Keri: “Blow up the Phillies”

In a controversial column for Grantland, Jonah Keri argues that the Phillies should enter rebuilding mode, as soon as this summer if things don’t go their way. Keri cites a number of teams that enjoyed prolonged success, as the Phillies did from 2007-11, but did not recognize the ticking clock counting down to midnight. The Phillies’ carriage will, inevitably, turn back into a pumpkin and a good GM will get a good return on his dwindling assets before they become albatrosses.

Quite a few notable players can become free agents after the season: starter Roy Halladay (whose option for 2014 almost certainly will not vest), second baseman Chase Utley, and catcher Carlos Ruiz. Note that each of the three plays at a premium position, which means two things: one, that the Phillies can get better value due to positional scarcity; and two, that the players will be harder to replace adequately in the future outside of a trade. Michael Young will also be a free agent and the outfield situation will still need to be addressed depending on what happens this season with the development of Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf.

The Phillies have about $105 million committed for the 2014 season, and $73.5 million of that is going to three players: Cliff Lee ($25 million), Ryan Howard ($25 million), and Cole Hamels ($23.5 million). The other three with guaranteed salaries are Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million), Jimmy Rollins ($11 million), and Mike Adams ($7 million). Seven players will be eligible for arbitration including Kyle Kendrick (earning $4.5 million in 2013) and John Lannan ($2.5 million), meaning pay raises. So not only do the Phillies need that current list of players to perform well, defying their age and prior injury histories, they have a limited amount of payroll space to address 19 roster spots. The Minor League system, a source of cheap, high-quality talent for many teams, will not be able to help the Phillies much, if at all as it ranks among baseball’s worst.

The Phillies’ flexibility gets worse as the years go on as players, like Howard and Lee, age and become less attractive to other teams looking to bolster their own rosters, meaning the Phillies will be stuck paying their salaries for very little, if any, gain.

Yes, the Phillies have the potential to challenge the Nationals and Braves in the NL East this year, and maybe even next year. Howard could return to his 2010-11 levels of production. The trio of Halladay-Lee-Hamels could rank as baseball’s best 1-2-3 again. Papelbon and Adams could be a lights-out combination at the back of the bullpen. Brown could become the star everyone envisioned him being three years ago. Is it worth the gamble, at the cost of guaranteeing yourself a full stable of MLB-ready players and projectable prospects for years down the road?

Remember, the Nationals and Braves aren’t going away as their rosters are young and talented. The Phillies have to consider that, if they fail to restock after 2013-14, it might be a while before they have the means to challenge NL East supremacy again. And that’s why, objectively speaking, it makes a lot of sense for the Phillies to enter a rebuilding mode sooner rather than later.

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49 comments

  1. bill

    March 05, 2013 06:13 PM

    His points are generally all good ones, but the ownership group might be looking to extent their “contender status” a couple more years until they get that new TV deal. Three more years is probably way too optimistic though.

  2. mratfink

    March 05, 2013 06:21 PM

    I kinda thought it was a given that if the Phils were struggling in the summer that they would blow it up. The harder question is what do they do if they are in contention at the trade deadline? I think this team is good enough to possibly get to the playoffs and as we’ve seen anything can then happen.

    The biggest mistake though would be another pence deal. If we are in contention at the trade deadline, stand pat and don’t make the playoffs, then we can let utley and halladay walk to save money, trade lee and maybe rollins in the offseason and begin the rebuild. you wont get as much as you would over the summer, but i think this is the last year for a while so its ok to place that type of moderate gamble on it.

  3. LTG

    March 05, 2013 06:34 PM

    I read Keri’s article (only because my fiancee sent it to me; I don’t read Grantland generally because it is rather unreliable). And I didn’t think it had a thesis really. While it opened with that quote from Rickey and cherry picked some examples of aging teams that collapsed, it also admitted that blowing up a team is not necessarily the way to avoid a collapse. And then it never said that the Phillies should blow up the team rather than move a couple of pieces while retaining others. It was just a mealy-mouthed, throw-away article not worthy of Keri’s baseball acumen. I see no reason to take it seriously.

