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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 12, 2004

Philadelphia Phillies

Signed OF Doug Glanville to a 1-year contract.

Apparently, the Phillies were worried that their outfield situation of Burrell, Byrd, and Abreu with Ledee and Michaels backing them up was way too solid and dependable.  Enter Doug Glanville to be the smartest guy and the worst player on the team and the situation’s rectified.  Jason Michaels is the likely victim of this puzzling signing, which will not help the Phils one bit.

Glanville, Doug - 2004 ZiPS Projection
436 45 107 14 2   8 44 18 59 14 .245 .279 .342

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 12, 2004 at 03:57 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Bill Posted: November 25, 2002 at 01:50 AM (#559694)
Well, signing Rolen to an extension two years ago would have been the best move. And signing Schilling before that.

But the relationship with Rolen was obviously poisoned (though probably Phillie management's fault), so getting something for him was, at that point, at least reasonable.

I don't think the Bell signing is a boon, but it does give them a solid 3B for at least a couple of years, and perhaps for the life of the contract, and give them an option to make themselves better at 2B, all for a fairly reasonable sum (he's only making a little more than twice the MLB average after all). Also keep in mind that Bell's career has been spent mostly in pitcher's parks, so that OPS isn't as bad as it looks (he was the 11th best 3B in the majors last year by RAR). Chase Utley isn't ready (and might not ever be), and there aren't a heck of a lot of other available 3B. I'd say this is a reasonably solid signing, that has a chance of being bad investment of cash on the back end (by which time maybe they'll have an alternative body, Travis Chapman?).

And, it's precisely the kind of signing a team with a solid offenseive core needs, in lieu of a blockbuster. I'd bet that they'll get more marginal bang/buck from Bell for four years/$17 million than from Thome for 6 years/$90 million, especially given that they could play Giambi and get 75-90% of Thome for next to nothing.

Regarding Polanco's age, I don't have his minor league numbers, and his major league numbers don't seem significant one way or the other regarding his possibly being older. If he gets significant time at 2B in 2003, I guess we'll see what he does, this supposedly being his year 27 season. Given that Marlon Anderson's career year in 2001 is the only one that has value approaching Polanco's, i'd guess that Polanco is the better bet even if he's a couple of years older.
   102. NTNgod Posted: November 25, 2002 at 02:39 AM (#559695)
Polanco turned 19 at the end of 1994 - his first minor league season (born October 10, 1975), so I don't any red flags there....

full stats
   103. ColonelTom Posted: November 25, 2002 at 03:16 AM (#559696)
The jury's out on this one - if it helps them convince Thome and Glavine that they're serious about winning, and both guys come to Philly, the Phils should own the NL East for the next 2-3 years, at least. If both guys go elsewhere, and the Phils are left holding David Bell when their remaining infield FA options are Edgardo Alfonzo or Jeff Kent - who could both take Bell's place - that's a completely different story.
   104. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 25, 2002 at 03:05 PM (#559698)
I could see Giambi crashing and burning, leaving behind nothing but a mushroom cloud of steroids.

Well, you might be right about the burning. And the cloud.
   105. MattB Posted: November 25, 2002 at 03:14 PM (#559699)
I assume this makes Utley expendable/ trade bait. It also helps explain why Travis Chapman was not protected on the 40 Man Roster (although it does not explain why a lower-rated 3Bman than Chapman was protected).
   106. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 25, 2002 at 03:17 PM (#559700)
The Phillies are good enough offensively that signing Bell won't exactly hurt them, true. But you don't build a winner by giving a guy who "won't hurt you" a long term deal for $17 million.

Oh, I agree with that - but any team trying to contend needs to make decisions about where they NEED and CAN ACHIEVE serious improvement and where they need to make do. The terms of this contract are long but they should not be debilitating, and Bell probably IS a significant improvement over the Phillies' other options. Not big improvement but his defense is probably a significant plus.

Also, I think Bell is likely to remain tradeable over the life of this contract.
   107. MattB Posted: November 25, 2002 at 05:03 PM (#559701)
The Phillies' problem in recent years has been that they've been surrounding their great and very good players (Rolen, Abreu, Burrell) with very bad players (Lee, Glanville, Anderson).

Pitching is the same way. Jose Mesa led in blown saves, in part because he is declining, but in part because the Phillies starters were good enough to give him a lot of leads.

What the Phillies need are more "guys who won't hurt you" to keep the guys who will hurt you from counteracting the guys who will help you.

