Odds and Ends: Let it Snow – Phillies Nation

Odds and Ends: Let it Snow

Stuck inside the house here in the Philadelphia region because of the big snowstorm? Well, if your not outside making snowmen or eating yellow snow, consider these topics and talk amongst yourselves.

  • Jimmy Rollins contract situation:  Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote today that we should keep an eye on 2012.  J-Roll will certainly want an upgrade on the below-market-value five-year, $40 million deal he signed in ’06.  For ’12, the Phils have $43 million locked up in three players, so the money is available at this point, but how much will remain to be seen.  Is next year the end of the line for Rollins?  And do you believe Ruben Amaro is prepared for ’11 and ’12 and how this could shape the team for the next decade?
  • The Cliff Lee scenario has been hashed and rehashed thousands of times since the trade was finalized a few days ago.  But I still cant get past the fact of how crushed Lee was.  He genuinely believed that he would spend the rest of his career in red pinstripes, and was blindsided by the trade to Seattle.
  • With that said, I get why the trades were made.  Amaro was afraid he would not get Halladay if he waited too long, so the deal needed to be done asap.  On top of that, he realized that the team would not budge on the payroll to accommodate both Lee and Doc.  Knowing that, he had to trade Lee before the Halladay deal was made – taking less than he should have – so that the fans would not revolt  when realizing that Lee and Halladay were on the team together.  He just couldn’t trade Lee after Halladay was already a Phillie.  So that part I get.
  • On the other hand, I have to believe that they could have gotten some decent prospects in a Blanton deal and then taken draft picks in a year when Lee became a free agent.  Would that have been almost the same as the three prospects they received from Seattle?  I say yes, it could have been a similar haul in both scenarios.
  • The Phillies still need to look at some cheap options for the fifth starter, since currently, it’s down to Moyer and Kendrick.  Take your pick and tell us why: Duchscherer, Smoltz, Bedrard, Sheets or Mulder?

If your situated in the Northeast part of the country, enjoy the snow!



  1. SirAlden

    December 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    ~ A bird in the hand, is worth two in a bush ~

    The Phillies need upper level low cost pitching to arrive in 2011
    (to replace Blanton) and possibly use Blanton’s current money
    to add to Werth’s current money to hang on to Werth.

    They also need, low cost pitching to arrive in 2012, when the Rollins,
    Victorino, and Howard ships are sailing.

    Draft Picks in the Summer of 2011 will not do that.

    We now have Mays, Cosart, Aumont, and Ramirez. If 1 or 2 make it,
    we are cooking with Gas. Gillies, and Gose might be replacements for

    Lee would give us a Spectacular year in 2010, with a flameout in 2011
    and 2012.

    This gives us Solid 2010, and a shot at keeping it going in out years.

    Knowing that Looper and Gillick have deep connections to the Mariners Scouts, gives me a warm smile this snowy Holiday Season.

  2. thisisjohnny

    December 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    is halladay *really* an upgrade over lee? i don’t see it. and the price to get him seemed steep, which included packaging prospects that we didn’t want to give up to get him last year. why the overwhelming push to get halladay when lee was so damn good for us (and he’s a southpaw!)?

    i just don’t see why.

    of all potential cheap 5th starters, smoltz is the best pickup if you ask me. if lidge gets all funky again and starts blowing saves left and right — you can always slide smoltz into that closer role and use someone like kendrick as a spot starter until things get situated again.

  3. phil

    December 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    we have the pitching dont worry and i would bet good money rollins retires in a phillies jersey. trevor may will burst onto the scene this year and swoop in for the 5th starter spot in 2011

  4. David

    December 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    While I don’t like the fact that we traded Lee so quickly and got so little, there’s no guarantee the 2 draft picks we would have received would have been better than what we got (Aumont was a 1st-round pick). Plus, these 3 guys have already had minor league seasons under their belts, if we were to wait until the 2011 draft, that’s 2 1/2 to 3 extra years of development time these prospects will have already had professionally.

    I don’t like the haul we got for Lee per se, but I think in terms of prospects and development of the farm, trading Lee would have been the right move. I think we could have waited for a team like the Rangers, the Angels, or even the Cubs amongst a whole host of other teams and waited for them to get desperate and surrender a huge amount for Lee. You have to think this would have turned into some kind of bidding war between 10 or 12 teams for Lee’s services and Amaro could have just waited and took the package he thought was best. That’s the approach I didn’t agree with.

  5. Phil

    December 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I disagree with most people. I study our farm system, along with some of the other top prospects in other systems for fun. I especially am going to look into the prospects we got for Lee to see what their potential is and I must say that I absolutely LOVE the haul we got for Lee. Aumont could be better than Drabek if he ends up a starter, but he’ll probably end up a reliever, and if he ends up a reliever I’d imagine it would be as an elite closer. He has ELECTRIC stuff. A 95+ mph fastball with room for improvement and an absolutely filthy curve with room for improvement. His change up is mediocre, but that too has room for improvement, and I’m sure King Cole and Madson can help him with that pitch considering they have two of the best change ups in all of baseball. Aumont has top of the rotation stuff and is projected to be a top of the rotation pitcher. He also has a huge frame. He had elbow issues, but from everything I’ve read about him it points to being a minor issue. Regardless, a top of the rotation starter or a closer…neither is a bad thing to get out of him. Drabek broke down in August last year because he couldn’t handle the innings, and I honestly think that Amaro sold high on him. Drabek has nasty stuff, but he too may not make it as a starter because of his violent delivery. Honestly, I think both Aumont and Drabek are a wash, and I think Benny Looper, Pat Gillick, and RAJ knew what they were doing when they got Aumont and let go of Drabek.