  4. LTG

    March 05, 2013 06:48 PM

    “Is it worth the gamble, at the cost of guaranteeing yourself a full stable of MLB-ready players and projectable prospects for years down the road?”

    This myth bothers me. There is no way the Phillies will be able to trade its aging talent for talent that is *guaranteed* to replace it adequately. They’ll either be able to trade for high-upside, unproven prospects or middle-of-the-road, at best, MLB proven younger players. If the former there’s no guarantee the prospects reach their ceiling. If the latter, they’ll just end up with a middle-of-the-road club anyway (and probably worse because RAJ will be looking at the wrong indicators of production in MLB). Blowing-up the team far from guarantees that the Phillies will avoid another deep slump.

    Of course, between standing-pat and blowing-up is a middle path. The Phillies could trade from positions of organizational strength to replace weaknesses at the MLB-level. This strategy depends on the MiLB Cs and Ps developing this year, but it might be possible to move Halladay and Ruiz to get a replacement at 3B or 2B or OF. We could continue to try to compete while rebuilding the team.

  5. Ben

    March 05, 2013 07:15 PM

    Bill, you points are all salient ones. As are Keri’s. I guess one of the important points of the article includes this though:

    “The most likely scenario probably involves a path somewhere in between blowing it all up and doing nothing at all. If Utley can’t stay healthy again this year, the Phillies can just let him walk next winter and look for a younger replacement. There’s a good chance Rollins won’t be back after 2014, no matter what the rest of the team looks like. Carrying Halladay, Lee, and Cole Hamels for the next few years isn’t likely to happen, and we should probably expect one of the three to be gone by next spring, whether by trade or with Halladay pursuing free-agent dreams somewhere else.”

    In reality, how likely would this scenario be? I know he admittedly says, not very. I think the chance that they carry Halladay, Lee and Hamels into the next few seasons is highly likely. Halladay has already made it clear that he wants to stay in Philly till he retires if possible. That, combined with the affection the RAJ has for him, makes another below-market value deal likely in his case. The only way I see him leaving is if his season is injury-marred and the Phils opt not to offer him anything. Hamels isn’t going anywhere I surmise. That’s leave Lee to ponder.

    Would a Lee trade be on the table? After what happened in ’09, I suppose anything is on the table as far as that situation goes. I feel a painful hold on the old guard happening in the near future, regardless of the results on the field. RAJ is too damn loyal for his own good.

  6. Eric

    March 05, 2013 08:57 PM

    “There is no way the Phillies will be able to trade its aging talent for talent that is *guaranteed* to replace it adequately.”

    Exactly. The Phils are not sitting on a lot of marketable commodities. If they are losing, it will be because most of the core players are not performing. If the core players are not performing, nobody will want them.

    Given the contracts involved, if Lee or Halladay has a 4.50 ERA at mideseason, or Utley or Rollins is hitting .240, you’re not getting more than a mediocre prospect back.

    Branch Rickey was right, but Keri is misunderstanding the Phillies situation: it’s ALREADY a year too late. The decision to ride the aging core until they can’t ride no more was made two years ago.

  7. mike

    March 05, 2013 09:39 PM

    As much as I anticipated the maturation of the young Phils a decade ago – Rollins, Utley, Howard, then Ruiz and Hamels – and was thrilled by the organization’s willingness to make key moves to improve – trading for Lee and Halladay, et al – age has become this team’s mortal enemy.

    All sentiment aside, this article makes sense. By the trade deadline, if Utley, Lee, Halladay and/or (oh god, please make it so) Howard are performing well, the Phils should shop them to contenders for a combination of major and minor league talent and so they can shed long-term, albatross contracts.

    They should shed payroll and build up their minor league coffers so they can contend for the years to come against other young teams like the Braves and Nats.

    The Braves have been contenders for 20+ years. It seems no matter who leaves their organization, they always have a solid core and their roster is just a player or two away from excellence. How have they done that? My assumption is their minor league system is always ready to send players up the ladder, or elsewhere in trade.

    The Phils pillaged the farm to buy a contender last decade. Fortunately, their moves bore fruit and we earned another World Series championship. It’s time to replenish and prepare for the next 15 years, and hopefully not have to wait nearly thirty years for our next shot at a ring.

