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Notes From the Winter Meetings: Wednesday

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, December 08, 2010 11:40 PM | Comments: 123
2010-11 Free Agency, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

-Yes, you heard correctly – Zack Greinke. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. The hottest rumor out of the Winter Meetings thus far pertaining to the Phillies is that they are “considering” the Royals ace and Cy Young winner.  A person with knowledge of the situation told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies brass has had internal discussions as well as talks with Kansas City about Greinke. Amaro said:

“We have explored and tried and talked about acquiring some significant players,” he said. “We’ve tried to shoot for the moon on some things and laid some groundwork, but the possibility of them happening is kind of remote.”

Unlikely as it may be, Ruben and his boys are stirring things up a bit down in Central Florida. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, but what would it cost? If Cole Hamels is involved, you stay away. Hamels fits beautifully in between the two Roy’s, so you don’t want to mess with that. In no uncertain terms, the Royals organization will pillage the Phils farm system – that’s a given. Dom Brown would have to be involved – also a given.

This trade rumor barely as legs, but it’s a big one nonetheless.

-Dennys Reyes still isn’t a Phillie, however, he could be one soon. There have been multiple reports today of him signing with the team, although nothing has been completed. It would be for one-year with a second-year option.

-Aaron Rowand is not coming to Philadelphia, so says Giants GM Brian Sabean. He said the rumors surrounding his expensive, little-used outfielder are conjecture. This one could be a possibility, especially if the Giants pay most of his remaining salary. He’s a guy the Phillies know well; he’s also a guy the Giants would love to unload. Keep an eye on this, it may have legs. Am I fan of it? Not really, but the market is thinned out after Matt Diaz and Jeff Francouer signed.

-Is Magglio worth it? Scott Boras, his agent-extraordinare, says the bidding begins at two-years, $20 million. If that number comes down a bit, then the Phillies might be on to something. However, I’m just not sure if he’s worth $10 million a year. I’m also not so sure Carlos Peña is worth $10 million a season either, but that’s what the Cubs gave him, so anything’s possible.

UPDATE, 9:00 AM Thursday: While I was tucked away in bed, Dennys Reyes finally signed a contract with the Phillies; go figure. The deal is worth $1.1 million in 2011 and there is a mutual option worth $1.35 million in 2012. If Reyes reaches 70 appearances this year, he’ll have the right to exercise that. There is also a $150,000 buyout in ’12.

Not a bad deal for a lefty who will have to remember how to stop lefties. Then again, this seems to be the going rate for guys of his caliber nowadays. Just yesterday, George Sherrill signed a similar contract with the Atlanta Braves. Reyes can’t be any worse than J.C. Romero was in his final year-and-a-half in Philly, and for less than half the price.

UPDATE, 9:12 am Thursday: In the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selcted Michael Martinez, an infielder from the Washington Nationals. Martinez, 28, is a light-hitting, switch-hitter who has been a minor league lifer. In AAA last season, he had a .720 OPS and played five positions.

They’ll get a better look at him during Spring Training to see if he’s worth keeping for an entire season. By the looks of his numbers, it’s a long shot. If the Phillies do not keep him, he will have to be offered back to the Nats.

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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: 0 Ted Bell

    NJ – Out of that list, I’d take Milledge on an inexpensive one year deal. If he responds to playing on a real team in front of sellout crowds, than maybe you have your leftfielder in 2012. If not, than it was a worthwhile experiment. I’d rather gamble on the 26 year old player than the 36 year old player.

    Oh yeah, he hit .320 off of lefties last season.

    People point to his “baggage”, but a guy like Josh Hamilton had issues way beyond Milledge’s perceived immaturity and he overcame them. Milledge doesn’t have the upside of Hamilton, but a .280-20-80-20 year isn’t hard to imagine with him playing everyday in CBP.

    All that being said, I doubt that RAJ goes in that direction…

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 betasigmashag

    Ryes is ok I think Bastardo is going to be the first lefty or the lefty for pressure situation by the end of they year.
    As far a Grienke goes, how do you not see what it will take, if you can throw Blanton in there, and even Brown, but you would need to defitly get a productive RH RF.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Ted- I couldn’t sleep at night if we had Milleadge… Hamilton’s immaturity’s were off the field and Milleadge’s very much on them and he was on at least a very decent Mets team.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Lastings Milledge?? You must be joking or something. That’s like having Nyjer Morgan or Milton Bradley on your team.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Lets settle one thing- names that keep getting thrown out to get moved to make a aggressive are silly.

