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The Hopeless Phillies of 2014 and Beyond

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 09, 2014 02:30 PM | Comments: 56
Analysis, Opinion

Recently, I was fortunate enough to take a wonderful vacation with my wife to Orlando, FL and New Orleans, LA to visit family. On the trip, I met my newest nephew for the first time and played golf at a level not unlike Sinbad in House Guest. My wife and I did the trip by car, going, by our estimation, over 3,200 miles round trip, seeing parts of the country we had never seen before.

With rest and relaxation on my mind, I had almost quite literally forgotten about the Phillies. When we left, they were just a few games out of the race and, even though I pegged them as a 64-win team in the offseason, I did not think they would fall into a tailspin this season or at least this early in it. When we returned to Glenside, PA, I started to think that maybe forgetting about them was the best thing that could have happened.

It has been difficult to write or think about the Phillies and I wanted to hold off writing something extremely negative until they won a few games. Seeing as they have lost eight of nine, I am not sure that day will come soon. Still in a vacation haze, Buster Olney successfully snapped me out of it with one sentence uttered during ESPN’s draft coverage. I am unable to find the footage and do not want to misquote Olney but it was to the effect of:

The Phillies are in trouble and not just in trouble this year but for a long, long time.

And, unfortunately, in so many ways, this is true. Many have begun to speculate who the Phillies will trade at the deadline. Here is a hint: they have only a handful of tradeable players. And those that are tradeable will not net anything close to a lottery ticket prospect yet alone a cornerstone-type prospect. Let’s take a look at them, one by one.

C:

Carlos Ruiz – Now 35 years old, Chooch is in the first year of a two-year, $17 million contract. As a free agent last year, any team could have had Chooch for the right price and Colorado was one team that showed significant interest. With an OBP close to .400, Chooch is a fringe All-Star and may have some trade value but it is tough to say considering that no team other than the Phillies or Rockies were willing to go as high as the Phillies ended up going. At best, because of the price tag, the Phillies would get a bounce-back candidate starting pitching prospect or a second-division regular for Chooch. Essentially a Rob Rasmussen or a Cody Asche-type player. And that hypothetical deal includes any money they would include to offset his contract.

Wil Nieves – Here is an interesting name. The best offseason signing the Phillies made, Nieves has made just 12 appearances but has been solid as a Phillie, hitting .250/.267/.386. If a team is in the race but their back-up catcher goes down, Nieves has some value and could net an organizational arm with a ceiling of a long reliever and the floor as AA fifth starter.

1B:

Ryan Howard – Well, the good news is the Phillies are about half-way through his contract. The bad news is that there are still two and a half years left. Look, no one is blaming Howard for signing the contract he did two years before he became a free agent. But the contract makes him untradeable to any team that doesn’t have a death wish.

First baseman can and do fall from the sky, as evident by the performances of Brandon Moss, Jose Abreu, Matt Adams, Michael Morse among others. Howard is hitting .233/.302/.414 with 11 homers which equates to being worth -0.1 fWAR. For those who choose not to accept WAR, I’ll put it in a different way: Howard ranks 21st in BA among first basemen, 21st in OBP, 18th in SLG, 20th in wRC+, and 19th in OPS. As evident by the downward trend in his statistics even before the Achilles injury, this was the player Howard was always destined to become. The injury accelerated the proceedings.

There is almost no amount of money the Phillies can offer to include in a Howard deal that makes his contract or performance palatable to a team because, quite simply, most teams already have a first baseman and/or DH that is playing better than Howard.

2B & SS:

Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are the two pillars of this franchise and, at the very least, Rollins, should be recognized when everything is all said and done as being the glue of the Phillies run of greatness from 2007 through 2011. Rollins took below-market contracts prior to the 2006 and 2012 seasons to stay in Philadelphia and you can say the same for Utley.

Having said that, the Phillies cannot move them. Both are protected by 10/5 rights in addition to No Trade Protection that both have in their contracts. Each could wave those protections but that is unlikely. Utley and Rollins both have cases to make a return trip to the All-Star Game this year and they will likely do so with Phillies’ P’s on their heads.

