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Thursday, January 21, 2010


MG: I agree with your last post. The more I think about it, the more obvious it is that at least one more ML arm will be brought in for the bullpen... and I don't mean the guys like Gagne.

Having Blanton at just $7M this year makes it more likely.

The Blanton signing at that price is fine by me, it makes sense to lock him up for a few seasons at a reasonable price. But is he of any use at all in the playoffs? Manuel didn't seem to think so when he stuck him in the bullpen to start the NLDS.

I again see the team basically planning to lose Werth going forward, and that still bugs me to no end. Are they really going to stack 4 or 5 LHs in a row in the middle of the lineup? That seems like a recipe for disaster.

cipper: Just to review, Buster Olney raised a perfectly reasonable scenario, based on interviews with other teams: That the Phils could've dealt Blanton, albeit getting a far smaller haul than Lee brought in, but that would've allowed them to keep Lee & Halladay. The difference being a lower quality prospect than what they got for Lee.

The money quote was "Some officials with other teams say that while they would not have been willing to surrender a top prospect for Blanton, they would have been interested in acquiring the durable innings-eater ... The Phillies could have probably gotten a Grade B prospect for Blanton."

CJ then claimed that was false. That the Phils had Blanton on the market and got no decent offers.

So we have Olney reporting from interviews with other team officials and we have CJ reporting from....well, nowhere.

I think Olney is right. The Phils COULD'VE done that. HAD they put him on the market. On the other hand, what if Blanton wasn't on the trade block at all -- maybe that's why other team officials didn't know about it -- because they knew they couldn't re-sign Lee, while they could re-sign Blanton. They all along intended to deal Lee if the deal for Halladay went through.

I like it but my wife is going to be suicidal when she hears this. She's a big Werth fan.

This comment "moves like this suggests Joe Savery, Mike Stutes, Yohan Flande and Vance Worley have no shot of contributing" is one of the stupidest things I have seen written.
Things can change in a hurry in baseball. These prospects might fit in nicely on a 12 man staff. But to just write them off now doesn't make any sense.

I like Joe. The Phillies are paying market for him now rather than the deal he was the past two years. With Drabek gone there was really no one to fill in for him next year though. All the guys mentioned in the post will be lucky to be #4's and are more likely bullpen and AAA fodder.

We just extended a pitcher who has a better career ERA+ and a better 2009 ERA+ than any starter on the Mets not named Johan Santana.

Of course, that bar isn't very high.

C2: Cost Certainty. I like this move.

I see that Buster Olney called out the Phillies on the Lee trade today. Question: if the Phillies had gotten to the World Series in `08 and `09 and lost, is there any question that they wouldn't have kept Lee for this season? But the Phils did win in `08, so I think is makes sense to have refilled higher shelf minor league inventory. The trades for Blanton, Lee, and Halladay all reduced stock. RAJ wants to build a long-term winner, and Phillies revenues should increase over the next few years if attendance stays high, playoff trips continue, and ballpark debt is paid down.

clout -
It was reported by a variety of scources, including FanHouse, MLB Trade Rumors, etc, that the Phils were actively seeking offers for Blanton at the winter meetings. I'm sure they just didn't get any offers they liked and switched gears.

Hell, there were threads about it here on BeerLeaguer.

Chris in VT: Unfortunately... when you have a lot of good players... and a limited budget... you can't sign everyone.

Either the Phils budget has to go up or Werth would have to offer a home-town discount for anything to happen there.

Chris in VT: Don't feed the trolls.

Snakeman: I guess it depends on what you mean by "contribute, but, I don't think it's all that "stupid" probably 11/12ths of minor league pitchers never contribute. I think the Phillies would be very happy if one of those guy's becomes a #4, one becomes a long man and the rest wash out


Just being sarcastic. Wasn't really arguing about anything. But Rube does have a serious man-crush on Doc.

snakeman: I think it's safe to say that the Phils don't see a role for Joe Savery, Mike Stutes, Yohan Flande or Vance Worley in our rotation any time soon. I suppose it's possible one could fight for a 5th starter role, but I doubt it.

You're right in saying that things can change quickly... but I'd be surprised.

Greg Golson designated for assignment by the Rangers this afternoon

The question isn't were they shopping Blanton. Olney's point was that no one knew Lee was available until after the deal.

