Odds and Ends: Cuts, Werth, Divisions – Phillies Nation

Odds and Ends: Cuts, Werth, Divisions

-The Phillies cut 11 minor leaguers today, including Joe Bisenius who had a cup of coffee with the Phils in 2007.  He, along with Brad Wilkerson, the former Expo, were let go.  Wilkerson was attempting to make a comeback with the Phillies, but it appears he’ll have to latch on somewhere else.  He was brought in for no other reason than to give the minors some depth, but they have parted ways today.

Other than that, no real shockers of those who were released. Here is the list: Pitchers Spencer Arroyo, Freddy Ballestas, Ryan Bergh, Sean Grieve, Jordan Meeker, Todd Van Steensel and Rick Guttormson. Infielder Jeremy Hamilton and outfielders Gus Milner and Arlon Quiroz.

-Is Jayson Werth being courted deviously by the Yankees? Werth had lunch with Yankees great Reggie Jackson yesterday, and although it is not considered tampering, it certainly looks suspicious.

Werth called Jackson a long-time friend and said he’s known him since he was seven years old. Whatever the case may be, it looks fishy to those on the outside.  It’s going to be talking about all year long, this impending Werth free-agency at the end of the season.  So, unfortunately, this is the news of the day.

What are your thoughts on a possible Yankee/Werth marriage down the line?  I think it would sting so much more if the Yankees or Mets were involved, strictly from a fans perspective.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote an interesting piece today about getting rid of divisions in MLB.  While he brings up some solid points (namely that the Yankees and Red Sox are jerks…kidding…maybe) I just don’t see Major League Baseball messing with this too much.  Now, adding another Wild Card team could be beneficial, but this rabid realignment seems overblown to me.



  1. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I think baseball needs to do something about the fact that the AL WEST has only 4 teams . . . while the NL CENTRAL has 6 teams

    for this fix.. the Rays would go to the CENTRAL?

    Kansas City could shift to the West..

    The AL EAST would need a team.. either the Indians as the Eastern-most team (geographically) . .or they take a team from the NL Central .. the Pirates the Eatern-most

    What would make sense..

    Florida Marlins to the AL EAST (start spending some of that money the Yanks and Sox give you)

    Pirates to the NL EAST
    RAYS to the AL CENTRAL
    ROYALS to the AL WEST

    all divisions would then have 5 teams, unless my math is off…

    would that work?

  2. bfo_33

    March 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Works for me – would much rather see the Pirates 18xs/yr than the Marlins. Not sure how the schedule would balance out with an odd number of teams in each league though – I think it could be done, just not thinking clearly enough at this point in the day – may require a few more interleague games for 1 team/league.

    Enjoying Werth while he is here, ignoring all the unattractive possibilities for next year.

    I can’t bring myself to pay to be an ESPN insider, so don’t know if Olney covered this on the wildcard, but I heard they are looking at adding another wildcard team per league, having a run-off between the two (best of 3 series), then starting the divisional series. I’m a fan of the wild card, but think there should be a bigger penalty in the playoffs for it. That way, can’t ride one hot pitcher to the WS.

  3. Burrgundy

    March 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Both Don M and bfo_33 make good points. I, too, would rather see the Pirates more frequently than the Marlins. Also, it would be naive to think that Reggie Jackson and Jayson Werth did not at least broach the concept of Werth being a Yankee next year. No use worrying too much about it. It is Ruben’s job to sign Jayson. We will see what this year brings.

  4. Chris Zak

    March 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Werth to the Yanks makes sense for the Yanks. Werth’s gonna command $$ because he hits 35-40 hr in the national league. Surely NYY would pay to have him produce than save some bucks on Swisher or Gardner.

  5. Phan stuck in NYC

    March 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Re: Olney — MLB changing things that radically uh I don’t buy it. MLB will never mess with things too much. It’s a game based in tradition. Everything Buster Olney is writing lately seems overblown. What is up. (that’s rhetorical – I don’t care & I don’t want to know) And oh yeah the Spankees & the Red Sox ARE jerks.

    Re: Werth / Jackson lunch – god. Okay I admit I read this drivel in that crappy rag The Post and . . . it got to me. It doesn’t help that I work in a Spankee loving environment either & they’re all rubbing it in. So I’ve been bothered.

    I don’t have memory of Werth ever saying Jackson’s name during his yrs in Phila. But he never had to. It’s true: stepdad knew him from The Evil Empire and uncle knew him from the Angels. Hey Werth’s family IS baseball.

