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Odds and Ends: Oswalt, Sandberg

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 02, 2011 03:54 PM | Comments: 35
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

OSWALT TO YANKEES NOT LIKELY

–UPDATE, 8:05 am: Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says Oswalt is seeking a multi-year deal and says his back feels great. From where I’m sitting it doesn’t look like the Phillies are in a position to offer an aging, yet decent pitcher, two years or more. Doesn’t seem like the prudent move with a roster that’s in need of a youthful infusion. However, free agency can be long and drawn out, so anything can happen with Oswalt and the Phillies.

–Although it seems somewhat unlikely Roy Oswalt will be returning to Philadelphia, he may have a hard time finding what he wants elsewhere. According to ESPN New York, the Yankees are saying no to Oswalt because of his prior back issues.

The pitching starved Yankees need to say yes to a lot of pitching, but a baseball insider close to the situation says they will balk at signing Oswalt this offseason.  Realistically, you could say Oswalt is the second best pitcher available behind C.J. Wilson of the Rangers (and maybe Yu Darvish from Japan, but that remains to be seen).

So if the Yankees are drawing a line in the sand on the 34-year old Oswalt, what does that mean for him in free agency? Undoubtedly, someone will take a chance on this guy – he’s too good not to. It seems like it will come down to which team will guarantee him two years on a deal. Many, many teams NEED pitching in the worst way and while the Phillies aren’t one of them, having Oswalt back at a decent price could be accomplished if the market dries up for him due to concerns about his back.

Stay tuned…

SANDBERG WILL TALK TO STL

Sandberg could be on his way to the WS Champs.

–Ryne Sandberg wants to be a manager. The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs each need one moving forward. But only one has come calling.

According to both Todd Zolecki and Jim Salisbury, the Cardinals have gotten permission from the Phillies to speak with Sandberg about their managerial opening after Tony LaRussa’s retirement following the World Series. The Cubs, who shunned Sandberg before, have announced they are looking for someone with prior big league experience.

I think we can all agree that Sandberg appears to be on the cusp of being a great manager; he just needs that opportunity. And it looks like it could come from St. Louis, when everyone believed it would come from Chicago. But with Theo Epstein in place, things have changed and the new guy wants someone who has been there, done that.

It appears unlikely the Phillies will be able to keep Sandberg in some capacity, although I would hate to see him go. I see him as a guy who can take over for Charlie Manuel if/when he retires when his contract is up.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1674 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 Scotch Man

    I’d fire Charlie and promote Sandberg before letting him walk to another team.

     
  • Posts: 0 Maskman

    I agree…I thought Sandberg the heir apparent to Uncle Cholly. If the Cards want to take a chance with him, let them. One season at AAA does not make you a quality manager…he needs a couple more.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Maskman, he’s had several good seasons in the minors. He was the Pacific Coast League mgr of the year in 2010 before coming to the Phillies organization. Only left the Cubs PCL team because they wouldn’t promote him and signed Mike Quade instead.

      He’s legit. Knows the game well, well-respected.

       
  • Posts: 84 Tom

    Avatar of Tom

    Bring back Roy cheap if you can! I don’t think the organization would ever fire Cholly…maybe give him a cushy front office position!! I hate to see us lose Sandberg again!! Once as a player was enough!!

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Foolish Yankees… their pitching needs a lot of work. And if it comes to a big game, I’d rather have Oswalt than CJ Wilson or the Japanese fella. CJ Wilson would’ve been our No. 5 in last year’s rotation…

    I’d love to see Oswalt back cause he’s too damn good and is set to bounce off from a slightly subpar season. We’ll have to hope other teams are like the Yankees and stay away from him hehe… clearly, the priorities for us right now are bullpen and SS.

    I also read that Jamie Moyer was throwing again, 1 year after Tommy John, and that his reports are “excellent.” Hmmmm…

     
    • Posts: 0 Brandon

      Jamie Moyer? I hope you are joking.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Actually, I wouldn’t mind Moyer getting a look at Kendrick’s role (6th starter/long BP guy), provided he comes at a cheap price.

         
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    If Roy is not as cheap as Kendrick will be you don’t resign him. The Phillies staff will be just fine without Oswalt. They need to put those few extra million dollars to use on improving in other areas or signing some of our free agents. I’d rather have Rollins or Madson than Oswalt on a two year deal.

