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ESPN: Phillies Willing to Talk Trade with Lee, Hamels

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, December 10, 2013 09:26 AM | Comments: 81
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Returning from injury, Cliff Lee had his fourth consecutive shaky start on Sunday.  (PHOTO: AP)

(PHOTO: AP)

ESPN’s Buster Olney dropped this doozy from the Winter Meetings this morning:

Let’s start with the money. Cliff Lee is owed a total of $62.5 million over the next two seasons. He’ll make $25 million per season and has a $12.5 million buyout. Hamels just signed his $144 million pact that takes him to 2018 making $23.5 million per year. Each is worth their weight in gold, so the money isn’t an issue. And the Phillies seemingly have plenty of it.

Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com also tweeted this morning that the Phillies have made it known they will not eat any money on the contract.

What can they get in return? Lee would bring less back in a deal due to his age, but his short contract makes him very attractive. Hamels would likely bring back a massive haul, although the question then becomes, if you’re going to build, a 29-year-old pitcher would be a good start, right? Especially one who has shown the ability to stay healthy.

Another question is, and I instantly thought this – why bring back Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz, and sign Marlon Byrd if you’re going to break down the strength of your team; the rotation? How does that help?

With that said, I understand if they want to unload Lee because of his age and the growing possibility that his body begins to break down as he turns 36 in August. Even if the Phillies find a match, Lee would have to OK it. He has a limited no-trade clause and can block deals to 21 teams. If Lee were to be dealt, and the same goes for Hamels, you’d have to bring back can’t miss, major-league ready talent. Do you believe in the ability of the front office to do so?

That might be the most important question of all. If the front office is serious about it, would the Phillies be able to score a good trade in return? Ruben Amaro has shown the ability to score large trades by giving up his own young talent, but can he get it in return? It’s not something he’s ever had to do.

Freeing up the salary of Lee might also allow the Phillies to get involved with Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka, an interesting possible-free agent who went 24-0 a year ago.

The clubhouse culture also seems to be in need of an overhaul. Jonathan Papelbon has never been a fit and the veterans on this team have grown rather comfortable in their positions. There isn’t true leadership within the locker room, and no matter what you think of that overall statement, accountability was sorely lacking last season. As Cole Hamels told PhillyMag.com, there was finger pointing going on, and that was on top of the public comments made by Papelbon who stated he “didn’t sign up for this.”

There’s really no doubt the team itself is in need of a major tune up or reconstruction.

Do you put stock in this rumor? Or are the Phillies just trying to plant seeds to see what players could be had?

 

 

 

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 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 beyondinfinity

    Even though i would love to see hamels and lee stay i think trading would make sense bit then again i really don’t want to trade them for prospectus scouted by the phils… I mean just look at al of the ex phils prospects the Astros have tgey can win a ring with them theres kust not a food chance of us getting really food prospects in return with raj here so i say frist fire raj hire a statguy for real and then look for possi le lee/hamels trades

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    If this rumor is remotely true then it’s coming from ownership. Its the one strength that they do have. Although if they dont make the playoffs this year i would be open to trading Lee and eating a lil money. Doesnt make sense i think Buster is busting balls.

     
  • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

    Lee’s 2016 “buyout” becomes “guaranteed” at $27.5 million with some fairly easily obtained innings pitched totals – either 200 IP in 2015 or 400 combined in 2014 & 2015. As long as Lee stays healthy over the next two seasons he has a good chance of making that buyout a guaranteed season.

     
    • Posts: 0 hk

      Right. The better way to look at Lee’s remaining commitment is that it’s $77.5M for 3 seasons because any team that trades for Lee is obviously doing so with the expectation that they’ll get 400+ IP from him in the next two seasons.

       
  • Posts: 0 Mike B

    As much as I would hate to see either of them go (and ignoring the question you posted re: Byrd, etc), it might make sense IF Ruben wasn’t the one pulling the trigger. He’s just going to f**k it up. I don’t trust him to pull it off, so I’d rather he didn’t try.