Improvement need not come from the top. Merely replacing the bad with the average might be enough propel the Phillies to the post-season.
   108. ColonelTom Posted: November 25, 2002 at 05:53 PM (#559703)
This is a classic case of "smoke 'em if you got 'em." The Phillies have significant money to burn this year, with the prospect of a lot more in 2004 with the new stadium *if* the team wins this year. (See Pittsburgh and Detroit for examples of what happens if you don't win going into a new stadium.)

Where did they need to improve? 1B, 2B, 3B, one starting pitcher, and relief-pitching depth. Bell takes care of two positions (3B himself, and 2B by shifting Polanco to replace Anderson). Thome would fill 1B, and Glavine (or Moyer if Glavine falls through) fills the rotation slot.

Perhaps the best hidden benefit is that if the Phils drop big bucks on three players, they won't feel the urge to overpay for middle relief again this year. As a previous poster noted, Bell's contract isn't enough to make him untradeable given his position(s). You can't say that for middle relievers with seven-figure contracts (see Cormier, Botallico, and even Plesac).

If Utley pans out -- which is looking more and more doubtful, as he's pretty awful defensively at 2B and 3B, and may end up as a light-hitting 1B before he's done -- Bell's contract could be moved.
   109. John Posted: November 25, 2002 at 06:00 PM (#559704)
The Phillies are already looking at moving Utley back to 2B so don't expect Bell to move over for Utley, it seems to be more the other way around. Honestly I don't expect Utley to make it because hes an IF tweener. He could be a good fielding 1Bman but would be light on the bat there. He could be a good hitting 2B or 3Bman but he fields like Harmon Killebrew. LF and RF are not open to him given Burrell and Abreu's presence in Philly for some time to come.

I think Utley will be traded if he can be a useful chit to get something of need.
   110. Mikαεl Posted: November 25, 2002 at 07:09 PM (#559707)
David Gee: Polanco's defense at third is pretty good. The sole gain in this transaction is Bell's offense over Anderson's offense, which is marginal for $17 million.

I dunno. It all depends on how you value 4.25 million / year. Anderson had one year as a useful player, when he hit .300 last year. I don't see much evidence he'll do that again. If you park-adjust Bell's numbers, you get a hitter who's about 15-20 runs better over the course of the season. Maybe 2 wins.

Could you probably get a one win improvement over Anderson for much less? Could you probably get a 3-5 win improvement over Anderson for a couple million more? On both counts, yeah. My point is that Bell should improve the Phillies next year, by a reasonable amount.
   111. Bill Posted: November 25, 2002 at 07:16 PM (#559708)
Actually, there's a gain in defense at 2B too, since Polanco is better defensively there than Anderson.

Is Bell's bat and Polanco's glove vs. Anderson's worth $17 million over 4 years? Maybe not. But I'd bet it's worth $7.2 million over the next two, after which the Phillies may have better options, even with eating the $9 million back end on Bell's contract.
   112. John Posted: November 25, 2002 at 08:38 PM (#559710)
I read somewhere that Alfonzo said he won't play even 1 year at the Vet because the turf makes his back hurt and thats where his recent nagging injury is (like Rolen).

If he changed his mind due to the weak offers he's getting elsewhere the Phillies could still sign him with the Glavine savings, play him at 2B (or play Bell there), then trade Polanco for whatever useful they could get.

If Polanco doesn't draw some good offers trade Rollins (who would get great offers and I think is decent but somewhat overrated) and play one of Alfonzo or Polanco at SS.

Don't get me wrong and think that I LOVE the Bell signing, I don't. But it certainly doesn't tie the Phillies hands, is for relatively low money, and may encourage Glavine and/or Thome to sign. And those guys can make a serious difference in the Phillies chances of winning the NL East in 2003.

As to Cormier, et. al. in the pen.....they're sunk costs and shouldn't be brought into the discussion of whether the Bell signing makes sense or not.
   113. Bill Posted: November 25, 2002 at 10:27 PM (#559712)
they didn't just re-sign Wendell and Chormier did they (I haven't seen anything). If not, then there's really nothing they can do about those contracts now. Signing Chormier in the first place was a bad idea, at least at that money, and the trade for Wendell and Cook looked insane at the time and is only marginally more forgivable in light of the fact that Chen hasn't turned into Odalis Perez yet. What are the odds Wendell can comeback and have a decent (if horribly overpaid) season in 2003?

