Phillies Sign “Players” to “Low-Risk” Deals

Have you ever thought, “man, Freddy Galvis is great. I wonder if there is a way to get his anemic bat but without his great defensive abilities?” It turns out that there is! And Ruben Amaro, Jr. has found it:


GIF courtesy of Brew Crew Ball

That’s Yuniesky Betancourt! He does that kind of thing a lot, because he’s really bad at fielding. He’s also bad at hitting, and baserunning. If you were the type that liked pithy summaries for things, you might say he is bad at baseball. Very bad at baseball. He is a bad baseball player. Teams often sign bad baseball players, often to minor league deals, which is what the Phillies have handed Betancourt. They do this because there is a certain institutional appreciation for players that have played at the major league level before, regardless of their actual performance while there. Supposedly there is some intrinsic value to having big league plate appearances under your belt, possibly because there is some certainty that your performance will probably not be worse than — well, some arbitrarily poor value. For teams with well-established lineups, there is not much harm in that besides fan frustration. Sure, the Yuniesky Betancourts might get the 80 to 100 plate appearances that some org player may have gotten in some kind of depth emergency, but how many net runs could that really cost you?

Yuniesky Betancourt will seek to test the limits of that question with the Phillies this season, in a lineup that is far from established. By all indications he is up to the challenge. He’s subtracted at least one win above replacement worth of value from his team in three of the last four seasons, by Baseball-Reference’s flavor of WAR. Last season, he managed that feat (-1.2 WAR) despite being given only 228 plate appearances in which to do so. In sum, from 2009-2012, Betancourt has been 5.6 wins worse than replacement. Sure, there are 12 qualified hitters with worse wOBAs than him over that time period, such as Gerald Laird, Pedro Feliz, and Paul Janish. But Betancourt has a worse on-base percentage than all of them, and has been inexplicably awarded more plate appearances. And (and!) his defense is well-represented by the above .gif. UZR isn’t really my bag, but if you’re into it, you’d be interested to know that only two players have accumulated a worse UZR/150 in that four year period than Betancourt’s -12.0 — Dexter Fowler (-13.1), and Jermaine Dye (-26.1).

But hey, it’s OK! It’s just a minor league deal. I say this all of the time. Who cares about minor league deals? This is comforting until you consider that the Phillies have at least 2 projected-everyday players that should be, at most, playing on minor league deals: the Youngs Michael and Delmon. And that the utility infielder depth chart on Charlie Manuel‘s desk currently reads “Freddy Galvis” and “y’know, like, Kevin Frandsen??” As with the Delmon Young contract, it’s time to stop pretending that Ruben Amaro signs “low-risk” contracts and it’s not a big deal. Because there is risk. There is the risk that Yuniesky Betancourt will get significant playing time on the major league squad (I’d bet my house on at least 50 plate appearances), and, like Delmon Young, will actively subtract value from a team that currently looks to be a long shot for the second wild card. There is also the risk (in my book, the certainty), that this deal further confirms our suspicions about Ruben Amaro, Jr.: that he does not know how to identify and acquire good baseball players. For the 2013 Phillies and their front office, there are no low-risk deals. We should have learned this by now.

Betancourt wasn’t the only laugher of an inking today. The Phillies also signed 2008 alumnus Chad Durbin to a $1.1 million dollar deal with incentives and a 2014 club option. The bullpen actually looks to be one of the highlights of 2013, so this isn’t necessarily much to gripe about. There are plenty of arms that figure to be good-to-elite in Papelbon, Adams, and Bastardo to take the lion’s share of important innings, whether or not Durbin is on the roster. But that’s the odd thing — Justin DeFratus, Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, and Philippe Aumont are available to sop up the remainder at minimum cost. It’s possible that no combination of them can be serviceable, but not probable. You can never have too much bullpen depth, but Chad Durbin is a strange kind of “depth” at $1.1 million, an amount clearly predicated just on the strength of a resurgent 2012. Maybe Durbin will again post a sub-.260 BABIP to do charity for his unfortunate walk rates (10.9% last season), but I wouldn’t count on it. The Phillies should sooner have left their chips with the young arms roulette wheel.