Still, I would have been more than happy with 1 B-grade prospect for Blanton and the 2 draft picks when Lee walked after this year.

ANYWAY, happy to have stability in the rotation for the next few years.

CJ: "Unfortunately... when you have a lot of good players... and a limited budget... you can't sign everyone."

This is fully understood, and one of the reasons I didn't completely freak out when they traded Lee. It just seems that the FO and myself have very differing opinions with regards to Werth's value...I think he's an absolutely vital piece of the lineup, and the Phils seem to think Dom Brown can replace him adequately.

Guess we'll see next year.

C: Fair points. Possibly Savery moves into a bullpen role. I never just writeoff those lefthanders. Plus Stutes, Worley, and Flande are real young arms. No one expects them to content of a 5th spot just yet.

Blanton's 2008 postseason was three starts: excellent, poor and average. He can make a meaningful postseason contribution, just not how he was used last year. With 'No Short Rest' Cole ahead of him in the rotation he will have to.

Like the headline, JW. As for how signing Blanton impacts the possibility of extending Werth, I'm not sure I see that. We need a reliable, consistent starter. Could we have found one for only $5/yr? I may be wrong, but I'm thinking it's not that easy. But if you ask me who provides greater value to the team, Blanton or Werth, I'd say Werth. Really agree with the argument for a RH bat, who can hit for power, in this lineup. And the facts that he's a good 2-strike hitter, fast, and a good defender also help. Someone of Blanton's ilk may be more readily found than someone of Werth's. Nevertheless, we need the SP.

Does anyone think that the Phils' pursuing multi-yr. deal with Vic is in any way due to his being a switch-hitter? Not just that, but coupled with thinking he's likely cheaper than Werth will be? Otherwise, I'd say Werth's the better choice.

Chris: The original point prompted by the Olney report is whether they truly considered dealing Blanton and keeping Lee.

Obviously, it's in the team's interest to say that they did and that is the likely source of the reports you cite. If the fans genuinely believe the team had no alternative but to trade Lee (they tried to deal Blanton but no one wanted him!), that's good for management. If the fans believe the team could've kept Lee, that's bad for management.

The officials of other teams that Olney spoke with suggested the Phils could've dealt Blanton for a B lovel prospect, but they didn't know he was available.

I find that interesting.

Vic will come MUCH cheaper than Werth...I'm guessing that Vic could be signed to a multi-year deal somewhere in the range of 7 mil per. Werth would be somewhere in the range of 15-20 mil per...Bay's 4/66 would be a good starting point.

Chris in VT: I think the problem is that Werth became so valuable *after* some of our biggest contracts were already handed out. Just made it that much harder to keep him. I think he's an essential part of this lineup as well. I just don't see a way of keeping him.

clout - So we, the uninformed ignorant masses, knew that Blanton was available for trade but these "unnamed, anonymous executives" didn't? I find that hard to believe.

And where in Olney's post does it say that other teams "didn't know he was available"? The quote is:

"Some officials with other teams say that while they would not have been willing to surrender a top prospect for Blanton, they would have been interested in acquiring the durable innings-eater who will make something in the range of $8.8 million, with a one-year obligation -- this in a winter in which the Rich Hardens and Jason Marquis and Joel Pineiros are getting about $7.5 million to $8 million a year. The Phillies could have probably gotten a Grade B prospect for Blanton."

In other words, the Phils shopped him around, found no takers at a price they liked, and moved on to trading Lee. Nowhere in his blog do the officials say they didn't know he was available.

With Joe signing for an even $7M and only Chooch and Vic left to sign (if we meet them halfway in between the #s -- $5.25M + $2.1M respectively) where does this leave us vs. the $140M mark? Do we have any room at all to pick up another arm?

BobWalk: It looks like Phils want to sign at least one more bullpen arm to a ML contract... while also looking through the trash heap for some minor league deals (i.e. Gagne). I'd be shocked if we didn't sign another bullpen arm.

Chris: What do these words mean to you? "they would have been interested in acquiring the durable innings-eater who will make something in the range of $8.8 million."

Pay close attention to the beginning of that sentence.

"So we, the uninformed ignorant masses, knew that Blanton was available for trade but these "unnamed, anonymous executives" didn't? I find that hard to believe."

Quoted for emphasis. But logic is lost on some.

