Odds and Ends: Taylor, Lowry, Wang

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, January 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Comments: 137
Odds And Ends, Posts

-While scanning the Top 100 MLB Prospects, as ranked by ESPN’s Keith Law, an uneasy feeling came over me when I found #24.  The kid is built like a statue, going 6’6″and 250 pounds, and is now a member of the Oakland A’s.  Michael Taylor is his name, and I have a funny feeling he will come back to haunt us as one of those Ryne Sandberg-types.

Guys that are 6’6″ with great instincts, a power bat, defensive skill, and a Stanford background don’t grow on trees.  Maybe I’m at my own party on this one, but I almost wanted to see him stay more than Domonic Brown.  Taylor was interviewed at a Phillies game during the summer and just impressed me with his camera presence and demeanor.  Sometimes upside is overvalued, not that I don’t think Brown will be a stud, because he clearly will, as Amanda Orr pointed out. However, I think the Oakland A’s are in for a treat of a player with Michael Taylor.  Now, playing in their ballpark is another story.

-The Phillies will watch former San Francisco Giant Noah Lowry pitch on Tuesday as he continues his comeback from a rare nerve disorder. He’s now 29-years-old and has missed the past two seasons, but I like the idea here.  Again, the Phillies are searching for low-risk, high-reward types and Lowry certainly fits that bill.

Before his lengthy setback, Lowry had two above-average seasons with a below-average tossed in.  In 2007, he made 26 starts, going 14-6 with an ERA of 3.92.  He won’t strike guys out (87/87, BB/K) but that could have been because of the arm trouble.  He struck out 172 in 2005. The only problem is the park factor.  His .226 BAA on fly balls would likely make a jump due to the fact that he played in spacious AT&T Park for his entire career.  If he still has it, and can be ready by opening day, I would take a chance on a guy like Lowry.

-Chien Ming Wang I’m not so sure about. Six teams are reportedly interested in the former Yankee, and Scott Lauber said earlier in the week that while the Phillies were interested, they weren’t sure how interested because of his injury.  He won’t be back at the start of the season, which renders him semi-useless as Jamie Moyer is in the same position.  They need someone who can step in right away.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 George

    The Phils haven’t reached the $140 million yet. There are some dollars left for pitching depth, although it isn’t much. With the injuries threatening opening day starts by Moyer, Lidge, and Romero, they need to look at every budget pitcher available, be it a starter or reliever. Last year, remember, Myers went down and Park couldn’t cut it as a starter. Happ took over for Park, of course. But they still needed Lopez, Bastardo, Carpenter, and Kendrick to fill in at times, and still had to sign Martinez mid-year, and trade for Lee.

    You can never have enough pitching options. Even knowing some of them won’t work out, you still have to spend the money to get them.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Chuck after seeing the money sheets got, I really could never say a guy wont get that, there is just no telling what teams will do now a days. Taylor is the kind of prospect you look for. A guy who at each level struggle to start and adjusted and was successful. shows the ability to learn and adapte, really a good prospect, but in my mind the phillies saw something in him they thought would stop him from being a elite player, and they think brown will, just a opinion.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Mike – How do you know the Phils saw something in him that was going to stop him from being a good major league player? I think the Phils parted with Taylor rather than Brown quite simple because Taylor is major league ready and he’s blocked. Maybe they do like Brown better. Maybe Brown is better. I liked Taylor, quite honestly. Also, leave open the possibility that in order to get that deal done, the Jays may have pushed real hard for Taylor, as opposed to Brown, so they could make that deal with the A’s and Taylor was the guy Beane really wanted. The fact that Beane wanted him, in itself, oughta tell you something about Taylor. I’m not gonna like seeing a right handed version of Dave Parker playing in another outfield for the next ten years I can tell you that.

    But we have Halladay.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    We have Halladay….and Dave Parker #2 is in Oakland.

    It’s all good.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I loved Dave Parker.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    Concerning what player will get…I just don’t think that Lee is a 20M pitcher…just like I don’t think Jason Bay is worth 16.5.

    Lee may get that…he so much as said…or his agent did…that he wants a CC Sabathia type of contract.. Will he get it?? Maybe..Maybe not..

