The Dip: Two Men Enter. One Man Leaves.

This is The Dip, a column penned by our regular commenter, The Dipsy.

As the Phillies resign their players at rapid pace the inexorable march towards the inevitable begins. Everybody worth resigning is signed except for two: Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. I’m sure the Phillies front office wants to keep them both – we all do. But it looks like this season both players – friends – will be pitted against each other in the public view. In the eyes of many fans they will be playing against each other for the opportunity to stay with the Phillies for the next 4 or 5 years; while the other is jettisoned because he is unaffordable. Welcome to the Salarydome – two men enter, one man leaves. Here is the case for both.

Jayson Werth, at 31, is seemingly entering the prime of his career and last year he emerged as a bona fide power hitter. He is fast. He is a good defender with a nice arm. He can seemingly do everything well. He fits into this lineup like a hand in a glove and by all accounts he’s a great teammate and he is definitely a gamer. Some consider him injury prone, but a player can’t avoid getting hit in the wrist with a pitched ball, even if it did take him the better part of a couple seasons to recover. Financially speaking, Jayson is a bit of an anomaly. He is just starting to become a premier player at a relatively late stage in his career. When his current contract is over he will be 32 and without a big payday in his pocket. I would imagine that someone in his position would consider this his one and only shot to get the big years and big money. A five year contract would take him to 37 and I imagine, if he has a year like he did last year, that he’ll be asking for about $15m a year. God bless him, he deserves it.

Ryan Howard, on the other hand, is one of the greatest sluggers of all-time. When he is hot he can carry a team for weeks. His stats are eye-popping. We have run out of superlatives to describe his power. Yet, he is still a below average fielder (despite an improvement last season), his plate discipline stinks and he can’t hit lefties. Since he stopped taking walks and picking pitches, sometime in 2007 or so, he has become a one dimensional player. Unlike Werth, Ryan has already made a lot of money. One would think that he doesn’t feel the need to extract every ounce of his perceived worth out of the Phillies come contract time – that is, if he wants to stay here. If he wants maximum value, “no problem”, I say. Get it while you can. The problem with signing Ryan to a 5-year deal is that it would take him into his mid-thirties and at huge money. If that bat slows down in Year 3 or so, that’s a lot of money for the Phillies to live with given the production they’d be getting.

Taking everything into consideration who should Ruben sign? Ryan Howard.

Werth is a fabulous all around player who has played great for a season and a half. His right handed bat is the lightning to Ryan’s thunder. And he’s cheaper. Ryan Howard IS one dimensional, but what a dimension it is. The mere fact that he can hit a 500-foot home run at any time makes pitchers pitch differently and fielder’s play out of position. His mere presence in the four hole adds 20 points to Utley’s batting average and 10 to Werth’s. He is a game changer and the franchise along with it. He once uttered the words “just get me to the plate, fellas” in a huge spot and then knocked in the game-winning hit. To me, it’s hard to put a price tag on that kinda player. While we would spend more money, we will be a much better team than without him because, truth be told, there are more than a few Jason Werths in major league baseball. There is only one Ryan Howard.



  1. fdoyle11

    January 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Really tough call. The only reason Howard might get the contract is because Dom Brown is a rising star

  2. howardhrbasher

    January 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

    stick werth in the number 4 slot and his rbis would approach howards,howard is a liability in the field,cant throw,cant run,has digressed in his plate discipline and hurts this team more than he carries it

  3. keng

    January 24, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I think dipsy said it exactly right – as good as jayson werth is and may have been for the past couple years, there are more than a few jayson werths in major league baseball, but there is only one [or two to three] ryan howards. So, despite his downsides, noone being perfect except maybe albert pujoils, the phillies must do everything they can to retain him. And its a good thing for the phillies to have a $20 plus million slot in their $140 million payroll for one ryan howard type player – those players just get that kind of money even if you cant quite justify it!!

  4. The Dipshit

    January 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I say give ’em both 10 years and 10 million dollars and be done with it!

  5. Manny

    January 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    We’ll see what happens in 2010… it’ll really depend on that.

    Dipsy: small edit, he didn’t homer when he said “get me to the plate”… he got a game-tying double to right field. Oh man, that was sweet.

  6. Johnny

    January 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I’d have to say Howard also. He’s too good to let go.

