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Phillies 2012 Roster and Payroll Projections

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 31, 2011 07:55 AM | Comments: 78
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

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Jimmy Rollins. Ryan Madson. Roy Oswalt. Brad Lidge. A Cole Hamels extension. You’ll hear about these names all through the winter.

On Monday, Oswalt and Lidge were let out of their options. Decisions on Rollins and Madson will be coming in the next couple of months. A Cole Hamels contract extension (he’s in his final arbitration eligible year after finishing out a three-year deal) seems imminent.

So, let’s get down to business. Here is a look at the payroll obligations for the Phillies in 2012, and what other players will likely receive. We’ll try and fill out the roster to see what it looks like next year.

Blue: money that the Phillies owe in 2012
Red: educated guess as to how much player will earn in 2012 (arbitration or otherwise)

Infield:

-Ryan Howard: $20MM
-Chase Utley: $15.286MM
-Placido Polanco: $6.417MM
-Carlos Ruiz: $3.7 MM
-Michael Martinez: $425K

$45.828MM


Outfield:

-Shane Victorino: $9.5MM
-Hunter Pence: $11.5MM
-Ben Francisco: $2.2MM
-John Mayberry Jr.: $425K

$23.625MM

Starting Pitching:

-Cliff Lee: $21.5MM
-Roy Halladay: $20MM
-Cole Hamels: $14MM
-Joe Blanton: $10.5MM
-Kyle Kendrick: $3.8MM
-Vance Worley: $425K

$69.8MM

Relief Pitching:

-Jose Contreras: $2.5MM
-David Herndon: $575K
-Antonio Bastardo: $575K
-Michael Stutes: $425K

$4.075MM

Buyout Payments:

-Roy Oswalt: $2MM
-Brad Lidge: $1.5MM

Estimated Total: $147.25 million (19 players, two buyouts)

Luxury Tax: $178 million (in 2011)

Give or take a player, the Phillies will have 19 players under contract heading into 2012 with a payroll of roughly $147 million, including the two buyouts. They’ll need six (or so) more players to fill out the roster with about $30 million to spend. (I say $30 million because it would be silly for the Phils to smash right up against the MLB Luxury tax; Ruben Amaro will want some wiggle room).

According to USA Today’s salary database, the Phillies spent a shade under $173 million in 2011. By the way, if the Luxury Tax continues to climb at its normal rate, it would go to about $186 million.* If so, the Phils could spend around $180MM.

*It has risen $8 million in each of the last five seasons.

The infield will have five players under contract at just over $45.8 million. Rollins is obviously a free agent. Wilson Valdez is arbitration eligible, but likely would not see a raise past $1 million. For a parallel, Alexi Casilla of the Twins was arb-eligible heading into 2011 with three years of service and re-signed for 1 year/$865,000. For what it’s worth, I do not think the Phillies will bring back Valdez, but that’s just a hunch. If they can find a player at a similar price that gives them slightly more and is younger, they’ll go in that direction.

Does Kendrick stay or get non-tendered?

It’s unknown whether or not they keep Michael Martinez or stash him in Triple-A after keeping him an entire year as a Rule 5 pickup. If he stays he’ll make slightly more than the minimum (roughly $425K, the same number David Herndon made after a year in the big leagues).

The Phillies need a backup catcher and to fill out their bench. They’ll need a guy who can play multiple positions, plus a starting shortstop.

The pitching staff is pretty much set. Unless they can find a taker for Joe Blanton’s albatross of a contract, he’s going to be the fourth starter, with Vance Worley likely again staying as the fifth. Kyle Kendrick will be a more expensive long-man/spot-starter, but as he proved this year, he was quite valuable as a starter and a bullpen piece.

The ‘pen is very much up in the air. Madson is the biggest question mark and will likely cost the Phillies $10-13 million per season on a three-year deal. Beyond Madson, there are four almost-definites in Contreras, Bastardo, Stutes, and Herndon, with Herndon being a bit of a wild card – although the Phillies have kept him around this long, you assume he’ll continue on with the club.

That leaves: starting shortstop, backup catcher, bench, closer, reliever, reliever.

Let’s say you sign Rollins and not Madson. Rollins could command somewhere in the $12 million range (we’ll go high end). That would leave roughly $18 million for two bench bats and three relief pitchers. Or, if they sway the other direction and keep Madson over Rollins at $12 million per season, it would be the same, except the Phillies would be looking for a different SS.

