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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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Vote for Victorino

I don't know if this was mentioned in the earlier thread, but Manuel was outfoxed by Dusty by PHing Bruntlett. Clearly Manuel thought Baker was going to bring in the righty and would counter by PHing Stairs. Bruntlett did what he does best.
On the Victorino front, I just returned from Hawaii (big island). I was wearing my Phillies cap at the hotel when the pool attendant shouted at me, "The Flyin' Hawaiian! He's awesome!"

A vote for Vic is a vote against communism...

sort of.

43-38 this season has up 2 on FLA, 4 in the loss column.

43-38 last season had us up 1 on FLA, tied in the loss column. 3 up on Atl and NY.

Mets are 4 games under .500 this year after not falling more than 3 games under last year.

We all saw last night coming, right? Whenever the Phillies score tons of runs one night, they are destined to fall back to earth the next day. Go out and win tonight though and all is (almost) forgotten.

TRADE: Savory, Donald, D'Arnaud and Vance Worely for Halladay

Thrown in Marson and Bruntlett.

Haven't read the game log, so I'm probably repeating what has been said quite a bit.

The blame has got to to to the Phils hitters for the loss. Especially Werth, Dobbs and Feliz for failing to drive in a run with the bases loaded, 0 outs. And Rollins and Victorino for failing to get Chooch in from third.

But, Cholly was out-managed again. I understand the theory of getting Baker to bring in a RHP in order to counter with Stairs. But, let's think about this: Stairs vs. Weathers or Bruntlett vs. Rhodes. Not a very difficult decision. It is understood that the Phils have no viable RH bat off the bench, which makes the decision tougher, but Stairs vs. Rhodes seems better than Bruntlett vs. Rhodes, IMO.

Finally, are we using Lidge in non-save situations? Apparently so. I'm glad Jason made this point in the header, because I feel like I'm the only one who views this as a bad idea. Park was warming up. He's been great out of the 'pen. Why use Lidge there?

Tough loss that shouldn't have happened, but I still feel that Charlie shoulders most of the blame. No reason whatsoever to bring in Bruntlet with RISP in a tie ballgame (only to bring in Mayberry to pinch run later), and no reason to leave him in as your last AB with a man on base in the bottom of the ninth. You can rationalize it all you like, but it was slap ass stupid, and he's made decisions like this all year long.

On a side note, I'm not the only one who doesn't see a boatload of prospects being thrown at the feet of Ricciardi. If he really needs to clear salary (and I suspect that he does), he'll take what he's given. He holds almost no leverage whatsoever; the only teams that can afford him AND have the prospects to give up do not need him or his salary to contend, or they're division rivals (Phillies, Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees). He either stays put, or he goes in a deal for B-level talent.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=An.OH2BYmK2S97c47EO2JJARvLYF?slug=ge-fullcount070709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Incidentally, clout, it's been almost 12 hours since you pulled the disappearing act. I'm still waiting for you to hypothesize a trade from any ballclub that can take on $7 million of salary in 2009 and $12 million in 2010. Who would such a club be willing to give up that trumps a foursome out of the pool of Carassco, Worley, Carpenter, Kendrick, Knapp, Bastardo, Mayberry, Dobbs, Donald, Marson?

Clout is real good at calling other people stupid; not so good when it comes to having the guts to go out on a limb and back up your big mouth. Georgie Porgie ran away... :)

Why would he go for B level talent for the best pitcher in the game? His salary is very reasonable.

Here's a reach, but say the phillies go through the rotation a few more times before acquiring Halladay, and each time Lopez does an admirable job. Is it possible we could then spin off Lopez to another team looking for a mid-level/back of the rotation starter, and thus perhaps, obtain even a decent low level minor leaguer, which could help (to whatever extent possible) our recently depleted minor league system? Unless we throw Rodriguez in the bullpen, we lose him anyway, and there aren't exactly a lot of teams in a position to trade away a starter. I'm not saying Lopez is worth much, but if he turns in 2-3 starts like his last one before the break, perhaps he could be worth half of what a team would pay for the likes of, say, Jarrod Washburn.

Didn't a team trade a broadcaster once?