  7. Ed R.

    January 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Great write up, one correction, following the “just get me to the plate fellas” Howard doubled in two runs. It wasn’t a homer.

  8. mattjg

    January 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I assume by “homered” you mean doubled?

    Is there any evidence that Howard would demand less money than he’s worth?

    And when did “getting on base” cease to be a dimension? Sure .360 is a far cry from Howard’s .425 OBP in his MVP season, but he’s still getting on base at a fairly impressive rate.

    While I would love to see the Phillies keep both players, I think there are teams out there that would be willing to overpay for both. Howard has the type of body and skills that are susceptible to precipitous decline (see Vaughn, Mo) and Werth is already at the end of what one would expect to be his peak years. I can’t pick one player over the other without seeing what kind of a deal each is offered or accepts.

    As for your assertion that Howard adds .20 to Utley’s BA and .10 to Werth’s? Prove it. Or even give some evidence that might show you aren’t completely off your rocker. Most people who have objectively looked at lineup protection have come to the conclusion that it’s a myth, but even if there is something to the theory, there is absolutely no evidence that I’ve seen that one player can effect another player’s BA .10 per season, let alone .20.

  9. DudleyMonk

    January 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Good blog. I hope we can keep both players and remain optimistic that ownership sees the value of keeping a dynamic offense. If we cannot keep both, we should aggressively market one and really try to get something in return — not like the Curt Schilling deal. I agree that Howard is the more special of the two and the one to keep if we cannot keep both.

  10. psujoe

    January 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Keep both. use Ibanez’ money to retain Werth and then use Lidge’s money to retain Howard. The players that will be tough to retain if you retain these two are Hamels and Rollins.

  11. Ed R.

    January 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    mattjg..the idea of line up protection is absolutely not a myth. Look at how crappy David Ortiz is now that Manny is gone. That’s just one example.

  12. Chuck

    January 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    You know how I feel Dipsy….keep Jayson.

    Like I just said in the other thread…Howard isn’t as godd without Werth protecting him.

    And Werth is more of a versatile player.

    Howard at 23-25 million per….Werth at 15 per…

    ….I just don’t see the $8-10 million more for Ryan Howard as a better value for this team.

  13. Ed R.

    January 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    psujoe…Ibanez and Lidge’s contracts combined are maybe enough to resign Howard alone, certainly not both.

  14. Andrew R.

    January 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    A lot of people in philly-world take for granted how great Howard’s production truly is. It’s become expected that he hits 45+ homers and 140+ rbi. That’s quite a higher benchmark than the standard 30hr/100rbi guy.

    Werth easily has 4 of the 5 tools (average might come around), but corner OF spots are a dime a dozen. It would suck letting him go, but he is replaceable.

    I think the players are going to dictate who gets what. If they’re asking for the moon, then all the phils can do is submit their best offer and hope for the best. The team will still be very good even without those two. We don’t have to lead the entire National League in runs every year to be good. With 2 legitimate aces, we can be mediocre at run scoring and still be championship caliber.

    Here’s just a piece of food for thought….. What if we trade Howard after 2010? We could keep Werth and still have something left in the tank for a 1B and we’ll probably get some nice prospects in return. OR, maybe Ruben is looking at HOward running out his contract and then shifting Chase over to first to prolong his career a little bit, cuz the kid certainly abuse his body out there.

  15. jrollpatrol08

    January 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    good write up, dipsy. very well said. i agree 100% on keeping howard over werth. home-grown pure sluggers like ryan howard do not come around very often, and the phils team deserves a guy like this. ryan howard is the type of player that always played on the ‘great’ teams when i was growing up…and in regards to his talent and ability i would lament, ‘why cant the phils ever have a player like THAT on our team?’… chase utley fits that sort of player profile as well, and i am grateful that we wont be having contract discussions about him for many years to come…

    jayson werth has probably the best plate coverage i have seen in a while. his ability to take an outside pitch and poke it the opposite way is definitely a great offensive skill that perfectly complements his league-leading plate discipline. although howard’s plate discipline is absolutely dreadful, this is something i think he can still fine-tune (like his defense this past offseason) to make himself closer to an albert-pujols-type hitter. the guy still strikes fear into opposing pitchers and one of the top pure sluggers around…thats what i want…

    now if werth gives the phils a decent hometown discount, a stunning ‘offer-you-cant-refuse,’ then im sure it spells the end for the big man. but i think this is the only way the phils consider werth over howard…

  16. Chuck

    January 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Andrew R..