3B, LF, & CF:

I wouldn’t normally pair Asche, Domonic Brown, and Ben Revere but they all have the following in common: they are cheap regulars still on their initial contracts that don’t cost very much to have on the team. Asche has some potential to be a better hitter but profiles as a regular on a non-competitive team. Brown looks completely lost but it would be almost a big of a mistake to sell at his lowest value as teams line-up like vultures to try to obtain him. For his faults, Revere has done a great job remaining in the same value-sphere as the much more expensive Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton. These three likely aren’t going anywhere.

RF:

Finally, another tradeable player. Marlon Byrd has played himself in to the same value category as Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy on a reasonable contract. With just one year and $8 million remaining in addition to the rest of the 2014 season, Byrd could be had for a B-ish prospect, likely some sort of corner infield piece or starter with a fifth-starter ceiling.

SP:

Cole Hamels has $90 million guaranteed left on his contract through the 2018 season. Now fully healthy, Hamels looks like the Hamels of old, pitching to a 2.11 ERA in his last six starts with a .195 BAA. Despite this, that contract would be a monster to move. There would be teams interested, don’t get me wrong, but Hamels profiles, at this time, as someone with sound mechanics that should remain healthy through the end of the contract.

Cliff Lee, on the other hand, seemed like a front runner to be moved until his injury. David Buchanan isn’t going anywhere for the same reasons listed with Asche, Brown, and Revere, and Roberto Hernandez is pitching to his worst WHIP since 2009 and is on pace to walk more batters by the end of June than he did with the Rays in the entire 2013 campaign. A.J. Burnett could net the Phillies an organizational arm if healthy but that is still a question mark.

Kyle Kendrick is the name to look at as a possible trade bait. Kendrick joins Nieves and Byrd as guys that wouldn’t net the Phillies a whole lot but could be moved relatively easily. Kendrick’s remarkable consistency, from his ERA to his WHIP to his K/9 IP, would be of interest to a team down a starter and in the thick of a pennant race. The team Kendrick is traded to would be on the hook for only the prorated portion of his $7.675 million deal.

RP

Let’s be real: when Mike Adams went down, it was a blow to one of only a handful of tradeable pieces the Phillies had. In 19 games, Adams has come just short of reinventing himself in 2014 with lowered velocity but improved control. I don’t see any team being interested in anyone else on the team except for, well…

Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon has 13 saves in 14 chances with a 1.54 ERA. Papelbon has just 2015 left on his original four-year, $52 million pact he signed with the Phils prior to the 2012 season but does have a pretty attainable vesting option for 2016 ($13 million guaranteed if Papelbon finishes 55 games in 2015 or 100 combined in 2014 and 2015). Papelbon might be the one player that could net the Phillies a fun “lottery ticket” type prospect but the Phillies would have to kick in a chunk of cash for that to happen.

With very few tradeable assets, the Phillies aren’t even in a position to blow it up and start over. They are stuck with Howard and Utley through, at least, 2016, Lee, Rollins and Ruiz through 2015 assuming Rollins option vests and Lee’s doesn’t, and are likely going to keep playing Asche, Brown, and Revere because they are cheap and have each shown potential even if their are affordable options on the free agent market. Unfortunately, the 2014 Phillies may be the 2015 Phillies, barring any spectacular minor league play from J.P. Crawford or Maikel Franco. And the pitching staff? Well, good luck with that.

It gets worse

So, even if the Phillies had any money to spend, the 2015 crop of free agents isn’t headlined by anyone particularly exciting. There are no catchers, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, or right fielders of note under 30, and the only ”notable” left fielder that is under 30 is Phillies legend Delmon Young.

The 2015 free agent class is one of the weakest in recent memory with the standouts including Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, Hanley Ramirez, Sergio Romo, Pablo Sandoval, and a whole lot of nothing. The best outfielder available is some weird toss up between Melky Cabrera, Seth Smith, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Willingham.

