average defense subtracts some of his value. He would be the ideal understudy to Carlos Ruiz, because he could step in several days a week and actually provide some offense, unlike Chris Coste and Paul Bako in 2009.

Torrealba would also add another semi-dangerous bat to the Phillies thin bench, which was an evident weakness all season.

Nomar Garciaparra/Jason Giambi

I list these two former superstars because the Phillies need experienced offensive threats on the bench. Even at age 36, Garciaparra is still a very good right-handed bat off the bench, and could be had for a reasonable price. He can play first, third, and even shortstop, if necessary.

Should the Phillies choose not to re-sign Matt Stairs, Giambi would be an adequate replacement. Despite our collective affection for Stairs, it should not be overlooked that everything that Stairs does, Giambi does better. The one thing Stairs did do well in 2009 was work deep counts and take free passes, but plate discipline is also Giambi’s strong suit.

Jerry Hairston, Jr.

Hairston is a utility man that can play the infield and outfield. Due to his superior speed and offensive ability, Hairston would be a massive upgrade over Eric Bruntlett. He is also a decent option as a pinch-runner or late-inning defensive replacement.

If the Phillies cannot land Hairston, other upgrades over Bruntlett include: Adam Kennedy, Mark Loretta, Wilson Betemit, and every other living human.


Ruben Amaro should pursue a Joe Beimel-type just in case Eyre retires and/or J.C. Romero fails to recapture his mojo from seasons past. Guys like Beimel can be signed to very cheap contracts, so there should be no excuse to entering next season with few options outside of Romero, Eyre, and guys like Sergio Escalona.

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About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    I personally hate the idea of adding Dan Uggla to this lineup. In addition to having little major league experience at third base, he is strikeout-prone, which is the last thing you need in this lineup.

    The return of Mathieson should not be overlooked. According to Keith Law, ESPN’s resident minor league expert, Mathieson was one of two players that really stood out during the first few weeks of the Arizona Fall League.

    Joel Pineiro – I’d say no. Career year, won’t duplicate that success or those numbers at CBP.

    To whoever said it – Bako is not under contract next year, Durbin will make 2.25M because he is in line for a slight raise, and Valverde likely won’t be dealt for, at least not by the Phillies.

    A rotation of Lee-Halladay-the Artist formerly known as Cole Hamels-Blanton-Pedro/Kendrick/Moyer would put this team over the top, for a low cost. I think it’s a no-brainer, you do it.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff


    1 – Adrian Beltre (decent enough to replace feliz, saves money for other positions), should be easy to sign

    2 – Jose Valverde – try to sign him, if/when he tries to ask for too much money
    2A – Rafael Soriano

    3 – Right Handed Startng Pitcher with some quality – NOT Lackey, Drabek not ready yet. You will have to trade for one: I would trade Shane Victorino as the centerpiece of the package. He is great defensively and has good speed. But he is a TOTAL dumbo and makes bonehead decisions that cost games sometimes. He still has value on teh trade market: Sell High for Pitching. Id consider trading JA Happ or Domonic Brown as well, not Taylor. Halalday may be too pricey, but there could be some others out there too.

    4 – Left-Handed reliever – whoever is decent and cheap enough at the same time

    4 – Torreabla – thats a great idea I hadnt thought of before, a definite upgrade who has pop at the same time as a pinch hitter

    6 – LH bench power bat to replace Stairs – any ideas? Cheap, veteran bats with pop?

    7 – Remaining OF Prospect (Taylor) is promoted to major league roster to replace Shane Victorino

    8 – Pay Jamie Moyer to retire and go away.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Do NOT get Dan Uggla. Isnt Valverde A Free Agent?

  • Posts: 0 T Mac

    I agree with bf0_33 in that the Phillies regulars are getting “older” quickly as a group. The front office should make it a priority to bring in 1-2 younger up and coming players every year to make the team championship caliber not just for a year or two, but for the next 5-6 years. Two places to look at – left field and third base, where the oldest starters from last year played. Also, if you look around the rest of the diamond, it’s hard to see any turnover for younger players for quite a few years.