    Werth isn’t just a corner outfielder….he can play center really well…and remember…he’s also a catcher as well (not that you would just put him there…but he CAN do it)..

    He would probably play 1st base…if you asked him….and wouldn’t embarrass himself.

    My point is that Jayson is an extremely versatile player.

  17. jrollpatrol08

    January 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    but man the money difference between the two is hard to ignore, dipsy— you are gonna have approximately 10million per season difference in salary between the two players. especially if you think of it in terms of money going to other positions—if the phils let werth go, how much are they saving? eh right now maybe about 10million ish…if they let howard go they are saving at least 20plus million. thats alot of money to put towards other positions…..damn its alot tougher when you look at it like that…..but i still take howard. a 4year 100mil deal will keep him in red pinstripes until hes 36. im all for that

  18. BS

    January 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    One thing to note about Ryan’s walk rate is that it actually hasn’t changed that much over the past few years. The big difference is that his intentional walks have dropped dramatically over the past few years.

  19. psujoe

    January 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Ed R, you have to take into account that the Phils are already paying Howard and Werth 27 million. Howard(20)+Werth(7)+Lidge(11.5)+Ibanez(11.5)=50 million. Trade Ibanez for prospects and give 6 or 7 million of his 11.5 to Werth. Pay Brown .5 K. So you could even eat come of Raules money and come out ahead. Next year Lidges 11.5 salaray is up. Buy out his option for 1.5 and take 5 of the 10 million towards Howard. You’d have about 8 or 9 left over for a closer.

  20. psujoe

    January 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    some of Raul’s money.

  21. joepa

    January 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    psujoe – is Lidge’s contract up after 2010 season or after the 2011 season?

  22. joepa

    January 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    One question I’d like to pose is if Jamie Moyer is not healthy enough to play this year could he possibly retire saving the Phillies his salary this year?

  23. pheeling it

    January 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    i dunno im gettin tired of all this talk, u act like their competing for jobs and i just miss the good ol harry days. were becoming victims of our own success, it’s no wonder the yanks have so much money. the players win, want more and more money, and a team has no option but to pay up and increase salary (boston, new york) or let players go, which sucks because this team, these guys, are something special. howard and werth have to stay, owners need to spend some money if they want this machine to grow. at least were not the marlins, but how did they win 2 world series? and no one cares? they couldnt possibly hold their players, its funny half of the highest paid players in the league are ex marlins.

    phillies owners- gotta spend money to make money. and instead of increasing ticket prices, y not add seats to the bank? i dont wanna ruin the feel because every seat in the house is action but, we could sell more seats i think. wheres the big ol vet now? haha

  24. joepa

    January 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Dipsy, any change RAJ attempts to resign Jayson soon – hoping to get him at a lower price now than they could next year? I think someone suggested giving him 5 seasons now with the first season replacing his contract for this season (which would be extending him only 4 seasons, but giving him a boost for this season)?

  25. The Dipsy

    January 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    The thing about Ryan that I really have a problem is that he absolutely can play with better plate discipline because he has shown it. Without looking at the stats, I would imagine that his OBP and BA and BB have declined since his first two years. This would be understandable if Ryan felt he was the only viable HR/RBI option in the lineup, feeling the burden to knock runs in, but clearly he is not. There is nothing wrong with Ryan taking the walk or waiting for his pitch when he has the power of Werth and Ibanez behind him. That’s not taking away his aggressiveness its just asking him to play smart. While Howard is clearly great, would the Phillies be better with Werth and an extra 6-8m to spend on a real nice corner infielder that can field, hit for average, and get on base? I think in the end, Utley might move to first to save the wear on his body and Polanco to second. That would leave third open. Lots of options if you’re thinking Werth. AND I DID MEAN “DOUBLED”.

    The Dipsy

  26. YeaGo01

    January 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I though we have Ryno for 2 more years on his contract he signed last off season?

  27. The Dipsy

    January 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Actually, I think I floated the idea of ripping Jason’s contract up and offering 4/45. I think its fair and it would give him a 3m raise for this year, assuming all the years are divided evenly. I don’t want Jason, or any other player, for six years. If he wants 5 year contract after this year I think Ruben would be hard pressed to give it to him.