     
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  • Posts: 0 Lou B

    I’m sure RAJ will find a way to screw this one up too if they do anything … I agree with Mike B …

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob D

    I guess Amaro has his sights on trading Lee and Hamels for players much older – he is not a fan of prospects. I’m sure Brown, Revere, and Asche will all be available for the right veterans

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob D

    actually I predict both will be with the team come April (Lee & Hamels)

     
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Can MiniMart pitch?

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Sure.. But the posting system in Fantasyland is messed up and Ruben wants to wait one more year to get the most he can for him… So that’s why we’ll see Mini again this year in red pinstripes…

       
  • Posts: 120 Dave P

    Avatar of Dave P

    I think this would be a mistake if the team actually wanted to win. We need good pitching to hide this offense.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Sounds to me like Buster Silliness, or B.S. if you prefer.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Lawd help us…

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay W.

    In related news: Phillies willing to lose me as a fan.

     
    • Posts: 0 Jael

      Same there I love cole and cliff lee

       
      • Posts: 0 Whatever

        Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are one of the few reasons to watch this team … and at least before the season begins to actually have some hope for a better year.

         
  • Posts: 0 Andy

    If the phillies trade EITHER on I automatically become a Oriole fan. A trade like that would automatically ensure a #1 pick in next years draft.

     
    • Posts: 0 rellis

      I would love the Orioles to be able to put together a package to get Cole Hamels since I have been an Orioles fan from birth.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Why Hamels? You Orioles fans have Palmer, McNally, Cuellar, and Dobson.
        Or has one of them left? I haven’t followed that team for a few years.

         
      • Posts: 0 lefty

        Man, you are way behind the times, they got this new kid Mussina now.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        The consummate riposte, Lefty.
        Hat’s off!

         
  • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

    This does muddy the waters for acquiring starting pitching. This RAJ saying they’re open to anything although its certainly questionable that anything so large gets done by the end of this week. Does it plant a seed for something later on this year or before spring training, yes.

     
    • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

      This IS RAJ saying…

       
  • Posts: 0 Brian

    Is there anyone here who trusts Rube to NOT screw this up?

    I don’t even disagree with the idea in principal, they should be rebuilding right now.

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I agree. In fact, the re-build SHOULD have started LAST year. And if you’re going to re-build then the ONE player that should be more or less off the board is your 29 year old, home-grown, lefty, ace starting pitcher. No???

       
      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        Why wouldn’t you float the idea that these players available?

         
      • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Look at my comment. I said “more or less”. So “floating” the Hamels idea is ok but I do believe that if a team wants to rebuild then it must do so with a young, marquee starting pitcher if one is already on the roster.

         
      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        Snow daze… sorry Chuck I did in fact misread your statement.

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        Chuck you’re sooo right! Float the idea but reel it back in. Why in the world would they want to trade Hamels? Like you said he’s only 29. That’s the pitcher you build around. I think This Olney guy is blowing smoke out his ass. And yea Chuck they should have started the rebuild last year. And if they’re rebuilding by trading Hamels, why sin old players and resign our own older players. It just doesn’t make sense.

         
  • Posts: 0 hk

    Based on the reports later that the Phils will not pay any of Cole’s or Cliff’s salary and that they expect a nice haul in return, a deal seems extremely unlikely.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jael

    Keep cole and cliff lee are the best for Phillies lee what to stay there in phillies

     
  • Posts: 0 Larry Harlow

    There should be no untouchables on a 73 win team. Of course, it’s still very unlikely that either guy actually gets moved.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Quite a predicament… you’ve got a massive payroll with little hope of winning and Rube is like a kid in the candy shop without any money at these winter meetings. You know he’s antsy… doesn’t like being the guy on the sidelines. I honestly don’t know what he’s going to do but it scares me to think what his next move will be.

