An Early Look Ahead – Phillies Nation
Analysis

An Early Look Ahead

After a full day to digest the Phillies season-ending loss to the Giants in the National League Championship Series, it’s time to thoroughly assess the past, present, and future of this franchise. In the coming days we’ll look back on the season that was, all while preparing you for what should be an interesting offseason.

Preliminarily, there are several questions heading into the winter. Here are a few of them:

-Will Jayson Werth return?:

It’s unlikely in my opinion, but not out of the question. With Scott Boras now representing him, the picture got cloudier recently as we know Boras’s mantra: take as much as you can get for as long as you can get and don’t look back.

The numbers he has put up over the last three years along with the numbers Jason Bay and Matt Holliday received in free agency are the ones to look at. During Werth’s career, his 162-game average comes out to .272/25/85 with a .848 OPS. It’s the damage he’s done recently, both in the regular season and playoffs, that makes him a hot commodity. He’s now the Phillies all-time leader in home runs n the postseason, and is a very good patroller of right field. Someone will pay top dollar for him.

What exactly is top dollar? Everyone believed Matt Holliday’s seven year, $120 million contract from last offseason was a bit much. However, it was Boras that executed it with the Cardinals. Bay netted $66 million from the Mets, with a vesting fifth year option that could raise it to about $80 million. I think you’ll see Werth get something closer to Bay’s deal than Holliday’s. Four or five years at roughly $15-16 million per season is about right. Boras, however, will see to it he gets every last penny.

The Phillies have negotiating rights for the five days following the World Series, but it’s highly unlikely anything will be done in that time. Werth’s impending free agency will resemble opening a fine bottle of wine; let it breathe for a while before you jump in. Unless the Phillies max their payroll out at $170 million – and there has been no discussion of this that I’ve read, seen, or heard – then Werth is most likely on his way out.

-The Bullpen:

Three relief pitchers are headed for free agency from the Phillies bullpen. J.C. Romero has a $4.5 million team option on his contract that will not be picked up, meaning he’ll be bought out for $250,000. He likely won’t return unless it’s a minor league deal with Antonio Bastardo now the lefty out of the pen.

Chad Durbin made over $2 million a year ago and will ask for a multi-year deal this winter, but with the Phillies salary rising into uncharted territory, it’s unlikely they can provide him with such a contract. Right now, I’d say Durbin is out, too.

Perhaps the most important of the three is Jose Contreras. He really blossomed as a relief pitcher, his first attempt at it after being a starter for the first seven seasons in the majors. Big Truck made only $1 million and is sure to get a raise of about double that. I think the Phillies do their best to keep Contreras, perhaps on a one year deal similar to what Durbin made in 2010.

I think you’ll see a lot of David Herndon, Scott Matheison, and Mike Zagurski next season. They are cheap and under team control. Besides, you can’t have a team filled with multi-million dollar talent. The bullpen is the place where you might see them try to go cheap.

-Can they unload some weight?

Obviously, the regressions of Raul Ibanez and Joe Blanton (and in some cases, Shane Victorino) were detrimental to the outcome this season. Ibanez struggled mightily in the postseason – his swing was so slow you could time it with a sun dial. He still has a year left on his contract with the Phillies at $12.16 million. Unloading that sort of deal will take a Copperfield-like magic trick from Ruben Amaro. If he can get some of that money off the books – it might take something like eating 70% of the remaining money – then he’ll look into it. It’s just not all that likely, so a Raul platoon could be in order for 2011.

Another deal that might hamstring the Phillies is Joe Blanton, who is owed somewhere in the $17 to 21 million range (haven’t been able to find the correct number, I see many others using different numbers. Dave Murphy of High Cheese says $8.5 million next season while Cot’s Contracts says $10.5 million). If they can find a taker for Blanton, while paying about 20 percent of the remainder, they might be able to open their wallets up in free agency a bit to someone like Werth or even Cliff Lee. Again, it’s not likely, but it’s something this team will surely look into.

-Crazy Moves:

After last offseason, the realm of possibilities is quite large with Ruben Amaro and his team. He unloaded Cliff Lee to get Roy Halladay, which many saw as a ridiculous move. That mistake was admitted when the team acquired Roy Oswalt at the deadline.  Could another such move be on the way? And where do you think it comes from if it does occur?

68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. BigDADDy33

    October 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

    PAT,

    Is it time the Phils address a need for a REAL leadoff hitter?