If the veteran-ness of the Youngs and Betancourt is somehow comforting to the stumbling, directionless front office that acquired them, Durbin will be doubly so. If you can’t identify the good players that can help you build a good baseball team, why not go with the names that get tossed around the most, the names that everyone has heard before? Even better, why not go and get the names you already know?

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85 comments

  1. Mark

    January 29, 2013 03:58 PM

    Cutter,

    I don’t even know how to respond. A player’s worth isn’t simply what a team is willing to pay him. Are you arguing that Howard is worth $125mm to the Phillies simply because they are willing to pay him that much?????? If that’s the case, you make it impossible to judge a GM based on contracts he’s given out since by your logic every player is worth the contract he signed. This makes no sense.

  2. Pencilfish

    January 29, 2013 04:16 PM

    Phillie697,

    Your statement about Howard’s contract misses the fact he’s coming back from a serious injury. A-Rod is expected back after the All-Star break, but Cashman said he could possibly miss the entire season. It would be interesting to see how you access his contract then.

    As for admitting wrong, and I assume you are talking about Howard’s contract, it is hard to admit anything when you lack evidence. Let’s see how Howard performs this year before saying anything.

    I should note that in BB’s January 8 piece “Ranking What’s Left of the Free Agent Outfielders”, you defended the idea of getting Hairston for 1M. Jon Heyman reported today that Hairston got a 2-yr/5M deal from the Cubs. He could make an additional 1M in performance bonuses. Back then, I said Hairston would sign for 1M only in a fantasy baseball league. I was right.

    We all (myself included) associate success with winning the WS (which RAJ hasn’t done yet), but the GM’s job is to get the team into the post-season. Once there, anything can happen, and the best team does not always win (Check how often the team with the best regular-season record has won the WS). In that regard, RAJ has done his job, but the team has not.

    RAJ already made his splashes in years past (Halladay, Lee, etc). He stated his intentions very early in the off-season and said he planned to spend frugally in hopes the aging core can carry the team back into the post-season. The health and performance of that core is key in 2013. The Youngs, Revere, Betancourt, Adams, etc are just the supporting cast and will only impact the team’s fate marginally. Therefore, the hysteria surrounding the supporting cast is not worth the effort. Also, RAJ will have significant financial flexibility to add more players in July if the team is competitive. If the core fails, it won’t matter whom we add.

    I sense many of you wanted RAJ to spend this off-season on players (ie, the Uptons, Hamilton, Sanchez, Bourn, etc) that you think could change the team’s fate, but save for Hamilton, these guys are all supporting cast, too. I believe RAJ wisely chose NOT to give long-term deals to any of them. If he decides to rebuild the core in 2014, he will have much needed financial flexibility. That strategy is something I wholeheartedly agree with.

    In summary, if I had to assign a grade to RAJ in his 4-yr tenure so far, I would give him a “B”. I think this is a much fairer evaluation that the “F” you have given him.

  3. Cutter

    January 29, 2013 04:17 PM

    @Mark –

    Sorry, I should have said a player costs what someone is willing to pay for him.

    It would be nice they could just say, “Let’s pay Ryan Howard $5 million a year.” But that’s not how baseball works.

    @Phillie697 –

    You just identified the reason why teams don’t have sustained success.

    You should really stop making Yankees comparisons too. The Phillies are a big money team for sure, but they’re not even close to a situation like the Yankees.

    And if you’re not going to give Amaro credit for the “obvious” moves, then why are you so enamored of Cashman?

    Signing Sabathia, and trading for Granderson and A-Rod weren’t exactly “clever” moves.

    As for this line: “It’s not being clever.”

    Finally, you’ve said something I agree with.