    Blanton has no trade value whatsoever
    Victorino doesn’t have greate trade value
    Ibanez has less than no trade value
    Kyle Kendrick has no trade value
    John Mayberry won’t have much trade value
    Mike Rizzoti isn’t going to greatly add to a trade package

    Tradable are Ben Fran, Bastardo, Mathieson, Brown, Aumont, Singleton, May, names like De Fratus, Valle etc

    Teams looking to get rid of a star want major league talent with as little service time as possible, role players they can use now who aren’t going to cost them much and prospects they have a book on from the draft. They don’t want to give up their stars for expensive veterans locked into deals, veterans nearing free agency, players in or reaching arbitration years who are non-tender candidates and prospects we like more than what they probably have.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    George, I hope you don’t mind if I quote you to make a point on Reyes. It’s not meant to be negative to you.

    “He might cost the Phils a game or two, but if he does, Manuel will simply stop using him in key situations.”

    For 1.1 million dollars I could do that! Hell I’d do it for half. (I guess I’d have to be 25 years younger too)

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Ted Bell, dead on. Look at the teams Milledge was on – no real leaders on the field or the clubhouse. Now stick him in a locker room with Charlie, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Halladay, Oswalt, Polanco,… these guys work their a$$e$ off, and will not tolerate a frat boy atmosphere. Do you really think they’ll let him get away with that stuff?

    In regards to a comparison with Hamilton – everyone acts like a child at some point in their life (most stop after being an adult, but some are slower in catching on than others). One in a million survive what Hamilton’s done to himself to become a star.

    Milledge is the definition of high risk, high reward, and if he gets his act together, has the skills to be an all-star. He’s that one guy that has exciting potential, the rest of the list are stop-gaps at best.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Milledge has never done anything remotely close to what Bradley or Morgan have done. Let’s stick to facts here.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I still want Cliff Lee back, and it can be done.

    The Yankees offered Lee the extra year but less per year than their original offer?

    I wish Ruben would just offer him 24/6=144 with a team option for 7 and tell him he won’t wear his arm out here as compared to other teams because of the strength of our staff. And unlike Greinke, it costs us no young talent.

    Yes it’s 12m less, but it could be 12m more if he adapts Doc’s workout regimin. With those four aces, we can pay less for position guys.

    Ok, ok, I’m dreaming now.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I don’t like Milledge, but RAJ might try it.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Fair points on Milleadge with the Mets who certainly were more talented than hard working but it says a lot that he gets exiled to the Nats and gets beaten out by veterans and young outfielders and then exclusively young players with the Bucs.

    If the two teams who were in most need of players gave up on him I don’t think he has a hope in hell of earning any opportunity here

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    Paying Milledge $1 million (which is probably what he would have made in arbitration) on a one year deal is a gamble that I’d take anytime. There’s absolutely no upside to anyone else on that free agent list (and they’d all be a lot more expensive). The idea that he’d somehow disrupt a team full of veterans is ridiculous. If he works out, maybe you have Milledge in LF and Brown in RF in 2012. If he flops, it would be far less money than what they’ve wasted on some other players over the years.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Ted, I agree with you. He’s still a kid and he has played on putrid teams in putrid cities whose locker rooms were probably the equivalent of the one in Major League. Willie Mays Hayes in one corner, The Voodoo Guy in another…oh…crossed with the locker room in “Slapshot”. You throw a young kid in with a bunch of hasbeens and neverweres than you can end up like Milledge. Maybe all he needs is a real chance with real players and I, for one, don’t think that 1m is too much to find out.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Victorino is tradeable. Reasonable money. Locked up for 2 more years.

    ——-

    The ONLY way I’d go for Milledge is to sit him down from DAY ONE and tell him that the first sign of trouble and his a$$ is gonna get kicked by guys like Doc who aren’t gonna put up with any horsesh*t in the clubhouse.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Lastings Milledge has no place here. I’d sooner give John Mayberry Jr another crack at it, because at least hes not an a$$.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Victorino is tradable to a team ready to take the next step. He’s the antithesis of what a team like the Royals would want, a two year roadblock to one of the many prospects that go up and down with that team who probably wouldn’t re-sign there even if they still wanted him around…

     
  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    If Charlie thinks he can fix Jeff Francoeur’s swing, then he should certainly be willing to give Lastings Milledge a shot. He was such a high caliber prospect and has shown flashes of talent. I’d definitely be willing to give him a shot and platoon him in right field for $1M.