  8. Cheesecrop

    March 05, 2013 09:51 PM

    This year is the 30th anniversary of the 1983 “Wheeze Kids”, & it’s obvious that the same scenario is playing itself out again. The logic is clearly to ride the aging core to one more post-season run, & hope for a repeat of that year, but with a better ending.

    As this page notes, Halladay, Ruiz, & Utley are three fairly good players at positions that offer a lot of average talent in general. If these players walk, we’ll obviously have a fairly good draft next year.

    Technically speaking, the damage has already been done, but don’t discount the club sqeezing throught the back door via the wild-card in 14 or 15. Even if you were to drop the aforementioned players, you’d still have a line-up that presumably features the following:

    C – Tommy Joseph
    1B – Howard
    2B – ? (Galvis?)
    SS – Rollins
    3B – Cody Asche
    LF – Ruf/Mayberry?
    CF – Revere
    RF – Brown

    P – Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, ??? (Lannan, Pettibone, etc.)

    RP – Papelbon, Adams, Aumont, Horst, Valdes, ??? (Diekman, Rosenberg, Stutes, etc.)

    It doesn’t look like a whole lot, but there’s still two top starters, a lot of potential flame-throwers in the pen, & some pop in the offense, along w/a much younger, presumably superior defense. It might be enough to get by, & when you hit the post-season, everything’s up for grabs.

  9. Richard

    March 05, 2013 10:21 PM

    My god, no. There is no “rebuilding phase” for a team with the financial resources of the Phillies. Especially not with a new TV deal in the offing.

  10. Wayne Gomes

    March 05, 2013 10:58 PM

    I’m curious what you guys think the Phillies could get in a trade deadline move for each guy identified in Keri’s article. Not specific players, but the caliber of player. Below are some (wild) guesses.

    I have no idea really what can be obtained in these kinds of deals, which makes my opinion on whether the Phillies should blow it up now, or later, hard to determine. Assume each player performs closer, but not at, their career averages in 2013.

    2013
    1. Halladay – 1 Top 50, 1 Top 100 prospect
    2. Ruiz – 1 Top 100 prospect
    3. Lee – 1 Top 100 prospect + Phils eat some $
    4. Utley – A package of long shots at convenient positions
    5. Papelbon – A package of long shots at convenient positions + Phils eat some money

    In 2013, I’m guessing the Phillies could nab 4 top 100 prospects and some long shots if they blow it up and eat some bad contracts.

    I think the odds are good one of the Wild Card spots will be at least somewhat within reach in July. So is that haul worth passing on a run at a Wild Card spot and the playoff roulette? My initial thought is no, the odds of turning those prospects into multiple major league players seem long — and the 2014, 2015 Phillies will need multiple players without Halladay, Lee, Ruiz and Utley.

    I’d say make a run in 2013. (Probably fail.) Then blow it up in the off-season. Get rid of everyone. Tank 2014, 2015 and get the kind of high draft picks needed to really rebuild a franchise.

  11. LTG

    March 05, 2013 11:26 PM

    WG,

    I can’t find it now, but FG had a couple of articles–I think by Carson Cistulli of all people–about what level of prospect to expect for what level of proven talent. As I recall, Halladay with a dying contract would likely net a B prospect and a C prospect at best. So, no top 50 and maybe a top 100. Lee with his extra year and cash compensation could net an A prospect. So maybe a top 50. Ruiz will get a B prospect at best. I wish I could find those articles to a) check my memory and b) explain in more detail what I just said.

  12. LTG

    March 05, 2013 11:34 PM

    So, Richard has repeated the oft-heard “with resources like the Phillies rebuilding doesn’t exist!” But I worry that if the Phillies slip into a couple of bad teams in a row, the revenue will fall off as well because attendance will drop. While the TV contract will somewhat insulate them from the effect of an attendance drop, it might not be enough. The Phillies are not unique in their TV contract. And if lots of other teams have a similar TV revenue stream the Phillies will not have the same fiduciary advantage they currently enjoy. And, then, well, maybe, they will have to rebuild. They won’t have to become the Rays, but they won’t be able to just keep buying talent (not that I think that is a viable way to win anyway).

