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Thursday, November 08, 2007

SportsTicker: Phillies acquire closer Lidge from Astros

A real trade!  AND… Ed Wade traded away a veteran reliever, instead of acquiring one!!!!!

The Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday acquired Houston Astros closer Brad Lidge for righthander Geoff Geary, outfielder Michael Bourn and a minor leaguers.

Philadelphia also received utilityman Eric Bruntlett.

Lidge, 30, went 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA and 19 saves for Houston in 2007. He averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings and posted a 2.89 ERA in his final 53 appearances. The Lidge has 452 strikeouts over the last four seasons - most of any reliever.

 

“The Lidge”?  You find amusing typos when you grab the first, rushed version of a story.

AP: Astros send Lidge to Phillies in 5-player trade

NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:35 AM | 122 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, phillies

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   1. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2608851)
Hooray hot stove!
   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2608852)
This probably means that Myers is going back to the rotation which makes sense. I think the Phils would have considered keeping him as the closer if they could have signed Schilling but not now.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2608857)
Why would the Astros do this? Wasn't someone willing to give them something better for Lidge?

edit: Costanzo makes the deal better, but I still don't understand why they're trading for low ceiling guys who are going to be gone before the Astros are good again. They need prospects.
   4. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2608858)
AP version:
In exchange for Lidge and Bruntlett, the Astros got outfielder Michael Bourn, right-hander Geoff Geary and minor league third baseman Mike Costanzo... Costano, 24, batted .270 with 27 homers and 86 RBIs at Double-A Reading.
   5. TerpNats Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:45 AM (#2608859)
Can Ed Wade create Phillies West, v.2, just as Dallas Green did on the North Side of Chicago a quarter-century ago?

This move could also mean the Phils are close to signing Rowand, as many perceived Bourn as an insurance policy were Aaron to leave. I'd have loved to somehow have had Bourn in Washington.

Not 100% sure I like the deal from a Phils perspective; the Cit is slightly tougher for pitchers than the juice box. OTOH, he won't see the Cardinals as often.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2608860)
Ah, the game is afoot. This is interesting. I thought Bourn was worth a lot more than that. Well, I guess I have to trust the Phillies' crack medical and scouting staff to know that Lidge is mentally and physically healthy and will not be disturbed by the inevitable unfair homers that CBP will give him every ten innings or so.

Do not like this trade. Am not looking forward to seeing Chris Roberson pinch-run 125 times next year. Remain convinced that the bullpen is a crapshoot in which very few multimillion-dollar contracts end up being worth it, especially involving pitchers moving to a new team. Do not know why Costanzo was considered worthless especially since the team has announced that no new third basemen will be signed this year, Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs being sufficient. Maybe they've already decided that starting pitching will be the focus this year and third base will be the focus next year.

This probably means that Myers is going back to the rotation which makes sense.

It does make sense, although there were about 15 times in 2007 when that was the mindbogglingly obvious move and they never made it. Maybe the next five months will be enough time for them to convince him that the life of a closer is not all peaches and cream and hell's bells, and he would be more valuable reverting to his prior form. In that case, good trade, since I don't think Myers was guaranteed to be a better closer than Lidge anyway.
   7. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2608861)
Wow. They also traded the only halfway decent third baseman in their system.
   8. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2608862)
FWIW, Bourn went to the University of Houston, according to the brief Houston Chron blurb that's currently up.

That particular writer is always complaining the 'stros don't grab enough local talent, so expect a glowing assessment of the trade from him soon.
   9. Xander Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:49 AM (#2608864)
I like this this trade for the Phillies a lot.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:54 AM (#2608866)
Can Ed Wade create Phillies West, v.2, just as Dallas Green did on the North Side of Chicago a quarter-century ago?

By trading AWAY middle relievers? I think it's more likely that he's a mole, and the real brains behind the middle-reliever-lust policy was always Ruben Amaro or Dallas Green or someone, who is still with the Phillies and whose job is now made a lot easier.

Next on the trading block, Carlos Carrasco, JA Happ and Eude Brito for Trever Miller and Dave Borkowski.
   11. HowardMegdal Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:56 AM (#2608867)
Good move, Phillies. Anyone feel like looking up Sickels on Costanzo? The book's in the bedroom, and I don't want to wake my wife...
   12. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:56 AM (#2608868)
The Lidge just earned himself a nickname! Can't wait to see The Lidge try to nail down some big saves at Shea this season. Going to run The Lidge into the ground before Spring Training. You will all be sick of hearing about The Lidge. Even I'm now kind of tired of The Lidge.
   13. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:57 AM (#2608869)
It does make sense, although there were about 15 times in 2007 when that was the mindbogglingly obvious move and they never made it. Maybe the next five months will be enough to convince him that it's a good idea.

