Arbitration Fallout: A Slap In The Face – Phillies Nation

Arbitration Fallout: A Slap In The Face

In declining to offer arbitration to Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell, the Phillies sent a message that they don’t want to pay too much for either party. They feared that if Moyer or Burrell would’ve accepted the one-year deal, they would be shelling out more than they wanted.

We’ve gone over the prospects for left field and starting pitcher. What I’ve seen is there really aren’t better options than Burrell for one or two years, and while Moyer is 46, he remains a viable back-end rotation guy. These are players you’d want back on your team.

One line of thinking that I agree with somewhat is that the Phillies shouldn’t be scared about spending money this offseason. Coming off their world championship, they should be sending a message that they’re prepared to defend their crown. By offering arbitration to Burrell and Moyer, they’re saying they could commit about $25M to these two. Instead, they’re saying they need to be cheap with them, and with others. They won’t be spending a lot of money this offseason.

Clearly dropping more cash to Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Ryan Howard and the other young arbitration cases is a bigger concern. Yes, the Phils are hampered somewhat by their young core. But by offering arbitration to Burrell and Moyer, what do you lose?

First, Burrell seems to want more than a one-year contract anyway. Why sign on for one year, have to prove yourself again for a big deal, put yourself in limbo once more? I’m almost positive if the Phils offered Burrell arbitration, he’d decline.

Moreover, giving Moyer arbitration is exactly the right idea. He earned $5.5M in 2008 and should get a raise for his stellar play. What’s one year at $7M? Wasn’t that the expected price, anyway? And aren’t you trying to bring him back, anyway?

And finally, just to throw it out there: Major league clubs won’t feel the pinch of the recession until probably next year. So why not spend some money on one-year possibilities now? Obviously the goal is not to trap yourself into bad multi-year deals, so what’s the problem?

What is lost

Now, what do you lose by not offering arbitration? First, you again lose the fans to frugality. That’s most important. Now fans are expecting a left-handed platoon in left field. Second, you lose a little good nature from Moyer and Burrell. I’m sure Moyer doesn’t mind too much, but the idea of arbitration signals in some minute way that the team wants you back. It has to mean something here.

Of course, you also lose the chance to steal a couple first round draft picks. The Phils at most could’ve had four of them if they lost Moyer and Burrell. Instead they’ll get nothing. This is the type of thinking that put the Phillies farm system below the average for so many years. This is the type of thinking that leads to high-risk first rounders, since you only have one shot to get it right. This is the type of thinking that leads to the Reggie Taylors of the world.

But back to the major loss: the fans. The simple fan sees this arbitration mess as cut and dry: Either the team is showing respect for Burrell and Moyer, or it’s slighting them. To the fan, this is a slap in the face to two men who contributed greatly to a world championship.

While I’m not big on acting sentimental, as Amaro put it, I’m all for making smart decisions. Do I want Burrell back for three or four years? Maybe not. Do I want Moyer back for a ridiculous amount? Probably not. But do I want to maximize the ability to win while minimizing long-term risk? Heck yes.

Silly move, Ruben. Silly move.



  1. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Amen, economics or not those draft picks far outweighed the risk.

  2. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 10:20 am

    all a-greed.

  3. Manny

    December 2, 2008 at 10:22 am

    BAD, BAD move. I could care less about the sentimental part of it, though. I’m more concerned with the four draft picks we’ll lose.

    Why not offer arbitration to Burrell??? He was NOT going to accept, I’m 99% sure. It has always been pretty clear that he wants three.

    And one year for Jamie is exactly what we should aim for. If he accepts arbitration, great… if not, keep negotiating.

    What a terrible move. They blew it BIG TIME. Amaro better have a Lowe in store for us or something.

  4. Civil Negligence

    December 2, 2008 at 10:31 am

    They won’t be spending a lot of money this off-season? Then why are they going after Lowe and Burnett, Tim? And that’s just starting pitching–aaaaand that’s just an initial list that will only grow with more expensive names after some of the big fish move out of the free agency market.

    While it appears Pat is a lost cause, Moyer can still be signed with the team after some negotiations. Moyer’s risk of an automatic several million dollars more is not worth a re-negotiation that can give the Phillies more cash to go after an outfielder.

    Let’s take a deep breath now!

  5. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

    The major loss is the simple fan? I don’t understand that line of thinking at all. If Amaro tries GM’ing simply to appease the “simple fan”, then he’s destined to fail. I hope Amaro isn’t trying to win any popularity contests, and with this move, it’s obvious he’s not. 😉

    None of us know the real reasons as to why they declined arbitration, but we can all be sure that Amaro knew he was potentially losing out on four top picks. (Imo, there’s no point in drafting 6 players in the first two rounds anyway…the Phillies, and almost every other team, would never, ever spend that kind of money signing what essentially comes down to 6 rolls of the dice).