    I felt mildly better remembering Werth said in an ’09 WS press conf. that stepdaddo Dennis had ‘no love’ of the Yankees b/c they cut him & he didn’t grow up with Yankee stuff around. His favorite team as a kid was the Angels b/c of his uncle.

    I also just heard a 2 wk old Eskin (I know, jeeze) interview w/Werth. They quizzed him about free agency. He said he’s “always assumed [he] would end [his] career with the Phillies” and he just never thought about anything else. This makes it sound like he is the Phillies guy to lose. So the more time that passes w/o RAJ saying one positive word to Werth and/or putting an effort in his direction the more likely they will lose him. Nobody will outbid the Wankees.

  6. psujoe

    March 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Why not just put Houston in the AL west with the Rangers?

  7. psujoe

    March 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Other than greg Luzinski Reggie Jackson was my favorite player growing up as a former Cheltenham Panther. Loved the A’s as well. Why the ^%$! did he have to become a Yankee.

  8. Matt

    March 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    There is no need to add more teams to the playoffs. If we’re going to continue to expand it, what’s the point in playing 162 games in the first place? Over a season that long, the best teams earn their playoff berths. This doesn’t need to be like the NBA or NHL where half the league makes the playoffs.

  9. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I keep reading that the Yankees are going to go after Carl Crawford.. which, to me, would have the Red Sox chasing after Werth (after letting Jason Bay walk this past year)

  10. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    If the whole point of their division changes is to move the RAYS..

    I think the other teams I moved makes sense… they spend the least, and they don’t win (Pirates and Royals) . . . its not like they have rabid fan bases that should care about a division change.

    I like the idea of an NL West team to the AL West… and the Astros to the NL West

    but there are so many things that go into place..

  11. Blaise

    March 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    In a game where a short 5 or 7 game series can be based on incredible luck (or crappy umpiring, like seen in the ALDS (Mauer foul call), ALCS (3rd base double play call), or WS (Arod home run — if a piece of equipment is sticking out onto the field, it becomes an extension of the fence), more teams should not be added to the mix. It should be the ELITE teams so that even if the BEST one does not win, one of the most deserving ones still win – not a 2nd tier team.

    Letting the Giants and Mariners into the playoffs last year would have just watered down the playoffs even more.

  12. Phan stuck in NYC

    March 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I’m with Matt & Blaise re: teams and length of playoffs etc. The WS is even scheduled into November this yr.

    @ Don M – you don’t think TB will try to re-sign Crawford pretty soon?

    Consensus is the Phils will leave Werth hanging for a time before making any signif moves. With Crawford signed that’d give the Yankees the space. OR there’s the another rumor that the Yankees want Cliff Lee more than Crawford or Werth. That would give the Red Sox the ad with Werth.

    Ok I’m making myself puke, it gets more repugnant by the nano sec.

  13. Matt M

    March 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Here’s all you have to remember before you take anything Buster Olney says seriously:His idiotic idea of a neutral site World Series, and the “trade” discussions the Phillies had involving Howard for Pujols. He takes every idea and rumor and takes it to the extreme and it says a lot about hw crappy ESPN is that he is their main baseball insider.

    What would help teams in the AL East be more competitive with the Yankees and Red Sox is actually spending a little more of the money they get from revenue sharing and balancing out the schedule so they don’t have to play both teams 36 times a year and can get more games against Oakland, KC, and Cleveland. Screwing with every other division when only one has a problem won’t fix anything.

  14. WFC010

    March 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I would like to see some division realignments and some more WildCard teams, but i’m not sure if I really wanted to see any divisions ELIMINATED exactly, but just shuffled around a little to even everything out. And why the HELL are the Pirates not here with us in the NLEast ANYWAY?

    And I really don’t want to think about Werth going to the Yankees…

    I could tolerate him on any other team BUT the Yankees. That would sting me even more than if he joined the Mets, because at least the Mets aren’t the freaking favorite to win the World Series EVERY DAMN YEAR. And of course it goes without saying that I want him to stay here, but I know he’s not staying and I resigned myself to that fact months ago now. Just PLEASE don’t join the damn Yankees, join the Sox if you have to but NO YANKEES! 🙁

  15. Chappdaddy

    March 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I miss the good old days when the two teams with the best record went out and played the World Series, greed has ruined every sport. Adding more playoff teams and realigning Divisions is all about money, and it all makes me sick. Split baseball into two Leagues and the winners of each battle it out.

