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Free Agent Season Begins Today

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 07, 2010 03:00 PM | Comments: 40
2010-11 Free Agency, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

The five-day grace period given to teams to sign their own free agents has come and gone with very little movement. Today begins unrestricted free agency, and with plenty of fan fare. Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee, and Carl Crawford head a decent class of players looking to cash in on their 2010 season. On this thread we’ll keep you posted on everything happening in the hot stove league.

-Early reports from the New York Post and New York Daily News have the Yankees, of course, going after Rangers starter Cliff Lee. However, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson says Lee will listen to a pitch made by the Washington Nationals. The Nats are longing for an ace with Stephen Strasburg undergoing Tommy John surgery recently. Do the Nationals have what it takes to pry Lee away from the Yankees or Rangers? And how much of a slap in the face would it be if Lee ended up in the NL East with a team other than the Phillies?

-Keith Law has ranked the top 50 FA’s (insider only) hitting the market beginning today and Jayson Werth was placed third behind Lee and Crawford. The question, as we are well aware, is whether or not the Phillies want to pony up near nine figures to keep Werth. Is it worth it to sign a 31 year old outfielder to a five year deal for that kind of dough?

-Early reports have Scott Boras looking for Matt Holliday-type money, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Can’t say we didn’t know that, however, Boras is basically letting it be known on the record what his intentions are for his client. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says five years, $75 million is possible in a contract for Werth, slightly less than what Boras seems to be angling for. Cafardo also says he doesn’t see Boston giving in to the demand for that many years.

-J.C. Romero, Jose Contreras, and Chad Durbin are all free agents. Which will come back? I’ll take a guess and say Romero is all but definitely gone for good. The Phillies feel comfortable with Antonio Bastrado enough to make him the go-to lefty out of the pen. The Contreras/Durbin argument is a toss-up. Do you go with the younger Durbin who has been a bullpen staple for the Phillies over the last three seasons or the older Contreras who had a breakout year as a relief pitcher? Durbin said just after the season ended that the chances of him returning were “50-50.” ┬áDurbin will be looking for a multi-year deal, but I haven’t heard or seen any reports about what Contreras will ask for. Which guy would you go for?

-Update, 6:55 pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says the Phillies are interested in bringing in some cheap bullpen help. He says they are looking at Eddie Bonine of the Detroit Tigers.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

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

 
 
  • Posts: 0 PhillyGirlinMichigan

    I would like both Durbin/Contreras back. I think Contreras will be the their pick.

    If Durbin doesn’t come back, I’m hoping Detroit’s an option for him. I may even start watching some of their games again!

    Btw-love the blog even though I don’t have time to post often.

     
  • Posts: 0 karen

    No rumors on lidge getting moved? Not popular but I think this would be a good deal…….

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    No but the Phils are showing interest Bonine. Moving Lidge would be a good deal Madson could become closer however they will still need a Plan B if Madson should become injured or be ineffective. I think Contreras could possibly be this guy for the right price. However he is old anything more than a 1 year contract would be a gamble.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    I don”t know about Madson being the closer, posters. He has shown that he is a much better set-up man than a closer. At least that is what has been posted about Madson in the past by many on here. Now it is assumed that he could close.

    I favor bringing Contreras back and finding an effective middle innings reliever to replace Durbin. Romero was largely ineffective this past season coming off of that off-season arm or elbow surgery or whatever it was during the last off-season. Could the Phillies be giving up on him too early? Maybe the guy had trouble overcoming the effects of that surgery this pastseason and might be all the way back and effective next year.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Dan Uggla turned down the Marlins offer of 4/48. He’s 30 years old, has 4 consecutive seasons of over 30 hrs, had his first 100rbi season last year and has scored more than 100 runs 3 times in his short 5 year career.

     
  • I would think they could look for some pen help from inside their system. I trust the FO but sometimes I think they hold back on some guys to long not wanting to start the FA clock in the majors. I think that you can pick up guys to fill out the pen during the year that you can try some of these minor league guys for a month to see if they have what it takes to be in the majors.
    As much as I would like to see them sign JDub anything more than 3 or 4 years is too long especially for a NL team. But if the Phillies make him a 4 years 64-66 million for 4 years than you can not complain when he turns it down and moves on. Saying that I would not be too down on a four man outfield of Vic, Raul, Dom, and Ben Fran. I think Ben Fran can be a .260-.270 guy with 18 HR if he gets some regular play.
    I think when he was platooning with Raul there for a little while, he showed some good plate discipline though he does not walk that much.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Dan Uggla is a poor fielder. He should be a DH. I would like to see the Phils look at Rhodes, De La Rosa. Who’s Eddie Bonine? Sooner or later Madosn is gonna get his shot. If we can trade Lidge and only eat half the salary I would do it.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Because of his improvement this season, Lidge’s value is probably at the highest it’s gonna be. Now’s the time to move him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Try and trade Lidge for some salary relief. Madson is ready to be the closer, who I think will be in a contract year too.