  2. Sweet Dee

    October 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

    “Besides, you can’t have a team filled with multi-million dollar talent.”

    You can if you’re the New York Yankees. But that’s cheating. We wouldn’t want that for anything. Philly is too hard-working; there’s no heart in that.

  3. Pat Gallen

    October 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Big Daddy, I’m not sure where this leadoff guy would come from or where he would play, barring a trade.

    You have two options in Rollins and Victorino and thats it. Rollins will likely be the guy next year, you just have to hope he learns to be more disciplined at the plate. Both of these guys will have to re-learn how to hit, starting with becoming more slap hitter types that line drive balls into the gap.

    I think Jimmy can return to form somewhat. His mechanics looked off as a result of his injuries. But both of these guys need to understand they aren’t home run hitters.

  4. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Maybe Ruben can work some “magic” with Werth….

    Wishful thinking, but I will remain optimistic.

  5. Paul

    October 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I am not sure I’d try to unload Blanton. While he’s not a cheap 4th starter, he at least has shown flashes in the past, and was quite effective the last couple of months of the season.

    But yes, it would be nice if they could somehow get rid of Ibanez. I like the guy, but he looks so S L O W . . .

  6. therookie300

    October 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Has Joe Blanton regressed? His overall numbers might not look that great, but how soon we forget that he started the year with an injury. He definitely didn’t look quite right for a little after that. I think his second half numbers tell a different tale. He’s still a solid #3 type pitcher who will be the #4 pitcher next year. I predict a nice season for him next year. I’m thinking 15-16 wins for him especially since he will now be matching up against other teams #4s. I’ll Joe in that situation any day.

  7. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Raul pretty much carried the team first half last year and second half this year. Even if he was dealt and the Phillies ate a big chunk of his salary, the contract was worth it. It’s not HIS fault alone that the Phillies failed to win it all in the 2 years he’s been here.

    Maybe a pure platoon would make better sense, though, if the Phillies are in a position to pay most of the salary.

    Pat, help me understand…with Werth, would/could he take a backloaded contract? Isn’t a significant amount of dollars coming off the books after 2011? Lidge and Raul specifically. Do you have any insight from your vantage point as to whether the team has talked about that?

  8. therookie300

    October 25, 2010 at 9:33 am

    If we want a team that slaps the ball around and bunts a lot then we have to trade guys away and acquire players who fit that skill set. This lineup was constructed long ago, not to bunt, but to drive the ball to the hard to the gaps. If we want we can transform our team into Twins cause that’s they way they have been winning the World Series…..oh wait a minute…..

  9. Ted Bell

    October 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Everyone has been telling Rollins “to be more patient” at the plate for a full decade now. It won’t magically happen in his 11th season.

    I can guarantee these three things about Jimmy:

    A) He’ll continue to swing at the first pitch.
    B) He’ll continue to swing for the fences in every AB.
    C) He’ll continue to do both A & B regardless of the score or situation.

    I agree this lineup could use a leadoff hitter that just focused on getting on base and setting the table. Unfortunately, I don’t see how that happens with this current roster.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  10. Ted Bell

    October 25, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Chuck – Raul hit 9 HRs with 44 RBIs in the second half. Is that really carrying the team? It seems like you could shake a tree and have a random player fall out to put up those numbers. Raul is a nice enough guy, but his numbers are fairly pedestrian for a corner outfielder.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  11. Manny

    October 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Looks like Francisco could get a lot of playing time next season… relieving both Ibanez in LF and Brown in RF. I could live with that. And someone will need to step up, like Werth did in ’09, when we had no apparent 5-hole hitter (Burrell was gone and lefty Ibanez had just been signed)…

    If we could get Werth next year, man, that would be awesome. But I think the chance of that happening is around 20%.

    Shane or Jimmy will leadoff… that’s that. If Jimmy becomes more patient with age, then we all win.

    I’m excited about Bastardo going full-time… also Matheison.

    Unfortunately, RAJ messed up with the team’s flexibility by unnecessarily extending Howard when his current contract is set to expire by the end of NEXT year. Another sub-par season would suddenly bump Howard down to the $15 million per year (not $20M which is what we’re paying for) range. Ditto for Joe Blanton… he is way better than what he did this year, and I think he’ll bounce back.. but c’mon, who wasn’t surprised when RAJ gave him a multi-year deal? Made little sense then, makes little sense now. To even think about unloading him already suggests that it was a bad idea to give him that deal.

