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Posts Tagged ‘Free Agent Market’

Reconsidering Michael Bourn

Posted by Eric Seidman, Thu, December 27, 2012 10:34 AM Comments: 62

The Phillies made something of an effort to sign B.J. Upton and pushed hard for Angel Pagan before trading Vance Worley and Trevor May to the Twins for Ben Revere.

The move gave them a young, cost-controlled centerfielder who plays excellent defense and offers top-notch baserunning. He probably isn’t a finished product yet either, which lends credence to the belief that he could consistently produce at a 3-WAR clip as he enters his prime. The move came out of nowhere and was met with some criticism, but it was a risk worth taking if the team was opposed to doling out a lucrative, long-term contract.

One centerfielder the Phillies shied away from was Michael Bourn.

The former Phillies outfielder, who blossomed into an elite player with the Astros and Braves, was set to sign a big-time contract this offseason. Best laid plans haven’t come to fruition for Bourn, a Scott Boras client, and he remains unsigned. Granted, Boras likes to wait until late in the game, but the rumor mill has virtually dried up with respect to Bourn.

He’ll find a home somewhere but he may have to settle for a one-year deal that enables him to test the free agent market under friendlier conditions next year. If push comes to shove and that scenario plays out, should the Phillies consider him even after acquiring Revere?

Continue reading Reconsidering Michael Bourn

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The Starting Rotation Conundrum

Posted by Eric Seidman, Mon, December 10, 2012 11:15 AM Comments: 51

The Phillies pulled off a solid yet risky deal last week to solve their centerfield dilemma but simultaneously created another area of need. By including Vance Worley in the Ben Revere trade the Phillies current rotation would feature Kyle Kendrick and likely one of Tyler Cloyd or Jonathan Pettibone behind The Big Three. That isn’t the most appetizing back-end of a rotation, especially not for a team with hopes of contending.

While Kendrick is a capable #5 starter, he shouldn’t be relied on for more than that, and Cloyd showed little last year that would make one suspect he can perform at a league average level over 30+ starts. Pettibone and other top pitching prospects — Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Brody Colvin, Ethan Martin, etc — could thrive if given the opportunity but they all carry significant risk since their major league talent level is unknown.  The Phillies are in a position to minimize risk in the rotation so a Kendrick-Cloyd back-end is suboptimal.

The Phillies, plain and simple, have to do something with the rotation.

They don’t have to sign Anibal Sanchez for 4-5 years at $14-$15 million per year, but they no longer have the luxury of waiting until next year to bolster the rotation, when the free agent market looks abundant with good, reliable starters. Luckily, there are still several intriguing names on the market that could help the 2013 Phillies without requiring much of a commitment beyond next season. The Phillies could make a short-term move right now and look to make a bigger splash next offseason, or they could forego next year’s market and look to sign a better starter right now.

The Phillies are faced with a very interesting decision that really boils down to their thoughts, both in the short- and long-term, on Roy Halladay.

Continue reading The Starting Rotation Conundrum

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Upton Headed to Atlanta on 5-Year Deal

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 28, 2012 05:25 PM Comments: 41

Upton is on his way to the Braves. (MLB)

The Braves scored one of the biggest names on the free agent market, nabbing BJ Upton, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, and others. He’s the first shoe to drop and marks the unofficial start of free agency.

Upton, 28, is scheduled to take a physical in Atlanta tomorrow, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Phillies were the runners-up for Upton’s services. They’re still looking for a centerfielder, and now Michael Bourn is definitely on the market as the Braves have gone elsewhere. Also still available are Josh Hamilton and Angel Pagan, among other trade candidates like Dexter Fowler and Denard Span.

Nightengale is reporting that its a five-year deal worth $70 to $75 million.

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Should The Phillies Take A Chance On Chone Figgins?

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Wed, November 21, 2012 02:16 PM Comments: 33

Figgins seemed to lose himself while playing in Seattle. Could relocating to Philadelphia get his career back on track? Photo: AP

With Chone Figgins being designated for assignment by the Mariners yesterday, all signs point to the once productive player hitting the free agent market. Ian Riccaboni and I sat down to discuss whether Figgins might be an option worth exploring for the Phillies.

I say yes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Chone Figgins?! This guy can’t be serious! And that’s an understandable reaction. Because, let’s be honest, Figgins has been unequivocally bad the last two years–that’s why he got designated for assignment in the first place.