I only paid attention from a fantasy perspective, but didn't Myers say that he didn't want to switch back in the middle of the year?
   14. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:57 AM (#2608870)
Yikes, I knew Lidge was nasty in 2004 but 157 strikeouts as a reliever?! The only thing to be worried about is the fact that he has given up 1.2 hr/9 the last two years. I don't like that in a closer.
   15. Benny Distefano's Mitt Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2608871)
Hate to see Lidge go. He's really worked his way back from what must have been absolute misery.

Good luck in Philly.
   16. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:00 AM (#2608874)
Is Eric Bruntlett a good glove man, at least?
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2608876)
Finally, I may be an idiot, but I think Lidge has only one year left on his contract. The last time we traded prospects for the Astros' closer, he had TWO years left on his contract.

Seems like a lot for one year of Brad Lidge. I give Geary a 30% chance of being better than Lidge this season.
   18. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2608877)
Wow. They also traded the only halfway decent third baseman in their system.

Off the top of my head, he's the guy with tons of power, tons of strikeouts, and bad defense? The AA Russ Branyan starter kit?
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2608878)
didn't Myers say that he didn't want to switch back in the middle of the year?

You mean he said it in the middle of the year, or he said he didn't want to switch unless it was between seasons?
   20. HowardMegdal Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2608882)
I believe he said, "Switching me back to the rotation misdeason would make me angry. And Mrs. Myers wouldn't want to see me angry."
   21. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2608883)
Is Eric Bruntlett a good glove man, at least?

And if so, at what position? Seems like he plays them all.
   22. Darren Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2608884)
Looks like Lidge is the only really good player in the deal. Costanzo is interesting, but he K's a ton.
   23. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2608886)
Lidge should thrive moving to a low-pressure environment with such understanding fans.
   24. aleskel Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2608887)
The Lidge just earned himself a nickname! Can't wait to see The Lidge try to nail down some big saves at Shea this season. Going to run The Lidge into the ground before Spring Training. You will all be sick of hearing about The Lidge. Even I'm now kind of tired of The Lidge.

you can't beat me, 'cause I'm the Wiz!!
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2608888)
Bourn is a good player. If he's your fourth outfielder, you might have the best fourth outfielder in the league, as the Phillies did this season. He's got a good chance to be an average centerfielder or better. Depends on your definition of "good".

[EDIT: The Tavares comparison is very accurate]
   26. MM1f Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:07 AM (#2608889)
Bourn gives the 'Stros a legit, speedy, Tavares-replacement CF they've been looking for so they can move Pence back to a corner, RF I guess.
Does this mean Luke Scott is available?

Costanzo, if he pans out, could be Ensbergs eventual replacement at third in '09 if you just find some stopgap for 08.
An 858 in the Eastern League aint to shabby at all. He is 23 or 24 and could still use a little refinement though in making contact and in the steadiness of his defense. He has decent athleticism and a strong arm but can be error prone at third since he played first in college to save him arm for pitching.

Geary is a solid reliever and while hes no Brad Lidge he will offset some of the loss in the pen.

Solid deal on both ends I think
   27. pyrite Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2608891)
What do the Astros need Bourn for? They've got Lee in LF, Pence in CF, and a Luke Scott (886 career OPS)/Jason Lane platoon in RF. Some smart team is going to steal Scott from the Astros this winter.
   28. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2608892)
You mean he said it in the middle of the year, or he said he didn't want to switch unless it was between seasons?

My recollection is that sometime in the middle of the year there were discussions about moving him back to the rotation. He said something to the effect of "I'd consider that for next year, but for this year (2007) I'm a reliever."
   29. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2608893)
Bourn could be good though. He is super fast (18/19 stolen base attempts) and looks like he could definitely handle CF. He walked at a pretty good clip as well. I wouldn't be surprised if he established himself as a regular.

This thread is flying!
   30. alkeiper Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2608895)
I like the deal for the Phillies. Bourn is a nice player but Victorino is more than capable of playing center field, and Bourn is wasted in a corner. The important aspect is that Myers moves back to the rotation where he belongs. Also, Bruntlett provides a nice offensive upgrade over Abraham Nunez.
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:12 AM (#2608898)
I like the deal for the Phillies. Bourn is a nice player but Victorino is more than capable of playing center field, and Bourn is wasted in a corner.

This presumes Jayson Werth will be the regular right fielder. I recall some talk about his being prone to injuries.

The important aspect is that Myers moves back to the rotation where he belongs.

True if true.

Also, Bruntlett provides a nice offensive upgrade over Abraham Nunez.

Really? He doesn't seem to be a very good hitter at all. Might still be true though, since "Nuñez" is Spanish for "Punto".

Well, Punto is also a Spanish word, but you get the point.
   32. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2608899)
What do the Astros need Bourn for?