  12. Pat Gallen

    October 25, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Chuck, I assume the Phillies will look at all angles regarding Werth, and yes some money is freed up in 2012, but not much.

    They have 7 players locked up in 2012, for $85 million. Plus, in that year, Hamels is arb eligible and will get a raise from the $9.5 mil he’ll make in 2011. And they have option buyouts on Oswalt and Lidge totaling $3.5 mil.

    If you keep Oswalt in 2012, that makes it $101 million for 8 players, not including Hamels. That’s a ton of money for just a few players.

    So with Werth, a backloaded deal would really have to kick in in 2013 when they have just three guys on the books so far. But looking that far ahead, you run the risk of paying the guy $20 million per when he turns 34, 35, 36 years old. You can keep him around cheaper now, but later, when the law of averages say he’ll regress, do you want to be paying him AND Howard $20 million?

    They need to go younger and cheaper unfortunately. They cant just throw money at everyone. In hindsight, the Victorinio/Blanton contracts kept from Werth being kept, in my opinion.

  13. Pat Gallen

    October 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Ted Bell,

    If Rollins wants another long term deal, he’ll reinvent himself. He’s more valuable as a double-hitting on base machine at the top of the order than some .250 hitting hack who swings for the fences and bats 6 or 7.

    Next year is a contract year for him, so you’d better believe he’ll be giving 110% as long as his body allows for it.

  14. Manny

    October 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

    You’re absolutely right, Pat… a backloaded deal for Werth would mean 40 million committed to Howard and him PER YEAR in 2014-2016 approx. That’s way too much… And we haven’t even started talking about Utley, who will need a big deal, too.

    Frankly, the one guy I really want the Phillies to extend for several years is Cole Hamels. He is only gonna get better and is the youngest guy of the core. If you want to have a chance at winning three-four years from now, you’re gonna need to have a guy like him. And we’d be better off extending him asap before he starts posting sub-3.00 ERAs.

  15. Dave

    October 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Maybe Howard can give back some of his unearned contract to keep Werth?

  16. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Pat, I absolutely agree with the Vic and Blanton deals. And, while I get the logic of locking a guy like Howard up….maybe it WAS a bit early to do it.

    I guess I’m ok with a true platoon set-up between Raul, Ben Fran and Brown. If anything, Brown gives you that youth that the team really needs and, with more playing time, Francisco should put up some decent numbers. And he’s only 29.

  17. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Do the Phillies even want to give Chase Utley a big deal?

  18. PhillyPhan331

    October 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

    JOE BLANTON IS AWFUL, he didnt get his era under 6.00 until august. Good riddance. Any minor leaguer can do what he did for 26 times less money. He had balls takin the team to arbitration, after they signed him as a #2-#3 starter, he was never betterthan a 5. They had to go get 2 more aces because of it, yet Blanton still gets his 10 mil per

  19. Manny

    October 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

    They better!

  20. Geoff

    October 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

    No, actually I think they should trade Chase Utley. Its clear that he is slowing down and cannot play 2B at an acceptable level anymore. He is better off at 1st or DH. But thats not possible on this team. And he actually has some trade value.

    Raul has none whatsoever, we are stuck with him. Werth is 100% gone. His slot will be platooned by Francisco & Brown. Francisco will also platoon with Raul as well. Victorino can still play great center field, so he’ll have to stick around aside from his idiocy at the plate at times. Blanton is the type of pitcher that always gets overpaid. The top three will be fine in place next year. Durbin must go. Romero must go.

    Not sure who we could bring in that hits right handed to replace Utley if he is traded or Werth when he leaves.

    This lineup has gotten old, fast, and its high time to freshen up about 3 of the 8 slots (2b, RF, LF). They should go younger and cheaper at 2B and unload Utley’s contract while they still can get some good prospects/players for him.

  21. branderson

    October 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Yeah trade Utley. Sure. He had a bad playoffs and came back from an injury. Now maybe I am a little biased because Chutley is my favorite player on the team, but how quickly did you forget hwo much Utley contributed to this team. He is not old by any means and I’m sure next year he can have another .300 30 HR 100 RBI season, barring injuries.

  22. Bob Myers

    October 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Consider trading Utley, put Polanco on 2nd, get a right handed power hitter for a Third Baseman, someone like Ryan Zimmerman.

