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Phillies Offseason Plan – Eric’s Version

Posted by Eric Seidman, Tue, November 13, 2012 12:50 PM | Comments: 37
Analysis, Commentary, Offseason, Rumors, Statistical Analysis, Trades

The Phillies are in an interesting spot heading into 2013, as there are legitimate holes to fill and a number of solid players they could pursue. The outfield has garnered plenty of attention, as the roster currently features five players either unproven, or who’ve proven that they are best utilized in a part-time role. Third base is a position of interest, with questionable internal options and an ugly free agent class. Bullpens are also always scrutinized and the Phils’ relief corps — which had the second worst eighth inning ERA in baseball last season — is no different

Ryan Madson would be a low-risk, high-reward signing. (PHOTO: NJ.com)

When discussing moves, however, it’s important to remember that everything is connected. Signing B.J. Upton means that another player is released, non-tendered or demoted. It would also mean that the team has less money to spend in other areas. A trade for Peter Bourjos might include one or two players currently on the major-league roster. Moves are often discussed in the abstract, without regard for the trickle-down effects on the rest of the roster.

It’s best to discuss an offseason plan¬†holistically to ensure that all bases are covered, that funds aren’t over- or under-allocated to certain areas, and on a more basic level, to make sure that the roster doesn’t have more than 25 players.

To that end, Pat, Corey and I decided to put together our own offseason plans, playing Fantasy GM and building a 2013 roster based on our opinions on the specific needs of the team and which players are the best investments for those needs.

We tried to build our teams irrespective of current rumors or players to which the Phils have been connected (i.e. Josh Hamilton on Monday). The goal isn’t to predict what the Phillies will do, but rather to suggest what moves we would pursue if, to borrow a phrase from Amaro himself, we had our druthers.

Payroll was a major consideration. We were cognizant of the luxury tax calculable payroll, which is the average annual value of long-term contracts and not the specific salary for the 2013 season.

With the introductions and disclaimers out of the way, here is my offseason plan.

Bullpen: Sign Ryan Madson for 1 yr/$5 mil
I speculated earlier in the year that Madson could likely be had on a one-year, $2-$3 million contract. He injured his elbow, underwent reconstructive surgery, is set to return sometime towards the end of April or beginning of May 2013 and will probably have trouble finding a closing gig, regardless of his desires.

Elbow injuries are serious, especially for relievers, and while the success rate of the surgery is stellar, teams aren’t prone to doling out big bucks to a 50-60 IP pitcher who just missed the entire season. I’ve adjusted my estimate to $5 million, which is an average of what he’ll likely get offered in guaranteed money vs. the maximum amount he could get in a deal with a low base salary but plenty of incentives.

He’ll have to make a sacrifice in one area. He could get a closing gig if he signed for less money, or he could get his market value if he agreed to serve as a setup man. It’s unlikely that he’ll find a suitor willing to give him both, especially considering that it’s going to take some time for him to get back into game shape after missing so much action.

Madson needs to reestablish both health and production and the Phillies are the perfect team to give him that opportunity. In effect, both sides will use one another. The Phillies will stabilize a young bullpen by adding in an elite-when-healthy reliever for one year, while Madson gets to pitch in an environment comfortable to him in order to audition for his next job.

There was bad blood between Madson, agent Scott Boras and the Phillies after negotiations fell through last winter, but multiple baseball people have reported that the air has been cleared.

It’s not worth discussing Madson’s numbers because we don’t know how he’ll pitch upon returning to the mound. However, I’m not really interested in giving out multi-year deals to relievers, and he is the only elitish reliever on the market who has an incentive to sign a one-year contract. With Madson in the fold to set up for Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies could round out the 7-man bullpen with two lefties in Antonio Bastardo and Jeremy Horst, wild cards in Josh Lindblom and Phillippe Aumont, and one of Michael Schwimer, Michael Stutes, Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman and B.J. Rosenberg.

