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Archive for January, 2010

The Value of Jayson Werth

Posted by Paul Boye, Fri, January 22, 2010 04:00 PM Comments: 46

Note: Not that any of you would call me on this, but this is an article I originally published to my old blog, The Phrontiersman, about a month ago. Some of the wording has been updated to match the signings of the past week or so.

It would probably be fair to classify the 2010 season as the beginning of a transitional period in the history of the Phillies.
One piece has already been addressed, with Ruben Amaro having traded for and signed a legitimately elite starter for the next four seasons. Another, slightly less important cog has been WD-40ed, with Placido Polanco replacing Pedro Feliz for the next three seasons. What looms in the future are more pivotal decisions that, if correctly addressed, will keep the Phillies among the National League’s elite teams for years to come.
The first such decision involves Jayson Werth’s future in South Philly. Werth, who will turn 31 in May, had a career year in 2009. Career highs in home runs, RBI, hits, doubles, walks and OPS+ shoved him through the veil of unknown and underrated players into the spotlight (that powerful playoff run he had sure didn’t hurt, either).
But Werth is no lock to continue improving. Wrist and durability issues limited his playing time in Los Angeles and Toronto, and actually cost him his entire 2006; his age 27 season. The Phillies picked him up on a light and airy $850k contract, and Werth has been paying dividends ever since.
Financially, Werth has been a tremendous bargain. Not including undisclosed performance bonuses, Werth has earned $4.55M in three seasons in Philadelphia and is set to make $7M in 2010, nearly doubling his previous earnings.
Think about what that four-and-a-half million has given the Phillies:
A .276/.376/.494 slash line
68 home runs
128 extra-base hits
47 stolen bases in just 52 attempts
Excellent RF defense in 2007 and 2008, albeit with a significant drop in 2009
Clearly, the man has outperformed the money he has been paid, and I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. The conundrum facing the Phillies front office lies in whether they believe Werth is valuable enough to retain at a more premium price. Michael Taylor is no longer waiting in the wings. Domonic Brown is at least another full season away. No other outfield prospect worth getting too excited about is even all that close to the Majors.
After the expiration of his current contract following this season, Werth will find himself amid a crop of outfield free agents highlighted by Carl Crawford and Not Really Anybody Else. He will be considered (at worst) the second-best outfielder out there, and will get quite a bit of money.
The question, then, is this: with Werth’s durability issues as close to the front of your mind as his performance in 2008 and 2009, do you find room in the payroll to give him an extension? Red flags about future costs have already been raised with the necessity to dump Cliff Lee during this offseason. Can a significant raise for Werth be afforded? On the flip side, are Werth’s health problems behind him for good? Can he be relied on to play 145+ games for every season of a new contract?
This is what’s set to happen to the payroll following the 2010 season, with Carlos Ruiz left as the only arbitration-eligible player remaining:
Ryan Howard will get a $1M raise, from $19M to $20M
Roy Halladay will get a $4.25M raise, from $15.75M to $20M; though, really, this is more of a $10.25M raise
Cole Hamels will get a $3.25M raise, from $6.65M to $9.5M
Joe Blanton will get a $1.5M raise, from $7M to $8.5M
Shane Victorino may be due a raise, depending on details of his new contract that have yet to be published
Placido Polanco will get a $250k raise, from $5.167M to $5.417M
Brian Schneider will get a $500k raise, from $1.125M to $1.625M
Ross Gload will get a $600K raise, from $1M to $1.6M
So that accounts for about $11.35M in raises (or $15.25M, depending on how you view the Halladay situation), not including bonuses. Also not included is the looming potential arbitration eligibility for pitcher Kyle Kendrick and outfielder Ben Francisco. J.A. Happ has an outside chance at eligibility, but will likely fall about 80 days of service time short of qualifying as a Super Two player with a fourth year of arbitration. As for money coming off the books, this is what’s set to go down in terms of 2010 salary:
Werth will be a free agent after making $7M plus bonuses
Jamie Moyer will be a free agent after making $6.5M plus a couple more million in bonuses
J.C. Romero has a 2011 club option for $4.5M with a $250k buyout
Chad Durbin will be a free agent following his final arbitration year after making
First, let’s see what kind of money Werth can expect to make, or at least demand. His average production over the past two seasons yields a line of .270/.369/.503, with 30 homers.
Werth has put up numbers similar to new Met Jason Bay’s over the past couple of seasons, but is arguably more valuable for his (typically) plus defense in a more demanding outfield position.
Considering Werth will turn 32 in May of his first season with a new club, it’s not unreasonable to expect a three- or four-year deal for him, with an average annual value in the $13-16M range. Considering Werth isn’t represented by Scott Boras, it’s plausible to think he won’t be getting Matt Holliday money; good news for the Phils, as not only is that too much for Werth, they would have no chance to afford it. A lot of this hinges on a healthy, productive 2010 campaign.
Knowing the current constitution of the Phillies, as well as their prospect situation, is it prudent to extend Werth? Can the Phillies afford him? What sort of deal do you foresee for the slugger? Let’s hear what you think.