    I don’t get the love for Ben Francisco. His 1 out at bat with a runner on third killed us, and he’s just average to below average on the bench.

    Replace the hitting coach, as it’s only fair to Milt Thompson to fire his replacement after this performance.

    The contract to Howard was premature. His performance this year seriously discounted his worth. You want your franchise face to instill confidence when he comes up to the plate in a do or die situation. When he came up to bat most of the fans had their eyes covered in fear that he’d strike out. Now we’re stuck with him. We better hope 2010 was his Cole Hamel’s 2009 season. In fact, we better hope it was that for the entire line up!

  23. Manny

    October 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Those who want to trade Utley are probably among the dumbest Phillies phans ever.

    SAID.

  24. Phan in the outfield

    October 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Pat: I think this one point should be clarified, you said, Werth is “…now the Phillies all-time leader in home runs n the postseason…” He’s actually the National League’s all-time leader in postseason HRs. And since the Phillies don’t seem willing to keep him, and he seems the next ex-Phillies player in line to get boo-ed at CBP for absolutely no reason, he should probably get his due as a NL leader & not just a Phillies record holder. It should also be noted that Jayson Werth managed that feat in far fewer games than Jim Edmunds, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols, with whom he is tied (if I’m remembering it right, it’s 43 fewer games). And typical to Werth he achieved this feat rather quietly. I wouldn’t have known about it if the bungheads at FOX hadn’t shown the graphic after his last HR. In interviews after game 5, he played down the HR choosing to talk about the other big hits he’d made in that heinous park that went nowhere, and discussing coming back to “our park, and our fans.”

    And that’s the guy we’re so willing to let go b/c – long run or not – HE isn’t worth the money, but Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, and a couple of others ARE?

    Domonic Brown’s agent is Scott Boras too. Exactly how long does anyone believe Brown will be “inexpensive”? Isn’t he getting 950k/yr now?

    I can barely talk about how much this particular situation does NOT make sense to me.

  25. therookie300

    October 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Maybe we could let this team get healthy in the off season and then see how things play out next year. This team will be right in the thick of the NL race once again if not the favorites. The starting pitching alone says they will be there. The offense suffered all kinds of injuries all season long to a lot of major players. There is some tweaking that has to be done, but nothing major for the moment. Wait till some of that salary comes off the books following next season.

  26. Geoff

    October 25, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Its really not so dumb though…Utley himself admitted he won’t be able to play second for many more years. He admitted that two years ago. Polanco is a superb second baseman even at his age, and right handed 3B with power are easier to find than power hitting second basemen.

    You won’t be able to get Zimmerman because noone would go to the Nationals games without him and Dunn there. We all know you can’t move Raul. We all know Werth isn’t returning. They’ve gotta get RH power from somewhere and they have to do it without splurging in new salary. So…someone will want Utley and pay well in players for it.

    Every year at the end of the postseason Utley is just worn out and beaten down because his body isnt built for 2B.

  27. Manny

    October 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Chase Utley:

    2006: National League Silver Slugger
    2007: National League Silver Slugger
    2008: National League Silver Slugger
    2009: National League Silver Slugger

    Oh sure!! 2010 is the norm! He’s so cot damn OLD now and he can’t hit for power anymore!! TRADE! Oh and nevermind that Placido Polanco is 35, yup I guess he’s MORE durable than Utley…

    C’mon guys, seriously…

  28. jeff

    October 25, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Well I am still in shock. Hurts very badly. Here is my take..