    To the rational minded armchair GM’s, I ask you this. Do you go all in with pitching or do you shed as much as you can for whatever you can and see what you’re left with? At this point, I wouldn’t call it rebuilding because that wouldn’t make sense – I mean, we’re already knee deep in sort of going for it with Byrd, Utley and Ruiz – but we all know that the only players that are worth what they’re getting paid are Hamels, Lee, Brown and Revere. Everyone else is either vastly overpaid or marginally overpaid. The vastly overpaid… well, you’re not moving Howard or Papel-turd and those underperforming contracts are the only ones that could free up enough money to do anything worthwhile this offseason… moving the other guys would be like trying to plug a 3 foot hold with a toothpick. I think we’d all move those names in a heartbeat so the names we’re left with are Hamels, Lee, Brown and Revere. Do you move them… maybe package them with Papel-turd or Howard… for a young arm and a couple of prospects? I can see the legitimacy in attempting to trade Lee… I don’t know if I would do it. I would still love to see us attempt to land another top flight starting pitcher and go for it with Hamels, Lee and “insert ace.” Maybe we go hard for Tanaka… with three studs, we can compete, regardless of the deficiencies in our lineup. One thing is certain, Rube has made his bed and he’s not sure he wants to sleep in it.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      It’s a small part of your comment, but I think the overpaid/underpaid issue is an interesting one. My take for 2014, based on projections:

      Overpaid: Howard, Papelbon, Adams

      Paid what they’re worth: Utley, Rollins, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick

      Underpaid: Ruiz, Revere, Brown, and Asche, assuming he starts, plus any of Ruf, Diekman, etc. who contribute anything at all

      Byrd is either overpaid (if you believe the Steamer projections), or paid what he’s worth (by the Oliver projections).

       
      • Posts: 0 Larry Harlow

        The problem is that Howard, Papelbon, and Adams represent 25% of the payroll.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Sure, the overpaid ones will always take up a disproportionate share of payroll.

         
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      I agree with you, Original. We’re already halfway knee-deep in “going for it” with the Byrd, Utley, and Ruiz signings… might as well go in completely and get another ace to pair with Hamels and Lee. That’s what I would do given where the team stands as of today. Instead, RAJ will keep us in mediocrity land –he wants a midlevel starting pitcher. It’s almost like a “half-a$$ing” it policy, Neither rebuild, nor contention. So W. T. F. It’s as if there’s no roadmap with this guy!

       
      • Posts: 0 Larry Harlow

        From the beginning of his tenure, he’s never actually shown any evidence of having a real plan.

         
      • Posts: 0 Rick

        Kyle Kendrick is no where near worth 7 mil a year … He’s so up and down he had one good stretch last year and then was back to the KK we know . He stinks

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I’m guessing that’s not really a reply to Manny. In any case, like it or not, that’s what $7 M buys you today, and in some cases, much less.

         
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Here’s what’s behind the Buster Olney rumor:

    Rube was sitting all alone at one end of the crowded bar adjacent to to the Dolphin’s bustling lobby. He really needed somebody, anybody, to talk to. Finally catching the eye of Wally the bartender, Rube asked,
    “Why won’t those GMs on the other side of the bar talk to me?”
    Wally responded, “Well, maybe because you don’t run a professional baseball team.”
    Rube snapped back, apparently you don’t know who I am.”
    The bartender quickly answered “Sure I do, you’re Ruben Amaro, Jr. the GM of the Philadelphia Phillies.” Loved watching your dad play the game.
    “Oh, funny, I get it,” said Rube, “Everybody’s a joker but I gotta tell ya it’s not any fun for me these days.”
    Rubes eyes fell back into his glass, his nostrils impaled on a pair of toothpicks sticking out of the olives on the bottom of his double Gray Goose martini.

    Wally wondered whether his crack had gone too far. He mused to himself, “Gosh, if you can’t open up to your barber or your bartender who can you talk to in this dog-eat-dog World?” Wally sensed it was time for an intervention.

    “Sorry Rube, I didn’t realize you were taking it that hard or I wouldn’t have made fun of your awf… er, your suffering team. Hey, you need some quick company? How’s ’bout I tell that pundit over there, ‘Buster’ I think his name is, that you just told me, in he STRICTEST of confidence, that Hamels and Lee are on the block? HAH! I bet you’ll get instant attention.”
    Rube’s partially-pickled nose (along with a pair of attached toothpicks) slowly rose from his glass.
    “Do you really think that would work?” Rube asked with a doubting glance up at the most sympathetic expression Wally could muster.
    “I mean, would they even believe such a crazy rumor?,” he added.
    Wally thought for a second.
    “Well why not, they’ve all watched as you’ve resigned MiniMart 28 times!
    How’s unloading your two aces that much crazier?”
    Rube was now in deep thought.
    “You know, that may just work, would you mind…”
    “Say no more, Rube, I’m on my way.”

