You’d Best Just Shoot Me Now–Or We Can Talk Some More

Please excuse a brief non-Phillies related anecdote to start. I promise, I’ll tie it in later.

In the 1970s, English soccer manager Brian Clough led Nottingham Forest to two consecutive European championships, a feat no English team has equaled since. Nottingham Forest is a small-market team whose history can be defined in three eras: pre-1975, when they sucked; 1975-1993, when Clough made them into one of the top teams in Europe, and 1993-present, when they sucked again.

Clough’s mantra was to know what all your players were worth at all times, and if you could get market value for them at any point, no matter how popular that player was, to trade him in for someone cheaper or younger. Clough’s approach worked. Need a more accessible example? This is what Bill Belichick does with the NFL’s Patriots, and we all know how well that’s worked out these past 10 years.

I’m acutely aware that what I’m about to write is going to be tremendously unpopular with our readership. I can barely believe I’m saying this now. Neither do I expect a single person to agree with me.

But this is what I think, so here it goes.

I think the Phillies should:

1) Trade Shane Victorino for whatever prospects they can get.

2) Move Jayson Werth to center and Raul Ibanez to right field.

3) Sign free agent outfielder Johnny Damon to a one or two-year contract and install him in left.

If you want to skip right to the end and start questioning my sexuality and calling for me to be tarred and feathered, I suppose that’s your prerogative. I don’t think this is a slam-dunk, and I’m aware that Damon will most likely sign with either Detroit or Atlanta in the coming days, but I think that a good argument can be made for replacing Victorino with Damon. This is that argument.

This is why the thought first occurred to me. Since the Phillies started making the playoffs again in 2007, I’ve been of the opinion that the team’s first and greatest goal should be to continue to contend for an extended period of time–five years or more, if possible. So instead of selling the farm to make one run at a title (a run that, as the Tigers found out in 2006, can be derailed by something as mundane as a pitcher’s inability to throw to the bases), it’s better to continuously roll over the roster. This approach allowed the Braves and Yankees to dominate the 1990s. I thought a better model would be to emulate the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2004, then won again in 2007 with a significantly changed cast. They made hard decisions to part with key players as they got too expensive or too old, but by trading in players like Pedro Martinez, Bill Mueller, and Keith Foulke, Clough-like decisions allowed them to stay in position to contend again this year and for the foreseeable future.

This is why I supported trading Cliff Lee to the Mariners–it will make the team weaker in 2010, but in 2012, Aumont and Gilles could be contributing well after Lee would have walked as a free agent.

So why does this justify trading one’s 29-year-old outfielder for a 36-year-old outfielder? Many reasons.

First of all, Damon and Victorino are essentially players of equal value. Victorino was an average defensive outfielder last year, and a very good one in years before that. Damon is about as bad a defensive outfielder as you’ll see. Victorino hits for a slightly higher average, but Damon walks more. Victorino steals more bases, but gets caught at a rate that just about negates what bases he steals. Damon was 12-for-12 in stolen bases last year and 27-for-30 in 2007.

Damon hits for much more power than Victorino (even considering that he played last season in the New Yankee Workshop). If you want to roll all that together, in 2009, Victornio was 10th among major league center fielders with 3.4 WAR (oh, no, not that stat again). For comparison, that puts him above Curtis Granderson (in a bad year) and just below Nate McLouth. Among left fielders, Damon was 11th, posting a 3.0 WAR with similar stats (WAR takes into account that left fielders tend to be better hitters than center fielders). Damon was ahead of Carlos Lee but behind David DeJesus.

For 2010, the Bill James predictions, based on previous performance and adjusting for age, Victorino is due for a season of .283/.343/.418 with 12 home runs, 24-for-33 on the basepaths, 95 runs scored and 59 batted in. Damon, on the other hand, is in line for .278/.355/.430 with 17 home runs, 16-for-21 stolen bases, 99 runs scored, and 70 RBI. Factor in Victorino’s superior (though overrated) defense, and the two come out more or less even. So you won’t be losing much, if anything, in terms of production for the next year.

There are a few counterarguments that I think warrant mention. Let’s start with the fact that Victorino is 29 and Damon is 36. If we’re worried about the next year or two, I don’t think that Damon declines a whole lot more from this year to the next. He’s already at the bottom end of the decline curve–he’s not going to get any worse defensively (because he can’t), and while the difference between a 25-year-old running the bases and a 38-year-old is significant, the same can’t be said for the difference between ages 36 and 37. Or 36 and 38. Again, we’re not building the team around Damon, we’re just plugging him in to fill a hole until Domonic Brown or Gilles or Anthony Gose is ready to step up.

The second major counterargument is that replacing Victorino with Damon would kill the Phillies defensively. I have no response to that other than to say it’s true. Last year, the Phillies had average-to-above-average outfield defense. Werth, while he’s a very good right fielder, would probably only be a mediocre center fielder. Ibanez, who is adequate in left, would probably be a bad defensive right fielder, and we’ve already been over Damon. I’m basing this argument on the idea that a Damon-Werth-Ibanez outfield, while not a good defensive threesome, would be enough to get by with such a small outfield. This assumption could be dead wrong, and if it is, I withdraw my objection and concede. But if it’s not, I think it’s a possibility worth exploring.

The third is that Victorino’s good enough as a center fielder–why get greedy and try to catch lightning in a bottle? This is probably the best reason not to trade Victorino and sign Damon. After all, Victorino is about an average center fielder, and it’s not like the Phillies need him to be Mickey Mantle. They’ve already won two pennants and a World Series with him, and they stand a good chance to win more. He’s signed at a fairly reasonable 3 years, $22 million. That’s not a bad deal for a player of his quality, assuming he produces in 2010-12 the way he did in 2007-2009. Another perfectly valid point. I just think the Phillies can do better.

Fourth is the platoon split issue–Victorino is a switch hitter, while Damon is a lefty, and the Phillies already have an extremely lefty-heavy lineup. To that, I say that Victorino’s OPS against lefties was only about 10 points higher than Damon’s last year, even considering that he’s a switch hitter. I’d take that hit.

Ok. On to how Damon’s better.

The whole point to the Cliff Lee deal, as I’ve said, is that you shouldn’t bank on hitting the jackpot one year when you can have a good chance of winning for several years to come. Victorino is one of the most vastly-overrated players in baseball. He has blinding speed but doesn’t cover as much ground defensively as slower players, due to bad jumps and bad positioning. He walks some, but not very much. His stolen base rate, particularly considering how well the other Davey Lopes disciples on the team do, is unacceptable for one of the fastest players in the league. These things, along with his total lack of power, suggest to me that once his legs go, he doesn’t have the peripheral skills to continue to start for a good team. And now that he’s about to turn 30, that decline might come sooner than you might think.