    Charlie is a nice guy. He knows how to handle players but thats it. Terrible baseball moves in big games. First he learned nothing by pitching Pedro against the yankees last year. Lee was ready. One of the all time great postseason pitchers sitting on the bench. This season its Blanton. Doc wanting to play. Has a great record going on short rest. Blanton did not pitch in a very long time and you put him out there in the biggest game of the year. Scratch my head. Utley who has been great looked old and just bad. His defense is becoming a huge concern. Should of made that Sanchez play. I still think he will bounce back. Rollins needs to be gone. I did not like them picking up his option so soon. He is never a leadoff batter. His hitting is declining big time. He swings at first pitches. I am not saying Valdez is the answer but he is a better fielder then Jimmy. If Jimmy cant get on and steal get rid of him. Raul is the worst contract this team has ever signed. We out bid ourselves for him. Yes, he was great the first half coming over to this team. He is old, slow, and a average fielder. That misplayed ball was huge. See if you can move him. Poly is a pro hitter but his health scares me. Hopefully he will be back strong. Howard which you all know I never will like. Just dont. 50 at bats in his postseason career and 30 strikeouts. Just bring a lefty in and its all over. Stood there with the bat on his shoulder on that pitch. AMAZING. He is an average fielder. Yes, he can carry a team for a month but his power numbers are dropping with his weight. I have never trusted him in a big spot. You all disagreed with me and you got your answer on that last out. Werth is gone. We need a righty. You see what the Giants did with all the lefties. Brown will be a good player but is he ready. We will find out. Pitching is set. We need a pen. Victorino is not hitting which scares me. He is up and down. There is no reason we should of gotten beaten. I saw a Giants team that was young, hungry and playing small ball. Posey, and Madson B. excite me. They are young and up in coming stars. I dont see that with us. The Yankees and Phillies have one thing in common. Both old. Played like it. Sorry this was so long. I have not been able to watch ESPN, read the sports page. I will not get over this lose for a couple months. Sorry most of you here hate me. I realize I make stupid comments out of frustration. Realize its my heart talking.

  29. Bart Shart

    October 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Personally, the Phils should expand their budgets to keep winning. The ballpark is sold out every game. Fans want a winner and if the Phils are not winners, then you will have some serious budget issues because fans may not fill that stadium.

  30. The Dipsy

    October 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Shave Victorino is a contradiction in terms. CF. Small of frame and fleet of foot. Steals bases. Gritty. And a switch hitter! All the makings of a quality lead off man, right? WRONG.

    Doesn’t take pitches. Won’t walk. Won’t bunt. Doesn’t move runners and can’t hit from the left side. Overrated fielder and plays stupid.

    As likable as he is, his enigmatic blend of talent and shortcoming make him the man to go on this team. To me, he is a seven hole hitter. Better yet, someone trade for him. Is Brett Butler still playing because that’s who I want.

    The Dipsy

  31. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 11:41 am

    If anything, maybe consider moving Chase to the outfield at some point. But trading him is asanine.

  32. The Dipsy

    October 25, 2010 at 11:49 am

    *someone will trade for him.

    The Dipsy

  33. Kate

    October 25, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Unloading Blanton and Ibanez should only go to one purpose: resigning Jayson Werth. And I’d rather see Kendrick go than Blanton, but I’m guessing he’s still locked in?

    We don’t need Cliff Lee. H2O is locked up. The pitching has not been our problem all year. We would have ended up in the exact same place if we had Cliff Lee. God, I’m sick of saying Cliff Lee.

    We need Werth a lot more.

    Talking about unloading or wishing we could unload Howard, Utley, Polanco, and Rollins is simply unfair at this point. Young James was out most of the season with leg injuries, Chase was out for two months because of his thumb, Polanco was in and out due to elbow issues, and Howard just started listening to the wrong people.

    These guys (aside from Polanco, who deserves a chance anyway) got us the World Series in 2008. They’re owed the chance to see what can happen in a healthy (knock on wood) 2011 season before the frontrunners start running them out of town.

  34. Philly Texan

    October 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

    The Phils have the money to re-sign Werth.

    Money isn’t the issue. The problem is length of contract.

    If Werth were willing to accept three years at $16 mill. per yr, the Phils would sign him this minute.

    But Werth wants a 5-year deal—4 years at a minimum.

    The Phils have to think very carefully about signing a 31 yr old outfielder to a 4-5 year deal for that money.

    If they sign Werth to a 4-year deal, by 2013 offseason, they’d have potentially $55 million wrapped up in three aging players Howard (34 years old), Utley (35) and Werth (34).

    Of course, how many games will we win in the next three seasons with those three players? Probably a lot and a few more division titles. So, it’s a tough balancing act. And a tough decision: Win now vs. plan for the future.

    The Phils have sided with “win now” philosophy. But you can’t do that forever. At some point, you have to let older players go and plan for the future. I’m not sure 2010 is the right time to do that, though, especially with Dom Brown needing more seasoning.

    I suspect RAJ and the front office are debating these issues right this moment. And it starts with how many years they want to sign Werth for.

    If they’re willing to give him 4 years, I think there’s a decent chance he’ll be back.

  35. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    4 years??