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    NJ,

    I wouldn’t be so sure to jump on Kendrick not having much trade value, not too many pitichers have won 10+ games in 3 out of 3 1/2 years in the bigs. I mean one year you can say in the right place right time, but he does manage to win. As he had some rough games this year, he also had some lights out starts too. For our staff he is at best a 5th starter, be he is not as bad as some of you make him out to be

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    JeffNova- Good call on the tire kicking

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    The Cliff Lee Sweepstakes are out of control. 7/161 now and the Rangers may try to beat it. Nuts!

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    I would love for the Phils to get a young guy like Greinke, young studly pitcher.

    Not sure I would give Hamels in any deal for it though, no he doesn’t have a Cy Young, but I will take WS MVP over that anyday.

    Wish list stands at this

    Big Splash signing or trade
    Cliff Lee is way off our the radar
    Greinke is not:)

    Right Fielder with pop
    Magglio Ordonez
    Juan Rivera

    Bullpen Lefty
    Reyes… looks like that works

    Bullpen help
    Take Durbin back he will be fine for another year or 2

     
  • Posts: 0 Greg

    Honestly, Cliff doesn’t seem worth more than 18 a year. I’m so glad Halladay actually can see past the dollar amount and signed to win. What a steal he was, 60 for 3 years. I’d let the Rangers offer more if I were the Yankees, let them go bankrupt on a pitcher who was in the minors 4 years ago and who has probably 3/7 good years left ahead.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    The Lee business has gone too far…I told you his agent was a d-bag. He walked out on the Meetings, very unprofessional.

    NOBODY should give him 7 years at those rates, nobody.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    The winner of the Lee Sweepstakes is the team that doesn’t sign him. The Rangers have the prospects to get Greinke. They could resign him much cheaper than $161 million.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Totally agree with that….

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    I, too, think the Lee sweepstakes winner will be the team that doesn’t sign him. He’s good, but not as good as those contracts being offered. Makes me glad the Phils traded him instead of trying to work out a deal.

    Also, whoever said the Phils have a crummy track record developing pitchers in-house has forgotten a few, like Brett Myers, J.A. Happ and the aforementioned Gavin Floyd, who has been pretty decent since he was traded. And just because the Phils have traded a few doesn’t mean they can’t develop them. Just the idea that another team wants those pitchers is indicative of the Phils’ success.

    And Lefty, just because Manuel might stop using Reyes in key situations does not mean he’ll stop using him entirely. If that were true, I’d gladly do his job for half what he’s going to be paid, too. Personally, I don’t think I’d want to face Albert Pujols under any circumstances.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Kendrick’s value would be low because he’d be a non-tender candidate soon with all the service time he has now. He’s not going to be dirt cheap for much longer and most bottom feeders seem to prefer giving older veterans chances like the Ponson’s and Chen’s of the world.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’m on board with all of you concerning the points made about the Lee sweepstakes. I hope the Yankees don’t get him….just on principle.

    On the RF with pop: Juan Rivera has pop, but he can’t field worth crap. Do we really need that headache?? Ordonez seems like a long shot…at best. While Ben Fran has pop….can turn on a fastball….I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable with just him as that guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    When those contracts are so gargantuan it makes you look at that Halladay deal and say boy that was a hell of a coup.

    Come to think of it that Howard one aint so bad when you consider he’s already earning almost $20m p/y and RAJ tacked on just 3 years making it his deal 5 years and not 7 like almost all the $100m+ deals

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    This ridiculous Cliff Lee crap is really illuminating. To me, its just another indication that MLB baseball teams do far better than they lead us to believe. Take the Texas Rangers. A team in freakin bankruptcy, thinking about signing p Lee a contract at 20m a year. I wonder what their “creditors” think of that? Gimme a break. The Dodgers, alleged financially strafed from the McCourt divorce, resign Kuroda to 1y/12m? What? When teams keep their payrolls down, its not because they have to, its because they want to increase their profit margin, plain and simple. Cliff Lee signing with the Yanks for 7y155m or whatever doesn’t mean crap to the Yankees. Its just drop in the bucket. Scott Boras knows it. Its all just a secret fraternity of rich dudes behind the curtain printing money, sports’ Skull and Bones if you will.