    The Dipsy

  28. Havoc

    January 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I’m with The Dipsy on this one. I love Werth, but Ryan Howard is the type of offensive production that can’t just be replaced.

  29. Dan S

    January 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    absolutely ryan howard, like you said he makes a difference even when he’s not at the plate. Werth is older and the phillies don’t have any first base prospects remotely close the the majors leagues.

    p.s. howard hit a game-tying double when he said get me to the plate

  30. Brooks

    January 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. The Phils without Ryan Howard are a good team.
    A good team winds up in second, perhaps in a WC slot but making it to the WS? There would have to be quite a bit of luck involved.
    The Phils with Ryan Howard are a terrific team and we are pretty darn sure they will be in the fall classic unless there is bad luck.
    Keep Howard at all costs.

  31. Manny

    January 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Honestly, all we can do is hope that the rest of the NL starts improving… so that we are *forced* to do whatever it takes to keep players like Howard and Werth… With teams like the Dodgers, Mets, and the Cardinals, either downgrading or staying the same, there’s less of a need to field the best team possible at a given time. Which sucks.

  32. psujoe

    January 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Lidge’s contract is has a buyout after 2011.

  33. joepa

    January 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Dipsy, if Jayson would accept a 5 year deal starting this year would you do that?

    Anyone know what happens if Jamie can’t play this year?

  34. The Dipsy

    January 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    If Jaime can’t play he gets paid his full salary. To me, if Jayson were to ask for a 5 year deal I guess I would have to know what the numbers are.

    The Dipsy

  35. DeanH

    January 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    great write up. I agree 100%. I was not a big Howard fan early last year but he has won me over. If Howard continues to improve this year (as his d did last year), I cannot see any way we can afford to let him go. A one has said, the Phillies are just a good team w/out him.

  36. Corey Seidman

    January 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm


  37. Chuck

    January 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Again….the difference in yearly salaries between Werth and Howard is gonna be $8-10 million dollars…

    If you could only keep one of these guys…you have to ask….Is Ryan Howard $8-10 million more valuable than Jayson Werth?? ….

    In my opinion…no.

  38. hamels' left hand

    January 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    nice write-up, Dip. it’s this type of conundrum that happens to two teams. either a team that wins with burgeoning, young talent cementing themselves into productive primes….OR teams that throw big money around in the free agent market hoping to buy more wins.

    I’m just glad we’re in the first situation…

  39. George

    January 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    If Werth’s contract potential free agency came up in 2012, like Howard’s does, this would be a legitimate debate topic. But he’s a free agent in 2010. The Phils would have to trade someone else keep Werth now.

    I think Howard is the one who stays, just because of the circumstances. His pay only goes up a little in the next few years; Werth’s could go up astronomically. It’s not so much the difference in pay, but the difference in the increase. Jayson makes less $7 million now: he’ll be asking for probably $7 million more than that. Howard gets $20 for 2010, but that won’t go up by the same $7 million until he’s a free agent, too, and maybe not then, either.

  40. The Phillies FTW

    January 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    In terms of salary difference between Werth and Howard, here’s something to keep in mind. Who sells more merchandise Howard or Werth? Who would you say overall generates more revenue Howard or Werth?

    If it had to come down to one or the other, I’d choose Howard. Yes, as currently constructed Werth is the only RH bat. But guys like Howard don’t grow on trees, he a special type of player.

  41. George

    January 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Two corrections: First paragraph the last sentence should read “…TO keep Werth now. Second paragraph, “less” does not belong. Sentence should read:
    “Jayson makes $7 million now…”

  42. j reed

    January 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Aren’t Brown, Gose and Gilles the future outfield….I’ve seen enough prospect rosterbation in these posts this off season that I don’t understand how Howard wouldn’t be the obvious choice for majority as I rarely read anything here that mention 1st prospects. Besides that Howards been proven over a few years and we don’t really know if this just an anomally for Werth despite his athleticism. We’ll see what happens this year.

  43. j reed

    January 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    that’s “…read anything here that mentions 1st basemen prospects.” Man what I wouldn’t do to be able to edit my posts once that I posted!

  44. j reed

    January 24, 2010 at 5:32 pm


    “Man what I wouldn’t do to be able to edit my posts once I posted!”

