Odds and Ends: Haren, Lopez, Lee, Brown

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, July 01, 2010 10:00 AM | Comments: 74

-Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has just minutes ago tweeted that the Phillies are interested in Diamondbacks ace Dan Haren. He also says that Arizona is scouting the Phillies farm system for a possible match.

Haren is having an off year by his standards (7-6, 4.56 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) but he’s also stuck in an unenviable situation with an Arizona team that is plodding along at the bottom of the standings. Haren is still one of the premier strikeout guys in all of baseball and would make the Halladay/Hamels duo an incredible trio. His contract is for $8.25 million this season, and comes very cheap for the next three. He’s set to make $12.75 million in 2011 and 2012 with a $15.5 million option for 2013. That is pennies compared to some other contracts for starting pitchers recently (see: Zambrano, Burnett). Money here shouldn’t be an option.

-When the news broke that the Phillies had a scout planted at Yankee Stadium for Cliff Lee’s last start, ears perked. For good reason, too. Everyone in Philadelphia wants this guy back, in the worst way. Could it be that the Phillies were merely scouting other players?

According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the Phils could have been looking at infielder Jose Lopez, a possible insurance policy for the battered infield. Lopez can play multiple positions and isn’t owed much money this year ($3 million in 2010) or next ($5 million club option with a $25k buyout in ’11). Defensively, he’s not nearly on par with Utley or Polanco, and this season his bat has failed him. Lopez is hitting just .244 with 30 RBI and a sad .607 OPS. If you look at the team around him in Seattle, you’ll realize those numbers may be skewed a bit because of how awful everyone is in that lineup.

Would Lopez be welcomed here? Baker says that it wouldn’t take much, perhaps just a mid-tiered prospect, for the Mariners to unload him.

-Now back to Lee. There’s no doubt that Charlie Kerfield, the Phillies top scout in the organization, had an eye on Cliff Lee. Everyone knows what he’s capable of and you can be sure that the Phils will inquire about him – maybe they already have. There are two major factors that would hold up such a deal.

1. Prospects: Do the Phillies have more than the Mets, Yankees, Braves, Rangers, etc.? They aren’t giving up Domonic Brown, who we’ll get to later, and their second level guys don’t appear to be on par with some other teams.  Can they persuade Seattle to give him back?

2. Will Ruben Amaro and the organization admit failure if they attempt to bring him back? My thought is, yes. And for a general manager, and front office as a whole, to concede that would look and smell bad. In this town, you can lose a lot of backers quickly for mistakes of this caliber. Amaro seems like a very prideful man, so would he be willing to bite the bullet personally to try and wrangle Cliff Lee once again? It could be a PR nightmare coupled with a joyous celebration by Phillies fans who wanted Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay together from the start.

-More good news for Domonic Brown. Not only did he smash his second home run in as many games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley last night, he was named the #1 prospect in baseball by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. Brown raked all season with AA-Reading, so the promotion to the Iron Pigs wasn’t much of a surprise. Now, we all wait with bated breath for Brown’s tour in the majors to begin.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

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: 578 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    It’s of little consequence but the Inky mentioned today that Haren is hitting .435 with 6 doubles, a home run and a .630 slugging %.

    On the flip side, he’s allowed 131 hits, 59 earned runs and 19 homers – all worst in the league…

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Phillies Nation. Phillies Nation said: Odds and Ends: Haren, Lopez, Lee, Brown — http://bit.ly/aivZIw [...]

  • Posts: 0 BS

    Haren’s been extremely unlucky this year, if the price for Haren is cheaper than the price for Lee, I’d go for him instead. Especially since he’s locked up for 2 more years.

    I think any PR backlash against Ruben for admitting the mistake would be outweighed by the joy of getting Cliff Lee back. As long as the cost isn’t Dom Brown, I’m not sure people would care… unless we got him back only to miss the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    At this point, getting Lee and bringing up Brown could be what this team needs. Lee brings an intensity that I think is missing right now. I’m not saying Halladay is bad in this regard, but I don’t think he’s as cocky as Lee is. Brown could help to make this team more youthful and add a hunger for the postseason that may be missing. Not that the Phillies don’t hunger for the postseason, but maybe they have gotten complacent.

