You’d Best Just Shoot Me Now–Or We Can Talk Some More

Posted by Michael Baumann, Thu, February 18, 2010 04:19 PM | Comments: 101
Payroll, Posts, Raising Questions

Please excuse a brief non-Phillies related anecdote to start. I promise, I’ll tie it in later.

In the 1970s, English soccer manager Brian Clough led Nottingham Forest to two consecutive European championships, a feat no English team has equaled since. Nottingham Forest is a small-market team whose history can be defined in three eras: pre-1975, when they sucked; 1975-1993, when Clough made them into one of the top teams in Europe, and 1993-present, when they sucked again.

Clough’s mantra was to know what all your players were worth at all times, and if you could get market value for them at any point, no matter how popular that player was, to trade him in for someone cheaper or younger. Clough’s approach worked. Need a more accessible example? This is what Bill Belichick does with the NFL’s Patriots, and we all know how well that’s worked out these past 10 years.

I’m acutely aware that what I’m about to write is going to be tremendously unpopular with our readership. I can barely believe I’m saying this now. Neither do I expect a single person to agree with me.

But this is what I think, so here it goes.

I think the Phillies should:

1) Trade Shane Victorino for whatever prospects they can get.

2) Move Jayson Werth to center and Raul Ibanez to right field.

3) Sign free agent outfielder Johnny Damon to a one or two-year contract and install him in left.

If you want to skip right to the end and start questioning my sexuality and calling for me to be tarred and feathered, I suppose that’s your prerogative. I don’t think this is a slam-dunk, and I’m aware that Damon will most likely sign with either Detroit or Atlanta in the coming days, but I think that a good argument can be made for replacing Victorino with Damon. This is that argument.

This is why the thought first occurred to me. Since the Phillies started making the playoffs again in 2007, I’ve been of the opinion that the team’s first and greatest goal should be to continue to contend for an extended period of time–five years or more, if possible. So instead of selling the farm to make one run at a title (a run that, as the Tigers found out in 2006, can be derailed by something as mundane as a pitcher’s inability to throw to the bases), it’s better to continuously roll over the roster. This approach allowed the Braves and Yankees to dominate the 1990s. I thought a better model would be to emulate the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2004, then won again in 2007 with a significantly changed cast. They made hard decisions to part with key players as they got too expensive or too old, but by trading in players like Pedro Martinez, Bill Mueller, and Keith Foulke, Clough-like decisions allowed them to stay in position to contend again this year and for the foreseeable future.

This is why I supported trading Cliff Lee to the Mariners–it will make the team weaker in 2010, but in 2012, Aumont and Gilles could be contributing well after Lee would have walked as a free agent.

So why does this justify trading one’s 29-year-old outfielder for a 36-year-old outfielder? Many reasons.

First of all, Damon and Victorino are essentially players of equal value. Victorino was an average defensive outfielder last year, and a very good one in years before that. Damon is about as bad a defensive outfielder as you’ll see. Victorino hits for a slightly higher average, but Damon walks more. Victorino steals more bases, but gets caught at a rate that just about negates what bases he steals. Damon was 12-for-12 in stolen bases last year and 27-for-30 in 2007.

Damon hits for much more power than Victorino (even considering that he played last season in the New Yankee Workshop). If you want to roll all that together, in 2009, Victornio was 10th among major league center fielders with 3.4 WAR (oh, no, not that stat again). For comparison, that puts him above Curtis Granderson (in a bad year) and just below Nate McLouth. Among left fielders, Damon was 11th, posting a 3.0 WAR with similar stats (WAR takes into account that left fielders tend to be better hitters than center fielders). Damon was ahead of Carlos Lee but behind David DeJesus.