Forgot about the bonus for Bell, but although Alfonzo might have been better, he'd almost certainly have been more expensive (he made just shy of $6 million last year according to ESPN). Coupled with at least the perception of injury/turf issues, and Bell's deal might have seemed like the better deal (compared to what they'd have had to do to get Alfonzo).
   114. Mike Posted: December 02, 2002 at 09:02 PM (#559843)
Let me be the first to say. Bad move Philly. You're solving problems you don't have. As for Thome, loyalty is good but I wouldn't have turned down the extra $$$ so I have no problem there. Can Philadelphia get any value for Giambi? Also, this means that DH/1B Pat Burrell is in LF for the next six years. He should be at first long before that.
   115. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 02, 2002 at 09:25 PM (#559844)
I have to applaud Philly for finally realizing they're a large-market team. They probably overpaid, but this is a better signing than the Bell signing was, at least for the first few years. I do agree with Dan that the possibility of a steep decline makes this a bit risky, especially with no DH spot to hide him in.

If the Phillies can't compete over the next few years, I expect to see Thome back in the AL by '06.
   116. bill Posted: December 02, 2002 at 09:35 PM (#559845)
Burrell's a better LF than 1B, and he's not that bad a LF. If the fielding stats at BP are to be believed, he was about average as a LF over the last two years. Subjectively (in the games I watched) he looked awkward moving for the ball in 2001, though he had good instincts once he got it, and a good arm. In 2002 he seemed more comfortable, although there were still flashes where he showed he's only played the position for a short time. It's not like he's Greg Luzinski or Lonnie Smith or something out there.
   117. Mikαεl Posted: December 02, 2002 at 10:43 PM (#559849)

I agree that this is a poor move compared the optimum, as best as we know. Dan's projected infield of Rolen, Rollins, Kent and Little G sounds pretty darn good. As I see it, there are two "but"s.

1) But, Jeremy Giambi. He's got issues. I don't know if they're dedication issues or chemical dependency issues or real big jerk issues, but *something* is going on there. Maybe the Phillies do know more than we do.

2) But, compared to the Bowa sub-optimal choices they probably would've made, the Phillies are better. Giambi was not going to start, and replacing Lee with Thome is an improvement of at least five wins. I think this deal makes the Phillies' baseline winning percentage about .550-.560, which is definitely contender status.
   118. jb Posted: December 02, 2002 at 10:49 PM (#559850)
i think the indians have lots of first base options - none as good as thome, mind you, but not bad options. there's ben broussard, luis garcia, even victor martinez or karim garcia. so i wouldn't waste any time trying to land jeremy giambi or erubiel durazo. the real need is at 3rd base.
   119. Matthew Rich Posted: December 02, 2002 at 11:14 PM (#559852)
Call up John Hart and offer some young pitching for Hafner?

Wow, that's a really good idea; I can't believe I've never heard this notion floated before. Given what it'll take to pry Blalock loose (A LOT) and the Rangers' Palmeiro/Tex/Blalock/Hafner logjam, I'd love for this to happen and it makes sense for both teams. Hopefully Shapiro starts the process with Bard straight up and sees where it goes from there. If Hart wants more, substtitute Einar Diaz for Bard and throw in Coco Crisp and a pitcher.

Barring a trade with the Rangers, I think just letting Broussard and Garcia battle it out in spring training is the best course of action. I agree that Durazo is overvalued and Little G is probably not somebody you want on your team. Anybody know if Jack Cust can play 1B?
   120. Matthew Rich Posted: December 02, 2002 at 11:20 PM (#559853)
I think just letting Broussard and Garcia battle it out in spring training

Just to clarify, I'm referring to Karim Garcia here. I'm not a Luis Garcia fan.

Another possibility I've heard is getting Sean Casey back from the Reds, which, don't get me started.
   121. Geoff Young Posted: December 03, 2002 at 12:19 AM (#559855)
Reports are that Hafner may need wrist surgery. Again. As for Cust, he started at 1B but was moved to the outfield because of the logjam at that position in the Arizona system. Whether he can play it is another question. I don't know.
   122. Brian Posted: December 03, 2002 at 12:46 AM (#559856)
Obviously this instantly improves the Phillies offense tremendously.(Mike, I don't see how you perceived the Phillies to not have a first base problem) The only downside (forseeable) is injuries and maybe the last two years of the deal, when Thome is almost guaranteed a stat decline. But overall, this is a tremendous gift for the Phillies and people of Philadelphia.

   123. Josh Posted: December 03, 2002 at 01:52 AM (#559860)
I think Thome will put up good numbers for the phils, but I would have waited till next year and took the chance on signing some of the younger guys that will be out there.
   124. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2002 at 03:33 AM (#559863)
Hafner's wrist problems are complications resulting from a broken hamate bone two years ago. He might need surgery, as it's been giving him trouble in winter ball.
   125. Mike Posted: December 03, 2002 at 05:26 PM (#559871)
I have a feeling if the Phils could have gotten a lot more than Thome if they offered to take $87.5 mil worth of contracts from the Rockies.