CJ: You "knew" what the team leaked. I'll take the words of unnamed execs from other teams over the leaks from unnamed sources posted on blogs.

And that's not all he'll eat ... nice headline, Jason.

If a team leaks that someone is/may be available and another team is interested in that potentially available player, couldn't they inquire?

Olney's story has some merit to it, but seems like easy second guessing.

Clout- do those GMs not have the internet? I might believe that the Marlins will only go for dial-up, but they must have something.

In what seems to be a common trend with this team, this deal is one year longer than I would like it to be. Its less excusable than the Polanco deal in this case since we do have people in the farm system that have a shot at replacing what he gives us. All I can say is I cringed at this - its going to make signing even one of Werth or Howard very difficult when we really need both of them more than anyone on the team (besides maybe Utley and Halladay).

And people need to stop saying Dom Brown is in line to replace Werth. He is our ONLY right-handed threat in the lineup, one of our top two OBP players, and (he never gets enough credit for this) sees more pitches than any other player in major league baseball on a team stocked mostly with free swingers. We have enough power that I'm confident we could stand to lose almost any other batter and still contend, but the combination of abilities that Werth adds as a hitter really balances the offense. Blah.

rjb360: I don't think anyone on here is saying they want Dom Brown to replace Werth. They just accept the likelihood that Werth will depart via free agency.

All those great things you cite about Werth are all the reasons why the Phils won't be able to afford him unless they boost payroll up over $150M or so.

This signing, I think, signals that your right fielder in 2011 is going to be Ben Francisco. I thought that before, but by tying up this money in Blanton for the next three years, it's now completely clear. Halladay's compensation essentially doubles beginning next season, so Werth was likely gone anyway. But keeping him, even figuring payroll to increase to 150 mil after this season, is now impossible.

With a full ST of baserunning basics from Lopes and outfield basics from Milt Thompson, I think we'll see some improvement in Francisco's overall game. But I don't know if he's going to be capable of changing what he does in the batters box, and that's swing and miss a lot, pull everything, and not work pitchers.

I think the difference in talent between Werth and Francisco may seem great but is sort of subtle. It's the "little things" comment someone made earlier. The difference between the Fish, Nats and Phillies is that for the last few years, the Phillies did the little things that win you games. Hit the cutoff man. Catch the ball. Run the bases efficiently. Block the plate. Avoid the endless brain cramps we see from the Fish and Nats during games. What I've seen from Francisco so far is a guy with some talent who would fit better on one of those teams that doesn't pay attention to the little things. This will be a good test of just how much the Phillies coaching staff can accomplish when presented with an unfinished product.

I'd sure love to see the coaches put Francicso at the plate and make him take some pitches the other way. Lay down a bunt or two. Cut down on his swing with two strikes. We've seen none of that from him so far in his limited appearances. And the little we saw in Cleveland wasn't much different than what we saw here. It can be done. The question is this: do the Phillies see the same things we see as fans?

This is a no brainer. You going to pick up a better three or four for three years with a better than average last couple of years for that kind of money? Anyone that can provide a consistant six, maybe seven innings in today's game is worth having, hell, he has a Phillies World Series home run on his resume.

Can we get an image of Joe with a Pac-Man laid over his face?

aksmith - That's a pretty good point I haven't seen much people discussing. I HAVE seen a lot of people pointing out that Francisco's OPS is surprisingly high, so there is a lot of logic behind the idea that a solid season from him means a year in RF (if Brown isn't ready, which it doesn't sound like he will be).

Victorino agrees to 3 years $22 Mil (per MLBTR)

Jim Salisbury tweets that Victorino is going to sign a three-year deal. Sounds like 2010 will also be the Jayson Werth Farewell Tour.


ANother good deal.

Nice knowing you, Jayson.

What happens when we offer Werth arbitration next year (something Rube almost HAS to do) and he accepts?

Werth will likely be a Type A so we'd be stupid to not offer it...but there's no way we could afford him.


I just emailed the same guess to some of my friends...that makes sense to me too.

So when will the Ruiz 3 year, $8 million deal be announced?

So, we're basically pushing our window to maybe the end of 2012 with these latest signings.

Though we might have to find some replacements (Rollins, Howard).

Though I tend to think Jimmy will be extended at some point next off-season if he bounces back this year.

I think it's pretty clear that our '11 outfield corners are going to be some combo of Ibanez/Francisco/Brown. Hopefully Ibanez will still be productive and healthy.