    Let both Durbin (its time to let him move on) and Contreras (will want too much $/years) go.

    Sign – One of a Balfour/Qualls type – guy that could be a setup man but can close in an emergency.

    Sign – left hander such as Feliciano or Affeldt. You really need two lefties in the bullpen. So we need one to go with Bastardo.

    Two of those open slots will be filled by our young arms. I would suspect that Scott Mathieson will make the roster, and possibly even Justin DeFratus.

    Next – sign or acquire RH bat to platoon with Brown.

    Sign bench help.

    If there is any money leftover then try to sign a back of the rotation Starter to add to the mix of Kendrick, Blanton, and Worley – and hopefully two of those four will come good and have good seasons as the 4th and 5th starters.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I’m OK with moving Lidge. Whatever we don’t eat we will need for other moves. I would like to see some younger blood in the team and BP is not a bad place to start. We have three strong starters so we need to take some risks in the BP.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Move cortisone Lidge before its too late. Dipsy and Chuck are right.
    The only reason I mentioned Uggla is to open more options. Remember, our second baseman does not own a GG either. The career fldg % is not that different between the 2. Regardless, it’s an opening perhaps to massage the idea of a 3 way deal in order to land BP or RH power hitter. Although Uggy is a RH power hitter.

    Dipsy, come up with some bigger names – we need em’

     
  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Dipsy Bonine is another Baez/Herndon???….LOL…I think this a guy they just wanna stick in triple A as an insurance…i would like to see them go after 1 or 2 quality guys…not the Baez of the world…Budget constraints is severly limiitin to what they can/willing to do…

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Bacardi, they just tapped into our budgets again – I think all tickets went up in price…

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    The Dipsy bullpen prediction for 2011 Opening Day

    Lidge, Madson, Herndon, Bastardo, Baez (I would just outright him), Mathieson. Wow, thats ugly.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Would the Phils really get any value for Lidge with all the closers available out there?

    If Boras wasn’t Ordonez’ agent I would consider him for 2/$20 because he rips LH pitching. Huge Downgrade in the field, but he would really help the lineup versus LH pitching and a $20 million investment isn’t insane.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I just felt my fists start to clench with the thought of Baez on next year’s roster.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew R.

    I think now is the time to sell high on Victorino. Ben Fran can play CF. .270 average, 15 homers, 60 rbi, they’re about the same. Sure Victorino can steal more bases but it’s not like he’s a 50-steal guy. Victorino gets turned around way too much out there and takes some questionable routes. We could get a lot in return.
    Commit to Dom Brown in RF, and use the savings from a Victorino trade to sign a guy like Magglio Ordonez to a 1-year deal. He can play for Raul/Brown and get his ab’s and give us some much needed RH help. If you’d be happy with Magglio over Raul, then certainly trade Raul and eat most of the salary.

    Maybe Victorino could return a young SS or 3B who could be ready in a year or two. We’d be saving money and getting younger while still remaining competitive.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    A friend of mine mentioned a RUMOR… Emphasis on RUMOR –highly speculative– about a Polanco-Papelbon trade.

    I don’t believe it, but I’m putting it out there. My line of thinking is: you would reinforce your bullpen a whole lot… you would lose Polanco but you could go after Beltre (anyone knows which teams are looking to sign him?). There’s your righty, power bat to slot behind Howard… and the team would get slightly younger. You could then think about moving Lidge to free up money (if necessary)…

    Again, this is almost pure speculation… so take it for what it is.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Scary thought Dispy – put a little faith into what Rube will do this offseason…

    I still have to decide if I’m going to purchase tickets this year. Well, as many as I did last year anyway

     
  • what would you do with uggla can he play more than 2nd base badly, he would cost too much to be simply a bench bat, unless he can play right field. I also think with this pitching staff the offense does not have to be so prolific, sure up the defense, give some young arms a chance in the pen, you do not have to trade for every hole that is percieved on the team. I am up in the air about Madson, his post season mentality seemed to be a little different than I had seen before, but can he close I am not sure. Saying that for the right price I may see moving Lidge, but I would not want to pay any of his contract

     
  • I know Poly had a great year but I could see that speculated deal, would love to have Betre here, wanted him last year could not believe he turned down the Phillies offer. He hit over .300 against on of the toughest divisions in baseball. But to do that trade you would have to be able to move Lidge, neither Lidge or Paplilbon are anything but closers, and you are also betting that Paplibon getting a change of location helping him out, because he did have his best year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Papelbon sucked this year. I could maybe see him in a set-up role IF Madson is the guy to close.

    What would it take to sign Beltre??