    Philly Texan, Boras will ask for (demand) 5 years…..MINIMUM….and will get it.

  36. Philly Texan

    October 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Chuck,
    I’m sure Boras will ask for 5 years, but will he get it?

    Maybe.

    But I bet most teams will be awfully reluctant to sign a guy who’s about to be 32 to a 5-year deal for big money.

    The Phils and the rest of us will have to see what the market says. If some rich team (Red Sox?) loses its mind and offers 5 years, then Werth is gone. But if the market is 4 years, then the Phils have a chance to bring him back.

  37. The Dipsy

    October 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Kate…..you trade Shane though, correct? And I say Jayson wants six years.

    The Dipsy

  38. Kate

    October 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Ask Chan Ho Park how well Scott Boras worked out for him.

  39. Dave

    October 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    If the offense doesn’t bounce back and Werth is lost to free agency, offensively we could be next year’s Giants, only a lot more expensive.

  40. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Jayson will probably want 5 years with an option year. If he REALLY wants to stay…and the Phillies come close on the dollars….but it’s a 4 year offer…does he take it?

    I’m for trading Shane if it means we get to keep Werth. Addition by subtraction.

    Chuck’s desired 2011 outfield:

    RF: Brown/Francisco
    CF: Werth
    LF: Ibanez/Francisco

    In 2012, Chase should play left field.

  41. Bob Myers

    October 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Yeah, trading Chase is probably idiotic. I only mentioned being open to it.

    But is there any evidence Chase would make a good outfielder and that this transition makes sense? I don’t see that one as a good move for the Phils.

    Manny, interesting stats on Chase as Silver Slugger. Hopefully 2010 is the aberration year for him.

  42. biz

    October 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    # Chuck Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Do the Phillies even want to give Chase Utley a big deal?

    _________

    Excellent question. I think you’ll agree with me when I say, HELL NO. Chase is done. The last 2 years have been mediocre. His performance in the playoffs was by far the worst on the team. He had 8 errors, he was just fortunate the official scorers were calling balls that bounced off his thigh and under his glove, hits. Just food for thought, cause it would never have happened, but had Valdez been playing 2nd base, Game 7 would have been last night…. or we may have won the series in less games. Valdez would have been hard pressed to make a single error. Chase made .88 errors per game. Almost every one was a BIG error. It’s time to trade him while his value still may be high. He’s ridiculously overrated around the league.

  43. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    DON’T SLEEP ON BEN,IF HE GETS PLAYING TIME,I SEE HIM AT 270 21 85 R.B.I.’S.NO ONE WOUL COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT RIGHT?

  44. biz

    October 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    # Dave Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Maybe Howard can give back some of his unearned contract to keep Werth?

    ________

    Unearned? He hot 58 HR and won the MVP while making 400k.

    Im pretty sure he has earned every penny. He had a down year, but if it wasnt for his injury, he would have had around 40 and 135 again, as usual.

    Come on guys. We’re supposed to be the most knowledgeable fan base in the country, then I read some idiotic post like this. Howard didnt deserve it. Ha

    2 HR crowns, 3 RBI crowns, a ROY, an MVP, a WS ring, AN NLCS MVP and the fastest man to 250 career HR, all in just 5 full seasons, and some moron decides his contract is unearned. Wow.

    Are you willfully ignorant, a racist like Jeff, or are you just an idiot?

  45. biz

    October 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    # Manny Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Those who want to trade Utley are probably among the dumbest Phillies phans ever.

    SAID.

    __________

    Those who think Utley will ever be the player he was in 07 are the dumbest Phans ever.

  46. Karen

    October 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    The offseason is definately fun in regard to moves. I know we are the worst fans ever to exist but we are up on rumors/moves.

  47. biz

    October 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    # The Dipsy Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Shave Victorino is a contradiction in terms. CF. Small of frame and fleet of foot. Steals bases. Gritty. And a switch hitter! All the makings of a quality lead off man, right? WRONG.

    Doesn’t take pitches. Won’t walk. Won’t bunt. Doesn’t move runners and can’t hit from the left side. Overrated fielder and plays stupid.

    As likable as he is, his enigmatic blend of talent and shortcoming make him the man to go on this team. To me, he is a seven hole hitter. Better yet, someone trade for him. Is Brett Butler still playing because that’s who I want.

