Phillies Tender Contracts to Arbitration-Eligible Players, Sign Frandsen

The Phillies announced this evening that they will tender contracts to Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Kendrick, John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Revere, and signed utility infielder Kevin Frandsen to a one-year, $900 thousand deal with incentives.

So, welcome back to 2013, just with Marlon Byrd. Barring trades of any of the aforementioned players – which, of course, could still happen – the team currently looks to be eschewing chances to upgrade and instead banking (yet again) on hopes of resurgence or rebound.

Bastardo, 28, was having a successful season in relief before being suspended as a result of the Biogenesis investigation. His strikeout rate dipped rather severely from previous years, down to 9.9 from a raucous 14.0 in 2012 and 10.9 in 2011. He likely won’t cost much (estimated here at $2 million) and should be a bargain even if 2013 is the new norm.

Kendrick’s return, in doubt just a couple months ago, became certain once Tyler Cloyd was lost to waivers and John Lannan elected free agency. Kendrick started strong in what looked to be a continuation from his solid finish in 2012, but that all evaporated into a puff of smoke that smelled like a 6.91 post-All-Star ERA and a shoulder injury. He’ll make more than he’s worth, but the Phillies lack Major League-ready starters and don’t seem to be in a rush to sign any of the overpriced free agents. For now. I still expect Kendrick to get a contract extension offer before the spring.

Mayberry is the most puzzling inclusion. Since the start of 2012, JMJ has hit .237/.294/.393 in 863 plate appearances. Among the 190 players with 800+ PA since the start of that season, Mayberry’s .687 OPS is tied with Rajai Davis for 167th. That about says it. Mayberry is one of five outfielders now on the active roster, if you include Darin Ruf, and is the only one aside from Revere with meaningful experience in center field. That may explain his retention, but Davis is currently a free agent who probably won’t make Mayberry’s salary. Just a thought.

Revere was a no-brainer. He’ll be the starting center fielder on opening day, and is a capable fielder who, hopefully, can hit like he was hitting before his foot betrayed him last season. Frandsen also continues the train of sameness. He, like Kendrick, also stunk post-ASB, hitting just .192/.226/.272 in 159 plate appearances. He is likely the second bat option off the bench, behind Mayberry, so there’s that.

It’s unsurprising, but also uninspired. We just have to keep hoping for more changes, even as the odds they happen seem to dwindle.

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13 comments

  1. sweatingisnormal

    December 02, 2013 07:06 PM

    Well, JMJ hits lefties pretty well, should Phi decide to use him properly for once.

    The off-season can still be saved by signing Tanaka (& he isn’t a bust). 2013 Phillies with Tanaka (maybe MGM), Revere, & Howard + a bit better bench & bullpen is a wild card contender. .500 keeps the team in contention at the deadline & then Rube & Monty will mortgage the farm again for a playoff push. Don’t be so negative.

  2. The Howling Fantods

    December 02, 2013 07:26 PM

    Ruben Amaro, still fighting the last war.

    JMJ is not Nate Schierholtz. Don’t tender contracts to everyone just because you royally fucked up once.

  3. Schufan

    December 02, 2013 07:46 PM

    Pitiful.

    It’s clear at this point that Mayberry isn’t the plus fielder the team keeps pretending he is. With subpar defense his “decent vs. lefties, awful vs. righties” bat isn’t worth anything more than the minimum.

    I would much rather have seen them bring in Franklin Gutierrez for a similar amount of money to fill the same role. Or just any OF (righty or lefty) who can play defense and run.

    Frandsen makes little sense either, esp. if he takes a roster spot in place of Ruf, Galvis, or Hernandez, which seems possible.

    As nauseating as it is to think of Kendrick getting $6 M+, the team is so desperate for starting pitching, it probably makes sense to overpay him to be filler for a team that doesn’t even have that. And if he can pull off a decent first half again, he’ll pretty much be our only trading chip in July.

  4. Pat

    December 02, 2013 10:24 PM

    It seems improbable that we’ll need Ruf and JMJ and Frandsen on the same roster. Revere and Brown aren’t really platoon candidates and Byrd (in theory) is a better version of Ruf and Mayberry. Even if they platoon Howard and Asche that still leaves someone as the odd man out. It seems like we could use another LH bat instead of JMJ.