Assuming the Phillies let Adams and Kendrick walk and that Burnett’s option isn’t picked up, the Phillies will have about $29 million come off the books. But are enough people coming to the ballpark to support a payroll of $149 million? The Phillies rank 8th out of 15 in the NL in attendance just two years removed from having one of the longest sellout streaks in baseball history broken. Even if the Phillies wanted to sign Lester and Scherzer, it is unlikely they could sign either. And the three remaining best players all happen to be at positions the Phils are committed to one way or another.

And possibly even worse…

The Phillies have had very little development in their minor leagues early this season. They had a pair of standouts, shortstop J.P. Crawford and outfielder Cam Perkins, but very few other players have made the strides the Phillies were looking for them to take. Cameron Rupp, Adam Morgan, Andy Knapp, and Shane Watson have all missed significant time with injuries while Franco’s wheels have spun a bit at Lehigh Valley. Meanwhile, it is maddening to see Jonathan Singleton and Domingo Santana continue to mash their way to the Major Leagues. Yikes.

Buster Olney’s statement got me out of my funk. Unfortunately, it also got me as down as ever on the Phillies. The Phillies right now operate in the direct opposite fashion that the basketball team across the street does. The Sixers have been horrible but they also have some of the most favorable draft and cap situations in all of basketball. Similarly, the Eagles have put together contender after contender while staying below the salary cap and having a number of liquid assets always at their disposal.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Phillies were in the same position, the envy of the baseball world. With just $94 million committed in 2008, the Phillies fielded a World Series winner. Now, with a payroll nearly double that figure, the Phillies may struggle to win 70 games.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 848 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: 0 Scotty Ingerton

    Free agency doesn’t fix a mess like this. It will take a revitalized farm system that regularly supplies the club with talent, and that will take years – maybe a decade. It won’t happen with the current front office either. For those too young to remember, welcome to a period of time similar to the 1988-2000 years. We may encounter a fluke like ’93 along the way, but for the most part we won’t be watching good baseball for quite a while.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    I’ve tried to forget about the Phillies as well Ian, but I can’t help getting angry at how poorly and recklessly this organization has been run over the last several years. Bad decision after bad decision. It makes me sad as well, when I think of what could have been. We were the talk of baseball just a few years ago, and now we are an overpriced, talentless laughingstock. We should be used to it though. After all, there have been long periods of futility from this team. The late 80′s and pretty much all of the 90′s were forgettable. Except now I don’t even have Whitey and Harry to get me through.

     
  • Posts: 0 Erik

    The lean years are here again. Painful to watch

     
  • Posts: 0 Johnny Goodtimes

    This franchise gave us a heck of a run, and you can’t put a pricetag on the ride they gave us in 2008. That said, there’s a reason they’ve been the laughingstock of baseball for much of their 131-year history, and we’re being reminded of why that is. The only way we’ll see a winner again this decade is to pool all of our resources and money and buy the Oakland A’s and bring them back to Philly.

     
    • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

      You don’t really need the entire Oakland franchise – just Billy Beane and his staff would do just fine here.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      “…there’s a reason they’ve been the laughingstock of baseball for much of their 131-year history…”

      Ancient history. A big part of their losing record was from a 30-year period (1919-48) with an incomprehensible .371 W-L%, which is like going 60-102 every single year for 30 straight years. This is when they racked up the losses that earned them the “losingest franchise” label.

      But the Phillies also have the remaining 101-year history of their franchise (longer than most teams’ entire history), during which they have a winning record:

      1919 through 1948: 1697-2873… 1,176 games under .500
      other 101 years: 7694-7589………. 105 games OVER .500

      In fact, in the 45 years since baseball expanded in 1969 (i.e. the majority of the lifetime of most current fans):

      - only 7 of the other 29 teams have a better record than the Phillies
      - only 6 of the 29 have more postseason appearances
      - only 6 of the 29 have more championships

       
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        Thanks for the info schmenk! I feel a little better now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slip back into my Amaro induced coma.

