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The Dip: What is Done is Done

Posted by The Dipsy, Tue, January 05, 2010 06:15 PM | Comments: 70
Opinion, Posts, The Dip

This is The Dip, a column penned by our regular commenter, The Dipsy.

Things without remedy, shall be without regard; what is done, is done.
– William Shakespeare

I offer this entry as much for me as for my humble readers. For as I put ink to paper, or contemporarily speaking – font to plasma – I do so to clarify my doubt and to pacify my own restless soul. If in this task, I can offer other heretofore bewildered Phillies fans closure to the tumult that has been holiday baseball in the Delaware Valley, I do so humbly and without expectation of recompense for the service.

As I was blogging back and forth earlier this week with “frienemies” Chuck and psujoe, I paused to contemplate anew the events surrounding the Cliff Lee trade. When I concluded my exercise I found the gnawing side stitch that has been my constant companion for these last few weeks had dissipated and that suddenly I was able to look upon spring training with a full breast and an unburdened heart. With permission, I ask to retrace old steps but with a fresh set of eyes.

Ruben wanted Roy Halladay for 4 years. We all did and Ruben got him. But in the bargain, in order to meet a payroll or replenish a farm system, he had to trade Cliff Lee. The deals were done with dispatch but raised pointed and fair questions as to the methodology utilized by Ruben. I am going to try and answer them.

Why the two trades together? I think that, armed with the knowledge that if he got Halladay he would have to get rid of Lee, he chose to trade Lee immediately, thus enabling the club to give the impression to the vast majority of the fan base that the acquisition of Halladay was in fact tied to the departure of Lee, and consequently, watering down the fan base’s disappointment of Lee leaving the team. While all of us on this site know better, Joe Average does not.

Why not hold on to Lee and trade him later for more? Once the Halladay deal is done the fans go to sleep at night dreaming of the best rotation in baseball featuring a one-two punch akin to Koufax-Drysdale. Could Ruben, in the face of a wholesale rebellion reminiscent of the storming of the Bastille, honestly put this town through a process where Ruben looks to deal Cliff for the best batch of prospects instead of the “OK’ batch he got? Could we actually stand by and watch that happen? That would have been public relations suicide. For those of you who think for a second that Ruben could have deftly worked behind the scenes to make a trade happen without word leaking out – fat chance. Also, and not to be discounted, on top of everything else, what do you tell Cliff and his agent when the Phillies have, presumably in good faith, spoken with Lee about a contract extension. You can’t bargain with the man while trying to trade him. At this point, Ruben is GM-ing with one hand behind his back – and he takes the respectable group of prospects lest this all drags out.

Why the Mariners? In order for a deal like this to go down, you need ziplocked lips by all parties. If not, the Angels get wind and jump in, then the Yankees, and whoever else. The deal falls apart because when everything goes public and it becomes a feeding frenzy. Different teams start calling Toronto about Halladay while different teams start calling us about Lee and the whole thing gets screwed up and Ruben loses Halladay. He wouldn’t let that happen. So my guess is that this deal had to pretty much been nailed down at the winter meetings with the teams agreeing to stay cool until everybody could agree on the prospects. No small task. That is where Pat Gillick comes in – and let’s face it, he’s been involved all along. The “honest broker” and “straight shooter” with strong ties to all three teams keeps things in line because each team will listen to him to varying degrees. That’s why Seattle was involved.

I have come to believe the above set of facts to be a reasonable facsimile of what actually happened and, more importantly, why it happened. I believe it, and because of my belief, I have been able to let go of my demons. I am at peace with the deal and I think that if Ruben could have found a way to keep both pitchers he would have. Go Phils.

Avatar of The Dipsy

About The Dipsy

The Dipsy has written 29 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 NateB

    Thank you. What’s Done is Done. Maybe if everyone stops complaining about losing Cliff Lee, they’ll finally realize that having Roy Halladay is truly an upgrade and that the Phils got an AMAZING deal… 4-5 years of the best pitcher in baseball for 50% off retail value!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    I thought we all agreed to a 1/1/2010 deadline for the talk of Lee.
    GO PHILS!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    This blog gets a “C-” for content because nobody really gives a crap about what The Dipsy thinks or feels and gets a “D” for style as he was much too wordy and stole too much of our time with pure bullshit.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian Sr. of CO

    Maybe this “article” will FINALLY put the rest the Cliff Lee talk. It goes without saying, the majority if not all Phillies Phans would have much rather kept both Halladay and Lee, but just as stated, “What is done is done”. Thank you for finally saying it. also, the post by BurrGundy gets an “F” for pure ignorrance. I dont always agree with “The Dipsy” I do agree with this one. Give it up please. I mean what a pity, The Phillies really screwed the pooch by signing one of the best pitchers in Baseball.