But, assuming he clears waivers–and all signs indicate that he will–I do believe Ruben Amaro, Jr. should at least put in a call to Tommy Tanzer, Figgins’s agent. Should that conversation go well, and there doesn’t seem to be any major interest from other teams for the services of the once highly-touted infielder, then Amaro should tender him an offer. Nothing huge. In fact, it should be a minor league deal with an invite to spring training at most.

At this point, you’re probably ready to pull your hair out. You’re asking questions like, ‘Why would the Phillies waste their time on this guy?’ and ‘What’s the point?’ Continue reading Should The Phillies Take A Chance On Chone Figgins?

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Phils Considered Frontrunners For B.J. Upton

Posted by Eric Seidman, Sat, November 03, 2012 12:15 PM Comments: 86

Early Friday morning, Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies were early frontrunners to land B.J. Upton. The former #1 pick is a first-time free agent, and is generally considered the perfect fallback plan for teams that either miss out on, or don’t want to pay the hefty price tags of, Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn.

Upton has spent his entire career with Tampa Bay and combines solid centerfield defense with athletic baserunning ability and 20+ home run power. He is the youngest centerfield free agent, at 28 years old, and is expected to sign for $11-$13 million per season over four or five years. He is a very talented and valuable baseball player in his prime. The Rays made Upton a qualifying offer late Friday afternoon, but he isn’t likely to accept it.

Given how Ruben Amaro tends to operate, if the Phillies are serious about Upton, his signing could be imminent. Amaro’s modus operandi in his brief general managership has involved identifying a target and making the deal happen quickly. He let the market play out with Jimmy Rollins last offseason, but that was an exception, far from the rule.

While I extolled the virtues of one Peter Bourjos yesterday as a legitimate trade target for the Phillies, the situation is starting to have that ‘feel’ that Upton will be our starting centerfielder for the next several seasons. He was always a prime candidate for the Phillies, who love raw athleticism, and if these early reports are any indication Amaro has found his man.

There really isn’t a wrong answer when discussing Upton, Bourjos, Angel Pagan or Shane Victorino for the centerfield post, but Upton represents the best solution among those on the free agent market. His numbers have been deflated by the Trop, he still has untapped potential, and he is worth ~$12 million/yr even without developing further.

Continue reading Phils Considered Frontrunners For B.J. Upton

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Get A-Rod’s Backup Instead

Posted by Eric Seidman, Thu, October 25, 2012 08:05 AM Comments: 15

Polly is likely on his way out. Would Chavez be a better fit? (AP)

The Phillies will decline Placido Polanco‘s $5.5 million option for 2013, buying him out for $1 million. The formal decision hasn’t come down the pipeline, but it’s essentially a foregone conclusion. This opens up a spot at third base that the Phillies will need to fill internally, via trade or through the free agent market. Internal options exist, and the team may well choose to mix-and-match utility players and defensive specialists until the de facto 2014 starter — Cody Asche — is ready.

Kevin Frandsen played very well in Polanco’s absence this season and likely enters the season as the positional frontrunner. Freddy Galvis is a superlative defender at a tougher position and should also see time at third base.  Ty Wigginton is, well, just a human being currently on the roster, and we’ll simply leave it at that.

While it’s sexier to discuss long-term solutions like Chase Headley or external stopgaps like Wilson Betemit or any of those Angels infielders, the Phillies can solve their third base dilemma by pairing their internal options with a talented and inexpensive free agent.

Eric Chavez cannot play everyday anymore, but he still hits righties. Formerly a gold glove defender, he remains passable at the position. The Yankees may make Alex Rodriguez available, and may offer to pick up most of the tab. In that case, he will surely be linked to the Phillies, a big-spending team with a clear need at third base. However, the Phillies are better off pursuing Chavez, A-Rod’s backup, as the righty meat in a platoon sandwich.

Continue reading Get A-Rod’s Backup Instead

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Phillies Nation TV: 2012 Wrap Up

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, October 09, 2012 12:29 PM Comments: 4

On our final edition of Phillies Nation TV for the 2012 baseball season, Corey and I discuss the year and how it ended up the way it did. We go through the whole roster; from Ryan Howard and Chase Utley missing the beginning of the season, all the way down to Jeremy Horst and the bullpen.

The free agent market for the outfield and third base is not great, so we talk about the names and who is a reality for the Phillies.

We also answer a few reader comments and questions about the team.

Thanks for watching all season! Enjoy, and we’ll see you during the Winter Meetings.

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Bourn Looking to Cash in on Success

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, August 07, 2012 08:37 AM Comments: 36

Could we see this again next season?

What is Michael Bourn worth? What is a steady defensive centerfielder with great speed worth on the free agent market? We’re about to find out, and it could be a lot.