  45. Phylan

    January 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I’m pretty sure Utley would rake no matter who was batting in front of him. “Protection” is such an overrated thing.

  46. Tyler

    January 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    According to MLBTraderumors the Phils and Ruiz agreed to a 3 yr $9Million deal. CHOOOCH!!

  47. The Dipsy

    January 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    All I know is that when you have a holy terror on deck that can hit a home run at anytime, pitchers don’t like to put men on base in front of him. So they throw more fastballs. And the guy batting knows it. Hence the advantage.

    The Dipsy

  48. WFC010

    January 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I have been saying for AGES that the Phillies need to extend Jayson Werth, but I feel the same way about Ryan Howard. While Jayson Werth is a far more well rounded player, Ryan Howard merely coming to the plate makes many pitchers crap their pants. Neither of these guys should leave if at all possible, and I can’t honestly pick one over the other. While Werth is probably more valuable to the team overall, Howard’s immense power is absolutely game changing, and you can see it every time an opposing team quick tries to scramble to do something about him. Werth on the other hand is more like the glue that holds the team together, but Howard would be the wood.

  49. Chris.I

    January 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Ruiz signed to a 3 year 9 Mil deal. Thats awesome

  50. WFC010

    January 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Ruiz for 3 years at 9 Million is a STEAL if you ask me, especially when you consider that being a catcher is one of the most demanding and injury prone positions. Carlos Ruiz is one of the best defensive catchers currently playing, and his clutch hits absolutely cannot be understated at all.

  51. Manny

    January 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Now this is a great deal!

  52. mikemike

    January 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I guess we are bored , who you keep, Howard is a stud , a rare player who can carry a team, versus a very good outfielder, Howard types
    come along only so often, the last player we had like him was schmidt. And mike couldnt carry a team like howard can.

  53. Chuck

    January 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Way to go Chooch!!

    Ok…these 3 arb guys have new 3-yr deals..Great!!….now lets; focus on Jayson.

    And I hear all of you when you say that Howard is unique and can carry a team.. there is something to be said for that…

    I just think Werth is a more versatile player…this more valuable…but what do I know??

  54. Corey Seidman

    January 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Phylan – Protection is by no means overrated. Ask Matt Holliday, Adrian Gonzalez’ batting average, ask David Ortiz, ask Andre Ethier before Manny. There are countless more examples.

  55. mattjg

    January 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Corey – Those could just as easily be explained by change in leagues, Petco (It’s Huge!), steroids/Mo Vaughn body-type, and a player entering the prime of his career. If protection is important, why does every objective (i.e. non-anecdotal) study fail to find evidence of its importance?

    On the one hand it makes sense that pitchers will be more hesitant to walk guys in front of power hitters, but it’s just as likely that pitchers will focus harder on making sure that guy doesn’t reach base via walk OR hit.

  56. rjb360

    January 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    mattjg: You keep saying that “every objective study” says protection is a myth without providing any evidence. Could you please point us to these studies? Because I’ve never seen them.

  57. The Second John

    January 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I agree with Chuck in that Howard is not worth 9-10 million dollars more than Werth. If that was the case, I would definitely choose Werth.

    In terms of prospects, for 1st base, they have Jon Singleton but he is very far away. He still has lots to prove. For RF, they have Santana, but like Singleton, he is still far away. So that means they have no prospects to replace either.

    I don’t think that Werth and Howard will take a hometown discount for more than 5-6 million dollars. I would love to be wrong, but it’s these players only one chance at a HUGE contract.

  58. Phila. Raider

    January 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    First of all noe fan thinks of one or the other. A fan wants both and tells management to pay the money to win. So you are WRONG. Next it would be foolish to allow the greatest offensive player (run producer) to every wear this uniform leave. He is a better offensive player than the great HOFer, legendary Michael Jack Schmidt. Hits for higher average, hits more home runs and drives in more runs. There is no way Utely or Werth has the ability to do the same in the same position. Or they’d be there; Utley was here first. He is an ALL TIME GREAT PHILLIE TODAY. Two Pennants and a World Championship. NO EXCUSES, I AM A FAN!!!! I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY BUDGET. I WANT TO WIN AND HE MAKES THE PHILLIES WIN SINCE HE HAS BEEN HERE SO PAY HIM. I PAY THEM EVERY YEAR THEY OWE ME A WINNING TEAM WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE ROSTER. RYAN AND JASON ARE PART OF THAT UNLESS THEY CAN DO BETTER.