     
  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    Thank you Dipsy, I do not think I ever agree with you, but this time you were spot on. I am glad you have put your demons to rest. It had to go down this way. I truly think this is the best writing of your short career here at PhilliesNation. It is nice to see you taking a logical view of what went down.
    I think if you look back at this blog before the Doc trade, nobody thought that the Phillies could have both Doc and Lee, it has always been pure fantasy. That is what surprised me most about the uproar. It was never going to happen.
    Thanks again for a very well put article. And I look forward to disagreeing with you in the near future. You may always be wrong but your arguments are mostly logical and thought out. Ok maybe not always wrong, but I just like to disagree with you. I appreciate your time and energy you put forth here and thanks again.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Second John

    Thank You Dipsy. Very nice post

     
  • Posts: 0 william

    Halladay gave a hometown discount and there was no way Lee was going to do the same. So instead of causing trouble with Halladay and creating a year long problem in the club house there was no choice but to trade Lee. Could you see the Phillies paying Lee more than Halladay and it not causing problems. A public negotiation with Lee and the kind of money he was reportedly looking for would have been a P.R. nightmare for Ruben and the team.

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Well written Dipsy, and I have to say that I agree completely!

    For me personally, I was more upset about losing Drabek than Lee(who I agree, had almost no chance of being here along with Halladay). As the weeks pass, the sting has faded a bit…but I still am afraid that the Drabek trade may come back to bite us on the arse later on. But for now, we have Roy Friggin’ Halladay for 4-5 years, and 3 very promising prospect from Seattle. The biggest thing that upset me about the Cliff Lee part of the trade wasn’t because of the prospects we got(who I am very happy with), but because of the reaction from Cliff Lee which was heartbreaking for many fans to hear. Ruben Amaro did the best that he could have, and I knew that from the beginning…but the whole situation was such a shock. Many Phillies fans have been clamoring for a chance to sign a guy like Halladay for YEARS now, but us actually getting what we had wanted just seems a bit shocking and new to many of us, who are still used to disappointments with signings.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Sometimes we all need a few weeks to purge the emotions. Nice post. The Halladay deal looks even more important now that the Mets got a professional right handed hitter (he still doesn’t scare me, but he could certainly help Wright and Beltre). They will be better this year, but I still don’t see them breaking 0.500 unless all the breaks go their way (no injuries, Pelfrey and Perez learning how to throw strikes, go more than 5 innings, Reyes actually wanting to play baseball,…).
    We got better, so did the Braves and Cards. It should be an exciting season. Go Phils.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Typo on Beltre – meant Beltran. Speaking of Beltre, Red Sox are going to be tough next year. I think he’ll be a doubles machine in Fenway, nice compliment to Martinez and Youk. Still a little short on lefty power unless Ortiz finds a new “supplement”. Polanco fits the Phils line-up better, at least for 2010.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    Burrgundy= ass
    Man if you don’t like what he writes don’t read it case closed.

    Dipsy well said, I do think that we as Phillie fans really can see past the last 18 months or look further than 6 months ahead.
    Reason I say that is this:

    Ruben got rid of Lee when his value was at its top coming off one of the best WS performances ever. He was far from consistent in the 2009 season. He had several exceptional starts with the Phils and several mediocre starts. So my question as we still wonder about Hamels is, Would the Cliff Lee we saw in the post season be the Cliff Lee all 2010 or will it be an up and down rollercoaster. Halladay is not that at all, he has 10 years of consistency under his belt.

    I like Lee a lot wish would have kept him but understand the trade. Things always look better on paper. Lee had one exceptional year won the Cy Young and phenominal Post season that is more than 90% of the pitchers out there, but with the bats we have we need a sure thing.