  4. Mark

    January 29, 2013 04:36 PM

    Cutter,

    What’s the point then if you meant to say a player costs what someone is willing to pay for him? That seems obvious.

    My point was Amaro seems to overpay players pretty frequently. In Howard’s case, it’s a gross overpay. If Amaro thinks Howard is worth $25mm/yr when he clearly is not or that a closer is worth $15mm/yr, why should we have any faith in his ability to make the Phillies into contenders again?

  5. Cutter

    January 29, 2013 04:56 PM

    My point is that a player’s cost, value, and availability rarely all line up together.

    Don’t worry about the amount of money the Phillies have to spend next year, as they’ll have plenty of money available.

    If you’re worried about not having an influx of young talent as good as the guys who’ll be leaving…then you have a valid concern.

  6. Mark

    January 29, 2013 05:10 PM

    As a fan I am worried about the amount of money the Phillies have to spend next year because Amaro has already demonstrated that he’s not exactly the best at allocating that money in the smartest way. I read too many articles after the Howard extension stating that his contract wouldn’t get in the way of them going after other players. How can it not when he’s being paid $25mm/yr through 2016 and he’s not even worth close to $20mm/year?

  7. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 07:31 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    It’s 4 years in. You don’t think RAJ should already be in the midst of forming his own core? And the fact that he hasn’t doesn’t sound insane to you? With $180M? What is he going to build this new core in 2014 you speak of from? The imaginary 26-28 year old players that will magically appear on the market that he will never sign anyway? You don’t realize, this team, under RAJ, WILL stay old, until such time as he is kicked to the curb.

    And I don’t have to wait for the ARod v. Howard analysis. ARod has ALREADY produced 17.9 fWAR on his contract. Anything from here on out is icing on the cake for the purpose of that analysis, because Howard will be lucky to produce 5 fWAR on his (since he’s already down 1). The next thing to go for Howard will be that prodigious power of his, and it’s already shown decline the last few years. When that goes, he’ll have nothing left as a player. In fact, you better hope his tendency to swing more as his power declines doesn’t continue, otherwise he’s liable to enter the Douchbag Young zone.

    WRT Hairston, what’s there to be right about? We said at the time IF Hairston can be had for $1M, then we should sign him. He couldn’t, and we didn’t. Did I miss something? Did someone else sign him for $1M or we sign him for more than $1M? You didn’t think he could be signed for $1M, and I think the responses were, “well, fine then we don’t sign him.” Nobody’s been wrong yet.

    I don’t mean just Howard’s contract. I mean the Pence trade (is that one too early to tell yet still?), the Papelbon signing (I know that one you’ll claim is too early to tell, and in fact I KNOW you’ll never admit to that one, because you’ll never admit that the $50M we spent on him can be spent elsewhere), signing Hamels too late, etc, etc, etc. I can’t wait until this off-season when your B GM supposedly have all this money that you keep saying he’ll have to spend. It ought to be comical.

  8. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 07:37 PM

    @Cutter,

    If all RAJ did was obvious moves, yes, I will agree, he’ll be a good GM. GMs that are on the whole par for the course are pretty much the majority of the GMs out there. And I’d be fine with that. You seem to want to focus on the deals individually, dismiss the bad ones as occasional misses, and the obvious ones as the second coming of Jesus. Like I said, even Douchbag Betancourt was right in at 67 out of his 3661 ABs of his career. Doesn’t make him even a passable player.

  9. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 07:44 PM

    BTW, money alone doesn’t win crap. At $5M a war, $180M buys you 36 wins, and that is IF you don’t overspend on anybody. If I remember correctly, a team of replacement players is suppose to win 42 games. 78 wins gets you nowhere, and that is IF you spend all your money without overspending. Considering that we’ve already got a bunch of dead weight, that’ll never happen. You need to find SOME efficiency somewhere to win. There is NONE in this RAJ-constructed team, and if you think that wad of cash he’s going to have soon is going to make any difference, well, I guess you can keep on wishing.