It would probably be fair to classify the 2010 season as the beginning of a transitional period in the history of the Phillies.

One piece has already been addressed, with Ruben Amaro having traded for and signed a legitimately elite starter for the next four seasons. Another, slightly less important cog has been WD-40ed, with Placido Polanco replacing Pedro Feliz for the next three seasons. What looms in the future are more pivotal decisions that, if correctly addressed, will keep the Phillies among the National League’s elite teams for years to come.

The first such decision involves Jayson Werth’s future in South Philly. Werth, who will turn 31 in May, had a career year in 2009. Career highs in home runs, RBI, hits, doubles, walks and OPS+ shoved him through the veil of unknown and underrated players into the spotlight (that powerful playoff run he had sure didn’t hurt, either).

But Werth is no lock to continue improving. Wrist and durability issues limited his playing time in Los Angeles and Toronto, and actually cost him his entire 2006; his age 27 season. The Phillies picked him up on a light and airy $850k contract, and Werth has been paying dividends ever since.

Financially, Werth has been a tremendous bargain. Not including undisclosed performance bonuses, Werth has earned $4.55M in three seasons in Philadelphia and is set to make $7M in 2010, nearly doubling his previous earnings.

Think about what that four-and-a-half million has given the Phillies:

  • A .276/.376/.494 slash line

  • 68 home runs

  • 128 extra-base hits

  • 47 stolen bases in just 52 attempts

  • Excellent RF defense in 2007 and 2008, albeit with a significant drop in 2009

Clearly, the man has outperformed the money he has been paid, and I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. The conundrum facing the Phillies front office lies in whether they believe Werth is valuable enough to retain at a more premium price. Michael Taylor is no longer waiting in the wings. Domonic Brown is at least another full season away. No other outfield prospect worth getting too excited about is even all that close to the Majors.

After the expiration of his current contract following this season, Werth will find himself amid a crop of outfield free agents highlighted by Carl Crawford and Not Really Anybody Else. He will be considered (at worst) the second-best outfielder out there, and will get quite a bit of money.

The question, then, is this: with Werth’s durability issues as close to the front of your mind as his performance in 2008 and 2009, do you find room in the payroll to give him an extension? Red flags about future costs have already been raised with the necessity to dump Cliff Lee during this offseason. Can a significant raise for Werth be afforded? On the flip side, are Werth’s health problems behind him for good? Can he be relied on to play 145+ games for every season of a new contract?

This is what’s set to happen to the payroll following the 2010 season, with Carlos Ruiz left as the only arbitration-eligible player remaining:

  • Ryan Howard will get a $1M raise, from $19M to $20M

  • Roy Halladay will get a $4.25M raise, from $15.75M to $20M; though, really, this is more of a $10.25M raise

  • Cole Hamels will get a $3.25M raise, from $6.65M to $9.5M

  • Joe Blanton will get a $1.5M raise, from $7M to $8.5M

  • Shane Victorino may be due a raise, depending on details of his new contract that have yet to be published

  • Placido Polanco will get a $250k raise, from $5.167M to $5.417M

  • Brian Schneider will get a $500k raise, from $1.125M to $1.625M

  • Ross Gload will get a $600K raise, from $1M to $1.6M

So that accounts for about $11.35M in raises (or $15.25M, depending on how you view the Halladay situation), not including bonuses. Also not included is the looming potential arbitration eligibility for pitcher Kyle Kendrick and outfielder Ben Francisco. J.A. Happ has an outside chance at eligibility, but will likely fall about 80 days of service time short of qualifying as a Super Two player with a fourth year of arbitration. As for money coming off the books, this is what’s set to go down in terms of 2010 salary:

  • Werth will be a free agent after making $7M plus bonuses

  • Jamie Moyer will be a free agent after making $6.5M plus a couple more million in bonuses

  • J.C. Romero has a 2011 club option for $4.5M with a $250k buyout

  • Chad Durbin will be a free agent following his final arbitration year

First, let’s see what kind of money Werth can expect to make, or at least demand. His average production over the past two seasons yields a line of .270/.369/.503, with 30 homers.