    I just know that he’s not Roy Halladay…and for that reason I’m glad the Doc is now a Phillie.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Jamie Moyer is making 9 million a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    6.5 million…..
    ……But I understand the frustration.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Lee is not a 20m pitcher. In order to be a 20m pitcher, to me, you have to have a proven and unblemished track record of being a stud while still still young enough to be approaching your peak years. Lee has had lapses of productivity, taking nothing away from him, but thats the way it is. To me, there are only 4 20m pitchers: Halladay, Lincecum, King Felix, and Santana (who might be falling out because of his arm). Lee is in that second tier 16-17m level with guys like Lester, Cain, Greinke, etc.

    RE: Moyer. When I heard that Ruben signed Moyer to a two year deal and yelled “no!” in my car. I knew we were gonna need that money. If you wanna reward a guy for being a trooper, a gamer, etc. have a turkey dropped off at is house for Thanksgiving. Just don’t give him a two year contract. I call those types of deals “bleeders”. Those are deals where you give a guy too many years so by the last year its just dead money. Think Eaton, Jenkins, Gregg Jeffries and Lance Parrish (old school divison). Moyer and Ibanez on this years team. I think Polanco will still be OK in his third year.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    I’d give Wang the Kris Benson contract but surely there are teams that would probably pay him more so I’m not banking on him wearing red pinstripes. He’s a good pitcher when healthy but the key is getting him healthy first.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    I love Taylor dipsy, just thought the reason the phillies were willing to give him up was they though brown was better. They include him from the start in halladay talks, but they wanted brown. The only thing taylor has against him is he has diabiates and get days off from getting tired. But I Still think lee get 20 million and up. I believe the redsox or yankees, texas, mets, would do it but i could be wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    If Lee has a “career year”…you know…20-5..ERA of 3 or under…Cy Young or very close…Mariners get to the playoffs and Lee delivers like he did for the Phils in the postseason….

    ….THEN…I could see teams offering 20million.

    I think Lee and his agent thought…and correctly so, because the Phils offered it (3/60)…that the market was already there for him. I think the Phils might have been disappointed if Lee signed that deal…and maybe they’re just lucky that he rejected it.

    But if Lee has just an “OK” year…then I don’t think he’s 20 million material.

    Just my opinion.



    Let’s wait and see what Raul does this year…before we start putting him in the “bleeder” category..

    I hope he has an incredible year..

    First…because that helps the Phils win….and…

    Second…because he then has better trade value next offseason..

    That contract…or at least some of it…van be unloaded…and maybe they can re-sign Jayson Werth.

    That’s my hope.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Chuck – Thats funny that you say that about Lee because had Lee accepted that contract, we would have Lee and not Halladay. Perhaps when and if Lee turned it down but said, “Hey, we’re in the ballpark, how about a 4y/72m contract?” then Ruben would have a problem beacuse now Lee actually WANTS to sign an extension with the Phillies at reasonable terms while all along RAJ wants Halladay and all along just expected Lee would price himself out. Then Lee becomes reasonable and RAJ says to himself “uh oh, I didn’t expect this”, then has to make the deal for Halladay quick before Lee’s people start floating that Lee wants to stay and the Philly fans freak out at the possibility of keeping him. So if Lee was being reasonable in his counter proposal to RAJ’s offer, this would explain why Lee was so visibly crushed after the trade that occurred some 72 hours after he talked extension with the Phils. He had that “left at the altar” look about him. Oh well. Thats baseball. My question is: If Lee comes back next year after an 18-8, 3.33 season and tells the Phils he’ll sign for 3/60, what does Ruben do? I say sign him. And don’t laugh. Stranger things have happened.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    That’s likely what transpired between the Lee camp and the Amaro camp. That would have been a sticky situation for sure….if Lee would have countered…reasonably…like that.

    I’m convinced though that he thinks that he’s worth more than that..

    Also…I think Ruben “low-balled” the number of years at 3….because all along he really wanted to sign Roy…and knew he could. He wanted Lee to say no.

    If the Phils want to go out and get him for 2011…I’m all for it. Just not sure where the $ are gonna come from..

    Oh I know…you and Don and myself and the rest of us are gonna have to shell out more for tickets, right??

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Guys, no way, IMO, Lee’s agent went under $20 per year. Appareantly they never countered and if they did I would say the floor would’ve been 5/$100. No way I’d take a chance on locking up Lee for 5 additional years. He’s been too inconsistant. Rube paid a lot for Halladay in terms of prospects, but well worth it for 4 years of Doc. Once Rube had Doc I believe in his mind he had two aces, a 3 and a 4 that he could keep on board(Doc, Hamels, Blanton(the missing piece, IMO) and Happ. This made Lee, right or wrong, a valuable chip to restock the farm. That’s how I see it going down.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Lee in SAFECO is scary. If he’s on he’ll put up monster stats and be way out of the Phils range. Phils aren’t going moer than 3 years on anyone but Doc.