  10. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 08:18 PM

    Just read this in the Fangraphs comment section. “Has any other team intentionally spent an offseason acquiring all the worst players in baseball from the year before?”

    *Starts Singing*… “A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere–or a cataclysmic earthquake I’d accept with some despair. But no, you sent Amaro–Good God, Sir, was that fair?”

    Okay, I think I have finally exercised the demons within me caused by RAJ’s signing of the Douchbag brothers. I will stop peppering your comments section with my RAJ babble, Bill.

  11. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 08:19 PM

    I meant “excised,” not “exercised.”

  12. LTG

    January 29, 2013 11:02 PM

    ‘exorcised’? I don’t think you actually cut the demons out of you, although I haven’t studied demonology yet.

  13. Phillie697

    January 29, 2013 11:22 PM

    @LTG,

    I’m not a priest, so excised might be a more plausible option ;-)

  14. Cutter

    January 30, 2013 09:11 AM

    @Mark –

    Didn’t stop them from signing Lee, Papelbon, or Hamels.

    @Phillie697 –

    “At $5M a war, $180M buys you 36 wins, and that is IF you don’t overspend on anybody. If I remember correctly, a team of replacement players is suppose to win 42 games. 78 wins gets you nowhere, and that is IF you spend all your money without overspending.”

    You’ve got to get over your WAR/dollar obsession. That’s not how baseball economics really work.

    “You need to find SOME efficiency somewhere to win. There is NONE in this RAJ-constructed team”

    Efficiency is overrated, especially if you’ve got the money to spend. Anwyay, the outfield and middle relievers are mostly young and cheap so isn’t that an example of efficiency?

    “You seem to want to focus on the deals individually, dismiss the bad ones as occasional misses, and the obvious ones as the second coming of Jesus.”

    Well, that’s because the big deals such as acquiring Halladay and Lee are the ones that are really going to influence how the season goes.

    You’re focusing on players like Delmon Young and Betancourt who probably won’t have much effect on the team’s chances and can be easily gotten rid of.

    “The imaginary 26-28 year old players that will magically appear on the market that he will never sign anyway?”

    Justin Upton was available this year. Chances are, someone similar will be available in the future.

    “It’s 4 years in. You don’t think RAJ should already be in the midst of forming his own core? And the fact that he hasn’t doesn’t sound insane to you? ”

    You act like this is 4 years into a complete rebuilding process. He’s had 4 years of a championship caliber team, and therefore his top priority has been trying to win another World Series, not build up a young core.

    Despite what some people believe, teams do have championship windows.

    Yet SOMEHOW in your irrational pessimism and Amaro-hate, you identified the real problem:

    The farm system is not producing top players, and hasn’t since Ed Wade’s tenure.

    @Pencilfish –

    You seem to be the only one who can see things clearly. Drop me a line on Twitter if you’re on it.

  15. Mark

    January 30, 2013 10:49 AM

    Cutter,

    My point with the Howard contract was more that it’s wasted resources. It’s money that could and should be going to someone more productive. Same with Papelbon’s contract. As it’s been stated multiple times, Amaro knows how to spend money. It’s not a unique skill.

    A necessary skill that Amaro hasn’t shown he possesses is the ability to identify good, young hitters. And the farm systems is not producing now because Amaro has shown no desire to develop those players. He has gotten rid of almost of every top prospect since he became GM. Three of the prospects he traded to Houston for Pence are in Houston’s top 10 prospect rankings. Jonathan Singleton will most likely make his major league debut as a 22 year old. And what do they have to show for it? Barely a year’s worth of Hunter Pence, who did nothing to get the team over the top. He’s traded away their youngest starter in Vance Worley, traded other top prospects like Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose (who made his MLB debut at 22). All for this Amaro has created an older, more expensive roster with a very small window. And for this he deserves credit?? If he took the 2008 team and did nothing at all, they would be no worse than they are now. And yet you and Pencilfish are the ones who see clearly? I’m all for being optimistic when it comes to the Phillies, but this is delusional. Let’s hope ownership doesn’t take your view because we only have to look at the Mets to see what happens when a GM ignores the farm systems and rolls the dice with a roster past its prime.