Mac: Riccardi has the leverage if being able to wait until the offseason to deal Halladay. I would find it very hard to believe that ownership would force him to deal Halladay right now in order to save the 7 mill left on his contract this year. Even if it's about salary, it's about his salary for next year, not this year.

FWIW, Olney just said on ESPN he thought Drabek, Happ and Donald would get it done. Do you do that?

OFFTOPIC: The trophies were in Harrisburg yesterday. With picture.

http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2009/07/fan-boy-geek-moment.html [WARNING: Hockey Fan]

Still, pretty cool to have all 3 in the same room.

On the Pedro exhibition yesterday: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4312099

Sounds like we might be more interested in him than I thought.

Jack: That offer scares me. Happ is a nice young pitcher.

Carrasco was wild again last night. I don't think he is going to bring much interest now.

You can't give up both Happ and Drabek. I'd rather give up one of the stud outfielders (Taylor/Brown).

I know it was bantered around here yesterday, but I honestly feel it would be a mistake to include Happ. There is something special about his make-up, his fastball has good late life, and I believe he can hone his change & slider/curve into much more effective pitches. I honestly think his ceiling is as a smart, effective, resolved #2 pitcher. At worst, he's better than league-average and cheap and cost-controlled for many years. That is extremely valuable to a major league team.

On another front, I read Jayson Satark's piece saying the Phils are more interested in Pedro than they're letting on. Seems he worked out exclusively for Phils at their baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. Scout Robinson Garcia said he's throwing 88-91 and he could (with work)get it to 93.. Looks like Pedro will be here soon...

Sneed,
probably just due-diligence and game-playing (in the Strategic Financial sense). When negotiating with other teams, it wouldn't be prudent to appear as if you don't have other options, even if they are less than ideal.

SmokyJoe: Could not agree more. We've backed into something more valuable than we thought with Happ. After throwing a CG shutout in Toronto, it is no wonder they would seek to have him included in the deal.

It has actually become quite difficult to value him properly. On one hand, he's never been the type of high ceiling prospect that Kyle Drabek is. On the other, he's now pitched successfully at the major league level and has showed poise and maturity that you don't normally find in rookies.


Maybe Charlie PHs Bruntlett to make a point to Ruben that he needs a better RH bat off the bench? Dusty helped the Phils make that point yesterday, by demonstrating that Bruntlett scares them not at all, not worth changing pitchers for.

Frankly, PHs are going to fail most of the time, anyway, in a sport where failing 7/10 times is considered a great performance - - Which means that unless there is a power threat up to PH (like Stairs), or failing that, a consistent hitter, there's not really more pressure on the pitcher anyway, is there? I mean, it's all perception. It's all whether the pitcher thinks, "oh, here's someone who could hit a HR or a double" versus "here's someone who isn't likely to hurt me"

I don't know how many times I've watched a PH'r strike out and said to myself, well the pitcher could have done that much if left in to bat. I realize that's the game, and I'm fine with it, but it does seem that there really needs to be a threat of some kind there when a PH'r is used.

Or maybe the simple threat of R-L matchups is enough of a threat. But not in the case of someone like Bruntlett, apparently.

Drabek, Happ and Donald? If the Phils sign Brody Colvin after making the deal, I'd do it, I think.

On Happ: I've always been kinda "eh" about him, but he does look like he may have more upside than a #5 starter. I don't know about "special" or "worthy of holding up a deal for Halladay", though.

Kinda late, but I would go Drabek, Carrasco, Savery and Donald for Halladay. The 4 that Mac suggested is not enough to get someones #1 pitcher. Not sure what I am suggesting is enough either. You have to trade something to get something. Toronto and/or Cleveland is not going to trade their star for our junk. They know what we don't need or want in our system.
The rotation would Hallady, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer. That would still leave the system with Worley, Knapp and Stutes. That's more than fair.

bummer we couldnt get happ the win while hes still here

If we deal Happ, who's our 5th pitcher? Lopez, I suppose. Happ's pretty good and cheap. I don't feel good about dealing both Happ and Drabek, especially. But I realize if you want someone of Halladay's caliber and you feel he can push you over the top, then you certainly can't get something for nothing (or for little), can't trade a bag of marbles for a diamond. Ruben will have to weigh the benefits of acquiring Halladay with the downside of losing good young pitchers and taking on more salary. Not sure what I'd do in his place.