For 2010, the Bill James predictions, based on previous performance and adjusting for age, Victorino is due for a season of .283/.343/.418 with 12 home runs, 24-for-33 on the basepaths, 95 runs scored and 59 batted in. Damon, on the other hand, is in line for .278/.355/.430 with 17 home runs, 16-for-21 stolen bases, 99 runs scored, and 70 RBI. Factor in Victorino’s superior (though overrated) defense, and the two come out more or less even. So you won’t be losing much, if anything, in terms of production for the next year.

There are a few counterarguments that I think warrant mention. Let’s start with the fact that Victorino is 29 and Damon is 36. If we’re worried about the next year or two, I don’t think that Damon declines a whole lot more from this year to the next. He’s already at the bottom end of the decline curve–he’s not going to get any worse defensively (because he can’t), and while the difference between a 25-year-old running the bases and a 38-year-old is significant, the same can’t be said for the difference between ages 36 and 37. Or 36 and 38. Again, we’re not building the team around Damon, we’re just plugging him in to fill a hole until Domonic Brown or Gilles or Anthony Gose is ready to step up.

The second major counterargument is that replacing Victorino with Damon would kill the Phillies defensively. I have no response to that other than to say it’s true. Last year, the Phillies had average-to-above-average outfield defense. Werth, while he’s a very good right fielder, would probably only be a mediocre center fielder. Ibanez, who is adequate in left, would probably be a bad defensive right fielder, and we’ve already been over Damon. I’m basing this argument on the idea that a Damon-Werth-Ibanez outfield, while not a good defensive threesome, would be enough to get by with such a small outfield. This assumption could be dead wrong, and if it is, I withdraw my objection and concede. But if it’s not, I think it’s a possibility worth exploring.

The third is that Victorino’s good enough as a center fielder–why get greedy and try to catch lightning in a bottle? This is probably the best reason not to trade Victorino and sign Damon. After all, Victorino is about an average center fielder, and it’s not like the Phillies need him to be Mickey Mantle. They’ve already won two pennants and a World Series with him, and they stand a good chance to win more. He’s signed at a fairly reasonable 3 years, $22 million. That’s not a bad deal for a player of his quality, assuming he produces in 2010-12 the way he did in 2007-2009. Another perfectly valid point. I just think the Phillies can do better.

Fourth is the platoon split issue–Victorino is a switch hitter, while Damon is a lefty, and the Phillies already have an extremely lefty-heavy lineup. To that, I say that Victorino’s OPS against lefties was only about 10 points higher than Damon’s last year, even considering that he’s a switch hitter. I’d take that hit.

Ok. On to how Damon’s better.

The whole point to the Cliff Lee deal, as I’ve said, is that you shouldn’t bank on hitting the jackpot one year when you can have a good chance of winning for several years to come. Victorino is one of the most vastly-overrated players in baseball. He has blinding speed but doesn’t cover as much ground defensively as slower players, due to bad jumps and bad positioning. He walks some, but not very much. His stolen base rate, particularly considering how well the other Davey Lopes disciples on the team do, is unacceptable for one of the fastest players in the league. These things, along with his total lack of power, suggest to me that once his legs go, he doesn’t have the peripheral skills to continue to start for a good team. And now that he’s about to turn 30, that decline might come sooner than you might think.

Everyone looks at Victorino and sees a charismatic, speedy, high-average, good-defense guy and thinks that he’s an all-star. But when you take even a cursory look at his stats beyond what you’ll see on the back of a baseball card, you’ll see someone whose reputation is writing checks his performance can’t cash.

So why not sell high? Granted, your prospect haul for Victorino wouldn’t be great, but if the recent deals for Nate McLouth and Curtis Granderson are any indication, I say you can get a decent-quality AA or AAA hitter and a long-term pitching prospect for him. For a team that’s just traded in almost all its quality top-level prospects for three starting pitchers over the past 2 years (Lee, Blanton, and Halladay), the added prospects would come as a relief.

All of the things Victorino does poorly, Damon does well. He has mid-range power, is an excellent baserunner (as we Phillies fans know all too well), and would fit perfectly into the No. 2 spot in the order. You could even structure the lineup as Damon, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Polanco, Ruiz and not have more than two same-handed batters next to each other. Or bat Rollins first, Polanco second, and Damon seventh. It doesn’t matter to me.