    I think the this also plays into Jayson Werth, I am sure that Ruben is trying to figure out how to keep him on this team past this year, that in my opinion is more important than having Lee for 1 year. When we have Doc for 4

    My 2 cents

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy…

    Great piece, man. Great way to start the day here on PhilliesNation!..and I’m flattered that you put me in your article. I hope we’re more “friends” than “enemies” though..

    Not much has REALLY been mentioned about the “Pat Gillick” factor….but it makes sense that he was involved in some way…he’s still on the Phillies payroll…as a consultant, right?….so I’m sure HE wouldn’t advocate this trade if it didn’t make sense to the Phillies…

    Pat Gillick is one guy I absolutely trust…he has a proven track record….with multiple teams…I’m not saying he’s God….but I don’t who, at this point, could be a better mentor for Ruben Amaro.

    ——

    Jeff of Nova…absolutely this plays into the Jayson Werth situation…and I’m sure Werth knows it….so that can only help when things really heat up with his contract…

    ——

    BurrGundy…

    If you don’t like this site, there are plenty others out there you can visit.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Well done Dipsy. I think you mentioned something that I had thought about before but I don’t remember anyone else saying.

    Ruben knew that the second he got Roy that Lee was gone. I think a lot of us knew that as well. But none of us wanted to see it.

    I think Rube made the deal with Seattle in the time frame you mentioned

    A.Because he didn’t want to run the risk of it falling about.

    But…

    B. And more importantly because the disappointment of Lee going right after Halladay was traded for is a lot easier of a pill to swallow then had it happened two weeks later. After everyone wet dreamed about Lee and Halladay winning us another Series.

    The PR nightmare that would have ensued would have just been outrageous. Despite the fact that at the end of the day, Rube did the best and smartest thing he could do given the restraints he had put on him.(hard cap)

    At the end of the day, as Bill Shakespeare emphatically stated and this article repeated, “what’s done, is done.”

     
  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I agree with the Dips. The Lee trade still burns, but I’m getting over it and getting more and more excited for ’10. How many days until Opening Day?

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Hey Jeff of Nova and Chuck — When are you two joining the Steptford Wives ??? Dumb Followers. Double Dumb.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    This is one of the most intelligent posts about the Lee trade that I’ve read.

    I’ve been disgusted with so many “fans” saying what we could have or should have gotten for Lee; what a wonderful pitcher he is, etc., without ever giving thought to the fact that the Phils’ acquired him with less than they got back when they dealt him. ( I’d take Aumont, Ramirez, and Gillies over Marson and Donald any time, and although we gave up Knapp, who may turn out to be the best of the lot, we also got a major league outfielder, Francisco, and a few choice months of Lee.) In other words, maybe Lee isn’t perceived as being a “great.”

    I’ve also been tired of reading what we could have gotten from the Angels, when the names mentioned were what they’d give up for HALLADAY, not Lee.

    There are just too many facets of the situation for anyone not directly involved to know of with certainty.

    Yes, what’s done is done. I, for one am pleased that it was done, and I’m pleased to see that some others are coming to appreciate the complexities of running a ballclub.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    I nominate BurrGundy as the first poster to be banned from this site.

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Hey George — You sound like someone with authority. Stick it where the sun don’t shine fella. Let it join the other stuffed objects.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Like Jeff of Nova said at 8:23 AM…

    “BurrGundy=Ass”

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Nice post… probably could have done without the Shakespeare reference but you made decent points.

    I’m not completely ready to give Rube a free pass for letting Lee walk so quickly; maybe you’re right… maybe the Lee deal had to be done as quickly as it was to avoid a PR nightmare. Maybe it was done so quietly and secretly to avoid letting other teams in on it… or maybe Rube was so infatuated with Halladay that he did not exercise proper due diligence shopping Lee around. I don’t know… if he was forced to give up Lee because he didn’t have enough cash in the budget, then I think that’s his fault (we paid a healthy ransom for Polanco, Baez and Schneider… if given the choice, which way would you go?). He forced himself into that corner. It all comes down to these prospects, I guess and only time will tell.