  13. Lol

    March 06, 2013 04:19 AM

    How come no one says blow Yankees up then? Team will be fine. Old in baseball is different then football and basketball etc.

  14. boredjake

    March 06, 2013 05:23 AM

    @Lol

    I tend to agree with you. Sure the Phillies are older but they are one year removed from the best record in baseball and last year was -arguably- undermined by a bad bullpen. Had the ‘pen been decent this team could have made the playoffs.

    I agree that the Phillies need to start re-stocking their young talent but not at the expense of “blowing it up.” The Yankees never did and they were a pretty old team in 2009 .

  15. hk

    March 06, 2013 06:42 AM

    Lol,

    The reason no one here suggests blowing up the Yankees is because this is a Phillies blog. Google “yankees need to rebuild” and you’ll find plenty of debate on the subject including one author who suggested the Yankees should trade Curtis Granderson for Darin Ruf (if only…) at the end of last season as step 1 in a rebuilding process. One other difference between the Yankees and the Phillies is that the Yankees currently have a better stable of prospects, so if they want to part with some of them, they have a better chance of “reloading” instead of “rebuilding” than the Phillies do.

  16. hk

    March 06, 2013 07:05 AM

    LTG,

    I would think it a fool’s errand to attempt to determine what types of prospects veterans in varying situations can return in trade. It seems to me that similarly valued players with similar contract situations have returned different prospects or packages of prospects over the past few years (e.g. the difference between what HOU received for Pence vs. what they received for Bourn). In addition, at every trading deadline, the supply and demand of the situation (how many teams are in contention, which teams are in contention, which teams are dumping) and the willingness of the dumping team to pay part of the traded players’ salaries have a huge impact on the return.

    I searched for the Cistulli article that you referenced, but could not find it. If you find the link, please provide it.

  17. Cutter

    March 06, 2013 08:35 AM

    Keri had some good points, but gets too caught up in how much money the Phillies will have tied up in a few players.

    With the rise of the luxury threshold and the upcoming local TV contract, I don’t think money is going to be an issue going forward.

    And for all the talk about Amaro not caring about the future, all of the team’s moves since the 2012 trade deadline have seemed to be based on the future.

  18. LTG

    March 06, 2013 08:46 AM

    Yeah, I still can’t find it. As I recall, the study was historical and determined trends. Yes, sometimes GMs get duped. Nevertheless, if we are setting our expectations, it is worth looking at those trends.

  19. Jonny5

    March 06, 2013 08:52 AM

    There is also a feeling that with a new tv deal the Phillies may become the Yankees of the NL. It isn’t difficult to see when you think of it due to the fan base of the team and willingness to spend the money. In that case the team will never simply be “blown up”. The cash cow stops giving back it’s milk for a bit when you blow teams up and I don’t think that’s part of the future business model of the team. We will see though.

  20. LTG

    March 06, 2013 09:31 AM

    hk,

    The market in trades probably fluctuates less than you suggest because, for the most part, buyers won’t pay extortionist prices. GMs will just walk away from deals that would cripple their ability to compete in the future and not add that much to their current chances, RAJ excluded.

  21. Dave GAUNTT

    March 06, 2013 10:00 AM

    I laugh at articles like this. It’s easy for someone to throw darts and have an opinion that has no input to what actually goes on with the organization. One it’s not your money, so who cares. Why blow up a team that has a chance, because they had a bad year last year because of injuries. It’s spring training. Why are all you columns on on this blog so negative?

  22. LarryM

    March 06, 2013 10:27 AM

    There’s a few problems with his scenario:

    (1) Most of the veterans likely don’t have a huge amount of trade value, except maybe Hamels, and Hamels is the one guy who could still be an important piece of the next contending Phillies team.

    (2) The next FA class looks horrible, and the one after that looks only okay (which may be the new normal, as teams increasingly look up their stars well before FA hits). This somewhat cuts both ways, but does mean that shedding salary is not likely to help the rebuilding process.

    (3) As a general rule, teams are less willing these days to give up much for high priced veterans, especially rentals.