The problem with the Rockies and their bad contracts is that one of the reason those contracts are bad is that they have no trade clauses in them. Who would have agreed to go there? Plus, Denny Neagle doesn't stoke the fan base the way Jim Thome does. Unfortunately, that was a big part of the Phils' motivation.
   126. Brian Posted: December 03, 2002 at 06:18 PM (#559873)
Delgado vs. Thome. Well despite Delgado being about a year and a half younger than Thome, theres nothing else exceptional to like. Thome's production is higher than Delgado, and it is going up, while Delgado's seemingly peaked two years ago(; do the comparison yourself). Also, its better to bring in a player who "wants"(thome) to play in Philly opposed to someone who "has"(delgado) to play in Philly by trade. This was a good move for the Phillies, it makes Burrell that much better, and not to mention Abreu.
   127. Jason Posted: December 04, 2002 at 04:40 PM (#559875)
On another note, I lost a great deal of respect for Thome in reading his press conference comments. I agree with Rob H. - he seemed to be saying one thing all along ("I want to finish in Cleveland"), then just caved and went for the money. That malarkey about it all coming down to an extra year on the contract is a sorry excuse. I am sure Thome is still a great guy, but even though I am not an Indians fan, I just don't like it.
   128. Klobedanz Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#561459)
This is a terrible trade, couldn't they have at least gotten Travis Lee to help w/their first base problem?

And I like Saabs.
   129. Klobedanz Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:06 PM (#561460)
And the other thing that gets me, trading him within the division. This stinks no matter how you look at it. I'd take Millwood over a combined Hampton/Byrd.
   130. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:12 PM (#561463)
It's a.....what the f***?
   131. Bill Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:12 PM (#561464)
We have to be missing something here don't we? Kevin Millwood is a small notch (if that) below Colon. Surely, they could have gotten one of the names being thrown around in those trade talks. Nick Johnson or Shea Hillenbrand, say. On the face of it, it's inexplicable.
   132. Bill Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:14 PM (#561465)
And by the way, Dan, the "owners" of the Braves are quite used to value-destruction. They would hardly notice this small effort.
   133. Brian K. Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:25 PM (#561471)
I am probably wrong here, but despite the rolen trade (which had to be done), I believe in the last year Ed Wade has an unbelievable track record. Eat your heart out, nevermind.
   134. dlf Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:30 PM (#561472)
Which John Scheurholz trade is worse: David Cone for Ed Hearn or Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada? Oh my god, this is utterly awful.
   135. Stevis Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:30 PM (#561473)
Schuerholz is quoted as saying the economics of baseball "stink" and he was forced to do this because the was $10M over budget. Uh, sure, John. You couldn't have let Maddux walk, or not traded for Hampton, or not signed Castilla, or not signed Byrd, or any number of ways to not spend that money. Or, you could've not panicked and waiting to deal Millwood.
   136. Paul Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:35 PM (#561474)
As a Phillies fan, I'm pinching myself. On paper, we're probably the best team in the NL East right now. Did I slip through a black hole and end up in Bizarro universe? I hope so.
   137. xdog Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:38 PM (#561475)
Strictly a panicky salary dump. ATL figured Millwood would drag $10M via arb.

From the AJC: "Estrada is someone we've thought very highly of for years," Schuerholz said. "We think he's the total package and will be our catcher of the future. Although we're not sure when that future begins."

If ever.
   138. Klobedanz Posted: December 20, 2002 at 08:40 PM (#561477)
If you're the Phillies G.M., wouldn't you have wanted Millwood over Glavine anyway?
   139. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 20, 2002 at 09:31 PM (#561490)
<As late as 15 minutes before the deal was finalized, I was on the phone and not one team was willing to move.</i>

And for the umpteenth time, why didn't you simply non-tender him? You lose him, sure, but probably to some team other than to your arch rival.

Oh, and learn to spell your name.
   140. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 20, 2002 at 09:35 PM (#561492)
Learn how to spell you name.
   141. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 20, 2002 at 09:39 PM (#561493)
It's a trap!
   142. MM1f Posted: December 20, 2002 at 10:41 PM (#561496)

One of the top 10 pitchers in the league for a 26 year old catcher who has a career average of .220?!?!?!

Is there some thing else to this deal we don't know about?