    “Hey, aren’t you Buster Olney from ESPN or somethin’? I’ve been talking to poor Rube over there and I might have quite a scoop for you – and in case you were wondering, the tip jar is right in front of your beer!”

    -w

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Haha. Bravo!

       
  • Posts: 5232 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Well, we ain’t getting Trumbo.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Do you think he would have been an upgrade (maybe moving Byrd to CF)? Worth considering, but I’m not so sure.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Trumbo’s 100 RBIs would have been an upgrade from the ongoing vacancy on 1st – or even platooning there in the event Ryan Howard ever revives his starring role as the “Big Piece.”

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Not with Trumbo’s 70%+ out-making percentage. I think that the Diamondbacks project to be the big losers in that deal, the Angels project to be the winners and the White Sox in the middle.

         
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        I like Trumbo… you see how that Anaheim stadium eats power hitters for breakfast (just ask Pujols and Hamilton) and yet that guy doesn’t seem to have a problem. Not sure if he and Howard could co-exist but I’d be more than happy to give it a shot. On Anaheim… Pujols and Hamilton both posted positive adjusted OPS’ last year despite having awful seasons, by their standards. Angel stadium is not a great place for hitters…

         
      • Posts: 5232 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Schmenkman, I don’t covet Trumbo as much as the guy I think they plan to replace him with, Kole Calhoun. He had an outstanding 2013. The projections seem off to me with this guy, I think he may be well better than oliver sees him the next 5 years. Only time will tell.

         
      • Posts: 5232 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        OCP- Chase Field in AZ should help Trumbo for sure.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Well done, wbramh.

    schmenk… curious, what metric are you using to determine $/worth? Are you using an average $/WAR across the board or a positional differential… for instance, the average 1B is going to cost $xx per 1 WAR. The “higher” cost per WAR positions are going to be 1B, LF, CF and RP.

    I based my remark mostly on last year’s numbers but that’s an easy statement to make mainly because there weren’t many positive WAR players on the team… Rollins posted +2 WAR but he makes $11 million… I don’t think you pay a shortstop $5.5 million per win above replacement. You might at first base or for a reliever but not a shortstop. Lee posted a 7.8 total WAR… that’s worth $25 million. You can validate Hamels contract in the same manner. Utley deserves to be in that group… he earned his pay but I can’t help but think that he won’t post those same numbers in the future. I think that we’ll see a lot of up and down from Chase.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      OCP – I used the Steamer fWAR projections and 2014 salary. They fell into 3 pretty distinct categories.

      - 5 are in the $5-7 million range per WAR, which is the market rate (I disagree by the way that it’s that different by position)
      - 3 are way over
      - the rest are significantly under

      These are the numbers in $M per 1 WAR:

      Overpaid: Howard ($36), Papelbon ($32), Adams ($23)

      Paid what they’re worth: Utley ($5), Rollins ($6), Lee ($7), Hamels ($7), Kendrick ($6)

      Underpaid: Ruiz ($3), Revere ($1), Brown (<$1), and Asche (<$1) assuming he starts, plus any of Ruf, Diekman, etc. who contribute anything at all

      Byrd is either overpaid ($10), if you believe the Steamer projections), or paid what he’s worth ($4.4, by the Oliver projections).

       
  • Posts: 0 Mike Villari

    All you people claiming that you have no trust in Ruben have no clue what you are talking about. I work for someone very close to Ruben and I know for a fact that he’s wanted to make certain moves (I.e. Trade Howard, ) and the brass above him wouldn’t allow it. The Man is not dumb, and he is more then capable of managing this team if he would just be able to make the moves he wants to without having to get a dozen other people consent. No one seemed to be pissed off when he sold the farm for Halladay!