    I think if the team doesn’t contend, and if Halladay rebounds to some extent (though if he does, it is somewhat more likely that they will contend, at least for a wild card spot), then trading Halladay this summer is at least a possibility. But then factor three comes into play – I don’t think they get an “A” prospect for a few months of Halladay.

  23. LarryM

    March 06, 2013 10:31 AM

    I will say this – obviously the team is not going to be blown up if it contends – if it doesn’t, and if you could somehow get A level prospects in mid summer trades for Rollins, Howard, Utley, Lee and Rollins, then OF COURSE you do it. This team might contend this year, if everything falls into place, but we’re looking at a pretty barren 2014/2015, almost regardless of what moves the team makes.

    But there’s no reason to break up the team without getting top prospects in return, and IMO that isn’t happening.

  24. BobSmith77

    March 06, 2013 11:02 AM

    So Keri basically said the Phils should look to trade veterans at the deadline if they are out of contention especially impending FAs like Utley and Halladay?

    Big deal.

  25. KH

    March 06, 2013 11:33 AM

    I think the returns the Phillies would get for breaking up the team are being exaggerated. Chase Utley’s value at this point is dubious even though he remains a good player he is old with a chronic knee injury. A lot of his value is tied to sabermetric type statistics that a lot of front offices still do not use or if they do use them its not at a very advanced level. Cliff Lee could probably get a decent return but again getting older, makes huge money, and coming off what appears to be a down year if you are not too sabermetrically inclined. Roy Halladay another old guy coming of an injury season. Ryan Howard old and not far removed from a bad injury and a series of down years. Do we see a trend yet? I guess my point is when you look at things through the idea that the Phillies are trying to make as much money as possible, which they are, versus what could be questionable returns for these guys you see it might be a better risk for them to try to eke out at least one more play-off season considering the amount of play-off berths that now exist. You don’t have to be particularly good to make the play-offs these days.

  26. Cutter

    March 06, 2013 12:09 PM

    Teams that are making deadline deals aren’t necessarily thinking long term. If a team feels pressure to make a playoff push, then they might pay whatever the Phillies ask.

    Remember that the second wild card has made the trade deadline more of a seller’s market.

  27. Scott G

    March 06, 2013 12:56 PM

    Cutter,

    How were the Michael Young and Mike Adams moves based on the future?

    Michael Young is nothing more than a stop-gap that will questionably perform better than Kevin Frandsen would. Neither are answers for the future, and Frandsen is much cheaper now. In that deal they also sent Lisalverto Bonilla away. A potential FUTURE pitcher.

    Mike Adams is making a significant chunk of change, and is not an answer for the future. Some could argue his being here is stunting the MLB experience of younger future relievers.

  28. LTG

    March 06, 2013 01:04 PM

    Found a couple of the articles I was thinking of:

    www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/what-greinke-or-hamels-would-yield-in-a-trade/

    www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-hypothetical-angels-trade-for-zack-greinke/

    These are not as general as I remembered, but the historical examples cited should give us some pause when claiming the Phils can get a good prospect haul in return for their aging talent. None of them has panned out very well yet.

    Anyway, after re-reading them I take back my response to Gomes. We can probably get one low-end top-50 prospect for Halladay. And if Ruiz produces at even 75% of last year, he could also garner a top-100. There aren’t as many A and B prospects as I thought.

  29. LTG

    March 06, 2013 01:10 PM

    In Cutter’s defense, the Revere, Pence, and Victorino trades all improved the Phillies future. The M. Young and M. Adam(a) moves are short-term and did not surrender much of value. Bonilla is just another bullpen arm. He’s at least trying to strike a balance between competing now and competing in the future, even if the results are not great.

    Also, Martin and Joseph look like good gets for Pence and Victorino. I thought we would get squat for them. (Not that I think those guys are future stars or anything just solid role players set around other stars that we don’t have yet and Hamels.)

  30. Cutter

    March 06, 2013 01:16 PM

    Scott G -

    Sorry, I forgot that people got really nitpicky when anyone tries to defend an Amaro move.

    Yes, those moves were to help the 2013 team, but they certainly didn’t jeopardize the future.