Everyone looks at Victorino and sees a charismatic, speedy, high-average, good-defense guy and thinks that he’s an all-star. But when you take even a cursory look at his stats beyond what you’ll see on the back of a baseball card, you’ll see someone whose reputation is writing checks his performance can’t cash.

So why not sell high? Granted, your prospect haul for Victorino wouldn’t be great, but if the recent deals for Nate McLouth and Curtis Granderson are any indication, I say you can get a decent-quality AA or AAA hitter and a long-term pitching prospect for him. For a team that’s just traded in almost all its quality top-level prospects for three starting pitchers over the past 2 years (Lee, Blanton, and Halladay), the added prospects would come as a relief.

All of the things Victorino does poorly, Damon does well. He has mid-range power, is an excellent baserunner (as we Phillies fans know all too well), and would fit perfectly into the No. 2 spot in the order. You could even structure the lineup as Damon, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Polanco, Ruiz and not have more than two same-handed batters next to each other. Or bat Rollins first, Polanco second, and Damon seventh. It doesn’t matter to me.

One thing that doesn’t come to mind right away with Damon is how cheap he’ll be. Victorino, while reasonably-priced, makes an average of $7 million and change a year for the next 3 years. Damon’s agent, Darth Boras, overplayed his hand with the Yankees, demanding far more than his market value after the World Series. As a result, he’s still unemployed and desperate for work. Last year, the Angels pulled a similar deal off with Bobby Abreu, who wanted eight figures a year and got a one-year deal for $5 million once the market settled. I think Damon could be had for less, but we should view the Abreu deal as a baseline. Try to sign him for a year and $5 million. By the time that year is up, one of the Phillies’ outfield prospects ought to be ready to step up, and you’ve still got another season to try to find a young replacement for Raul Ibanez. The difference between Brown or Gilles’ pre-arbitration salary, plus Damon’s one year on one hand, and Victorino’s three years on the other might give the Phillies the spare cash to re-sign a more valuable player like Jayson Werth or Ryan Howard.

But by sitting on Victorino, you’re missing out on the chance to get at least one, maybe two major league-quality prospects and eliminating just enough salary wiggle room to keep the real valuable players on the team together. And in the famous words of Ricky Watters, “For who? For what?” To keep your seventh-best position player instead of trying to keep a competitive team on the field for years to come.

This is exactly the kind of tough decision that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Braves made during their runs. Remember, we root for laundry, not players. I’m not saying that trading Victorino and bringing in Damon is certainly the best move, but in order to build the kind of sustained dominance that I’m sure we all aspire to, you need to take the Brian Clough approach. There can’t be any kind of irrational emotional attachment that keeps you from even posing the question: Can the Phillies be better in the long-term without Shane Victorino? My gut says yes, and at the very least, it’s a question worth exploring.



  1. Phylan

    February 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Honestly I don’t know if it would be worth the trouble / the salary that Damon probably wants. Your point is well made that it would essentially be a lateral move in terms of overall value, I just don’t know that they would really get all that much for Shane to justify it, unless they can swindle some dumbass GM again. And were the trade to happen, I’d probably think about sticking Mayberry in right and seeing what happens before signing Damon.

    Really, the ideal thing would be to trade Ibanez, but that’s probably not possible at this point.

  2. Chris

    February 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    you are correct, this is not a popular suggestion and mostly for the reasons you stated as to why to keep him. He is a way better fielder, he is way younger and he’s a switch. The argument that damon hits for better power is worthless because we have so many power hitters on this team. Thats practically all we have is power hitters. I like victorino’s small ball play.

    Really you should take this arcticle and do a search and replace for Victorino and Ibanez. If you can get rid of Ibanez’s contract, you can afford Werth. Brown will be ready for next season anyway.

  3. Steve

    February 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    This may be the worst article ever. What’s the point of this? This idea is absurd, would never happen, nor would I want it to happen.

    Additionally, your counter-arguments for Victorino are way better than your arguments to get Damon, which completely defeats the purpose of the article.

  4. RichieAllen

    February 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Problem is…..the ticket paying population….the ones who keep the cash flow going,love Victorino.
    I think everybody was happy when he signed for 3 years.

  5. Heather

    February 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Since we’re talking about this purely as what ifs, what about this? Your argument is well taken that Victorino is average. Dump Victorino and get whatever prospects you can for him. Have the outfield next year would be Ibanez/Worth/Domonic Brown (our supposedly “can’t miss” prospect).

    As an added bonus, by shedding Victorino’s salary, you might gain the money to pay Werth to stay after next year.

    If Brown tanks horribly, Francisco is an adequate replacement until the midseason trades.

  6. Don M

    February 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I will have to wait until over-the-weekend to read something of this length . . .

  7. Pat Gallen

    February 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Worst article ever? Hardly. Go read TJ Simers.

    This is an idea, of course it’s not likely to happen. It would be wholly unpopular for sure, but it would free up major amounts of room for Howard and Werth AND Rollins to stay long term. I personally would rather keep Shane and try to trade Raul if that was an option.

  8. psujoe

    February 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Downgrade in the field in LF, CF and RF. No way. I’m all for trading Vic or Ibanez to clear salary for Werth becuse I think Brown, Francisco and Gload is just fine if you can keep Werth. Vi is less important batting 7th, but his glove is still important.

  9. Don M

    February 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    you dont trade a Gold Glove CF, who also lead your team in batting the past years . . .and you just signed to an extension . . .for the hell of it

    this is absurd.

    the fact that you put this much time and effort in creating this scenario and this post, blows my mind

    Damon is probably worse than Burrell in the OF, the best thing he has going for him is a hot wife

  10. Chris.I

    February 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    To some small degree, I actually think this would be a great idea…BUT instead of trading Shane, they should dump Werth instead, because Shane’s contract (as far as money) would be more logical to contain…Compared to Werth who will be way out of our price range. I think teams would easily give up 2-3 prospects for one year of service of Werth….OR….We could trade Werth for pitching, and do what Phylan said and give the everyday spot to Mayberry. As far as Damon goes…Good idea, but it’s a pipe dream.

  11. Chris.I

    February 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    As much as we would all love to keep Werth in Red Pin Stripes…It just isn’t going to happen. We can only afford to keep either one or the other…Howard, or Werth, and Amaro already made it clear that he plans to keep Howard in Philly for life. I say we trade him now while we can so we can keep our farm well stocked with high calliber players for years to come.

  12. Havoc

    February 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I don’t agree entirely, however I think while we’re all brainstorming on new and interesting ways to afford Ryan Howard & Jayson Werth, no one is untouchable.

    My main problem would be the defensive downgrade that Damon represents. I’d almost be more willing to accept an offensive downgrade by putting Francisco (or a francisco type player) in Right field or center.