    The Dipsy

    ___________

    You also wanted Cuddyer and some relief pitcher who I can’t recall…. for good reason.

    Vic an overrated fielder?

    Zzzzzzzz

  48. PhillyPhan331

    October 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Hey, last week, when we dispatched Cinci in a sweep, we all though this team was magnificent, we went 25-4 down the stretch to annihilate the Braves, we all loved the tea,. Afetr one bad series, dont make irrationa suggestions. Go back to the last day of the season, when you were happy, and DO YOU REMEMBER THE FLAWS YOU KNEW ABOUT AT THAT POINT??? Well mine were Joe Blanton, we dont need him at any capacity and the fact that hes eating up 10 mil for a Kyle Kendrickesque job is rediculous. Leadoff hitter, Rollins is not a good leadoff hitter, neither is shane. Until either of them make pitchers throw pitches and work walks and get on base at a good leadoff rate and do the things a leadoff guy should do, they arent the answer. Elvis Andrus is a fast guy, that gets on base and causes havoc when hes on, I think maybe Dom Brown may be a nice try at leadoff, unconventional, but he dont swing at 1st pitches, hes fast and he has power which makes him an rbi guy I know, but i think he would be a better fit in leadoff (temporarily) than either shane or Jroll. Dom Brown either a 5-6 hole guy or 1 hole guy on this team without Jayson Werth. Polly and Utley have 2 and 3 holes locked up, and Howard wont budge from 4 as long as Chalies around. Bullpen, Chad Durbin and JC are gone, we need to find 2 guys that will be good BP fits, AND MIKE ZAGURSKI AND SCOTT MATTHIESON FROM WHAT I SEEN ARE NOT THE ANSWERS. Left field, Ben Fransisco is not gonna be the answer, unless he gets that power stroke going, AND LEARNS HOW TO FIELD, and gets that average up past 280. OBP up above .300. Utility guy, Valdez did well in the field but his bat was very weak. His double plays erased more hits and walks than he had rbis this season. And the manager, Chalie Manuel, who plays with patience in the regular season like no manager i have evr seen, that patience becomes a detriment in the postseason, WHENEVR WERE IN A TOUGH SERIES THAT URGENCY IS NEEDED, Joe Blanton two years in a row, over our aces, Cliff Lee in the world series, and now Doc Halladay in the NLCS this year. Blanton over the 2 best pitchers in baseball, in must win games 2 years in a row. GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK MAN. Thereason we are at home debating this, is not because of the team, its because of the manager not making any moves to fix the guys who were not hitting, and to adjjust the rotation as the sense of urgency went up, TWO YEARS IN A ROW. GO PHILLIES, WE WILL BE WAITING FOR APRIL 1ST!!!! Bring on brett myers and JA Happ!!!

  49. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Werth “Its been quite a ride. Definitely had a great time playing in Philadelphia”

  50. PhillyPhan331

    October 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Sorry bout the spelling im typing really fast!! LOL

  51. PhillyPhan331

    October 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Karen ,….worst fans? Really???? Sell out every single game the entire season and you call us the worst fans?? DO YOU SEE THE EMPTY SEATS IN TAMPS, ATLANTA, ST LOUIS AND EVRY OTHER PLACE IN THE LEAGUE???

  52. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    BIZ-WHEN IT COMES TO HOWARD,SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET IT……

  53. Chuck

    October 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Utley in the outfield may make sense. He so much as admitted that he possibly wasn’t long for the secon base position. The outfield is earier to play and would extend his career. I would think he could do it.

  54. The Dipsy

    October 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Why would you repost my post? Thats just a waste of time. Yes. I still think Michael Cuddyer would fit in well here if we can’t have Werth and yes, I wanted Brian Fuentes for the pen. If we had him, maybe we wouldn’t have seen Oswalt in relief. Kapeesh?

    The Dipsy

  55. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Werth says he’s in no hurry to make a decision on next season

  56. biz

    October 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    # The Dipsy Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Why would you repost my post? Thats just a waste of time. Yes. I still think Michael Cuddyer would fit in well here if we can’t have Werth and yes, I wanted Brian Fuentes for the pen. If we had him, maybe we wouldn’t have seen Oswalt in relief. Kapeesh?

    The Dipsy

    ___________

    Do you think I retyped it word for word? I rolled my cursor over it, hit ctrl c, than hit ctrl v and pasted it. It took all of 3 seconds.