  • Posts: 0 The Second John

    “Also…I think Ruben “low-balled” the number of years at 3….because all along he really wanted to sign Roy…and knew he could. He wanted Lee to say no.”

    I think you hit it right on the head Chuck

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    Yeah I agree with the post on Taylor, he has looked good but I guess you have to give up something to get something you know?

    My beef with Amaro is that while I think he has made good moves, he still ignores the fact we need another right handed bat off the bench. Signing Castro bc he was cheap really bothered me and I think that move will come back to haunt them.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Moyer wasn’t signed just because he was a trooper or gamer. He’d just come off a really good season. I didn’t expect 2 years, though.

    I just hope he has another year like 2008, if only to shut up all the complainers.

    I hope Ibanez has a great year too, because I’m sick of hearing about how he shouldn’t have been signed for three years. Despite injuries, he had a really productive 2009, and there’s really not much reason to think he’s done.

    If you want to talk about “bleeders,” let’s go back to some of Ed Wade’s disasters, like David Bell, or the signing of Thome for 17 years or so, when Ryan Howard was on the verge of the majors. The team has just now gotten him off the books.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Woops, my bad on Moyer… He’s signed for 2010: $6.500 + $4.500 in incentives…

    So if he has a magical season (like 2008) he’ll be a very, very rich man.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Joel, signing Castro was not done just because he was cheap. He plays infield positions that the Phils had no backups for. He does bat right handed, though he’s not spectacular, but a team can’t just sign everyone. The other available right handed middle infielders were all way too expensive.

    It’s not just a matter of Amaro ignoring the need for a righty bench bat; I’m sure he was looking, but there are always budgets to worry about and more pressing needs to consider.

    At least Castro projects better than Bruntlett, and plays more positions than Coste, who didn’t hit much better than the Beard. The team also has Francisco for the entire season. I’ll gladly take Castro, Schneider, Gload, a full season of Francisco, and a healthy Dobbs over Bruntlett, Stairs, Coste, Bako, Cairo, Mayberry, an unhealthy Dobbs, and a half-season of Francisco. Even if Castro hits his usual .230, this is a better, more versatile bench. And if Castro completely tanks, he’s cheap enough that he can be replaced.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    George – Resigning Moyer didn’t bother me. Giving him that second year made me very angry. It was unecessary. Its not like Moyer had a lot of bargaining power. Nobody else was going to give him two years.

    Don’t get me wrong about these guys. I want Moyer to go 20-0 and Ibanez to win the triple crown this year. Yes, Wade had a lot of bleeders. I just think RAJ offers a little more than he has to sometime just to get a deal done quickly, can get his man, and be done with it and. Consequently, leaves some money on the table, I think. But if thats his biggest flaw as a G.M……..

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    George – Lets say Ibanez hits to career norms this year. Its still not worth 12.6m.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Dipsy is right about that – RAJ seems to jump all over players early in the FA period and give them what he needs to guarantee the deal gets done fast. That’s why we’re paying Jamie Moyer now, and it’s why we’ll be paying Raul Ibanez in 2011. We’ll see how that works out.

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    id love for the phils to take a shot at wang, if the price is right. 2 injuries in 2 consecutive years obviously makes people forget that he at one time did have 2 back-to-back 19-game win seasons. the ‘when he’s healthy, he’s good’ mantra that teams have used to describe ben sheets is also a big part of wang’s composition. the guy has only been in the league for 5 (partial) seasons; i dont think his pitching career will phase out so fast. he has too much talent. yes, he is an injury risk–and his 2008 injury was caused by a baserunning mishap, which, for pitchers, owes itself entirely to playing in the national league…but i definitely think that he has the ability to work himself back to pre-injury form. he’s not likely to be a number 1 or 2 in the rotation, but a solid starter that teams will look at in 2011, 2012 and remember…”hey we coulda/shoulda taken a look at wang back when he was recovering from injury.” it does depend on the price, but he fits my category of low-risk, high-reward pitcher

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    This years bench is superior. You also have Wilson Valdez on a minor league contrat. He hit a solid .250 last year for the Mets.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Again, though…RAJ goes and gets his man…in Raul’s case…that’s what it took to sign him…he did have significant interest from the Angels for 3 years/30+ million..