         
  • Posts: 0 PaMikeyDC

    Good write up!

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    All true and sad – particularly the dearth of prospects. I don’t see much changing with or without Amaro. Tune in 2022.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Their farm system isn’t among the worst, among most analysts.

      25th according to Baseball Prospectus
      21st in Fangraphs
      17th in Baseball America
      14th in ESPN (K. Law)
      11th post-draft by bleacher report (for what it’s worth)

       
      • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

        If you look at actual performance they’ve been terrible. Their farm system has been dead last in production over the past decade.

        “Forty-six Phillies Draft picks have reached the big leagues over the previous 10 Drafts (2004-13), which ties for seventh-best in baseball. But the quality of those picks ranks last. According to Baseball Reference, the combined WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of Phillies Draft picks over the past 10 years is 20.7, which is a remarkable 24.6 points lower than the 29th ranked Blue Jays (45.3).

        The Red Sox (142.7), Braves (133.3) and Angels (124.4) are the top three teams.”

        http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/phi/philadelphia-phillies-aiming-to-buck-their-recent-draft-history?ymd=20140602&content_id=77614864&vkey=news_phi

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Sure, the recent history hasn’t been good.

        It hasn’t been helped by 1) picking later because of good records, and 2) having the fewest first round picks of any team in baseball since 2000. Even with those two considerations they probably wouldn’t rank well, but I don’t think there’s been a review yet of drafting success which compares teams’ actual performance with *expected* performance, given the number of picks and their draft position. Average value of draft picks drops off dramatically by the second half of the first round.

         
  • Posts: 2886 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Ian – Great write up. It seems as though you have touched on all angles of this mess and I would agree that it will probably take quite a few years before we see consistent, competitive baseball in this town again. That is sad.

    However… the run they had from ’07 (really several few years before that going back to 2001 as they competed down the stretch in a few of those years) to ’11 (and you could include 2012 as well as they rebounded after the AS Break and actually made it interesting in Sept)…that stretch from 2001 to 2012 where they played “meaningful baseball”…I am happy to have witnessed that.

    2001 2nd 86 76 .531 2
    2002 3rd 80 81 .497 211⁄2
    2003 3rd 86 76 .531 15
    2004 2nd 86 76 .531 10
    2005 2nd 88 74 .543 2
    2006 2nd 85 77 .525 12
    2007 1st 89 73 .549 —
    2008 1st 92 70 .568 —
    2009 1st 93 69 .574 —
    2010 1st 97 65 .599 —
    2011 1st 102 60 .630 —
    2012 3rd 81 81 .500 17

    That’s 12 straight seasons where we saw Phillies teams with at least 80 wins and either a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place finish in the division…with 3rd only happening twice. That’s really pretty remarkable and we as a fan base can’t be too upset with that when you look at other periods .,..such as 1988-2000 (exception being ’93, of course).

     
    • Posts: 2886 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      *sorry …3rd three times. But still….

       
    • Posts: 5354 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Chuck, I agree, we really shouldn’t be too upset. So a number of lean years lie ahead- so what? How many lean years have people in San Diego, Kansas City, Houston and Cleveland endured?

       
      • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

        SD,KC,HOU, and CLE don’t have blank checks to sign players, and all currently have better records than the Phillies. It’s only going to get worse as our old players start making DL trips and Ruin unloads whatever salaries he can for some shiny rocks.

        We’re going to start sounding like pathetic Cowboys fans still talking about a championship 20 years ago. How bad is this team? After the Mets beat us 4 out of 5 in our house, they’ve lost 6 straight.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        And I’m sure Clevelanders are happy to say, “Hey, it could be worse – we could be living in Akron.”

         
  • Avatar of Tom in South Philly

    If I wasn’t too depressed about the Phillies before, I certainly am now after reading the article! It’s a very good write-up, Ian. I wish I could find some way to refute your findings, but I really can’t. I think you have covered all the bases pretty well. (pun intended.) Barring some miracle this year, I think they are done for 2014. And based on what I have seen and heard, 2015 and 2016 aren’t going to much fun either. On the bright-side, I can probably get as many tickets to as many games as I want!