    Gillies is definitely going to be our CFer when Victorino walks away. He had a monster year in high-A ball for the M’s, and once he gets into our system that focuses a lot on hitting I expect him to develop more pop in his bat. His mechanics are unfortunately hold him back from having HR power, but he has a lot of gap power, and I’m sure his swing will get tweaked with in our system, especially by Manuel who is an excellent hitting coach. He also has great patience and a great eye. Furthermore, the kid plays excellent defense and has excellent speed. I think he gets under looked because he just started breaking out last year, and people were worried he wouldn’t over come his deafness handicap. They’re projecting him to be Juan Pierre with patience, and guess what, that is a REALLY good player. Juan Pierre is a pretty good player, and his biggest downfall is his lack of patience. If Gillies is Pierre with patience then that is going to be one hell of a player in our system.

    The other kid has a high ceiling, but I don’t expect much out of him. If he reaches his ceiling then he too has top of the rotation stuff.

    The way I see this is that we gave up Marson, Donald, Carrasco, and Knapp for a half a year of Lee, a few years of Francisco(who is a very good 4th OF option), and Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez. When you compare Aumont, Gillies, and Francisco to Marson, Donald, Carrasco, and Knapp then I think it is easy to see that the package we received is better than the package we gave up, especially considering we got that 1/2 year of Lee, which would not have taken us to the WS. Let’s compare what we gave up.

    Marson- High BA, lots of patience, 0 power…even less than Gillies, along with terrible defense behind the plate. Because he’s a catcher with absolutely no power there is no room to move him to another position. Nobody wants a 1B with no pop, thus making Marson garbage. It’s really a shame because his discipline and the ability to drive the ball is great, but he just has no power. If he shaped up to actually be good defensively then that’s a Jason Kendall type player, which is not a bad thing what-so-ever. Unfortunately, he probably won’t develop any defense or pop thus making him nothing more than a back up catcher and a GREAT pinch hitter.

    Donald- I see him being a utility player, maybe a super utility player late in his career like DeRosa, and that is a big maybe. I think he’ll be Eric Bruntlett with better offensive skills and much worse defensive skills. If Donald was able to stay at SS and be a serviceable defensive SS then he might have had a fine career in the majors, but the fact is that he isn’t a fine defensive SS or even a fine defensive 2B. He has terrible range, and his arm isn’t too great to boot. He doesn’t have the pop in his bat to move to a corner OF spot and he doesn’t have the speed to play CF. He might shock me, but I doubt it.

    Carrasco- Let’s face it, this guy has all of the potential in the world, but he can’t bring it together. I think he’s a head case and will be lucky to keep a 5th starting spot on any team. Sucks because his stuff really is electric. He’s still young, so he might get it together, but I doubt it, and even if he does, he’s still not as “electric” as Aumont.

    Knapp- This kid was really hard to let go, like really hard. I see him as equal value of Aumont, but just like Aumont, not sure if he can last a full season to be a starter. Regardless, future top of the rotation starter or closer for a team, assuming his arm doesn’t fall off.

    When you compare the value it goes like this.

    Ramirez=Carrasco(considering they have similar stuff and a similar ceiling, but neither will probably bring it together)

    Francisco is a major league player, and in fact he could start on some teams. His bat is about average for a major leaguer and his defense is about average. Couple in the fact that we got 3 months of Lee and another NL title because of it then it is pretty simple here…the Lee trade worked. If anything you should all be upset about the Halladay trade because that is where we lost the talent, but then again let’s go over that.

    Taylor- Potential superstar in the making, but he is older and blocked on our team. Let’s see what he does on the A’s this year because I know he’ll be their starting right or left fielder.

    Drabek- Another potential top of the rotation pitcher. I see his ceiling being a #2 or a pretty good closer. He throws in the low-mid 90’s and has a great spiking curveball and above average change up, but he has a lot of arm issues, and he’s supposedly a total d0uchebag in the club house.

    D’Arnaud- Probably going to be an all-star catcher, or one of those guys that puts up all-star numbers but doesn’t make the all-star team because there are tons of good catchers in baseball right now. D’Arnaud had very good power for a catcher, good discipline, and INCREDIBLE defense. His batting average/on base skills will come with more playing time. Unfortunately, in the world of catcher, he is going to be great, but not great compared to other catchers that he will be facing in baseball for years to come ie Montero, Posey, Wieters, Mauer, McCann, etc. Having said that, he was a throw in to get $6 million back from the Halladay deal so we could land some bullpen help.

    Having said that huge mouthful, I’ll have to come out and talk about some other farm guys to look out for. Unfortunately, our infield prospects are completely abysmal. I’m kind of expecting the Phillies to replenish our farm by trading Howard next year. That could be a guess, but who knows, I think it will really depend on whether or not we sign Werth. If we trade Howard I wouldn’t trade him for any less than a very good 1B or 3B prospect. There are plenty of teams that would probably go after him. Personally I’d send him to the Yankees for Montero and some change. Montero will be a 1B because he isn’t going to be able to catch. Also, Montero very well might be ready to come up by 2012. Middle infield I’m not too concerned with yet, because I personally think the Phillies are going to have Utley and Rollins in red pinstripes until they’re ready to retire, and I think both will play into their late 30’s. They will both provide above average defense for years to come, and Utley should provide an above average bat. Rollins will also be going for some good milestones too.

    As far as good pitching prospects we have Trevor May, Andrew Carpenter, and Drew Naylor. I can’t keep going because friends just got here, but I’m just letting you all know to not worry about the Phillies, their future is fine.

  6. Greg

    December 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I liked how Livan Hernandez pitched against us,when he was with the
    Nationals. He was tough,he’s a innings eater.He may be a low cost
    high performance player?
    The bullpen, Ron Villone can be that type also.