  59. Corey Seidman

    January 24, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    There cannot be an “objective study” for something like protection because it would obviously differentiate based on the player. i.e. Albert Pujols doesn’t need as much protection as Adrian Gonzalez. There’s no such thing as an objective study because theres no control group.

  60. pheeling it

    January 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    trade Werth and Lidge to the A’s for….

    Michael Taylor and closer Andrew Bailey? Totally kidding, but that would be great

    Lidge and Hamels will bounce back this year

  61. mattjg

    January 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Corey, I posted a few links, but for some reason that comment is awaiting moderation (I guess because it has links?).

    The studies have been done in a variety of ways, including comparing the stats of a player when he hits in front of a slugger with the stats of the same player when he hits somewhere else the lineup, in front of a lesser player. The studies all have some flaws, but the takeaway is that protection, if it exists, is a lot less important than a lot of people believe. My original point was only that there is no way that Howard boosts Utley’s and Werth’s BA’s by .20 and .10 respectively. Howard may protect them to some extent (but then again, Werth would likely protect hitters in front of him–albeit to a lesser extent–since he’s no slouch) but both Utley and Werth are outstanding hitters on their own and their drop-off in production (if any) would not be significant without Howard in the lineup.

  62. Corey Seidman

    January 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Oh, Matt, you’re definitely right about that point. Howard doesn’t add .20 points to Utley or .10 to Werth. That was a clear example of hyperbole.

  63. j reed

    January 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    matt – by objective are you speaking in terms of “frequentist” or “bayesian” analysis?

  64. The Dipsy

    January 25, 2010 at 7:07 am

    My dream scenario if Werth gets resigned and not Howard: Move Utley or Polanco to first, the other gus plays 2B and do what you can to get Adam Zimmerman with a package involving Howard. Thats my plan.

    The Dipsy

  65. Chuck

    January 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I have to agree with Dipsy (wow..mark this date…we agree on something!!)…

    …Polanco is one of those kind of players that’s extremely versatile…

    He can obviously play second…and I’m sure could play first ..2012…that dreaded 3rd year that everyone has been bitching about…

    IF you had to choose…and I believe that Ruben does….then Werth would be my first choice as well.

    As I said … Ryan Howard is not $8-10 million more valuable than Jayson Werth…cause that’s probably the yearly difference in what their new salaries will look like.

  66. Phylan

    January 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Does that mean the Nats will have found a way to combine Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman? Because sign that player immediately, Rube.

  67. The Second John

    January 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Phila. Raider, as much as no fan wants their team to have a budget, you have to accept the fact that there WILL be a budget, and most likely, the franchise will have to choose between Ryan Howard.

    Dipsy, that’s not a bad idea, but will the Nats take on Howard’s salary?

  68. The Dipsy

    January 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    hahahahahahah. I have a friend named Adam Zimmerman. Ryan…excuse me. Thats funny.

    The Dipsy

  69. Bob in Bucks

    January 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    First of all I want to see some more from Werth. See if he can hold up against the RHP. But in general I would favor keeping Werth and using the saved money to get a good 3B – Polanco moves to second – Utley to first. Brown to replace Raul.
    Howard is one-dimensional as stated (he changed in 07 when they started to shift on him – go back and check it out – they did not shift on him in 06. I would rather have the ball in play than the choice of HR/BB/K (lots of K!).
    Howard is a great player but if it comes down to one or the other I say go with Werth – his skill set will last longer. Howard will end up DH in the AL in any case – that fits his profile.

  70. Chuck

    January 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    You’re preachin’ to the choir with me Bob in Bucks…

    And I love Ryan Howard…i just think that long-term Werth is better for this team.

  71. beta sigma shag

    January 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Dipsy you actually shocked me. I have not read the other comments, because I am running late, but from the slant on your intro to each player, it seem bias towards Jayson. If that was on purpose, congrats, great writing.
    I tend to agree with you if you can only have one, you take Howard, IMO it is a no brainer. He will have to take a home town discount, of about 2 or 3 million a year I think. Say 4 years 87-90 million instead of 4 years 100 million.
    But being the eternal optimist I think you can afford to pay Ryan 23 million a year, and Jayson 12-14 million a year.
    I have said before, and I do not know it can happens, but, sit them down and say what will you two take to stay in Philadelphia, and do you both want to stay here.
    I also hate it when 4 years 13 or 14 million a year is not considered big money contract. If you figure all bonuses and playoff bonuses, that is almost 60 million a over 4 years. I think anybodies family would be pretty set for life after that. I also think if Ryan wants to stay, he would be willing to give a bigger home town discount because he would already have made over 50 million in his career.