    The winter needs to play out before anyone can make a fair judgement as to the logic behind this move. Might it end up being silly? Sure. But then again, maybe not.

  6. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Plain and simple it’s playing it safe, it’s not about bringing out the cash so much as being aggressive. If Burrell and Moyer accepted then we have 2 minor spots to fill on the roster. Instead of trying to set the trend going forward were falling back into line to see what everyone else does. It’s just a safe move and it wreaks of the reach and hope you don’t get burned mentality thats left us with Freddy Garica, Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins and no notabile impact prospects since Cole.

    Are we going to win this year? The odds are against repeating but where’s the shrewd aggressiveness you want to see from the FO. This was a matter of just sucking it up and covering the bases and they balked.

  7. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

    the simple fan won’t even hear of this talk. burrell wouldnt take 1 yr arb, would possibly ruin his chance at a decent contract in years to come if he stinks this yr. moyer is old, and we all agree he has maybe 2 yrs left. arb wouldn’t be a bad idea. until he signs a big name, i will cringe at any decision amaro makes, and then i won’t give him credit for doing it. hes a rat

  8. Tim Malcolm

    December 2, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I’d be very surprised if the Phils go much further on Burnett and Lowe, who are both commanding multi-year deals at close to $16M per.

  9. Chuck P

    December 2, 2008 at 10:49 am

    While I agree with everything that you’re saying, I think that the “fan loss” impact will be far less of an impact than you have indicated and the Phillies know that. They’ll sellout regardless… whether Burrell is playing left field or (dare I say it) Geoff Jenkins, the fans will come out to see the defending World Series champs in droves. We have a huge upper hand heading into this season. While every other team must worry about how they’re going to sell tickets and merchandise in a tough economic environment all we have to do is slap a World Series patch on anything and you can rest assured that it will sell. The draft picks aspect is huge, in my opinion. Moyer’s market value is not going to shock anyone; at his age and with his years of service, he’s an easy commodity to value. If you’re going to bring him back for one year (which everyone says is pretty much a given) then why not offer arbitration? If something happens at the table (he shocks them by saying he wants a second year) then you are kind of stuck… if you offered arbitration, this locks him in for one year and one year only. And how much are you really going to save by going this route? Very little, if anything because he is what he is… nobody believes that Burrell is looking for a one year deal. The chances that he would accept arbitration are minimal and if he accepts, no one would be upset with him coming back for one more year. If we had offered arbitration and both of those guys decided to accept, we would be stepping onto the field with, essentially, the same team that we had last year (and the same team that won the World Series)… I can live with that. Now, the worst case scenario is that we can’t find replacements and we don’t have compensatory draftpicks. That worst case scenario is not acceptable.

  10. William

    December 2, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I agree with the Phillies move…I’m not happy with not getting draft picks but its still a good move.

    Moyer is 46…why not give JA Happ the ball for the next 5 or 6 years. He certainly pitched well in the time he was up. And you can’t forget the teams that saw Moyer all season, Brewers and LA, POUNDED Moyer!

    As for Pat, why pay a guy who can play a full game and strikeouts out so much 14 Million! Put Mayberry, 24, or go out and get a younger OF in his place. Yes Pat did hit a great hit in the last game of WS but nothing before that and he was replaced on defense!

    I think it was the right move at the time!

  11. William

    December 2, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I meant can’t* (can’t play a full game) on the Burrell comment

  12. Tim Malcolm

    December 2, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Megary: I’m not saying Amaro should make decisions based on the fans. Not at all. But knowing that Burrell probably won’t accept, why not offer the deal? At least you’re showing a little love. Instead you get nothing at all.

  13. Civil Negligence

    December 2, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I don’t think GM’s care about ‘showing a little love,’ Tim with a chance–although, yes, minuscule–that he would accept arbitration and cost the Phillies millions more via an arbitrator’s decision. Let’s remember that, afterall, baseball is a business.

  14. nate

    December 2, 2008 at 11:03 am

    i could’ve sworn the team site said yesterday that they were going to offer arbitration… when did that change?

  15. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 11:10 am

    will, burrell and rollins broke open game 4 against brews with homers. He did nothing before his double in WS, but did hit game breakers all season long. and its been said before, burrell was better than his replacements in the late innings. how many times did taguchi ef up, and golson cost us a game against marlins late in season when he kicked the ball at victorine against the wall. burrell knows he cant run so he plays deep, keeps balls in front of him. there’s not another OF with legs on the trade block besides dye, and hes not coming here. mayberry has no major league experience, replacing a guy with 29+ homers past four seasons w/ guy lacking his first major league hit is a huge risk, also cheap.