Like Randy Wolf or Marlon Byrd AND Travis Lee

EVEN THEN I'm not so sure.

I hope the Braves use the 18 million Maddux gets this year to buy Millwood as an FA in '04
   143. Dag Nabbit at Posted: December 20, 2002 at 11:06 PM (#561500)
"Wow. This is really more mystifying than the Freakin'Mabry thing. There are no rumors about Millwood that I have heard"

There were rumors a day or two ago of Millwood-for-Vina. At the time it seemed laughably bad. Now, it's a much much better deal than what actually happened.
   144. Geoff Young Posted: December 21, 2002 at 06:32 AM (#561510)
Tomko for Hackman is looking pretty good right about now....
   145. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: December 21, 2002 at 07:12 AM (#561514)
<i.Tomko for Hackman is looking pretty good right about now....</i>

Thanks, Geoff, that makes my day. *:^)
   146. Law Boy Posted: December 21, 2002 at 04:05 PM (#561517)
my jaw has hit the floor and is showing no signs of coming back up. Astonishing.
   147. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: December 23, 2002 at 06:24 PM (#561529)
Just a few days before this deal AOL Time Warner laid off a bunch of employees. An early Christmas gift. I think this was a desperate cost cutting move.
   148. ColonelTom Posted: January 16, 2003 at 06:47 PM (#563537)
Houston's significantly cheaper than Mini-G, and comes with a nice fringe benefit -- he can move behind the plate in a pinch, which allows Bowa to use Todd Pratt as a pinch-hitter against lefties. Plus, if the need arises to get a reliever for the stretch run, Houston might make good trade bait. Excellent signing by Philly at this price.
   149. ColonelTom Posted: January 16, 2003 at 08:42 PM (#563545)
I almost have the world convinced I'm worth more than the league minimum and that I'm a decent player

OPS+ of 97, 107, 100 the last three years -- Houston's a league-average lefty hitter that can play multiple positions, including catcher. That's worth a million bucks if you're not seriously cash-strapped, and the Phillies aren't.
   150. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 16, 2003 at 09:58 PM (#563549)
It's a trap1
   151. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2003 at 12:11 AM (#563552)
Jacko, I think the Brewers should give Keith Ginter a shot at 3B...but who knows what they'll do in the end. Roy Howell anyone?
   152. Greg Franklin Posted: January 17, 2003 at 01:33 AM (#563554)
John Flaherty got an NRI to the Yankees.

What is Theo now ... 0 for 6, or 0 for 7?
   153. Bill Posted: February 04, 2003 at 01:01 AM (#564824)
Gee, I thought the Phils were a "small market" team.
   154. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: February 04, 2003 at 04:30 PM (#564837)
Since when is Mike Lieberthal a cornerstone of a perennial top-offense? He's injury prone, and when he's not injured, he's merely "decent"- career OPS+ of 102. He's also on the wrong side of 30 and grossly inconsistent. Even factoring in for positional value, I don't think he's worth all that much.
   155. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: February 04, 2003 at 07:16 PM (#564839)
I think that you have to consider Lieberthal's future in view of his inconsistent past.

He's never caught more than 145 games in a season in his 20's. He averages far less than that, more like 100 games. And he's entering his 30's. And he's a catcher.

Realistically, I don't think you can project Lieberthal to play more than 100 games for the next few seasons. When you factor in the awful replacement-level at catcher, I don't think that 100 games of 750 OPS Lieberthal and 60 games of, just for illustration, 620 OPS Johnny Estrada brings the Phils any closer to a pennant.

All this aside, Lieberthal seems to present a really weird statisical profile. He's a low-average hitter with decent power. He doesn't walk, never has, but he doesn't strike out much either. In fact, his K -rate has steadily declined over the course of his career. That indicates he's maintaing hs bat speed. On the other hand, his best comp, Eddie Taubensee, crashed and burned like a Police Crown Vic after his age 30 season. With old catchers, you never know.
   156. ColonelTom Posted: February 04, 2003 at 07:21 PM (#564841)
Lieberthal posted an .868 OPS in the second half last year, after a slow start that was at least in part due to coming back after major surgery. When he was healthy in 1999 and 2000 - before he started having knee problems - he put up some mighty impressive numbers for a catcher (.914 OPS in '99, .899 in '00 before the All-Star break). I'm not saying he's Piazza, but he's one of the top catchers in the game, and a solid anchor for a young pitching staff.
   157. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 04, 2003 at 09:04 PM (#564845)
Pratt's a pretty good backup catcher. I'm not certain that the Phils will miss Lieberthal all that much when he gets hurt.
   158. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 04, 2003 at 10:20 PM (#564847)
He's never caught more than 145 games in a season in his 20's.