     
    • Posts: 0 hk

      Why do the RAJ apologists always blame management for the bad moves and give RAJ credit for the good ones? It’s a team effort. Either RAJ gets the credit and blame or the entire front office gets the credit or blame. To me, at the end of the day, the GM should be responsible for all of the moves (good or bad).

      In reviewing the Howard situation, RAJ signed him to a horrific contract extension nearly two full seasons before Howard was scheduled to become a free agent. Now, if we are to believe the person for whom you work, RAJ wants to trade Howard – most likely for pennies on the dollar – and management won’t allow him to do so. Who is to blame here, the guy who overpaid the player and wants to give him away or the management that won’t allow him to be given away after their GM re-upped him for $125M over his age 32-36 seasons?

      No one is – or at least no one should be – saying that RAJ is dumb. They’re just claiming that he’s been a bad GM or that he’s been the face of a bad team effort at running the franchise.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Maybe it’s true that people aren’t SAYING Amaro is dumb, but there are certainly loads of fans who are insinuating that he’s dumb. I could quote a number of examples here, but it would take up too much space.

        I’ll never claim he’s dumb, but I will say that he’s made some pretty dumb moves. But he’s also made some pretty darned good ones that fans seem to have forgotten in their zeal to condemn the man.

         
      • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

        Given the rapid decline of this team from a 100 win contender to a 70 win also ran, I’d say Amaro’s bad moves have overshadowed his good ones. Oakland & Tampa Bay do it out of necessity, but a team really needs a sense of when the optimum time to move a player is – no matter how big their payroll is. I don’t know the extent of his intelligence, but I do believe he’s not capable of running a baseball team in the modern age. He may have been a great GM in the ’70s & ’80s, but he’s totally ignoring easily accessible metrics which could have helped to prevent the mess that he’s created.

         
  • Posts: 0 Sue

    I’ve been out of Philly for a few yrs. Who is MiniMart?

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      SSSSSHHH!!!!!
      It’s a name that no one dares speak aloud.
      From now on, best to refer to him only as, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”

      I can only say that it is a powerful wizard who has cast an evil spell over our General Manager.
      HERE. I will point the way, but then I must leave take leave….

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/martimi02.shtml

       
      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        wbramh, you sir are on fire today. Thanks!!!

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Thanks Del.
        “On fire” is a wonderful euphemism for “certifiable.”
        I’ll suggest it to my family.

         
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    As said many times, everyone has his price. I imagine Reuben is seeing a lot of the deals out there and thinks maybe somone will really shock him with a great deal. I don’t see it coming. Now if he had let Utley and others go this would be different. I say odds are 9-1 that both start the season with the Phillies.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    If they are x amount of games behind, at xyz date I will be open to dealing Lee.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Lee will probably be open to a trade as well i suspect if they arent in contention..

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    I get that RAJ is trying to figure out what might be out there. But honestly better ways to do this. Its the building frustration that his happening with him. During the regular season trade deadline for the past two years he has struggled to trade aging pieces away. The Pence trade was very easy bc he is younger and had a controllable salary for two years. Also with the continued idea of we are still contenders “If Howard is healthy” Phils fans all know one thing you can’t build contention off an if like that. Howard during the good years carried the team for stretches but he can’t be the only one. We resigned Utley under the idea of him being a Phillie for Life. Now you want to trade Hamels our World Series Playoff MVP. The guy that just signed a huge deal. Stop trying to be a penny pincher on this Ruben you got burned bc Vogelsong, Nolasco, Feldman didnt want to sign. The Byrd and Ruiz deal are fine based on the market if we want to be contenders. Not if we want to sell sell sell. Trading Lee and Paps arent bad decisions bc Lee would get us solid young controllable players and the Paps deal isnt worth it. Detroit, Boston, Oakland, Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh were all contenders last year and they focused on having a solid bullpen not just a great closer who costs a lot. Offer Lee to Arizona, Texas, Cleveland, Dodgers, Boston and whoever gives you the best prospects trade Lee. If you gotta eat some salary its ok. Also stop trying to build a team around middle infielders. We already got to many of them. Rollins, Utley, Fradsen Galvis, Hernandez, Roman Quinn, JP Crawford. Move Franco out to the OF so we can get him up to the majors soon. If you trade Brown you better get back something better then you have gotten in your other “Seller Trades”

    Can we just get Pat Gillick back?