One thing that doesn’t come to mind right away with Damon is how cheap he’ll be. Victorino, while reasonably-priced, makes an average of $7 million and change a year for the next 3 years. Damon’s agent, Darth Boras, overplayed his hand with the Yankees, demanding far more than his market value after the World Series. As a result, he’s still unemployed and desperate for work. Last year, the Angels pulled a similar deal off with Bobby Abreu, who wanted eight figures a year and got a one-year deal for $5 million once the market settled. I think Damon could be had for less, but we should view the Abreu deal as a baseline. Try to sign him for a year and $5 million. By the time that year is up, one of the Phillies’ outfield prospects ought to be ready to step up, and you’ve still got another season to try to find a young replacement for Raul Ibanez. The difference between Brown or Gilles’ pre-arbitration salary, plus Damon’s one year on one hand, and Victorino’s three years on the other might give the Phillies the spare cash to re-sign a more valuable player like Jayson Werth or Ryan Howard.

But by sitting on Victorino, you’re missing out on the chance to get at least one, maybe two major league-quality prospects and eliminating just enough salary wiggle room to keep the real valuable players on the team together. And in the famous words of Ricky Watters, “For who? For what?” To keep your seventh-best position player instead of trying to keep a competitive team on the field for years to come.

This is exactly the kind of tough decision that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Braves made during their runs. Remember, we root for laundry, not players. I’m not saying that trading Victorino and bringing in Damon is certainly the best move, but in order to build the kind of sustained dominance that I’m sure we all aspire to, you need to take the Brian Clough approach. There can’t be any kind of irrational emotional attachment that keeps you from even posing the question: Can the Phillies be better in the long-term without Shane Victorino? My gut says yes, and at the very least, it’s a question worth exploring.

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Honestly I don’t know if it would be worth the trouble / the salary that Damon probably wants. Your point is well made that it would essentially be a lateral move in terms of overall value, I just don’t know that they would really get all that much for Shane to justify it, unless they can swindle some dumbass GM again. And were the trade to happen, I’d probably think about sticking Mayberry in right and seeing what happens before signing Damon.

    Really, the ideal thing would be to trade Ibanez, but that’s probably not possible at this point.

  • Posts: 0 Chris

    you are correct, this is not a popular suggestion and mostly for the reasons you stated as to why to keep him. He is a way better fielder, he is way younger and he’s a switch. The argument that damon hits for better power is worthless because we have so many power hitters on this team. Thats practically all we have is power hitters. I like victorino’s small ball play.

    Really you should take this arcticle and do a search and replace for Victorino and Ibanez. If you can get rid of Ibanez’s contract, you can afford Werth. Brown will be ready for next season anyway.

  • Posts: 0 Steve

    This may be the worst article ever. What’s the point of this? This idea is absurd, would never happen, nor would I want it to happen.

    Additionally, your counter-arguments for Victorino are way better than your arguments to get Damon, which completely defeats the purpose of the article.

  • Posts: 0 RichieAllen

    Problem is…..the ticket paying population….the ones who keep the cash flow going,love Victorino.
    I think everybody was happy when he signed for 3 years.

  • Posts: 0 Heather

    Since we’re talking about this purely as what ifs, what about this? Your argument is well taken that Victorino is average. Dump Victorino and get whatever prospects you can for him. Have the outfield next year would be Ibanez/Worth/Domonic Brown (our supposedly “can’t miss” prospect).

    As an added bonus, by shedding Victorino’s salary, you might gain the money to pay Werth to stay after next year.

    If Brown tanks horribly, Francisco is an adequate replacement until the midseason trades.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I will have to wait until over-the-weekend to read something of this length . . .

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Worst article ever? Hardly. Go read TJ Simers.