  16. Geoff

    December 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I actually think they did the right thing. 25mm for those two is not great value. Now, they could go and sign some clunkers and ill be pissed but not now.

    also…theyre NOT going to sign aj burnett, nor would i want them to. they probably wont sign derek lowe either. burnetts agent wants 5 years 80mm…nobodys going to touch that so the yankkes will give him 4 yeras 75mm. lowe…4 years 55mm to the yankees. sabathia will go to the angels because he wouldve accepted by now if he wanted to be a yankee.

    the trick is going to be finding someone with 20+ hr and 80 rbi power for cheap on the trade market or free agent market. tahts the real test of amaro. burrell was overpriced and he knew it. now how good is he and getting both quality and value. gillick proved to be fairly astute at that in the end.

    besides, if the phillies are going to overpay for something, which i think they will, then you overpay for pitching.

  17. Matt Kwasiborski

    December 2, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I definitely don’t think this is a slap on the face to the fans. These days fans are more educated on the business side of sports then say they were 10+ years ago. And I also think it is a sign of respect to Burrell and Moyer. By not offering them arbitration we are giving them the right to explore any deal they wish on their terms and time. If we did offer them arbitration, they would have to decide soon on whether to accept it or not and ultimately make this break from the team (in Burrell’s case) come sooner rather than later. And if Burrell winds up being the best option for us, we can puruse a multi-year deal.

    In Moyer’s case, again, it allows him to take his time. Plus, he is either coming back here, going back to Seattle, or retiring. I really don’t see him in any other place considering how close he is to retiring and we know he doesn’t want to uproot his family yet again.

    The business side of this is rooted in the market price too. None of the big FAs have yet to sign and therefore the market hasn’t been set. Why offer Burrell arbitration when he will probably get offers below his current salary and not the standard market price which would raise his salary? Smart move business wise.

    And this Phillies management has to avoid falling into the Dykstra/Daulton trap of 1993-1994. We need to cherish this championship in our memories forever, but the 2008 season and team is done. Time to make sure we don’t get caught up in sentimentality and remain focused on improving this team as best we can. We have to make up for our weaknesses and remember, this year, players will have a genuine interest in playing here, rather then using us for leverage (see Bobby Bonilla).

  18. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

    haha bobby bonilla, barry bonds sidekick

  19. Justin

    December 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

    It made sense not to offer Burrell arbitration, look at Adam Dunn, basically a slightly younger version of Burrell and the D’Backs, who are rebuilding, didn’t offer him arbitration to allow them to grab draft picks for him. So obviously theres something in the air that GMs see that puts Dunn and Burrell overpriced or want too many years in a new contract for any team to want to offer. I doubt even a Giants team (making the Aaron Rowand argument not stating anyones going there) offers either a 4 or 5 yr deal.

  20. Justin

    December 2, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I also believe that Moyer’s either close to resigning or like it’s been stated already they want to give Carrasco, Happ, and Kendrick a shot at the rotation.

  21. Tim Malcolm

    December 2, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I see the argument that Burrell is overpriced for what would be his arb salary, but Burell wasn’t going for a one-year deal. He just wasn’t. He’ll take multiple years.

    Moyer, on the other hand: I can see more why they didn’t offer him arb. Try to catch him for less money. Sure. But the Burrell situation? The D-Backs are in a much different position than the Phils, who aren’t rebuilding and can afford the one year futher of Burrell, if he actually accepted.

  22. mike

    December 2, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Tim isn’t amazing how people will say it’s a smart move not to offer arbitration. They don’t get it.C what are they watching four top choices, its gives you a chance to get a top talent. maybe a hamels or howard and control him for 6 years at a reasonable price. Instead of overpaying for the jenkins and eatons of the world. It gives you more of a chance to have better prospect for trades and replacment for injury or free agents. Could you just picture if they came up with a little more they would have saunders. as a starter. Or Gibson coming out of missour a stud there losing moyer would mean nothing. also does anyone really think they will overpaid for lowe and burnett. that is a joke.All that revenue from this year will go to them a little for arb cases but they raise tickets, sold a ton merchandise. well I will be dead before they ever win again. Civil negligence doesn’t get it if he accepted arb we would have bought another year of thirty homruns and hundred rbi while our farm see if taylor or brown can play, instead they will pay some second tier guy 5 or 6 million for three years. and hope he can be magical.