    By the way… Nats signed Matt Capps to a one year deal worth $3.5 million. I hope that Danys Baez pitches well…

     
  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    I am going off the subject sorry, Holliday contract to me is nuts. He only got twenty more hits in a season than werth, when they both had 500plus at bats. werth is better outfielder, more power better arm more range, speed, holliday better average, walks about the same ,rbi the same in same at bats, Why would anyone think werth gets a lot less. Holliday contract I really believe is going to cause big problems in st louis pujios, and the two stud pitchers are going to ask for a lot no way the cardinals can do it. if holliday is worth 18 million poujois is worth 25 million or more a year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Which totally means Ryan Howard is gone when the time comes.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    this is like month old now..

    the DEFINITELY traded them the same day to avoid the PR nightmare.. and to not give fans the false hope that maybe, just maybe we would keep Lee too

    ..
    and I still don’t understand how or why people think that Cliff Lee, for one year.. is more valuable than Cliff Lee for ONE AND HALF years..

    yea he pitched great in the playoffs.. but everyone knows what type of pitcher he is. THe thing that limits his trade value is the contract demand

    The same teams that will bid on him as a Free Agent are the same teams unwilling to give up any of their “STAR” prospects .. we weren’t going to get Hughes or Joba from the Yankees … weren’t going to get Bucholz from the RedSox

    and the Angels didn’t have $85 M to keep Lackey.. how would they find $100 – $120 M to sign Cliff Lee to an extension ??


    Carrasco vs. Aumont arguement holds no weight, because Carrasco has been in the minors for like 6 years. and is 23 this season

    Aumont is only 20 years old, with 2 years experience.. its a little early to label him a bust in any way

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Well, when you look at it, Ruben did kinda paint himself into a corner. If he has always been aware that he has had a budget than he shoulda done a little better. That would have meant that maybe he should have thought twive before signing Ibanez and Moyer. If ownership, who I think is really to blame, just came outta nowhere and slapped a hard number on Ruben after this season than I guess you really can’t hold Ibanez and Moyer against him. Polanco?…eh…thats a different story. Personally, I think we just needed a guy who could field, not strike out, and not ground into double plays, and hit maybe 270. Who that guy would have been, I don’t know. I do know that Moyer is just a killer right now. Lets just buy him out for %110 of what he is making and pay it out over 4 years.

    The Dipsy

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    The whole premis of this subject is still that “something we dont know”caused us to dump Lee.Some “mystery reason”.And god bless him ,Dipsy tries to rationally figure it out.
    Good try,but we will never know what it really was.
    It still doesnt answer the” value for value” argument.Not for me anyway.
    But I’m over it because..

    Some teams are reporting as early as Feb 17th for pitchers/catchers.
    Go Phils..It will be here in a blink of an eye.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think…

    “a guy who could field, not strike out, and not ground into double plays, and hit maybe 270. ”

    is the definition of Placido Polanco ??

    I don’t have a dictionary in front of me, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it says under his name

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy, when are you gonna come to realize that Polanco was the BEST choice to upgrade at that position? Based on his level of play….and what the other options…like Figgins, etc were asking for…and eventually got. And I’m not being an apologist in any way….Polanco just flat-out makes sense. He’s perfect for this team….and we got him at a good price.

    Yeah, ok ,Moyer is dragging down the books a bit. But I’m not sure that buying him out is the best thing right now…lets wait and see how he is…after all these surguries…and if he can contribute to the team.

    Look…last year he won 12 games and , while his ERA was high, it was below 5 (not totally abysmal)…and he pitched effectively out of the pen…when asked to..

    Is that worth 8 million?….no….but to just say “let’s just buy him out” is rushing things a bit.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Excuse me. A guy Who can field really well at third base and will hit .270 who you don’t have to pay “hitting .300″ prices for. Is what I meant. I.E. A guy that can field and is cheaper.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The Holliday contract is an absolute disgrace. But in the end though I think it will hurt the Cardinals more than anyone else. Talk about bidding against yourself. The Red Sox had offered 5 years at 82.5 mil. That was the next highest offer.

    Either the Cardinals are really, really stupid, or really really desperate, I have no idea. But they screwed themselves with this deal. That is a huge gap…5 years at 82.5 mil and 7 years at 120 mil. Stupid move. If they want to resign Pujols at about the 30 mil he probably will want, then they could potentially have about 46% of their pay roll tied up in 2 players. Cardinals have been somewhat hesitant to take their payroll much over 100mil. Either that will change or they will have solid 3 and 4 hitters and a roster filled out with cheap youngsters or aging vets who will play on the cheap because no one else wants them. Not to mention they have almost no farm system to speak of.