  7. Jonathan

    December 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    For a fifth starter, I would go for either Smoltz or Duchscherer only if the price for either is reasonable. Sheetz is asking for $10 a year (out of the price range), Bedard has apparently a horrible work ethic (not the Philly attitude that makes us win), and I haven’t heard enough about Mulder recently to judge him. The rotation is not in dire need of a fifth starter, especially not now. If we look at 2008, our opening day starting rotation was Myers, Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer and Eaton. We improved throughout the year–slightly–and we know what happened after that. Put faith in the guys we have. They are all good major league pitchers. Smoltz and Duchscherer can throw out of the ‘pen, so if we were to sign a starter for simply depth, might as well sign a guy that can pitch elsewhere when you don’t need him in the rotation.

  8. The second John

    December 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Thisisjohny, yes it is a huge upgrade from cliff lee to roy halladay. That’s becasue we traded 1 year of cliff lee for 4, or 5 years of roy. To me that’s a huge upgrade

  9. The Dipsy

    December 19, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    In tomorrow’s Inquirer (which I read today) Martino points out how Benny Looper (who worked for the M’s before here) and Gillick really knew about the prospects that we traded for. In light of that, I’ll give them the benefit. The Gillies kid is supposed to be super fast. I mean Michael Bourn fast. Ramirez is supposed to have great stuff, but he’s young and Wheels would call him a “space cadet”. As much as I loved Cliff, if he was so bent outta shape, he could have told the Phils that he’d sign for 3yr 60m. He should be pissed at his agent. I mean, how galling is it that we have to pay Moyer 6.5m (if I’m right) next year? Enough time has past that we have digested this deal every which way from Sunday and I believe in one unmistakeable conclusion. While having Halladay is great, you had to find a way to keep Lee for next year. Prospects be damned.

    The Dipsy

  10. Jon the Third

    December 19, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I would like Duch or Sheets if they are both low price high reward. Smoltz I see as a reliever (another interesting topic).

  11. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Kep in mind Halladay can pitch on 3 days rest and do it effectively. Lee cannot.

    I just wish instead of Ramirez the Phils could’ve pulled in one of Seattle’s young major league relievers or the ss. I like Aumont and Gillies. of course getting Ramirez out of that park mighthelp his confidence.

  12. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    One of the previous articles correctly pointed out the $$$ in 2011. There’s no way the Phils could pay Halladay and Lee $20 million each without dumping several players.

    There’s 112 million for 12 players.(does not include Werth, Blanton, Romero or Vic).
    Add 20 mil for Lee and you’re up to 132.

    How the heck can you pay 12 players for 12 million. 1 starter, 6 relievers and 2 OF. The Budget dicates that the Phils can’t afford both.

  13. The Dipsy

    December 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Joe – you would have to shed some salary. For example, in 2011, we could have Dominic Brown in the OF and Shane will be gone. Ibanez would be gone in 2012. Hello Tyson Gillies or Anthony Gose. Also, the payroll would not have stayed at 140m. Howard will be gone also. To tell ya the truth, Howard, Vic, Ibanez, Lidge, will all be gone by the start of the ’12 season. Thats a lotta salary cleared out. You could have asked Lee to take a little less money in ’11 and then increase it and you woulda been fine. Don’t be surprised to see a lineup looking Something like this in ’12.


    The Dipsy

  14. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    The Phillies boxed themselves in by not grabbing Doc/Lee in July. That would’ve been a brilliant move. And I’m sure Amaro said go for it, but the brass said no way. But the Phils overall would’ve made out tons better if they did that. In that situation, the Phils give up basically the same number of props, but they also win the WS last year. They also win the WS in 2010 in all likely hood. If that happens the Phils could of actually not signed both saving the team a ton of money while getting the draft picks to either sign or use for leverage in trades. And you would not of heard a peep out of me for 6-7 yrs.

  15. The Dipsy

    December 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Can we push that time schedule up 6-7 years?

    The Dipsy

  16. shawn qwarts

    December 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I think we should look at Smoltz for one year and/or Duchsherer. Both can start and relieve. But are they willing to come to town expecting either. Frankly, I hope Kendrick shows enough improvement to start and improve in that role. He is a tough kid and deserves a break. But I simply do not know if he has the stuff (pitches). Sheets is too expensive, Bedard is a real cry baby and Mulder has has too many serious injuries.

  17. Griffin

    December 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    From John Sickels author of The Baseball Prospect Book: “The Halladay/Lee trade is a strong blow; losing Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud rips the guts out of the system. Getting Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez in return helps some but none of them are as good as the three they lost.”

    This is the last time I bring it up, I swear. Keeping Lee and non-tendering Blanton instead of dumping Lee for middling prospects was the way to go. The Phillies traded 3 prospects for Halladay and got back 3 inferior prospects for Lee. They didn’t recoup much value. I like the Halladay trade, but I HATE the Lee dump.

  18. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    The props they got for Lee are marginal at best no matter how people try to spin it like a politician. Ask the M’s how great these props are. It’s almost as if Pat Gilick said hey, “I’ve already won 2 WS in Toronto and one in Philly. My only swing and miss is Seattle. Hey guys, I got this great idea……. I mean you’re not going to increase your payroll anyway so.”

  19. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I love you too Dipsy Doodle…..

  20. Pingback: hotstove.com / archive » Early Saturday Night Hot Stove Notes: Phillies, Cubs, Mariners, Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez, more

  21. The Dipsy

    December 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    If you would have non tendered Blanton and made the Halladay trade then you would have got NO prospects back. That would have been devastating. You just can’t tell me that you couldn’t trade Blanton for ONE good prospect and a middling prospect. I’m sure we did not explore that option very deeply. I have said before that you could have kept Lee, gone into spring training with Blanton at 7m and traded Blanton then, when invariably pitchers start getting hurt and teams get desperate. I would even go as far to say that you may have gotten almost as much for Blanton on March 20 than Lee this week. Teams just don’t feel urgency in December.