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Bad teams have been turned around rather quickly in the past, but I do have doubts that with the current management the Phils can be one of those teams.

    One thing I try to keep in mind is that even if it takes more than a few years, there is usually evidence when a franchise is improving. This year, it might be last place. 1015 it might be last place. But perhaps by 2016 it’ll be 3rd place, which would be something to look forward to, and give hope for 2017. I also think 2017 isn’t a far fetched dream, because there will be more high draft picks between now and then, and some of the recent picks will probably reach the majors. They’re not all going to be duds.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Thank you Ruben the destroyer.

     
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Ian,

    I think your assessment is pretty accurate but two things play in the Phil’s favor in any fire sale.
    1. There may be an over zealous contender out there who is willing to do exctly what the Phils did when they picked up Pence. Maybe not as stupid as giving up for promising players, but even 1 promising kid per veteran would be a lot better than nothing.
    2. Injuries to contenders could also become a factor.

    An injury to a catcher or a closer could make Papelbon and/or Ruiz attractive even at a high cost. Obviously, the same holds true for Cliff’s value umless he continues to be counted among the injured.

    I also think it would be a mistake not to consider moving guys like Brown, Revere and Asche. Wish they had done it in the off-season when they still had value. The team is likely stuck with them, anyway.

    As unfortunate as Mike Adams’ latest injury was, I don’t think many teams would have invested much in picking him up. The guy is a good pitcher but made out of paper mache.

     
  • Posts: 0 DaveP

    First – lol at “phillies legend delmon young”. Great line, I’ll be stealing that.

    Secondly, here’s something I wrote up for a friend earlier-

    “I would just like to re-visit how awful of a GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is.

    Looking to add a piece to a team he thought could win it all, he traded Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later (Domingo Santana) for Hunter Pence.

    About a year later, Hunter Pence was sent packing to the Giants, and the return was Nate Schierholtz, Tommy Joseph, and Seth Rosin.

    The Astros have….
    -Singleton made his debut last week and has hit two home runs in 26 PA, a rate of 13 PA/HR. This rate places him 7th among players with at least 20 PA…out of 522.

    -Cosart made his debut last year, starting 10 games and throwing 60 innings. He ended the season with a sparkling and deceiving 1.95 ERA. The advanced numbers suggested he was pitching over his head, and he has come back to earth, this year touting a 4.16 ERA, more in line with his peripherals. Still, he’s been worth 1 WAR already for the astros, according to Fangraphs.

    -Josh Zeid has been bounced back and forth between the minors and majors this year, sporting a 3.86 ERA and an above average 26% K rate.

    -At AAA, Santana is slashing .291/.366/.481 with a wrC+ of 123 (meaning he’s 23% better than average). Oh yeah, and he’s only 21 (average age in the league he’s in is 26.8). He might also make his major league debut this year.

    Meanwhile, the phillies got…
    -About a year of Hunter Pence, worth 3.5 WAR

    -37 games of Nate Schierholtz, worth exactly 0 WAR and granted free agency in the offseason. (He signed with the cubs and hit 21 HR that year.)

    -Tommy Joseph, a catcher who’s had recurring concussion issues and hasn’t played a game since May 9th this year (and played in 35 games last year)

    -Relief pitcher Seth Rosin, who the phillies left unprotected during the Rule 5 draft, pitched a little in Texas, and was returned to the Phillies

    Imagine if those young prospects were coming up to help the phillies now instead of this old core and struggling youth.”

     
  • Posts: 0 Mike N

    Hmm anybody else notice that the Phils have not signed any of the players they drafted. I keep seeing other teams sign their draft picks and so far i haven’t seen the Phils sign one.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    The Howard deal hurts the most. Since he is basically unmovable. I keep thinking he can put up at least .270/30HR type of season. It’s not looking like that and paying 25 millions for someon hitting .230 hurts the most.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      He’s on pace for 29 HR and 109 RBI, but his .302 OBP and .716 OPS are way short of where he needs to be.

