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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Uncle Charlie ain't goin' nowhere.

That man sure did grow on me.

That picture is amazing.

UC will be extended. He'll probably get something like 3 years, $11 million and in reality, he'll be the manager until he wants to retire. He's earned that much.

I saw this comment on the Napoli/Francisco trade that helps it make sense:

paraphrased: The Jays have now cornered the market on elite RH relief pitching and are in a great position to make a move this summer and/or get compensation picks for Francisco (as he'll likely be a Type A after the season). Overall, it gives them more flexibility and with Arencibia coming up (And D'Arnaud behind him), they didn't need Napoli to catch.

NEPP: Good points. Although Napoli would've been DH, where they actually do need someone.

My guess is they move Encarnacion there and find a thirdbaseman somewhere.

I would guess you are correct on that. I'm guessing AA had this deal in place when he made the Wells trade. (or at least a solid framework)

Jason - Are you not interested in commenting on the Howard Eskin/Roy Halladay faux controversy?

Howard Eskin should be shunned by any media that relates in any way to Philadelphia.

Why acknowledge anything that jackass has to say? It's worth about the same as the ramblings of any drunken bum on a Philadelphia street corner, and it should be treated with equal value and attention.

That comment could honestly be a nail in the coffin for him. This is the same guy that repeatedly ripped Hamels in 08 as Cole was carrying us to a WS title.

He's a pathetic sad joke of a man.

Uncle Chuck's the man.

I'll be at that Sydney v Perth game.

Go Sydney!!

What did Eskin say about Halladay?

This dude Eskin now has got several people thinking there is a Halladay-Lee rift which I think is totally bogus. Lee has on several occasions stated his opinion that Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball and from what Amaro and Halladay's agent said, Halladay completely approved of the move to get Lee. And both of their personalities are not egotistical at all - competitive yes but not diva. However Eskin's remarks now have people chatting that they don't get along. Should Eskin even be commenting on the Phillies?

Isn't Schoenberger German for "Good Burger?" That was a stupidly funny little movie.

I heard the Phils were gonna trade Eskin for Upton.

This just in. Eskin is a d!ck.

Now, back to the reality-based community. Albert @ $300mm for 10 years?

Wow. Talk about a back-loaded contract. Regardless, I just bet he gets it.

No way the Cards give him a 10 year deal at his age. 8 years, $240 million is more likely.

jon singleton comes in at number #30 on mlb network's top 50 prospects, they really didn't talk about him though

It will be very interesting if Spring Training begins without a
Pujols deal in place. I know that NYY and BoSox are both set at 1B, but I could still see them interested in Albert solely because he's the best player on the planet. Not to mention a few viable candidates with a 1B hole to fill like the Cubs, Rangers, etc. It will make for a very compelling storyline all season.

That being said, I'm pretty sure that both sides will compromise some and something like NEPP suggested at 8/240 will get worked out. The real question will be how much is deferred.

Dom Brown comes in at #4 on the top 50

eskin also thinks the phils are cheap and the eagles are not. believe it or not, he still maintains this.

A Dollar/Second = $31,556,925.99 per year. 8 year contract = $252,455,407.95 (includes a pair of leap years).

Jarred Cosart number 51 on the list

3 in the Top 50 or so is pretty good considering the amount of trades we've made in the last few years.

Our farm system would be better than the Royals had we not made those trades and its still probably around #10 overall. Lots of OF and RHP depth but little else unfortunately.

Even more interesting: The Mets dont have any Top 50 guys and only Wilmer Flores comes in at #58 in the "Just missed" list. Ouch.

But we are the ones who have mortgaged our future and have a huge fall coming. I have read mets blogs so what you say can't be true NEPP

Phils have the best rotation in baseball AND Micky Morandini is the Cross Cutters new manager. Life is good!

Not to be a whiny traditionalist or anything, but...

what happened to clout day this year? Wasn't it supposed to be, like, last week sometime?


I thought clout day was March 20th -- the day we were allowed to analyze Spring Training performances

Andy - Schoenberger means "nice mountain," but I like your translation better.

Other than trying to get attention, what is Eskin trying to do by creating a story that doesn't exist? Is he that pathetic? I guess he is.

When I speak of him I call him forEskin. But I don't speak of him.

NEPP: I didn't know the Mets' system was that bad. It must be tough to be a Mets fan these days. It's like we're on opposite ends of the baseball spectrum. Quite nice, isn't it?