This is a joke, right? Who ever catches more than 145 games?

I think it was designed to make it look like the Phils were trying to keep him -- even if they really weren't.

I don't know, if you offered that to him today I'd think you were trying to keep him. The fact that the Phillies were ahead of the market there doesn't mean they didn't want Rolen.
   159. bob mong Posted: February 05, 2003 at 10:40 PM (#564856)
Just for kicks, I decided to query the Lahman db for all the 150+ K seasons in baseball history. I ignored players who split time with different teams.

A few facts.

60 different players have struck out 150 or more times in a season (a total of 106 different player seasons).

Those 60 different players had a composite career line of: .262/.344/.476
   160. Walt Davis Posted: February 06, 2003 at 01:29 AM (#564859)
Following up on Bob's post...

Pat Burrell's career k-rate is about .255 K/PA. So I looked at players since 1950 who, at age 25, had at least 900 total PA and a "career by age 25" K-rate of .23 or higher. There were 30 such players. I then looked at their totals up to 25 and after 25. And if you think I adjusted for park or era, you clearly don't understand just how lazy a man I am.

Be forewarned that many are still active and even in their primes. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing as we are discussing how Burrell is likely to do through his prime.

First, these players had pretty long careers, about 11 years on average. Which is really impressive given 8 of them are still active (7 if we don't count Tony Clark -- yikes, there's a bad comp...but not the worst :-).

Second, these players had pretty good numbers (avg/obp/slg/ops)

250/326/452/779 -- up to 25
   161. Brian Posted: March 24, 2003 at 09:19 PM (#564862)
I've noticed a lot of Paul Kilgus bashing on this thread. Guess it's mostly out of fun. I lived around the corner from Paul in Bowling Green, KY. We played sandlot ball together and against each other in organized Little League baseball.

Paul and I got reaquainted in our adult years when he pitched for the Okla. City 89ers (Ranger AAA team) and I lived in Okla. City.

Paul is just one of the most genuine people you'd ever want to meet. He has never forgotten his roots or his friends.

I hope you get a chance to meet him in person sometime. He's a great guy.
   162. Mikαεl Posted: April 15, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#565653)
What's wrong with Ledee?

I may have a soft spot for him after spending last summer rooting feverishly for him to unseat Doug Glanville. But, the guy can play a reasonable center field (from my observation, plus he's at exactly 0 UZR runs in 50 games in the last four years). He'll draw a walk and has a bit of pop. As temporary #8 hitters go, I don't have a problem with Ricky.
   163. Dudefella Posted: April 15, 2003 at 08:47 PM (#565654)
It took me about five minutes to get the Roger McGuinn reference.

   164. Walt Davis Posted: April 15, 2003 at 09:34 PM (#565656)
After the amount of time they spent waiting for Glanville to turn it around

Ahh, but Glanville was a "proven major-leaguer" by the time the Phils grabbed him, thanks to almost 600 PAs (and a .300 BA) with the Cubs. He "clearly" belonged at that level or he wouldn't have been there for a full year. Heck he was a ".300 hitter", so you have to wait for guys like that to turn it around because you know what they can do.
   165. MM1f Posted: April 24, 2003 at 04:55 PM (#565804)
Any one know where A.J Zapp is right now?
   166. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 25, 2003 at 12:17 AM (#565808)
After a whole lot of editing and projection running, I'm just getting back into the full swing of things. That the Giants haven't been the beneficiary yet is by chance, not by design.
   167. Veee Posted: May 01, 2003 at 07:18 PM (#565667)
What's so wrong with Thome's walk rate? ESPN has him down for 19 BB in 120 PA (AB+BB). Seems to be just a tad below his career norm.