Pence isn't a very good defensive CFer.
   33. alkeiper Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:15 AM (#2608902)
Really? He doesn't seem to be a very good hitter. Might still be true thought, since OH MAN DOES NUNEZ SUCK.


I tend to look at career lines instead of single seasons for utility guys. I see a line of .250/.323/.364, which is acceptable for a utility guy, particularly with an infield stocked with hitters.
   34. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:15 AM (#2608903)
This thread is flying!

Well, duh :P

It's an honest-to-goodness trade, amidst a sea of A-Rod rumors and half-baked speculation.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2608905)
sorry I edited 31 after Alan quoted it.
   36. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2608906)
Lane went to the Padres last year.
Brunlett plays lots of positions decently, none spectacularly. He's a below average hitter, but gets on base a little and won't kill you as a spare part.
NTN, you nailed Costanzo pretty well.
Werth will get injured tomorrow reading this headline. Nice player though, I'd love to have him.
I think Bourn is a little overrated. Love the speed, but I haven't seen much evidence he'll ever be an average hitter.
   37. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:21 AM (#2608907)
Anyone feel like looking up Sickels on Costanzo? The book's in the bedroom, and I don't want to wake my wife...


"..intriguing bat, featuring power to all fields and good patience... can be a bit too passive at the plate.. range at 3rd base is average, with strong arm... may end up fitting best as a platoon bat".. C+

The book was 3 feet from my wife, but she's a deep sleeper (thank goodness).
   38. NTNgod Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2608908)
Updated SportsTicker:
"One of our goals coming into the offseason was to find a quality speed center fielder who could hit at the top of the order and give us a spark," Houston general manager Ed Wade said in a statement.

"Bourn is an outstanding young player who will make an immediate impact and should be productive for a long time. Plus, his addition allows us to move Hunter Pence to right field, where he will continue to grow into the All-Star caliber player that we know he's capable of becoming."

Updated AP:
"We're getting one of the premier closers in the game," Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "The marketplace, as we all know, is a little scare out there as far as pitching. We felt this one of the best ways for us to really improve."

Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been the Phillies' closer, back into the starting rotation. Amaro called him his No. 2 starter behind Cole Hamels or possibly even a 1A.

"He was pretty excited about being on the mound when we clinched the division in the last game of the season and certainly did a fine job in that role," Amaro said. "He probably could thrive in that role certainly, but we felt like our best opportunity to improve our rotation was to get him back in there."
   39. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2608909)
Lidge should thrive moving to a low-pressure environment with such understanding fans.

Not to mention that huge stadium! Those homers that have haunted him will be a thing of the past.

"Plus, his addition allows us to move Hunter Pence to right field, where he will continue to grow into the All-Star caliber player that we know he's capable of becoming."

"And it will allow Luke Scott to get traded to the White Sox, where we know he'll do well," Wade continued.
   40. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:26 AM (#2608911)
It's an honest-to-goodness trade, amidst a sea of A-Rod rumors and half-baked speculation.


Speaking of which, when do the Phillies make a play for him? And if they did pick him up, how would the Rodriguez-Rollins-Utley-Howard infield stack up historically?
   41. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:27 AM (#2608912)
And if they did pick him up, how would the Rodriguez-Rollins-Utley-Howard infield stack up historically?

Best ever. Maybe second behind the Big Red Machine. Believe me, Phillies blogs have speculated about this repeatedly.

Philadelphia intends to move Brett Myers, who had been the Phillies' closer, back into the starting rotation.

[fist pump]

Okay, Geary, Bourn and Costanzo for Bruntlett and an extra 150 innings of Brett Myers. There's a trade I can live with.
   42. MM1f Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:37 AM (#2608918)
"What do the Astros need Bourn for? They've got Lee in LF, Pence in CF, and a Luke Scott (886 career OPS)/Jason Lane platoon in RF"

Others have mentioned that Pence is more of a RF and Lane has been traded but it should also be noted that Jason Lane has been nothing at the plate the last couple years and is a waiver wire player now so its not like he would have mattered in this discussion anyway
   43. Textbook Editor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:54 AM (#2608931)
If I'm the Phillies, here's what I'd do: Offer A-Rod either 2 years/$100 million or 3 Years/$150 million. Yes, the money is insane but:

(a) The contract is short-term and with the salaries coming off over the 2-3 year period I think the Phillies would still be under the luxury tax limit.

(b) you limit your exposure on the back-end, and get what arguably would be the 3 best years of A-Rod over the next 10. You'd pay a premium to get them, sure, but you wouldn't be paying for a decline period either.

Call it "The Furcal Redux Gambit"--I just think if some team came out and offered something like the above, it would be almost too good to pass up, assuming the 10 year/$300 million deal doesn't come to pass and teams are offering more like 8/$250 or the like. This way, too, A-Rod would get one more crack at a big FA signing before his career is up.

