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Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 14, 2012 10:51 AM | Comments: 30
Analysis, Free Agency, News, Opinion, Payroll, Posts

Span would be a nice fit in Philly. (NBC Sports)

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.

Resulting Roster:

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)

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: 427 Publius

    Avatar of Publius

    So what exactly are you giving up to get Span? Especially considering how you have both Brown and Ruf staying? Keep in mind it would have to be a lot considering the team-friendly deal and interest of other clubs (especially the Nats and Braves, who both have a *lot* better farm system than the Phils).

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Oh, I think the Twins would be interested in a certain someone named Michael Martinez.

       
      • Posts: 0 Paul

        Pat, are you Tom’s brother? I went to school with him. Span is a good option if he doesn’t cost too much. I would pass on both Ross and Theriot.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    buy bye Lindblom, eh?

    Ryan Theriot is a very useful backup. I was hoping for him to be a Phil 2 years ago. He got a ring that year. Did it again this past year. Perhaps diplomatically, Bruce Bochy said he was doing a great job for the Giants, just that Scutaro was impossible not to play. I suspect Theriot might be relatively expensive for a backup after his last couple years. But with infield injury trouble a realistic threat to any club, and this one is hardly an exception, a nicely negotiated incentive package by his agent could land him a good opportunity.

    Neither you nor Eric has what looks to me to be a long man. I’m not suggesting one is needed that carries exact traits, but nobody stands out. Probably need someone to fill the bill somehow.

    Cody Ross. Thumbs up. He does have very favorable numbers V lefty pitching, and quite honestly, in double checking Eric L’s assessment that his LR splits are awful, it looked to me like his H/R splits offer more even more disparity. Certainly earning brownie points from the other constituents around here supporting Ross after he got lambasted a couple days ago. Pardon my appreciation of intangibles, but I’m of the mindset that he brings them, and that would be an asset.

    Span would be cool. Stutes (I think) is absent from both this roster, and Eric’s yesterday. Maybe I missed something, or both figure he’d be the trade bait needed to acquire the sought talent.

    Be back with more stufffffff as Chuck Barris used to say next time I contribute a message to this channel. Local listings won’t tell you when. Don’t bother checking.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I think that it would be helpful if the writers of these articles included exactly what they would give up if they will recommend a trade. I think that bit of information is important when evaluating how likely or positive the proposal for what to do this winter will be.

    The plan seems like a solid plan to me but I do not think Ruben will do it. One of the best things us fans did last year is snap the sell out streak. We told the team we would fill CBP every day as long as we have a winner. The owners like CBP filled so I am certain at least one big name will be coming to Philly before the winter is done.

     
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    No to Cody Ross for reasons I’ve stated previously.
    No to Theriot because he’s the definition of a replacement player, and you don’t pay those type of guys $2 M a year. (Also, he’s really only a SS/2B, so he doesn’t help at third at all)

    Span’s okay, I guess, provided you don’t give up the farm to get him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Agreed. Cody Ross and Denard Span are not going to get people excited about the Phillies. Season ticket sales are not going to improve with those names. Amaro likes to make the big splash and I think this year is no exception. The Phillies need a legitimate .300 hitter to help our pathetic offense. Of course Charlie will continue to bat our .250 hitter in the leadoff spot, so that doesn’t help either.

     
    • Posts: 0 rc

      highly doubtful they will go for a .300 hitter primarily because they are rarer than ever and it’s a pitcher’s league right now. I think the only realistic players that fit your criteria are Josh Hamilton and maybe Melky Cabrera if the juice wasn’t the reason for his great numbers. Two guys with a ton of baggage. Melky I might take a shot on if he ends up cheap but that’s not a “big splash”.

       
  • Posts: 0 phil

    Whynot just trade for both span and Willingham and not pay for Ross?

     
  • Posts: 0 CS

    None of these moves make a big enough splash for philly, nor are they big enough improvements.

     
  • Posts: 0 MichaelZ

    Sounds to me like a recipe for third place.

     
  • Posts: 0 Pops

    How about a guy like Jeff Keppinger as a super utility player? He did a nice job in Tampa and can play multiple positions in the Phillies’ infield.