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a Mets fan. He said his year was the earliest he's ever given up hope for the Mets to get into the playoffs. It happened the day it was announced that Cliff Lee was signing with the Phillies.

kutz: thats a pretty optimistic Mets fan - to have any hope the Mets would make the playoffs even before the Cliff Lee signing.

I saw someone made a comment a thread or two ago about how the Phils dont make the 07 playoffs without Taguchi - and then someone else followed up with a comment that the same goes for Wilson Valdez in 2010.

That is absurd. Yes Valdez played good defense, but he wasnt responsible for the Phils making the playoffs in the least. He had a positive WAR at like +0.9 so that technically says he did contribute a bit - but i dont even believe that since WAR is pretty irrevelent when the only positive value comes from fielding stats of a half season sample size for a guy that played 3 positions.

Thanks for your exaggerated body language while making mildly difficult plays in the field, but the 20+ runners you doubled up while compiling your .660 OPS is not something this team needed to get into the postseason.

jason tp - Agreed. Even though Taguchi played less than Valdez, the Phils only clinched the NL East by a single game on the last day of the season. They clinched last year by 6 games and were on cruise control the last week of the season.

MG: Yea - that too, but I was focusing more on Valdez being a bum more than I was about the situation.

If Wilson Valdez replace Chase Utley in 2007 - do the Phillies make the playoffs? No.

'Record Mogul' J-Roll which is obviously a filler story in the lull before catchers and pitchers report.

This article though is a classic one on how athletes 'diversify' in largely foolhardy side projects that are cash-intensive upfront and spend in huge ways.

Lucky for JRoll he has made over $45M in his career so far and he really has to do alot more nonsense to have it impugn upon his lifestyle.

KF: A more literal translation would be "beautiful mountain."

MG: I guess that's why it seems so many end up bankrupt. If most of athletes just stuck their money in traditional investments their great-grandkids would be set for life. But they always seems to be taken in some get-rich quick scheme, which is weird, because they are already rich. Just look at all the weird things Mike Vick owes money too in his bankruptcy. From this story, it sounds like Rollins' adviser steered him away the more boom or bust portion of the music industry and into something sounder that still lets Rollins call himself a music mogul while protecting his money.

jason/phaithful: I'm inclined to agree that the Phils would've won last season even if Brian Bocock was at SS when J-Roll was hurt.

But in fairness to Valdez, he really is an above average defender at SS by the eye, by scouting reports and by UZR (career +7.7).

An argument could be made that the Phils won some games because of his defense.

Wait, J-Roll helped bankroll Justin Bieber and you guys are dissing him?

jason, I think you diss Valdez for his contributions in 2010. To put up almost a win in a half year is a nice impact -- certainly considering that his cromulence allowed the Juan Castro Experience to be cut short. I think you sell his defense short; the team did not suffer from his presence in the field -- don't forget that he spent the year replacing 3 pretty good defensive players.
His versatility kept the Phils from having to keep Castro or playing Cody Ransom more or some other AAA player.
Would they have won without him? OK, sure, but he wasn't a bum in 2010.
That said, it's entirely conceivable and maybe even probable that he puts up a negative WAR this year. Last year felt like it was the max offense that we will ever see from WV. I, for one, appreciate what he did considering the exploits of previous backup middle IFs such as Castro, Bruntlett and Tomas Perez. Hmm, WVv2010 doesn't look so bad now, does he? :)

"It will be very interesting if Spring Training begins without a
Pujols deal in place."

Chris, I have mentioned Pujols before.

Speculative scenario question:

If you are the Cardinals FO, and Pujols wants more money and years than you think you can possibly afford, do you hedge your bets with the following MO?:

Do you approach the Phillies about a Howard Pujols trade - ass-u-ming the higher revenue Phillies are willing to discuss one?

Assuming they are, and can arrive at a deal with Pujols, would the Phillies be willing to trade Howard back to his hometown team?

Would he agree to go (LNTC)?

Would Pujols accept the trade if the contract is right, or wait for FA?

If you are the Cardinals do you try to do this in order to salvage something other than 2 draft picks (assuming they can't re-sign him)?

If you are the Phillies, would you rather have Pujols at 10/300 than Howard at 5/125?

If you're the Cardinals, do you try to save face with your fan base by trying to pull this off and bring Howard home?

Howard is not Pujols, but he's better than 2 draft picks, so would you try it?

Would you even consider it if you are the Phillies?

Pujols is .294/.392/.603 at the 'Zen against Phils' pitching.

Howard is .388/.520/.738 at Busch 3.

Jbird - Yeah. It does sound like JRoll wealth management advisor is trying to limit his exposure in the recording industry but still looks like where he will be lucky to make back in money. Not exactly a sound investment.