I will say that it's nice to see Rube locking up guys for their age 29-31 years, and limiting the commitment to 3 years on these contracts for our mid-tier guys.

6/8/8 - probably pretty close.
I would guess, though, even a bit more backloaded. Something like 5.5/7.5/9

Francisco isn't too terrible. Yeah, he's not Werth but he's a starter on a lot of teams...including the Indians last year.

I think Ruiz will get a little more than that, but as for Werth - he's gone after this season.

Because of his setbacks due to his wrist injury, this is his ONLY big contract, and because of his skills, he's going to be a yankee/red sox guy.

Unless he's going to gran a huge (like 40%) hometown discount, he's gone.

If you give Francisco 700 PA (full season as a starter), he's good for 20+ HRs and around an 800 OPS. That's not too terrible for a corner OF...I'm guessing Rube thinks that too.

One thing that will be interesting is that Francisco got 499 PA in 2008 and 459 PA in many will he get on our bench with UC? 300? 250? And that's being generous considering Ibanez, Vic and Werth are the starters...barring injuries that is.

Does anybody think there's a chance we could deal Werth to further "restock the farm system" before this season? (Especially in light of the Blanton/Vic deals?) Francisco is your RF and we sign a veteran backup/4th OF and another RP with the salary difference?

Because if we aren't going to offer him arbitration after next season, there's no other time to trade him and get value for him, unless for some insane reason next season is an unbelievable disaster and we're out of contention by the deadline.

I know it sounds ridiculous to get rid of his bat, versatility and defense right now, but just throwing it out there. I don't see any way you empty the farm system to get Halladay and then trade off a major piece like Werth. Oh, wait, we already did that with Cliff Lee.

Also, at some point, the Phils have to consider that since they are already a very good/great team, letting their own excellent players walk via free agency or trading them in salary dumps could directly cost them another WFC. Who doesn't think Cliff Lee is siging with the Yanks after 2010?

Well, Some analysts have pointed to Chris Ianetta's 3 year, $8.3 million contract as a good basis for what Ruiz is worth.

I was guessing 2/3/3 personally.

trading Werth right now would be the dumbest thing in the freaking world. He's one of the top RFs in baseball and we have a WS level core this year.

If the sky falls and we're 20 games back come late july, yeah trade him...otherwise, no way in freaking hell.

pblunts: If he has another year similar to the past two, we'll definitely offer Werth arbitration. And he definitely won't accept.

Werth might be crazy and accept...he'd likely make $12-15 million through it and he might be one of those guys that would rather stay with this team than sign somewhere else.

Yeah, its a long shot...a very slim longshot.

Trading a guy for prospects, who is Type A at his position, with one more bargain year under contract, then likely gone after the year....Naw, Phils wouldn't do that.

...oh, wait...

I wouldn't exactly consider Vic a mid-tier guy. He's a much bigger part of this team than people are likely to give him credit for around here.

Just so we're clear, I don't think it's a good idea either. But I'm a bit surprised by the contracts today and what it might mean for Werth longterm.

Werth will look interesting in a Yankees uniform...or Red Sox uni.

As long as he doesnt go to the Mets I'll be okay with it as there's just no way we can possibly resign him without taking payroll to $150+ million.

We're at $127 million to 16 players in 2011 with these two extensions. Add Ruiz and its likely $130 million to 17.

Devil's advocate:

Some of Amaro's comments about this signing irked me including how Blanton has the "model of consistency" since he has been in a Phils' uniform and has been a real "innings-eater."

I could call slight BS on both accounts:

- Blanton tends to end up the season with fairly modest numbers but he often goes through some noted up and downs during the season. Last year was no exception.

Blanton generally stuck last year until around Memorial Day and had some of the worst stats of any starter in the NL. He pitched alright in June and then had two spectacular months (July & August) until he struggled again in Sept. as he often has done in his career.

- Nasty truth about Blanton is that he has tended to wear down in his career towards the end of the year and that by Sept he tends to run out of gas. That is the only thing that worries me a bit about this signing is Blanton's ability to pitch in Sept & beyond although he did a pretty solid job during the 2008 postseason. Thsi year Blanton was merely adequate at best in the postseason.

