Let’s throw some links around and see what the Phillies are up to in their quest to improve the team and defend their World Series championship in 2009.
[The Phillies] have made an offer to [Derek] Lowe, who would be their No. 2 starter behind Cole Hamels, bumping Brett Myers. If not Lowe, they’d go after another starter who can be a No. 2 or 3. They would need a bat to replace [Pat] Burrell, and they’ll consider [Raul] Ibanez or a return of [Bobby] Abreu. Re-signing Jamie Moyer will also be on the burner.
Lowe and his ground ball tendencies — second highest GB% in the Majors behind Brandon Webb — would fit in well at Citizens Bank Park, but he’s in his mid-30’s (35 to be exact). There’s a lot to like about Lowe, though, besides the ground balls: in four seasons with the Dodgers, he never put up an ERA higher than 3.88 and his FIP has never wildly deviated from his ERA. None of his peripherals strike you with the notion that Lowe has gotten by on any kind of luck, and his strikeout rates the last two seasons have been his highest since 2001. Additionally, Lowe put up a walk rate under two per nine innings, always a good sign. The difference between 2007 and ’08 for Lowe in terms of pitch selection is less reliance on his fastball (-6%) and change-up (-7%), and more reliance on his slider (+13%).
I’ve gone over the Burrell/Ibanez comparisons, but Abreu is another name who fits into the “solid hitter, but an awful defender” genus. Unless one can be had for a seven-figure salary, none of them are worth it.
According to Ken Rosenthal, free agent southpaw Randy Wolf is open to all teams. He won’t limit himself to the West Coast. Wolf first revealed this info on September 26th. Rosenthal wonders if a return to the Phillies could be in order if they don’t re-sign Jamie Moyer.
As much as I like Randy Wolf as a person, I have to say that I’d pass on him if he was willing to come to Philly, even relatively cheaply. There’s been no real consistency with any of his peripherals. Even projecting Wolf as a league-average pitcher is being optimistic. J.A. Happ can do the same job for less money and without the injury concerns.
The Phillies’ difficulties in re-signing Jamie Moyer have reached the stage in which Moyer has re-enlisted his former agent, Jim Bronner, to begin calling other clubs to see how much interest they would have in the 46-year-old left-hander. Sources indicate that while there continues to be mutual interest in having Moyer remain a Phillie, the two sides continue to haggle, purely over dollars.
As I mentioned before, don’t expect the 2008 version of Jamie Moyer to ever show up again. He benefited from a perfect storm of occurrences, especially a way overachieving Phillies middle infield. He’s so reliant on having balls in play turned into outs because he does not strike out a lot of hitters (5.64 per nine innings last season). Both the Bill James and Marcels projections see Moyer putting up a 4.23 and 4.58 ERA, respectively. I’m even more pessimistic.
Phillies baseball personnel have been asking pointed questions about Twins outfielder Delmon Young, the former overall No. 1 draft choice of Tampa Bay, sources told the Daily News. Young is probably best known for a 2006 incident when he was suspended 50 games in the minor leagues for throwing his bat at an umpire. (See the video of the incident below.)
He was traded to the Twins after the 2007 season. The Phils are believed to be looking for a replacement for Pat Burrell, who is not expected to re-sign.
You often see one or two teams capitalize on the negative perception of a player, whether due to his personality (Milton Bradley), off-the-field issues (Josh Hamilton), or other circumstances. The Phillies typically haven’t taken these kinds of risks, especially with the credence given to team chemistry vis a vis their success.
The Phillies should continue with their risk-aversion, as Young simply isn’t worth it. He was one of the few fielders worse than Pat Burrell last year — negative 25 to Pat’s negative 20, according to the Fielding Bible — and hasn’t shown good plate discipline. And with more than 1,400 plate appearances in the Majors, he’s been hitting balls hard less and less — an LD% that goes from 26.2% (only 131 PA) to 21.1% to 17.1% from 2006-08.
Young might appear to be the next “you never should have doubted me” player, but he simply isn’t worth it on his defense alone. Then you add in his unproven offense capabilities and, yes, his personality problems — you should be more willing to share needles than to gamble with Delmon Young.
Lastly, hold on to your hats…
Both the Cubs and World Series champion Phillies have entered the fray to land the Padres’ ace.
But the Phillies threw their name into the mix later Monday, FOXSports.com‘s Ken Rosenthal reported. The Padres like some of the Phillies’ young minor-league pitchers, major-league sources told Rosenthal, but the talks are only in the preliminary stages.
Basically, if a deal can be made to acquire Jake Peavy, then that deal has to be made, even if it involves parting ways with Lou Marson.
The Phillies, being risk-averse, typically haven’t made huge off-season trades (Brad Lidge, Billy Wagner, and Kevin Millwood being the biggest three I can recall) and realistically probably don’t have enough to outbid the Cubs. It’s nice to see that the Phillies have indicated interest in Peavy, but I’ll believe it when I see it.