Could it be that the Phillies retain both Madson and Rollins at $12 million per year? Under the luxury tax constraints, and depending on how high the team wants to go, it could be possible. But is it the correct move, to keep two guys on the other side of 30?

If they choose to keep Rollins, here is how it could all shake out:

SS: Rollins, $12 million
BENCH: Backup catcher
BENCH: IF/OF
RP: Schwimer/Savery/De Fratus
RP: LH Free Agent
RP: RH Closer

Is Michael Cuddyer in the cards?

I’d like to assume the Phillies keep at least one of Schwimer, Savery or De Fratus. That would set the bullpen up to be very young and relatively inexperienced. If they don’t like that look, maybe all three stay in Triple-A and the Phillies sign a few veterans in the Lidge/ LaTroy Hawkins/Todd Coffey mold.

They absolutely need a lefty. That could be Savery or a guy like Mike Gonzalez. The lefty market is dry and filled with old washed-up veterans. Savery might be the guy here.

As for the closer, do you take a chance with a cheaper alternative to Madson? If so, maybe they take a shot at Joe Nathan or Frank Francisco. Jon Rauch or Francisco Rodriguez have also closed.

Backup catcher is a big-time need. Brian Schneider was the ultimate pro, but gave nothing at the plate. If the Phillies want to spend a little more, maybe they try for Ryan Doumit. Dioner Navarro could be an option.

That leaves one more bench bat to be found, which is quite important. Someone like Clint Barmes or Jamey Carroll could come in handy, depending on their salary demands.

If they go with Madson over Rollins, who do the Phillies go with at shortstop? Rafael Furcal is a pesky slap-hitter who may fit in well here, but is aging and has seen better days. He’d surely be cheaper than Rollins. However, the Cardinals hold a $12 million option on him and with such a critical position being so empty, St. Louis could choose to overpay Furcal for a year. Marco Scutaro is a name being thrown around that could fit with the Phillies, but he’ll be 36 and the Red Sox hold a team option on him for $6 million.

Whichever direction they go, I see at least $8 million per season being used on any closer, with the high end of $12 million. That would leave between $18 and $22 million for upgrades at other positions or to the bench.

Things can certainly change with the remaining players. Placido Polanco’s job seems far from safe. The Phillies could also opt for a Michael Cuddyer-type to play first base if Ryan Howard misses time and then switch to third if the Phillies feel he’s an upgrade over Polanco. Cuddyer could also play left field if the brass is concerned about Mayberry as an everyday player. However, Cuddyer is 33 and would cost them $7 million or more per year.

Would soon-to-be 34 year old Aramis Ramirez be the better buy?

It won’t be an easy offseason for Ruben Amaro Jr. There is clearly a lot to do, more to do then in previous years.

How do you fill out the empty roster spots with the money available?

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1678 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 bacardipr05

    I dont think J-Roll should be paid more than 10 Mil. I think i might let him walk if he refuses to take 10 mil or under. I know this almost taboo here but what about signing Broxton? Im actually been serious i dont think he’ll fetch much money and we still have Bastardo as the closer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan

    Yes…Joe Blanton has the albatross contract. Cough http://www.guysnation.com/wp-content/uploads//2011/10/RyanHoward_ankle.jpg cough

     
    • Posts: 0 Tim

      Joe Blanton’s Salary in 2012 is $8.5 million, not $10.5 Million.

       
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    I hope I didn’t write like 2,500 words so we could talk about Ryan Howard’s ankle and contract. That would just be uncool.

     
  • Posts: 0 JMills

    I like Aramis Ramirez a lot. What would it take to get him? Would three years 50 million do it? Then you pretty much have to go with Galvis at ss, move Utley to first and Polanco at second while Howard is out then have Polanco be your utility guy after Howard returns. I think we would get more production out of Ramirez/Galvis then Rollins/Polanco. We also have to see what our chances of getting David Wright would be if he becomes a free agent after 2012 because he would be my first choice at third.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I do wonder if the Phillies are going to wait it out for Wright in 2013.

      Galvis’ name keeps popping up but I just dont see how they can trust him to be an everyday shortstop in this league. He’s had some success, but not for long stretches in the minors. He’s still young and raw and likely needs more time. Probably another year.