The more and more I think about it, I think the Phillies should try this. They'd probably threaten to score 900 runs with him batting #3.
   44. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:59 AM (#2608936)
I understand the point you are trying to make TE but those numbers are beyond crazy. The Phillies had a 90 million dollar payroll and you think paying A-Rod 50 million a year is doable?

Sometimes, it is possible to outsmart yourself.
   45. Bill McNeal Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:03 AM (#2608939)
What does this say anything about Rivera's status, if anything?
   46. Padraic Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:05 AM (#2608941)
They'd probably threaten to score 900 runs with him batting #3.

I would hope so at $50M per season; they scored 892 this year.
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:05 AM (#2608943)
What is the luxury tax, anyway? Yankees the only team to pay it again?
   48. Textbook Editor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2608945)
Russian, I'd be fine with offering $45 million a year for 2 or 3 years too... My thought was just that $40 probably doesn't get it done for such a short-term deal if an 8/$240 million deal is out there....

I don't have the figures in front of me, but I think the Phillies are set to drop something like $20 million in payroll from contracts coming off the books + options declined, etc. Some of that will be given back in arbitration increases, a potential Roward signing, etc. but then for 2009-2010 Burrell's $14 million comes off the books too, along with Gordon (I think $8 million). The money is there for the Phillies to make this kind of play if they keep it in the $45-$50 million a year range and limit the years to 2 or 3 at most.
   49. Xander Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:09 AM (#2608947)
Luxury tax will be around 155 million this year, IIRC.
   50. Textbook Editor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:10 AM (#2608949)
Crispix, the Yankees pay a 40% tax, but a first-time offender pays less than that. I don't have the CBA in front of me.

I seem to recall the pre-arbitration, pre-FA signing 2008 payroll for the Phillies was in the $70-$75 million range with contracts coming off, but I may be wrong. I still think this makes a whole lot of sense, especially if you can get a 2 year deal instead of 3 years.
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:15 AM (#2608952)
Ooh, Burrell only has one year left on his contract too. More complications!
   52. PatrickInTheWoods, Apostate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2608970)
Speaking only as a Phillies' fan, signing Alex Rodriguez for any amount of money makes a whole lot of sense. Can't they just offer him ownership of the team, like Lemieux?
   53. Bill McNeal Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:03 AM (#2608971)
Lemieux, AFAIK, wasn't offered ownership of the team, he was given ownership when the team was near bankruptcy to make up for the deferred payments he was owed.

*edit* According to this link, his original investment was 5 mil in cash and 20 mil in equity (which I think was the deferred monwy owed to Mario).
   54. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:11 AM (#2608973)
Do not know why Costanzo was considered worthless especially since the team has announced that no new third basemen will be signed this year, Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs being sufficient.

I heard he burned some bridges during his time with the Yankees.
   55. St.Philly Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:18 AM (#2608981)
I hate to see Costanzo go because he was the only hope of a velour Phillies Jersey being made. Best thing about the trade is it moves Myers back to the rotation. Bruntlett actually is a better hitter than Abe, but then so were 3/4 of the the AAA SS. Actually Luke Scott would be a nice fit with the Phils, too bad that avenue wasn't explored.

Costanzo has power and does draw some walks too. Has a horrible time with the curve and is completely helpless against LHP. Made a ton of errors at AA but I think his defense is actually OK.
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:25 AM (#2608985)
"I heard he burned some bridges during his time with the Yankees."

well played....
   57. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:50 AM (#2608991)
Best ever. Maybe second behind the Big Red Machine.

The $100,000 infield in 1913 was pretty good. OPS+'s of 136, 164, 167, 111.
   58. BeanoCook Posted: November 08, 2007 at 12:05 PM (#2609023)
Everyone wants top prospects, but when was the last time a top, top, prospect was dealt? Top prospects are more valuable than just about everything outside of only the very best pitchers. Something Lidge is not.
   59. kthejoker Posted: November 08, 2007 at 01:31 PM (#2609031)
I would like this trade for the Astros a lot more if they hadn't signed Carlos Lee and instead had made room for Luke Scott and spent all that moolah elsewhere.

But, on the whole, the Astros have the oldest 25-man roster in baseball. Trading for youth is an okay thing.

Eric Bruntlett is actually a pretty decent defensive shortstop, and an average outfielder. Not a great hitter, of course, or he'd have a starting job somewhere.
   60. Bad Doctor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 01:51 PM (#2609039)
Well, in the Phillies ZIP thread, I posted to say that their starting rotation looks awful, I'm not a believer in Bourn, and I'm not a believer in Costanzo. Sufficed to say, I give this trade a thumbs up.

Okay, Geary, Bourn and Costanzo for Bruntlett and an extra 150 innings of Brett Myers. There's a trade I can live with.