    By the way props for the reference to “Serenity”.

  13. joe

    February 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    you’d trade an all star, speedster, gold glover, for a guy who can barely throw ?

    great trade

  14. BS

    February 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    If they should trade anyone (and I’m not saying they should), they should trade Werth. They have Victorino locked up at a good contract for a couple more years. But Werth is probably gone after this year. Obtain a couple good prospects who you can control for 5-6 years? Or 1 year of Werth?

  15. Havoc

    February 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t see any clear way to keep Werth & Howard, since I think the cheapest we can expect to get Howard for will be 6-7 years, 20 mil a year (minimum), Werth will probably be looking for the 60 mill that Bay is getting from the mets, over at least 4 years.

    What I’m hoping for is that Ibanez has a great year. If that happens it might be possible to move his contract for prospects (not great ones given the money Raul is getting, but maybe some low A ball prospects with upside.). That would free up left field for Brown to step in, and would probably allow the Phils to afford the first year of a new Jayson Werth contract.

    Then we’d have to hope that Gose can develop quickly and allow for a possible Victorino trade in the second or third year of his contract, to free up even more money. It still wouldn’t be enough though so we’d have to try and unload Blanton (if Kendrick, Carpenter, or Savery show they are ready to step in.)

    Unless the owners find a new way to pull in more revenue or decide they can operate with a 150 million dollar payroll I’m not sure it’s going to be possible. I guess we might as well enjoy 2010 for what it is though.

  16. Jeff

    February 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I try not to come to this site anymore. Since the big man left its become like trash blogging. this article and most of them. no writing skills and trade shane. please. damon is average hitter who cant field. get a life..

  17. Dan S

    February 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm


    damon bats left and the phillies dont need another left handed bat
    Also, from when i saw werth play center last season he didn’t look comfortable. Trading victorino would be trading away a gold glove at one of the most important defensive positions

  18. The Dipsy

    February 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    A Damon/Werth/Ibanez outfield would be horrendous. You would be better served to go with Ibanez/Damon/Werth across the back. With Ibanez in right or Damon in right, runners would go from first to third/home with absolute impunity. And what about when they have to go play D on the road? In Washington? San Diego? It would be laughable. I know that Bill James does not value defense much, but this idea is just bad. Defense is important. All World Series winners are good defensively. If there was a way to trade Ibanez and 10m of his salary for prospects and then sign Damon, now that would be an idea.

    The Dipsy

  19. George

    February 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Trading Vic could be an option. Signing Damon would be ridiculous, because even if he did take $5 million, that’s only just over $2 million saved. That’s hardly enough to even sign a decent middle reliever, let alone re-signing Werth. The only way this would do any good would be to not sign anyone, using Francisco or Mayberry in right. So far, Mayberry can’t hit, though, and whether or not Francisco is viable full time is questionable.

    The Braves did roll over their lineup through their playoff streak, but they never traded key players, like Maddux, Smoltz, Chipper Jones, or Andrew Jones while he was still good. They had a knack for trading guys just before they were going sour–people like John Rocker, for instance. They also didn’t fill holes with over-the-hill outfielders.

    While I’m not saying Vic is a key player, he may be close to being one at present, and if he’s ever traded, the Phils should have someone ready to take his place. Damon is not that someone. Mayberry is not that someone. Francisco probably isn’t, either, though he might be adequate. I doubt, too, that trading Vic would supply all the needed money to extend Werth. Someone else would have to go, too.

  20. Phylan

    February 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t know where you got the idea that Bill James doesn’t value defense much, but then again, I don’t know where you get most of your ideas, dispy.

  21. mikemike

    February 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    What happens if Jason Werth doesnt have a good year? He is a older player who has one and half good years, lets see what he does this year, before we make him a hall of famer/

  22. Phylan

    February 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    The more I think about it, the more it might be worth trading Ibanez even if the return is pretty shitty, if it allows a Werth extension. Not that I don’t like Ibanez, but his is the most unwieldy contract given his age, and Francisco or Mayberry I think could hold it down. I know Mayberry struggled with the bat, but he flashed some power, and I think he could pull it together.

  23. The Dipsy

    February 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Bill James believes that defense is overrated. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t measure it.

    The Dipsy

  24. Bobby D

    February 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Ditch a lightning fast, All Star centerfielder who just so happens to be a marketable fan favorite for a guy who recenty broke the hearts of Phils fans with his clever base running in the WS. That’s like dumping JImmy for Jeter. I’d kill somebody if it happened.

  25. The Dipsy

    February 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    If I you knew we could sign Damon for 1y/5m, I would trade Ibanez for a warm six pack of Schlitz if we didn’t eat any salary.

    The Dipsy

  26. WFC010

    February 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Ugh they should just trade Werth now, just to get it out of the way and get some sort of decent return for him in prospects.

    We all know he’s likely to be gone in a year anyway, and I don’t want to get my hopes up that they may find some way to keep him…only to be let down in the end.

  27. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Looks like Jesus. Talks like Judas and Throws like Mary…

    No thanks. I’m good with UFC’s next great fighter Shane Victorino in CF for a little longer.

  28. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Recently in an interview with The Sporting News Roy Halladay was asked who the best pitcher in the NL East was. Here was his response:

    “I’d never vote for myself,” Halladay, 32, told the magazine when asked whether he was the best pitcher in the NL East.

    He said New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana”has always been fun to watch. The way Cole pitched in the playoffs a couple of years ago and at times last year, I think he’s up there. Some of the Marlins’ younger guys are scary – Josh Johnson. There’s a lot of talent.”


    Notice no mention of himself. Halladay prefers his talking to be done on the field, unlike one of the pitchers he had just complimented, one Johan Santana. According to Brian Costa, Mets beat writer for the Star Ledger, when asked the same question Santana had this to say:



    And yet people wonder why we hate the Mets?

  29. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I agree with Dipsy…I would prefer to trade Ibanez over Victorino and replace him with Damon. That also frees up some cash next year when we need it for Werth.

  30. JohnKruk

    February 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    This is an unbelievably awful idea, but I really enjoyed the article…Wrongheaded but very in depth and I like that. I mean…I like in depth.

  31. Chuck

    February 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I think Don M said it best…”The fact that you put this much time and effort in creating this scenario and this post, blows my mind.”

    Look..I’m not a huge Victorino fan …like some people…and I can see the value in trying to trade Ibanez…NEXT offseason (o rmaybe at this year’s deadline if Brown is truly ready)

    Because trading Ibanez open up payroll for possibly keeping Werth..

    But Johnny Damon???…NO NO NO….absolutely NO!!

    What is the point of what you are suggesting??

  32. Ed R.

    February 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Could we please not crucify someone for putting an idea out there?

  33. Chuck

    February 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Ok …fair enough Ed…I mean the guy DID certainly start quite a discussion now, didn’t he??