    The Dipsy

  22. NEPA

    December 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Hey here is a really posivive thought …..think of this…..And be psyched.
    WHEN was the last time we started the season with the best, or even top 5 starter IN THE MAJORS on our roster?
    Was Schilling a top 5?…Maybe….Anybody else?
    Maybe you have to go back to Steve Carlton.He was definitely a #1.

    But Halladay is a #1,and we have him.Just think of watching this guy every 4-5 days.I think this city is going to go bonkers once they realize how lucky we are.

    Halladay for president!

  23. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Dipsy, that line up isn’t near as fearsome as what the Phils have now. Of course with Lee, Halladay, Hamels and Happ who cares. LOL.

    Anyone else think the Phils could’ve received prospects similar to the one they received with a Blanton/Victorino package? Heck, if Polanco is the #2 hitter and Victorino is gonzo after next year why not?

  24. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I should add that Fransisco or Gloud in the 7 hole isn’t a huge downgrade, is it?

  25. The Dipsy

    December 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Well Joe, you don’t know who the 1B would have been in that lineup and you would have a pretty sick staff. It would just be a matter of allocating more salary to pitching. And a Blanton Vic package would have been a good one to explore but we will never what it could bring beacuse Amaro got happy feet and apparently had to have these prospects pronto.

    The Dipsy

  26. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Anyone have a quality prospect ranking from after the season for all the majors?

    One thing the Phils didn’t do that the Blue Jays did is insist on at least one major league read prospect like Taylor. Someone that would help this year.

  27. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 7:18 pm


    I agree that it all happened too fast.

  28. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Or perhaps some actual current MLB players. Talk about a “Forrest Gump” moment. MLB fans laughed at Clvnd for what they got back in the Lee deal. And then the Phils turn around and return the favor? Why not get Carlos Silva(I admitt I don’t know his salary so I could be way off)) or maybe a rp or a rh bench bat(not “crazy joe” bradely). But something. Your trade Lee after the post season he had for irregular reject items….

  29. psujoe

    December 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Silva is owed 11.5 in 2010 and 11.5 in 2012. Too much $$$. I like Morrow and Aardsma.

  30. shawn qwartz

    December 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Phil — I enjoyed your post and appreciate the analytics. It is always great to read optimistic and knowledgeable stuff about the Phils. Thanks

  31. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks psujoe. The dismay I feel about this move won’t allow me spend time doing research on everything I write. As far as the last poster goes, what’s wrong with a little reality to go long with the optimism? No one’s saying that we no longer will root or cheer for the Phillies. The Phils blew a chance for greatness the likes this City let alone this franchise has ever seen. Are we wrong for calling out the Front Office on that?

  32. hamels' left hand

    December 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I think calling out the “front office” is the wrong approach unless your definition of said term includes the five that own the club.

    The money thing is an ownership thing and I don’t think there’s anything more to it.

    Rube, Proefrock, Looper et al. are the “front office” to me….I’m sure each of them would prefer the obvious- a Roy/Lee twosome at the top of the Phils’ rotation…

    A budget for an ownership group, however, is a budget.

  33. Dan S

    December 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I like Duscherer or Smoltz both can be start or be in the pen.

  34. Buster Heyman

    December 19, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I’m amazed that the Phils haven’t signed up Bedard already. For the past two seasons, they wanted to snag him from Seattle, despite his injuries. I think he’s a good arm but he’s injured all the time. I say we take a flier on Chien-Ming Wang myself. Smoltz is definately a reliever by this point Did he even get past the 6th inning last season? I’d be all about inking him at the right price, because I think he’ll prove valuable as a mentor to the younger pen arms that will probably be up.

  35. beta sigma delta shag

    December 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I can not believe that any of you thought Lee and Doc would both be here next year. And if you really think the prospect we got for Lee are really bad, what do you think we would havre gotten for Blanton. I also think that they will be able to pay Ryan for another contract as long as they keep winning cause winning makes players want to keep playing together.
    I have a fairy tale to tell you
    It was all just a big smoke screen Lee is going to sign with the Phillies after next year, he was in on it and just making it look good. Yup he is going to sign for 25 million a year, and the Phillies are going to sign Howard to an extension for 6 years 120 million a year. Wreth get an extension for about 15 million a year, Brown will come up and rank in the big leagues when Raul is gone, and Gose comes up and is an All Star center fielder.
    Then when you drive to the the Bank for a game you pull up to the parking lot and the guy ask for his $65 to park. Getting into the park to sit in section 417 two seats for $125 a piece with EAT AT JOE’S printed on the back of the Phillies helmets.
    Sounds like fun to me.
    And you know what I will take a competitive team in 2013 and beyond then one more championship(which was not gaurantee even with Lee and Doc on the same team) in the next 25 years.
    So can we let these prospects play a few games in Reading or on the Iron Pigs before we say they are worthless

  36. Buster Heyman

    December 19, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I don’t think the prospects are worthless either beta. I mean there’s video of Aumont striking out big leaugers in the WBC. Tyson Gilles I believe has the same projected “ceiling” as Taylor. And J.C. Ramirez, apparantly has decent stuff though I checked his numbers and am a bit skeptical of that. So yeah, I don’t get why everyone is jumping on them saying they suck. To me they are no less valuable than what we traded for Halladay. We definately needed to reload on prospects though.