An nice way to put it ... Lidge, the Struggling Years, is actually very similar to what Myers was as closer last year ... tons of strikeouts, days where he looked untouchable, but some occasional gopheritis. I don't expect that to get worse for Lidge ... the area of cheap HRs in the Cit is about exactly the same as it is in the Juice Box (Crawford box section). Bruntlett would appear to be the new Nunez.

Costanzo looks good at face value, but his numbers suggest a poor man's Brandon Wood at the plate and Ryan Braun in the field. He's already 24, so I can't see him making enough adjustments to make much of a major league impact. Can't believe Wade couldn't get something with better upside for Lidge, though those of you who are Bourn believers may disagree.
   61. Bad Doctor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2609041)
There's talk generating about Boras misjudging the market, what with all the 3B activity at the GM meetings, the sort of Charlie Finley-ization of the market ... the Phils gotta jump in on the A-Rod talk. If he ends up signing for 8/240 or less, the Phils should be ashamed for letting him slip past, looking at their payroll cap as set in stone instead of looking at the additional revenues that a guy like A-Rod can generate to offset a significant portion of his salary ... especially for a fringe playoff team in the mediocre NL.
   62. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 08, 2007 at 02:35 PM (#2609056)
"I tend to look at career lines instead of single seasons for utility guys. I see a line of .250/.323/.364, which is acceptable for a utility guy, particularly with an infield stocked with hitters."

When you accept Nunez as your UT IF, you also accept certain tactical limitations. That is to say, he's a horrible PH, much worse than you'd expect from his overall batting line, and has been for basically his entire career: .153/.201/.215 in 298 career PA.

"Everyone wants top prospects, but when was the last time a top, top, prospect was dealt?"

Salty to the Rangers last year?

"Eric Bruntlett is actually a pretty decent defensive shortstop, and an average outfielder. Not a great hitter, of course, or he'd have a starting job somewhere."

Brunlett is a nice, underrated player. I don't think he'd kill you as a starting SS, and he makes a very good backup.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 08, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2609058)
Just for the record, I like Philly's yield here better than Houston's.
   64. PatrickInTheWoods, Apostate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:03 PM (#2609069)
Some of the dopey dopes on local Sports Talk radio don't want to even consider getting Rodriguez, not because his cost would limit their flexibility in other areas, but because he "chokes" in the playoffs. The Phillies would have a historically great (hitting) infield and these 'tards wouldn't even consider it because the player has not always done so well during the part of the season the Phils have only seen twice in over 20 years. We go into the season with the media we have...
   65. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2609082)
I like the trade for the Phillies as well. Myers in the pen was just asinine.

I love the idea of a 3-year 126m contract for A-Rod. Get him here for the rest of the Utley, Howard, Rollins, pre-FA years. The Phillies have to be making just an ungodly amount of money now. I would expect them to be in the top five for revenue. I would think they could support a $125m payroll pretty easily.

I'm a little worried that if the owners don't start spending more money we might see some labor unrest in the next contract. It strikes me that player expenses are historically low relative to revenue.
   66. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2609085)
Rollins,
Utley,
A-Rod
Howard
Burrell


How would you pitch to that group. You put them B-L-R-L-R.
   67. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2609090)
How is it you have time to analyze trades, Sean?

BBREF still seems unable to get me my morning coffee, at least, 5 minutes ago when I checked.
   68. Bad Doctor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2609102)
I figured Lidge had at least two years before free agency, but now I see it's one more year ... even so, I think the two first rounders are more valuable than Bourn and Costanzo, especially to a team in the Astros' shoes. I'm surprised to see Nate Silver think otherwise, but he's projecting Bourn and Costanzo to equal 11 years of cheap league average (for position) production ... I just don't see that. Costanzo had great triple crown stats that are going to lead to a great DT, but again ... what was Brandon Wood's DT a couple of years ago? To me, the Woods and Costanzos are the hitter equivalent of the no stuff, great command guys that project well from a statistical standpoint but don't have much of an impact future. Bourn ... I just can't get past the almost two full years of mediocrity in Reading in '05 and '06. He's not a good enough player to claim Upton Syndrome (bored by the lack of challenge and knowledge that he should be facing tougher competition), and his productive late '06 and parts of '07 are in too limited a number of ABs to feel confident that there has been true development.
   69. PatrickInTheWoods, Apostate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2609106)
even so, I think the two first rounders are more valuable than Bourn and Costanzo

I think this is part of the Phils/Gillick's strategy. Look at all of the players they'll be losing to free agency right now. I'm sure they figured to get a few draft picks out of some of them. I like this idea, it's one way to restock your organization from to bottom up.
   70. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2609107)
Crazy question...

Is it absolutely beyond the realm of possibilities to consider ever trying Lidge back in the rotation?