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Roy as cheap as Kendrick? Are you kidding? I don’t argue we should be just fine without him, but $2.45M? Thats a bit far fetched. It is really comparing Kendrick to Oswalt.

       
      • Posts: 0 Chris

        My point was that unless we were going to get Oswalt for near as cheap as Kendrick could be had there is no point to signing Oswalt. I know Oswalt is worth a lot more than that and that’s why I think he needs to not be signed for a 2 year deal at like 10 per. We don’t need him, we have other more pressing needs.

         
      • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        I understood your point, but you just summed it up “Oswalt is worth a lot more than that” (relatively speaking…It is hard to say any professional sports player is actually worth what they are getting paid to play a game. LOL). This comment does not make alot of sense…”that’s why I think he needs to not be signed for a 2 year deal at like 10 per.” Did you mean sign for no more than 2 years at 10 Mil? I would say closer to a Joe Blanton type of salary. Seeing how Joe Blanton is at $8.5 Mill, it seems far more realistic to say $8.5 Mil for 1 year. Both Big Joe and Oswalt are coming off of injury seasons, but Oswalt had a “down year” or a “bad year” with a 3.96 ERA, which is only .01 runs more than Big Joe’s best season in 2007. It seems far more realistic to compare Blanton and Oswalt. Oswalt when healthy can be, and has been a legitmate Ace. Kendrick has very brief flashes of very good pitching, but it is hard to say near as often as a healthy Oswalt, and I don’t think (even with Kendrick’s career year) has KK ever bee referred to as an Ace, or even a future Ace. Not to mention, signing closer to Blanton’s type salary would be half of what Oswalt was scheduled to make. Not exercising his option was a good call. If he finds a 2 year deal, good for him, but 2 years might be a bit much of a risk with his back.

         
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I remember in 1981 when the Phillies traded Sandberg for Ivan De Jesus.
    I was only 10 years old. But I wrote an op ed piece on how bad it was.

    If he signs with the Cardinals would be a blow.
    Personaly Id rather have him manage the Phillies in 2012 than Manuel.
    And Manuel is my favorite Phillies manager of all time. But I just think the player loyalty approach has run its course. Need a win at any cost forget about the players feelings manager.

     
  • Posts: 521 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Forget about Sandberg. He will be history for the Phillies when he accepts offer as manager from St. Louis. We move on knowing the Phillies have a all time winning manager (most wins for the club) in Manuel.

    Two priorities for the Phillies as free agent market opens tomorrow is signing Rollins and Madson. It is no surprise that the two will test the market. We can only hope that some club will not go crazy with some astronomical figure for Reyes like the one last season when Nats gave “Show Me The Money” Werth a 7yr, $126 million contract. That was a ‘Werthless’ deal for the Nats. As we know, whatever top offer Reyes gets, Rollins will want the same or close to it. Madson deserves the best possible raise for his role as a “closer’ for the Phillies. GIve it to him!

    Quality closers are hard to find. Madson had to endure ‘trial and tribulation’ for several years to develop a “closer mentality” and win the confidence of the manager and team. I’ll quote manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers..”You hear people say anyone can get the last three outs. No, no, no. You’ve got to have a special soul, special mentality, special aggressiveness, something, to get those last outs. We didn’t get them” (referring to the now classic 6th. game of the World Series). Don’t be cheap Phillies..give Madson his due raise.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Ok, so I disagree with basically everything here.

      1. Rollins will not seek or receive anything near Reyes’ future contract. Reyes will receive more years and more money per year because he’s younger and, at this point in their careers, far and away the better player.

      2. Madson may well be in line for a raise, but he doesn’t really “deserve the best possible raise” since that doesn’t really mean anything and is just silly hyperbole. He will get a large raise, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the Phils, because…

      3. Quality closers are not all that hard to find, and you don’t need to pay gigantic sums to “proven closers” in order to be successful. Further, paying lots of money to a guy who’s likely to pitch something like 60 innings a season is generally a mistake, especially so since managers often misuse closers (by using them solely in the 9th inning in save situations, and not in the highest leverage situations regardless of inning). There are lots of teams without proven closers that have done very well. The reigning World Series champs, for one. The Atlanta Braves are another. The Phillies were a third, since until this season Madson wasn’t a proven closer either.