  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    I question the notion that there would be a PR nightmare. I think the PR nightmare has already happened and would only be intensified with Amaro refusing to admit that he was wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Doesn’t Haren always suck in the 2nd half of the season?

    Domonic Brown is untradeable ..

    and if Utley and Polanco aren’t healthy … there is no point in adding for guys because without the #2 and #3 hitters in your lineup, who happen to be your 2b and 3b … we won’t win without those two

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Do people actually think the Mariners would give us LEE and NOT DEMAND DOMONIC BROWN in return??

    Here’s hoping that Lee goes to the Twins.. and the Phillies get HEALTHY

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Ugh. It would’ve been much easier to just keep the guy in the first place, huh?

    Haren is an OUTSTANDING pitcher… with a great contract and he’s 29… he’d be a solid pick up but I wonder how much it would take to get Haren… probably more than Lee, considering the former is not a rental.

    Can we tell Seattle we’ll give them Aumont, Ramirez, Gilles back for Lee, and call it a deal? It would suck PR wise… but whatever, I think I’d do it.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I agree Don.. Seattle will be looking for a blue-chip prospect for Lee.. especially since there seems to be a lot of demand for him.

    At the same time, Dom Brown being ranked No.1, means that it will take true guts from ANY team to ask for him in a potential trade…

  • Posts: 0 Sean

    I told Corey in another article about Dan Haren. I really hope we get him.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Amen to that Don M- I wonder if the Nats will get into the bidding on Lee considering they have the money and could sell a guy on them being very good in a couple of years a la The Rays.

    I’d love Haren but considering the D-Backs have been reported to want to keep both Haren and Jackson next year I don’t see how it happens without the kind of package that they paid for him.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I wouldn’t give Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez for Lee, it sounds great now but when he walks to a team that’s gone shopping and left us with a 2nd rounder and a sandwich pick used on raw prospects years away it’ll look terrible.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Wow. All this talk and we have no prospects to really trade for Lee. Jonathan Singleton is KILLING it and pretty soon he will be our #2 minor league player. You could trade him. How would Seattle feel about a package of Singleton, Ramirez/Aumont, and Madson for Lee. Madson has a good price tag on him and Ramirez looks to be progressing. If Seattle or Arizona asks about Werth, then you have to think about sending him because it is clear that he is not resigning. PLAYERS WE CAN TRADE (that other teams want) Shane, Werth, Madson, Blanton (he has a nice price tag) any minor leaguer but Brown. That said, the Phils will do nothing like that. Oh, and by the way…..Happ won’t pitch this year.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Yea I dont think Haren gets traded …. with him, Jackson, and Ian Kennedy .. they’ve got some semi-affordable talent in the rotation

    their bullpen is terrible, and their offense has power, but is K-prone..

    No need for them to trade Haren, who doesn’t make much money.

    At the same time, I can’t see the Yankees giving up Jesus Montero (or whatever his name is) .. their top catching prospect, for a 1/2 season of Lee

    Posada is all but finished as a catcher.. he’s a DH that cathces sometimes, whenever he’s healthy

    So I don’t see them wanting to trade their next-in-line for a rental of LEE.. especially when they can outbid everyone else in December and lock him in for 4-5 years

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    it amazes me that amaro didn’t foresee that the package he got for lee was a little light.

    i’ve been light on the criticism b/c i think in the long run we are better after all those deals then we were before (both as an organization and as a mlb team). but if we had to unload lee, its clear that we could have gotten more than what we did get.

    just frustrating.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    agree don, add on that the yanks don’t need lee. anyone seen what their rotation is doing this year? its sick, they don’t need another arm out there.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Why would Seattle want Madson?
    Why would Seattle want Werth?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    “It’s clear that we could have gotten more than what we did get”

    … FROM WHO??