  37. Front Office Clowns!

    December 19, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    No one said props are worthless. But props ,and so-so props at that, over going back-to-back and maybe winning 3 WS titles in a row?? This core deserves it’s place in elite baseball history. So let’s wait for these props to be ready for the bigs, but not until Werth, Vic, Howard are gone??? Wake up. The Phils f*cked up big time. But is that really a surprise with this franchis? Stop letting the ’08 season cloud your brains. And for the last time, Seattle has been saying something to the effect of “Boy, I can’t belv we got Lee and we didn’t even have to give up our top guys.”

  38. George

    December 20, 2009 at 12:34 am

    One thing seems certain: Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and every single prospect involved in these trades will ALL be retired before people even think about shutting up about it. No, I take that back. They’ll all be DEAD.

  39. NJ

    December 20, 2009 at 8:57 am

    These are two separate deals, you can’t just straight-up compare the prospects sent to Toronto vs the ones received from Seattle.

    We traded three potential all-stars for Halladay and insiders like Buster Olney consider Toronto didn’t get a great deal. The second deal trading Lee is not as bad as is made out, it’s probably a better deal than the twins got for Santana who was a far superior pitcher to Lee at the time of the trade. Every time you hear an experienced baseball voice talk about trading impeding free agents they say how difficult the trades are to get anywhere near value for a guy who’s walking irregardless of the compensation picks. We see these draft picks as potential Tim Lincecum’s or Evan Longoria’s when the internal baseball people seem to view these draft picks with great skepticism be it the signing bonus or possibility of one of those draft picks being bumped down a couple of rounds. Remember we know about guys like Aumont past their stats and a few google searches whereas the Phils will have had information on these guys even before a deal with Seattle was discussed.

    The front office clearly likes the prospects enough to not want to risk having Lee’s value decreasing as he sat on the market. The Lee deal is clearly not a great one but compared to other guys being traded in the winter it’s not as terrible a deal as is being made out.

  40. Just Crushed

    December 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Amaro sold the fans out to sooth his own ego. Check back in two years and see where this team is. We now have one star pitcher and a depleted system. My 12 year old could have done a better deal than this.

    Remember the Jaime Moyer deal….it cost us. Amaro is an amateur!

  41. mike mike

    December 20, 2009 at 9:47 am

    JUST CRUSHED CANT BLAME RUBEN. HE WAS TOLD TO SHED SALARY. its the owners, can y imagine if ed snyder was told we could have a top rotation and be the favorites to win the world series for 9 million more over budgect. or yankess, boston, angels, cubs, rangers., would they turn it down for the city and the phans who have been so loyal to them. jerry jones, snider in wash, any of them would say do it

  42. mike mike

    December 20, 2009 at 9:50 am

    When i die i want them to write phillies owners are cheap bastards

  43. NJ

    December 20, 2009 at 11:32 am

    To get back to and win the world series again the Phillies need better situational hitting. Except for Cole getting tagged the pitching was good enough to beat the Yankees and not have to throw Pedro out sick, the difference was the Yankees sporadic hitting ended up in gamebreaking runs and the Phillies bats situation hitting was pretty pathetic.

    As good as the Phillies are they need better team play, that comes from working harder on the fundamentals in the off-season and ST not focusing on the wallet.

  44. Matt M

    December 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    mike mike-Yeah Ed Snider has done a GREAT job running the Sixers and Flyers. Also, nice to see you’re calling a team with a $140 million payroll cheap. This is what happens when fans who just started following this team in 2007 start running their mouths, becuase no way anyone who had to suffer through Rico Brogna, Desi Relaford, Chad Ogea, Wayne Gomes, and any of the other horrible players to play here in the last 20 years would be calling them cheap when they have one of the top-7 payrolls in baseball.

    Also, what if the Phillies kept Cliff Lee and he resembled the pitcher who had an ERA of 6.13, 1.53 WHIP and an OPS against of .856 in his last 7 starts and they couldn’t trade him?

  45. psujoe

    December 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t know if the move would be better, but I’m pretty sure the Phils could’ve gotten similar propsects for Victorino and Blanton combo. Blanton+ Victorino=about 12-12.5 milion.
    Which would be better?

    5th starter

    ss Rollins
    3b Polanco
    2b Utley
    1b Howard
    cf Werth
    lf Ibanez
    rf Francisco or Gloud
    c Ruiz
    and an extra 3.5 million for a reliever or 5th starter
    a 1st round pick and a supplemental pick for Lee


    5th starter

    ss Rollins
    2b Polanco
    2b Utley
    1b Howard
    rf Werh
    lf Ibanez
    cf Victorino
    c Ruiz
    2 supplemental picks in 2011 for Victorino and Blanton

  46. psujoe

    December 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    the Lee picks would be in 2011.

  47. The second John

    December 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    If the Phillies had traded for roy halladay, and kept Lee, then their farm would’ve been totally guttered. Trading Lee was the only way to make sure that we would still have a top 10 farm, and have an ace for 3 or 4 years.

  48. The second John

    December 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Also, the extra 9 million added to the Phillies payroll would have left us with no money to go out a get a bullpen arm, and/or a guy to compete for the fifth starter spot

  49. JeffR

    December 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    So they gave away a Cy Young award- winning ace so they could afford a guy to compete for the 5th starter and a random bullpen arm and that we’d rank in the top 10 farm systems.? Yeah, that makes sense when you’re trying to win a World Series.

  50. The second John

    December 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    The last time I checked a top 10 farm system, and a good bullpen is important. The bullpen was our main weakness last year. Cliff Lee and Roy aren’t going to go 9 innings every time out.

    They also did this so they will have an ace for 4, or 5 more years.

  51. psujoe

    December 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    The Second Joe,

    I think the Phils could’ve landed similar prospects by trading Blanton and Victorino as a package. The move also would’ve freed up more money. My question was would the Phils be better having Lee and 3-3.5 million or Blanton and Victorino. I don’t see Vic being that important in the 7 hole.