- Blanton was an innings-eater last year but he wasn't in 2008 in a Phils' uniform. I would venture that he will average just above 6 IP/GS this year because Cholly has shown a bit of a tendency to let Blanton have a bit of an extra leash last year and the potentially shaky middle relievers this year. I would say just a hair under 6.2 IP/GS

That said I would much rather Blanton as my #3 than the likes of a Pelfrey or Perez.

MG, please name all the pitchers that have averaged at least 32 GS and 204 IP over the last 5 years.

Its a very small list.

That's what they mean by reliable. Never less than 31 GS or 194 IP in his career for a single season.

Solid peripherals and in his prime.

Blanton leads all active pitchers in WS HRs.

So he's got that going for him...which is nice.

I know you hadn't posted in awhile today NEPP, but you've been submitting at a tommyd rate over the last hour or so.

Sorry...its been a while since we've had anything interesting to talk about...two extensions in one day got me excited.

I already was preparing for a 'Werth-less' Phillies team in 2011 before these signings, so this doesnt surprise me too much.

My prediction that Blanton would make more in 2010 than 2011 turned out to be false with this 3yr deal. But the fact that Blanton took $3.5M less than he filed for in 2010, means that they paid him more than his true value in 2011 and 2012. I bet they pegged him as $6M type, but rewarded him a few extra in exchange for a lower arb filed deal.

NEPP: If Werth accepts, I'd be pretty psyched about it. It'd be a really good thing for the Phillies.

He definitely seems like a fit for the Red Sox though. Good defense and takes a ton of pitches, so their type of player, especially if either Cameron or Ellsbury don't pan out this year. Either way, I'm sure he won't be short on suitors.

Just kidding're 100 times more tolerable anyway.

UGH I hate to bring it up but that third year for Ibanez is just killer right now.

A slightly altered question: if Werth has an All-Star season, but it doesn't look like the Phils are going to make the playoffs, do you deal him at the deadline? How long do you wait?

The Vic signing is another good move by RAJ. I said earlier today that Blanton's deal makes me a little more comfortable with the Lee trade. I said to Bedbeard that if Blanton signs an extension then I'm ok with it.

As far as Werth is concerned maybe we can keep him maybe we can't, I don't know. But remember, Vic can also play RF. Maybe for '11, Vic goes to RF, Brown and Francisco are on the bench and we pick up someone to play CF. Just a thought.

The Phils can sign Werth to a market-value deal without blowing their budget. With Ibanez gone after 2011, the teams corner outfielders would be Werth and Brown. Their combined salaries should not be more than the combined salaries of Ibanez and Werth today.

Had the Phils kept Lee and received two draft picks after the 2010 season, those two picks would not begin their pro careers until 2011 or 2012, depending on when they sign their contracts. If these picks make it to the big club, it would probably be between 2015 and 2018. On the other hand, the picks the Phillies received from the Mariners would probably reach the majors between 2012 and 2014 (if they make it). This three- or four-year difference makes the Mariners prospects much more valuable than the two draft picks.

NEPP - That is kind of a poor criteria of judging as a guy as "reliable."

It was pretty clear that Amaro was alluding to the fact that Blanton is pretty consistent during the season just as he did last year when he signed Ibanez.

Both guys tend to end up with pretty consistent numbers but they also have some notable up/downs during the season. That's all.

People posting on here seem to forget how down most people were on Blanton around last Memorial Day. He likely will have similar ups and downs this season including at least one stretch notable stretch of crappiness (7-8 starts).

bicker bicker bicker

Yo, newer thread

MG wrote, "Nasty truth about Blanton is that he has tended to wear down in his career towards the end of the year and that by Sept he tends to run out of gas."

Could call slight BS on that, too.

His career first-half stats: .471 winning percentage, 4.38 ERA.

Career second-half stats: .633 winning percentage, 3.99 ERA

Month in which he has the highest career winning percentage: September (15-7, .682)

Blanton's September 2009 stats were inflated by one awful start against the Nats (8 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings). That start was followed by two starts in which he gave up zero earned runs.

Worth noting that Blanton was bombed in only 3 of his 31 starts last year (my definition of bombed is giving up more than an earned run for each inning pitched, which is to say pitching in such a way that you give your team almost no chance to win.) Cliff Lee, for the sake of contrast, was bombed in 3 of his 12 regular season starts for the Phils.

Blanton's a solid, slightly above average middle-of-the-rotation starter.

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