  16. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 11:22 AM

    Gotta love people who continue to believe good things are going to happen despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but like I said, for fans of baseball teams, that’s not such a bad quality, so I guess the only thing I can say is, keep on hoping, and if by some divine miracle things fall the way you hope (I wouldn’t bet my house on it… I wouldn’t even bet my lunch money on it), then while it’d certainly be embarrassing for a lot of us (although that never did seem to faze you, so we have that going for us), at least we’ll take solace in the fact that our team is doing well :) Kinda like a win-win I guess :)

  17. Pencilfish

    January 30, 2013 11:28 AM

    Cutter,

    Exactly, the real problem is that the farm system is not producing top players since Ed Wade’s tenure. I think this is partly from low draft picks (due to the Phillies recent regular-season records) and partly due to the loss of several talent evaluators such as Mike Arbuckle and Chuck LaMar. I don’t know if the departures signal disagreement with RAJ’s team philosophy, but this is a concern.

    Most fans are fixated on signing top FA’s, but they miss the point. It’s not a given that top FA signings lead to post-season success (2009 Yankees a glaring exception). Just look at the Angels and Marlins. Good (and lasting) teams are formed from within (Yankees, Giants, Tigers, Cards, Rays and Phillies).

    Phillie697 and others are correct to point out that teams like St. Louis and Tampa continually produce good players regardless of their draft position, so I was glad to hear the Phillies brought back Ed Wade December 2011. It may take a while to see results, but I think Ed will help us in future drafts.

  18. Mark

    January 30, 2013 11:45 AM

    Pencilfish,

    Then doesn’t Amaro deserve the blame for giving up key draft picks in order to sign Ibanez and Papelbon? Does he deserve blame for not offering Burrell arbitration after the 2008 season? If accepted arbitration, the Phillies would have had him for a reasonable one year deal. If he declined, the Phillies would have received draft picks from the team signing him. People talk about the lack of production from the Phillies farm system as though it just kind of happened on its own. No, Amaro neglected the farm system, carelessly gave away draft picks and traded away top prospects. Let’s at least be honest here.

  19. Cutter

    January 30, 2013 12:56 PM

    @Mark –

    I’ve been saying that all along. If you want to criticize Amaro, it shouldn’t be because he may have overpaid to obtain and retain good players. It shouldn’t be because he acquired low risk guys like Young or Betancourt.

    It should be because the minor leagues aren’t producing top level talent. (And it can’t be all blamed on the trades since none of the players traded away has established himself at the major league level yet)

    I’ll also make this qualifier: The draft system was specifically put into place to promote parity. Rich, successful teams are at a disadvantage.

  20. Pencilfish

    January 30, 2013 02:04 PM

    Mark,

    I gave him a “B”, didn’t I? We lost several farm players in trades and FA signings, but as Cutter said, how many of them have come back to haunt us since RAJ became the GM? By my count, none so far, though Travis d’Arnaud may become the first one in 2013.

    All those trades and FA signings yielded 3 post-season appearances. Shouldn’t RAJ get credit for that? It isn’t like we are the 2012 Marlins or Angels, who made big waves in FA, but missed the post-season.

    Two facts you should keep in mind:

    1) Ed Wade’s re-hiring should help the farm.
    2) RAJ’s unwillingness to trade for Justin Upton, Josh Willingham or Jason Kubel and/or sign Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, etc is a sign that RAJ values his minor league players more than any of these guys.