Outfield: Trade for Peter Bourjos of the Angels
I discussed this idea last week, since Bourjos is somewhat blocked in Los Angeles, he combines several of the best attributes of the deep centerfield class, and he potentially represents a creative and long-term solution to a clear problem on the Phillies roster. The highlights of that post for the sake of expediency:

  • He is young, in his mid-20s, about to enter his prime
  • He isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet
  • 2nd-best UZR at any position since 2010: +40 in CF despite playing 1,000+ fewer IP than others
  • His UZR/150 in CF since 2010 is +23.9. Ellsbury and Gomez are 2nd and 3rd, both under +14
  • When playing every day in 2011, he had a 113 wRC+ and hit .273/.327/.438

There is plenty of risk here, as Bourjos may very well be the 2010 and 2012 offensive version of himself, with his value solely derived from fielding and baserunning. However, his fielding is so overwhelmingly good that it makes up for a potentially subpar bat. Case in point, he tallied 2 WAR in sporadic playing time in both of those seasons. The Angels aren’t motivated to move him right now, and the Phillies shouldn’t destroy the farm to acquire him, but in a market flush with older and risky centerfielders, Bourjos is an intriguing possibility. I would rather work out a reasonable trade here than overpay Michael Bourn.

Note that the Phillies would include Nate Schierholtz in the deal.

Infield: Sign Eric Chavez for 2 yrs, $6 million
Recapping another idea I fleshed out recently, Chavez is still a capable defensive third baseman who destroyed right-handed pitching this season. Righty-crushing members of platoons are much tougher to find than lefty-crushers, and Chavez ranked towards the top of the AL leaderboard in wOBA and wRC+ against righties. He stepped to the plate 312 times in 2012 and faced righties in 273 of them. He hit a robust .294/.366/.545, with a .387 wOBA and 144 wRC+ in those plate appearances.

The intent is to platoon Chavez with Kevin Frandsen and perhaps a dash of Freddy Galvis. Chavez should not face lefties at all, but righties account for approximately 70% of the pitches thrown in a season. His role is an important one, and his production against righties, combined with the managed playing of Frandsen and the expected defensive wizardry of Galvis, could give the Phillies 3.5-4 WAR at the position for around $5 million.

Chavez previously stated it was the Yankees or retirement, but it’s possible his stance has changed. I’m less interested in what players said six months ago or how they feel right now than I am in the best possible solutions to Phillies problems.

Regardless of feasibility, a three-man time share of Chavez, Frandsen and Galvez is a productive, cost-effective, stopgap platoon.

Outfield: Sign Nick Swisher for 4 yrs, $56 million
My lone big move of the offseason would bring the former Yankees rightfielder to the Phillies on an affordable deal. Yes, the Phillies would pay Swisher $14 million per season for his age 32-35 years, but there are very real reasons to suspect that his 3.5-4 WAR pace is sustainable over the next several seasons. His skill-set is one that ages well and there aren’t really any legitimate baseball reasons to avoid pursuing him.

I phrase it like that because I imagine there are some fans who have been rubbed the wrong way by their perception of his personality.

Swisher has tallied just under 12 WAR over the last three seasons and has steadily averaged 3.5-4 WAR over the last several years. Of the 93 qualified outfielders since 2010, his WAR mark ranks 16th, tied with Chris Young and Justin Upton. In fact, comparing Swisher and the better Upton over the last three years proves very interesting:

Swisher: .274/.366/.478, 129 wRC+, 12.1 BB/PA, 21.4 K/PA, .204 ISO, +11.2 Fld
Upton: .281/.361/.469, 120 wRC+, 9.9 BB/PA, 21.3 K/PA, .188 ISO, +11.1 UZR

These are very similar stat-lines that actually favor Swisher. Now, Upton is much younger and he may not have even reached his potential yet, whereas Swisher is a finished product at this point. However, if one accepts that Swisher’s skill-set ages well, and that his abilities are unlikely to deteriorate over the next few seasons, one could logically argue for his signing over Upton’s acquisition, considering the latter costs much more in the way of prospects.

Among those same 93 qualified outfielders since 2010, Swisher has the 7th-highest BB/PA, 10th-highest OBP and 13th-highest wOBA.

He also has one of the top fielding ratings of qualified rightfielders. Almost as importantly, he has produced these great numbers in a very consistent fashion. He is always healthy, averaging over 150 games over the last seven seasons. Since 2006, he has the following yearly WAR totals: 3.9, 3.9, 1.3, 3.2, 4.1, 3.8, 3.9.

The down year was with the White Sox. A .249 BABIP was the major culprit, and his walk rate and isolated power were all around his career averages and he rated positively in the field and on the bases.

Simply put, Swisher is one of the most consistently productive players in baseball, and a player I am very comfortable paying $56 million over four years. Whether he’ll accept that type of deal remains to be seen, especially since he entered the offseason looking for a Jayson Werth-like contract. If the Phillies can get him for $13-$15 million per year and can limit the deal to four guaranteed years, he’s worth it.