       
  • Posts: 0 800811

    Somebody will take Blanton. The Phillies will get little in return directly, but the opportunity cost there is a free agent instead of Blanton’s salary. I say sign Aramis Ramirez, let JRoll walk, sign Madsen, deal Blanton, KK to the rotation, perhaps sign Grady Sizemore (should come cheap as a FA), and a stop-gap SS (Furcal would do).
    I like the way the money works out with this plan,and the Phillies retain their invaluable closer, while getting better offensively.
    Works for me!!

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Phillies have no real need for Sizemore, unless they want to trade Victorino and plan for the future with Grady over Shane. Dealing Blanton won’t be easy unless the Red Sox or Yankees are desperate. And I dont think Furcal will be super cheap either. He’ll get a decent deal even if its 1 year.

       
      • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

        Furcal is coming off a .231 season and just turned 34, so what would a decent deal be? It’s got to be less than what Rollins will get. Isn’t it better to slightly overpay someone on a one year deal than to get locked in on a bad three or four year deal?

         
      • Posts: 0 Steve

        Pat, do you really think the phillies look at mayberry as inconsistent? I see absolutely no reason why Mayberry isn’t your short term every day first baseman. Early in his career and in spot starts for howard he has done well and he needs to see consistent at bats to even determine his consistency. If ibanez goes you use ben francisco in left for the early part of the year. It is by far the cheap option to allow for back end bullpen help and quite frankly with the starting pitching the logical way to go since you only need a few runs per game with our starting pitching. Furcal over Rollins is a definite seeing as how Rollins used to be good despite being a mediocre hitter because he used to steal and pop one every now and then. If hes not stealing hes not worth 5 mil let alone 10 or more. My opinion is that both Rollins and Madson need to go.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      If Blanton is traded, the Phils no longer have any starting pitching depth. Even if Oswalt re-signs, they’d have less than they should.

       
  • Posts: 31 Josh

    Avatar of Josh

    I’m on the side of the fence that says “dont pay ANY relief pitcher $30+ mill (or $10 mill per year for that matter).” I understand the Phills need stability at the back end, but lets be honest, only one closer has ever lived up to that kind of money and his first two initials are Mariano Rivera. Brad Lidge, Billy Wagner, KRod,…just to name a few are guys who got big money on the coat tails of great seasons and never panned out. Relief pitchers, even the good ones, are not predictable enough year to year to give them that kind of money. Allocate the money into the lineup were this team needs more help.

     
    • Posts: 31 Josh

      Avatar of Josh

      Not to mention, the Phills have the talent in Bastardo, Schwimer, De Fratus, and Savery to construct a pretty strong (and cheap) bullpen. One of these guys arises as the closer and they are set. And don’t tell me that rookies can’t be closers. The best closer in the NL this past year was a rookie.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Hate to point this out, but both Wagner and KRod had more than three good seasons. KRod is still doing well, will probably return to closing, and get paid well for doing it.

      There are always going to be busts no matter what the position, and some of those busts have been for way more than 3 years/$30 million. Why so many people pick on closers is beyond me. There have been more great ones than just Rivera: Hoffman, Eckersly, Gossage, to name a few. I’d rather spend $30 million on a closer than spend the gigantic money wasted on Vernon Wells, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Darren Dreifort, and I don’t know how many others. Even if your closer bombs, you’re still out far less money and are obligated for a far shorter amount of time.

       
      • Posts: 31 Josh

        Avatar of Josh

        George, no one is picking on closers. We could split hairs about individual closers who may or may not have been good but, my point is that they very rarely are worthy of big dollars and years. More often than not their contracts end up looking bad in the end. Their performance is too unpredictable from year to year.

        This argument boils down to one thing. Where do you place the closer on the priorities list? IMO it goes like this: SS, 3B, Bench / bullpen. When you only have so many dollars to spend, the last I would do is dump $10-$12 mill on a closer when that guy might be sitting in your lap already for a fraction of the cost.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Come on, people ARE picking on closers. There are so many other bad contracts that have gone to so many other types of players that have been worthless after their contracts, but for some reason it’s only the closers who aren’t worth the money they get paid. And your “rarely worthy of big dollars” isn’t very complimentary, either. Mentioning successful closers, or “splitting hairs,” as you put it, is at least more fair than proclaiming Rivera “only one closer has ever lived up to that kind of money.”