I know he was moved to the pen because of injury issues - and I know he spent some time on DL last year - but it seems painfully obvious that he's prone to giving up HRs at the worst time.
   71. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2609109)
Is it absolutely beyond the realm of possibilities to consider ever trying Lidge back in the rotation?

Brad Lidge is no Ryan Dempster.

Seriously, though, isn't he a two-pitch guy these days?
   72. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:24 PM (#2609110)
Some of the dopey dopes on local Sports Talk radio don't want to even consider getting Rodriguez, not because his cost would limit their flexibility in other areas, but because he "chokes" in the playoffs.

I'm not surprised - these are the same dopey dopes that felt that Rico Brogna was a terrific player.
   73. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:25 PM (#2609113)
I'm not surprised - these are the same dopey dopes that felt that Rico Brogna was a terrific player.

Count da RBize, #####!
   74. PatrickInTheWoods, Apostate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:27 PM (#2609116)
It strikes me that player expenses are historically low relative to revenue.

This may be so, but $40 Mil. is ALOT!OFMONEY. Owners themselves may get sticker shock. I do realize, though, that we're talking about MLB owners, and that it's more likely that the owners are depending on the fact that regular people will think it's too much money to pay. They might thus gain some sympathy during the feared labor strife.
   75. PatrickInTheWoods, Apostate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2609119)
these are the same dopey dopes that felt that Rico Brogna was a terrific player

Yeah, and he had an EYE-talian last name.
   76. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2609122)
This may be so, but $40 Mil. is ALOT!OFMONEY. Owners themselves may get sticker shock. I do realize, though, that we're talking about MLB owners, and that it's more likely that the owners are depending on the fact that regular people will think it's too much money to pay. They might thus gain some sympathy during the feared labor strife.

One would hope that someone in the media would also point out the bevy of 1/4 to 1/2 billion dollar stadia we've seen constructed on the taxpayer dime, but I think you're probably right...
   77. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:35 PM (#2609126)
Also, Bruntlett provides a nice offensive upgrade over Abraham Nunez.

Really? He doesn't seem to be a very good hitter at all.


He's not. He's a pretty bad hitter.

That hardly precludes his being a nice upgrade over Abraham Nunez. (Not that you want Bruntlett getting regular playing time, of course.)
   78. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2609128)
The book was 3 feet from my wife

Keep your kinks to yourself.
   79. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2609129)
Pence isn't a very good defensive CFer.


But Josh Anderson is, and there isn't a dime's worth of difference between Bourn and Anderson.

Costanzo had a decent year at Reading, but that's a pretty good ballpark for HRs, and his overall SLG was just .490 even with the 27 HRs. At best, he's Ensberg Lite.

-- MWE
   80. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:41 PM (#2609137)
Seriously, though, isn't he a two-pitch guy these days?

You're probably right - and I'm having no luck digging up scouting reports from his prospect days... but 19 HRs the last 2 years, I just can't see Lidge being successful in a 9th inning role with an HR rate like that.
   81. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2609139)
That hardly precludes his being a nice upgrade over Abraham Nunez. (Not that you want Bruntlett getting regular playing time, of course.)

The big advantage Bruntlett has over Nunez is that no one has ever made the mistake of giving Bruntlett a semi-regular starting job, hence Bruntlett has been (properly) typecast as a utility player -- whereas someone will always think Nunez can be a functional stopgap in the starting lineup.
   82. JPWF13 Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2609149)
At best, he's Ensberg Lite.


Which makes him better than Helms...

Unfortunately I think this is a good trade for the Phils, because it effectively nets them a decent/good starting pitcher- without subtracting anything from the current team.
Fortunately they did nothing to fix that gaping hole at 3B- and removed the best in-organization potential band-aid in the process
   83. CrosbyBird Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:59 PM (#2609160)
It's small sample, of course, but Lidge has a pretty weak finish to his season. The strength of his numbers rests on the very good 3 month run from May to July. We're talking about a pitcher that has a total of 4 strong months in the last 2 seasons.

He's also coming off a season where he wasn't worthless, and that means he'll likely get a raise from the $5.35M he made in 2007, whether it is in arbitration, or by agreement with the Phillies.

It looks like the Astros got a lot of crap in return. A 24-year old 3B with .490 SLG in AA isn't very impressive unless he's very good defensively, Bourn seems pretty close to worthless, and there's nothing special about Geary. The two major-leagues made a little more than $1M in 2007; perhaps it's just cutting salary and taking a flyer on Costanzo?