  23. Groty

    December 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Curious – Thome and Helms still on the books for 2009?

  24. Bill

    December 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    This arbitration debacle reminded me of the Ed Wade years. I fear Amaro learned more from Wade than he did Pat Gillick. I can not stand how cheap they are. If Mayberry is there plan for 2010 (a long shot in my opinion), why not spend the extra money if Burrell accepts arbitration and use him as a stop gap to your future.

    There is no excuse for Moyer other than poor management by an inexperienced general manager.

  25. mike

    December 2, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Tim one thing about the d back. There owner borrowed from mlb 100 million when they won the championship, there owner borrowed money for Johnson and Schilling, they spent and bought there fans a championship. do you think the phillies would overspend to win. ha ha not a chance. John middleton the only owner who would and express it before last year can’t do anything. The way cheap skate Giles put this group together all have to agree to make moves.

  26. Justin

    December 2, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Helms and Thome I thought are officially off the books, because I think he had a team option and the White Sox picked it up, meaning the Phils were off the hook, I may be wrong but I’m fairly certain they’re both off the books, in fact the Phils didn’t get a prospect in the trade for Helms so i believe the Marlins just picked up his full contract.

  27. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Tim: To directly answer your question, I think the possibility of Burrell accepting arbitration must have been greater than you believe, at least in Amaro’s eyes. Really, let’s think about this for a second…is he really a hot commodity and where exactly is he going to go? The AL? But where exactly? And is he going to get what he and his agent would like to get?

    But maybe I misunderstood what you were initially trying to say, so indirectly…

    It appears to me now that you are more concerned with the respect the Phillies show Burrell or Moyer (the players) and not necessarily how this comes across to the fans. Meh…

    Should it not be a two way street? Why shouldn’t Burrell accept arbitration or resign after the contract he was previously given? Show some respect or love to the team. Moyer as well. He was (nearly) scrap heap material and now he’s in line for a big contract…as big as any 46 year old could ever dream of. Cut the Phillies a little slack, and let them take some of their extra dollars and throw some “respect” at the player, Hamels, who most deserves it (especially after the way he was treated last year).

    I’m not too worried about love and respect to the players. Maybe I should be. But until a whole bunch of them decide to not sign wherever the most dumptrucks full of money are backed up waiting to unload, then I can’t fault the owners or GM’s for trying to protect some of that cash.

    The biggest potential loss to the Phillies as I see it now is if they can’t get anything done over the winter. Saving this money and having to sit on it would really piss off the fans, and the players.

  28. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 11:44 am

    megary, angels like him. abreau is a free agent, and the one outfielder keeps ruining his arm, yanks need a bat and fielder at first and OF. there are plenty of AL teams that would pay burrell

  29. Tim Malcolm

    December 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Your last graph there is the crux of my argument, but I may have skated around it a bit. People would be pissed if the Phils have a light offseason. Obviously we can’t tell until October 2009 what to make of it all, but right now the initial message is one of confusion and repetition.

    And when I say at least you’re showing a little love, I mean you’re extending some sort of branch to just show, “OK, we’re still interested in either bringing back guys from 2008, or maybe upgrading.” I’ve made the point before here that Moyer isn’t the right guy at the wrong price, and Burrell absolutely isn’t the right guy at the wrong price. But there really isn’t much harm in one-year deals this season that may put them slightly over the budgeted payroll.

  30. Gavin

    December 2, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I think it hurts the players signability if they have been offered arb. In essence, they just made Burrell a richer man.

    I don’t understand what you have to lose by offering them, unless you have better options. If we were going to sign Manny….then ok, don’t offer Burrell, but otherwise it’s a wasted chance to get draft picks. As you stated Tim, worst case scenerio is that Burrell accepts and he plays on another contract year, and I really don’t see him getting that much more $ than he did this year. he’s been overpaid for a while now.

    I still think they re-sign Moyer, but now we have to worry about it. If they offered him arb, at least we’d be 95% sure he’d be back….now….60/40?

    I guess it’s going to be Jenkins/Unknown RH in LF next year. Thats a big hole to fill.

    I don’t understand the frugality at this point. No one is asking them to go sign Manny/CC/KRod/etc. We just want them to spend it wisely.

    How awesome would next year’s draft had been if we had 5 picks in the first 40 or so. Plaus, since we won the WS, we’ll have the last pick in each round. That doesnt help either. I dont get it.