    First priority should be to deal Ibanez while his trade value is high and you can unload a contract that will be an albatross by the third year. I like Raul, but we don’t need him, and if we can free up that money we can definitely afford Halladay. What I would like to see is a straight up trade of Raul for a good third base prospect who is only a year or two away from making an impact in the majors. Many big market teams could use a productive LF like Ibanez, including the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets. As we have Francisco/Dobbs and Taylor/Brown for next year, I think that’s more than adequate if it means we could afford and pick up Halladay for Taylor/Brown, Happ, and a low level prospect.

    So who would play third next year? There are plenty of older guys who can be a stopgap measure for a year or two and won’t need to make any more than Pedro was going to get paid if his option gets picked up.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Valverde is an FA. I agree with geoff Verde 1, Soriano 1a.

    Mathiason’s Winter league stat line:
    7 games, 8.2 innings, 8 hits, 11 kos, 4 bbs 3.12 era.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I dunno if you could find a taker for Ibanez until the trade deadline or this offseason…they may try.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    If they replace Pedro Feliz.. it won’t be for someone that isn’t good defensively .. so Uggla is OUT

    I think right now Beltre would be the prime candidate.. very good defender.. and although his power numbers are down.. he still hits LHP very well, so it would help greatly to balance out that lineup.

    I really don’t think we’ll be able to afford Figgins.. but a move like that would enable us to drop Rollins or Victorino down in the order.. making the lineup more dangerous

    Victorino is the better contact hitter, so you would imagine he would continue to hit 2nd? .. the next logical spot for Rollins would be 7th .. maybe 6th.. I don’t know if they want to both ADD PAYROLL.. and FLIP THE LINEUP that much at the same time..

    Anyone see what the “trades” might be anywhere? … I would imagine the Rockies have room to deal Atkins or Stewart? .. would definitely ask for Happ and Domonic Brown in return … and that’s too high a cost

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Atkins will be non-tendered, so they wont ask for that much Id think….Stewart is better in their eyes, and cheaper…

  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    Garret Atkins gets worse every year. Not the answer. Plus, that means we would have to hear about him being Utley’s roomate at UCLA approximately 4,946 times per year.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Figgins will be too much money I agree. Beltre should provide good value and pop at CBP. being a seattle guy, I think Gillick will advise them to sign him.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The Rockies are high on Stewart, he isn’t going anywhere. Atkins will probably get traded. Not sure what they are going to ask for but he can be had. I’d take him.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Atkins is terrible defenensively. So bad that a few years back they moved him to First Base at the end of the season until he lost weight.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Maybe Beltre doesn’t want to leave the west coast though…

    I know the Rockies are high on Stewart.. but if the Phillies are willing to move big talents.. the Rockies would possibly be willing to move something in return

    I dont know how Atkins would be any improvement over Feliz.. but im not sure what other teams have any reason to trade a 3b ..

    who else has two players capable of playing that position besdies the Rockies.. Rangers are going to let Hank Blalock go.. but that doesn’t help us, he’s Left-Handed and not that good..

    Miguel Tejada is definitely an interesting name.. so is DeRosa since they’ve both been linked here so many times before in trade talks..

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I should qualify that by saying that I would take Atkins as a backup and not my everyday 3B. Atkins can play a few different positions.

  • Posts: 0 George

    The Phils may be growing old together, but with the exceptions of Feliz and Ibanez, most everyone else is still under thirty. I won’t worry too much for at least another four years.

    I also wouldn’t worry too much about adding Halliday. I’d trade high level prospect(s) for upgrades elsewhere. Phils have no third base prospects, Lidge and Werth are not locks to be around beyond 2010, Ibanez is pretty darned old. Teams do need to be aggressive if only because of losses of free agents from their own roster, but they also have to be intelligent. Losing Lee long term to gain just one year of Halliday is worse than a wash.

    I could easily trade Happ. He’s old for a rookie, could suffer the sophomore jinx, and might be at his peak in terms of trade value.

    What the team needs now are bench upgrades and bullpen options. I agree that bullpen planning is unpredictable and overrated; that’s why you need a multitude of arms and options.