    We can sit here and say that this deal will likely spell the end of Howard or Werth otr both, and maybe that is true, but you never really know how the market will play out when the time comes.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Chuck – Perhaps it not rushing things a bit with Moyer if you wanna use that money NOW!. Like, oh uh, maybe Ben Sheets? I’m not nuts about Polanco for three years. Pete Feliz at 1y/4.5 woulda been sweet. Why tie yourself up with Polanco? Don’t get me wrong, Polanco is an upgrade, but now that we have a “hard cap” (sneer, sarcasm, resentment) of $140m, we have to look at cost/benefit, value analysis, etc. Like Joe Banner does I would presume.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Based on what others got…Figgins, Beltre, De Rosa….Polanco WAS cheap.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I can’t believe Beltre signed for 1 year $10MM (or 2 year $14MM). That is a real deal… Agh, I wanted the Phillies to get him instead of Polanco… mainly because Beltre would’ve been a defensive upgrade over Feliz, not a downgrade like Polanco.

    We’ll see what happens.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Chuck, Figgins signed for less than what everyone expected… and Beltre signed a one-year plus an option deal. Now THAT is “cheap” (in the baseball world).

    Had Polanco stayed in the FA market, he would’ve had a 2 year deal for 5M each, or less.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Beltre was a deal. I would venture to say that if the Phils offered him 2y/12m he woulda taken it.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    that other guy would have been Pedro Feliz.. who would have cost $5.5 Million … and then we would still need to get a 3b NEXT year.. when there was going to be less 3b on the market

    Beltre is barely worth $10 M over TWO seasons, let alone one… he’ll be exposed in the high pressure AL EAST

    DeRosa $6
    Polanco $6
    Figgins $9
    Beltre $10

    .. clearly Polanco is the best bargin of those guys.. and since we needed a contact hitter who doesn’t strikeout .. he fits that need the best too

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Figgins…at $9MM per year and 4 years is way too much…and I’m glad the Phillies didn’t get involved with that.

    Again…Figgins and Beltre are the “sexy” names out there….so, naturally everyone wants them….

    Polanco is great for this team….rarely strikes out….hits .300…plays hard…and is no slouch defensively….

    I’m really not sure why people aren’t excited about that.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    they offered him $24 over 3 years.. and he said no

    but you think he would have taken $12 M over 2 years ??

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Chuck: I agree with you that Polanco was one of the better options out there, but look at what everyone else got. No need for 3 years for a guy at his age. 2 years, plus an option, would have been just fine.

    As for Dipsy, I do believe Gillick had his hand in this trade, and there was a hush-hush factor involved. Still not sure that was the right way to go. I know they wanted to keep quiet, but you have to believe there would have been a ton of teams throwing themselves at the Phillies for one year of Lee at that price.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    2 years plus an option… maybe he said no

    so maybe we offered the guaranteed 3rd year because that is what it took to get him..

    you can’t just play “hardball” with everyone out there.. because sometimes they say no .. and then you missed out on a player that you wanted

    Pat … was there a ton of teams throwing themselves at the Indians for ONE AND A HALF YEARS of Lee at a similar price ??

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Pat…maybe so….maybe the “option” year should have been stipulated..

    Still….for a guy with his ability….I don’t think this was a bad deal…at all.

    The third year…Polanco CAN play 1B if needed…cause we all know Howard probably won’t be here…so one year at 1B….isn’t the worst option out there.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Don M: Could have been. We wont ever know. But the Phillies offer leading with Knapp was obviously what Cleveland thought was the best.

    You dont think Boston or Chicago or other teams would have been all over Lee this year had they known he was available?

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Don – How do you know that the Phils offered Beltre that money? If they had he would have taken it if you look at the Boston deal. The Boston deal is silly for Beltre. No reason to give Polanco three years. Thye money doesn’t bother me so much. Two years woulda been great. And if he ever plays first base then we’re all in a lotta trouble. If you have a problem position, there is nothing wrong going year to year with different guys until a solid opportunity present itself. By the way, who’s doing Howard for Zimmerman and Dunn if we didn’t have Polanco?

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Nice Article Dipsy. I don’t really have enemies, but wouldn’t mind have Burrgundy as one, LOL.

    Cliff who?