    (I suppose that Bonilla could develop into a stud, but that seems unlikely right now.)

    I don’t see how Adams’ presence will stunt the experience of any of their young relievers.

    I’d say letting those young guys ease their way into more prominent roles could be beneficial to their development. Plus, they’ll have another veteran on hand to learn from.

  31. Scott G

    March 06, 2013 01:45 PM

    I honestly didn’t even consider the Pence and Victorino trades since you said “Since the 2012 deadline”. They players were traded BEFORE the deadline. Maybe I took it too literally.

    “I’d say letting those young guys ease their way into more prominent roles could be beneficial to their development. Plus, they’ll have another veteran on hand to learn from.”

    Is that “easing” players into a role with a veteran influence similar to how Dom Brown has BENEFITTED from his treatment? Or how Ryan Howard spent many of his quality years in AAA since Jim Thome was here? I hope neither.

  32. hk

    March 06, 2013 01:52 PM

    Cutter,

    While I agree with the general premise that Amaro has been looking towards the future with most of his deals since last July, it is a reach to view the Adams deal in such a light. To me, $18M+ for a set-up reliever’s age 34 to 36 seasons does not qualify as a move with the future in mind.

  33. Pencilfish

    March 06, 2013 01:54 PM

    Good teams inevitably lose their edge as age creeps up, and some bad teams turn good through the draft. The Phillies were horrible from 1994-2000, but eventually those draft picks help build today’s contenders. The Nats were horrible for a long time until 2012. It’s inevitable, as sure as the sun rises and sets each day. Blowing up the team does not guarantee a speedier return to excellence. If 2013 is a repeat of 2012, rather than do what Boston/Miami did, I think the wiser route is to shed some players (ie, Halladay, Utley, Young) and replace them with minor leaguers and/or FA next winter. The remaining stars help extend the window of excellence while the team gets (hopefully) younger.

    “Remember, the Nationals and Braves aren’t going away as their rosters are young and talented.”

    You forgot about a basic law of baseball economics.Eventually these young and talented players will get huge contracts. Why do you think the Braves and Nats will pay them?

  34. BobSmith77

    March 06, 2013 02:18 PM

    Adams is stunting the development of young relievers?! Who? Rosenberg? Stutes? Savery? Diekman?

  35. Scott G

    March 06, 2013 03:29 PM

    “Stunting the MLB experience”…

    I’m sure we all agree that Adams will be the “setup man” this year? Well, what happens if Phillippe Aumont, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, Jake Diekman, or whomever else performs really well over the next two years. What if they get earmarked as a setup man or a 7th inning guy, or a LOOGY? Ryan Madson was storied to “not have the makeup to be a closer” until he was actually given a real opportunity to BE a closer. Many people on Crashburn (including me) thought Madson could very capably close, which he did.

    What if these relievers get stuck in a role in this organization (or elsewhere for that matter), which causes us to buy the NEXT GREAT CLOSER once Papelbon leaves?

  36. BobSmith77

    March 06, 2013 04:21 PM

    Phils will never have to worry about Stutes or Diekman performing really well.

    It gives the Phils a more depth which they have generally lacked the last 2 years. Not sure if you have been watching camp but most of the guys who are competing for the last 2 spots in the pen have been underwhelming so far.

    How is Papelbon leaving even relevant to that conversation when he is signed through ’15?

  37. Cutter

    March 06, 2013 04:32 PM

    Dom and Howard are bad examples, as teams can generally only play one guy at any position, while a team will carry 6 or 7 relievers.

    And if DeFratus, Aumont, or whoever perform well in the less crucial roles? Then the Phillies likely have a very good bullpen. Has any team ever complained about having too many relievers on hand?

    And while Adams may be a “win now” move, he is signed to a two year deal which should not hinder the team’s financial future.

  38. hk

    March 06, 2013 04:49 PM

    Cutter,

    The Phillies have a $6M option on Adams for 2015 that becomes guaranteed with 60 innings in 2014 or increases to $6.5M with 120 IP in 2013-14, including 60 IP in 2014. The vesting provisions are voided if Adams is unable to pitch Opening Day 2015 because of injury to his pitching elbow or shoulder sustained before the end of the 2014 season.