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    I was going to mention his OBP as well..

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob D

    Most of the starting pitching is untradeable with Lee and Burnett battling injury and Hamels as one pitcher to build around. Other likely untradeable players for now would be Brown and Asche, with Utley included with them as it seems the Phils would rather keep them. I do feel Revere would be moved if an offer was made.

    Who is likely to be traded is: Byrd, Papelbon, Bastardo, Kendrick, R Hernandez, Mayberry, Revere, and Nieves.

     
    • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

      Byrd is probably the best chip that we can move. Papelbon is second if they eat half his salary. Kendrick will usually give you 7 innings, but generally allows 3-4 runs and will be owed around $3.5M at the deadline…however, a team desperate for a starter might give you a decent prospect. Hopefully, Lee doesn’t need TJ surgery and will be back pitching effectively by the deadline.

      Mayberry and Nieves may draw some interest as bench players, but we won’t get much. Who is our backup catcher if we move Nieves? Do we even have any catchers in the minors hitting above the Mendoza line?

      I honesty can’t see any team wanting Bastardo, Hernandez, or Revere.
      Bastardo: No one wants a 7th/8th inning guy that walks the leadoff batter 75% of the time.
      Hernandez: No one wants a starter that can barely go 5 innings with a career ERA around 5
      Revere: LOL…just…LOL

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Hernandez might not be wanted as a starter, but he’d be a definite long relief option for a team in need.

        Two seasons back, Revere was hit around .290, and was repeating that prior to last year’s injury. He also has speed. Someone would be interested.

        Bastardo has good enough stuff that some team would probably be willing to live with his command issues.

        The Phils are in a bad situation, not a hopeless one.

         
  • Posts: 5354 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Good piece Ian,

    There is one thing I’d like to mention for all those that believe the F.O. is the sole reason things go wrong for a baseball team. A team that is recognized as a very well run organization in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays, have a worse record than the Phils right now, with no shot of competing in their division this season.

    Of course the Rays payroll is very low and the Phils very high so I’m not saying the Phils are run more economically than the Rays. For results per dollar over the years, it’s not even close.

    I guess just wanted to point out that two completely different strategies can have the same result. Injuries and bad luck will do that. The coming years do promise to be better for the Rays as they appear to have a better system in place to produce new young players, and they will get many of their injured back. I just find it ironic that the two polar opposites are 29th and 30th in the league right now.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Also the two teams of the 2008 WS, as a couple of current articles at other sites point out.

       
      • Posts: 5354 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        You won’t believe this, but I swear, right after I wrote this I went to TGP and saw John’s piece. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

        I’m watching that fabulous video as I type. I love his stuff, you know that and I hope he does. I just didn’t have time to make my rounds of the blogs yesterday and missed it.

         
  • Posts: 875 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    “As evident by the downward trend in his statistics even before the Achilles injury…”

    Ian, I am not as convinced that there was a strong downward trend before the Achilles tear. Howard had the unreal MVP season in 2006, and after that he posted these wRC+’s in 2007-2011:

    135, 120, 139, 127, 124

    (note that both 2010 and 2011 were better than 2008 when adjusted for the league)

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    I spent some time looking at potential prospects if we start to sell. Hopefully Ruben is doing the same thing and not playing Candy Crush. let me know what you think

    Utley to the Giants for Kyle Crick RHP, Edwin Escobar LHP, Mac Williamson OF, Joe Ponik IF
    Crick has to be one of the major pieces but we need help every where

    Jimmy to Oakland for Billy McKinney OF, Michael Taylor OF, Nolan Sanburn Closer
    It will be hard to get Oakland to give up solid propects but these three standout

    Marlon Byrd to Red Sox – Mookie Betts 2B, Henry Owens P, Allen Webster P
    Betts is also learning CF but from watching Galvis and Cesar we need to look for a new future 2B

    Cliff Lee to Orioles for Francisco Peguero OF, Hunter Harvey P, Dylan Bundy P
    Bundy is coming off surgery but was rated best prospect last year.