  52. The second John

    December 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    psujoe, who’s going to play center field for the Phills? Anthony Gose, and Tyson Gillies aren’t ready yet. Vic also led the Phills in batting average, hits and he is a good speed threat.

  53. jrollpatrol08

    December 21, 2009 at 3:28 am

    ==overall, the opportunity does not come around very often to have 2 cy youngs leading a rotation for under 20 mil/season. thats what the phils had and they blew it. i mean literally, ONE YEAR. i dont think thats being greedy…i think any knowledgable fan can realize that lee wasnt stayin beyond 2010, esp with the halladay situation intensifying. its such a shame that the arrival of the best pitcher in baseball had to be coupled with such a bonehead manuever for ‘prospects’?? what a wasted opportunity….

    but anyway, back to reality. onward and upward…lee is not in the rotation and we have to deal with it…in response to a couple points on the main thread/post…

    4–i dont think the phils woulda gotten much of anything for blanton in terms of prospects. im sure they tried shopping him that weekend before the deal was made but realized that an arb eligible pitcher due to make over 7mil of his caliber wasnt worth a whole lot on the market. there has been a couple comments/articles around the web on this topic and i think that’s the general consensus–that theres no way you can realistically think blanton and lee would haul in a similar package of prospects. i mean you could look at it a couple ways–if you say the phils should NOT have tendered him a contract, then of course thats a great way to shed payroll for lee…but also when he resigns the phils dont get anything back. SO, on the other side, i think the phils thought they could tender a contract and possibly trade him for prospects. we know that didnt work out. i would been all for trading vic and blanton for a year of lee…but with the phils outfield in transition (ibanez aging, werth possibly playing out of phils price range) vic might be a guy to keep around at his price…

    5-on the starting pitching…do the phils have money for this? i mean have we basically abandoned the claim that money was restricting them from keeping lee’s 9mil salary? duscherer/sheets will not be cheap options, even with their recent injury seasons. ducherer will get multiyears somewhere because of his age and positive performance outlook. if i had to pick between the names listed, i would def take duchscherer over the others. but, i think he will command a higher salary than we think. smoltz i dont see as a starter and i dont really want a braves player here. at this point in his career, to me he is a right handed jamie moyer. no thanks. bedard-eh, i dont want another lefty. i’ll tell ya who i would kick the tires on–chein ming wang. he might be cheap coming off the injury season, and he is a 2time 19game winner. unfortunately though, the yanks will see how the bidding develops on wang, and come in and outbid someone like LADodgers for wang’s services. would be nice to see the phils in the mix though

  54. jrollpatrol08

    December 21, 2009 at 3:30 am

    “”when he resigns”” in regards to blanton, i meant when he signs with another team…the phils wouldnt have gotten anything back…

  55. jrollpatrol08

    December 21, 2009 at 5:05 am

    and call me crazy but i would take another year of future HOF pedro martinez if it was on the cheap. i know he left a sour taste in our mouths bc of the world series, but i would def take him in the rotation fora full year and evaluate his health down the septembe stretch. i would throw him out there again

  56. bfo_33

    December 21, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Life is good when the biggest issues are 5th starter and the bullpen. Saw it on an earlier blog comment, think it would make perfect sense – have your 5th starter be Pedro/Moyer (both go 4+). If he can still pitch, gives Moyer something to do, doesn’t wear out Pedro, and is a far better option that most 5th starters.

    We’ve got 1 more year of the core of this team. 2011 will look a lot different, 2012 Utley and Ruiz may be the only 2 left on the starting 8. Enjoy it while it lasts. Next year is when we’ll see what the front can do.

  57. George

    December 21, 2009 at 9:47 am

    The deals are done; Lee is gone, Halladay is here, and any “arguments” about it are mere speculation based on almost no evidence. It’s time to focus elsewhere.

    The Phils definitely need more bullpen arms, particularly late inning relief. Someone like Smoltz might work, but with all the current injuries/question marks with Lidge and Romero, I don’t think another question mark would be a good choice even for a bargain price. Bargains aren’t bargains when they’re sitting out the season or become waiver wire material. So no Smoltz; there are other options.

    Fifth starter is probably not the issue people think. Moyer–again, due to injuries–is a worry, but there is also Kendrick. He was definitely performing better at the end of ’09, and he’s cheap. Any number five man will be for the “just in case” situation, so no one too pricey, such as Sheets or even Duchscherer will be an option.

    Personally, I think maybe the front office shouldn’t spend all the money they still have available. (I’ve read it’s still near $10 million). They need one more major league arm for the bullpen (the rest can be filled out with rookies) and if the fifth starter fails, they can trade for or sign someone later. If no needs arise, they’d have money left over for 2011, when they’ll need more to re-sign some free agents.

  58. Georgie

    December 21, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I was ready to let this whole Lee thing go until I actually HEARD his radio interview. Cliff Lee absolutely wanted to stay here, he wasn’t “spinning” anything, you could hear his voice catch at one point. I’m now getting a feeling of bad karma with the way this went down. I realize it’s a business decision, but I just don’t get why they couldn’t keep him for at least next year at $9MM, something’s weird about the whole thing. And what’s going on with Eyre? They offered him a minor league contract? If that’s correct, isn’t that sort of a slap in the face to him?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy about Halladay and Polanco, but I hope the Phils’ FO isn’t getting a chip on their shoulders, because that’s how it looks with Lee and Eyre.