  72. Badfinger

    January 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Crediting Ryan Howard for adding points to other people’s batting average is extremely disingenuous. The only person he can add or subtract batting average from is himself. They also play different positions. Howard plays average-at-best defense at the easiest defensive position. Werth doesn’t play a premium position, but the fact that he is above average offensively AND defensively boosts his value significantly. It’s a hard decision, but it’s even harder if people believe slanted arguments like that.

    Re: your trade- It’s laughable to think that the nationals would trade for overpaid 30+yo Howard for brilliant defensively, young, cost-controlled Zimmerman.

  73. Paul Boye

    January 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Agree with Badfinger. Lineup protection is assumed and often hollow; there’s no real evidence to suggest that one quality of hitter has any more a positive or negative effect on the hitters around him than any other.

  74. The Dipsy

    January 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Paul and Badfinger. Its very simple how this freakin works. Stats are impossible and you can’t track it but bear with me. The guy who hits in front of the sicko 50hr/150rbi hitter benefits from the following dynamic:

    1) Hitting off a pitcher who would rather give up a solo homer than a 2 run homer, which leads to…………….
    2) The pitcher not wanting to walk the hitter in front of the slugger, which leads to…………
    3) The pitcher throwing more fastballs. The breaking balls they do throw are more often thrown for strikes as opposed to those that break out of the zone, which are also known as…….
    4) Better pitches to hit.
    Get it?

    Put another way, Chase Utley will consistently hit better with Howard batting in back of him than having someone else in the four hole. Thats baseball. Why do you think managers have been setting lineups that way forever? Cause they’re stupid?

    The Dipsy

    The Dipsy

  75. Chuck

    January 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    That’s right, Dipsy…it’s not rocket science….just common sense..some guys benefit more than others…but the model is the same…and the law of averages says it’s gonna work out more than it doesn’t.

  76. Nick

    January 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Some of you guys want to move Utley to first

    I couldn’t ever see that, and it would destroy his Hall of Fame chances.

    Why move the best 2B in baseball (defensively and offensively) to a position where he will become mediocre value?

  77. shag beta sigma delta

    January 25, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Look at this line
    Howard(20)+Werth(7)+Lidge(11.5)+Ibanez(11.5)=50 million
    If you resign Werth even if it is for 15 million a year(which I think you could extend him for 12-14 million if you do it before he hit the FA Market) then by the time Howard needs to be signed and you pay him 25 million a year(Which I think you can get for 2-3 million dollars cheaper if you extend him before he hit FA) That leaves you 10 Million to sign a closer and if it is Brown in RF. That can be done, especially if you can bring up a closer from the minors. Which we are suppose to have a few that may be ready in 2 to 3 years.
    If you can get from the minors a RF and Closer paying them 1-2 million a year, that leaves 8 million increase for Hamels and JRoll.
    So how can you not sign both. In this equation is the high end of what you would pay Jayson and Ryan.
    I think both would give a home town discount of 1-2 million a year to keep this team together for 3 or 4 more years.
    Also why would you not assume that payroll will increase the next couple of years since they have increased it in the last 3 years?
    I say sign them both.

  78. Don M

    January 26, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Because if Utley (who is not the best defensive 2b in baseball)… moved to 1st base, he could concentrate more on his hitting, and not worry so much about improving his fielding.. .

    Utley is a career .295 hitter, with above average defense.. and he hits for power at a position that doesn’t normally get a lot of HRs

    If he moved to 1st base I would imagine his power numbers go up, and his average would approach .333

  79. Chuck

    January 26, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I would also think that if Utley moved to 1st his career would or could be extended a few years..

    because of a less demanding position physically.

  80. Tom D

    January 27, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Currently Werth is making 7 million a year, and you don’t think he is not making the big money yet. He is probably doing pretty good compared to the rest of the right fielder in the MLB. I say offer him 7.5 or 8 and see what happens.

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