He might not accept this type of deal, but I don’t think he’ll come anywhere near Werth’s territory. If the Phillies had to go a fifth year, I would still consider the deal. Or if they had to pay him $68-$72 million over four years, an average annual value in the realm of Torii Hunter’s most recent deal, I would also be ‘down with that’ as the kids say.

Resulting Roster
As a result of these moves, the Phillies luxury tax calculable payroll is $165.49 million, which gives them about $3 million of flexibility. Though the threshold is $178 million, 1/30th of player benefit costs are added to each team’s payroll, and that figure is generally around $10-11 million. Here is the roster after these moves are made:

SP: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley
RP: Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Madson, Philippe Aumont, Josh Lindblom, Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Michael Schwimer
C: Carlos Ruiz, Erik Kratz
IF: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Eric Chavez (vs. R), Kevin Frandsen (vs. L), Freddy Galvis
OF: Peter Bourjos, Nick Swisher, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry, Darin Ruf

Laynce Nix was cut because he was redundant.

Stay tuned for Pat’s and Corey’s offseason plans over the next couple of days.

Avatar of Eric Seidman

About Eric Seidman

Eric Seidman has written 64 articles on Phillies Nation.

Eric offers his unique analytical perspective to Phillies Nation and is a regular contributor on FanGraphs.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 426 Publius

    Avatar of Publius

    4/$56 comes nowhere close to netting you Swisher

     
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Maybe not, but as I acknowledged above, I’d also be fine with 4/$72, or 5/$75. I don’t think he’ll get anywhere near Werth-money, and think his deal will be lesser than the one Torii Hunter signed five years ago.

       
  • Posts: 0 MplsPhilsFan

    Eric,

    As a fan, I would be satisfied if the Phillies followed this plan in the offseason, but I do not think it is a likely outcome.

    First, while Madson for $5mm would be a generous offer for someone who would not be able to pitch until May, I do not think he would accept this deal from the Phils unless no one else was close. Bad blood between a player and a team is overrated when it comes to being paid, but if the dollar values are close it will become an issue and I think another team would give Ryan close to that amount. Therefore, I do not see him coming here.

    We discussed Bourjos when you first brought up the concept. I think he is a good player, btu right now the Angels do not have much motivation to move him. It is difficult to envision any team wanting to have both Trumbo & Wells in the outfield, even with Trout as the CF. Upton or a trade for Span would be a better option to me

    Chavez would be an excellent option at 3B, but again, there has been no indication that he wants to play anywhere other than NYC. Would a 2 year deal at $3 MM per year be enough to get him to change his mind? Not sure about that, although it is a fair offer

    Swisher will not get the contract Werth received, but I do think that a 4 year $56mm feels low, even with a crowded market of outfielders. With teams like the Red Sox and Rangers flush with cash and a need for a corner outfielder, I do not see Swisher signing for less than 5 years $80 mm. Well below the insane contract for Werth, but above where you have him slotted

     
    • Posts: 0 Michael T

      Further to the point on Bourjos – The intro to the article emphatically states that we have to examine the ripple effect on the roster of each move. Yet, the “plan” just says “trade for Bourjos” and “Schierholtz will be included”. Who are we trading for Bourjos, and what other holes might that create? Why are the Angels taking Schierholtz (who many speculate could be non-tendered), if their goal in this trade is ease their OF logjam?

      Philosophically, what is the motivation for trading from our limited prospect cache to acquire a CF, where there are numerous viable options on the free agent market that would not require us to give up prospects, as opposed to trading for one of the other areas of need (3B, 8th inning) where the free agent market is not as ripe?

      Michael T.

       
      • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

        Avatar of Eric Seidman

        I covered what it could take to get Bourjos in the article linked. Didn’t feel the need to add it here again, however the ripple effect on the MLB roster would be losing Schierholtz, an under control outfielder who won’t make much money, is a solid bat in a platoon and a good fielder. The deal would also likely include one of the Phillies catching prospects (Valle, Joseph or Rupp).

         
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Mpls,

      As was stated in the post, we wanted to get away from only the most realistic scenarios. The goal was to discuss what WE would do if we were GM. I think the Phillies are more likely to sign Hamilton to some ridiculous deal than even consider Bourjos, but the point is to discuss what we would do if given the keys to the car. I agree with much of what you said, I just wasn’t super-concerned with realisticnessosity.

       
  • Posts: 0 Tony Longmire

    I don’t like Schwimer for the Philly pen. I just don’t think he’s a good MLB reliever and he hasn’t been too good with the Phillies either with his talking out of turn and being more a black eye for the Phillies then player for them. I also think DeFratus will make the Phillies pen.

