Yesterday, Eric Seidman unveiled his offseason plan for the Phillies, which included Nick Swisher, Peter Bourjos and others. Today, it’s my turn. Tomorrow, Corey will let us know what moves he wants the Phillies to make.
Here is my offseason plan.
Outfield: Trade for Denard Span
-I would love for the Phillies to grab this guy. He quietly contributes in Minnesota and would be a nice leadoff hitter here. Span got on base at a .342 clip last year, will steal 20 bases, and doesn’t strikeout much. Perhaps the Phillies throw some pitching prospects and one of their highly rated catchers at the Twins to get a deal done. Span is well worth it.
Span’s contract is friendly, as it pays him $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, and he has a $9 million in a club option for 2015. It’s the type of contract that doesn’t tie you to a guy on the wrong side of 30, but gives you the option to re-up him, should he be deserving.
The 28-year old centerfielder is also one of the best defensive players at his position. Among CF’s with at least 2,000 innings since 2010, Span ranks fourth in UZR according to Fangraphs, just behind Bourjos, Chris Young, and Michael Bourn. Pretty good company.
Outfield: Sign Cody Ross (3 years, $23 million)
This signing has more to do with the fact that I do not want the Phillies to spend $80 million-plus on B.J. Upton or Bourn, which is what seems to be the asking price. Instead, go for a cheaper corner outfielder in Ross, who can provide power in the middle of the order. It might take a three-year deal, but Ross is only 32, so it’s not as if he’s ready to fall apart.
Ross hits lefties very well. His numbers against southpaws over the last three years: .352 OBP, .530 slugging percentage in 401 plate appearance with a wRC+ of 135 (weighted runs created).
At that price, the Phillies can hope to strike gold like the Twins did with Josh Willingham last year. If it doesn’t work out, at least on a full-time-playing basis, Ross can be platooned with those splits. Plus, the Phillies won’t have to face this guy for the next three years, which works out for everyone.
Infield: Sign Maicer Izturis Ryan Theriot for infield platoon (2 years, $4 million)
Kevin Frandsen did a fantastic job, but it’s unlikely he can sustain that over an entire season. The Phillies will need a backup plan, which for me, originally included Maicer Izturis, who was scooped up by the Blue Jays last week. Ryan Theriot would be a nice, cheap alternative. He’s a guy who can play many different positions and would seem to be a nice fit in the clubhouse.
Theriot would give the Phillies an added element they’ve been searching for — that final guy off the bench that isn’t a huge liability (see: Martinez, Michael). He’ll come relatively cheap, too, as he made just over $1 million last year for San Francisco and was a catalyst for their title run.
The utilityman played in just 104 games last season and didn’t wow anyone with the numbers (.270/.316/.321). But as the 25th man you could do much worse and I think I speak for everyone in saying he’s a better option than toggling between Martinez, Orr, Fontentot and whoever else.
Bullpen: Sign Ryan Madson (1 year, $5.5 million with 2nd year player option worth $7 million)
Madson is my option for eighth-inning guy, provided he is again healthy after Tommy John surgery. Whether he wants to return to Philly is unknown after being snubbed last offseason. There could be bad blood, as Eric mentioned yesterday, but I’d be willing to take that risk and throw a good amount of money at him after he missed all of last year with the Cincinnati Reds.
Everyone knows what he accomplished in Philadelphia during his tenure here, so again, there’s no need for stats. If that arm is still rockin’ like it was two seasons ago, he could be a steal for the eighth inning. He’d instantly solidify a weak spot for the Phillies and give them a ninth-inning option when Jonathan Papelbon is unavailable.
After adding these players and the Phillies payroll would be $165.65 million. 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, Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus
C: Carlos Ruiz, Erik Kratz
IF: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Theriot, Kevin Frandsen (vs. L), Freddy Galvis
OF: Denard Span, Cody Ross, John Mayberry Jr., Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf
Off roster: Laynce Nix (cut), Nate Schierholtz (non-tender), Josh Lindblom (minors), Michael Schwimer (minors)