  16. WFC010

    March 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    If the 2 teams with the “Best Records” went to the World Series every year, you DO realize that the Phillies would not have been in either the 2008 or 2009 series, right?

  17. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I dont think TB can afford Carl Crawford… who’s likely to be a $12-15 M per year player

    And I think they have some legit OF prospects in the system..

    Id imagine they trade him and Pena before the year is up.. unless they are in 1st place by the deadline and are aiming for a Championship THIS season

  18. George

    March 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    There’s no real reason to move the Rays to a different division. They can’t compete because they don’t have a large fan base, and a division switch doesn’t address that. If anything, they need to be moved to a different city; one that actually cares. Also, they are as far east as anyone, and shouldn’t have to play in some other time zone.

    Baseball is a very tradition bound sport, but the sad part is that when it does make a change, it’s almost always a poorly thought out and unnecessary one.

    Personally, I HATE the wildcard, and don’t want another team with a short- series advantage. When a wildcard team wins the World Championship, I cringe, because they are usually the fifth or sixth best team, and have only won on the strength of a hot streak.

    It would be impossible to prove tampering in the Reggie Jackson/Jayson Werth situation because of the family connection, but someone should at least be yelling “foul.” Still, there’s a whole season ahead for things to iron themselves out. I’m not ruling out Werth re-signing, and I’m not overly worried that Jackson will convince Werth to sign with the Yanks. I’m not even convinced the Yanks won’t opt for someone else.

  19. psujoe

    March 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    The current playoff system is fine except all series should be 7 games.

  20. WFC010

    March 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I would like to see the division series go up to 7 games, and I would also like to see them have some sort of MVP award for doing well in it also.

  21. John

    March 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I love what Werth brings to the team, he had a monster season in ’09, that much is obvious. But, as much as I’d love to see him become the 30-30 man we had in Abreu, it would be naive to not consider the possibility that Jayson has peaked with his past season’s numbers. At the very least, RAJ will offer him arbitration. That means that Jayson will have his opportunity to stick with the team as he says he wants to. I think that if the Phils want to resign Werth the best option is to offer a contract that is of lower value for ’11 but has a higher value later when Raul is gone after next season and we have a low slary OF in Domonic. Of course that is dependent on Werth producing in a similar fashion to last year.
    I do like the idea of expanding the playoffs, however, baseball doesn’t seem condusive to a system that has bye’s NFL style. Keeping games going for playoff teams would require an expansion to a 16 team field it seems, and that’s half of the teams, which really doesn’t isolate the elite from the median.

  22. Chris.I

    March 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    No offense to Werth but I hope that he has his best career year this season, signs with the Yankees for 5 years 110 M and completely flops for the Yankees….F*CK the Yankees and F*CK Werth if he signs with them. I am just so tired of hearing about the Yankees

  23. shag beta sigma delta

    March 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    IMO opinion you can not give baseball teams a week off after the season waiting on one series to play out, that is too long of a time to be sitting. It is bad enough if you sweep some team in the NLCS you have to wait a week to play again. I think going back to the old East West in both american and natiional league with two wild cards makes the most sense. Then you would have the two best teams in the wild card spots. Also they have to eliminate the extra off days in the playoffs. five game series you need two travel days because I like the 2-2-1 format year ends on Sunday you play Wednesday Thursday off Friday play Saturday Sunday off Monday play Tuesday. And ever one plays on those days, four games a day. In a seven game series if you stick to the 2-3-2 model you also only need two travel days. So that is 7 games in nine days. This would shorten the playoffs and not let a team that has to have a 5 man rotation all year go down to 3 you would need at least a four man rotation. The WS should finish by the end of the 3rd week in Oct. Even if it means scheduling some day night double headers during the year. November playoff games are just plain stupid

  24. WFC010

    March 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    As much as I like Werth, I really could not stomach him if he left the Phillies in free agency, and then immediately went to sign with the Yankees. That would just disgust me on so many levels, and I don’t really compare it to the Aaron Rowand situation, since he at least left us for a team that aren’t freaking frontrunners like the Yankees are.

    When a popular player in a town leaves a place he is beloved in and then signs with the Yankees, that just seems to me to be saying “EFF YOU ALL, I WANT THE MONEY!” and I think that’s a reason that a player like Johnny Damon is so hated in Boston now, because they freaking LOVED HIM and then he left for bigger money.