    I wouldn’t mind getting Swisher but I agree with publlus I don’t think Swisher comes cheap.

     
  • Posts: 4409 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    What else do you feel the Angels would want for Bourjos than Schierholtz? Diekman Maybe? Would you be willing to do that? I think I would.

     
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Why on earth would we ever want Swisher? He is better suited for an AL team that can either move him to DH or to 1B. He is not a natural outfielder and his defense is worse than Hunter Pence and we all complained about him. Beyond the worst idea in this article. Overpay an average player that makes stupid mistakes and is aging?

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    I think Bourgos would be the best bang for the buck. Also, I do not like Schimmer at all. Dangle him as trade bait. If we sign B.J.Upton,we will regret it. He strikes out way too much and will command top dollar. This whole offseason will be interesting and will be very important to Amaro’s future.

     
    • Posts: 0 hk

      Bourjos has struck out in 22.1% of his plate appearances. Upton has struck out in 25.1% of his plate appearances. If Upton strikes out way too much while producing an OPS of .758, how do you describe Bourjos’s K rate while producing an OPS of .703?

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Bourjos has also struck out more than Swisher (21.3%) or Bourn (20.2%).

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m totally on board with the idea of trading for Bourjos – gives us the flexibility we need to do something to make an impact but getting him for nothing is probably a long shot… a lot of teams would be knocking on the door for Bourjos. But if we assume that’s possible and if we assume you can get Swisher for $14 million per season and all of the other stuff you mentioned checks out, you’re still $9 milliion over the luxury tax threshold and $15 million above the mark you started with in 2012… that’s a lot for the ownership group to swallow considering where you ended the 2012 campaign, Eric.

     
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Chuck, not getting your math. I included the luxury tax calculable payroll in this article. It would be $165 million. Add in the $10 mil of player benefits assigned to the Phillies and they would still be $3 million under.

       
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        I miscalculated by accounting for the full salary of the 15 extra men on the 40 man roster (you only include the amount for time spent) so I was wrong. I’m not sure how you project that.

        Numbers in millions…
        Halladay 20, Hamels 24, Kendrick 4, Lee 22, Worley 1, Papelbon 12.5, Madson 5, Ruiz 5, Howard 23, Frandsen .850, Rollins 11, Utley 15, Chavez 3, Mayberry 1, Swisher 14, ten players at or around minimum (call it .650) = $167.85 million… plus incentives (I used $12) = $179.85…that’s the 25 man roster… other players on 40 man roster – $2-5 million?

        Regardless, it’s the same situation they were in last year and I think it’s fine. I was just yanking your chain a little bit. Do you know where the 2012 payroll ended up for the purposes of computing luxury tax? It had to be over…

         
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Our difference was incentives — I didn’t include the $12 you calculated because as of the beginning of the season none would have been triggered. Since lux tax payroll is calc’d before and after the season, and I’m looking at before, incentives aren’t factored in. Utley also is signed to a 7/$85 mil deal, which is ~$12 AAV, not $15 mil. By year-end they may be over if incentives trigger, but I’m not assuming they will in calculating the pre-season lux tax payroll. I suppose chainyanking is allowable.

       
  • Posts: 0 MichaelZ

    All that alphabet soup still doesn’t convince me that Bourjos would be little more than a fourth outfielder on a team that has nothing but fourth outfielders. Upton would be my choice. Swisher would be a decent addition, I suppose, a righthanded power bat to hit behind Howard, but the team will definitely lead the league in back-to-back K’s. Madsen as setup man is a gamblke I;d rather not take. And I’d rather see Youklis keeping the bag warm for Cody Asche than Chavez. IMO.

    They could also use another starting pitcher, since neither Kendrick nor Worley inspire a huge amount of confidence, and who knows what sort of years Lee and Halladay are going to have.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Upton does strike out a ton. Couple him with Howard and you be pulling out your hair. Im thinking Madson is looking for money to. What about Stutes for the bullpen did we forget about him?

     
  • Posts: 0 hk

    Eric,

    If you don’t mind, please post again the correlation between K% and runs scored. Thanks.

     
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      From 2008-12, here are the correlations you called for:

      Runs Scored to K/PA = -0.33
      Runs Scored to OBP = 0.92
      Runs Scored to wOBA = 0.98

       
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Thanks. Hopefully this information will educate the readers of the fact that K’s by a hitter are irrelevant if his offensive production is otherwise acceptable.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Chuck’s plan for America… I mean, the Phillies.