The talk is that he’ll command a $100 million deal in the off-season, with Scott Boras, his agent, doing the dirty work. After seeing Boras suck $142 million out of the Red Sox for free agent outfielder Carl Crawford, perhaps nine-figures is a possibility. I have a hard time seeing that large a number come to fruition, but anything is possible, and it only takes one team to do it.

But what exactly is his value in dollars? Does he deserve to be paid like one of the top outfielders in all of baseball?

According to Fangraphs, Bourn’s WAR since 2008 – the year he became a full-time player – is 18.5. That places him 12th among all outfielders, ahead of guys like Hunter Pence, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton, and the aforementioned Crawford. Since 1.0 WAR is equal to roughly $4.5 million, Bourn would be worth about $20 million-per-season using that metric. Since we all know that’s not true and teams don’t operate that way (although maybe Boras can use this as leverage) let’s compare him to some guys with similar numbers.

Continue reading Bourn Looking to Cash in on Success

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Phils Still Trying on Hamels; Talk Victorino with Dodgers

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, July 23, 2012 07:07 PM Comments: 14

Will we be kissing Vic goodbye soon? (ESPN)

-Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says the Phillies are still actively trying to sign Cole Hamels as we’re just over seven days from the July 31 trade deadline.

“They’re trying — actively trying,” a person with knowledge of the situation told CSNPhilly.com on Monday afternoon. “They’re making offers.”

I’ve never doubted that the Phillies have actively been trying to consummate a deal with Hamels recently, but what if Hamels is the one relenting? What’s stopping him from getting to free agency and perhaps scoring himself $10-20 million more? It’s perverse to think about it, especially when the dollar amount is that exorbitant; however, it could matter to Hamels. He has talked before about his desire to see what the free agent market holds for him, so why not get there?

I still think the chances are greater than 50/50 that Hamels does re-sign with the Phillies now, but how much more is up for debate. I’ll go 60/40.

NOTE: If he does not, Texas could try very hard to pry Hamels away. They’ve lost starter Colby Lewis for the season and the Rangers know they need a top of the line starter, especially with Roy Oswalt again experiencing back issues. Mike Olt, their prized third base prospect, is quite intriguing.

-According to Jon Paul Morosi from Fox Sports, the Phillies and Dodgers have had discussions about Shane Victorino. Morosi tweeted there is “no momentum toward a deal” right now. Not sure this is a perfect match as the Dodgers don’t have a Top 10 position player prospect at a position of need for the Phillies. That said, Victorino is unlikely to command much more than *possibly* one Top-1o from some teams farm system.

-Speaking of Victorino, the Yankees may have thrown a wrench into things. By trading for Ichiro, the Yankees are now one less team that is in need of an outfielder. Perhaps the Pirates are a team that will step forward in the next few days for the services of Victorino.

I still do believe he will be dealt and that it’s the right move. With the season going nowhere fast, it’s best to try and recoup something for him if you’re not re-signing him.

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Negotiations with Hamels Reaching Critical Juncture

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 10, 2012 12:32 PM Comments: 45

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that the Cole Hamels negotiations are reaching a critical point as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. Salisbury reports that Hamels and the Phillies maintain a basic agreement in dollars, about $24 million a year, but continue to struggle to match contract length details, with the Phillies aiming for a four year deal and Hamels seeking more.

This in itself may not be newsworthy, but there were positives from the conversation Salisbury had with Hamels. While Hamels desires to determine his worth on the free agent market, Salisbury is reporting that the desire to stay with one team is more important to Hamels than testing his worth, indicating he would be willing to continue to negotiate.

From Salisbury’s piece:

“Of course,” said Hamels when asked if he’d like to be a Phillie forever. “I grew up watching Tony Gwynn being a Padre forever. That says something about a person if they’re able to do that. I know it’s very hard in this day and age. It’s something I grew up watching and hope to be able to emulate that. It’s up to both sides to be able to do it.”

Notable further is that Gwynn, Hamels’ boyhood idol, was also a client of John Boggs, Hamels’ agent.

Perhaps the most comforting quote from Hamels may have been his indication that the Phillies will have the first and, most importantly, last opportunity to sign him. Salisbury quoted Hamels as stating “I’ll always give them the first choice,” he said. “If there are multiple teams I’m always going to put them at the top of my list.” Hamels has indicated recently that he would be opening to re-signing with the Phillies if he is traded at the deadline and reiterated that with Salisbury.

The Cole Hamels Contract-Trade Watch is in full bloom.

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