     
  • Posts: 980 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    Cody Ross is a no, he will comand too much money for a platoon guy, I like Span and Madson, I think a guy like Theriot is worth 2 million a year for two years if you can get him for that.
    I also think that Fransen has proven he can hit, he has hit on every level, I feel he is a legit .300 hitter with little HR power but hits to the gaps and is a legit doubles hitter.
    The one thing about Span is he would not lead off, JRoll just hits better out of the one hole and he is your lead off hitter, I personelly like Jimmy leading off, dispit the hatred for that idea among most on here. Also if Chooch can hit anywhere near what he did last year I think he is your five hole hitter.
    I think if you can get madson for that price it and he will be ready you pull that off. The question is will he be willing to come back to Philly after last off season.
    Off topic but just my two cents when discussing the rotation does anyone other than me feel that Cole should start opening day, and be listed as the #1 guy Cole-Doc-Lee-KK-Worley

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Cole is listed as the #1 on the Phillies website.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Anybody have a legit comparison of what the Phils would have to give up for

    A) Span
    B) Wiggington

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    My biggest concern… even with these additions, on paper, we’re nowhere near where we need to be. With Strasburg, Gio and J. Zimmerman, the Nationals have three starters that can match Hamels, Halladay and Lee. Worley is probably better than Detwiler but you’re talking about a fourth starter. And that’s the good part of the comparison. When you start looking at the lineups, it’s ugly. I mean, the only clear advantages we have are perhaps behind the plate and at first and second where we have Utley and Howard trying to prove that they’re not on a career decline.

    LaRoche (not signed) / Morse < Howard (if healthy)
    Espinosa Frandsen et. al being mentioned as our starting 3B
    Werth > Brown
    Harper > Span et. al.
    Ruiz > Ramos (expecting a regression with Chooch… tell me I’m wrong)
    Morse > Ross/Mayberry
    Pap > Storen
    Clippard, Burnett, Stammen > et. al.

    I don’t know what the answer is… normally I’d say play to your strengths (pitching and defense) but our lineup is so far behind, it’s scary. I like Span… I really do but he’s not enough. You can only gap fill so much. Even the Giants needed Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval. Who are the guys that we can lean on? Our lineup is dysfunctional… it’s not built to manufacture runs. The only way we have any chance is if Howard and Utley are capable of playing at 80% or better… I don’t see it any other way.

     
    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      I agree the Phils lineup is dysfunctional, but if they’re better at 1st, 2nd, SS and catcher that’s half the positions on the field. It will be interesting to see how the Phillies OF shakes out, but they really do need help out there. Bull Pens are a funny thing that go up and down so we could see a complete turn around this season. Phils lost 4 relievers last year(which not many people talk about) which really hurt. I’d like more assurance at the set up spot than a prayer on Madson.

       
    • Posts: 0 rc

      It’s part of the cycle though…Nats stunk it up and got Harper. Asche could help us in future and Ruf did set it on fire last year even if everyone thinks he isn’t all that.

      Answer isn’t to panic …keep the 16th pick so don’t go for any of these ridiculously overpriced players. Look at trying to help in the short term and look at players who didn’t get QOs.

      best way to combat it is with pitching, that’s how you neutralize it because face it what scares you is Harper and the Phillies aren’t going to magically get a young player like him yet. Take Harper away and the Phils made a couple of decent moves, we could be right there. Bottomline is we also need to get a really good year from Chase. There is no choice, it’s last year of his contract

      Halladay and Lee both must be great. Staff has to stay healthy.

      Then you look at guys like Ross, Pagan, Victorino, Keppinger…

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Not sure what happened with the formatting…
    LaRoche (not signed) / Morse < Howard (if healthy)
    Espinosa Frandsen et. al being mentioned as our starting 3B

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    I agree we do need a .300 hitter. The Phils right now have no legit .300 hitters in the lineup. Span is a good player and i think some of you are missing Pat’s point. In that he doesnt want a long pricey contract burdening the Phils. Is he going to carry the team on his back and into the playoffs perhaps not. Before we could more rely on power even though our line up was lacking a little in some other area to take us over. This isnt really the case anymore not no where near as before anyways.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I’m not sure what a “legit” .300 hitter is, but there are only 20 in MLB who have hit over .300 over the last 3 years, and one of them is Chooch.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      More to the point, the Phillies need good players (combining offense, defense, base running). Even if you focus on offense, they need good hitters, and there’s only limited overap between .300 hitters and the best hitters in baseball.

      I mentioned there were 20 .300 hitters over the past 3 years. Only 12 of those were in the top 20 in OBP, which is much more important than BA. And only 11 of the 20 top hitters over those three years (by the comprehensive stat wRC+) hit over .300.