    This is an idea, of course it’s not likely to happen. It would be wholly unpopular for sure, but it would free up major amounts of room for Howard and Werth AND Rollins to stay long term. I personally would rather keep Shane and try to trade Raul if that was an option.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Downgrade in the field in LF, CF and RF. No way. I’m all for trading Vic or Ibanez to clear salary for Werth becuse I think Brown, Francisco and Gload is just fine if you can keep Werth. Vi is less important batting 7th, but his glove is still important.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    you dont trade a Gold Glove CF, who also lead your team in batting the past years . . .and you just signed to an extension . . .for the hell of it

    this is absurd.

    the fact that you put this much time and effort in creating this scenario and this post, blows my mind

    Damon is probably worse than Burrell in the OF, the best thing he has going for him is a hot wife

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    To some small degree, I actually think this would be a great idea…BUT instead of trading Shane, they should dump Werth instead, because Shane’s contract (as far as money) would be more logical to contain…Compared to Werth who will be way out of our price range. I think teams would easily give up 2-3 prospects for one year of service of Werth….OR….We could trade Werth for pitching, and do what Phylan said and give the everyday spot to Mayberry. As far as Damon goes…Good idea, but it’s a pipe dream.

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    As much as we would all love to keep Werth in Red Pin Stripes…It just isn’t going to happen. We can only afford to keep either one or the other…Howard, or Werth, and Amaro already made it clear that he plans to keep Howard in Philly for life. I say we trade him now while we can so we can keep our farm well stocked with high calliber players for years to come.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I don’t agree entirely, however I think while we’re all brainstorming on new and interesting ways to afford Ryan Howard & Jayson Werth, no one is untouchable.

    My main problem would be the defensive downgrade that Damon represents. I’d almost be more willing to accept an offensive downgrade by putting Francisco (or a francisco type player) in Right field or center.

    By the way props for the reference to “Serenity”.

  • Posts: 0 joe

    you’d trade an all star, speedster, gold glover, for a guy who can barely throw ?

    great trade

  • Posts: 0 BS

    If they should trade anyone (and I’m not saying they should), they should trade Werth. They have Victorino locked up at a good contract for a couple more years. But Werth is probably gone after this year. Obtain a couple good prospects who you can control for 5-6 years? Or 1 year of Werth?

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    I don’t see any clear way to keep Werth & Howard, since I think the cheapest we can expect to get Howard for will be 6-7 years, 20 mil a year (minimum), Werth will probably be looking for the 60 mill that Bay is getting from the mets, over at least 4 years.

    What I’m hoping for is that Ibanez has a great year. If that happens it might be possible to move his contract for prospects (not great ones given the money Raul is getting, but maybe some low A ball prospects with upside.). That would free up left field for Brown to step in, and would probably allow the Phils to afford the first year of a new Jayson Werth contract.

    Then we’d have to hope that Gose can develop quickly and allow for a possible Victorino trade in the second or third year of his contract, to free up even more money. It still wouldn’t be enough though so we’d have to try and unload Blanton (if Kendrick, Carpenter, or Savery show they are ready to step in.)

    Unless the owners find a new way to pull in more revenue or decide they can operate with a 150 million dollar payroll I’m not sure it’s going to be possible. I guess we might as well enjoy 2010 for what it is though.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I try not to come to this site anymore. Since the big man left its become like trash blogging. this article and most of them. no writing skills and trade shane. please. damon is average hitter who cant field. get a life..