    For Ryan Howard – Seattle, Texas are looking for 1B/DH offense

    Kendrick, Burnett – Oakland, Yankees, Red Sox, Pirates

    Mayberry, Bastardo, Revere, Gwyn Jr, Galvis, Adams all can be traded for something bc they all do something that a playoff team might want. The Phils are def going to have to pick up salary for all the guys that are worth something but they have been selling out the ballpark for years and all that comcast money can come in handy. Not saying these are the packages the team should look at getting but these prospects look like good building blocks.

     
    • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

      IIRC the team views Asche as the future 2B. You have to remember Jimmy and Chase can veto any trade, too.

      Can’t trade Lee or Adams now. Hopefully they come back strong before the trade deadline. Probably cant trade Burnett because of the hernia, and because he’s really not pitching well lately.

      LOL Howard has no trade value because of the contract. You couldn’t give him away with his current BA and OPS. If Bastardo can cut down on the walks he might have value. Revere, Gwynn JR, and Galvis have zero trade value…especially Galvis, seeing how he’s hurt and was batting below .100 before he was demoted. I bet every organization has some Galvis clone that is a decent glove in multiple positions but can’t hit a lick…no need to trade for a guy like that, unless you’re Ruin.

      Anyway, I don’t really trust Ruin to get anything of value (based on his track record), and I’d probably prefer the next GM make some moves after the season

       
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        No, Asche isn’t the future second baseman.

        Also, for what it’s worth I expect Amaro will be here through 2015, so if anyone is to make any moves, it will be him.

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        I probably shouldn’t say that so definitively. But there has been no indication that they might want to try Asche at second again.

        Now, I suppose it’s possible to foresee a situation where Franco is called up, and Howard is still here, and they are willing to live with (possibly very) subpar defense at second base so that they can keep Asche’s bat in the lineup as opposed to Hernandez or Galvis.

         
      • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

        Sadly, honestly I think Amaro will be the GM next year as well. Whoever is GM next year will be so hamstrung by all those awful contracts Ruin has handed out, it would be difficult to get someone outside the organization to come in and clean up this mess. It’s a sad twist of fate that Ruin has been so terrible that he may have saved his job because no one else would want it right away lol.

        I thought the plan was always for Asche to eventually take over at 2B. IMO his bat isn’t what you want for 3B, and TBH he’s not all that great defensively there. He wouldn’t get ate up as much by hard hit balls at 2B. Asche also moves around well enough that he’d have decent range at 2B. Franco is going to be 3B soon unless the wheels totally come off and he can’t hit any more. I guess they could put him in LF if they decide to move on from Brown, although from what I’ve heard he’d be better off at 3B because he doesn’t move around all that well.

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        There are only two awful contracts, I think: Howard and Papelbon. I don’t see anything wrong with the Rollins, Utley, or Chooch deals, for example.

         
      • Posts: 0 Jay

        the players i listed were some of the guys i would like to see them try to get.

        Revere, Gwynn and Galvis offer defense and playoff teams always like to add defensive substitutions at the deadline. If every organization had a Galvis clone Detroit wouldnt be trying to find a new SS every other day. They wont bring us back future stars but u might just get something.

        Chase and Jimmy are Cali guys. If you offer them the chance to go home and contend they might take it.

        I give Rubes tons of credit for at the time when we were contenders trying to go for it all. He knows how to try to build a fantasy team not a real baseball franchise.

         
      • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

        You have to remember, a lot of these veteran contracts have easily reachable vesting options for another year. IIRC Chooch, Byrd, and Papelbon all have them. Chooch is worth the $8M this year for his defense and OBP, but will he be worth it in two years at age 38? Will Byrd? If these guys were 32 instead of 35 or 36, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal.