    One last note: much has been made of the fact that the Yankees’ off season additions didn’t figure much in their world series victory. I say that without Tex, CC, and Burnett, the Phils likely would have been playing the Angels, and probably would have won.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Yuck on Atkins.

    Not much out there yet for left handed power in the outfield. Can Huff play in the field or is he strictly DH? Maybe take a flier on Chavez and hope he returns to his old form. He’s been awful recently but wasn’t that injury realted?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Except Lidge has a guaranteed contract that runs through 2011 at high cost, so good luck trading him unless he gets back to form.. but then why trade him at all if thats the case?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Chavez and Huff arent good enough to play on teams trying to win the WS, even as bench players.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The more I think about Werth, the more it makes sense to move him after next season

    You’ll miss his production greatly..but with the rising costs of Utley, Howard.. and pitching ..

    there will come a time that you have to pick-and-choose who stays and who goes. Since our Top Prospects also happen to play corner-OF spots.. and Werth will soon be making $10+ M per season .. I just don’t see a way they can keep him

    Unless Lee signs a cheap extension, and Drabek is actually the greatest pitcher of all-time

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think for whatever reason… the week-long layoff before the World Series hurt us more than our lack a bench-depth ..

    Our bench is actually one of the best in baseball .. but because our everyday players were having such great years (and stayed healthy) our bench guys were never able to get into any kind of rythym

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    RAJ has to have a game plan in mind… to me, the formula for success is four pronged:

    - two solid starting pitchers (Lee and ?)
    - the bats of Utley, Howard, Werth plus one more bat to protect them (Ibanez will eventually hand the torch to Michael Taylor)
    - build a defense around J-Roll and Chooch
    - depth in the bullpen

    So the untouchables are Lee, Utley, Howard, Werth, Chooch, J-Roll and Ibanez, for now. In my opinion, you can fill the rest of the roster with slick fielding monkeys and score enough runs to win 90 games. If you have two solid starting pitchers, you stand a decent chance of winning postseason series’. In order to win the WS, we’ll eventually need to add a power bat but I think that we’re better off looking for one at the trade deadline (similar to what the Dodgers did signing Thome midseason… extra pitchers are very important in the NL and I can’t see us wasting a roster spot on a DH type). I think that Brown can replace Vic in the OF… we don’t need him to hit .300, just play the field, be patient at the plate and make some noise when you get on base. I also think that Pedro is not untouchable but we should be looking for defense at 3B.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Werth will be a free agent after next season I believe…

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Power Bats arent easy or cheap to find man, its almost as hard to find as pitching. I mean, like Werth as a FA would be out of our current price range almost.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    One of the best benches in baseball? LOL. 2 of the 5 bats batted under the mendoza line. two of the other three batted below .250. That’s putride. Fransisco was a huge upgrade, but we need two more. bruntlett and Stairs were awful. You need backups that can hit, not just feild.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Nothing will top the all time best of trading Werth for Bobby Jenks. This time of year is when fans are most creative with such suggestions as:
    1 – Trade Hamels and Vic for Halladay
    2 – Trade Ibanez and replace with Taylor
    3 – Atkins or Stewart for Happ and Domonic Brown (not a suggestion but silly to see)
    4 – Trade Vic and replace with Taylor

    The only way the Phils trade Hamels, Vic, Ibanez and to a lesser extent Happ is if they see a glaring weakenss somewhere. 3rd base can be plugged with a number of free agents. They could go to spring training with the same starting staff. The bullpen needs fine tuning, not an overhaul. Bench players are bench players. Why tear apart a winner to add any of these pieces?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Hamels wont be traded.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    They could get away with trading Vic for top of the line pitching though, to be honest.