        Maybe your argument is about priorities, but your specific post here was ONLY ABOUT CLOSERS. Say “priorities” the first time, if that’s what you’re stewing about.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        People are only picking on closers because they’re often overpaid. They’re largely overpaid because bullpen arms are much easier to replace than are position players, so value should correlate with scarcity, and closers – at least the middle to upper middle tier closers – are not particularly scarce, yet they get paid as if they are. If they were really so hard to come by, why would very good teams be letting premiere names go? If they were so valuable why is Boston, a perennial contender, letting their dominant guy go? It’s because they, being one of the more savvy front offices, realize that it’s a waste of resources to spend huge on big name closers when you have in-house solutions that are much cheaper and likely as effective. Bard is essentially the Red Sox version of Bastardo.

        And again, having a “big name” closer is not a prerequisite for winning. The Cards had one of the worst bullpens in the league over the course of the season and managed to win it all after using the season to determine who fit in what roles in their bullpen. They actually released their opening day closer midway through the season, never named a replacement, used various guys in that role and yet had a great pen down the stretch. So, nobody is picking on them specifically, people are just saying that closers are overpaid when judged by their scarcity (or lack thereof).

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        EricL: Why do you say closers are overpaid when utility guys, the ultimate in non-scarcity, are being paid as much as $2-3 million for playing in very few games, and rarely in critical situations? Would you rather have four .220 hitters than someone who can close out 40 out of 42 games?

        Also, your argument about the Cards’ pen is full of fallacies. Just because they never named a closer when Franklin blew up doesn’t mean they didn’t try one guy in the spot until it became obvious he wasn’t the answer either and they had to try a third. It’s not like they had a different man every night. And it could just as easily be argued that their pen improved not so much because a bunch of mediocre arms somehow found their niches, but that it improved because the front office added a number of better arms at the trade deadline. It could also be said that with 23 blown saves, that bullpen would have cost them the season had the team’s offense not been so good.

        And I’ll also argue that “Premier” arms are only being dumped when their salary demands get ridiculous, as was the case with KRod, or when the teams other needs make a decent closer superfluous, or when injuries ruin their effectiveness.

        And by the way, Papelbon is a free agent. Boston hasn’t let him go yet. Bard could be an answer if Papelbon signs elsewhere. Boston could also sign someone else. If you’re saying Bastardo can fill the Phils 9th inning void just like Bard (if Boston even uses him as closer), I’ll point out that Bard has had a lot more ML experience, and fewer arm issues.

         
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    @Jeff, I guess it comes down to who that player is. Is it better to have Rollins on a 3 year deal at $30 million or Furcal 1 year $6 miliion?

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      That could also come down to how Galvis develops. He’s not ready now, but he also might not be ready next year, either. Furcal might seem the cheaper, better option, but if Galvis isn’t ready the following year, you might be screwed.

       
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      I’d rather have Furcal over J-roll in that scenario. Let’s face it, J-roll isn’t that good offensively (expect a .240-.265 avg for the 2012 season), and throwing double digits amounts at those numbers seems irrational. Kinda like giving all that money to Joe Blanton and his ERA of 4+.

       
      • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        Yeah the issue is, when will Galvis be ready – if at all? It’s not like he’s some can’t miss guy you go out on a limb for.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        That’s a little harsh. J-Roll isn’t Alberto Poo-holes, obviously, but there’s only two SS in the NL that are head and shoulders above Rollins (Tulo and Reyes) another who can be, but sometimes isn’t (Hanley) and another couple that may be in a few years (Castro/Bonifacio).

        Really, if you compare Jimmy to where he falls on that list, he’s $10-12MM would be basically in line with where he falls on the market of NL shortstops. Reyes and Tulo get significantly more, Hanely gets more and the young guys get less. It really wouldn’t be a Howardian overpay.

         
  • Posts: 0 George

    Steve, I don’t think it’s a matter of believing Mayberry to be inconsistent. It’s more a perception that he hasn’t hit well against righties.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    @Steve, I think this past year quelled some of the fears they had about Mayberry. I look at it like this – if they gave Raul over $10 million per season to do the job he did, then Mayberry should get every opportunity to have that same job at under 500K. He can be the 1B if Howard can’t play early next year, yes. All it takes is some work in Spring Training and I think his D will be ok at that position.

    And I don’t see why he couldn’t play LF full-time. He probably wont be an all-star but if he provides you pop and excellent D, then you take it for 500K.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    My thoughts on this piece: it would be a real shame to not end up with a legit closer (whether that’s Madson or one of the other “top-tier” guys) given the vast supply in the free agent market. No way ALL of them end up with 3 or more years.