"Carrasco was wild again last night. I don't think he is going to bring much interest now"

Wrong. Carrasco has had very good control most of the year. He was wild last night, but had given up just 1 hit and struck out 5 through 4 innings. So, he obviously had pretty good stuff. Just didn't control it.

People have to remember how young the kid is. He has been really good for the past month and a half. He had a down outing last night. It happens to everybody at every level. The interest in him and his POTENTIAL, will not change because he had some wildness last night in one game. The stuff is still there.

Taylor's line last night...

3 hits, 2 doubles, 2 RBI's and 3 SB's.


Cholly's decision to pinch-hit Bruntlett was asinine. He would have been much better off, leaving Dobbs in there to face Rhodes. Dobbs can hit. Bruntlett cannot. Leave him in and let him take some hacks against Rhodes. Or, use RFD Jr in that spot. So, the Reds go to Weathers. Weathers doesn't have great stuff. I'd rather see RFD hitting against Weathers, then Bruntlett hitting against anybody.

And, then what happens in the 9th? You are stuck with Bruntlett getting ANOTHER AB, with the game on the line. Dobbs is on the bench out of the game and RFD is on deck. Predictably Bruntlett is overmatched and the game is over.

LA said that Bruntlett had 3 hits all year against right-handers. And, that's the guy hitting in the 9th inning with the game on the line? Terrible.

Once again, the Phils and Cholly's inability to TRUST their players (and specifically a young player), might have cost them a game.

Considering salary, other available pitchers (free agency and trade), pitchers available in the off season via fa or trade, Roy's injury woes and the desperation of the Jays to dump salary, I wouldn't trade Happ for Halladay straight up.

A cheap Happ under team control for many years > 19 million to an injury risk ace for 1.5 years.

Let the ridicule begin...

Roy's injury woes? He might be the most durable starter in the game. He's a horse.

And if Happ was as great as everyone says he is he would have not blown a 3 run lead last night regardless of how bad the offense was.

Twitter from @SI_John_Heyman: halladay gave #jays gm go-ahead to find a trade for him. friend says he's "shy" but thinks he'd approve ny, phil, bos.

Not the primary factor, Alex, but still a factor. His stint on the DL certainly shouldn't raise his value.

Last night 39 year old ex-Phillie dog reliever Arthur Rhodes pitches a shutout inning, while last year's Lights Out Lidge picks up a loss in pitching his non-shutout inning. Go figure!

happ is more valuable than halladay?

the beerleaguer comment section comedy show continues, starring Mac tonight!

Alex,
Could you name me one "great" pitcher (go ahead and find a hall-of-famer if you'd like) that hasn't blown 3-run leads multiple times? Your statement is ridiculous.

Mac T - the Jays have all kinds of leverage right now. It's the trading deadline. Halladay has a year and a half to go on his contract. The urgency here lies with the teams trying to win a championship.

Drabek, Happ, and Donald? Yeah, I'd do it. Think back to March. How many people were wildly excited about Drabek then? And realistically, it's hard to imagine Happ being more than a #3 type starter. I think he'll he could have a decent Randy Wolf-ish career, but nothing too special. Donald apparently doesn't have a future with this organization.

I was thinking more along the lines of Happ, Carrasco, Marson, and Donald. But I'd pull the trigger on the Olney proposal.

I know it has been said before, but IF the Phils acquire Halladay, they better have him checked out by a Dr, before the move is finalized.

Mac, you're sounding a bit like mvptommyd on this one.

Alex: Yeah, because Halladay never gives up three whole runs in a ballgame.

I'm not saying that Happ is a better pitcher than Halladay. I'm saying Happ, at his contract, salary, age and talent is a better value investment than Halladay, at his contract, salary, age and talent.

A trade involving minor league talent can be debatable because the players involved may, or may not, pan out to be serviceable in the big leagues. Happ, on the other hand, is a proven commodity and has been arguably our best starter this season.