     
  • Beltre turned down what last year from the Phillies 3 years 27 million I think something like that or maybe it was 2 years 18 million, I think he ended up with less for this year in Boston, But if you could get him for under 10 million for 3 years and you know that, then you can trade Poly but I am not sure Paplebon could be a set up guy, even if you move Lidge.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Honestly, I’m not sure I would take Papelbon over Lidge as a closer.

     
  • Speculating that maybe a change of scenery would pick him up would be the one reason you may do that, but it would also depend on the the price tag on Pap, if it is more than what we owe Lidge. I am not as down on Lidge as some people here, so I would be for keeping Lidge around for his one more year.
    Also weighing in on the Vic posibilities of trade to keep Wreth, I am not sure I am totaly on board for that, because I think it is not about freeing up money for Jayson, it is the fact that he is looking for too many years for the PHillies even if the FO wanted to pay him. Wreth is not worth 5-6-7 years at 16-18 million per. I think the phillies can afford to give him maybe 4 years at 16-17 million per, but that is it even if they had more to spend that is all I would give him at any point

     
  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    I don’t think the Phils could move Polanco, Ibanez, or Lidge because they are old, injury prone and making a sizeable salary. If one can be moved, it will be Lidge because pitching is a premium. As the Phils keep winning at a championship level, great pitching beats great hitting.

    I finally but reluctantly turned into a Madson can pitch another inning besides the 8th this postseason. I would support, albiet reluctantly, as Madson as the closer. I think the Phils should re-sign Contreras and make a play for Scott Downs, a LHP who is a free-agent from Toronto.

    I would also explore trading Vic to free up salary to sign Werth and move him to CF. It would be an absolute miracle if we could move Ibanez, so he will be in LF and Brown/Francisco take over RF.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Can’t believe a trade involving Ibanez would happen. His age overrides anything. I agree Matt, it would be a miracle. Forget it – we’re stuck (thanks RAJ).

    Just read that Beltre turned down $10mil (now I can’t find the article – argh – sorry). He’s not taking less than $10mil.

    Francisco in the playoffs, I don’t I want to rely on him. Game 4, NLCS: He struck out on obvious pitches, end of the game, left Werth on base w/a tied game. Posey moved outside the plate to receive & Francisco swung, the tip of the bat was 6″ from the ball (I think Romo was pitching). He also misread a LF ball hit high & far, it dropped & allowed 1 or 2 runs. You could platoon him w/the SilverSurfer, it wouldn’t matter — if Francisco’s playing, something would happen.

    Until ‘the Boras Era’, I thought Werth would make a deal somehow. But now… The FO hasn’t been good w/him. They caused him to sign w/Boras. RAJ made classless, unprofessional remarks in a press conf w/Werth in the next rm. Hey, I’d hear offers from other teams too. Doesn’t make him greedy, doesn’t mean he’ll take them, & doesn’t mean the offers will be “better” b/c they’ll likely be more $$. I think even the teams w/$$ don’t want to give 5 yrs, or even 4 yrs (they give more yrs to their own players). No team is giving 5, 6, or 7 & I haven’t read rumors that he or any other FA wants that. Nonsense.

    I doubt he’d take 3 yrs from any team unless that was all he was offered. If Phillies put down 4yrs/60-64 (if they dig up the treasure) w/an option & he gets the clause (to choose fut. trade teams) I think he’d sign. No way is he as sanguine about this as he acted at the press conf. I think he wants this over with, the sooner the better. It may sound crazy but there’s still a possibility Werth stays.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phan,

    IMO Phils would put down 4/60 in a heartbeat to retain Werth. $46 million comes off the books after 2011 although they will need to address SS, Closer and Hamils.

    When is the Phillies TV contract up? That’s the whole key to payroll and I can’t find the answer.

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    The phils should be doing everything possible to trade ibanez…i’m not looking forward to him and a rookie (brown) making up for werth…who is going to be the right handed bat thats a threat in the lineup?not a platoon with francisco he’s a bench player…

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I think that there is a chance that Werth might stay, too. The reasons:

    1. First, and foremost, he wants to stay;
    2. He will find that he is not going to get the crazy years that Boras is asking
    for. Not at his age.
    3. The Phillies are sandbagging about their payroll (like almost every other MLB
    team) and they can sign him easily if when he comes back to Earth;
    4. The ultimate realization that Werth is more valuable to us than to any other
    team. Truth be told, he’s a $9-$11m yr. player. And that’s a good player.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    psujoe: Whoa, have NO idea re: the TV contract. Where do they get their TV $$ from; Comcast & WPHL? I think WPHL kept me from watching 1 of 4 or 5 games this summer, & I paid for an MLB pack. And Fox did “local” games on occasion. What a treat – I got Mets & the Yankees on no less than 2, 3 & sometimes 4 stations at once. SO much fun (grinding my teeth). If the Phillies had their own station, they might make the kind of money that would free them up to sign Werth AND Crawford. I mean seeing as the Yankees aren’t interested … Heh.

    jt: Unfortunately I think Francisco proved he’s a bench player (at least under pressure). Was hoping for the best w/him, but – not happening, not imo. I just can’t imagine any team w/a brain at all doing a trade involving Ibanez (hm, ‘Hello, Ed Wade please.’). Look, he does produce. That’s not the issue. His age IS the issue & that won’t get better.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Teams like Toronto and the Mets have been stuck with the huge contracts of Wells and Beltran. I don’t see teams repeating those mistakes with Werth.