Also, in the last couple seasons, Thome's worst month has been April. Check out his monthly splits from 2002 and 2001. Those are some hideous batting averages.
   168. Mike Posted: May 20, 2003 at 04:42 PM (#565945)
Any information on Mike Wilson?
   169. Darren Posted: May 20, 2003 at 08:33 PM (#565948)
Hard to get more consistent than Minor. Can he mash lefties? If so, there are quite a few teams that could use him full time.
   170. Randal Posted: May 22, 2003 at 12:01 AM (#565950)
Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   171. MattB Posted: May 26, 2003 at 08:28 PM (#565951)
Mike Wilson was an 8th round high school pick in 1998. The Phillies have been very successful with high school pitchers, but Wilson was injured a lot.
   172. Mr. Crowley Posted: September 03, 2003 at 02:38 AM (#567737)
It's a trap!
   173. The Original SJ Posted: September 03, 2003 at 04:19 AM (#567738)
Jesse Orosco and the twins get no love from the Oracle?
   174. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 03, 2003 at 12:47 PM (#567739)
Valent's needed a new organization for ages. Good for him.
   175. Walt Davis Posted: September 03, 2003 at 02:21 PM (#567740)
Does Valent qualify as a "toolsy" OF or has the Cinci obsession finally ended?
   176. flournoy Posted: September 27, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#567750)
But do you have the October golfing experience that they really need, David?
   177. Greg Franklin Posted: October 10, 2003 at 10:41 PM (#567751)
Dane, you're a free man. Contact your agent. Somewhere out there some team needs a catcher.
   178. MM1f Posted: November 03, 2003 at 08:33 PM (#568050)
"they're pretty clearly the preseason favorites in the NL East. "

When did I hear that before...?

Oh yeah I remember, last spring.
   179. JB Posted: November 03, 2003 at 09:09 PM (#568051)
yea, i gotta believe you'll be playing 3B, david bell, which means either utley wastes away at AAA, or polanco becomes a utility player - neither of which helps the phillies. bowa likes your spunk.
   180. Larry Bowa Posted: November 03, 2003 at 09:14 PM (#568052)
>>>bowa likes your spunk.

Ever since this was posted, I keep getting crank calls from someone who calls himself "Piazza."
   181. Michael Posted: November 03, 2003 at 11:37 PM (#568056)
I'm with NMS on this, I think at this point you pretty have to pick the Braves every year until they don't win the NL East.
   182. Paul Posted: November 04, 2003 at 02:29 AM (#568057)
So for the third-best closer in baseball, the Phillies gave up:

1) a pitcher who will turn 28 in January, who has twice failed to stick as a fifth starter, and whose K/9 ratio fell from 7th in the Majors in 2002 to 34th in 2003 -- assuming he'd had enough innings to qualify;

2) a Dominican "prospect" who answers to 23 -- which means he's actually 50 -- playing in the pitcher-friendly FSL; and

3) a quality AA starter who wasn't the Phillies' top two pitching prospects -- and possibly not even number 3 or 4, depending on how much you like Ryan Madsen and Keith Bucktrot.

Bucholtz may be a good prospect, but I'll gladly rent Wagner for one year. At least he'll rack up plenty of 1-2-3 saves.
   183. Paul Posted: November 04, 2003 at 02:34 AM (#568058)
Answering #6's point: You raise a good point. However, Duckworth doesn't even project to make the Astros' rotation -- and that's before they sign Andy Pettitte. So he'd better get used to getting "yanked around."
   184. Chris L Posted: November 04, 2003 at 07:36 AM (#568061)
The Astros are in cost cutting mode. But it's not because Drayton McLane wants to start a firestale just for his own personal amusement. Instead, I like Sam expect the Astros to press hard for a certain Yankees' lefthanded starter (and not the fat one!). The real question for the Astros is not how good is Billy Wagner, but rather, how much of an albatross can the team afford to wear around its neck. Count me among the fans who think that anything more than $5 million per campaign is an absurd amount to pay for a 60 inning guy, 100 mph heater or not. Now if we can only get some team to take Richard Higalgo off our hands.

As for the Phillies, I say good move given their unique circumstances. New ballpark, plenty of money, and their Achilles heel in recent years has noticeably been their 9th inning labor. If anyteam needs a $8-9 million closer, it's gotta be the Phillies. At least Ed Wade can now wash his hands of any forthcoming late inning pitching meltdowns.
   185. Chris L Posted: November 04, 2003 at 07:39 AM (#568062)
One clarification. When I refer to Wagner as the Astros' abatross, I mean that purely in the financial sense. He is rarely a liability tossing the ball 60 feet six inches in crunch time. But he is a $17 million liability on the balance books.
   186. AMcK75 Posted: November 04, 2003 at 08:48 PM (#568065)
Are we going to be posting buyouts this winter? Cause the Cards just bought out Vina, and I couldn't be happier, even if they choose to sign him for a lesser dollar amount.
   187. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: November 04, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#568067)
I know they just addressed a significant weakness, but the Phillies did finish 15 games behind the Braves last year, plus behind the World Champs as well.