If you're trying to plug a hole in the rotation, you don't do it by replacing your most effective starter (under team control) and add 19 million to the payroll to boot.

Happ should be available in any trade. His value will never be higher.

Getting (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball is not a good investment?

Alex: agreed. I like the idea of using Happ as a chip. I like the guy but don't think he's as good as he's looked lately.

Yeah Happ has looked great in starting only 9 games, but the bottom line is winning ballgames. The team is 4-5 in his starts. He is definitely tradeable.

If you have Hallday, he goes 8 or 9 innings and closes out those games.

I would not trade Happ, he has already evidenced at least consistent number 4 starter and maybe a higher upside.
RE: Last night, I fault the offense in innings 3 and 4 -- they had to score more runs there. The first Bruntlett decision (not a good one) leads to paralysis in the 9th because if they PH for Bruntlett (Coste?) and they only tie the game they go into extras with a much weakened defense (to quote A&C "who is on third?" :-). Yes, you try to tie vs. lose, but statistically, Bruntlett is still successful in about one of 6 at bats. Kudos to LA and SF for downing the Mets and Marlins.

RSB: There is only an urgency on behalf of the trading partner if a division rival can acquire Halladay as well. This is not the case.

The Yankees and Red Sox would give the Jays leverage, but I doubt that they would move the best pitcher in the game to a division rival.

The Dodgers may have enough talent to get it done, but it's questionable whether they'll take on the salary for 2010 OR give up their prized talent. Still, no one else in the NL West has a realistic shot at making the trade. Leverage = Dodgers.

The Phillies have enough money talent to get it done, but the Mets, Braves and Marlins do not. Leverage = Phillies.

Similar arguments could be made for Milwaukee, Aneheim and Chicago, though I doubt that any of the three would give up much more than mid-level prospects if they're expected to take on nearly $20 million in salary relief.

In addition to this, if you couldn't tell by this past round of free agent signings, the market has drastically changed. Teams aren't as free spending as they once were. Taking on almost 20 million dollars for a season and a half for one player is a pretty large commitment; one that will probably handcuff the team in question from making a significant move in the upcoming off season.

In other words, the team that finds this trade to be the most necessary is the Blue Jays. I think that most teams will balk at the idea of giving up prized young, inexpensive talent in the current market for an expensive ace who just came off of the DL.

Mac Tonight: 1.) The Jays are not really in salary dump mode. Riccardi knows they won’t be able to re-sign Halladay based off the money he is paying to Wells and Rios. He sees a huge window right now to trade Halladay and get the most for him since every other viable starting pitcher on the market is either hurt or unavailable. 2.) If they were to go within the division- the Red Sox could take on the salary and can base a package around Clay Bucholz who is a better pitching prospect currently than anyone in our system- and he has major league service time.

Blaming Charlie for the way things turned out is kinda unfair, because he made the right moves. They just didn’t work out. Moves need to be judged in the time they were made and not with hindsight. The Phillies have two power threats on their bench- Mayberry and Stairs. With Rhodes pitching the Phillies needed to go to a right handed batter for Dobbs. You could go with Mayberry but then Dusty Baker would assuredly go to Weathers effectively wasting the Mayberrry move in a game that was tied at that point. Charlie was hoping they could go with Bruntlett and Dusty would go to Weathers and then Stairs hits against him. Dusty didn’t bite, but that doesn’t mean it is the wrong move. Plus with Rhodes you have a pitcher that loves to throw sliders, and junk. That is not the ideal pitcher for Stairs to face. In fact, Stairs is 1 for 14 in his career versus Rhodes. And really, if Baker does make the move to Weathers it looks brilliant for Charlie. Basically, he called Baker’s bluff, and Baker had the cards he needed.

Something that I want to point out so it doesn’t get lost is the two excellent at bats Ryan Howard had in his last two plate appearances. Both times he got down in the count and then laid off some tough pitches to work walks and put guys on base

Truth:

1. Then why even discuss trading your ace, who's under contract for next season, in July when your team has a winning record and a shot to contend for the wild card?

