Hot Stove: Berkman, Hamilton as Fall Back Options?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, November 19, 2012 06:17 PM | Comments: 20
Mailbag, Trade Rumors, Transactions

According to national beat writers, the Phillies preference is Bourn, Upton, followed by Hamilton. Photo: AP

UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle has reported the Phillies are in “tire-kicking” mode with Lance Berkman. The Astros were the only team known to be in contact with the Big Puma previous to today about a possible return to Houston. Berkman missed time last season with two knee surgeries but was a key contributor to the 2011 World Series Champion Cardinals. He has said recently that in order to return, he wants to be paid like a three-hole hitter and that he would give the Astros a discount. For the price of a three-hole hitter, I’d pass on Puma.


The biggest news today from the Hot Stove is that, per Jon Heyman, the Phillies view Josh Hamilton as a fall-back option in the event they don’t sign Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton. Heyman described the market for Hamilton as a “bona fide mysetery market”, with the Mariners out, the Orioles and Brewers on the periphery, and the Rangers, Braves, Phillies, and Red Sox having the strongest interest.

In an Insider-Only piece yesterday, Buster Olney believes the Phillies may start the dominoes going in the center field market. He had a pretty comprehensive piece about the Phillies’ center field targets, but if you have been following our Hot Stove coverage, including our new mailbag feature, a lot of that information would look very familiar. In short, Olney states: Bourn is good lead-off fit but is too expensive, Hamilton’s power translates well but is another lefty and has a great deal of off-the-field issues, Upton is probably the best fit but is a case of never reaching his believed potential and may be too expensive, Victorino is a really good fit but would not be seen as something new or fresh by the fan base, and Pagan would be a nice add but may be a beneficiary of teams spending early, often, and way too much this year. Additionally, Olney has a really nice piece about the current market, which is required reading for this year’s Hot Stove followers.

Minor news:

Ryan Howard is now represented exclusively by CAA Sports. Howard was previously represented by both CAA Sports and Excel Sports Management.

Last year’s starting left fielder Juan Pierre has signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal with the Miami Marlins. Pierre had an outstanding year for the Phillies last year, hitting .307/.351/.371, stealing 37 steals in 44 tries last year so the dollar figure involved comes as sort of a surprise although Pierre will turn 36 next August.

Finally, Raul Ibanez, fresh off receiving a Tenth Place MVP vote from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press despite only being the sixteenth most valuable Yankee in terms of fWAR, is getting closer to re-signing with the Yankees. Ken Davidoff of he New York Post is reporting the club has “significant interest” in bringing back the 40-year old outfielder. Ibanez hit .240/.308/.453 with 20 HRs last year with 85% of his plate appearances coming against righties.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 892 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 5434 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Josh Hamilton wants 7 years 175 million. Seriously, this report just can’t be right. They’d really consider paying that for another left handed slugger for his age 32-39 seasons? I get that he’s a superstar, a big splash. I just- I don’t know, it just seems insane to me.

    IMO- Either Angel Pagan or Shane Victorino for 2 years would be good enough to keep us contenders.

    • Posts: 1048 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      He’s not getting anything near that amount.

      I prefer Vic or Pagan because they won’t cost the Phils their first round pick and because they probably won’t command the exorbitant salaries that Bourn, Hamilton or Upton will.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      There isn’t a way in the world Pagan is coming to the Phils on a 2 year deal. Gun pointed at his head, he STILL might not sign. He might, depends on his affection for Russian Roulette. You have several clubs vying for outfielders, primo position of CF highlighting the wanted list, and the guy is 31. It’s gonna take cash plus, and then some to pull him away from the Giants, and at his age, inking a 2 year deal would be about as bad a set of business skills that one could demonstrate. He’s got a chance to defend in an environment he seemed to flourish in, and unless there’s some deep afection for a return to the East Coast, (which is possible), he’s not coming to Philly, and he should be able to negotiate 3, possibly (iffy) 4 years. Only way he makes a move is for significantly more bucks than the Giants offer. Plus, he wouldn’t lead off here, and you sure get the idea he’s comfortable in that spot.

      I believe Pagan might sign early, and if he does (winter meetings time), it’s with the Giants. But I also could see him waiting to raise his supply and demand position like Beltran did and letting Bourne and BJ set the market.

      I say less than .005% chance he’s a Phil. But he’d be a welcome asset.

      • Posts: 23 DadsInKeyLargo

        Avatar of DadsInKeyLargo

        Ken, as long as someone will scratch out a check, he’ll go where the money is.
        Most players prefer to stay put, but make no mistake, it is all about the Benjamens.

      • Posts: 1048 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        I’ll take the over on the 0.005%.

  • Posts: 5434 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Chooch singles to left. Go Panama.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Speaking of The Catcher, yesterday was Bob Boone’s 65th birthday. I’ve never looked at Andy Seminick’s career, but it seems a foregone conclusion that Dutch Daulton would be the Phils all-time catcher. But in looking at Boonie’s stats, Chooch might have a just short of reasonable shot at being considered the 2nd best Phils backstop in history. Not that Boone 2was ever an offensive machine, but his overall play for about 8 years hereset a mark that if Chooch plays another 3 years here he could create debate. One thing I noticed about Boone was that in his last 3 years, ages 40-42, he ran an especially impressive OBP, .336-.350 range which was basically higher, and more consistent than during his younger years.

      I don’t know that Boonie ever had a hit in November though, so Chooch gets a point for last night’s WBC effort.