    It’s just a ridiculous argument though…

    I TOTALLY realize that something has to be done with the outfield in order to keep competing after this year..

    Johnny Damon is not the answer to that, though. For defense, I’d rather have Eric Bruntlett out in left field as opposed to Damon. And I’m not being a wiseass when I say that, either..

  34. Griffin

    February 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Although I don’t agree with adding Damon to replace Victorino (for defensive reasons) I agree with the argument that signing Damon at this point for anywhere under $7 mil is very good value.

    Also, Ibanez has a no-trade clause (nice job, Ruben!) so he will be the Phillies’ problem in 2011.

  35. WFC010

    February 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Please make the pain go away, and trade Werth already! 🙁

    We’re probably going to lose him either way, so i’d rather just somebody trade him now and get us some good prospects who can help us within the new few years, rather than let him walk for a few draft picks that may not pan out.

  36. Griffin

    February 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    1 year of Werth isn’t going to net you as much as 3 years of Victorino. If one year of Cliff Lee only brought back 3 mediocrities then let’s hope Amaro isn’t looking to trade anyone anytime soon. The 2 extra draft picks will help re-stock the farm.

  37. Weed Man

    February 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Talk about too much rambling about something that isn’t going to happen. Having said that I would like to grade the trade the Sixers made today and give it a D-!

  38. Jeff

    February 18, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    The bottom line is Doc is a classy player. He will fit in with one of the greatest groups of players in sports today. These guys dont complain, they dont cause issues off the field. Well only when Rollins likes to talk but thats for fun. Doc will be loved in Philly. Yes, Lee did a great job in the post season. He was also 14-13 last season. Doc will never go 14-13…

  39. Red McNertney

    February 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Whew !!!! Some serious thinking here. Overall, I hate to see our outfield defense deteriorate with Damon in left, Ibanez in right and Werth in center. Victorino and Werth both cover ground. Damon and Ibanez will be serious defensive liabilities and we are weakening our outfield speed by too great a measure. Also, I doubt that Victorino will bring stud prospects. Too speculative and too much of a gamble.

  40. Jeff of Nova

    February 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Man some people are really bored

    One word


  41. Chris

    February 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Damon will sign a contract with Geico playing a caveman…hes already got the look and brain

  42. Lewisauce

    February 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I agree with whoever said your counter-arguments are far more convincing than the evidence you muster to support your idea.

    About the only thing Damon has going for him any more is reputation. We already have one late-30s, below-average defensive (and probably declining at the plate too) player in the outfield.

    Vic lead the team in BA the last two years and he’s relatively young. You muster a bunch of numbers to support your argument, but the numbers actually detract from your argument.

  43. The Second John

    February 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    It’s not a terrible idea, but its likely not gonna happen. I have a different scenario that has about the same likelihood:

    Trade Raul Ibanez (easier said than done and i doubt a team will take his salary, but now is when you get the most value)

    Sign Damon to a 1 year deal.

    Then the after this, you can replace Damon with Brown because Brown is definitely not gonna replace Werth.

    Lastly, do what you can to sign Jayson Werth.

    I realize this deal is probably not gonna happen, but its something to think about.

  44. Matt

    February 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Haa, Chris you made me laugh man.

    But wow, this was an extremely in-depth post, just a bit screwy at the same time though. I love that you think the way you do, but yeah, this one’s reaching a bit. I’m not the biggest Victorino fan by any means, but I can’t stand Johnny Damn to start with, not to mention he’s a bit overrated, and what, 36? I’ll take Vic in center, no matter if we lose Werth next year or not.

    P.S. I’m pretty sure I can throw further than Johnny Damon, that is all.

  45. Manny

    February 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    You know what? On a purely statistical sense, this move would make a lot of sense. You sell high someone who’s not part of the Phillies core, replace him with a good yet cheap role player like Damon… and get some pretty good prospects in return. You also free up salary to sign Werth (which I definitely think is more vital to this team than Vic). Frankly, I think Shane has reached his peak value… and I see it highly unlikely he’ll keep winning awards (All Star, Gold Glove…) while batting 7th in the lineup…

    But in reality, Victorino is a fan favorite (a LOT of people have his jerseys and all the little kids adore him), and Philly fans tend to really, really like him –this Damon/Shane move would be such a bad PR move that it wouldn’t be worth it for the Phillies.

  46. Manny

    February 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Plus, I HATE Johnny Damon.

  47. PhxPhilly

    February 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I also appreciate the analysis of this article. My argument was to trade Victorino for prospects rather than Cliff Lee. Yeah the return would’ve been smaller but we probably could’ve gotten the equivalent of Gillies and Ramirez for Victorino. However, the Mariners would not be interested in Vic and I am not sure who would. Could the Phillies have gotten the equivalent of Granderson? Probably.

    in your scenario, instead of Damon I would want Jermaine Dye in RF. Another right handed bat with power. If we lose Werth, he could possibly bat 5th. Dye is at least better than Damon in the OF and can play RF. I think Dye may have a couple mediocre seasons left and might cost $3M this year with $5M option next. Werth would be the primary CF with Francisco the backup.

    I think everyone needs to look at Francisco’s stats. I think he projects to hit .250 with 15HR and 15SB with 125Ks in 450 ABs. If he hit 7th in the order how does that compare to Pedro Feliz? Plus Francisco can play nearly average defense in CF and RF. Mayberry, Quintin Berry, Gload, Dobbs are possible subs that also cost next to nothing but are subs for a reason.

    Ibanez’s salary is the one that needs to be cleared to sign Werth. With his no-trade (full or partial? I do not know) clause and age he will have no value. In fact, it is likely the Phillies will need to PAY some salary to trade him. So then it is a useless option.

    I would not trade Werth now. His team value (and low cost) this season could be significant. Due to his short track record I doubt the Phillies would get a stud prospect. The draft picks may be as good. If Werth has an off year or injury the Phillies may be able to sign him much cheaper. I really thought Brett Myers was going to be a Type A Free Agent worth 2 picks this off season. Nope!

  48. Aaron

    February 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    i am going to start questioning the sexuality now.

  49. Blocky

    February 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Manny, you hit my thoughts exactly. Admittedly, this crazy idea works on paper if you completely ignore defense. However, I have an unnatural hatred towards Johnny Damon, and I suspect many others in Philly feel the same way towards him. I demand that he play for a different team so that when we inevitably play against him, I can boo him mercilessly without even a tinge of guilt (read: I would boo him mercilessly in a Phillies uniform, with a tinge of guilt for booing my own player).

  50. derekcarstairs

    February 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Congratulations for doing some thinking outside the box!