2. The Sox have been pretty consistent in keeping Clay off the table in compelling trade opportunities in the past. They're pretty conservative with their young talent in general. I doubt that trading their blue chip to a division rival is in Lucchino's plans.

-----

Please, I'm begging anyone here to take a look at this situation from all of it's angles, not just the "Oh goodie, we can get an ace" perspective. Yes, I would absolutely LOVE to have Halladay in a Phillies uniform, but for gods sake, consider what you already have and what such a deal would cost you, not just in salary, but in the ability to contend beyond 2010, the ability to make smaller future trades to address other needs, etc...

Need I remind you all that the team that went balls to the wall to trade for the best pitcher in baseball last season found themselves sitting at home after the LDS. Likewise, the team that went all out to aquire the best bat in the game sat at home during the World Series. Meanwhile the team that made a more conservative trades for the lowly Joe Blanton and Matt Stairs are the WFC.

Amaro should address his needs, consider future needs and make the right deal, not go all out to do whatever it takes to land the biggest available star.

Mac - no, I don't agree that the Jays 'find this trade most necessary'. I believe Ricciardi when he says they're not actively shopping but will listen to formidable offers - because that accurately portrays the situation he's in with Halladay. There is a big difference between a year and a half and a year or half-year on a contract. You do have a point that he isn't likely to trade within the AL East, but this still isn't an Abreu-type deal where you only have one team in the bidding. You are severely over-estimating the Phillies' leverage.

RSB: When you make a statement like Ricciardi did to the press, you ARE actively shopping.

What did you expect he'd do, weep openly on ESPN and lament the fact that their owners lost 7 billion dollars, attendance is down by the thousands and most of their salary is tied up in three players (two of whom are overpriced and untradable)?

You are severly underestimating not just the Phillies leverage, but the Blue Jays absolute lack of leverage. I'll bet that we're not the only ones to call his bluff.

I'm calling it now, and if I'm wrong, you all have my full blessing to call me out on it and admit that I was wrong, but I'm saying that if a deal is made for Halladay, the buzz around both Beerleaguer and the baseball world will be that the team that acquired him got him for a steal and did not have to give up their blue chip prospects.

Like I said, if I'm wrong, I will openly admit that I am wrong and that all of you were right, but I don't believe that I'm wrong.

Any chance we can deal with a utility guy so we can get rid of the freakin Gnome?

Mac T - okay, we'll see. I don't feel a need to say I'm right and you're wrong.

skeeter: I remember reading that the Mariners might be interested in Dobbs. Maybe they'll take Bruntlett instead. Maybe toss in Donald and Carpenter for Washburn.

...and maybe the sky will rain donuts. :)

MAC: You are leaving out all the underlying factors to the situation. Riccardi is shopping Halladay now because they are 7 games back of the wild card and would have to leap frog 7 teams. Also, he knows they won’t be able to re-sign him next year because of all the money they are putting out already. Now pretend you’re Riccardi and look at the two scenarios he is looking at.

1.) You can wait til the off-season to try and trade Halladay. Let’s assume everyone rumored to be available at one point this season is available then. That means Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb, and Jake Peavy. Those are all Cy young award winners and all are under contract for some period of time.

2.) You can look to trade him now when the only other seemingly available guy is Jason Marquis, and maybe Erik Bedard.

Which of those two situations do you think is the best time to try and maximize your return? Even if they can’t get anything done now he can still try in the winter or next July where his return will probably be smaller than it is now.

Truth: I'd prefer Pedro. He'd cost less in '09, nothing in '10, we'd keep all of our prospects to promote or deal later and we'd fill the hole that we need to fill.

We don't need Halladay any more than we needed Sabathia. Our needs are for a middle of the rotation serviceable starter. Don't by a Cadillac when you only need a Caviler.

But hey, you could turn out to be right. I'm not saying that you're wrong. I'm saying that I disagree.

You people and your precious little Drabek are nuts. Halladay is an absolute dominator. A lock for 17-20 wins next year. Who cares about Kyle Drabek? How many 6'0" 185lb #1 starters are there in the league that already have had TJ surgery??

I'll drive Drabek to the airport.

Yo, newer thread

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