  59. mikemike

    December 21, 2009 at 11:40 am

    hey matt followe this team for fifty years. Now lets talk nathan phils draft choice, sanders 17 game winner for angels wanted 75.000 more to sign cheap bastard would pay him. workman this year will be top choice would go 50,ooo more, drew y know about. gibson 11 pick first round last year 75,000 would do it top pitching prospect. hey smart guy matt y buy into they bullshit lowest spending team in draft last year, lowest spending team in the international market. any one who follows sports know snider woulndt let money stop him from a championship run. his problem is the is too loyal to the wrong people who run his team . your brillant matt how are y ten. all the sellouts and y seen the junk they got for lee and y want to tell me it wasnt a salary dump. now go to scholl and learn something, this team is in the red after the last three seasons.

  60. bfo_33

    December 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    mikemike, can’t follow you at all.

    What Lee wants vs what his agent tried to pull off are two completely different things. I have no inside information, but if Lee’s agent was trying to get a 5 year deal, it wasn’t going to happen. Ruben and co will not guarentee more than 3 years for a pitcher, period (which is why Cole will walk asa free agent). I don’t believe in karma, but I do believe in paybacks. With Seattle’s offseason moves so far, and the decimation of the Angels, there is a possibility we could see Lee in the postseason.

    The trade had nothing to do with Lee, all about Hamels. If the 2008 version is the real Cole, we’ve got the best starting staff in baseball, even with Kendrick/Moyer at #5. If he’s really the 2009 version, we’ve got an ace and a bunch of 0.500 pitchers, which may still get us to the playoffs.

  61. Don M

    December 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Wanting to stay in Philadelphia has nothing to do with the fact that he wanted a monster contract too??

    Its basically one or the other..

    you can stay in Philadelphia, at a reasonable price…

    OR.. you can become a Free Agent and seek a “C.C. Sabathia type contract”

    if your agent has previously stated that you want to become one of the highest paid players in all of baseball, you can’t then complain that a team made other plans that didn’t include a contract extension for you …

    Cliff Lee was good for us.. but he wants to get paid, as is his right.. I wish him best of luck

  62. Chuck

    December 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Yeah….I really don’t buy into how “crushed” Cliff Lee was….for the very reason that was stated….he’s “looking for a “CC Sabathia type contract.”

    If he really thought that his current team at the time (the Phillies) wouldn’t take that type of comment into consideration when looking at their total picture…..then he and/or his agent should have thought twice before saying it.

    I really don’t feel all that bad for Cliff Lee….he’s a good pitcher that’s probably gonna do very well for himself when his next contract is written….so….I’m sorry if I sound a bit harsh and unfeeling about it….but….

  63. Manny

    December 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Georgie, I definitely agree… hope this doesn’t come back and hunt us.

    And please offer Eyre a decent contract!!! Best lefty reliever we’ve had in the past two seasons!

  64. Georgie

    December 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Can anyone tell me where or when Lee said he wanted CC type $$$? I’m sure you guys aren’t making it up, just curious as to the particulars of that statement, and if anyone from the Phillies asked his agent or him if he’d take less.

    We really are banking on Cole being back to ’08 form, which isn’t definite, Happ being what we all think/hope he is, and #5 spot, what? Moyer/Pedro? See where I’m going with this? There are ALOT of questions(again) with the starting rotation, and I would have felt much better going into ST with Halladay AND Lee.

  65. j reed

    December 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Can’t you all smell the blue blood from here. The Lee stituation absolutely smacks of blue blood intervention. Why would you low ball your GM at the table with budget nonsense (see the Hagen’s Dec. 9 article “The Phillies means business on their budget.”) when this team could, if the ownership was treating this like a business and not an investment, take advantage of the big market we play in. By not at the very least, absorbing the cost of Lee for one year, the ownership have shown there true intentions. The Phillies are an investment and not a business. Loss on an investment is loss, loss in a business is at time part of growth. I am tired of hearing the sports media and others on various Phillies blogs as characterizing some of us as not understanding that it’s “a business”. Really because any one who understands business would realize that the increase in payroll is what they are supposed to do and it is relative to your growth. They have done nothing special. Now they could have gutted the team like the Marlins but these blue blood aren’t that dumb. You can get any way with that in a fledgling market like Florida but not in one of the oldest cities in the god damn country with one of the oldest teams in mlb. That would bring too much publicity and that is the last thing shrewd blue bloods want. Now we are not at the point of being able to take on Lee and my boy Roy with 3 year deals but certainly 9 million out the owners projected 19 million windfall for 1 year of Lee is nothing for an organization that is ran like a business esp when potential return is so great. Lee, Halladay, Hamels are you kidding me…You Ride the Lightening not mircomanage your books like a bunch of accountants that fart dust….Getting Halladay was the right thing esp. with Hamels progressing into a version of Lee. (check their pitch f/x data) but dumping Lee (mircosoft stock) for 3 magic beans (cold fusion research) demostrates yet again that this organization doesn’t have a business mindset. If they did wouldn’t they have gotten at leat a top tier prospect for Lee esp. when they gave two up for Halladay? Or at least a known commodity like a reliever plus prospects? And if you can’t get that, then hold Lee until the you get something he’s worth…It’s not like he’s Milton Bradley, talent with a high risk price tag. The chance for a record setting season alone should keep any owner from worry. Even injured Lee could fetch those prospects the Marniers gave us. Also consider this: we set our our own ceiling with Hallalady only to devalue Lee by capping ourselves with this budget ultamatum in a no cap system. And mind you they both had 1 year left before free agency. Once teams knew we had unload Lee to meet a budget, then who’d offer us anything for something your essentially throwing in the trash. Even Ralph Wiggum on mescaline isn’t this dumb. And in the process we looked shifty with how we handled Lee who really looked genuinely upset. Not so classy of us…I mean not us or the FO but the ownership who set this all in motion. I saw this last year when 3 weeks before a post season run, we couldn’t get a measly mid-reliever to help out the BP, 8 of which were on the DL. Pretty sad. And the blue bloods get away without even a scratch.