    If our offer to the Indians was the BEST that they got for 1.5 years of LEE

    who was going to give US a BETTER offer for only 1 year of him???

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Wouldda loved to have kept Lee, but obviously that didn’t happen. Seattle won’t do a tradeback with the same people. We’d come out behind a quality player, but if they ultimately come out on top, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it. I’m not familiar with the mets et al’s farm systems, but do they have very good players?

    Regarding Haren, there’s no way they’re gonna get rid of him. They have already basically said they are keeping him at least through next year, which won’t change without a solid prospect. I don’t want him anyway.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The reason that Haren is on the block is because they have those other guys (Jackson, Kennedy)… they’re out of the race and have some nice young pitching. They tried to build around Haren but it’s just not happening… if we can get Dan Haren, I would love to see us do it. He’s affordable and signed for three years… Cliff Lee, I think, is a pipe dream.

    Trade Ibanez and Blanton or Happ (not too keen on that one), bring up D Brown… sound like a plan?

  • Posts: 0 AZ Phills fan

    As of now the sport talk shows out here say that the only Diamondback that is untouchable is Justin Upton. Everyone else would be “available” if the price is right. Haren is a pretty good pitcher and I think we could get him easier than trying to get Lee back.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Seattle would never want Werth. Maybe Blanton. Hey Chuck….Ibanez and Happ for Lee??? Done if I’m the Phils.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Phan in Atl

    Great, now I get to check MLBTR every 15 minutes for breaking news on Cliff Lee possibly coming back.
    Same thread had the Braves as possible suitors. News flash, Atl doesn’t need starting pitching, which is why I think the whole thing is nonsense. Lee, if traded, goes to either the Twins or Mets. The Yankees will sign him in the offseason 6 yrs/$500 million.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    What value would Ibanez, or Happ have right now?

    and Blanton is solid, and if he’s not our #3 … shouldn’t he be our #4 ??

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    don, the reason i say that is that the packages being discussed are better than the package we got for him (imo) b/c these are major league ready prospects being thrown around.

    add in that the team would have gotten a full season of him, the price should have been higher.

    or to think of it another way, would the mariners take the same prospects they gave us back for lee?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Dipsy.. I got back to you on the “UTLEY POLANCO 15 DAY DL” thread … without that “last 4 comments” section on the website though I didn’t know if you would see it

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    In two years, I would bet my house that the Mariners would like to have all 3 of those guys back

    The Phillies are known to covet younger prospects that they can get into THEIR system, THEY have control over what pitches they throw, how many.. they can determine if they need to change a pitcher’s delivery (like they just did with Aumont) … they can set the weightlifting and workout programs ..

    I think the Phillies have done a great job of developing talent in the past few years … and they’ve done a great job at targeting players that make a difference.. The same scouts that knew it was ok to let Marson go, knew that Werth was worth a look, Scott Eyre would help … JC Romero, and Jose Contreras ..etc ….

  • Posts: 0 George

    Don’t be surprised if Lee brings in more this year than he did last year. He’s having a much better season than he did last time he was traded, and Seattle seems willing to keep him around if they don’t get what they want. There’s also more competition for him this year, because he is having such a great season–he actually looks like an ace, which he didn’t before.

    The Phils making a starter their trade priority I think just shows they have no confidence that Happ will return soon. Blanton’s not the issue, because he’s starting to pitch like he’s capable of, but Kendrick can’t be counted on and any other issues means the rotation is toast. The miserable thing, though, is that if Utley and Polanco don’t return in a hurry, any starter acquisition is a waste of prospects, because they won’t win. Even Cliff Lee would have a bad won/loss record if the lineup contains the likes of Castro, Dobbs and/or Valdez.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    Agree with everything you are saying Don, I just think (and honestly, what do I know) that if teams are tossing around blue chip prospects for him now, the Phils could have gotten a blue chip back in the winter. The closer a prospect is to the bigs the better, b/c although you can find and/or polish a rough prospect into a great big leaguer they still are prospects. I’ll take a good, impact, major league ready prospect over a lower level prospect any day.