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      “Move Franco out to the OF so we can get him up to the majors soon.”

      Just on this, I’ve heard the idea of Franco playing the outfield as looking similar to Ryan Howard playing the outfield (pre-injury).

       
      • Posts: 0 Jay

        Franco has stated before that he used to play SS. Moving him to LF and keeping a defensive CF like Revere should help with his adjustment. He is 21 years old. It wouldn’t hurt to have him try it. Utley tried ground balls at 3rd at the age of 33. I think he should be able to handle learning the OF. This is more of a problem with the overall farm system and development of young players. The Phillies seem to have the luck of developing guys who come up in the mid to late 20s. Where is our Mike Trout, Jean Seguara, Manny Machado, Xander Boegarts?

        The knock on Brown is that he is terrible, horrendous, dreadful in the OF. Come on. Your telling me that he can’t improve that via practice and someone teaching him techniques of how to improve his defense.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        On Franco, just repeating what I’ve read from those who watch prospects more closely. It’s not about “learning” the outfield, as much as being very slow:

        “…imagine Ryan Howard in Left. Franco, at full speed is a 30, but he has a lot of build up speed, so it plays as 20. He’d likely be the slowest OF in the Majors. The only spots Franco could work at are First, Third and Catcher and it’s too late to start teaching him to catch.” – Cormican at thegoodphight.com

        “He has zero range, it would be like playing Michael Young in weighted boots at second base. At third he can position himself and he has the reactions to make the hot shot, he just going to have problems getting to the ball in the hole.

        …Franco at one point was pushing the Billy Butler slowest man in baseball.” – Matt Winkleman (of phuturephillies) at thegoodphight.com

        The players you list are rare, and the Phillies have had some through the years: Luzinski, Rolen, Rollins, and on the pitching side Larry Christenson, even Brett Myers. They just haven’t had any recently.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        From what I’ve read, Willie Mays could outrun Franco – and Mays is 82-years-old.
        But you know I’m a fan of bringing up Franco this April – and keeping him up even if he has a slow start. I’d sooner see Asche moved to the outfield and Franco made the everyday 3rd
        baseman. I just feel really good about this kid. Not very sabermetric of me, I know but then I discovered Dick Allen. Yes, he was standing on 3rd base at Connie Mack at the time but I knew he’d be a star (Brownie points to me).

        Should it come to pass, I’ll make a pinky bet with you right now that Franco will hit over .260, club over 20 HRs and drive in 80 runs next season… Okay, make it a nickel but appreciate the fact that I’m on a pretty fixed income these days.

        In it’s current state, this is a 65-75 win team at best. What’s adding Franco to the 40-man roster going to do, blow their World Series chances? That’s why management accumulates players like MiniMart, Wells, McDonald, Bernadina, etc. – to make sure Eagles fans have extra parking in October.

        Or trade Asche and Revere for a stud starting pitcher. Lotsa teams must be interested in a competent young 3rd basemen and speedy utility/starting outfielder who can hit for average.
        Give Hernandez and Galvis shots at holding down CF in the absence of bona fide outfielders.

        What ever became of that “Flyin’ Hawaiian” feller?

         
      • Posts: 167 photoFred

        Avatar of photoFred

        Ah, Dick Allen. 15 seasons, lifetime .912 OPS, love/hate relationship with Philly, mostly love at the end, done at 35. I remember the time a friend called my dorm at Penn State to tell me Allen had hit one out of Connie Mack.
        “So what?” I said.
        “No, I mean he hit it over the sign in left field completely out of the park.”
        “Oh!”
        Still sorry I missed that one.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Fred,
        That Dick Allen moon shot may have been the HR I’m very familiar with
        .
        I was forced to leave the game coming into the home 9th with the team behind (by 3 runs if I recall correctly). I never leave games early but this time a friend (who was less than a baseball nut) had driven and the four of us were obliged to leave early.