     
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      “Legit closers” are the most overpriced thing on the market. They are dudes who have some mythical “closer’s mentality”, when in fact just about any reliever which does a good job in the 7th or 8th innings can pitch in the ninth. On a team which has numerous holes to fill, it cannot justify overspending for someone like Papelbon just because of this pathalogical “need” for a closer.

      I’d much rather see them invest in cheaper reliever types (Nathan? Capps? Farnsworth?) and let the closer emerge organically.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        “Any reliever who can do a good job in the 7th or 8th can pitch the ninth.” There are already a lot of non-contenders who have tried that. Sometimes it even works.

        When just about every team in MLB tries to have a decent 9th inning guy, did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the “closer’s mentality” may be more than just mythical?

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        Just about every American in 2007 was trying to buy a house thinking that the values would continue to skyrocket. That doesn’t mean that they did. Just because other teams buy the idea of some sort of “elite closer” doesn’t mean that it exists.

        Lots of teams have people shift to the ninth inning all the time, guys like David Aardsma, Brandon League, Jose Valverde, Eric Gagne and John Axford were tried as ninth-inning guys without any previous established closing experience, and went on to have pretty danged good numbers. It’s not like they were suddenly granted with exceptional mental powers or anything, they simply happened to be good pitchers who pitched the ninth. It’s not a definite skillset, just an overvalued one. If you can get a guy out in the earlier innings, odds are you can get him out in the ninth.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        “Every American” is a pretty lame comparison; the home buying public a few years ago was greedy, gullible, and duped with bogus mortgages. While some general managers can probably be duped, I’d imagine they’re mostly smarter than the home buyer; they’d lose their jobs if they were that stupid.

        I’ll agree that teams sometimes find success with pitchers with no former closing experience; I even said “Sometimes it even works.” However, they don’t just pick any 8th inning guy at random, unless they have no choice. It’s always a risk, just as filling a major position with a rookie is.

        Maybe Bastardo can close, but that wouldn’t be my first choice after watching him stagger through the final month.

        I still maintain that effective closers make big money for a reason.

         
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Furcal. Totally.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      Yep. The Cardinals just won a WS with a revolving cast of (fairly cheap) role players in the middle infield positions. Someone will overpay Rollins in years and dollars, but it shouldn’t be the Phillies.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        True. But the Phils, with all their injuries, also pretty much had a revolving cast, too. They didn’t win a WS.

        I have nothing against platooning, but you’d better have some decent players to do it with. The Phils had Valdez, Martinez, and Orr; cheap, but not exactly murderer’s row.

        Furcal? I’m not convinced a .231 average is the kind of offense you need, even from a part-timer. That’s no better than Valdez.

         
      • Posts: 980 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        Sure the Cardnials did this year, and the Giants did it last year with a revolving players at some postions. But you going to put you post season money are guys getting hot at the right time. Where were the Giants this year, same place the Cardnials will be next year playing golf in october. You can not plan on revolving key players if you want to maintain consistant winning year in year out

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        I believe you mean they just won *despite* a revolving door of middle infielders. If they had their druthers, I am sure they would love to have Rollins at short. We need to be careful, when performing a postmortem on the 2011, to not confuse correlation with causation. Building a team exactly like the Cardinals will not guarantee future success, just as the Giants failed in 2011 by essentially trying the exact same thing they did in 2010.

         
  • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Did someone on this thread actually suggest Jonathan Broxton???

     
  • Posts: 5196 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Informative post Pat, thanks. I guess the Hot Stove gets fired up now. We’ll see what RAJ has up his sleeve soon.

    Three and a half months to pitchers and catchers.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Next thing we know, the Phils are the “wild card team” to get CC Sabathia… and they do. These months are just that crazy.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I don’t think the Phils could possibly wedge Sabathia in. His size alone makes him a clubhouse stuffer, and he’ll have all those Hefty bags full of dollar bills taking up space, too.

       
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Buster Olney said that same thing – just hypothetically, obviously. But all the pitching in the world can’t help you. If you give up 1 run and you dont score any…well…yeah.