    Will be interesting to see how much of this is speculation and how much is the truth. Will see when the deal goes through.

    I said it originally though, we can’t fully evaluate the trade until we see how these prospects pan out. So we’ll see.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Happ is still the reigning NL ROY (sporting news… second in the one that matters but who is counting?)… I think he has tremendous value for a team trying to build cheap; he’s a young pitcher that has had great success in the major leagues. He’s on the mend… why not?

    Ibanez doesn’t have any value but we might have to dump salary somewhere… maybe this is the time to deal Jayson Werth. I mean, it would free up $7.5 million and land us a few solid prospects. Ibanez’ contract looks like an albatross right now…

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Keith Law also now ranks Domonic Brown as the top prospect in baseball:

    “1. Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia.
    Is there anything he can’t do? He’s destroying everything in his path in Double-A and is probably just some defensive refinements from being big league ready. I don’t think he’s next off the list to the big leagues, but with Raul Ibanez providing below-average offense and defense in left, I’d have to think the Phils are looking at Brown for a second-half call-up.”

    Brown should be the starting leftfielder on July 15. Hopefully, RAJ will realize that the reason why Raul is playing like a 38 year old outfielder at the end of his career is because he ACTUALLY IS a 38 year old outfielder at the end of his career.

    I’m not as concerned about starting pitching as others are. This current lineup (especially if Utley requires surgery) will not get this team to the postseason.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I really just don’t understand that logic …

    If the past two times Lee has been traded, it hasn’t included “BLUE CHIP PROSPECTS”

    (Which Carrasco was at one point.. and Aumont was at one point)

    Doesn’t it tell you that teams don’t want to give up their BEST young players for a rental??

    The Mariners are said to want a CATCHER in return .. Again, I can’t see the Yankees trading their replacement for Posada .. The Twins, with Mauer, can best afford to trade a Catcher …I have no idea what the Mets have, but I know that their farm system was considered THIN last year

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Happ also pitched in front of great defense, and outstanding run support …

    would Anyone be shocked if last season was Happ’s CAREER YEAR?

    Chris Coghlan was also a ROY, and you see how little value he has now … and he’s not a pitcher with a lingering injury..

    With Happ’s current value so low, there would be no point in trading him now

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    A Mets deal would include Wilmer Flores as the centerpiece, according to rumor.

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Chris Coghlan has little value? He’s hit .350 over the past month with a .450 OBP. Last season he had the most hits in the game after the All Star break and he’s on the way to doing the same thing this year. He’s a great leadoff hitter.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Chris Coghlan is hitting .282 after starting the season in a brutal slump… since May 1st he’s hitting .315 with a .505 slugging percentage. I’d say he has some value…

    I would be shocked if Happ didn’t have some success in years to come. He posted a 2.93 ERA in a hitter friendly ballpark. His .273 bapip doesn’t scream lucky, to me. I like the Happster.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    But I wouldn’t be against selling high, either…

  • Posts: 0 Jenkintown Joe

    I think something is going to give here…all this swirling trade talk with big names in the mix. I would not be too upset to see Ibanez get traded and finish his career because he is done. We have Dom Brown and Ben Francisco who could both fill in and play a better outfield, as well as hang in there at the 240 that Raul is batting.
    My guess is they would not bring Cliff here for just the rest of the year, and they would make him a more permanent offer, which would probably mean Werth is gone in some fashion. Better yet, throw Blanton in the mix, and get Haren on top of all that. I know we cant trade our non performers for stars, but all this seems apples to apples in the long run. I think our outfield future looks bright with Francisco and Dom Brown (Even Mayberry). Lots for Ruben to ponder. Good luck Rube.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Talk a little Haren for a moment. About a month or so ago, while the Phils were about half way through their present duldrums, the DBacks were also in the midst of a 10 game losing streak. Haren publicly said that everyone in the clubhouse was ashamed and did not want to come to the ball park. He put his emotions on his sleeve and I think he also alienated himself from management.