  • Posts: 0 Dan S


    damon bats left and the phillies dont need another left handed bat
    Also, from when i saw werth play center last season he didn’t look comfortable. Trading victorino would be trading away a gold glove at one of the most important defensive positions

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    A Damon/Werth/Ibanez outfield would be horrendous. You would be better served to go with Ibanez/Damon/Werth across the back. With Ibanez in right or Damon in right, runners would go from first to third/home with absolute impunity. And what about when they have to go play D on the road? In Washington? San Diego? It would be laughable. I know that Bill James does not value defense much, but this idea is just bad. Defense is important. All World Series winners are good defensively. If there was a way to trade Ibanez and 10m of his salary for prospects and then sign Damon, now that would be an idea.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 George

    Trading Vic could be an option. Signing Damon would be ridiculous, because even if he did take $5 million, that’s only just over $2 million saved. That’s hardly enough to even sign a decent middle reliever, let alone re-signing Werth. The only way this would do any good would be to not sign anyone, using Francisco or Mayberry in right. So far, Mayberry can’t hit, though, and whether or not Francisco is viable full time is questionable.

    The Braves did roll over their lineup through their playoff streak, but they never traded key players, like Maddux, Smoltz, Chipper Jones, or Andrew Jones while he was still good. They had a knack for trading guys just before they were going sour–people like John Rocker, for instance. They also didn’t fill holes with over-the-hill outfielders.

    While I’m not saying Vic is a key player, he may be close to being one at present, and if he’s ever traded, the Phils should have someone ready to take his place. Damon is not that someone. Mayberry is not that someone. Francisco probably isn’t, either, though he might be adequate. I doubt, too, that trading Vic would supply all the needed money to extend Werth. Someone else would have to go, too.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    I don’t know where you got the idea that Bill James doesn’t value defense much, but then again, I don’t know where you get most of your ideas, dispy.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    What happens if Jason Werth doesnt have a good year? He is a older player who has one and half good years, lets see what he does this year, before we make him a hall of famer/

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    The more I think about it, the more it might be worth trading Ibanez even if the return is pretty shitty, if it allows a Werth extension. Not that I don’t like Ibanez, but his is the most unwieldy contract given his age, and Francisco or Mayberry I think could hold it down. I know Mayberry struggled with the bat, but he flashed some power, and I think he could pull it together.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Bill James believes that defense is overrated. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t measure it.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Bobby D

    Ditch a lightning fast, All Star centerfielder who just so happens to be a marketable fan favorite for a guy who recenty broke the hearts of Phils fans with his clever base running in the WS. That’s like dumping JImmy for Jeter. I’d kill somebody if it happened.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    If I you knew we could sign Damon for 1y/5m, I would trade Ibanez for a warm six pack of Schlitz if we didn’t eat any salary.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Ugh they should just trade Werth now, just to get it out of the way and get some sort of decent return for him in prospects.

    We all know he’s likely to be gone in a year anyway, and I don’t want to get my hopes up that they may find some way to keep him…only to be let down in the end.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Looks like Jesus. Talks like Judas and Throws like Mary…

    No thanks. I’m good with UFC’s next great fighter Shane Victorino in CF for a little longer.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Recently in an interview with The Sporting News Roy Halladay was asked who the best pitcher in the NL East was. Here was his response:

    “I’d never vote for myself,” Halladay, 32, told the magazine when asked whether he was the best pitcher in the NL East.

    He said New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana”has always been fun to watch. The way Cole pitched in the playoffs a couple of years ago and at times last year, I think he’s up there. Some of the Marlins’ younger guys are scary – Josh Johnson. There’s a lot of talent.”


    Notice no mention of himself. Halladay prefers his talking to be done on the field, unlike one of the pitchers he had just complimented, one Johan Santana. According to Brian Costa, Mets beat writer for the Star Ledger, when asked the same question Santana had this to say:



    And yet people wonder why we hate the Mets?

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree with Dipsy…I would prefer to trade Ibanez over Victorino and replace him with Damon. That also frees up some cash next year when we need it for Werth.

  • Posts: 0 JohnKruk

    This is an unbelievably awful idea, but I really enjoyed the article…Wrongheaded but very in depth and I like that. I mean…I like in depth.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I think Don M said it best…”The fact that you put this much time and effort in creating this scenario and this post, blows my mind.”

    Look..I’m not a huge Victorino fan …like some people…and I can see the value in trying to trade Ibanez…NEXT offseason (o rmaybe at this year’s deadline if Brown is truly ready)

    Because trading Ibanez open up payroll for possibly keeping Werth..