      • Posts: 891 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        For what it’s worth, as far as I can tell Chooch just became the only catcher in Phillies history to get MVP votes in 3 different years. Daulton (2), Lieberthal (0), and Seminick (1) never did that. Boone had 2, one of them with the Angels.

      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        lol, I swear, I ALWAYS forget Lieberthal. It is incredible how CONSISTENT I am about it.
        He certainly deserves cionsideration of Phillie catchers worth extra salt. Even if he didn’t get any MVP votes, he did a good job.

  • Posts: 0 stephanie

    I agree with you, Victorino or Pagan for the years and money you suggested. Pagan showed some nice skills this past season. I also LOVED when he got fired up after Matt Holiday slid into Scutaro during the playoffs. We need some fire! And I always loved Victorino’s presence on the team. I would have no problem passing up on Hamilton. I hated the way he handled his injury a few seasons back when he blamed it on the coach. He just seems to run his yap too much and come on now, can’t play thru a sinus infection, chewing tobacco habit, etc etc. Also the last straw for me was the statement by Mike Adams when he said Josh is just too hard to figure out. Seems like too many red flags for his age and $$.

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I’m not one of those who chase after every rumor. To me, rumor is another name for ‘baseball fantasy’. (smile)

    Reality check: MLB.com reports..”Miami doesn’t announce financial terms, but Pierre will make $1.6 million (for one year). The veteran, who spent 2012 with the Phillies, will be Miami’s primary left fielder and leadoff hitter.”

    I have mixed emotions with that. I’m pleased for Pierre who will rejoin the club he played for in their championship season of 2003. He certainly will continue to get playing time as he did for the Phillies last season. On the other hand, I think it’s a mistake for the Phillies not to offer the same or slightly better contract than the Marlins gave to Pierre. He was such a sparkplug for Phillies with his bat and speed.

    • Posts: 891 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      Pierre had a resurgent year this year. He was very consistent, and his professionalism was admirable.

      But that was only the 2nd season in the last 8 that he wasn’t a well below average hitter, and chances are very high that he will be below average again in 2013. Combine that with his no longer functioning arm, and it’s not surprising that the Phillies chose to move on.

      We should be very thankful that he gave us the year that he did, and he could surprise and have another good season next year. But at his age (35, turning 36 next August), it’s not very likely.

    • Posts: 23 DadsInKeyLargo

      Avatar of DadsInKeyLargo

      Loved what Juan did for the team. But, there wasn’t a position for him in 2013.
      Juan only plays left, and he bats left. The team wants to upgrade to more power and from the right side..
      I wish Juan well, a class act in the dug out, in the club house, and on the field.

  • Posts: 0 Phillies fan from Germany

    I would still go with Victorino. If he could put up some numbers that are between his 2011 and 2012 numbers he would provide great value at probably a shorter term deal than all the other options. And don’t forget about the 1st round pick.

    For the other outfield spots you would have three options: a platoon of Schierholtz and Mayberry, Ruf and Brown. If two of those options work out the Phillies would have a pretty good outfield.

  • Posts: 0 Craig

    this team is done. these horrible moves on this team. first they get a great deal to get lee for some average prospecs. then trade lee away for nobody and get mr doc. more prospecs gone plus drabek. then they bring back lee. all that money to pitching and talent given away. then we give ryan who is not a clutch hitter all that money for many years. his power is declining. dead weight. chase is done. not much left in his tank. then give jimmy that money. stupid. bring in a closer for 50 million dollars. are you kidding me. for a guy to come out and pitch one inning. they gave raul a nice amount of change. this team has no clue. they are going nowhere.

    • Posts: 891 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      “all that money to pitching and talent given away.”
      – loading up on pitching was a fine strategy. In fact, it still is.

      “then we give ryan who is not a clutch hitter”
      – the facts beg to differ

      “his power is declining.”
      – he was essentially the same hitter from 2008 through 2011. We will have to see whether 2012′s issues were due to his achilles, and we won’t know that til probablly mid-2013

      “chase is done. not much left in his tank.”
      – Utley is not the player he used to be. At the same time, when he’s on the field, even this year, he’s still a very good player and one of the best in the game at his position. The key is to make sure he plays 130+ games

      “then give jimmy that money. stupid.”
      – He was the best option at the time, and he responded by being one of the 2 or 3 best shortstops in baseball this year

      “bring in a closer for 50 million dollars. are you kidding me. for a guy to come out and pitch one inning.”
      – Tend to agree, although if you’re going to give any closer that money, Papelbon wasn’t a bad one to give it to. Wish they could have limited it to 3 years though.

      “this team has no clue. they are going nowhere.”
      – It’s a little early to tell, since the off-season is really just beginning. They did play at a 95-win pace in the second half, so that’s at least a positive sign, and a lot will depend on what changes they make over the next month or two.

      • Posts: 0 Don M

        schmenkman, that was the best post i’ve read in a long, long time!

      • Posts: 5434 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        “– Tend to agree, although if you’re going to give any closer that money, Papelbon wasn’t a bad one to give it to.”

        I don’t agree with this statement.
        Here’s why, 2012 velocity drop on all pitches. Pretty rare to see this go down one year and then go back up.


      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Granted, although we didn’t know about 2012 at the time of the signing, and he did have a very effective year in spite of the velocity dip.

  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    I’ll miss Pierre and all he did for the team, but I also don’t see where we could have used him. I don’t think Pagan will sign with the Phils, Berkman isn’t worth a 3 hole hitter’s salary, and Hamilton, while a star player, has too many issues. I’d be more than happy with Upton or Victorino. I’d be happiest when we never bring Mini-mart up to the bigs again.

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