  25. MikeB.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Has anyone noticed that Werth is only hitting .125 so far this spring? It is only in spring training of course but let us hope that Werth can pick it up when the bell rings next week. Not very impressive for a guy entering a free agency year.

  26. NJ

    March 30, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Why is there the assumption Reggie Jackson would be pushing for the Yankees? He may be associated with the Yanks because of the success but it’s not like he was a Yank long-term and does he have love for the Steinbrenners now?

  27. Manny

    March 30, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I thought the same thing when I read about it, NJ… Don’t know what the drama is all about! So he had lunch with Reggie Jackson, big deal. It’s not like Werth and Derek Jeter were holding hands at Yankee Stadium..

  28. The Original Chuck P

    March 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’ve been hearing about division realignment a lot lately and I’m wondering whether there’s fire or just smoke. Some ideas have been flat out silly but some have actually made sense (see below).


    This article does not list the details of the division realignment but the premise is this: teams that are rebuilding (young, low payroll, not competitive) would benefit from hosting games against the Yankees/Red Sox (more money games). Rather than locking them into the AL Beast, float the divisions; floating divisions would allow those teams to generate extra revenue for at least a few years.

    I think about the Rays/Jays… teams that would have reached the postseason far more often had they been slotted in any other division… they have the talent and desire to win but they’re up against two financial juggernauts. Baseball would benefit from having those teams in a division where they could be competitive until game 162. Swapping either of those teams out of the AL East would essentially guarantee the Yankees/Sox playoff berths but it would also make the rest of baseball more competitive.

    But the fact that certain teams have a financial advantage takes a back seat to the fact that the current division alignment is mathematically unfair… because the AL West has two fewer teams than the NL Central, they have a much better chance of reaching the playoffs (according to the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, teams in the ALW have a 31.8% chance of reaching the playoffs versus teams in the NLC that have a 23.1% chance). If you’re going to change the divisions, that has to be the first consideration (making them equal).

    Here are my rules for realignment:
    1. Each league/division must have an equal number of opponents
    2. Rivalries must be left alone… Yankees/Sox, Phillies/Mets/Braves, Twins/White Sox, Angels/A’s/Mariners, Cubs/Cards, Dodgers/Giants
    3. Realignment must make sense geographically (in consideration to the players and their families…)
    4. It must not result in a financial burden to the league… $$ is not the primary goal here but the league won’t fall for it if doesn’t make cents (you see how I did that… sense/cents… such a nerd).

  29. Don M

    March 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    you can’t get mad at players for chasing money.. since there is no loyalty in sports anymore..

    They let guys go to save a few million . . . so why shouldn’t those guys be able to earn a few extra million somewhere else

    Like we’ve said before if the difference is small, Im sure Werth would stay.. but Im guessing the Phillies best offer will be 3 years, $35-40 M . . .

    and the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc.. will be offering 5-6 years.. and thus, twice as much guaranteed money.. Can’t blame a guy for that

  30. The Original Chuck P

    March 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I don’t understand how men/women on here can say, “If Werth leaves, I’ll hate him.” First, no one is in a position to judge… second, what Jayson Werth does is his business. If he wants to play for the Yankees, that’s his prerogative… if he wants to make $100 million playing for the Yankees plus the opportunity to make major endorsement money, rather than $75 million playing for the Phillies in a limited market, that’s his prerogative. I won’t hate him, either way. If the Yankees call his number, why shouldn’t he answer? If he does leave, why does that diminish what he has done? I haven’t always been a huge Jayson Werth fan… he has made huge strides in my eyes but if he leaves, I won’t immediately flip the switch and say I don’t like him again. The Johnny Damon situation is nothing like this one… Damon was 34 years old when he signed with the Yankees and had already had 5 seasons earning +$7 million. Damon went to the Yankees from the Red Sox. Werth is 31 and is set to make $7 million for the first time in his career this year; he hasn’t had that big payday. He’s not going to a division rival… everyone hates the Yankees but it’s not like we’re going to see him in Mets blue 18 times per year.

  31. Don M

    March 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Phillies wont offer him $75 M . . .

    they’ll try to trade Ibanez as soon as they think Domonic Brown is ready.. and then offer Werth a MAX amount of $15 M per season.. but I can’t see them going more than 3-4 years with him

    so if someone else is to gaurantee more 5-6 years at the same price.. What guy in the world is going to turn down $30 M ???

