The Phillies, In A Nutshell

With the Miami Marlins signing Chone Figgins to a Minor League contract, I looked up the least valuable players over the last two years. As you would expect, Figgins is way up there.

Rk Player WAR PA From To Age
1 Greg Dobbs -2.6 781 2011 2012 32-33
2 Wilson Valdez -2.5 508 2011 2012 33-34
3 Chone Figgins -2.4 507 2011 2012 33-34
4 Ben Francisco -2.2 500 2011 2012 29-30
5 Adam Dunn -2.2 1145 2011 2012 31-32
6 Ty Wigginton -2.1 806 2011 2012 33-34
7 Ryan Raburn -2.1 640 2011 2012 30-31
8 Yuniesky Betancourt -2.0 812 2011 2012 29-30
9 Raul Ibanez -2.0 1000 2011 2012 39-40
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/8/2013.

If your memory is sharp, you’ll notice that a whopping six of the nine players on the Least Valuable Players in the Last Two Years list have had some involvement with the Phillies in the not-too-distant past. If you’re an optimist, you can look at it as, “hey, at least most of those years didn’t actually come with the Phillies.”

Leave a Reply



  1. Kyle

    February 08, 2013 07:25 PM

    When I first went through the list, I thought, “Well, at least only one of them is still on the team.”

    Then I realized the list doesn’t include Michael Young. Or Delmon Young. Or Michael Martinez.

    It’s gonna be a long season, huh?

  2. Phan Analysis

    February 08, 2013 07:58 PM

    The phillies’ brass just wanna play contrarian to the whole sabre community. Amaro says to scouting department “Find me the guys with the worst possible WAR values available, cause I want em”

    How has that worked out for you so far Roob?

  3. Richard

    February 08, 2013 09:46 PM

    well… you could also say this:

    they got good value out of Valdez, then unloaded him, after which he cratered

    both of Dobbs’ seasons came after they cut ties with him

    Ibanez had a brutal season his last year, after which they showed zero interest in bringing him back (the advisability of his original contract being a separate matter)

    they unloaded Francisco after the first of his two seasons represented (wow, rWAR really does NOT like his defense, does it?)

    they took a flyer on Wigginton (with Howard down) and he sucked, so they didn’t bring him back

    Betancourt is only signed to a minor league deal, which is at this point essentially meaningless

    Michael Martinez – well, he sucks, but he has had almost no impact on their fortune, good or bad, the two years he’s been with the team, and I doubt we see much of him going forward

    as for the Youngs, those pickups certainly annoy the crap out of me… I can almost see taking a gamble on Michael Young’s hitting bouncing back in a new setting, well enough to offset his fielding, though I’m not optimistic about that…. Delmon Young has no upside, but then I’m not really expecting he’ll get a lot of playing time, Amaro’s pie-in-the-sky remarks notwithstanding.

  4. hk

    February 09, 2013 06:34 AM


    Unless I’m misinterpreting your comment, it seems to me that you are giving the GM credit for not bringing Wigginton back and absolving him of blame for trading for him in the first place (as it was only a “flyer” that RAJ took on Wigginton because he had to replace the 1B). To me, the Wigginton signing is pretty symbolic of everything that has gone wrong here over the past few years and Wigginton was to 2012 as I expect Delmon Young will be to 2013. They traded for Wigginton (and $2M of his contract) for his age 34 season following three seasons when he combined for -0.9 fWAR. Were you surprised when he produced below replacement level performance? I wasn’t. RAJ probably was. The sad part of the Wigginton trade isn’t as much that RAJ took a “flyer” on an old, declining veteran and received a year of further decline, it is that the GM’s overspending ways have backed him into a corner where he has to take “flyers” on, and give significant playing time to, stiffs like Qualls, Wigginton and now Delmon Young.

  5. Richard

    February 09, 2013 09:39 AM

    I do give him a little credit for not bringing Wigginton back. I agree with the rest of your comment. No, I was not surprised Wigginton was terrible, though it’s not immediately obvious to me what should have been done with the knowledge that Howard was going to be out for roughly the first half of the season. (Granting that signing Howard to his ridiculous extension in the first place was the main reason they were in that position.) Probably going for someone like Josh Willingham, etc.

    My comment was meant to give the Phillies some credit for recognizing when terrible play happens in front of them – they do not retain the players. Their problem – and at this date it is indeed a major failing – is being unable to identify, through the use of prevailing statistical evidence, those players who will mostly likely be terrible if they sign them or trade for them.

  6. Brady

    February 09, 2013 10:19 AM

    I say if the Phils want to put a team together that isn’t up to par with the rest of the league why not give Ruf full playing time in left, Brown in right, Asche at third, Aumont, Defratus, Stutes, Bastardo, Horst, Valdes as our relievers, Pettibone and Martin competing for the 5th spot in the rotation. At least we would be paying minimums and giving the youth a shot rather than (in my view) over paying for the same production.

  7. jauer

    February 09, 2013 10:20 AM

    “Their problem – and at this date it is indeed a major failing – is being unable to identify, through the use of prevailing statistical evidence, those players who will mostly likely be terrible if they sign them or trade for them.”

    Which is, like, the only job of a GM.

  8. Richard

    February 09, 2013 10:42 AM

    well, it’s not the only job, but it would seem to be some of importance, yes

  9. Kingofzed

    February 10, 2013 02:38 PM

    To be fair they are all low dollar player including BOTH of the Young’s (partial thanks to the Rangers for paying half of Michael s pay).

  10. hk

    February 10, 2013 04:00 PM

    Since when is a player who cost a prospect and will be paid $7.2M considered a low dollar player?

  11. Mark

    February 11, 2013 04:18 PM

    Or reading this post one would think the Phillies have had some of the worst everyday players on their roster at some point over the last two years.

  12. Phillie697

    February 12, 2013 11:07 AM

    I would like to hope that these RAJ defenders would still be around to engage in vigorous debate when the Phillies suck for the next 5 years. Unfortunately, they’re just as likely to stop paying attention to baseball altogether. It’s hard to be emotionally invested in the long-term welfare of the team when all you want to do is keep thinking they are good until proven otherwise, at which point you’ll just conveniently stop caring.

    Wait a minute… That’s probably the mindset of RAJ!!! I’m on to something here…

  13. Cutter

    February 14, 2013 09:21 AM

    Don’t worry, I’ll be around, even if they do suck. If I could survive the late 80s and 90’s, I can certainly survive a little rebuilding.

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