     
  • Posts: 0 sandy

    be very afraid phillies fans. sandy alderson is going to turn the mets into something special. be very very afraid.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Maybe Werth is a $9-11 M player….but he’ll get more. Whether it’s here or elsewhere.

    And Werth didn’t bring on Scott Boras because of the front office. He’s been waiting for this chance for a big contract since he started playing. You can’t blame RAJ and the Phillies for somehow causing him to hire Boras.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bebin

    Madsen is not a closer and never will be a closer…he is a amazing setup man and thats it..don’t fool urselves into thinking he can be a closer…If you can trade away lidge and get something back I say go for it but I dont think we’ll get anything worthwile for Amaro to pull the trigger

    We need to completely revamp the bullpen though

    Closer- Brad Lidge
    Setup Man – Ryan Madsen

    and we need 4 more

    Ties with Baez must be cut eat that salary

    Scott Mathieson should be brought up

    Bastardo should take JC’s role

    Hisanori Takahashi should be brought in to be a spot starter/long releiver

    Contreras

    Starters

    1. Halladay
    2. Oswalt
    3. Hamels
    4. Westbrook/Penny/Young/Webb/Harden/Vazquez
    5.Worley

    I would like to see the phils trade blanton for something if anything at all and get a pitcher like Jake Westbrook, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Brad Penny, Rich Harden and Javier Vazquez on a incentive based deal freeing up some money.

    Lineup

    C – Ruiz
    1B – Howard
    2B – Utley
    3B – Polanco
    SS – Rollins
    RF – Brown/(Francouer, Guillen, Jones, Dye)
    CF – Victorino
    LF – Ibanez

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Everone hates Scott Boras because they think he’s evil or something. He’s a super agent who gets the most he can for his clients. That’s the mark of someone who’s good at what he does.

    I really have no problem with Scott Boras or the fact that Werth hired him.

    You go, Jayson!! You deserve what’s coming to you (and if you choose to stay with the Phillies that’s just fine, too!)

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Chuck: Actually I do kind of blame the FO & RAJ. And unlike others, I don’t think Werth is being “greedy.” If, like other players, I’d been working since I was 5yrs old, to the detriment of everything else & had some nutty pitcher like AJ Burnett take 2 yrs away from me, then worked hard to come back from it (getting my own doc, etc.), getting a 2nd chance & building myself into a player the entire league thought was top FA material, then I’d want a decent contract too.

    For 4 yrs of playoffs, a WS win, a 2nd WS, etc. I’d expect to at least be treated with SOME respect. They signed extensions w/Blanton, Rollins, Victorino & well ahead of time – 5 more yrs of Howard w/an option for a mammoth sum, then they acquired an expensive Oswalt — all while they cried ‘poor mouth’ & refused to speak to Jeff Borris. Werth didn’t hire Scott Boras until the end of the season. Sorry, but I see a corrolation. I don’t care if Werth had been talking to Boras for a month or more. The hire came after all of the above.

    Then RAJ talked like he wanted to be rid of him in the press conf? By anyone’s measure, that’s not how you treat a player you want to keep. Hey, Werth could live to regret it in some way, but right now it’s laughable to tell Werth he did the wrong thing hiring Boras.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Chuck: That post wasn’t meant AT you in any way, that’s just by way of explanation. – shrug – For what it worth. (no pun intended)

    Dipsy: I agree in spades with everything you said.

    Eh, the “truth” about any player’s “worth” is far less than what they think; its less that what their fans think; & its less than what their agents want. But I don’t see why that should be an issue w/Werth any more than others. Also Werth’s only 6 mos older than Howard, I can’t see why his age is such an issue. Utley’s older. Werth keeps himself in shape on & off season – maybe a natural body type.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    RAJ played a little hardball with Werth and in doing so might have caused some ill feelings with Jayson. There is a possibility RAJ might have something up his sleeve. Moving Victorino isnt the Problem its Raul nothing against Raul. They have to address there Bullpen. Not with Baez type of guys either legitimate bullpen guy. I have a feeling RAJ is going to pull a Lee out his bag and shock everyone……

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    PS…by pulling a Lee i mean some crazy unexpected deal no one on here saw coming…

     
 
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