    Go Phils.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Baseball is free enterprise and I know that, but Boros seems to always push the envelope as far as contracts are concerned. There is such a gap between teams who are “HAVES” and “HAVE NOTS” that it isn’t funny. I cannot help but believe that sooner or later we will see a baseball team go the way of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I mean that they will declare bankruptcy. These salaries absolutely blow my brittle old mind. And someone said that Howard’s contract looks like a financial coup. I agree with that statement NOW but cannot believe I am saying this when six months ago I thought it was financial suicide. Baseball finances are changing so fast my head is spinning. How far can it possibly go?

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Boras is a players best asset and the sports worst nightmare, it’s just a shame he doesn’t use his power to address getting some more security for the bottom feeders who aren’t set for life when they retire like almost all of his clients.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Skull and Bones….good analogy. These guys are in a completely different stratosphere than the rest of us. In a way, I can understand what that jacka$$, jeff, is saying about salaries. It’s really gotten way out of hand if most of us are now saying that Howard’s contract will be a bargain when it’s all over with.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    It’s sad but its not money anymore it’s status. As I say to my old pa, it’s a sad state of affairs and you just hope these guys are paying their full share of taxes and really making a difference with their charities/foundations.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    NJ —- well said.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    It’s sad, but anyone making $150 million probably ISN’T paying his full share of taxes. When you’re in the stratosphere financially, you can afford an army of accountants and tax attorneys to find every tax dodge and loophole there is.

    I’m not sure about charities/foundations, but I’d guess that at least some of these guys could give a whole lot more and never even notice their wallet’s been lightened. I’m not saying all of them do, but even the most charitable people around generally live in the biggest houses they can find, and drive the most expensive vehicles. Lizzie Dole made more money heading the Red Cross for a few years than many of us make in our entire lifetimes.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Yup the irony of the staggered tax system, those without with expertise end up paying more proportionally but anyway…

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I don’t personally don’t care how rich the teams are. Just don’t lie to me and poor mouth me when it comes to signing players. Some teams wanna win more than other teams and its always been that way. Some teams wanna make money more than they wanna win. When you have this divergence of prioritizing in a professional sports league, it just sucks. In the NBA, teams spend the max they can spend. NFL and NHL, too. In MLB, one team can spend 40m and the other 220m. We need a hard cap like football but we’ll never have one because that involves revenue sharing and revenue sharing necessitates teams telling you how much they make, which will never happen.

    Right before CBP opened, the Phillies had little interest in winning. Its not that they didn’t wanna win, it just wasn’t the most important thing. Then they had to sign Thome for the new park. Then, to the chagrin of the owners, our farm system started producing and fliers on Victorino and Werth panned out. Next thing you know, we have a really good team. Practically by accident. This team didn’t do squat for 10-15 years before CBP opened to really make this team a contender. Free Agents? We didn’t sign any of note. None. When this team got good and had the bad judgment to hire Pat Gillick to make them better, expectations became heightened and more money needed to be poured in the team. Woe is them. Then the Halladay/Lee fiasco. The best and worst of sports in 48 hours or less.

    Hopefully, the current culture has changed management philosophy. Winning is fun. People wanna see winning. People will pay to see winning. Maybe ownership enjoys higher overhead and bigger revenue to low overhead and lower revenue as the method to get by in these trying economic times. I certainly hope so. I have no idea why I am going off on this tangent. Maybe its because the previously wobegon Washington Nationals!!! just gave Jayson Werth a gazillion dollars to play baseball in the mausoleum they call a stadium. Did they just wake up Sunday morning and decide that they wanted to spend some cash? Stimulus package? They’re Washington for god’s sake.

    I’m just getting older. Crankier. The whole world just seems nuts. Nobody talks to each other anymore because they have earphones in their head or they’re twiddling on an Iphone or playing video games. Nobody reads a book. Nobody drinks milk. Nobody sits at the dinner table and soon we’ll have no newspapers. What I wouldn’t give to just tee up a record album and watch a little wrestling on Prism.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Oh yeah absolutely. The tax stuff is a joke. If youre pulling in tens of millions or more like that, you dont pay much tax. The tax laws are written for that very purpose, with loads of loopholes. It only really hurts the rest of us in that regard.