    I’m going to preface my comment by saying this… right now, looking at our depth chart, our offense is so bad it’s frightening. We have borderline major leaguers at four positions and our bullpen is chock full of young and inexperienced arms. Given our payroll obligations, I think you can address one of those needs without trading away our existing crop. I think you can get two – maybe three – by trading. So here goes…

    Move number one, two and three – we need a defensive-minded center fielder that can lead off and a third baseman. The Angels and Twins have excess at both positions. I like the idea of trading for Bourjos or Span and potentially Jamey Carroll/Mark Trumbo (assuming we can train Trumbo to play third) as well. We need to create some flexibility with regards to payroll so the deal I’m making is to move Cliff Lee. This is going to be a painful move to make but there are a lot of teams that need an a Cliff Lee right now (including the Angels and Twins) and we have him. He’s the third starter on our team… quite frankly, I’d like to trade Halladay but that’s not happening so I move the martyr, Lee. The corresponding move in the rotation would be to add an Erik Bedard or Ryan Dempster type to be our third starter (a typical third starter – this year’s FA crop seems to be ripe with those guys). This move nets us $12 million.

    Up next – add an impact bat – and because the market has softened so much for him, I’m going for Josh Hamilton. I’m going to give him the seven year deal he wants but he’s not getting anywhere near $25 million per year that he’s asking… I’ll give him $15 million and I’ll load that sucker with incentives. This is really because I see an opportunity to land a bargain. Look at what Hamilton has done – he’s been on the MVP ballot every year which he has had more than 500 PA in his career. He’s a versatile outfielder (I’d say he’s better than average defensively at the corners) and he the guy that I would lean on to carry us offensively. If you’re going to spend $14 million on Nick Swisher, wouldn’t you rather see if Hamilton would bite at $15-16 million and seven years (with incentives)? Maybe it’s a pipe dream but maybe we’re the only team that is willing to give him some longer-term security. He hasn’t had any serious injuries… some nagging ones but nothing that suggests he won’t be able to play at this level for another five years and as he gets older, he’ll be less of a risk (with regards to drugs/alcohol). He makes us ultra heavy left-handed until Utley leaves but I don’t care.

    So my infield is Howard, Utley, Rollins, Carroll/Trumbo with Galvis and Frandsen as back ups.

    My outfield is Brown, Span/Bourjos, Hamilton with Mayberry, Ruf and Schierholtz as back ups (I’m cutting Nix, too).

    My rotation is Hamels, Halladay, Worley, Dempster and Kendrick.

    My bullpen is Pap and co (and maybe we have a few million to allocate to an 8th inning guy).

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      OCP, there’s a lot there, and while this may not be fair, I’ll pick on one thing, which is that either Bourjos or Span would lead off. Of those two and Rollins, Rollins is the only one of the three who are likely to decline, but it’s not clear that either Bourjos or Span would be a better leadoff hitter, at least in the immediate term.

      Last 3 years:

      Bourjos … .247/.301/.402, 95 wRC+, 5.6% BB, 22.1% K, 26 SB and 10 CS per 700 PA
      Span ……. .271/.334/.367, 95 wRC+, 8.5% BB, 10.9% K, 24 SB and 5 CS per 700 PA
      Rollins …. .255/.325/.405, 98 wRC+, 9.3% BB, 10.8% K, 31 SB and 6 CS per 700 PA

      1st pitch swinging, pitches per PA:

      Bourjos … 32% of 1stPSw, 3.67 P/PA
      Span …….. 20% of 1stPSw, 3.81 P/PA
      Rollins …. 18% of 1stPSw, 3.73 P/PA

      Now, Bourjos has only batted leadoff 128 times in his career (out of 940), and usually bats 8-9, but he only has 4 walks in those 128 PAs. Span has batted leadoff his entire career.