    Ruben didn’t want to lose him so maybe he did offer him a little more…But it’s not like it’s a whole lot more…and like it’s been said…you can’t just play “hardball” with everybody.

    The thing I guess that upsets me…or rather confuses me …about Raul’s contract is that no-trade clause. Not sure why that’s in there….it could be a problem..

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Chuck, that no trade clause may cost the Phillies Jayson Werth. Say it aint so.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah…I know. If that’s ends up being the reason…I’ll be pissed…

    And this is coming from me…one of Ruben’s supporters.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I didn’t even know Raul’s contract had a No-Trade clause…

    That reminds me a little too much of Ed Wade for my liking, although to be fair…Pat Gillick made a few crappy moves too, so nobody is perfect.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah…I want to try and give Ruben a pass here. It was one of his first moves as a new GM (although I’m sure Gillick was in on it)..

    Maybe it will all work out in the end..

    And the thing is…the Phillies can say to Raul…”Hey…you’re gonna platoon next year (2012), have limited playing time…would you consider a trade to a team that will guarantee you more at-bats??”

    He could consent to that.

    We’ll see.

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    Oh, I don’t disagree that the overall bench is better. I just think Castro was a bad signing. I don’t think he projects better than Bruntlett at all. Sure he plays alot of positions but he’s only ok defensively and over his career has hit about as well as Bruntlett’s career. So that is why I believe he was signed bc he was cheap. Do I think Amaro has had a bad offseason? No, not at all. I’m just pointing something out that might be a problem during the season that he could’ve taken care of here in the offseason.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    RAUUUUL just had a career year in 09! Why do people expect him to fall off a cliff in 2010?? Especially with a guy like him who takes care of himself and seems very serious and disciplined…

  • Posts: 0 George

    Bruntlett’s numbers had fallen every year for the past three years. Castro’s numbers improved last year. How does he NOT project higher?

    The no-trade was probably one of the things needed to sign Ibanez, what with the competition for his services. If the Phils can’t re-sign Werth, it’s not because of that clause, it’s because Werth will be too expensive. He’ll be asking for more than Ibanez’s $12.5 million, and asking for it for a number of years.

    Let’s see how Ibanez does in 2010 before saying he’s not worth the money. A lot of outfielders had worse years than he did in 2009, and made just as much money or more.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    The mistake that RAJ, and the Cubs with Milton Bradley, made is that both teams literally signed those guys about a week before everybody decided the economy was for crap and teams cut their budgets. Lots of the players had to hang in there and take less in the end. SEE: Abreu, Bobby. If I recall though, the Phils had to replace Burrell and there were not a lot of viable RH power bats out there. Raul was a LH that could hit LHers, so I guess thats why they signed him. To me, if you announce 3 days after free agency begins that you just signed a really good player, it tells me that you probably overpaid.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Nobody expected Werth to do what he did last year so I agree the NTC wouldn’t be directly to blame. My thinking on giving NTCs to older players of Ibanez’s talent level and age is that chances are his value is depreciating anyway despite his performance, and therefore less trade worthy. It’s more like contract gravy to the player and doesn’t necessarily cost the club anything if they already figure he’d be difficult to move esp. with how the high dollar aging DH is on the decline as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs suggests in this passage of his article “Is the DH Dying”:

    “Teams are choosing to increase their flexibility, even if it comes at the expense of some production. Increasingly, teams want the option to use the DH spot as a pseudo off day for their regulars, or as a fall back plan if their banged-up position player is unable to acceptably field his position. With the move towards 12 man pitching staffs, limited bench sizes put a premium on roster flexibility, and teams are reacting by devaluing players who can’t play the field. “

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    I guess the question for me in regards to the Ibanez signing is why didn’t we bring Taylor up at the time.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    the mistake the Cubs made with Mr. Board Game is that they thought the upside of playing with pipe bombs was worth the risk esp. with a team already needing therapy after the choking in ’08 NLDS