  5. barry j. calciano

    December 03, 2013 12:44 AM

    howard,rollins,kendrick,brown,mayberry,and
    franzen outta here,1st-franco/ruf 2nd-utley/
    hernandez/galvis short-hernandez/galvis
    3rd-ashce/franzen/galvis c-ruis/rupp LF-ruf/
    galvis CF-revere/hernandez RF-byrd/ruf
    SP-HAMELS-LEE-CUBAN GUY-PRICE-PETTIBONE
    NOTE:RUEBEN IF POSSIBLE TRADE HOWARD & KENDRICK STRAIGHT UP FOR RYAN BRAUN,MIL IN
    NEED OF 1ST BASEMAN & REPLACES BRAUNS POWER!

  6. joecatz

    December 03, 2013 08:53 AM

    “As nauseating as it is to think of Kendrick getting $6 M+, the team is so desperate for starting pitching, it probably makes sense to overpay him to be filler for a team that doesn’t even have that.”

    6mm is neither an overpay or nauseating for Kendrick on a one year deal in a market where Jason Vargas and Phil Hughes are getting three years more and 8mm per season.

    If you use just 5mm as the value of a win, Kendrick was worth 7mm in 2012 and 9.5mm last year per Fangraphs, and 7mm in 2012 and 5mm in 2013 per BBR.

    the value of a win right now is much closer to 6mm than it is to 5mm. if thats the case then he was worth closer to 11mm last year per fan graphs.

    he’s worth every penny, and probably has the best real trade value of a tradable pitching asset on the major league team right now, save maybe bastardo.

  7. Michael

    December 03, 2013 08:58 AM

    I am sure the Brewers will be happy to take Howard and his mega-contract and replacement level playing for Braun. Shoot, why didn’t we think about that before?

  8. Bubba0101

    December 03, 2013 11:49 AM

    Could we have traded for Fister? And would anyone have given up Biddle for Fister?

  9. hk

    December 03, 2013 12:15 PM

    Bubba,

    Could they have traded for Fister? Sure, why not? I don’t think I would have given up Biddle, but it doesn’t seem as though it would have taken Biddle. From what I’ve read, it seems that Biddle >> Ray.

  10. Bubba0101

    December 03, 2013 12:36 PM

    that’s the kind of deal that Amaro likes though. Trade a good prospect for someone who has actually produced in the major leagues. And in this case Fister wouldnt have cost that much and would have been more controllable for the team. So those two reasons make sense why Rube wouldnt have made the trade… He doesnt like good, cheap controllable players. He wants em old and expensive.

  11. hk

    December 03, 2013 12:41 PM

    Bubba,

    I would not be surprised if ownership has tied Rube’s hands a bit and told him that he has one year to right the ship, but he must do so without increasing the payroll, committing any money to 2017 or beyond or trading any of the team’s better prospects.

  12. sweatingisnormal

    December 03, 2013 02:27 PM

    Like most other GM’s (apparently), Ruben does not value non-power arms and will not give up legit prospects willingly for Fister, despite his good performance in the past.

  13. Schufan

    December 03, 2013 05:24 PM

    Joecatz,

    I think we need to get over this “a win is worth $6-7 M” nonsense or whatever number is being floated around most recently. These decisions are always context based. I’m sure John Lannan was “worth it” last year, but a team can’t keep throwing $5-7 million at every single role player on the roster.

    I don’t think the 1 WAR guys are really worth $6 M just because a 3 WAR player is worth $18 M (or whatever number we want to play make believe with). You should be able to find a pitcher who can go 160 IP with a 4.50 ERA (or two pitchers who can go 80 IP each with similar results) somewhere in your system or somewhere on the veteran scrap heap. Or at least you should be able to assemble enough cheap candidates to vie for such a role.

    Paying full value for low-end production that’s just slightly above replacement isn’t a wise use of resources for a team with huge fixed costs and limited wiggle room. For teams like the Twins looking to fill out a wide-open roster or for a team with a championship core that just needs to shore up one weakness? Sure, it makes sense.

    And the combination of Kyle Kendrick and this defense doesn’t exactly maximize value.

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