Werth has put up numbers similar to new Met Jason Bay’s over the past couple of seasons, but is arguably more valuable for his (typically) plus defense in a more demanding outfield position.

Considering Werth will turn 32 in May of his first season with a new club, it’s not unreasonable to expect a three- or four-year deal for him, with an average annual value in the $13-16M range. Considering Werth isn’t represented by Scott Boras, it’s plausible to think he won’t be getting Matt Holliday money; good news for the Phils, as not only is that too much for Werth, they would have no chance to afford it. A lot of this hinges on a healthy, productive 2010 campaign.

Knowing the current constitution of the Phillies, as well as their prospect situation, is it prudent to extend Werth? Can the Phillies afford him? What sort of deal do you foresee for the slugger? Let’s hear what you think.

  • 46 Comments
 

Phillies Sign Contreras

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, January 22, 2010 03:17 PM Comments: 23

Earlier today, Jayson Stark said that the Phillies backed off on John Smoltz, but were interested in Jose Contreras.  ESPN’s Enrique Rojas is reporting that the Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal with Contreras, pending a physical.

Because Smoltz wants to start, the Phillies moved onto Contreras, who will serve as a right-handed reliever and take over Clay Condrey’s role.  Contreras, 38, went 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP with the Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies in 131.2 innings last year.

  • 23 Comments
 

Pat Gallen on Hotstove.com at 1 pm.

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, January 22, 2010 10:20 AM Comments: 10

http://www.hotstove.com/img/teams/hot-stove.jpgI’ll be joining Paul and Tom in a “videocast” over at HotStove.com, one of the best websites for up to the minute baseball coverage. Check out the website at 1 p.m. today as we go over the Victorino and Blanton signings, and what it all means for the Phillies.

Here is the link to HotStove.com.

  • 10 Comments
 

Happy Birthday Chooch!

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, January 22, 2010 08:00 AM Comments: 25

http://www.shopmonalisa.com/images/BirthdayHatBoy.jpgA Happy Birthday goes out to Phillies backstop Carlos Ruiz, whose birthday is January 22, 1979.

A birthday gift will soon be arriving by way of American dollars, as Ruiz is slated to get a nice raise, either through arbitration or a new contract extension from the Phils.

Here’s to Chooch being around for a while!

  • 25 Comments
 

Shane Victorino Signs Extension

Posted by Paul Boye, Thu, January 21, 2010 08:13 PM Comments: 130

Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports is reporting that a source has told him that the Phillies and center fielder Shane Victorino have agreed to a three-year, $22 million extension.

The report continues a flurry of contract news for the Phils, who just announced the extension of pitcher Joe Blanton earlier today. Victorino, 29, hit .292/.358/.445 with 10 homers in 2009. This was his second year of arbitration eligibility.

With extension talks in progress for Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies would likely have seven of eight positional starters under contract for at least 2010 and 2011.

UPDATE, 10:10 am: The Victorino press conference will be today at Noon at Citizens Bank Park.

  • 130 Comments
 

Opening Day Bus Trip to DC – ON SALE NOW

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, January 21, 2010 07:30 PM Comments: 44

Phillies Nation DC tailgate Party The wait is over. This year’s much anticipated Opening Day road trip to Washington, DC to see the Phillies take on the Nationals will take place on Monday, April 5th and tickets are on sale now!

The game starts at at 1:05 pm in DC, so we will be leaving from the P Lot at Citizens Bank Park at 7am sharp to avoid rush hour traffic.

Tickets cost $82 and include:

  • Seat to and from DC on a comfy motorcoach showing classic Phillies videos
  • Tickets to the game in Section 107
  • Tailgate party in parking lot and refreshments on the bus (including some fancy beers)
  • Lots of Phillies and Phillies Nation giveaways

Click here to reserve your spot today! And if you live in the DC-area, come meet us for just the tailgate or game.

Also, be sure to check out our discounted tickets to Darren Daulton’s Darts Tournament at McFadden’s next week.

  • 44 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 2: “Get Me to the Plate”

Posted by Paul Boye, Thu, January 21, 2010 03:30 PM Comments: 18

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0coT4Cf5A0bfh/610x.jpgTop Moment No. 2: Ryan Howard Locks Up NLDS Game 4 With a Two-Out Double

Ryan Howard is a dangerous man. At 6’4″ and 230 lbs. with a swooping, left-handed power stroke, it’s easy to see why, but what made Howard that much more fearsome in Colorado last October had nothing to do with a home run or his middle linebacker frame. No, it was what he said that night that should have struck immediate fear into all those in attendance at Coors Field.