  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    I want everyone to stop for a second to realize how ridiculous it would be if the Yankees sign Lackey. I think that would be a slap in the face to just about everyone.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    If the Yankees sign Lackey, baseball should immediately stamp a hard salary cap on the sport. Should that be allowed to happen? No. Thats not even me being bitter, its just bad for the sport.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Well Pat, apparently MLB disagrees with you, they seem to love the Yankees hanging over blank checks to the sports best. Not that Lackey is the best but you get the idea.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    psujoe … read the rest of my post

    anyone that doesn’t think not-playing didn’t directly cause the lack of hitting by our bench players, doesn’t know baseball..

    guys need to play if they are going to be expected to produce… look how the lack of game-situation, live-pitching hurt us in the World Series

    Now think about a guy like Dobbs, who at times didn’t see live pitching for a week or more at a time.. and then all of sudden gets called upon in the 8th inning of a game and is expected (by fans) to drive in a few runs against a pitcher throwing 95mph

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Are the Yankees actually said to be pursuing Lackey… or are people just throwing out What-If scenarios ??

    I heard the Yankees didn’t have any money, and would worry about resigning their own players more than spending money on outside Free Agents..

  • Posts: 0 Bebin

    So what you’re saying is

    get halladay- 16 million
    get beltre- 5-7 million
    get putz -4 million
    Torrealba- 2-3 mill
    garciparra – 2 mill
    Hariston – 3 mill
    another reliever 1-2 mill

    this all equates to roughly 34-38 million dollars (thats as much as the marlins cap space) so in the end the cap would be around 160 mill…not a huge price to pay but still do you think the Front office will go for that….I’m not sure it would go down the way you laid it out….but a man can dream can’t he…. but this would be my dream off season

    1.Another Starter- Roy Halladay would be a dream come true but adding another starter even if its a guy like Rich Harden, Kelvim Escobar, doug davis, would be fine with me

    Halladay,Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Scrub- pretty good rotation if you ask me

    2. Two relievers- One with closing exp. and a Left hander

    Putz would be nice but you know who I wouldn’t mind seeing
    Takashi Saito…the dude is plain amazing he’s nearing 40 but he’s still got it….he’ll be a free agent this yr if the bosox don’t pick his option up

    A guy like Rafael betancourt, danys Baez or Joe beimel should also be on the radar

    Eyre should be signed also so in the end our bullpen would look something like this

    Erye, (Chan Ho/Joe biemel/betancourt), Madson, Lidge, Romero, Mathieson, Kendrick and putz/saito

    3. I really don’t mind Feliz as the third baseman but beltre in a phillies uniform sounds amazing

    4. Backup Catcher – torreabla sounds good the more and more I think about it

    5.Bench – Garciapara is the man to fill this spot….Giambi is best suited in the Al where he will ikely go to play for some trashy team like the royals….Chad Tracy should also get a look

    As for the second bench player jerry hariston is a great player to fill that spot, if that doesn’t work out there’s always utility man extraordinaire Ryan Freel who should be better, if he comes back to the NL

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Don, rumors are a buzz that the Yankees are going to go hard after Lackey as they don’t think they have any pitching past Sabathia and Burnett.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Valverde is a Type A free agent, so I doubt they will sign a type A this year. Obvuiosly Figgins and Lackey are A’s, they wont be pursued. Rafael Soriano is a type A, so take him off of our list.

    I think the Phillies would like a first round pick this year, just a guess.

    Beltre is a B, De Rosa is a B

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    The Yankees and Lackey make sense. They had to coax Pettitte to come back last year and he may be retired again?? If so, they won’t have a #3 and they always try to buy the best free agents available.

    Of course Lackey’s agent would love to spread that rumor to help inflate his coast a bit.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Yankees going for Lackey is like Randolph and Mortimer Duke cornering the market on frozen orange juice. I wouldn’t it put it pass them. Something has to happen with this line-up….we got bitch slapped by Petite…..twice, Sorry post season record or not, the stuff he threw at us just wasn’t impressive, what was impressive is how bad we blew it. beltre is a better 3rd basemen and Feliz isn’t exactly injury risk free….he had back surgery last off season and many back surgeries have notoriously high failure rates. Beltre has spent the last 5 years facing Angels pitching and played in pitchers park.
    Also keep in mind everyone but Madson were on the DL at some point last year. Also don’t come crying when Happ comes down to earth. He isn’t as good as his ROY type year suggests. Do you think that the league will still be fooled by the IN-VIS-A-BALL for much longer. Once that is up you got an 88mph meatball up in the zone, a get me over slider and nice change-up (at this point Dubee is so change-up happy) in a hitter’s park. Oh then there’s the Moyer issue. Just get me another Honda Accord siknkerballer that is more tested than Kendrick. I am tired of a rotation full of fly ball pitchers in a park not desikgned to keep fly balls in.