  31. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 11:49 am

    To the next person who says something like: “They could have had four top draft picks”…

    The Phillies have (I believe) a first and second round pick already. Let’s add to that, speculatively, another first rounder, another second rounder and two sandwich picks between rounds 1 and 2 as compensation for Moyer and Burrell. (Could be a little different based on the signing team’s final record, I believe).

    That’s 6 picks in the first two rounds.

    OK everyone, what’s that gonna cost? And please explain how that signing money spent is better than spending money on a player already in the major leagues (assuming the Phils spend the money saved by not resigning Burrell or Moyer).

  32. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 11:51 am

    what it falls down to is Burrell likely woulnd’t have accepted arbitration but with the ‘uncertain economy’ there was a risk he would have. nevertheless offering him limited his options due to the compensation had he not accepted it but at the very least late in the day someone would have picked him up. Now someone will on their terms without having to give up draft compensation.

    It was a do nothing move by the Phils, there’s too much of a do nothing attitude and hope the talent will get you by attitude floating around. This isn’t the 1900’s, the game has changed and you have to be aggressive in compiling draft picks or being clever with your resources or you better dismantle after a championship.

  33. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 11:54 am

    megary- because the teams that spend money on free agents and are agressive in the trade market with older players rarely suceed in todays baseball. You want a blueprint for success now you look to the Red Sox, you spend on talent and stockpile it and use your money wisely on veterans.

  34. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 11:56 am

    sorry ^ this isn’t the 1990’s for that previous post

  35. Tim Malcolm

    December 2, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Put it this way: The move last night is a tell-tale sign of what the Phillies are looking to do this offseason: Not overspend.

  36. William

    December 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Tim, you said something about a lite offseason. Well except for the Lidge deal nothing happened until I believe January with Feliz. Which no one really saw the value in Feliz. I hoped they would have signed him early when I saw he was a FA but they were patient and waited and got there man at a bargain.

    I think the Phillies are taking the same approach this year. Let the market settle and get the bargains. Instead of going after the Adam Eatons right away.

  37. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Tim: Amaro could be extending the olive branch to Burrell and Moyer in actual contract discussions as we speak. And I’m sure these players know the Phillies level of interest in resigning them already.

    Arbitration isn’t the right tool to be used as an olive branch.

    If they could sign Moyer or Burrell for two years at a reasonable figure, would that be better than for one year at an inflated price?

    maxhole: You could be right and Burrell may end up somewhere with a huge contract, way above what the Phillies would be willing to offer. But the Phillies hardly knew (though they could have guessed) what other players (I’m thinking Abreu here) would and would not be offered arbitration. And as someone else pointed out, the market has yet to set itself. So who knows, Burrell may indeed resign with the Phillies.

  38. NJ

    December 2, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I think thats a charitable way of saying it Tim, I think the theme of the off-sesaon is fall back into the pack and hope things shake out like they have before. This is trying to be too clever with Burrell instead of making the right move, a little risky but not a great risk unless we’ve been living past our means.

  39. MP

    December 2, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I think at least Burrell should have been offered arbitration. The dumbest person in baseball knows Burrell doesn’t want just one year. There was nothing to lose with arbitration to Burrell. And I think Moyer should have been offered it because the guy has earned a little extra money, and I think we should deal with Moyer on a year to year basis. I think Moyer has at least two good years, maybe three left, but with the age I would keep him at year to year. This, was a huge mistake by Amaro. If we’re serious about repeating, we have to be ready to spend, and this if this is any indication on how money is going to be spent the rest of the offseason, I am not getting my hopes up.

  40. William

    December 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Reason not to offer it stated right on their website:

    While protecting Draft picks is incentive for teams to offer arbitration, the danger of a player accepting can make it not worth the risk. In recent years, the Phillies have been burned in this manner by Kevin Millwood and Placido Polanco.

  41. TheDipsy

    December 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Get a grip! If Burrell would have accepted arbitration we’d have been screwed. 15m worth of screwed. Let me run a list of names past you that you wouldn’t pay 15m to. Gorman Thomas, Rob Deer, Adam Dunn. Forget it. This what 15m WILL get you. Someone LIKE Raul Ibanez AND Kerry Wood AND Russ Springer. How would you like to spend your money? Ther Phillies are a self imposed “capped” team. Thats the way it is. By the way, Brad Penny is looking kinda good right now.

    The Dipsy
    Chairman of the Derek Lowe in Pinstripes Foundation

  42. Pingback: Burrell One Step Closer To A New Team

  43. Gavin

    December 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    We’ll start to see some real movement after Dec. 12th when players are non-tendered. This is where Gillick made his hay. Until then we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Realistically I see the Phillies signing a fringe OF like Jenkins last year and a Brocail/Spring type for the pen.