      And that’s all if you assume that improving the position players should take presedence over improving the pitching (which I would agree with, but I don’t it’s as obvious as many seem to think).

      /getting down from my soapbox

       
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    What is it about Cody Ross that has anybody’s interest?
    The guy skips, has a bad toothy smile, wears panty hose and has played on more teams than one man should be allowed – which is something that should be addressed. Why does nobody want to keep Cody Ross? Doesn’t that raise a flag?

     
    • Posts: 0 rc

      Iol, I never examined Cody Ross smile or knew he was into pantyhose. You seem to have a lot of interest in him.

       
      • Posts: 0 brooks

        Hahaha… my interest is in keeping this schtook off this team. The 2010 playoffs brought the smile, the skip, the panty hose to light. My seats were directly behind her and of course (choke me..) she killed us in the 2010 NLCS in our house..

         
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Sorry, I should have referred to her as Betsy Ross, not Cody

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I’ve been a win it while we have the window fan, but the 2014 FA class is even worse than the 2013 class. I’d be willing to pay Pagan a little more to keep the 16th pick, sign a set up man(deep bp arms this year) and go from there. Phils blew so many games last year in the 8th that the set up guy is the key. Short of Hamilton I’d be willing to go with the youth at lf/rf and 3b(OK, Frandsen isn’t young). Keppinger would be a nice pickup to augment those small moves.

     
  • Posts: 536 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I like Pat Gallen’s suggestions for filling Phillies’ needs for next season and doing it without spending a ton of money or making wholesale changes with the roster or dipping into the team’s farm. That said, I think we can even be more conservative by looking more in-house for solutions.

    First, the news that the Phillies signed Kevin Frandsen for a 1 year contract worth $850,000 tells me that the Phillies management will give him every opportunity to win the 3rd base position as a regular. It is his to lose.

    The suggestion that Ryan Madson can be persuaded to take a 1 year salary of $5.5million is highly doubtful. Even with the Tommy John surgery, Madson, I think, believes he is far more deserving of a contract similar to the one he originally signed as a free agent.

    Personally, again looking in-house, we have Horst, Valdes, Stutes and others that should be given the opportunity during spring traning to compete for the role of 8th inning relief. I do have one idea of my own for a bold move, I would use Dominick Brown as trade bait to lure a experienced 8th inning reliever from another team. How about Bobby Parnell of the Mets for Brown? The Mets made it clear that their objective is to get a potentially good outfielder. To sweeten the deal for the Mets, I would throw in Schwimer (from the minors) . It’s just a thought knowing teams in the same division don’t usually make trades with each other.

    Finally, looking at CF position, I still hold out hopes that Mayberry Jr with added experiece can improve offensively (he showed that in the last two months of 2012 season). Defensively, he is not a problem and is better than average in covering his position. He also has added value in his ability to play several positions.

    There is another thought regarding CF, if Shane Victorio is still available as free agent late in the off season, GM Amaro sholuld seriously give Victorino a decent contract offer and who knows? Victorino, I think, would love to play for the Phillies again. Mauyberry Jr. can move to RF and Darin “Babe Ruth” Ruff can have the opportunity to win a job in LF.

     
  • Posts: 0 FACE

    I stopped reading at Cody Ross.

     
  • Posts: 0 PhxPhilly

    OK. I really like Span if his defense is truly that good. He is super cheap and has option year control. Much better choice than Boujos who I have no faith in. Will probably cost at least Worley and Top5 prospect.
    Izturis was my backINF pick also. Good speed, has been a starter, can field all the positions. I wanted Theriot last year but everyone hates his lack of power so his OPS is crap. He is no longer a good SS fielder but is better than Frandsen and Theriot should bring about what Polanco did, he puts the ball in play. Keppinger is interesting since he mashes lefties as least but is a below average fielder everywhere. He seems redundant to Frandsen but is a better player. I like the choice of Theriot just as much as I did last year (for $1.5M) and have no idea why the Phillies had Martinez instead.

    Not a fan of Ross at all. I’d rather use the money on pitching and let Mayberry play whatever Ross would have. I do not see enough improvement of Ross over Mayberry (but I still hope ‘good’ Mayberry can return.)

    I doubt Madson takes that deal. Vet Bullpen guy is needed though.

     
 
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