  21. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 02:10 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    What you’re saying is then, that he values his minor league players so much that they are better than Justin fing Upton, but not over Ben Revere? I don’t even…

  22. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 02:26 PM

    FYI, just because the prospects we traded away hasn’t come back and hurt us doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have developed into usable pieces for US if they had stuck around. People talk about change of scenery, that works both ways. Sometimes you get out of a bad situation, and you relax and do better. Conversely, you get out of a good situation, you might not feel as comfortable and do worse. I’m not saying that’s what happened, and prospect projections are fickle, but your “results-based” analysis is just your refusal to see that under RAJ’s rein (thus far, so no more of that “we were going for it” argument again), there has been ZERO focus on developing in-house talent. Even the ONE blue-chip prospect he stubbornly kept around was mishandled so badly that most baseball people get a puzzled look when the name Dom Brown is mentioned in a conversation.

    You’re right Cutter, it’s not just about the money. But the money is important, because if you can’t do player development right, you better be fing flawless with the money. And he didn’t do that either. “Well, that’s because the big deals such as acquiring Halladay and Lee are the ones that are really going to influence how the season goes.” So what, Howard’s deal isn’t a “big deal” then? Nor Papelbon and his 1.4 WAR for $12.5M? I wasn’t exaggerating when I said you cherry-pick.

  23. Pencilfish

    January 30, 2013 02:45 PM

    Phillie697,

    I said RAJ values his minor leaguers more than the players we didn’t sign or trade for. Revere was not mentioned. You tried (again) to rationalize my comments through the prism of your extreme dislike for RAJ.

    I am not exaggerating when I say you distort my comments.

  24. Cutter

    January 30, 2013 02:56 PM

    Can we get over this “Dom Brown was mishandled” myth?

    Brown has been injured, and during his playing time he has played just okay. He certainly hasn’t lived up to his top prospect status.

    Would he have benefitted from being sent down to the minors at the end of 2011? Perhaps, but there’s also a case for letting him watch and learn from a winning team.

    Brown was given the majority of the playing time down the stretch in 2012 and is currently projected as a starting outfielder. He is being given a chance.

    So what exactly did the Phillies do to him that was so horrible?

  25. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 02:57 PM

    Pencilfish,

    Did he or did he not trade for Revere? “RAJ’s unwillingness to trade for Justin Upton, Josh Willingham or Jason Kubel and/or sign Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, etc is a sign that RAJ values his minor league players more than any of these guys.” So you’re saying it’s NOT logical to assume from your comment that you think RAJ thought Revere was worth more than Justin Upton? I mean, you’re free to answer “yes” to that question, go ahead, but don’t claim that I distorted anything. I’m simply asking if that’s what you are concluding.

  26. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 02:58 PM

    @Cutter,

    Well, if that’s your opinion, then there is nothing I can say to change it. I think I’ll just rely the opinions on the scores and scores of baseball people rather than you, no offense.

  27. Cutter

    January 30, 2013 03:05 PM

    “So what, Howard’s deal isn’t a “big deal” then? Nor Papelbon and his 1.4 WAR for $12.5M?”

    If you’re unable to look past your WAR/dollars value scale, then there’s no way for you to understand.

    Papelbon was a productive player for the 2012 Phillies. Howard was not, but I blame that on the injury. In a way, I think his absence might have proven how much value he does have to the team.

    I am optimistic that both players will be productive in 2013.

    Are they overpaid? Possibly, but sometimes you have to overpay to get productive players.

    “there has been ZERO focus on developing in-house talent”

    I’m not sure what this even means. I’m pretty sure the Phillies have continued to scout players, and I’m pretty sure they are instructed in the minor leagues.

    Have they traded prospects for shorter term gains? Yes, but considering the circumstances, that’s probably the right move.

    It’s a tough sell to both fans and the veterans on the team to tell them, “Hey we’ve got a good chance to win the World Series this year. And I know there’s a move or two which could put us over the top. But I’m not going to do it, because I’d have to give away a couple of prospects who might possibly be good in 2015.

  28. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 03:07 PM

    @Cutter,

    Like you said, in a few years, we shall see if your “optimism” is well-founded.

  29. Pencilfish

    January 30, 2013 05:39 PM

    Phillie697,

    The fault in your logic is to assume I implied a comparison between Revere and Upton.