       
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        I actually like Span better than Bourjos for the reasons you mentioned above but I like Trumbo better than Carroll… so I’d be willing to take a gamble that Bourjos could figure it out in that leadoff spot if Rollins does decline (if it means that we’re getting Trumbo). Of course, all of this is predicated upon the Angels actually parting ways with Trumbo and Bourjos for Cliff Lee. I think they would do it, especially if they lose Greinke. They still have Morales and Vernon Wells and Kole Calhoun so they could go with that and afford to lose Trumbo and Bourjos. This move by itself doesn’t really make us better but if you can make a run at Josh Hamilton… ok maybe I’m delusional.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    “RP: Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Madson, Philippe Aumont, Josh Lindblom, Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Michael Schwimer”

    I wouldn’t call it as hard as trying to find a cure for cancer, but it looks like the Phils are challenged with replacing Kendrick as a long man for the first time in a while. Maybe we see one of these deals where Cloyd is kept because he’s better suited for long relief and they’d want to keep Aumont and Schwimer working regularly. This of course would thrill both those guys no end, and Aumont’s kinda like D Brown, at some point, you sort of have to just let him pitch, but if there’s a long man in this group, it doesn’t stare out at me.

     
    • Posts: 0 Jaron B

      I like Cloyd on the roster as the long-man & spot-starter.

       
  • Posts: 0 Nina Hartley

    I think they should get Soriano if his price comes down.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jaron B

    Frandsen signed for $850,000.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Dont care about stats DUDE SO’s way too much and we already have one of those guys..OBP is low BA is low please pass…

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    * those stats…

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Too many question marks. Bourjos is unproven as a hitter, Madson might not be good right away (although he most likely would get better as the season progressed) and Chavez might actually retire.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Not a big fan of Nick Swisher. I don’t really like the idea of going after him. If we could talk Madson into going back into a setup role I would do that in a heartbeat.

    I completely agree with Chuck. If the Phillies have confidence that Hamilton will behave he is the player I most want to see. Anyone know what Cliff Lee’s relationship with Hamilton is? Maybe he can help make something happen.

     
  • Posts: 0 hk

    If I was GM, I would go into this off-season with 3 goals in mind, (1) signing players at CF and mid-rotation starter, two positions where the market’s supply seems to be greater than its demand, (2) keeping the # of years on both contracts to 3 or less and (3) holding onto my 1st round pick and all of my top 10 or 15 prospects. Since I already missed out on the opportunity to land Chris Young for some akin to Cliff Pennington, the third goal would most likely eliminate the possibility of making any worthwhile trades, so I would be stuck using free agency as my only tool.

    According to Eric’s model, the team has about $22M of AAV to spend ($5M for Madson + $3M for Chavez + $14M for Swisher), so I would start by targeting Angel Pagan for $36M/3, but I would probably settle for a Shane Victorino return for $20M/2. After that, I’d be willing to spend up to $8M and $12M of AAV on a starter (with the number of years depending upon the age and durability of the player). I would target pitchers who were injured for part of last year like Dan Haren, Brandon McCarthy and Shawn Marcum if one of them would take ~$10M/1 with a vesting option that could make it ~$20M/2. If I couldn’t get one of them, I’d sign the best free agent pitcher whose agent overplayed his hand and who was desperate enough – it happens every off-season – to sign for $10M/1 or less.

    Ideally, I would end up with Shane and McCarthy for 2013 and 2014 with Kendrick or Worley moving to bolster the pen and Cloyd pitching every fifth day in AAA. If I had money left over, I’d target a LH bat who can play 3B and platoon with Frandsen (i.e. Eric Chavez or Wilson Betemit, if Baltimore wanted to give him away).

     
  • Posts: 0 EricL

    I think I would swap Melky Cabrera for Nick Swisher.

    Melky is younger, will be cheaper, and won’t cost you the 16th overall pick in the draft.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mike

    Bourjos and Chavez no effin around!! The money the Phillies pay for Swisher or Upton will not equate with their level of production.

     
  • Posts: 0 rc

    Swisher might be the worst postseason position player ever relative to his reg season. I’d much rather take my shot on much cheaper Ross, he was great here. Why give up the pick when Ross has more to offer in the postseason and stepped up under pressure when Swisher wilts. Not like he’s young.

     
  • Posts: 0 PhxPhilly

    I like Swisher as a value contract. He is consistently good and gets on base. From the prediction models he is going to get less than he is worth and I think he carries little risk. I just do not want him (must be an Yankee thing).

    I really like Span better than Bourjos. Too much risk on Bourjos in my opinion. I guess if Min will throw in Carroll that is useful but I’d consider him a net even on value. Trade likely requires Worley and Top10 prospect. Maybe they take Kendrick instead of Worley?

    I like Chavez a bunch but doubt he goes anywhere else, and if so I think the cost will be much higher (2ys 10M). He does not solve the RH power need but if his fielding is above average I’d like the acquisition.

    Doubt Madson comes back but a vet bullpen guys is necessary: Uehara, Adams, Broxton, Burnett, Soria,

     
 
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