  • Posts: 0 deebo

    everyone that whines about losing lee and taylor forgets the press clippings before the halliday trade was official. there was an offer on the table for lee. he even admitted that the very same day his agent was going to offer a counter was the day his being traded to seattle got leaked. happ, blanton and brown were flown into philly for physicals during the 72 hour window the phils got from the commish to negotiate an extension. the pieces may have been interchangeable or there may have been other deals in the works. drabek or happ? toronto probably prefered a guy that’s a year away because they only have about 3 major league ready pitchers coming off the d/l. brown or taylor? taylor because they knew they could roll a ready now guy for wallace (?) from oakland. fat joe was probably being shopped to anyone with 7 mill available but other gms would give squat to someone that continually pitches 5 shutout innings and gives up 3 runs in the sixth. if you make the halliday trade and then cry poverty, you get maybe two single A prospects for lee because it is a salary dump. if you try to trade lee during the season, everyone screams for blood because, hopefully, you’re breaking up a sure thing with a 15 game lead in july. or you could keep lee and get the 30th first round pick, your own, and no supplemental pick when he signs for sabathia money with the last place mets and their new gm. RAJ had, at best, 48 hours to do something and everyone knows that the game has changed since paul owens ran the show. 4, 5 drinks and some notes on a cocktail napkin doesn’t land the likes of jim lonberg, jim kaat, mike krukow or john denny anymore. everyone also forgets that the scouts were probably 2 weeks behind after the lee acquisition. that explains the 4-0 start. what explains the 3-4 follow-up? yes he was great in the postseason, but even a 14-13 pitcher can catch fire for a month. he goes 15-12 with seattle with a 3.49 ERA and gets a. j. burnett money which further complicates the phils woes after hamels goes 16-10 and happ goes 14-11 next year.

  • Posts: 0 jrollpatrol08

    its about wang. what do you think about him

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I


    I totally agree with you about people seeming to forget that Ibanez is a stud. Look everyone…I like Werth too, but he still isn’t a stud ”Yet”. If we lost Werth after this season, I’d be hurt too, but you guys make it seem like losing Werth and having Ibanez is a bad thing. Ibanez for average would bury Werth. Atleast you know what you get with Ibanez, and that 3 yr 30 mil was a great signing for Amaro…..Cheers to you RAJ

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    I think Wang be great if here. the more sinkerballers the better. As long as his injury isn’t idiopathic in nature I’d say sure if the money is there that supposedly isn’t there. I also read he has a good split finger fast ball…

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    I think signing Wang would be a smart pickup too and this is why…

    #1. His injury is a set back, BUT it will still add depth just incase an inury comes along, or Moyer or Kendrick fall off

    #2 He will come cheap…Its like buying an 07′ BMW that broke down on the side of the road because of tranny problems, but has been fixed up and polished up a bit…You buy it cheap and take a gamble. Either that car/player is going to run like new and last 2-3 years or its going to break down again. Its def worth a shot

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    A friend of mine moved to Seattle about 6 years ago. His passion for the Phillies is what really started me in my quest to be the ultimate fan.
    Now, he is a Mariners fan and needless to say, is quite excited about the upcoming season.
    He wrote to me last night that he purchased a partial season plan – 16 games, 3 seats each for under $650. This is dead center field in the third row just behind the bullpen. Plus, with his partial season plan, he has an option to pay an additional $90 for all the choztkees (bobble heads, etc) that are handed out through the year in games he does not attend.
    Can you imagine $13 seats at CBP? Granted, Safeco Field is no CBP but it is relatively new, a dome and the club improved vastly from 08 to 09 and 10 looks pretty darn promising with the addition of Lee and Figgins. All they need is some lumber and here would be the AL west champions.

  • Posts: 0 WorldFudgeChamp

    To say something about Wang. Wouldn’t it be easier to just pick up Padro again

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Castro is a upgrade over Brunlett, Wow two bad players who cares, its a shame this team didn’t have one infielder in there system to help us and had to get castro no bat suspect glove, but he is cheap, but they must get some infield talent in the system.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Ibanez had a good year, but he’s poor in the field, a left handed bat(we’re loaded with) and not a great base runner. Werth is our only real right side of the plate power, a very good fielder and an excellent base runner. Those differences alone make him much more valuable than Raul, IMO.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    “Ibanez for average would bury Werth. At least you know what you get with Ibanez.”

    That makes no sense.

    Last year’s numbers:

    Uuuhhhh…..I really wouldn’t call that being “buried.”

    And…I think we all pretty much know what we’re gonna get from Jayson Werth..

    Ibanez was a good signing…and as I said yesterday…I hope he has a great year…because….

    1) That helps the Phillies win games

    2) It only increases his trade value next offseason..

    Which may be a possibility in order shed payroll so Werth can de re-signed.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    CHuck, WHy would you post facts?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Chuck, from Chris’ post I assume he was referring to career stats.

    Ibanez .285
    Werth .265

    That’s a pretty big .20 point difference…

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