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Very good article….
    I wonder if Brett myers is still on the radar at a bargain price?It seems he might fit our needs this year if Lidge doesnt pan out.Not at $12 million ,but he might want to stay with the team for less.
    I wonder if its a possibility or are they done with him?

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I think the Phillies will make one big move this offseason followed by some tweaking here or there. The two big possible moves are: Halladay or Figgins.

    As crazy as it sounded to me at first I could see the Phillies making a play for Halladay here. At this point you could trade Happ who’s value is really high, thrown in one of Taylor/Brown, and a Savery/Carpenter/Bastardo. Halladay won’t command the king’s ransom they thought they’d get so the rookie of the year, plus a highly respected outfield prospect should be enough. The only issue I can see is payroll restrictions, but with how the Phils are selling out CBP, it might not be as much of an issue.

    This would give us an insane rotation especially if Hamels bounces back, and I truly believe he will.

    Initially I only wanted Figgins or Feliz at 3B. I still think Figgins at third and batting leadoff, moving Rollins to the #2 spot would be a vast improvement on our offense. Figgins high OBP would help J-Roll the most of all. With a runner on the pitcher will have to throw more strikes to Jimmy since they won’t want to risk putting two on in front of Utley, Howard, or Werth. If Jimmy is getting fastballs and strikes to hit he’ll be able to put his power to good use. The negative here is payroll again. Figgins is the best 3B on the market, and will probably have a few teams bidding for him.

    Having a traditional leadoff hitter in the lineup, might be what pushes an already great offense to legendary status. I’m salivating thinking of my 1-8 being: Figgins, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz.

    Either of the big moves would mean going cheap somewhere else, or getting into creative trades. I’m not too keen on making any trades right now since I think the team is positioned well for next season, and we can try to get some prospects back next offseason, so looking at some cheap options for the rotation and 3B.

    The Phils could take a shot at Sheets or Harden neither one of them stand to make much in the FA market given their injury histories and they could be great if things go well, these would be incentive laden contracts though.

    Beltre at third is in a similar spot given his injuries the last season and his power drop off he isn’t looking at a huge payday. The Phils could sign him to a cheap one year contract, with incentives which would let him hit in CBP to build up his power numbers and give him the hope of going back to FA with respectable numbers. I’d prefer Figgins at the position, but there’s something to be said of having players who have a motivation $$ to do their best.

    The bullpen is probably going to take the Phillies the longest to sort out. Whether or not Scott Eyre is able/willing to return will be key to their plans. If he can’t they’ll be in the market for a new Loogy, otherwise they should only be looking for one reliever to fill in on the 25 man. Whoever, they get will need to be a guy who’s comfortable in the late innings with setup/closer experience. Lidge will be the team’s closer next year, but 2009 proved they need to have a legitimate back up plan. The rest of the bullpen can be pulled from our current roster or “fingers crossed” Mathieson if he can keep up the good work through spring training.

    The bench is where we need the most work. Bruntlett & Stairs need to be replaced. I think if we make sure that Dobbs & Francisco get enough starts this year they should be fine. If we can get Bako to come back for one more year he’s acceptable as a back up catcher. In any case it’s not an area that the Phillies need to spend money upgrading. What we’ll be looking for is a utility man (who can hit this time), and a new lefty with power. Garciaparra or Derosa would fit in great as utility players and they’re good enough to get Utley & Rollins enough days off to keep them fresh. The power lefty is really going to depend on how the DH market goes. If the Phils are patient they might find a bargain down the road.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    There are a lot of fairy tales being thrown around here…

    Thinking about the team, I’m not sure we need more bullpen arms as much as we need our guys to get healthy… Romero and Condrey being healthy will certainly help Madson and Lidge.

    Another SP would be nice; Lee, Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Kendrick/Moyer/Drabek… if he’s ready, you’re building a bridge for Drabek.