    If Adams doesn’t pitch 60 innings in 2014, his two year deal will look even worse. If he does pitch 60 innings in 2014, his deal will be a 3 year deal.

  39. Cutter

    March 06, 2013 04:58 PM

    Well, if he pitches that many innings, then there’s every reason to believe that he’s doing a good job and would be a guy they want around for another year.

  40. LTG

    March 06, 2013 05:08 PM

    While pitching 60 innings raises the likelihood that Adams is pitching well and is healthy, there are reasons why he might get to 60 without getting good results or while getting good results luckily.

    Here’s a list of relievers that pitched 60 innings last year. There are 88 of them.

    www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=8%2cd

    Alfredo Aceves pitched well over 60 innings. I don’t want Adams if he pitches like Aceves.

  41. hk

    March 06, 2013 05:10 PM

    Maybe, but I suspect Charlie would pitch Adams 60+ innings over the next few years even if he is just decent because Charlie loves himself some veterans. I’m really just pointing out that you keep referring to it as a 2-year deal and, if it is just a 2-year deal, chances are it will be a big overpay.

  42. Heather

    March 06, 2013 05:39 PM

    Didn’t Aceves go multiple innings a lot? Adams won’t do that.

  43. Scott G

    March 06, 2013 06:14 PM

    Multiple innings is irrelevant. Lidge pitched over 50 innings in 2009 with and ERA of nearly 8…

  44. LTG

    March 06, 2013 06:32 PM

    Multi-inning use is relevant when we’re gaging how likely Adams is to make the 60 inning mark, and perhaps when evaluating Aceves’s numbers, if, for example, he was really good in his first inning but putrid after that. At any rate, Aceves was just the easiest in that list to cherry pick. There are more who either had bad results or got lucky or both. We don’t want Adams pitching 60 innings if he’s in either camp. But there is some reason to think it could happen.

  45. Mike B.

    March 07, 2013 12:02 AM

    The team won’t be “blown up.” The Catch-22 the Phils are in is that if their players are worth anything in trade it will be b/c they are playing well, which means the team is in contention. Given the reality that the most important thing is getting into the playoffs, RAJ isn’t going to blow up a contender. And I don’t blame him; should the Phils get into October, I would expect them to be pretty dangerous. So the idea that they’d get anything of value and be willing to trade core guys is a non-starter.

    And there is also the TV deal to consider. I think the Dodgers already took the “NL Yankees” crown, but there is no reason that the Phils’ new deal won’t be in the same ballpark (pardon the pun)…IF they are still winning. If they are rebuilding it will still be a huge influx of cash, but make no mistake: they want to be able to show that they are worth the $Texas they will ask for, and the only way to do that is to have butts in the seats and on the sofas. And the only way to do that is to win games. So RAJ is in a tough spot b/c his core is heading downhill a year or two too soon.

    All that said, I think these guys are going to have a great year. 93 wins and a WC slot.

  46. Scott G

    March 07, 2013 06:27 AM

    Maybe relevant wasn’t the right word. Multi-inning use isn’t a requisite for an established reliever to reach 60 innings in Charlie Manuel’s system despite poor performance.

  47. LTG

    March 07, 2013 09:05 AM

    Agreed.

  48. Pencilfish

    March 07, 2013 11:21 AM

    hk, Scott G, LTG,

    Manuel is not under contract for 2014. If it turns out this is the last year for him and Sandberg takes over, then giving 60 innings to Adams in 2014 has nothing to do with Manuel.

    If you want to comment on the value of Adams contract and the possibility of him vesting the ’15 option, consider all the variables first. That’s one thing that separates fans from a GM.

  49. LTG

    March 07, 2013 02:04 PM

    Pencilfish,

    I don’t think Manuel’s usage will be much different than the next manager’s. RAJ is not about to hire the next Joe Maddon. Moreover, even Maddon might get Adams to 60 innings when he is just getting lucky results.

    So right, consider all variables. And then weigh the variables to determine how much they affect the outcome.

    Finally, my point was simply that it is false that if Adams gets to 60, there is every reason to think he’s performing well.

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