       
  • Posts: 980 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I have heard talk of moving JRoll to third if you have to give him 3 or 4 years and wait for Glavis to be Major league ready. How about you move Glavis to third if he is ready to come up and use him there until Jimmy is ready to go. I think they will find a way to sign Jimmy, I think there are more examples of bull pens being created on the fly then the infield. If you they trade Blanton, move Woorley up to four and KK into five. Which I think is a mistake, if Joe is healthy, and can pitch to a level he has reached in the past few years would make me more comfortable to have him four and Woorley five, keeping KK as your spot starter long man in the pen, and simply depth in the rotation. They real key is being able to sign Cole to extension before ST this year. This to me is more importent then either Jimmy or Madson

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      beta, I agree with that last sentence 100%.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Wherever you put Jimmy, he’s still gonna be injury prone and he’s still going to have the same hitting issues. Yes – let’s sign Cole and take it from there.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 4 Drewcifer

    Avatar of Drewcifer

    Signing Cole to a long-term is paramount.

    After that, what about an SS like Ronny Cedeno? He’s a bit in the Valdez mold, but he’s 5 years younger, better power numbers and used to being an everyday starter. Probably cost around 2, 2.5 a year for a 3 year deal.

    I don’t see any reason not to bring back Schneider for a cheap one year deal. He’s just a stop-gap player to give Chooch some time off. No need to spend money when you expect 140+ games out of Ruiz. At this point, Schneider would probably take 1 year/1.2 mil.

    Gives you plenty of money (20+ mil) for a closer, a lefty and a nice fill-in bat.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I have all sorts of mixed feelings going into this off season. It is clear we need some changes in the line up but I have grown attached to the players that would most likely be gone so it is kinda hard for me to let them go.

    Closer – I really like Madson but I also like the two draft picks that he would net us. I kinda like the idea of singing someone like Nathan, resign Lidge cheap, and see if Bastardo can step up to the next level. It is a risk but I would rather have a good, more reasonably priced closer AND the draft picks.

    Short Stop – It would be very painful for me to see Jimmy go. We need to see how the market will work out for him. If someone wants to go crazy to get him (like Werth last year) then the Phillies should let him go. I am ok with letting internal candidates fight it out for this position.

    Left Field – Let Mayberry and Brown compete for this spot.

    Third Base – Polly should come back unless they can get a real upgrade.

    Bench – I really want them to go for Jim Thome. Big bat off the bench we have missed plus can fill in for Howard occasionally. Plus I would like to see the big guy go out with a title.

    All this thinking, of course, assumes that Ruben does not do something absolutely crazy like find a way to bring in C.C. or trade for Wright. You guys remember when Phillies off seasons where boring? Gotta love our GM.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      99% of this post. My ideal post-season would follow almost exactly this path (although I have no desire for a declining Wright and his massive helmet)

      Not the last sentence, though. Sometimes boring is better than being exciting for the sake of being exciting.

       
  • Posts: 0 John Davis

    What about Ibanez ?

     
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      He’s gone, thank God.

       
  • Posts: 0 Brett

    The main thing is to keep cole hamels and rollins, if we can keep roy oswalt then cool, if we can keep madson sure but the MAIN IS HAMELS KEEP HAMELS

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Yes i suggested Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers. Yes we messed up his head some well mainly Ruiz and Rollins. The dude had some nasty stuff in the past. He is coming off and injury season.At one point he was averaging about 1.5 strikes out per inning. Put away the Bias and look at his past records. If he can come cheap i think Cholly could use him.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Broxton had some major arm troubles this past year..he’s super buy low.

       
  • Posts: 0 davehist

    Hamels will be here in 2012. It’s just a matter of signing him to a nice extension so he’ll be here in the future. With all the closers out there in free agency, maybe Boras won’t be able to get Werth-like dollars for Madson. I think we have to assume that Polanco will not be the Polly we’ve known in the past.

     
  • Posts: 427 Publius

    Avatar of Publius

    First and foremost Pat, tons of great legwork and analysis in this article. I know you didn’t want to talk too much about Howard here but I am genuinely curious what the general feeling here is: do people think Howard can recover and emulate his 2011 in 2012? The main issue is that if Howard is late in arriving, how do we fill that hole? FA? Trade? Rizzotti?

    Lots of issues on this team and surprisingly little amount of money to deal with them. Rube’s gonna have to get creative this year, which both intrigues and terrifies me.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Thanks. I wouldn’t say they have little money to deal with things. Up to $30 million isnt peanuts for a 102 win team with the best rotation in the game. I think you can get a lot done with that kind of money. Sure, he’ll still have to get creative.