    I think MLB is heading in the same direction as European soccer with those heavy transfer fees. In that realm, you can sign a player to a 5 year deal for 10 million a year, say, but you have to pay the team that he is on tens of millions of Pounds/Euros. Unless he is out of contract, which is rarely allowed to happen. Usually they are in their last year, then the team tries to resign them and cashes in if they cannot. But, if youre Manchester United or Barcelona you can come in and sign anyone for any price and fork out 70M to the team to buy them on top of that. It is like the posting system.

    Similarly, with Free Agency now with these deals. the gap between the big franchises and the small ones is absurd.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Oh I agree as well…the Phillies could have afforded to resign Werth, easily, but they knew that giving him that length was just stupid on the field as well as in the bank account. They probably would have signed Carl Crawford if he was right handed. But giving the cash to Lee like this is also stupid.

    The Phillies can afford to bring in Greinke and then give him an extension after that. Don’t let them fool you. Just wait until their next TV deal.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Also, The ReD Sox owner now owns Liverpool, so just watch how much they spend next month if what Boston has just done is any clue.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Ugh don’t get me started on English football and World Soccer! As an Englishman who follows US sports and sees the financial set-up its just disgusting when you see young players earning less than $500 and then there are kids here in the EPL and who come to the EPL who are on £50-60k a week… Organisations like Fifa and Eufa make people like Bud Selig and Scott Boras look like bunny rabbits!

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I absolutely agree. They’ve got bum bench players in the EPL who suck and barely play who make 50K a WEEK. Its disgusting, but in a different way to how its disgusting here.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Don’t want to hijack the thread about taxes, but why do people think the Millionaires and Billionaires don’t mind if their rate goes up? Because most of what they make is sheltered. No more writeoffs, none. Lower the tax rate to about 20% for any penny over $50K, 0% under. It’s really simple if you remove all the lobbyists that make up the tax code.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The top wages in most sports are ridiculous but the thing thats so out of whack in ‘soccer’ and especially in the EPL and English ‘Championship’ is the lower end of the scale and remember we get a lot more out of a £ than you do a $…

     
  • Posts: 0 betasigmashag

    The problem is not paying top tier players top tier money, it is guys like Carlos Pena and his 198 BA getting 10 million a year, And a guy like Wreth making 17 million a year. I have no problem with productive guys raking in cash, Howard 20-25 million is ok Puljouis getting 24-28 million dollars ok with that. Doc getting 20 million cool with that. But giving Adam no defense done what 13 million. that is where it goes wrong.
    I still say if you can sign Lasting Mildrege sp for 1 year 1 million or under with a second year option or even sign the guy for 2 years with a 3rd year team option for for million or under would not cost that much if you have to release him at any point. The guy can rake against lefties, speed, more of a real lead off hitter than either Vic or JRoll, you could have a line up as follows
    LM
    Poly
    Chase
    Ryan
    JRoll
    Vic
    Raul
    Chooch
    Pitcher
    or knowing Charlie you could swap JRoll and LM
    I feel this would work cause I have faith the Ben Fran can do a good enough job full time in RF, and Lasting’s upside for the price is almost too hard to turn done, and he could even be a late inning defensive replacment for Raul.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Dipsy- Great rant, I’m with you. They CAN do what they tell us they can’t, just stop lying to us. It’s just a matter of how they set up their business model.

    I believe what you are saying is analogous to a Wawa Gas station- they can sell gas for .20 per gallon less than other stations and do a huge business. But most stations prefer to sell it higher and do less business. Less overhead, salaries etc. In the end, they both make the same profit margin.

    When the Borationals pull chit like this week driving the entire market into frenzy, it drives me nuts.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I hope the Rangers keep Lee, Greinke balks at the Yankees, we get him, and the Yankees are forced to come begging back to Carl Pavano, haha.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy!!! WOW!!! Man that was good. I’m with ya, bro. This week has been crazy starting with that idiotic Werth contract. God only knows what Cliff “God” Lee will end up with but the whole mess does give one pause as to what’s up with all our priorities as a society in general. Even though the Phillies can/could afford any player they desire, I am glad they have chosen a more sane approach to putting a potentially winning team on the field.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    That was the big screw up – Werths deal messed up the whole winter meetings. Now the market is held up worse because Lee’s agent went ape and walked out of the meetings.

     
 
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