“Just get me to the plate, fellas.”

The Phillies had a two games to one lead over Colorado in the NLDS, and had the opportunity to head back to the League Championship Series for the second straight year. The Rockies, however, weren’t exactly rolling over. Heading into the top of the ninth, Colorado held a 4-2 lead with their best reliever, Huston Street, on the mound. The Rockies had taken that lead in the previous half-inning, after Dexter Fowler’s giant leap over Jimmy Rollins led to Cliff Lee’s departure and a three-run surge that sucked the life out of the tri-state area.

“Just get me to the plate, fellas.”

Howard was due up fifth in the top of the ninth, so he’d need a little help from the hitters in front of him. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs couldn’t oblige, as he struck out, but Rollins followed up with an infield single to keep hope alive with one out. A ground out from Shane Victorino swapped he and Rollins at first, now with two outs, and things were in the hands of Chase Utley. In a full count, Utley drew a walk, prolonging the inning just far enough for Howard to finally get his shot.

“Just get me to the plate, fellas.”

Pitch one, ball one. A walk would be beneficial, as Jayson Werth stood on deck. Anything but that final out. Pitch two, fouled away. For all his power, Howard’s swing came with a high strikeout price. That certainly wasn’t out of the question, here. Pitch three, ball two. Howard was back in the driver’s seat in a slight hitter’s count. He knew Street didn’t want to be forced to throw a 3-1 fastball, so he’d want to get one over and catch Howard waiting for ball three.

On the twenty-fourth pitch of the inning, Street left a fat, 91 MPH fastball over the plate on the inner half that Howard sent to the wall in right field. Victorino scored on a jog, and Utley, in an act of base running that may forever go unheralded, blazed a path from first to home on a gallop that nearly caught Victorino from behind. It took six seconds from contact to Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez’s throw to the infield, and Utley was already around third, gaining ground on Victorino.

Howard got to the plate once more in that ninth inning, as Jayson Werth followed up with a tie-breaking, bloop single past second base that gave the Phillies the lead. Brad Lidge would close out the ninth, and a new legend was born. The Phils were on their way to defending their National League crown.

  • 18 Comments
 

Blanton Agrees to 3-year Extension

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, January 21, 2010 02:47 PM Comments: 50

Joe Blanton has agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract extension to avoid arbitration.

Blanton finished the 2009 season with a 12-8 record and a 4.05 ERA.  He tossed 195 1/3 innings, giving up 195 hits over 31 starts.  At one point during the ’09 season, Blanton put together a string of 11 straight quality starts.

His contract will pay him $7 million this season, $8.5 million in 2011, and $8.5 in 2012. Another $500 k can be made through innings incentives.

This seems reasonable for a pitcher of his ilk, getting him for what seems to be lower than market value to stay in Philly.  They could have let him go after the season and gone after a cheaper substitution, however, Blanton has always been very consistent.  You know what you get from him: 12-14 wins, 30 starts, and an ERA a shade above four.

For more, go to our new partner site, 973ESPN.com.

  • 50 Comments
 

JRoll’s Getting Married on Saturday

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, January 20, 2010 10:50 PM Comments: 2

  • 2 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 3: NL Pennant!

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, January 20, 2010 11:17 AM Comments: 3

Top Moment #3: Phillies Clinch Second Straight National League Pennant

It had never been done in franchise history. Following an epic win, there was no doubt that this team was going to do it.  For the second year in a row, each member of the Philadelphia Phillies raised the Warren C. Giles trophy.  National League Champions!  Some things just don’t get old.

The Phillies fell to an early one-run deficit, but one swing of the bat changed the momentum.  After crushing a three-run home run, Jayson Werth trotted to right field, tipped his cap and fist pumped to an amped up crowd.  The atmosphere and the attitude didn’t change as the Phightin’s cruised to a 10-4 victory, shattering the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hopes for the second consecutive year.

In the process, the Phillies rocked Vicente Padilla, who shut them down in game two.  Cole Hamels handed over the NLCS Most Valuable Player award to Ryan Howard.  Howard batted .333 with two home runs and eight RBIs during the series.

The players sported their new t-shirts and caps.  Champagne was sprayed throughout the clubhouse and the streets of Philadelphia emptied.  It’s starting to become a nice tradition.

  • 3 Comments
 
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