I don't see the Astros in a position to compete without substantial improvement anyway, so they might as well save the money.
   84. Textbook Editor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2609162)
I'm glad someone else thinks a short-term, high-money offer to A-Rod makes sense for the Phillies. As someone else pointed out, though, public sentiment (at least on sports talk radio) in Philly seems to be "A-Rod is a cancer we don't need." Maybe they're right and maybe they're wroing, but they could batter the rest of the NL if they got A-Rod, and the pitching would matter a whole lot less if you're scoring 1,000 runs--especially in the NL.
   85. Padraic Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2609165)
Is it possible to get a Myer's ZiPS as starter?
   86. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2609175)
Bourn seems pretty close to worthless

I don't buy that... He's a marginally below average hitter that does have a pretty good walk-rate throughout his career - and an 85% SB success rate. Someone upthread compared him to Willy Taveras - I think he'll end up maybe half a notch better than that.

That's not Tim Raines... it's not even Brett Butler, but it's decent enough.
   87. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2609177)
I have to admit to being intrigued as to why PECOTA likes Bourn and Costanzo so much - does Jesus show up on the comp list or something?

I have Costanzo's 2007 translation at a career-best 235/308/396. Chone has him at 217/286/365. A .263 EQA seems pretty aggressive, at 50-100 point OPS over the MLEs that me and Chone got, and that's over what was Costanzo's best minor league season to date.
   88. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2609179)
Myers as starter: 13-9, 4.15
   89. Gaelan Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2609181)
Great trade for the Phillies since they got Lidge for free. Even is he sucks he's still better than the nothing they traded.

Horrible trade for the Astros since they traded one piece with value for three pieces with no value. Now, I'm exaggerating a little. Two of those guys are probably better than replacement. But that's the problem with the concept of replacement value. It makes it seem like guys who suck have value. Bourn doesn't have value, he sucks. If he's starting for your team you aren't a good team. If you're trading for below average players (and Bourn and Geary are the definition of below average) you are making your team worse.

This move cements the doom of the Astros. Not because it is significant in itself but because what it represents about Ed Wade. The funny thing is that because the three worst run franchises in the majors are all in the central (Pirates and Reds) at least one of those teams will win enough games to convince themselves they don't suck.
   90. GregD Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2609182)
Makes sense for the Phils, but in the weird way that many Phils deals make sense. Faced with a problem of their own making, they resolved it. Which is better than just standing pat and pretending not to notice. But they never seem to question their role in creating the problems in the first place. If it puts Myers back in the rotation, it's good deal. But the comparison should be to what would happen if they simply moved Myers back to the rotation and didn't make the deal. That, however, seems like too much for the Phils, to admit an error and simply reverse it.

The Phillies do seem like one of the places that could justify a huge A-Rod salary, given the gap between their market size and their historical market share. If the Phils got really hot, they should be a top 3 or 4 revenue team. I don't, though, know how their TV contract works, and if they--or any team--could count on getting the payback for the increase in TV viewership, or if those numbers are already set and wouldn't be up for renewal until A-Rod would presumably be gone. In which case an A-Rod signing would be transferring money to Comcast, not to the Phillies. That, I suspect, would be the rationale for a long contract; you could keep him through the TV renewal and extract more $ that way.
   91. Padraic Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2609185)
Thanks, 13-9 4.15 seems conservative, but I'll take it in that park.
   92. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2609186)
I don't buy that... He's a marginally below average hitter that does have a pretty good walk-rate throughout his career - and an 85% SB success rate. Someone upthread compared him to Willy Taveras - I think he'll end up maybe half a notch better than that.


I think this is still speculation - it's based on the fact that he's fast and that he hit well in 133 PAs in the majors this season and in the Sally League.
   93. zonk Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2609202)
I think this is still speculation - it's based on the fact that he's fast and that he hit well in 133 PAs in the majors this season and in the Sally League.

I did say marginally below average -- but he's hit .264 (AA), .277 (repeating AA), and .283 (brief stint in AAA) -- that's not earth-shattering, but there's no Scarborough Green type futility in there either.
   94. rr Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2609208)
This is a very solid move by the Phillies. With Rollins/Utley/Howard right in the center of their primes, and the NL up for grabs, they need to be aggressive.
   95. JPWF13 Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:31 PM (#2609212)
I have to admit to being intrigued as to why PECOTA likes Bourn and Costanzo so much - does Jesus show up on the comp list or something?

I have Costanzo's 2007 translation at a career-best 235/308/396. Chone has him at 217/286/365. A .263 EQA seems pretty aggressive, at 50-100 point OPS over the MLEs that me and Chone got, and that's over what was Costanzo's best minor league season to date.