Clout - I still like Andy's translation better. And who'd have thought you, of all people, would post something about Justin Bieber on here?

As for athlete's investing their money stupidly, don't forget that many of them give money to relatives, friends, and lackeys, usually causing a drain on financial resources.

Good piece on Fangraphs arguing that the Napoli trade was just as good for the Jays as for the Rangers.

Francisco is a difference maker for their pen, they made $2M in the deal and Francisco is more likely to yield quality in a mid-season trade than Napoli, this writer argues.

And, as has been mentioned before, Francisco is more likely to be Type A, which means 2 draft picks if they let him walk after 2011.

clout and Kutz, I beg to differ:

Schoenberg is "beautiful mountain" or "nice mountain".

The "er" modifyer at the end of the word indicates a reference to a person. To wit, someone from Berlin is a "Berliner", and someone from Hamburg is, yes, a "Hamburger" in German.

So, with the "er" modifyer at the end the name the name is translated as "man/person of the/from the beautiful mountain", or the town of or place of Schoenberg.

***Francisco is a difference maker for their pen, they made $2M in the deal and Francisco is more likely to yield quality in a mid-season trade than Napoli, this writer argues.***

I think it was a win win for the clubs involved Or its at least pretty close to win win.

"Even more interesting: The Mets dont have any Top 50 guys and only Wilmer Flores comes in at #58 in the "Just missed" list. Ouch."

NEPP, that leads to an interesting point:

Agree with the the trade or not (I'm on record as a "No"), the example of the Mets is precisely the kind of reason the Phils shipped Cliff Lee off to Seattle.

Look how far they have fallen in just a couple of years. They lost in 2007, and went all-in with the Santana trade in Feb. '08. They gave up NY-hyped prospects, but it turns out the ones that they kept weren't that good either.

It's a classic example of how quickly a franchise can tumble if they don't draft and trade well.

I posit to you that this is something the Phillies want to avoid at all costs, and fear tremendously.

Hence, the Lee trade, because they wanted to "restock the farm" (though I think money had something to do with it as well).

The Mets have a lot of work to do to catch the Phillies and the Braves. I don't see it happening for at least 3 years.

Valdez is neither as heroic as his advocates make him out to be nor as bad as his detractors claim him to be. He is a serviceable utility infielder -- nothing more, nothing less. If he appears worse than that, it's only because your typical, serviceable utility infielder simply isn't a very good hitter. If he appears better, it's only by comparison to the absolute drek that has filled the Phillies' utility infield position over the last decade.

if that is so, bap, how do you explain this comment:

"The Phillies are a winning organization and a large part of that stems from utility SS Wilson Valdez. Without Wilson on the bench and in the locker room, I would likely be a New York Yankee today." -Cliff Lee when asked about his decision to sign with Philadelphia.

bap, good post re. Valdez.

Edmundo, I'm no WAR expert.

Don't most replacement level players like Valdez have a negative WAR?

If I'm the Phils I absolutely entertain a Howard for Pujols trade. There would be four primary issues to think about: payroll, fan morale, the ability to sign him up front, and what exactly the Cardinals would require in the trade.

The issue of payroll seems to be less of a concern, as the Lee signing suggests. With our team as currently constructed, we expect to be very good for at least several more years, which should keep butts in the seats. If ownership was willing to raise the payroll for Lee, it seems like they would do it for a once-in-a-generation player too.

I have to believe that fan backlash to the trade of a popular player like Howard would be minimized given that we'd be bringing in a player of Pujols' caliber. I know that Howard is very popular in Philadelphia and Pujols is not. A few good seasons and some charity work like he does in St. Louis and he will be though. You have to believe that Howard's popularity is a big reason that he got the contract that he did. It has to be considered when contemplating a trade like this.

Then there is the matter of the trade itself. Would the Cards allow us to negotiate prior to the trade? What if we make this trade and then are unable to come to terms on an extension. We'd be screwed. Also, would a simple 1-1 trade be sufficient? I have to think the Cardinals would ask for some other pieces as well. If they want a couple blue chippers in addition to Howard (like Cosart, Singleton, etc.), that would be a tough sell as well.

There's a reason trades like this don't happen. If something like this were to happen it would be historical. I'd be a little sad to see Howard go, but I think seeing Pujols in our lineup would allow me to get over it pretty quickly.

All of this being said, I can't see this happening. There is just too much risk involved on both sides, and too many unknowns. It would be a franchise crippling mistake if it goes wrong.

is that a real quote? Cliff Lee/Valdez?