    I agree with you that Victorino should not be viewed as an essential player for future success. I like the idea of getting some more prospects. I also like the fact that you are creating a scenario that makes it easier to bring back Werth, Howard and Rollins, who are members of the core group.

    I think, however, that a defensive outfield of Damon, Werth and Ibanez just won’t. Defense is one of the Phils’ strengths and an important part of the game.

    A possible variation on your idea may be this: trade both Ibanez and Victorino after the 2010 season; bring up Brown in 2011 to play LF/RF; extend Werth and have him play RF/CF; give Francisco more playing time in CF; and sign somebody like Damon in 2011 to play LF and bat left to platoon with Francisco. Hopefully, beginning in 2012, we will get contributions in CF by Gillies/Gose/James. Our 2012 outfield would then be Brown – LF, Gillies/Gose/James – CF, and Werth – RF. The 2012 outfield would be cheaper than the 2010 outfield, better defensively, and potentially as good or better offensively. Obviously, for this variation to be feasible, our outfield prospects must continue to develop.

  51. Ryan Hoffman

    February 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Hey Michael, I like that you are thinking outside the box and asking legitimate questions. A few notes, though.
    I think it is naive at this point in time to say Victorino is a mediocre-to-bad CF based on the UZR. UZR can fluctuate easily from year to year, and a weighted moving average is a more accurate depiction of a player’s true talent, of which Victorino showed much of in the years before 2009.
    Losing Vic, and moving Werth and Ibanez to CF and RF, respectively and bringing in Damon for LF will probably net the team a deduction of about 2-2.5 full wins. Thankfully, this presents us the question that we can relatively answer.
    If you keep Victorino you get 2 wins, which are being valued at about 4 million. However, at the position in the standings the Phillies are projected to be in, each win in the 85-93 gap is worth more than a normal win. So lets say those wins are worth more like 5 million.
    So, lets say Victorino throws out a 3 WAR year, then he is worth about 15 million If we assume a .5 WAR regression, and the Phillies are still in the competitive gap, lets say his services in the 2 following years will be about 12.5 and 10 million in 2011 and 12, respectively.

    So that is 15+12.5+10 = 37.5 million. Now take the NPV of that and we get approx 34.8 million at the PV of his salary which is 20.3 million. 34.9-20.3=14.6 million in value.

    Now under your proposal it breaks down like this.

    Johnny Damon:
    Let’s assume 3 WAR at 5 mil is 15 million – 5 million salary = 10 million.
    However, moving Ibanez and Werth will subtract about a win for Werth and about .75 from Ibanez. So 1.75 x 5 = 8.75. So 10-8.75 = 1.25 million dollar value.
    (This is where it gets compicated)
    Lets assume a 3rd and a 15th round draft pick as comparables to who you would get in a trade. The 2 combined are estimated on average to give about 10 wins of value in the 6 years they would be under team control. There are many different ways of how you should value these players on a dollar basis and clearly any player can do anything regardless of draft position, but this is the best way to go.
    Under this assumption these two players are probably worth about 20-25 million dollars, but then that must be brought back to present value so to be honest, when added to the 1.25 million from Damon, I would say this is about close to a wash, though it may favor the Damon and Trade move. However, that is also more of a risk.
    So, in conclusion, I think we could go either way based on-the-field value.
    However, Victorino is beloved in this city and is a very marketable star, and not that Damon isn’t himself, I don’t think I would make the move…but it would be close.

    Now…as for trading Werth…

  52. John

    February 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    While I certainly agree that Damon would be a bit of an offensive upgrade, I’m not convinced he would be an overall upgrade when defense is factored in. How would the extra runs he may produce weigh against runs he would allow due to poor defense? Seems like it’d wind up being a wash to me. Also, if the driving force behind this is to free salary for a Werth contract, wouldn’t you need Werth to sign a contract similar to Shane’s in order for it to work?

    This may be quite niave to think, but I’ve been hoping that Werth will work with RAJ & co to find a way to stay with the team. It’s still tough for me to believe, but the Phils are actually a team people WANT to play for these days. Remember, Roy Halladay wants to be here, resigning players are using terms like “no-brainer”, we have a class orginization; I think that makes a big difference. Again, maybe I’m niave, but I’m hanging onto the notion that Jayson likes to win and wants to continue doing so.

  53. Andrew

    February 18, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    can not lose victorinos glove. Werth makes enough mental mistakes in right he is not a very instinctive player he cant play center.
    can not happen

  54. Paul Boye

    February 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I’m very glad to see such a good number of open-minded comments.

  55. Bob R

    February 19, 2010 at 2:07 am

    No way- Shane is young, won a gold glove, covers alot of ground and has a decent arm. Forget signing Damon-a waste of money-his best years are behind him and he is going to go downhill quickly.
    We already have many outfielders to choose from with questions about most of them. How does the new contract affect Shane? Can Raul and Werth duplicate last years performances? Brown has great potential but at this point who knows? Francisco?-a mediocre hitter-useful as a late inning defensive upgrade for Raul in left, but a below average centerfielder. Mayberry?-not sure about him but has shown some nice flashes of talent. So do you do anything now? No let’s wait and see their performances this year and then make the call.

  56. Jeff Y.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Why all the negativity towards Vic. The guys a 2 time gold glove and a pretty good #2 hitter,

  57. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I’m on board with the “hatred” (maybe the wrong word…let’s use “strong dislike”) towards Johnny Damon…

    I don’t care how this MIGHT make sense on paper…on the field it would be a disaster.

    And as for Werth playing center..I think that wouldn’t be the worst thing..”he makes enough mental mistakes in right” someone said..

    True… he makes some mistakes…but he also makes some incredible plays and has an absolute cannon for an arm…so his defense in center wouldn’t necessarily scare me one bit.

  58. George

    February 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

    There are a number of reasons NOT to do this Damon/Victorino thing, most of which have been mentioned. The two most important reasons to me are:
    1. Damon can’t play defense.
    2. The pay difference would be negligible. Vic’s pay is really reasonable, given his talent.

    There’s a reason why Damon hasn’t been signed yet, besides his agent’s ridiculous demands. He’s no longer perceived by most teams as an adequate outfielder.

  59. bfo_33

    February 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I agree with the concept, and admit I’m not a huge Vic fan (Jeff, while a decent hitter, he’s a terrible number 2 – no situational hitting ability, won’t put his bat on his shoulder when a pitcher is struggling to throw strikes, gets by on the bases more by pure speed than baserunning skill, much better suited either for lead off or bottom of the order), but you completely lost me when you went with Damon. He’s a nightmare in the outfield, can’t play every day, and he’s old. With all his faults, Vic gets on base, scares pitchers with his speed, plays solid d, and is a value at his current contract.

