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He is just ... unanalytical.
Seriously, how is Amaro still employed?
The second he offered that catastrophe of a deal, baseball writers all over the country wrote in all capital letters: “ARE THE PHILLIES OUT OF THEIR MINDS?” There was no other question.
9. Mark Teixeira, $180 million (2009-16)
– Well, there are only two years left.
Lots of talk show hosts here in Philly, a not terribly enlightened crew in general, say things like "No one wouldn't have made that offer to Howard at the time."
ATLANTA — The phone lines in the Phillies' front office buzzed, but rarely with inquiries about Ryan Howard.
"I remember one specific conversation with one general manager," former Phillies general manager Ed Wade said in a telephone interview Monday. "We were talking about their best young player, who would have fit a position of need for us. [The general manager] said, 'He's hit a lot of home runs in double A, but remember Sam Horn.' That was the comment I got back. He couldn't wait to get off the phone with me."
...Multiple sources said the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners expressed some interest in Howard, but none ever really stepped up with a serious offer.
Mark Redman, anyone?
If serious names were discussed, it typically meant that the Phillies had started those conversations. Wade would not say who made the Sam Horn comment, but multiple sources confirmed that the Phillies had explored a trade with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Rocco Baldelli at one point. Carl Crawford also had been discussed. A potential trade even expanded to include Brett Myers and Danys Baez.
The Phillies also had kicked the tires on Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira.
But the Phillies never came close.
...There were Howard's productive minor-league numbers, but the unknown in how they might translate against big-league pitchers. If a team had stepped up and offered someone like Barry Zito (the Oakland Athletics dangled Zito for Utley, Madson and Floyd) for Howard and prospects, maybe Howard would be in Oakland now.
The great myth of Ryan Howard losing two years to Jim Thome is wrong. He exploded in the minors in 2004. 2005 was the first year he was a top 100 prospect. He spent enough time in the majors to be ROY in 2005.
You can read the stat lines as well as we can—Howard has big league power and then some. The problem is that he has nowhere to play: While Howard worked with Milt Thompson on his corner outfield skills in Arizona, he's going to wind up at first base, and Jim Thome isn't about to go anywhere. He could stand a half a season at Scranton to improve his pitch selection – his walk rate is not that high for someone who gets pitched around so much – but he's close to as good as he's going to get, and if he languishes in the International League for two more years, it isn't going to do wonders for his trade value. We usually criticize organizations for moving good prospects prematurely, but if the Phillies find themselves in a pennant race and get an attractive offer for Howard, it would behoove them to bite.
Howard's PECOTA comparables list is interesting. The list is headlined by some unflattering names, Sam Horn, Daryle Ward and Franklin Stubbs to name a few. But just a bit further down are encouraging comparisons like Carlos Delgado and Derrek Lee, players who improved their walk rates and became very dangerous hitters. It's a potent mixture of about one shot boom and two shots bust.
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