  • Posts: 0 Drew Beej

    Agreed 100% with getting Beltre. He’s simply a better version of Feliz who won’t be asked to be the clean up hitter Seattle wanted him to be. I think he needs to be the priority this off season.

    Love the idea of Giambi who is no-doubt hungry for a title as well as the addition of a steadier back up for Ruiz.

    I like putting pressure on Lidge, but at what cost? I truly expect him to be closer to his ’08 form than his ’09 next season and I don’t know if Putz really thrives unless he’s the man. I don’t know how willing to pitch the 7th he’d be.

    Halladay is perfect. He’s quiet, confident, and an innings-eater. What I don’t like, is losing Happ and here’s why. Say we do trade Happ, Taylor, and a lesser-known. We’re fine in the outfield with Ibanez, Victorino, and Werth plus Brow and Francisco. But who’s our 5th starter? We’d have two studs at the front end for one year (can we afford to resign both? Unlikely.) Hamels and Blanton who have potential but none that showed too much in 2009, and Kyle Kendrick? You can never have enough pitching. I’d like to see this deal get done – but at the right price.

    One last nugget – and I realize I’m getting long. Jimmy Rollins is not on a decline – what he is is miscast. Uncle Charlie sees an aggressive, fast player and puts him at the top of the order – which would be fine if we didn’t have the similarly gifted Shane Victorino. I think a move involving Victorino getting moved up to leadoff, moving Werth back up to the 2 hole, and dropping Rollins to 5th should be considered and here’s why. 1. OPB wise, Victorino is simply a better option to lead off games. 2. While Werth doesn’t hit for a high average, he does get on base often, is a great baserunner, and is familiar with the 2 hole from 2008. 3. Dropping him to 5th doesn’t insult Rollins – it lets him be himself. He’ll be put in a position where he can drive runners in while also serving as a jump start for the bottom of the order.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Another thing to consider though is that with our Major League payroll already so high … maybe the Phillies don’t mind not having a 1st rd pick -And the contract and bonus that go along with it.. especially considering most 1st round picks are often the High-Risk, High-Reward type players..

    more likely to BUST than to be All-Stars..

    I know that sounds a little crazy, but if your scouting is deep (which ours is).. maybe you don’t mind grabbing guys in the 2nd-5th rounds where there is still loads of talent in the baseball draft

  • Posts: 0 Dan S

    a cheaper option than beltre would be mark derosa

  • Posts: 0 Drew Beej

    DeRosa is good and no doubt cheaper, but he’s not as good a fielder, coming off a very rare year power wise, and is 4 years older. I think getting Beltre for 4 years at 30-35 million is very possible, and he still has some ability to enter a prime after leaving Safeco for Citizen’s Bank.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Torreabla looks like a great option. Any guess on how much he’d cost? Bated .322 in the second half of the season.

    What do you guys think of Troy Glaus?

  • Posts: 0 Jason

    I’d prefer Polanco, Zaun, and Valverde to some of your suggestions.

    All three may be more affordable.

    Also, remember Romero is coming back.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    true Don..theyre fully in win now mode, so they may sign one type a

  • Posts: 0 Bebin

    valverde is going to get paid good money why would we waste that money when you can get a rafael soriano…..j.j. putz will come at a lower price than either of them as teams will not bite on him….take that extra money and spend it on beltre who I like better than polanco (who does get contact but is a better second baseman than he ever will be a 3rd)…I would go zaun over torrealba though

  • Posts: 0 Drew Beej

    I like the idea of Sheets. Sign him to an incentive laden 1 year deal. Could be a good option if Halladay winds up in Boston and Lackey’s price is too steep.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Excellent post. My math puts the Phils somewhere north of 145 next year if they are able to get Halladay and Figgy/Beltre. There’s a bigger risk with Beltre than with Figgins but he is a better fit. Definitely not crazy about Lackey, don’t like his demeanor on the field, brutal on his teammates. Phils need to get Halladay even if it means giving up Happ and Taylor. I don’t believe Happ will be a dominant pitcher so giving him up is easy. Love the Putz as Lidge backup – greeeeat idea!

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