Costanzo hit .270/.368/.490
in a league that averaged .263/.330/.399
in a neutral park* that'd be an OPS+ of 134

an OPS+ of 134 in AA translates to much better numbers than 235/308/396 in the MLB (which would be an OPS+ of 77 in Phillieland)
Given the choice I'd have to go with BPRO's EQA of .263

* I don't have 2007 numbers for Reading, in the past it's jumped all over the place going from good hitter's park to good pitcher's park in the span of a year. In 2007 Reading was first in OPS and in the middle in ERA. It probably leaned hitter in 2007, but not enough to give him a 77 OPS+ mle
   96. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2609222)
Like many have said, this is a decent deal for the Phils, primarily because it improves their starting pitching. I trust Gillick enough to give him credit for looking at the available starters, realizing there wasn't much of a chance of the Phils getting any good SP and admitting their mistake, sort of, moved Myers back to SP and brought in a solid relief pitcher.

Bourn is a 4th OF to me, I can't see him ever having enough offense. Although I like his grittiness, Geary is a fungible relief pitcher with the upside that he can go 2-3 innings when you need him to. Costanzo's chances of being an average Major Leaguer are less than the chance that this past year was his career year, IMO. I can't help remembering Marlon Byrd's 30 HR year in Reading. History doesn't repeat itself exactly, but it is another warning sign.

I'm wondering if they are close to re-upping Rowand, hence making Bourn available. A 4-man OF of Burrell, Rowand, Victorino and Werth is alright by me. Otherwise, I guess they would be on the lookout for a semi-platoon LH corner OF to team with Werth and be a defensive replacement for Burrell.

I do hope that the exit of Bourn does not mean a year of Chris Roberson. The guy can't hit and can't play baseball, I don't see what they see in him.

Oh yeah, I think that a monster 2-3 year offer to ARod would be the way to go. But this ownership has always seen players as cost, not revenue producers. Heck, I'd bust the budget for 2-3 years in an all out attack on a WS win, while the 3 infielders are in their prime. But that would take a desire to win; this ownership simply does not care about championships.

I'd like to see them sign another starter, Lohse perhaps. Come to Spring Training with 6 starters; tell Eaton he has to re-earn his starting spot. Eaton just got an MRI so he might have some problems.
   97. TerpNats Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2609225)
The Phillies do seem like one of the places that could justify a huge A-Rod salary, given the gap between their market size and their historical market share. If the Phils got really hot, they should be a top 3 or 4 revenue team. I don't, though, know how their TV contract works, and if they--or any team--could count on getting the payback for the increase in TV viewership, or if those numbers are already set and wouldn't be up for renewal until A-Rod would presumably be gone. In which case an A-Rod signing would be transferring money to Comcast, not to the Phillies. That, I suspect, would be the rationale for a long contract; you could keep him through the TV renewal and extract more $ that way.
That sounds very similar to what happened when the Phillies signed Pete Rose in 1979. IIRC, their flagship station (which at the time was a semi-superstation, on cable systems as far south as the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and as far north as central Jersey) helped contribute for some of Rose's salary. ARod could probably help bolster the Phils' regional presence, just as putting their AAA in the Lehigh Valley to complement a AA team in Reading will do. (Why the Phillies haven't seriously pursued Wilmington for a high Class A franchise is beyond me.) While the Phils will never have the regional dominance of the Red Sox, they could do a lot better in the outlying region, and signing ARod would help immeasurably.
   98. base ball chick Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2609230)
this deal is great for the phils horrible for the astros

ed wade is right down there with purpura far as i'm concerned

it figures he couldn't get more for lidge than a frickin middle reliever and a 4th OF

what makes me seriously angry is that the astros for some reason i do NOT get just detest luke scott - the guy must either hate riding horses or must be gay or something. they have spent all last offseason, all last year and this offseason explaining how he's a platoon guy (what a load) or is always hurt (what a load) and now they are replacing him with willy taveras. you talk about unbelieveably stupid

hunter pence is league average in center, it's not like he's biggio

eric bruntlett is a very good utility guy because he can play any position, even in the OF

i am too SERIOUSLY angry to even write any more

stupid morons in astros front office
   99. Bad Doctor Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:42 PM (#2609235)
Horrible trade for the Astros since they traded one piece with value for three pieces with no value. Now, I'm exaggerating a little.

Honestly ... maybe I'm just overly pessimistic on the two young guys ... but to me, this is like one of those sports talk Madden-esque trades where you just keep piling players you hate or of little consequence on one side until you think there's enough total value to get your target.

"Howard, we need a pitcher ... how about Burrell*, Geary, and Alfonseca for Matt Cain? No? What if we throw in Nunez? And Barajas?"

* NOTE: Philly sports talk callers think Burrell is about as valuable as a poor man's Kevin Mench.
   100. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:42 PM (#2609236)
Reading has trended as a strong-moderate hitter's park (108 the last 3 years) with a very strong HR factor (138 the last 3 years, 148 in 2007). To get Constanzo even to a relatively modest .750 MLE OPS, you have to get the Eastern League base translation factor (before considering offense) to the 0.80 range and there's no way the base translation for a AA league is 0.80.
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