      4. You probably shouldn’t quote Ron Washinton about anything baseball related if you watched the travesty that was his managing of the World Series. And think about what really matters in a closer for a second…it really doesn’t matter how special your soul is if you’ve got mediocre pitches, or how awful your soul is if you have excellent stuff. It’s just a nonsensical comment from a clueless manager (one of many). And you know who he’s talking about? Neftali Feliz who looked terrible all series, even though he’s a proven closer who apparently has met Washington’s criteria of having a “speical something,” seeing as he’s used him as his closer for the past few seasons. Point being, pitchers used in such small sample sizes are very vulnerable to the vicissitudes of baseball luck, and it’s more cost effective to expend the majority of your resources elsewhere. Do you doubt that a guy like Antonio Bastardo could adequately handle the closing duties? He was actually the most dominant pitcher out of the pen this season.

      So, basically, they should fill their bullpen cheaply with in-house solutions and perhaps guys they can get at a bit of a discount (Nathan?), and save the big money for trying to fill the hole at SS, re-upping Hamels, solidifying 3B and revamping the bench.

       
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    What about Larry Bowa going to the Cardinals?

     
  • Posts: 4994 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    4 hours until Rollins and Madson can sign with other teams. I wonder if we will get a signing announcement before that.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Furcal 1yr 6m
    Heath Bell 2y20m
    Dominic Brown, Vance Worley, and Justin DeFartus for Matt Kemp.

    And there’s your offseason.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      Your offseason is pretty optimistic. I could see Furcal getting a 2 yr 14 mill deal, Heath Bell is going to stay a Padre most likely but if you are willing to pay that much for Bell why not pay that for Madson. I don’t think Madson is going to get over 12 mill per and maybe not even that high. And Brown, Worley and De Fratus for Kemp is pretty wishful thinking. If Mccourt is selling the team the new owner is definitely going to want Kemp.

       
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Just because the Cards asked permission to talk to Sandberg I don’t think it means he is the one they will be taking. Whoever they bring will have to be acceptable to Pujols. Has there been any news if those two know each other?

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Yeah I dont see Bell leaving either and he and Madson seem to be going for right around the same price, even though Bell has closed longer.

     
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      The thing is Bell is a good bit older than Madson and Madson’s peripherals kick Bell’s in the butt. Bell’s strikeouts have decreased rapidly and you want relief pitchers who can get K’s and not walk many people if you are going to pay them big bucks.

       
  • Posts: 0 davehist

    I would much prefer Madson to Heath Bell.

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    DeFartus, really?

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Madson has a far better upside than Heath Bell I would think. He is a few years younger, I am curious is Bell’s large frame (weight wise being 250 compared to Madson being tall at 6’6 at closer to 200) might affect Bell’s longevity. The price will more than likely drive who the Phillies sign. Madson is coming off of making $4.5 Mill, where Bell is coming off of making $4Mill. Chances are Madson will demand a decent amount more than Bell, not to mention Madson’s agent Scott Boras is notorious for getting insanely STUPID contracts for his clients. See Jayson Werth’s contract with the Nationals. Who is Bell’s agent? I also recall Madson wanting 3 years $20Mil when he signed his last contract, only to “settle” for $12 Mil per. Madson has a better upside, however Boras will find insane money I would think.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Was surprised to see mlbtraderumors saying how the phillies think they need Madson more than Rollins …I’d like to see sandberg get a chance somewhere and I think he will obviously take the first MLB offer to come his way… Cardinals have nothing to lose if they hire him. Anyone see what pitching coach Dave Duncan is doing now that Tony labooza is retiring?

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Duncan is still officially with the Cards, and plans to stay. Whether he does or not, however, will depend somewhat on if the new manager wants him. (Most managers like to pick their own coaches.)

      Sometimes reporters misinterpret things said by management. Maybe Madson IS the bigger priority at present, or they’re just posturing to bring Rollins down to more reasonable terms. Amaro has repeatedly said they’d like to retain both players, and anything some reporter says may only be a comment he thought he heard over the restroom toilet flushing.

       
  • Posts: 2973 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Scotch Man at the top of this thread obviously had too much scotch when he posted his suggestion.