  32. WFC010

    March 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I won’t hate Werth if he leaves the Phillies, but I would feel pretty awful if I saw him sign with the Yankees fresh off leaving the Phillies. Now if he signed with some other team and then eventually ended up with the Yankees after that, it wouldn’t sting as much.

    But you know what? Can we all please just stop talking about Werth leaving? He’s here for one more year, and hopefully he can at least walk away from the Phillies after helping us win another championship.

    If he leaves after that there’s nothing we can do, and all the speculation is killing me. Either they trade him off now, or we’ll probably be hearing about his pending free agency all year long.

  33. Matt Edmond

    March 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’m not an ESPN Insider so I couldn’t finish Olney’s article, but I assume he advocates going back to 2 divisions in each league but with wild cards. Not a bad idea. But why not get rid of Interleague Play and go back to the balanced schedule instead? The pros: Toronto, Baltimore, and TB don’t play Yanks & Sox 18 times a season, and we Phils fans get to see the Pirates, Dodgers, Cubs, etc. more often (and less of the Marlins). The con: loss of Interleague Play (which dilutes the leagues anyway). The results would be the same as Olney’s proposal (making the Jays, Rays, and Orioles more competitive, while not toppling the Yanks’ and Sox’ obscene profitability).

  34. Don M

    March 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    we’ll be hearing about his pending Free Agency all year long…. that’s just the way it is.. especially in the age of the internet

    I’d be pissed if Werth went to the Mets . . . any other team isn’t a big deal since they aren’t are “rival”

    Who knows though… maybe Ibanez gets traded.. or injured.. and we need to keep Werth…

    Maybe Werth slumps all year, and Ibanez and Brown both have great years . . .

    lets just let it play out before we get too worked up about it

  35. The Original Chuck P

    March 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    If he has another good season and if the Phillies decide that they want Werth, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to go 5-6 years and $75 million, at least… Bay got 4/$66 million with the Mets. Granted, Bay has had more productive years to help his case but we all know who the better player is… and we’re talking about free agency (not arbitration) so Werth should get a comparable deal. I think it will be more years than Bay but slightly less per year. I’m really going with my gut… looks and smells like it might be a Bay-like deal. I think that Werth is worth 5 years and $14 million per year… throw in an extra $5 million on the back end to get it to $75 million and I’m ok with that.

  36. psujoe

    March 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I would add one rule to the Original Chucks’s listed rules for re-alignment. Any team(s) switching league affiliation has to be a newer expansion team as they are not as traditional.

    Houston goes to the NL West and the Diamondbacks go to the AL west. No problem flipping the Marlins and Devil Rays.

  37. Chris.I

    March 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I never said I would ”hate” Werth…All I’m saying is that I hate the Yankees

  38. Don M

    March 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Jason Bay was a Free Agent

  39. Phan stuck in NYC

    March 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I’m one fried by all the talk. Yeah I’d like Werth to stay (emotional – mm -about the Phillies) and b/c I think (rationally) it’s best for the Phillies that he stay (in ’08-’09 form). (But even JRoll wasn’t in best form last yr & I’d still rather have him than not.) I do wish the talk would stop, but it won’t. I have lived in nyc many yrs & I dislike the Wankees with a fiery vengeance. Of all the teams I’d prefer he didn’t sign with them. My thought is likely he will not b/c they won’t want him & neither will the Schmets. But other teams: the Red Sox (dear GOD no), the Jays (OH no Canada the outter limits of baseball AND they traded him once).

    Yes, Werth is a better player with more tools than Bay but he doesn’t have those solid prod yrs under his belt as proof. Call me selfish, I’m happy we have that going for us. Also with the poor economy maybe teams will use that to not spend the big bucks in ’10. Personally I think he’s worth money & yrs. His tools will age fine. Any injury issues he’s had (other than the wrist – not his fault) have been minor & haven’t been knee related. Whatever he signs for I can’t imagine blaming him. That’s nuts.

    I don’t know – any time I see or read an interview he makes me laugh. There’s just something about the guy’s personality & the way he handles the press that just seems perfect for Phila. It’s not an easy place to play sports folks and he’s good there. He likes it and that’s worth a lot.

    Re: the Spring Training avg .170 – it’s SPRING TRAINING. And Utley isn’t playing like a major leaguer either.

  40. Phan stuck in NYC

    March 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    God that was long – really sorry.

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