    But Johnny Damon???…NO NO NO….absolutely NO!!

    What is the point of what you are suggesting??

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Could we please not crucify someone for putting an idea out there?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Ok …fair enough Ed…I mean the guy DID certainly start quite a discussion now, didn’t he??

    It’s just a ridiculous argument though…

    I TOTALLY realize that something has to be done with the outfield in order to keep competing after this year..

    Johnny Damon is not the answer to that, though. For defense, I’d rather have Eric Bruntlett out in left field as opposed to Damon. And I’m not being a wiseass when I say that, either..

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Although I don’t agree with adding Damon to replace Victorino (for defensive reasons) I agree with the argument that signing Damon at this point for anywhere under $7 mil is very good value.

    Also, Ibanez has a no-trade clause (nice job, Ruben!) so he will be the Phillies’ problem in 2011.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Please make the pain go away, and trade Werth already! :(

    We’re probably going to lose him either way, so i’d rather just somebody trade him now and get us some good prospects who can help us within the new few years, rather than let him walk for a few draft picks that may not pan out.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    1 year of Werth isn’t going to net you as much as 3 years of Victorino. If one year of Cliff Lee only brought back 3 mediocrities then let’s hope Amaro isn’t looking to trade anyone anytime soon. The 2 extra draft picks will help re-stock the farm.

  • Posts: 0 Weed Man

    Talk about too much rambling about something that isn’t going to happen. Having said that I would like to grade the trade the Sixers made today and give it a D-!

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    The bottom line is Doc is a classy player. He will fit in with one of the greatest groups of players in sports today. These guys dont complain, they dont cause issues off the field. Well only when Rollins likes to talk but thats for fun. Doc will be loved in Philly. Yes, Lee did a great job in the post season. He was also 14-13 last season. Doc will never go 14-13…

  • Posts: 0 Red McNertney

    Whew !!!! Some serious thinking here. Overall, I hate to see our outfield defense deteriorate with Damon in left, Ibanez in right and Werth in center. Victorino and Werth both cover ground. Damon and Ibanez will be serious defensive liabilities and we are weakening our outfield speed by too great a measure. Also, I doubt that Victorino will bring stud prospects. Too speculative and too much of a gamble.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    Man some people are really bored

    One word


  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Damon will sign a contract with Geico playing a caveman…hes already got the look and brain

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I agree with whoever said your counter-arguments are far more convincing than the evidence you muster to support your idea.

    About the only thing Damon has going for him any more is reputation. We already have one late-30s, below-average defensive (and probably declining at the plate too) player in the outfield.

    Vic lead the team in BA the last two years and he’s relatively young. You muster a bunch of numbers to support your argument, but the numbers actually detract from your argument.

  • Posts: 0 The Second John

    It’s not a terrible idea, but its likely not gonna happen. I have a different scenario that has about the same likelihood:

    Trade Raul Ibanez (easier said than done and i doubt a team will take his salary, but now is when you get the most value)

    Sign Damon to a 1 year deal.

    Then the after this, you can replace Damon with Brown because Brown is definitely not gonna replace Werth.

    Lastly, do what you can to sign Jayson Werth.

    I realize this deal is probably not gonna happen, but its something to think about.

  • Posts: 0 Matt

    Haa, Chris you made me laugh man.

    But wow, this was an extremely in-depth post, just a bit screwy at the same time though. I love that you think the way you do, but yeah, this one’s reaching a bit. I’m not the biggest Victorino fan by any means, but I can’t stand Johnny Damn to start with, not to mention he’s a bit overrated, and what, 36? I’ll take Vic in center, no matter if we lose Werth next year or not.