Angels just got screwed twice by the same trade. First they send their good hitting catcher Napoli away for Wells, then it's compounded when Napoli ends up on a division rival. And Napoli can catch, DH, or play 1B for a team that needs a catcher and first baseman.

Mr. Weitzel, I have a suggestion since the news is so light, why not spend a week (1 post a day or something) looking at the division rivals and how good/bad their offseasons have been? I don't think anyone has made a move that allows them to challenge the Phillies for the crown, however you could make an argument that Washington will leapfrog the Mets for 4th place this year.

***is that a real quote? Cliff Lee/Valdez?***

Nah...though Valdez was surely a large part of his decision process.

bap: i agree - most of the reason that I post negatives thing about Valdez is in response to the ones praising him.

edmundo: eh, I find a hard time praising valdez because he was better than Juan Castro.

"Also, would a simple 1-1 trade be sufficient? I have to think the Cardinals would ask for some other pieces as well. If they want a couple blue chippers in addition to Howard (like Cosart, Singleton, etc.), that would be a tough sell as well."

krukker, well thought out response. However, if I'm the Phillies I'm not sure I include ANY other players.

Why? The Cards are over a barrel if they can't come to terms with Pujols. It's either Albert or 2 draft picks.

Plus, the Phillies, in my scenario above, would be committing to another $175MM and another 5 years. That alone makes a one-for-one trade almost a necessity for the Phils.

Sure, the Cards don't get equal value from a baseball standpoint, but they get a local guy who grew up a Cards fan, has ties to the area, and tears it up in their ballpark.

So really, if you're the Cards, the choices are:

1) Albert at 10/300MM,

2) Ryan Howard at 5/125MM, or

3) 2 draft picks.

IMO, the Phillies would have a much tougher choice to make, given the financial commitment.

Oh, and krukker, count me as someone who thinks Pujols will be in St. Louis for his career.

Also, I don't think that the Phillies believe they 'need' Pujols to win, even if he is a far superior baseball player to Howard. I don't think they'd view the additional $175MM and 5 years as money well spent.

Ask yourself this question: Is Pujols a $175MM UPGRADE from Howard?

"Hence, the Lee trade, because they wanted to "restock the farm" (though I think money had something to do with it as well)."

This made me think, I wonder if the Lee trade was a "win-win"** compromise between the scout side and money side of the front office.

Maybe the player dev folks were nervous about the state of the farm system and the owners were nervous about the payroll. Presto, trade Lee.

** or so they thought at the time :)

"eh, I find a hard time praising valdez because he was better than Juan Castro."

I'll admit it could be construed as the very definition of "damning with faint praise".

I suspect the posters over at the Cardinals blog would find this Howard-for-Pujols chat quite laughable.

Actually, I find it quite laughable.

"Don't most replacement level players like Valdez have a negative WAR?"

The R stands for Replacement! (so 0 WAR = theoretical replacement player as I understand it)

Yankees signed RHP Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract.

Cliff Lee apparently has a man-crush on Wilson Valdez.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Given those choices, awh, Howard at 5/125 seems pretty good for St. Louis. Unfortunately for the Phillies, I think St. Louis fans would go absolutely apesh*t if they ever traded Albert. Even if they bring back a hometown hero in Howard, I just can't see any way the fans would be happy about it. I think they'd lose a lot of fans if they traded him.

If I'm St. Louis, I take my chances at resigning him during free agency (assuming they don't extend him before this season) over giving up and trading him. It may end up being a bad baseball decision to take that risk, but he's too important to them for them to give up like that.

Now, if St. Louis refuses to let a trading partner negotiate an extension, and another team is willing to give up a king's ransom anyway, then maybe they do make the trade. Maybe they get some value for him and plan to throw 300M at him during free agency anyway. They could risk that he wouldn't sign an extension with his new team. The Phillies and Howard wouldn't be a match in this situation. It wouldn't make sense if the Cardinals plan to compete this year (no idea why they wouldn't), but it is a different rationale to contemplating trading Pujols.

My prediction is that this is a moot exercise and he signs an extension with St. Louis before this season starts. I won't try to guess the terms though.

I see your point that the Phillies may not see Albert worth a 175mil upgrade over Howard, but my point is that I can't see the Phillies ever being given a chance to make that decision. It is fun to dream about though...

Yo, newer thread

Why accept anything that is to say ass? The ramblings of a Philadelphia street corner as a drunken bum is worth about the same .. Lee said his opinion on many occasions that the best pitcher in baseball is Halladay Halladay Amaro and the agents say, Halladay completely taken steps to get approved.

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