    Haren had just pitched perhaps one of his best games this year and the DBacks lost in extra innings.

    I think Arizona’s management would offer him up on a platter. And, I think the Phils would benefit greatly by picking him up. Who (or how much) do you offer for him?

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Right now, J.A. Happ can’t throw the ball 85 mph. His arm is not coming back. There are grumblings that there are bigger problems with his arm. Truth be told, this is all fun but we are not going to trade for Haren, Lee, or Oswalt. Blanton will pitch better. Hamels is…well…Hamels. Take that for what it is worth. Cliff Lee as Met would be too much to take though.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Jack

    Utley having surgery. Season over. The most irreplaceable guy on the team aside from possibly Roy. Yeesh.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Reports on Utley are saying he could be out “a month and a half”

    F me … I hadn’t paid close enough attention to the Marlins to see that Coghlan was rebounding so well from his early season slump ..

    But my point was that “Rookie of the Year” is just a title .. its an award that gets voted on by people … so I don’t think that holds any value in the world of Scouts-&- Stats

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    To further my point

    past Rookie of the Year winners includ

    Angel Berrora, Bobby Crosby, Eric Hinske, Ben Grieve (remember THAT sweet swing?), Jason Jennings, Scott Williamson

    But they get a lot right too … Howard, Pujols, Hanley, Longoria, Pedroia, Verlander

  • Posts: 0 TBOH

    Would any sort of PR issues really outweigh the results Lee would undoubtedly put up? I feel like Amaro indirectly admitting he was wrong will be a nonfactor, as the fans and probably staff would be so ecstatic to have Lee back they wouldn’t care why he was.

    But yeah, the Mariners wouldn’t give him away without clawing Dom out of our bowels.

  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Happ’s unsustainable LOB% had a lot to do with his low ERA. If you give him a .300 BABIP and a lower LOB% he looks pretty unimpressive. I don’t think many GMs will think Happ has any value. He’s had one good year in the majors and has 5th starter stuff at best.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I’m not trying to bash Happ .. i think he can be a solid starter a #4 on a good team, a #3 on a mediocore team, or a #2 on the Pirates ..

    But coming from nowhere last season, coming off an injury this season.. which he’s still far from recovered from … I dont think he has any value right now

    and if we think his actual value is much higher than his CURRENT value .. we should keep him, because we wouldn’t get the right thing in return for moving him

    Does anyone actually think the Phillies would try to trade for Lee again?

    Can we please just let that go since we all know with 100% certainty that he isn’t coming back

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    5-6 weeks… yikes.

    Placido, where art thou? Need him back desperately; let him play second and flavor of the week at third.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Happ’s value is probably low right now but for a team that is out of it and willing to let his arm mend, he’s a cheap young pitcher that has a great chance of bouncing back (that’s how I’m selling it). It makes a ton of sense financially and is about as low risk as it gets for a team like the D-Backs…

    Is it time to shop Jayson Werth?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    If im the Diamondbacks, there is no chance in hell im trading Dan Haren, with an affordable contract for the next 3 years, for JA Happ …. a guy with one year of experience, and now with a bumb-arm that nobody knows how he will rebound from

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    The daring move would be to shop Jayson Werth and bring up Brown. I know -too many lefties but too many lefties can still win.

    For Werth we can get some mid level prospects. That is a numbers game, you get three and maybe one works out. In this case maybe you only get two.

    I can’t really see the Phillies giving up anything at this point for a rental. If they won’t hit for Halladay they won’t hit for others. If Polanco is also out for an extended period we are sunk if they can’t get a good infielder. Not sure who that would be but that is really the top issue now, not starting pitching.

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