    P.S. I’m pretty sure I can throw further than Johnny Damon, that is all.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    You know what? On a purely statistical sense, this move would make a lot of sense. You sell high someone who’s not part of the Phillies core, replace him with a good yet cheap role player like Damon… and get some pretty good prospects in return. You also free up salary to sign Werth (which I definitely think is more vital to this team than Vic). Frankly, I think Shane has reached his peak value… and I see it highly unlikely he’ll keep winning awards (All Star, Gold Glove…) while batting 7th in the lineup…

    But in reality, Victorino is a fan favorite (a LOT of people have his jerseys and all the little kids adore him), and Philly fans tend to really, really like him –this Damon/Shane move would be such a bad PR move that it wouldn’t be worth it for the Phillies.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Plus, I HATE Johnny Damon.

  • Posts: 0 PhxPhilly

    I also appreciate the analysis of this article. My argument was to trade Victorino for prospects rather than Cliff Lee. Yeah the return would’ve been smaller but we probably could’ve gotten the equivalent of Gillies and Ramirez for Victorino. However, the Mariners would not be interested in Vic and I am not sure who would. Could the Phillies have gotten the equivalent of Granderson? Probably.

    in your scenario, instead of Damon I would want Jermaine Dye in RF. Another right handed bat with power. If we lose Werth, he could possibly bat 5th. Dye is at least better than Damon in the OF and can play RF. I think Dye may have a couple mediocre seasons left and might cost $3M this year with $5M option next. Werth would be the primary CF with Francisco the backup.

    I think everyone needs to look at Francisco’s stats. I think he projects to hit .250 with 15HR and 15SB with 125Ks in 450 ABs. If he hit 7th in the order how does that compare to Pedro Feliz? Plus Francisco can play nearly average defense in CF and RF. Mayberry, Quintin Berry, Gload, Dobbs are possible subs that also cost next to nothing but are subs for a reason.

    Ibanez’s salary is the one that needs to be cleared to sign Werth. With his no-trade (full or partial? I do not know) clause and age he will have no value. In fact, it is likely the Phillies will need to PAY some salary to trade him. So then it is a useless option.

    I would not trade Werth now. His team value (and low cost) this season could be significant. Due to his short track record I doubt the Phillies would get a stud prospect. The draft picks may be as good. If Werth has an off year or injury the Phillies may be able to sign him much cheaper. I really thought Brett Myers was going to be a Type A Free Agent worth 2 picks this off season. Nope!

  • Posts: 0 Aaron

    i am going to start questioning the sexuality now.

  • Posts: 0 Blocky

    Manny, you hit my thoughts exactly. Admittedly, this crazy idea works on paper if you completely ignore defense. However, I have an unnatural hatred towards Johnny Damon, and I suspect many others in Philly feel the same way towards him. I demand that he play for a different team so that when we inevitably play against him, I can boo him mercilessly without even a tinge of guilt (read: I would boo him mercilessly in a Phillies uniform, with a tinge of guilt for booing my own player).

  • Posts: 0 derekcarstairs

    Congratulations for doing some thinking outside the box!

    I agree with you that Victorino should not be viewed as an essential player for future success. I like the idea of getting some more prospects. I also like the fact that you are creating a scenario that makes it easier to bring back Werth, Howard and Rollins, who are members of the core group.

    I think, however, that a defensive outfield of Damon, Werth and Ibanez just won’t. Defense is one of the Phils’ strengths and an important part of the game.

    A possible variation on your idea may be this: trade both Ibanez and Victorino after the 2010 season; bring up Brown in 2011 to play LF/RF; extend Werth and have him play RF/CF; give Francisco more playing time in CF; and sign somebody like Damon in 2011 to play LF and bat left to platoon with Francisco. Hopefully, beginning in 2012, we will get contributions in CF by Gillies/Gose/James. Our 2012 outfield would then be Brown – LF, Gillies/Gose/James – CF, and Werth – RF. The 2012 outfield would be cheaper than the 2010 outfield, better defensively, and potentially as good or better offensively. Obviously, for this variation to be feasible, our outfield prospects must continue to develop.

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