    I’m down with the Polanco deal now based on what the other options are getting. Beltran essentially signed a 2 year $20 million contract unless he gets hurt. He should easily get 640 plate appearences for the Red Sox.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Ugh, I do that all the time. Beltre not Beltran.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    If Boston wasn’t willing to give up Bucholz for Halladay… who was willing to sign an extension… why would they give him up for Lee, who wanted to become a Free Agent ?

    Early reports had the Phillies “interested” in Beltre..

    yesterday.. I read that Beltre had turned down offers from the Phillies.. and the Oakland A’s .. from Ken Rosenthal

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Rosenthal-Red-Sox-get-Beltre-for-cheap-010410

    “The Phillies, one source said, made “a very strong offer” to Beltre — three years, $24 million, according to another source — before signing free agent Placido Polanco to a three-year, $18 million contract. “

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I get the feeling that most people on here… only read this site for their baseball news

    you’re missing a lot of good info from mlbtraderumors.com
    cnnsi.com , etc..

    not to take readership away from this site.. but a little more info enahnce the conversations … and would give people a realistic idea about the contracts they expected these guys to sign.

    I would have rather signed Moyer for one year, Ibanez for two years, Polanco for two years, etc .. too …. but the market dictated that we need to offer them more, or watch them walk away .. (insert comments about how you wish Moyer would’ve walked away HERE) .. but we gave fair contracts to guys that improve our team .. like it or not

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    mlbtraderumors.com is one of the best sports sites out there. Love it.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I feel like people are steadily asking me..

    Where did you hear this or that .. ??

    and my answer is almost always from an Mlbtraderumors story. . . they link into all the biggest names and sports outlets

    Rosenthal, Gammons, Heyman, Verducci, Stark, etc..

    those guys have FULL TIME JOBS to get the inside scoops and give their opinions based on information they have … so I trust what they say because their reputations are constantly on the line

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    mlbtraderumors.com is a fantastic site.

    I usually open PN and mlbtr simultaneously to get my baseball fill.

     
  • Posts: 0 PhxPhilly

    I agree with the intent of the article: Please get over the Cliff Lee trade. I won’t though because I think they had other options (to shed salary) if they waited. They got the bad PR anyway. Amaro has said numerous times that the playoffs are all about pitching. And I cannot think of a better use of budget than an ACE pitcher at $9M.

    My justification for the trade is that it probably began as a 3-way trade with Aumont & Gillies (Canadians) going to BlueJays but Toronto decided against it and the Lee deal was already ‘agreed in principle’. Amaro did not want to back out on his word and really wanted Halladay so he approved Drabek in the deal. If my guess is correct the deal would have been Taylor, Arnaud, and Lee for Halladay and Ramiriez and Phillies keep Drabek. Would fans have liked that deal any better? I certainly would have. Drabek is the best prospect of them all and Taylor was still expendable.

    MLBTradeRumors had listed that Beltre rejected a couple 3yr $24M deals, including one from the Phillies. He wanted to get back into the FA pool next year. I still would have preferred Tejeda to Polanco. Phillies need a 3B for at least 2 and probably 3 years. Polanco does give some versatility to spell Utley and I am sure he could play some LF if Phillies somehow acquire a young stud 3B. Tejeda would have given them a backup SS who can actually hit in the middle of the lineup. He also rarely strikes out and is an RBI machine. (Mike Lowell is probably now available for cheap, if he recovers from injury).

    Amaro’s strategy seems to be quite aggressive. He goes after the guys he wants and is willing to pay extra to get them. A top team does not ‘settle’ for scraps, though they would be cheaper.

    I also believe the ‘hard cap’ was established this offseason by the ownership. Probably looked at the books after last year’s spending spree and decided they could not generate any more revenue than last year. As a fan, I hate that but I understand it. $140M is still in the top 5 or so of payrolls. That should be enough to field a top notch team.

    For that reason, as a GM I would have a really hard time giving out $20M long term contracts. Each $5M you can save a on a ‘superstar’ player that allows you to fill in a hole with a proven major leaguer. I have less of a problem giving Ibanez, Polanco, Moyer the extra year but for doing so I would want a major discount over the entire contract (e.g. Ibanez 3yr 27M, Polanco 3yr 14M+1M buyout, Moyer was 2yr $13 but he just hit incentives that were set too low).

     
 
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