        Revere is terrible defensively. He takes bad routes to the ball and may have the worst arm an outfielder has ever had. What’s worse, he’s a speed guy that can’t lay down a frickin bunt. Galvis last I remember has a broken collar bone, and is not a starting caliber SS, and you can’t trade a guy on the DL if you wanted to. I’m not up on Detroit’s roster or farm system, but I’d bet they *do* have a Galvis clone…he’s not exactly Jimmy offensively. Gwynn JR and Galvis aren’t making much, so there’s really no incentive to unload them, unless someone is dumb enough to actually offer something of value, and not trade them just because.

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        Yep, well aware of the vesting options. Even so…

        Chooch is worth more than $8M this year, he’s one of the best in the league overall. He may not be worth it at 37, but the vesting year at 38 is actually a club option, and in any case even when he’s not worth it he’ll be a good mentor for whoever the new catcher is.

        Byrd may get the third year, but at $8M it’s not crippling by any means even if vests.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        I’d rather have Utley playing second on his rump than see Asche playing there.
        I think that experiment in the minors went nowhere.
        Then again, I’m not sure what they saw in him as a 3rd baseman.
        Try him in LF or even CF.
        Can’t hurt.

         
    • Posts: 2886 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I can’t see the O’s willing to part with Bundy.

       
      • Posts: 0 Jay

        Bundy is coming off of Tommy John and Baltimore wants to contend now. CLiff Lee makes them go from an ok wildcard contender to division winner.

         
      • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

        Hopefully, Lee is off the DL before the deadline and Ruin doesn’t get three stiffs for him again. Also, AFAIK Lee also has some veto power on trades. Would he want to go to Baltimore? IDK…

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Mike – Ruben won’t get 3 stiffs for Cliff, again.
        No way he makes that same mistake twice.
        This time, I suspect he’ll land 4 stiffs for Cliff.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      Well, at least someone is way too optimistic as to what they think the Phils might get in trades.

      And here I thought no one on the roster could be moved.

       
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    If they lose 95+ games Ryno has to go then too. I would back the Brinks money truck up to Tampa and see if we can get Joe Madden to come home.

    Ruben has to go. We need someone that can understand the stats like Bobby Evans from the Giants, Farhan Zaidi from Oakland, Jason McLeod from the Cubs,

     
    • Posts: 0 Mike in NJ

      I was giving Ryne the benefit of the doubt early, but he has been terrible. I gave up on him in that Mets series when he let Manship bat with a runner on 3rd and a chance to end it. I’m not a big Mayberry fan, but he’s been a good PH this year, and certainly had a better chance of driving in that run than Manship.

      That being said, I don’t think any manager would really make a difference with this team. They might have a couple more wins if Madden was the manager, but this team is just bad.

       
      • Posts: 0 c. schreiber

        Yeah, that was the game that Ryno “jumped the shark” letting Manship bat.

         
  • Posts: 193 photoFred

    Avatar of photoFred

    Howard has 41 RBI on a team that has raised not getting on base to a high art, (even with JRoll finally learning to do just that). Ian mentioned most of his numbers but omitted that one.

    Ben Revere is not a good center fielder. If anyone has any interest in him at all I’d be listening hard.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Im no hard on Revere i think he still has value. Rather he is a starter or a good bench is arguable. Someone has to play the OF and we have little at the minor levels. Byrd is the one that you move.

     
    • Posts: 193 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      I do hate to be hard on him because he plays hard and seems like a decent kid but he may be the worst .300 hitter in baseball. He doesn’t look at pitches, most of his doubles are leg doubles, OBP, OPS, I could go on…

      And, while he can often recover using his speed, he does not get good jumps or angles on balls in the air. I’d play Byrd in center, hell, I’ll play center. Put me in, Coach!

       
  • [...] As the baseball world wonders what the Phillies are, the Phillies have been one of the most interesting teams on the rumor pages. Most, like Pat Gallen’s 97.5 FM co-host Jayson Stark, have concluded that the Phillies don’t have a whole lot of pieces that would return much value much like we did ten days ago. [...]

     
 
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