    The guys to look at are those whose contact is nearly up, will command a new contract that they may not live up to, or guys with big contacts, have a perceived value that isn’t quite there (or is readily available at a cheaper price), and you either have a back-up in the farm or can get a few major league ready prospects who have a skill that you are lacking. For the Phils, this is Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Blanton, Hamels, Polanco. I’d put Rollins in the list, except there aren’t a lot of ss out there. Not suggesting that any of these guys should be dumped (all are guys I like to watch, and have contributed greatly to the Phils success over the past few years), but you listen to offers.

    I agree with the premise, maybe even with Vic (everything is for sale), but replacing with Damon would be a disaster (I’d sooner fill in with Brown or Gose to get a ss prospect and an mlb ready starter).

  60. The Dipsy

    February 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Paul – God bless. But I don’t believe the fact that a lot of people really hate this idea doesn’t make them close minded. Even if one thought it might be a good idea, it would never make sense to shake up a team in the middle of a world series run, not now. Trading Shane for prospects may have been a good idea 3 months ago, but not on the even of spring training. Also, remember, you fellas are thrusting the WAR metrics onto a readership that only knows what they see and they view in the context of traditional baseball wisdom. Does that make them right and you wrong? Not necessarily. That said, you can’t be surprised by the hostitlity.

    The Dipsy

  61. Dave

    February 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Sign Johnny Damon? You have to be kidding. I would stop watching the Phillies if they signed that ahole, I’m disappointed that you would even consider such a thing.

  62. SpinJamin

    February 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I think this article is based on the fact that you think Victorino’s defense is overrated. I find that unbelievable. I mean Werth would definitely be a good enough center fielder for this scenario to make sense but Victorino covers so much ground its insane. His arm is pretty good and do you remember the Braves game? I don’t know where you are justifying Victorino’s defense is barely above average. I’d like to see some actual numbers that justify this because I watch pretty much every game and Victorino makes pitchers life a lot easier. Plate discipline is your only valid argument. Victorino is horrible at working a count and doesn’t have good situational hitting. If you even remotely think of trading someone it would be Werth. Werth’s value is high and putting Damon in there to play for Werth would sacrifice power, but you’d get more for him in prospects and Werth is too streaky in my opinion especially with a lineup that seems to have enough power. Trading Victorino just isn’t a sound baseball decision in the least unless you are robbing someone of prospects in the process.

  63. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Replacing Werth with Damon?? What are you smokin’??

  64. Blocky

    February 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I agree with Michael that Victorino is one of the most over-rated players in baseball. That said, I would rather take my chances with a Mayberry/Disco platoon in right (with some more days off for Ibanez in left) and with Werth taking over center than I would thrusting Damon anywhere on the field. And that’s not just my hate talking, I just don’t trust his defensive ability at all. Simply moving Victorino to get what we can get for him allows us to open up a spot for Mayberry and Francisco to get more playing time.

    To SpinJamin – I saw that Braves game, and that was an unbelievable play. There are a lot of plays that Victorino makes that look unbelievable, and that has a lot to do with what Michael was talking about. Bad positioning + poor jumps + blinding speed = catching up to a ball just in time. Once he gets past 30 and that speed starts to disappear, I think we’ll end up seeing a lot more balls fall in because (to quote Michael) he lacks to peripheral skills to get by after 30. Bottom line – once his speed disappears, he will lose just about all of his value. He’ll become a defensive liability and a contact hitter with no power and terrible plate discipline.

  65. SpinJamin

    February 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    First off I want to say I really don’t like Johnny Damon at all and I think this whole article is a ridiculous conversation anyways, but I’m bored and I’ll talk Phillies with anyone.

    With that being said. I’m just not one of those people that overrates Victorino, he is what he is. Very passionate player with a lot of talent and lets his emotions play into his game a lot as by his lack of plate discipline and frustrating at bats that he has during the season. But I am all for his defense. It’s pretty damn good. You can’t find guys that can cover ground like him anywhere and I’m not convinced that he’s in bad positions all the time. He takes chances by playing shallow to help out his pitchers and I think it works wonders for those lame ass bloops that drop in. The only knock on him in CF I really give him is that he isn’t great at reading the ball off the bat. You don’t see an upgrade in defense in CF over Werth or Rowand when he was here? To me its pretty obvious he is better.

    As for Werth, I think he has way more value at this point and would command more prospects(which is really the whole point of this article). To me Werth is not an essential cornerstone piece of this team, he is a great compliment to an already good team(Phillies lineup has plenty of power). I don’t like to look at the World Series and see the flaws there and go thats what we need to improve unless they are issues that have been present all season……..pitching depth. Victorino is enough offensively and has a knack for big hits. The offense for the Phillies is the least of their concerns. Plus Victorino in the 6th or 7th hole is gonna be pretty damn nice to have.

  66. Bob in Bucks

    February 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    While the concept of trading players if they are overvalued is valid this is NOT an example. Firstly you state that the contract in place “He’s signed at a fairly reasonable 3 years, $22 million. That’s not a bad deal for a player of his quality”. So, we know his value and he is NOT overvalued by your own admission.
    Second point – you admit “Granted, your prospect haul for Victorino wouldn’t be great,” so really what is the point?
    Now, why not really push the envelope which is where I thought you were going. Why not trade Howard for prospects? I am not convinced that Howard is really worth the $20 million/yr considering his strike out rate and rally killing at bats vs LH pitching.
    I am sure we could get some really great prospects for him and there are plenty of power first basemen available each year to plug in. Now that would be an interesting article and debate. Seems this article was drive by Damon’s availability.
    This has to be the worst article I have seen on this site.

  67. Matt

    February 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Having an outfield of Damon and Ibanez at the corners would be comparable to just putting that bronze statue of Mike Schmidt in to play third base. That would be a terrible defensive OF. Hey, why stop there? Let’s bring in Adam Dunn to man center field, too. Now THAT would be a great defensive outfield!

  68. Evan

    February 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I think that an OF of Ibanez, Werth, Damon is just too poor defensively to get by. Damon is already pretty weak in the outfield, he’s another year older and not getting any better.

    That and Victorino isn’t the kind of player you mess with. He’ll probably have a slow decline over the years he’s under contract, but he’s fairly cheap for what he provides. Victorino is projected to be worth $11 mil next year by WAR. He’s not going to get slow overnight.

  69. Common Sense

    February 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I can’t believe you spent so much time writing such garbage. I wish I could have that 5 minutes of my life back. Trade Shane Victorino ???WTF and sign Johnny Damon. DOUBLE WTF!?!?!?!

    This is crazy talk and a bad idea from any angle you look at it from. I honestly cant think of one good reason to sign Johny Damon. He is older, slower, hits for lower average, is obviously a turncoat of low moral character that would not fir as well in the locker room( going from sox to yankees) plus the philles would lose the Hawaiin fan base we worked so hard to corner.

    Worst blog entry every.