  66. Georgie

    December 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    bfo-if we end up with “an ace and a bunch of .500 pitchers”, we MAY get to the playoffs but I seriously doubt we get to the WS, and FOR SURE we don’t win it.

  67. George

    December 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Can we just quit bitching about the Lee/Halladay trades? It’s a dead horse, people.

    And mikemike, learn to use real English.

  68. Chuck

    December 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I’m tired of it too, George….I wish people would just be grateful for where we are compared to 6 weeks ago when the WS ended…

    UPGRADES at 5 different positions…..ace pitcher, backup catcher, pinch hitter/OF, third baseman, utility infielder…with the rest of the core group returning..

    Forget Cliff Lee…..HE’S GONE…..get over it and let’s MOVE ON…

  69. joedad

    December 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    “There are ALOT of questions(again) with the starting rotation” – No way. Slots 1 through 4 are filled nicely if Hamels returns to form. Remember the shambles they threw out there at the beginning of last year? Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Lee were rocked at the beginning of the year. Hamels was hurt and was hit when he returned. Yet somehow they made it to the WS rather easily. Now there is stability at the top, a refreshed Hamels, Blanton on a contact year and Happ. #5 could be Moyer/Park/Other and they still have solid starting pitching.

  70. bfo_33

    December 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Georgie, agreed. That would have been enough in 2006, but now expectations are ramped up (rightfully so). The gamble is that Cole is back to King Cole, not Cole Slaw. 1 solid start by Hamels in game 3 last year would have turned the whole series around, and he’d be getting another ring.

  71. j reed

    December 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Really a dead horse….The Halladay years will be great but after expect more of the same. The point isn’t the the trade, it’s what it represents: the Phillies not growing into a business but being treated as an investment. Not bitching about this is why we have 10,000 losses. It has historically been one of the worst fiancially run teams relative to its market. What is impressive is how they developed the team under such apathetic ownership. This current team could be the starting point to develop into the Red Sox or the Yankees….it’s Philadelphia not Lincoln, Nebraska. Oh, I forgot we’re Philadelphians…we’re not worthy. Stop settling for….1 year with Lee and Halladay isn’t much to ask of these a*****e owners. We suffered enough. And cut just be grateful crap…if you felt all hunky-dory about it, you wouldn’t be posting.

  72. The second John

    December 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    OK. Please get the Lee+Halladay rotation talk out of your mind. There was no way our farm could handle losing prospects to halladay, and still keep Lee. If that happened we would’ve totally guttered our farm system

    As far as the prospects we got back for Lee, I think they are the top 3 prospects in the mariners system. Besides Gillick, and Looper knows these prospects best anyway since they scouted them etc.

    We upgraded our team significantly because we traded away one year of Cliff Lee for 4, or 5 years of Roy. Besides, if we got both Lee, and Roy in the same rotation, we would have no money to fix our main weakness last year, the bullpen.

  73. The second John

    December 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    OK. Please get the Lee+Halladay rotation talk out of your mind. There was no way our farm could handle losing prospects to halladay, and still keep Lee. If that happened they would’ve totally guttered their farm system

    As far as the prospects the Phillsgot back for Lee, I think they are the top 3 prospects in the mariners system. Besides Gillick, and Looper knows these prospects best anyway since they scouted them etc.

    Phillies upgraded their team significantly because we traded away one year of Cliff Lee for 4, or 5 years of Roy. Besides, if they got both Lee, and Roy in the same rotation, they would have no money to fix their main weakness last year, the bullpen.

  74. Manny

    December 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    No, second John. We didn’t get their top prospects —not even from a team with a subpar farm system like the Mariners. They didn’t trade Brandon Morrow, Michael Saunders, or Carlos Truinfel. We got decent prospects from the Ms… that’s about it.

  75. joedad

    December 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    j reed, you have a solid understanding of baseball but calling the Lee trade a result of blue blood mentality is like calling the Eagles thriftiness on cheap jewish ownership, it is just not true. A cheap team would not spend $140 million on player payroll, a modest increase year on year. Cheap owners wouldn’t sign off on $20 million per year on Halladay for 3+ years nor would they privately finance half of the building costs of Citizens Bank Park. Like it or not, they have a budget like all companies do and they need to operate within the budget. They treated Lee as an asset and traded him away as an investment for the future. In their eyes, they made a business decision that the return for Lee was better than sitting and waiting for a better deal or another year with Lee.

  76. Chuck

    December 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    As I have said COUNTLESS times already…..let’s just wait and see what these three prospects do….before we start judging the deal….if even ONE of the three turns into something good…..then it’s a success…

    So what if these are “decent prospects”…I’d rather have three “decent prospects”…..all starting the year at AA Reading……instead of two draft picks.

    Just my opinion.

  77. mikemike

    December 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm


  78. psujoe

    December 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Right on Manny. Exchange one of Morrow or Triunfel for Ramirez and the package looks better.

    The second John. if Vic was traded Werth would play center. I was just throwing that out there.

    Here’s a thought. Figgins+Lee-(Blanton and Victorino) is 3 million less expensive than Polanco-Lee+(Blanton and Victorino).

    Ok, I’ll move on now.

    Sign Ducky and a reliever.

  79. psujoe

    December 22, 2009 at 2:17 am

    I know a lot of people liked Brandon Morrow and wanted him in the Lee deal. Well, looks like he’s on his way to Toronto. For League and a prospect. We’ll see who it is.

  80. John

    December 22, 2009 at 5:43 am

    mike is right, trading early and low on Lee was retarded management.

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