    My top free agent choice that we COULD ACTUALLY SIGN….Nick Punto.

    Prediction……Burrell signs with a team for alot less $ than we thought a few weeks before ST, and we’ll all go crazy because we could have gotten him back for so little $.

  44. Griffin

    December 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    First of all, Burrell is gone. By not offering him arbitration, teams are now willing to pay a little more for him, knowing that it will not cost them draft picks. The Phillies had an advantage over other teams in negotations (because of the loss of draft picks) but now that advantage is gone. He’ll get a three year deal from an American league team.

    Secondly, this now prevents the Phillies from signing any Type A free agents. If the Philles had the compensatory picks for Burrell but signed an Ibanez or Cruz, they would still have a first round pick. Now, if they signed one of those guys, they don’t have a first rounder. If they offered Burrell arbitration and he accepted, then you’re set for one year. If he declined, they you have a green light to sign a Type A free agent knowing that you’ll still have a first round pick.

    Anyone who thinks the Phillies are going to go out and sign a Lowe, Burnett or Sheets (who were all offered arbitration!) is kidding themselves. This team will have to improve by trading away it’s already thin minor league system. This is all about money.

  45. KM

    December 2, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I am surprised they didnt offer arbitration to Moyer, but not surprised about Burrell. I think that Burrell would have accepted arbitration, and I think we need some new blood from the position. Forget Burrell’s power numbers, they can be made up throughout the order, I will take speed at contact at that position.

  46. Davegas

    December 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    I think this team is Victorino’d. When they lost Rowand, Shane stepped up his game and we weren’t questioning why Rowand wasn’t here any more. I think they think someone else will do the same next year. Foolish asumption and hurt the fans looking for a repeat at the same time.

  47. KM

    December 2, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I understand that not offering Burrell arbitration pretty much forbids the Phillies from signing another type A free agent because of draft pick considerations, but I think that we can improve the lineup by subtracting Burrell, and i didn’t want to take the chance that he accept arbitration.

    Now Moyer on the other hand . . . either the Phillies don’t want him back, or they are trying to sign him outside of arbitration for a more Phillie-friendly price.

  48. Dave

    December 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    This makes no sense whatsoever. I’d rather risk having to shell out on a 1-yr contract against getting a boatload of first round picks.

    Did we get the wrong guy for the job?

  49. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Griffin: I agree with you that it’s highly unlikely the Phllies will wind up with any Type A FA’s who were offered arbitration. That doesn’t mean there are no FA’s worth signing however.

    Here’s a great link to all FA’s and their current status:

    There are still pitchers and corner OF’s that can be had without losing a pick. Yes, some are worthless, but others may be a good fit. Only Type A FA’s result in a loss of a pick when signed.

  50. Geoff

    December 2, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Actually, Andy Pettite wouldnt cost a pick…

  51. Manny

    December 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Just tell me why in the world would Burrell accept arbitration, knowing that it is only for one year, and knowing that at least he has to repeat a good season to keep his value inflated? He wants multiple years!!

    He would NOT have accepted. It’s clear and simple.

    This was a dumb move by the front office, unless they have exclusive, insider information that NO ONE in the AL wants Burrell. In that case, and that case only, would this move make any sense at all.

  52. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    yes dave wrong guy for the job, but he doesn’t write the checks.

  53. Bill Giles

    December 2, 2008 at 1:47 pm


    Pick me up at the aiport at 3:15 pm. And, you’d better have my Super Big Gulp – not a lot of ice damn it!

  54. William

    December 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    What insider information do you have that tells you he WOULDN’T accept it. Just because I say I want a BMW, or it is rumored that I’m looking at a BMW, doesn’t mean I won’t settle for a new 300M, that is in my garage.

    What makes you think that Pat wouldn’t sign a one year deal…if it comes down to it and he doesn’t get the offers he wants why not take a one year deal worth 14-15 million. There is no market for Burrell at 14 million, he knows it and the Phillies know it!

    Phillies didn’t think Millwood wanted a one year deal and he took it!

  55. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    pat will get a three year somewhere. DH is begging for him. without looking i’d say he had more homers than half the teams DH in AL. and it doesnt matter if he doesnt get even 12mill 3yr, he is guaranteed that money. if he sucks in year of arbitration he loses out in long run. thats why he wouldnt accept a one year deal

  56. Griffin

    December 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Megary, I understand that there are still good FA’s who are not Type A free agents, and I know that not offering Burrell arbitration is not the end of the world. I just don’t see the front office saving money here and spending it elsewhere. They’re going to sign a Juan Rivera-type OF and a bargain basement starting pitcher and hope for the best. I’m fully confidant that Pat will get a 3-year deal from an American League team and we will have missed out on two extra picks, but oh well.