  70. Phils4Life

    February 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    As Michael Bolton says in the movie Office Space….

    “That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life”

  71. Common Sense

    February 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Why trade a 29 year old gold glove all star centerfielder for some mid level AA or AAA prospects so you can sign a 39 year old player who is very bad defensively? It honestly makes no sense.
    The ryan howard trade at least would make sense from a baseball standpoint while your trade is the worst piece of garbage I have ever read in my life. Thanks for the laugh.

  72. Common Sense

    February 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Oh an of course you would support the Cliff Lee trade even though that was a horrible baseball move. I think that everybody that knows baseball would agree that if Cliff AND Roy are on the same staff the odds the Philles winning the World Series this year are greater than those prospects being worth much of anything in the next three years.

    How bout them Eagles they have been contending for 10 years and how are your feelings towards them compared to the Philles. The fans want championships not a contending team. Give me Cliff Lee on the Philles staff and basically what amounts to a stone cold mortal lock at another shot at the World Series. Not some def kid, a canadian who can barley speak english and some latino pitcher than come a dime a dozen this day and age.

  73. Paul Boye

    February 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    It’s better baseball to set yourself up to be a serious contender for multiple years instead of banking on one single year. It’s far from a sure thing.

    Also, a Gold Glove is an arbitrary award often given to players who are more known for offense, have established a reputation as being a good defender, or just really aren’t that good. Heck, look at Rafael Palmeiro winning a Gold Glove in 1999 when he played a grand total of 28 games at first base. That’s not an award you should judge defense on.

    Scouting and numbers have both shown that Victorino is a below-average fielder who can compensate for poor routes and reads with his speed. He hits for a nice average, but Damon makes fewer outs. All that said, I’d still prefer Victorino in CF.

    What Mike is trying to do is open your eyes a little. We know that this particular idea may not work, sure, but we as Phillies fans tend to overrate our own once we become attached to them. That’s fine, that’s fanhood. But Victorino is not indispensable, and he is no longer an elite defensive CF. Johnny Damon may not be the answer or a logical replacement, but life without Victorino is neither bleak nor unimaginable.

    Also, in the future, instead of responding with righteous rage to an idea you disagree with, take a deep breath and respond with your counter-argument. Getting mad and hurling insults is a good way to get ignored, while being rational and at least attempting to make points that are backed up with numbers or history are good ways to earn respect.

  74. John

    February 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Agreed Paul, I used to do a lot more posting and writing about the Phils and baseball in general, but I became frustrated with similar types of replies that offer criticism and insult without any kind of discussion or counter argument. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more places that fans can’t discuss ideas & theories in a civilizedand rational manner. This does seem to be one of the better blogs in that regard though. Also, nice job by the author, though I am not convinced. Just had neglected to mention that in my earlier reply.

  75. Bob in Bucks

    February 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Paul Boyle – I am open to ideas and have no problem considering any proposal. I personally recognize that Victorino takes horrible routes and is really no Gold Glove outfielder. However, the write of this article did not even support his premise. If you read my post above you will see that while Victorino is not, IMHO, an all-star, he is not overvalued in terms of compensation. The premise is to trade your overvalued assets for something of value.
    As I said, let’s talk about trading Ryan Howard. At least I believe we can get tremendous value for him. But Victorino is an average CF paid slightly below average. I would like to talk about trading Howard, what we could get for him and what we would do with the $20 million per year. Think abou this – Cliff Lee and prospects or Ryan Howard. Fill in your average 25HR first baseman (presumably a better fielder!). That is the discussion we should have.

  76. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Common Sense…

    I supported the Cliff Lee trade….for all the reasons that have been already hashed out and stated..

    But I also agree with you that this idea probably isn’t a good one.. It’s hard to believe that Michael spent so much time on this…BUT…I will have to say that it did open up the discussion…and that’s what he was probably trying to do in the first place..


    From my perspective…and I’m sure I speak for some of us (but not all)…this article was TOO LONG..honestly, I didn’t read the whole thing..just skimmed the highlights to get the main points…

    Maybe shorter pieces would be easier for us to get our arms around…Just sayin’

  77. Bob in Bucks

    February 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I agree that Phillies fans become overattached to their teams but as you say, they are fans. I don’t care whether this guy is from Hawaiii or whatever nickname he has picked up. Victorino’s passion results in occasional lack of focus, poor baserunning, etc. But, in total, he produces and his compensation is very reasonable.
    If we want to get something we have to give something. It has to be significant like Lee. I do not fault Amaro for the deal. Whether he picked up value or not will be seen but you have to stock the farm if nothing more than for trade bait.
    This team is built for runs but we need to improve pitching. I would like to see us talk about sacrificing a big bat for some pitching – either now or for prospects.
    I always say, all I want is good September baseball i.e. we are in the hunt. October baseball is an extra benefit. The WS is about being lucky.

  78. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I think it’s a bit more than “being lucky”…but in the postseason ANYTHING can happen….that’s why it’s even amazing that the Phillies got to the WS two years in a row.. They had to get past 2 other teams…twice….and two of those series are short series (NLDS).

  79. Matt

    February 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Why do you call Victorino an average center fielder again and again? He was awarded the gold glove for being better than the other center fielders.

  80. Bill

    February 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    This might be the worst article i have ever read. Why would you get rid of Vic it makes no sense. He wins a gold glove and throws people out at the plate all the time but he is an average outfielder? He steals 27-30 bags that pretty good i don’t know what your talking about. Im so glad i stopped looking at this site for exactly this reasons. Writers on here don’t know what the hell they are talking about!

  81. brian

    February 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    You didn’t even mention what victorino does for our clubhouse. He has a presence that keeps everyone loose. That is an important trait to have on a championship contending team. I’m not saying that damon doesn’t have this trait. I am saying that victorino jokes and keeps the energy going. Much like a kruk, or johnstone.

  82. The Dipsy

    February 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Bill. Bill. Oh, Bill.

    The Dipsy

  83. Chuck

    February 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    If you stopped looking at this site…then why are you even on it now?

    I realize that some of the articles are…ahem….kinda out there sometimes….but you gotta admit it’s pretty entertaining..

  84. Paul Boye

    February 20, 2010 at 12:07 am

    They’re [the articles] meant to stimulate thought and discussion, not to incite civil war.

  85. Commone sense

    February 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Stop defending the Lee trade under the premise of , “contending for years” Its a weak arguement at best. The prospects we got are NOT highly touted. Realize we traded a pitcher who has a CY young in the AL and one of the best post seasons of all time under his belt not to mention a salary under 10 mil for three slghtly above average prospects. Get a grip on reality I hope these prospects prove me wrong but the fact of the matter is that nobody that rates prospects for a living rates these three guys very high in their ability to succeed at the major league level.