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Pat did he recover from his arm troubles? I know he was injured most of the season, is it an injury that one usually recovers well from? By the way the Braves traded Lowe to the other tribe they might be up to something.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Broxton had surgery in mid-september to have bone chips removed from his elbow and was already dealing with shoulder issues. Not sure how healthy he is, but his velocity was way down because of it. I wonder if anyone would give him a guaranteed major league contract. Perhaps if someone is desperate enough.

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I just want to add if they could move Blanton even for a B level prospect i would do it. With the intent of resigning Oswalt.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I’ve pointed this out before, but nobody seems to notice. Even if Oswalt re-signs, trading Blanton would cut seriously into the rotation depth. The Phils had two of their projected starters go down in 2011. If that happened this year with no Blanton, you might wind up with a rotation with Worley at #3, Kendrick at #4, and God only knows as the fifth man.

       
      • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        Right, but if you can get rid of Blanton’s $10.5 million or some of it, they can go out and get a cheaper version of Blanton and use some of the other money to throw back into the pot for other needs.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Pat, who do recommend as a “cheaper version of Blanton,” and how much money can you realistically save?

        If he’s traded, Blanton won’t supply enough cash for a bag of baseballs, because you’d probably have to pay part of his salary to make the deal.

         
  • Posts: 0 John P

    I love these Phillies Blogs, I agree with most of what Pat writes..

     
  • Posts: 9 jjfritz

    Avatar of jjfritz

    Has anyone considered the options of utility men Drew Sutton and/or Michael Cuddyer? Both would give you flexibility with the injuries to Howard and Polanco. Sutton can play 2B, SS, and outfield. Cuddyer can play 1B, 3B and outfield. If the Phillies truly want Brown to spend the entire year in AAA and are going with Mayberry in LF, then leave him there. Don’t put him at 1B for part of the year and start moving him around or platooning him in LF or whatever. Put him in LF and bring in Sutton to play 2B, move Utley to 1B and use Sutton as utility man once Howard returns. Or bring in Cuddyer to play 1B, use Valdez/Martinez at 3B, then move Cuddyer to 3B once Howard returns.

     
    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

       
      • Posts: 9 jjfritz

        Avatar of jjfritz

        Thank you. I guess it makes sense to more than just me then.

         
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      You do realize that Cuddyer would demand a Raul type contract. You are going to be doing 3 years 33-36 mill for Cuddyer. Not something I’d do to fill the utility man role. He plays a ton of positions and plays sub par defense at all of them.

       
      • Posts: 0 Chris

        If you’re looking to find a guy who can play 1st, third and corner outfield to be a utility guy you’re better off with someone who will fit into the Phillies budget plans like Dobbs or Betemit. Although Betemit may be a tad expensive and looking for a starting job

         
  • Posts: 0 Tim

    LOL… no way in hell are we keeping Oswald AND Lidge. One of them is going for sure. Remake your list :P

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      If you actually read Pat’s “list,” you’d realize that Lidge and Oswalt are “Buyout Payments,” not players actually on the roster.

      Also it’s OswalT, not OswalD.

       
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    George, off hand I do not know who would be a better option. You could maybe try Jeff Francis, Rich Harden, Paul Maholm, Chris Young or maybe make a trade somewhere else. I dont know what those guys would try to get in free agency, but I’d liken them to Blanton. Maybe Jon Garland.

     
    • Posts: 9 jjfritz

      Avatar of jjfritz

      How about a trade for someone who could be a free agent after next year? Let’s say perhaps Matt Cain, John Danks, or Scott Feldman.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Unfortunately, none of those guys has ever been quite as good as Blanton, and at least one of them has had a worse injury history. Also, these guys are free agents. I thought the original idea was to TRADE Blanton.

      I suppose if Blanton could bring back a decent position player, which is doubtful, then maybe a Jon Garland type could work. In any case, it’s still not going to be much of a saving.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Responding to Pat, (and thanks for a reasoned response) not jjfritz. As to jjfritz, the idea was to save money and still maintain rotation depth. You don’t save anything with a Matt Cain.

         
  • Posts: 0 Robbie

    Schwimmer…NO, he blows ass!