  57. Eb

    December 2, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    The phillies are not going to malke ANY FA moves that are of any value. So dont get your hopes up.

    Also I just read to save some extra money and ink the phillies are going to start spelling their name “Fillies” The “Ph” is to $$$$$$

  58. Gavin

    December 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Why save $ for Howard and Hamels if you are not planning on winning now. Now is the time that they are somewhat affordable. What will happen in 2010? They wont have any payroll left to sign ANYONE if they lock up Hamels and Howard. Now is the time to spend while the getting is good.

    If not, then go ahead and sign Howard and Hamels to a long term deal like Utley, then you can at least predict what the payroll is from year to year. Plus you get them a little cheaper than waiting until FA. If they dont lock up Howard this off-season, then he’s as good as gone.

  59. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Griffin: If that’s the best the Phillies do, then I’ll be the first to cry “Cheapskates”. Still, without neither knowledge of the future, nor the ability to predict it, I’d rather not commit my foot to mouth just yet.

    Here’s a goofy thought…
    After the trade is made, the new freed-up payroll goes toward the long-term contract offered Matt Holliday.

    ‘Tis the season to create unfounded rumors….heh, heh.

  60. maxhole

    December 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    matt holliday=oakland

  61. Megary

    December 2, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I didn’t realize Oakland was not allowed to trade.

  62. mike

    December 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Pat as much as people talk isn’t worth the money? He still hit 30 homeruns and drove in 85 runs and protected howard. This was and you can argue all you want a cheap way out because of them having to give werth , victorino, Hamel ,Howard. raises. The playoff money and all the other cash is not going out to try and win again. You have the perfect yes man in wade excuse me I mean Amaro. Ruben you forgot to get sugar for Giles coffee go back and get it,They cut out right now. almost thirty million dollars off last year salary with the raise to the player mention they will only go up about 14 million. net to them 36 million plus this years take .Hey let’s pay for another stadium,raise the toll to ten dollars. we can put it in chester next to the empty mls stadium.

  63. Evrybuddy Hits woohoo

    December 2, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Burrell doesn’t deserve a raise over last year and I am fairly certain that he might not get much more than $15 to $20 million over TWO years so why take the chance that he accepts one year at $15M plus?

    It is no way a slap in the face. Less teams would have interest in Moyer and Burrell if it costs them a first round pick.

  64. Philajen

    December 2, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Nice one Mike… you forgot to mention the raise in ticket prices that will net a couple million for the team….. My seats went up $3.00 per seat per game. Amaro is a douche bag!!!!

  65. NateB

    December 2, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I think they didn’t offer arbitration to Burrell because they want the other teams to feel no fear offering him a big deal (because Burrell’s new team won’t lose a draft pick). The Phils just don’t want Burrell back because he’s getting older and already looks like a DH. Everyone loves his bat, but he doesn’t belong in the field unless it’s at first base, but that’s not happening here in Philly. So it’s wasn’t a bad move if they want Burrell permanently gone.

  66. mike

    December 2, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Nate wake up he isn’t millwood, even if he got another 14 one year deal he is a 33 homerun hitter who walks a lot . but the draft choices are the thing that gets me you would have had 6 picks if moyer doesn’t resign in the first 60 you could reload a weak minor league system.And have replacement for howard and hamel when they leave if you draft well. How much is 44,000 per game times what is the average spent total up to for playoff and series.

  67. T Marty

    December 2, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    As i’m reading this i was thinking to myself, Welcome to the Ruben Years, and then reading your last line… i’m afraid that’s not the last time i will read/think that.

  68. Jason B

    December 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    I can’t believe they wouldn’t give Jaime Moyer arbitration. 7mil/yr. Hell, we pay Eaton 8mil/yr, why not give Jaime 8mil? He’s earned it, and next year, the phillies will not be lacking revenue.

  69. Pete

    December 2, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    heres the other side of the coin from

    had they offered burrell and moyer arbitration, they would have likely both accepted because there is NO market for either. That’s about $16 mill and $8 tacked on to our $100 mill payroll which pushes us to $124 million. At that point, we have no flexability to add anyone else, essentially ending our offseason.

    by not offering arbitration, it enables them to either sign the players for less money, leaving money left for a reliever or starter, OR explore options at the winter meetings.

  70. Mike B.

    December 3, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Yo guys don’t throw Amaro under the bus just yet. This might’ve been the doing of Monty and the rest of the owners. I mean, everything they’ve been doing this off-season suggests that the ownership wants to step back in terms of payroll.