     
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    Amaro should offer Oswalt arbitration, so that when he leaves for a 3 year deal to some team desperate for starting pitching the Phils get a first round pick and a sandwich pick in return as compensation. I really don’t see him accepting arbitration, and if he does you can offer to renegotiate the deal into a 2 or 3 year deal for less money, look to trade someone (Blanton/Oswalt/Kendrick?) or you can just eat the contract for one season, since, as they say, there’s no such thing as a bad one year deal. Oswalt is actually still an elite pitcher when he’s healthy, so the arbitration gamble has lots of upside, in terms of picks or a season of good performance.

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      They probably won’t cause they’re scared he’ll end up making too much money in arbitration. But I agree with you… it’s just one year and he’s still an elite pitcher. Barring any health issues that the Phillies know of but we don’t, I don’t see how offering arbitration would be a bad thing for us.

       
      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        I agree with everything you said, EricL. I highly doubt that in a scarce market for starting pitchers, no one out there would be willing to give Oswalt a two year deal… (while they’d give relievers like Madson, Bell, etc three year deals…!?… makes no sense!)

        If he accepts, good. We’ll have him back in the 4th spot and sufficient pitching depth for the season. He was our best pitcher early on in the 2011 season, so it’s not like he suddenly aged and his back snapped for good. The dude is 34. You know who’s older? Roy freaking Halladay…

         
    • Posts: 4994 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      That’s a gamble for sure, one I hope they will not take. What if between now and Nov. 23rd he finds there are not that many suitors willing to break the bank for a pitcher his age with recent back problems. He could well accept arbitration. I just think the money can be more wisely used to shore up other parts of the club. I don’t see the need for 4 top tier pitchers, we should go after offense. Those that were here last year know that I said the same thing when the reports began to surface about the Phils being the mystery club with Cliff Lee, it didn’t make sense when we clearly needed to allocate more to good hitters. Due to Oswalt and Blanton’s injuries, it turned out to be the right move. But as it stands right now, Halladay, Lee and Hamels are enough. IMO It’s just too risky for just a draft pick.

       
      • Posts: 0 Chris

        Completely agree with Lefty. We have zero need for Oswalt so why risk the maybe 50 % chance that he accepts the arbitration offer. If he accepts we lose any financial flexibility for this next season.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Well, I disagree, as I see it as a gamble with relatively little downside – you either get two high pics or you get another year of Oswalt. I also don’t think they need to concentrate on their offense as the 2012 Phils had an excellent offense; after Utley’s return on May 23rd they had the best offense in the NL. There’s a very good article up at TheGoodPhight right now about how their offense was actually better than their offenses of 2008 and 2010 when compared to the league average. That’s something I’ve been saying all along, and one of the reasons I didn’t like the Pence deal – they were fine offensively after they stopped trotting out MiniMart and Valdez on a daily basis. [Not that I don't like Pence, it's just that I thought - and still do - that they gave up too much for him to fill a non-existent hole...but that's not germane here]

        And I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re going to have some trouble with the back end of the rotation. Blanton is coming off a year in which he basically was never fully healthy, and had some nerve issues in his arm, yet they didn’t repair anything surgically and are basically just hoping for the best after some rest and rehab. Worse, his last full season wasn’t particularly impressive anyway. I suppose rest and rehab might be enough and he’s ready to go a full seasons, but I’m not optimistic. And as much as I like Worley, there’s no way he’s as successful in 2012 as he was in 2011, as teams see more of him and he reverts to something more along the lines of what his peripherals would suggest. That would be the best case scenario, IMO. Worst case he pulls a JA Happ. So, I really like the depth they had at SP, and repeating that for a season wouldn’t be the worst thing they could do, if it even came to that.

        Just seems to me like a smart gamble, and I really don’t see all of the teams that desperately need starting pitching passing on him in such a very weak SP market.

         
      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        I agree with everything you said, EricL. I highly doubt that in a scarce market for starting pitchers, no one out there would be willing to give Oswalt a two year deal… (while they’d give relievers like Madson, Bell, etc three year deals…!?… makes no sense!)

        If he accepts, good. We’ll have him back in the 4th spot and sufficient pitching depth for the season. He was our best pitcher early on in the 2011 season, so it’s not like he suddenly aged and his back snapped for good. The dude is 34. You know who’s older? Roy freaking Halladay…

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Make Oswalt our new closer…the end!

     
 
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