    It is logical to conclude that RAJ thought Revere is more valuable than Worley+minor leaguers. We needed a CF. That’s why the trade was made. In contrast, RAJ thought his minor leaguers are more valuable than Upton, Kubel, etc. Maybe he wants to save them for a July trade or perhaps he views them as potential major-leaguers.

    It all goes back to saying that RAJ views guys like Upton, Bourn, etc as supporting cast only. If I’m right, he wants to see if the aging core can still do it and then add in July, if needed. His moves to clear salary space, make minimal moves and then keep the budget substantially below the cap are all explainable from that point of view.

    Btw, I think the Pence trade was bad because he surrendered too much talent for a one-year rental only. How about that for admitting wrong? However, he got Tommy Joseph in the Giants trade. It will be interesting to see if he becomes Ruiz’s successor in a few years.

  30. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 06:34 PM

    Cosart + Singleton for Tommy Joseph and one year of Hunter Pence is STILL bad, but I get your point.

    The real problem between you/Cutter and me is that you are going on the assumption that the team will be competitive, hence our analysis are totally different. “If I’m right, he wants to see if the aging core can still do it and then add in July, if needed. His moves to clear salary space, make minimal moves and then keep the budget substantially below the cap are all explainable from that point of view.” If we are not competitive in July, then that point is completely moot, since we obviously will not use the spare cap to trade for anything.

    You know what… I take that back. Oh god I take that back. Even IF we’re 45-55 at that point, I can so see RAJ trading a few of our little remaining middling prospects to take on someone else’s salary dump, on the rationale that “no one like him will be on the market this off-season.” Shoot me now…

  31. Pencilfish

    January 30, 2013 11:09 PM

    If we are non-competitive in July, the point is moot, I agree. In which case, next off-season will see us unload Utley, Halladay and Ruiz. However, the Phillies went 44-31 after the All-Star Break last year with a hobbled Halladay and Howard. If both of them and Utley are even 75% (just a random number between 50 and 100) of their former selves, the Phillies should be competitive.

    Regardless of how much RAJ is to blame for where we are now, his strategy for 2013 seems right, ie, let’s not throw much more money into this team until we are convinced it can still compete.

  32. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 11:21 PM

    Only if Douchbag Young doesn’t keep Dom on the bench. If that doesn’t happen, then he hasn’t done anything damaging. That’s a big if tho.

    If Dom had just a .290 BABIP, his OPS would have been around .780. Instead of people saying he hasn’t produced, he’d been hailed as finally starting to fulfill his potential. And that’s WITH his injury. That’s the problem with him: we haven’t given him enough ABs to know, and after the last 3 years, you really can’t blame anyone for not having faith in RAJ’s handling of him.

  33. Phillie697

    January 30, 2013 11:24 PM

    To me, Dom is the dark horse that may actually put us over the hump and make it the post-season. The rest of the roster are pretty well-known quantities (optimism on Howard is just pipe-dream at this point; he hasn’t been productive for 3 years running now, so I can’t believe people still claim it’s injury), and he’s pretty much the only one with any potential for a HUGE improvement that we need. That’s my hope for this team this year: It rides on Dom.

  34. Pencilfish

    January 31, 2013 10:28 AM

    It’s interesting everyone assumed Delmon Young will take AB’s away from Dom Brown. Being a RH bat, it seems more likely he will take AB’s away from Darin Ruf. It will depend on spring training, but I am hoping both Brown and Ruf show enough to convince Charlie that Young should ride the bench instead.

  35. Phillie697

    January 31, 2013 12:00 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    That’s because you’re thinking like someone who knows how to platoon, which Cholly has shown NO aptitude for, EVER. He’s gonna stick someone in there, and if it’s Douchbag Young? That means we’ve got one OF spot for Mayberry/Ruf/Brown, i.e. he’s going to take ABs away from EVERYONE ELSE more deserving.

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