  86. Commone sense

    February 20, 2010 at 12:48 am

    the blog entry was very entertaining and it’s good to try and tinker with the team. It’s the offseason and we are all looking toward opening day. I am still bitter over the Lee trade as I think that a pitching staff with both Lee an Roy gives the phillies the best chance to win another championship. Prospects are just that prospects. We could have had one of the best rotations of all time and instead we have three players that may or may not be good. As a fan I want a historical rotation not three dudes winning games for places like reading and Allentown.

  87. Paul Boye

    February 20, 2010 at 12:57 am


    I understand that it’s hard to wrap one’s head around the trade, but it’s better than we trade for prospects who could be ready and [roductive in 2010 or ’11 as opposed to ’14 or ’15

  88. Commone sense

    February 20, 2010 at 1:30 am

    No actaully I have no problems wrapping my head around something.( whatever that means) we shouldn’t have traded a cy young award winner and literally a postseason legend for a few prospects. stop trying to fluff mr amaro. I think we have a great comparison over ther at the linc. Fans don’t want a contender they want a champion. I don’t think that anybody can argue that cliff and Roy give the philles the best chance to win another world series. Prospects give the phillies a chance to contend. I don’t care about contending. Ask flyers fans and eagles fans if they are happy their teams are contenders when comparing it to parades. Contending is a word from the business stand point. It gives ownership the ability to atract a crowd year after year
    thus increasing revenue.

  89. Paul Boye

    February 20, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Well, what if the go-for-it-all plan failed in 2010? If we kept Lee, didn’t get the prospects, and had the extra payroll burden and failed to win the Series…what then?

    We get prospects who wouldn’t be ready until 2015, financial repercussions for going above the level of affordability, and a totally different dynamic.

    Shoot, look at the way this regime has drafted. Look up the numbers of Anthony Hewitt and Kelly Dugan. These are project guys, prospects who need a LOT of work before being ready for professional baseball. We would have NOTHING in the upper levels of our minors, lose Lee, possibly lose Blanton, and have no guarantees of signing a free agent starter. The certainty provided by the Blanton extension and the security blanket provided through the Lee trade (at least, more security than we would have had than free agent, Type A picks) make plenty of sense to me.

  90. Paul Boye

    February 20, 2010 at 2:43 am

    The playoffs are such a crapshoot that one better starting pitcher is far from a guarantee of a series win.

  91. Evelyn

    February 20, 2010 at 3:05 am


  92. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Paul –

    You can defend the Lee trade. Thats cool. But please, three minor league draft picks that have not played part high A ball is not a security blanket. The vast majority of these guys go bust and you know that. I like the Blanton extension but I don’t see how the signing of a 3.5 starter impacts on the Lee move. It was gonna happen with or without Cliff Lee.

    The Dipsy

  93. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Amen, Paul!! “The playoffs are such a crapshoot.”

  94. common sense

    February 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I think it is way overstated the playoffs are a crap shoot when looking at recent trends. I think the past two years the best teams from each league have played in the world series and probably the better team won each time. So as of late I dont think the playoffs have been much a crap shoot. What is really a crap shoot is slightly above average prospects succeeding at the Major League level.

    That is the main reason you would want to keep Lee even if it is just for one more year. It gives the Phillies the best chance to win another championship and it buffers you against injury to any of your top three starters. Lets talk parades down Broad in 2010 not contending in 2012. Its a cop out by Amaro to say he wants to contend year after year because the Philles are going to contend even if those three prospects we got for Lee amount to nothing.

  95. Craig

    February 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    First of all, to those who are (still) complaining about the Cliff Lee trade: he is not reporting to Clearwater. Please get past it. No matter how much complaining is done, he will not be back in red pinstripes. Yes, I know the rotation would’ve been great with him, the team could’ve got better players for him, etc. I, too, would have loved to have seen the Halladay – Lee – Hamels rotation. But it’s done, he’s gone. Please move on.

    Second, I’m ok with parting ways with Victorino. I agree he isn’t as good a player as we think he is and his trade value will likely never be higher. He is playing well and his contract is attractive to other GM’s so he could bring back minor league talent. And as much as we want to keep this core of players together, Shane isn’t necessarily part of the core that we want to build around.

    That being said, I’m not sure Johnny Damon is the answer but some counter arguments to those who are totally against Damon:

    1. Back in 2006, do you think Yankees fans had similiar feelings about having to root for Damon back then? Do you think they feel the same way now?

    2. For a guy who “isn’t very good”, he was the #2 hitter for a very powerful World Series winning lineup. He must be doing something right. He’s not very good defensively, but he is a smart player at bat and on the bases… things that are a plus to ANY team.

    Finally, I think Mike’s article was well-written and thought out very well. Like most any article on this site, it is going to be an “opinion”. Just like the comments will ALSO be “opinion”. That doesn’t make anyone’s opinions any more right or wrong. I’d love to see a little less of the tarring & feathering in the comments!


  96. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Paul, Craig, et als. – Do you think Vic’s contract is a help or a hindrance if we wanted to move him?

    The Dipsy

  97. PhxPhilly

    February 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    At this point I think his contract is a benefit. Most GM’s are trying to lock-up young talent and are willing to risk being wrong on year 3 than for a full free agent contract.
    However, the contract will make Victorino more difficult to trade his last year. His status as a Type A will be in question, he is not a true difference maker, and he likely will not be worth a long term contract. The Phillies (or another team) will probably not arbitrate him because he will not deserve a raise and therefore no draft pick compensation which is going to hurt his value to some GMs.

  98. Craig

    February 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Dipsy – I think it makes him easier to trade…. this year or next. I agree with PhxPhilly as far as the final year goes. But as we’ve seen with Amaro (and other GM’s too), he seems to rather have a concrete idea on what the team is spending on X number of players… and then work the rest of the roster around that. I guess that’s easier than trying to “guess” what players will be making the following season, especially in arbitration.

    Also, if Victorino isn’t locked into a contract, certain teams may not be willing to trade for him. A monster 2010 season might make him too expensive in arbitration in 2011 for those teams.

  99. Chuck

    February 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Ok Ok…But is this even something that the Phillies are thinking of doing??

    Maybe he is easier to trade, but other than trying to figure out how to shed payroll to keep Werth…why would the Phillies trade a Gold Glove centerfielder??

  100. Brian Sr. of CO

    February 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Im glad that it appears most people think this is a hair brained idea. This is beyond insanity. I can maybe understand the Damon for Ibanez, but the rest? Thats like saying we need to bench Utley because he had two straight games with an error in the 2009 playoffs (it was suggested). I dont remember who suggested Cholly bench Utley was, but my question to that person is…How did Utley do in the 2009 World Series? It it wasnt for Utley and Lee, would more than likely would have been swept.

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