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    How do you know about Schwimer he only pitched like 6 innings. If CC leaves NY they probably would take him off our hands. They need pitching and Blanton came from AL so he is familiar with most of his opponents more so than the NL.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phillies fan from Germany

    If there is any way to get rid of Blanton’s contract (or part of it) then do it. We have lots of pitching and we could need a little bit more balance so use the freed dollars you get by trading Blanton to improve the offense.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I think the odds are 50/50 on a long term deal for Cole Hamels this year. Fact is that they don’t have to, they can go to arbitration. So if Hamels wants more than the Phils want to give (and I am pretty sure it is a lot more than $14M, then they can kick the can and see how Hamels does in 2012.

    JRoll has the advantage that their are not a lot of good options out there. However, he is clearly past his prime and I don’t think the Phils want to go 4 years (sure JRoll talked about 5 years but that was just a way of moving the ball towards 4).

    As I recall many said that Madson could not “close” before this year. I think closers are overrated. It is another inning and if you can pitch the 8th you can pitch the ninth. If we can keep him fine but I would not spend big money on this position. That said we need some experience in the bullpen because the kids have not proven how far they can go. Fortunately there are lots of relievers on the market.

    I would like to see upgrades on the bench. Martinez has to go, his only advantage was versatility but we needed that because we were saddled with Gload. We need to drop Gload and Martinez and bring in some experienced utility players. I am neutral on Valdez. As far as I concerned we need a new backup catcher. Other than being best friends with Vanimal Schneider was horrible, HORRIBLE, at the plate. I am not loooking for a slugger but you have to be north of .200!

    One other thing, I suspect that Amaro is under pressure to actually bring down the payroll this year. Phils financial picture is not good. Sure they fill the park but that doesn’t cut it with a payroll this large.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I wouldn’t worry about Martinez. He’s probably headed for AAA where he’ll be the emergency plan for injured Major Leaguers. The Phils probably see something in the guy, or they would have sent him back to his original team under Rule 5 draft regulations.

      Catchers, many times, are not north of .200. With that position, and particularly as back-up, teams are more interested in defense. LaRussa once said of Yadier Molina–a REGULAR–that he didn’t care if he hit 000.

      I, too, believe that Amaro is under at least some pressure to cut the payroll. I don’t think it’s a “do it now” sort of thing, though, but more like a gradual shift downward.

       
  • Posts: 0 Zak

    1. Rollins & Furcal both will cost too much. Give me a combo of Carroll, Gonzalez, and Barmes. Add Galvis where needed. Cut ties with Rollins, Valdez, and stash Martinez in AAA, until he learns to hit. Another idea is Willie Bloomquist/Jerry Harriston super-utility added to the mix. 2 players, 1 year w/an option 5-8mm total

    2. Madson reminds me of Lights Out Lidge, both 31, both have career years. History always repeats it self, and the bottom can fall out of Madson at anytime (as can be said for every player), but 3 years at 35+ isn’t ideal. We have Contreras, Bastardo, and Aumont & De Fratus in the wings. Veterans like Nathan, Broxton, Wood, Qualls, Rauch, & Fransicso @ the right price (2 for >9mm) is a lot easier to stomache.

    3. We know its time to trade Blanton… Possible options: Dream Big – Yankeesfor Nunez; Red Sox for Lowrie/Scutaro; Nat’s for Ian Desmond (fallen out of favor?); Orioles for Robert Andino.

    4. Is it time to trade Victorino – has his value has peaked? Nats, Rangers, Mariners, White Sox all need a CF. Nats for Desmond, Sox for A. Ram (unlikely) or Thornton & a prospect, Rangers for Michael Young & Cash considerations or Esteban German (Young has no place on the Rangers except DH & German is blocked by Andrus).

    5. What does my team look like?
    1b – M. Young / R. Howard (or D. Lee / Overbeck & Mayberry)
    2b- Utley
    SS- Carroll & Gonzalez & Galvis (call-up)
    3B- Polanco & E. Chavez (old crew, solid defense & ample rest)
    RF- Pence
    CF- Victorino
    LF- Mayberry / G. Sizemore / DeJesus
    Bench – Thome/W.Pena; Reed Johnson/Andruw Jones; Jerry Harriston/Willie Bloomquist, D. Brown

    SP – Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worely, Kendrick (or cheap alternative)
    BP – Contreras, Bastardo, Herndon, Stutes, Schwimmer, Savery/LOOGY, Nathan or Broxton or Francisco or Qualls or K Wood

     
 
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