        While still parked on Somerset Street, we listened to the the game on the car radio as the Phils loaded the bases. We began to pull out of the space just as Allen crushed the ball for a dramatic walk-off grand slam over the left field roof . I watched as the ball came down to Earth where our windshield had been located about 5 seconds earlier. To this day I wish Dick had broken it!

         
      • Posts: 167 photoFred

        Avatar of photoFred

        Wonderful! I wish it had too. Those shards would now be “collectable!”

        Speaking of leaving early, I never do that, but my father ALWAYS did so we could “beat the traffic.” I recall listening to the end of a game in the car on the way up Broad St with the 1st day of school looming the next day. At least the Phils were up by 3 going into the 9th. But then they weren’t. Lost it in the 9th and I still feel personably responsible.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/positional-differences-in-the-price-of-war-2/

    Schmenk- that’s for you. It’s a couple of years old but you can see that it costs more per WAR at 1B, RP, LF and CF. 1B, LF are probably a function of market inefficiency… Chicks dig the long ball so you pay for HR. RP’s is a function of relievers not having high WAR numbers, in general… Evaluating relievers on a WAR scale is tough. I’d like to see a similar breakdown for ‘ace’ pitchers (1,2 rotation guys) and bottom of the rotation guys.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Thanks — that’s interesting. I’d like to think that those gaps will close over time, and from the looks of the recent closer market, that seems to be coming down already.

       
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    Asche is the better defensive third baseman. Does hurt not to try? If both of these guys stay with the team someone has to move positions. Kendrick might be the best pitcher to trade right now. We won the World Series with less starting pitching. Gotta build a better bullpen. Veras would be great if we can trade Papelbon. Mitchell Boggs would be another one I would jump at. Sign someone out of the Rodney, Balfour Crain trio. And you have built a pretty good bullpen. If we trade KK. Call up Biddle in June. To go with Hamels, Lee, Gonzo, Pettibone and Biddle.

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Too few starters, especially with Pettibone and Gonzalez coming off injuries. I’d go after Arroyo and hold off on contemplating any KK trade until the Spring. Too many question marksuntil then, including Biddle’s readiness. Maybe pick up Benoit as a setup man in place of Adams (who’s probably cooked) since the team is likely stuck with Papelbon as their closer. For what they’d have to eat in salary to move him they might as well keep him for another year versus the cost and quality of any replacement. He had an off year but still not bad (middle of pack performance).

       
    • Posts: 167 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      The other thing about Papelbon is his presence slows the development of the next closer. Opportunities for saves may be infrequent enough but if you’re going to pitch Pap that’s the only situation he’s not awful in.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Surprisingly, Papelbon was just as good, if not better, in non-save situations this year:

        save situations.. 2.95 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, .656 OPS against
        non-save sits…. 2.88 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, .593 OPS against

        Also for his career, he’s been about as good in non-save situations:

        save situations.. 2.34 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, .572 OPS against
        non-save sits…. 2.53 ERA, 10.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, .595 OPS against

        What’s alarming of course is the drop in strikeouts (and velocity).

         
      • Posts: 167 photoFred

        Avatar of photoFred

        Wow—I hate it when numbers don’t support my memory. But still, that could be explained by one or 2 badly blown saves. My general impression is he’s usually more reliable in a save situation…

        He also seemed to throw more pitches/batter last season. Got numbers on that?

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Sure! Pitches per batter were actually down last year:

        career average 3.98

        2010 4.07
        2011 3.93
        2012 4.03
        2013 3.79

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/papeljo01-pitch.shtml#pitching_pitches::none

         
      • Posts: 167 photoFred

        Avatar of photoFred

        Thanks. Jeez, look at the drop in swinging strikeouts!

         
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Due to the velocity drop-off, Papelbon is going to be difficult to move even if the Phillies eat enough salary to make him modestly attractive. I suspect Rube’s going to hear a series of “thanks but no thanks,” at least until practically every other viable choice is off the board.

    Assuming it’s worth the cost of hiring any closer this year for the Phillies the answer might be to jump on Benoit and use one of the two as a set up man. Based on Benoit’s 2.01 ERA and 9.8 K9 he would probably go into Spring training with the edge for closer.

     
 
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