    1) Scott Eyre signs a one-year, $2 million contract.

    Eyre signed a one-year contract for $2 million less than he made last year? I don’t know about you guys, but something tells me that he didn’t volunteer for that; he was only one of the keys to our bullpen’s resurgence. Something tells me that the Phils purposefully tried to lowball their free agents, and in Eyre’s case, they may simply have gotten lucky that the man has a good head on his shoulders and realized that $2 million is a lot of money to throw a baseball for one inning a night, if, of course, that was the reason he signed for less money. Maybe this was Ruben’s idea, but then again, maybe not – he may’ve learned from Fast Eddie Wade, but Eddie spent in the upper $90 million range during his last years here – the thing is, he just spent it dumbly. Most likely it is the Phillies brain-freeze trust writing the paychecks who made this decision and told Amaro how much payroll we need to shed.

    2) Phillies trade minor league OF Greg Golson to Texas for minor league OF Andrew Mayberry.

    Andrew Mayberry? That was one of Amaro’s first moves. They made this move almost two weeks ago, long before the salary arbitration period was over. The fact that they trade for a guy with slightly more power than Golson indicates that they had no intention of even offering Burrell arbitration.

    You just had to sense that the Ring Wraiths who comprise our ownership were uncomfortable with the payroll being in the hundred millions for two years running. And with the economy the way it is, they’ve even less a choice – even the Yankees withheld arbitration for Bobby Abreu. Look at what Buster Olney wrote on his insider blog: “a month ago, the notion of Abreu as a $16 million player didn’t seem so outrageous. In the current climate, however, executives with other teams believe Abreu might be fortunate to make $8 million. It appears that no other team will offer Abreu anything close to what he would make in arbitration with the Yankees.” And it’s not like he had a bad season – he’s 34, and according to Olney, Abreu hit “.296 with 20 homers and 100 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .371.” And he didn’t get arbitration. And that’s the YANKEES. If the Yankees don’t offer arbitration, you know that it’s going to be a slow winter. That’s just the market, folks – and besides, who in baseball doesn’t deserve a pay cut? I’m sorry, but so many players are egregiously overpaid, it’s ridiculous.

    I don’t trust Amaro because I’ve always thought of him as Fast Eddie Wade’s boy, but he at least showed he’s not completely dumb in not wanting to sign Garrett Anderson, whose probably more brittle to breakdown than was David Bell’s back. (Not that Fast Eddie would’ve hesitated to sign him, by the way). Yeah, I regret the loss of draft picks, but let’s see a) where either Moyer or Burrell end up, b) how they fare if they depart for greener dollar pastures, c) who any replacements will be, and d) how those potential replacements fare. We already got Eyre to sign for less, let’s hold out hope that our local hero (Jamie) and our one-time wunderkind (Burrell) sign for less.

    You know what the worst part is, though? We might have either of them signed, or either of their replacements signed, if need be, were it not for Adam Eaton’s $8 million dollar salary next year. If he got suspended for steroid usage, would he forfeit his salary?

  71. Mike B.

    December 3, 2008 at 12:37 am

    By the way, I meant John Mayberry. Don’t know where Andrew came from.

  72. Memphis

    December 3, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Not offering Burrell was the right thing to do. The risk he’d get a raise over $14M is legit and not at all worth it. Not at all. Unless Burrell was then overwhelmed with a multi-year contract (not likely), he would have been lumbering around LF for another year at a high number. Amaro played that one right.

  73. The Dipsy

    December 3, 2008 at 8:27 am

    In the final analysis, I don’t think anyone can argue that with the 25m we saved by not arbbing these two, we can get more value using that money on other players. I like chocolate ice cream but I wouldn’t pay $6.00 for a cone. Word up.

    The Dipsy
    Chairman of the Derek Lowe in Pinstripes Foundation

  74. Manny

    December 3, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Yet, Burrell wouldn’t accept arbitration even if they grossly overpay him for one year. He wants YEARS, not a one-year 15 million contract. He wouldn’t have accepted.

  75. Georgie

    December 3, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Hey Dips-why are you so sure they’re going to spend that extra 25M? I won’t throw Amaro the whole way under the bus just yet, until I see how this plays out, but if they end up cheaping out and not signing Moyer or Burrell, no LF replacement or starting pitcher, LOOK OUT! As far as I’m concerned , the FO doesn’t get a “pass” for the next several years just because they won a WS. I have a feeling that’s the way they see it, they throw the fans a bone with a championship every 28 years, and suck up the profits in the meantime.

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