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Offseason Rumors: Yea or Nay

Posted By Bill Baer On December 8, 2009 @ 5:45 am In MLB,Philadelphia Phillies | 9 Comments

The Phillies have been linked to many names, even after adding Dewayne Wise, Juan Castro, Brian Schneider, and Placido Polanco. Among potential additions are Brandon Lyon, J.J. Putz, John Smoltz, and even Aroldis Chapman. The Phils are also thinking about bringing some familiar faces back such as Chan Ho Park, Scott Eyre, and Chad Durbin.

This won’t be an extensive study of each player, but a simple yea or nay with a couple of supporting facts. Feel free to share your opinions by writing a comment below.

Let’s start with the familiar faces we could see in 2010:

  • Chan Ho Park: Yea, only if he’s brought back as a reliever, and for a similar salary as in 2009. Reports say that he’s still looking for a starting job somewhere. He needs to suck it up and admit he’s just not a starter anymore. He’s an elite seventh-inning reliever. Throughout his career, opposing batters hit for a .030 higher OPS against Park as a starter than as a reliever, and that includes his 1996-2001 seasons when he was, in fact, a decent starter
  • Chad Durbin: Nay. His 2008 season was a complete fluke. Relievers of his ilk are a dime a dozen. The Phillies paid him $1.635 million last year. They can get similar production for a fraction of the price, hopefully by calling up an arm from the Minor League system (Scott Mathieson, please).
  • Scott Eyre: Yea. Over his career, he’s held left-handed hitters to a mere .717 OPS, and the Phillies could use a LOOGY considering J.C. Romero spent most of the 2009 season on the disabled list after a questionable 50-game suspension. GM Ruben Amaro was quoted as saying that Eyre “may have priced himself out of our range”.
  • Pedro Martinez: Yea, but only if it means that the Phillies are going to trade Joe Blanton to acquire an elite reliever or Roy Halladay. That seems unlikely, so I’d otherwise prefer the Phillies spend the money on the reliever they’re looking for.

Now let’s look at potential newcomers.

  • Brandon Lyon: Nay. He made $4.25 million in 2009, and isn’t likely to take a significant pay cut. His two best seasons as a reliever have come last year and in ’07, but the Phillies are going to use him like they use Ryan Madson. That’s just not worth spending $4 million on, and the Phillies’ officials agree. Lyon is also looking for a multi-year deal.
  • J.J. Putz: Yea, but only on a relatively cheap, short-term, incentive-laden deal. Putz was an elite reliever in 2006 and ’07, but has spent time on the disabled list in each of the past two seasons. The Phillies should go after Putz only if they feel like they can compete even if he is hurt, and are able to adequately replace him. If Putz is still unsigned in late January, and the Phillies have made at least one other signing of a reliever, Putz would be a great low-risk, high-reward signing.
  • George Sherill: Yea. The Dodgers are looking to trade Sherill to bolster their starting rotation, and to clear up some payroll space if possible. With Scott Eyre more likely to retire than to return to Philadelphia, Sherrill is just the kind of elite reliever the Phillies are looking for in return for Joe Blanton. It’s a perfect match: the Dodgers balance the middle of their starting rotation without taking on a heavy contract (Blanton will likely make $5-6 million in arbitration), and the Phillies get their LOOGY and potential replacement for Brad Lidge if he struggles (since everyone seems to have soured on Ryan Madson’s prospects as a closer).
  • Roy Halladay: Yea. For obvious reasons. Requires a perfect storm, as Andy Martino details.
  • John Smoltz: Nay. The Phillies can get similar production out of the #5 spot in the rotation with arms already on the team payroll, such as Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, or Antonio Bastardo.
  • Aroldis Chapman: Yea. For obvious reasons. However, I can’t see the Phillies actually winning this one with their self-inflicted limited payroll.
  • Adam Everett: Yea. I’m sorry I keep mentioning him whenever I get a chance, but I simply have a man-crush on him. He is an elite defender by any fielding metric you choose to use. While he has only played shortstop in his Major League career, it wouldn’t be much to ask him to make a spot start at second or third base, depending on how the Phillies choose to use Placido Polanco when Chase Utley is given a day off. He’s light with the bat (just like Eric Bruntlett and Juan Castro) but his defense is exceptional, and he only made $1 million last year. I don’t think he’s ever been on the Phillies’ radar, unfortunately. [EDIT: Everett re-signed with the Detroit Tigers. See comments.]

What do you think? Which players should the Phillies target? Who should they ignore? Are they looking past anybody?


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