Sure, both the Braves and Marlins rosters nex year may look different (so may the Phillies), but to say that the Phillies are "pretty clearly the preseason favorites in the NL East" is more than a bit of hyperbole. Certainly, they are in the mix, but I don't believe anyone can reasonably say more than that.
   188. Danny Posted: November 05, 2003 at 05:35 AM (#568069)
The Phillies blew 18 of thier first 51 save oppurtunites...Wagner saved 44 of 47. lets just use Wagner as the save standard for the Phils, and you get 15 more wins. Ties the Braves, eliminates the entirely new postseason.

Most blown saves aren't by a team's closer. Jose Mesa, the Phillies closer last year, had just 4 blown saves. Wagner will be replacing Mesa's innings.

Unless you expect Wagner to pitch Williams, Cormier, Wendell, de los Santos, and Plesac's innings as well, your 15 win statement is ridiculous.
   189. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 05, 2003 at 01:50 PM (#568070)
Most blown saves aren't by a team's closer. Jose Mesa, the Phillies closer last year, had just 4 blown saves. Wagner will be replacing Mesa's innings.

Mesa wasn't the closer all year - Williams, Wendell, and Cormier had some closing chances, also. But the general point being made is valid; most saves are blown by the setup guys before one ever gets to the closer. The Phils do need to improve not only the last guy, but also the guys who get the game to him in the 7th and 8th.

-- MWE
   190. Zac Schmitt Posted: November 05, 2003 at 03:11 PM (#568071)
last year, the phils made a big deal out of going after tom glavine. this year they might lose kevin millwood, so shouldn't they be going after bartolo colon or someone else who can g ive them good innings? or was that big free agent spending thing a one time deal?
   191. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 07, 2003 at 02:41 AM (#568075)
What's really interesting about all of this is that the Phillies weren't even really all that bad in terms of blowing leads in the late innings.

The Phillies blew 4 of 77 leads in the 7th inning (5.2% of the total leads they held). That was the lowest percentage of blown leads in the 7th in the NL.

The Phillies blew 7 of 78 leads that they held in the eighth inning (9.0%). That was the sixth highest percentage of blown leads in the 8th in the NL.

The Phillies blew 4 of 76 leads that they held in the ninth inning (5.3%). That was the seventh lowest percentage of blown leads in the 9th in the NL.

The Phils blew 1 lead in extra innings. Only five other teams blew an extra-inning lead; the Diamondbacks did it three times, the only team to which it happened more than once.

The bigger problem for the Phillies, as you can see, was that they held late-inning leads less than half the time.

-- MWE
   192. Brian K. Posted: December 04, 2003 at 03:57 AM (#569151)
Since noone knew two hours ago, how much are the Phils picking up in terms of Milton's salary?
   193. NTNgod Posted: December 04, 2003 at 04:16 AM (#569152)
how much are the Phils picking up in terms of Milton's salary?

All of it:
   194. Noffs Posted: December 04, 2003 at 10:45 AM (#569155)

I think the player's actually not on the 40 man roster, and they're waiting to make sure he doesn't get taken in the Rule V draft. Apparently this happened to the Twins a while back (see the Clutch Hit on the trade).
   195. Jason Posted: December 04, 2003 at 12:51 PM (#569156)
Actually if a player is rule V elligible he can't be named until after the draft, see Brewers-D-backs.
   196. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2003 at 01:10 PM (#569157)
Milton's decent, but I don't think he's a $9M pitcher, so the Twins did well to move him without taking on salary in return. That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Milton's better than Millwood this season (not entirely through Milton's merits).
   197. Edmundo Posted: December 04, 2003 at 01:50 PM (#569158)
Does anyone else wonder why Silva was thought to have "closer" potential, or be a potential 2 or 3 starter? I've heard for two years about his great stuff, but I don't see it. His ball moves only a bit and he has struck out 4.5 batters per game. On the plus side, he has solid control (3 walks/game) and keeps the ball down and in the park (11 in 171 innings), which is his saving grace. He's a useful reliever who can throw a lot of innings, I don't see why he couldn't pitch more than the 80-odd innings he's pitched each of the last two years.
   198. Paul Posted: December 04, 2003 at 02:22 PM (#569159)
This amounts to the Phillies renting a potentially good lefty starter for one year at $9 million. Punto is Tomas Perez-lite, and Silva absolutely is nothing -- just check his stats. And if things don't work well this year for the Phils, Ed Wade will have plenty of salary coming off the payroll: Milton, Wagner, Cormier.
   199. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2003 at 08:23 PM (#569164)
I'd be willing to settle for Madson as a #5. Hell, on the Pirates, he'd probably be the #3.
   200. MM1f Posted: December 04, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#569167)
Just dumping the money makes it a good deal for the Twins.
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