    You know Vic makes 5.5m. You think thats too much for a 2 time GG CF? We can’t resign Werth because of Ibanez and Blanton. And if some of the idiots on here get their way, we’ll be paying a 35 year old, mediocre fielding 2B, to bat .270 with 15-20 Hr, something like 15m per year.

  57. Nunzio Scholeri

    October 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I could go either way on a lot of what’s being discussed here, but I have to agree 100% with Manny that Cole Hamels is a hugely important part of this team to hold onto. He’s young, he’s already great, and this season showed that he’s only becoming more dominant.

  58. mg52

    October 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    It seems fair to raise Charlie as another issue here. We’ve gone through the questionable moves: no Doc in Game Four, Francisco instead of Sweeney, Vic leading off as long as he was, the Oswalt relief appearance and so on. Everybody knows that Charlie is the guy everybody plays for, but that won’t get it done every time. The best managers are those who find ways to win even when the team (in this case, the offense) isn’t at its best, not just when it IS at its best – and that comes through a strong grasp of the fundamentals of baseball. It’s important because the league knows this is a fastball-hitting team, and for Charlie to continue his success, he has to be able to roll with the punches that the league has leveled against the Phils to keep them out of the Classic again. We know that he’s a player’s manager, but is he a players’ manager – the kind of guy who really challenges the team as a whole to step in and perform? That’s hard to say because of how little some parts of the bench were used in this past series and, really, for much of the regular season. I’ll give him credit for taking Vic out of the leadoff spot on Saturday and making small changes here and there and for keeping the even temper that he’s usually had.

    I don’t want Charlie to be fired now, necessarily, because he’s kept this team together through injuries, adversity, criticism and what-have-you. He’s won us a title – and made this team Philly’s team. And some of the problems in this NLCS were out of his control. But many were not, and whether or not he’s to blame for not helping the offense to adapt itself to the Giants’ pitching and to manufacture more runs, we have to wonder how much longer this team can keep playing in his style without changes. If they run into another long lull next year, they may want to consider a change because there’s no telling how many more of those they can go through and how long they might last. Clearly, the run they went on got them into the playoffs, but the same long stretches of almost no offensive production returned – as they did in the Classic last year – and they could return at any time in future seasons and we just don’t know when. In fact, the team seemed to be at its best in early August, when some of the big “guns” were out of the line-up and Valdez, Ruiz, et al were picking up the slack and doing at least a somewhat better job of scratching out runs than had been the case in the weeks prior. That may have forced Charlie to do something different – but not this October.

    But that’s just me. Whatever it is, I’d be glad to hear what you all think.

  59. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    RAUULLLL IS GOING TO MAKE 12 MILLION NEXT YEAR……SAID!!

  60. JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    October 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Werth already turned down 4 years, $64 million and then switched agents to Boras.

    He’s gone…move on. If there is money to spend, it will be spent ON THE BULLPEN!!

  61. brooks

    October 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Reality is that Utley is going nowhere.
    Cholly is not going to change up his leadoff –
    And Jayson, well who really knows?
    But shoring up the BP is big and I agree with Pat in that Durbin and Romero are gone. I dont agree to seeing more of Herndon and Zagurski. The Phils need fresh blood in teh BP.

  62. Morris Buttermaker

    October 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    When I was at the game Saturday night, it dawned on me who Utley reminds me of, Nomar Garciaparra. He was an absolute stud for years, all of the fans loved him, and then BAM! all of a sudden something happened and he was never quite the same player. The hip injury Chase had a few years ago was pretty serious.

    I’m a big Utley fan, although it drives me nuts how he gets the Golden Boy treatment in this city and never gets criticized for anything. But man, he looked pretty craptacular in the playoffs. Not only did he make errors, he did not get to a lot of balls. The hit by Sanchez in the 3rd sticks out the most. He looked really slow running for that ball. And he had a chance, and next thing you know the ball is in the outfield. And his plate appearances were not anything special.

    Also, it’s time to let go of the Blanton pitching game 4 move. It had no effect on the outcome of the series. The Phillies did not score in this series. Pitching was not a problem.

  63. Kate

    October 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I agree with Morris.

    There’s no way Charlie was going with Halladay in a non-elimination game. It was the right decision when he went with Blanton (who had a typical outing, which the OFFENSE should have easily overcome) and it’s still the right decision in hindsight.

  64. therookie300

    October 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    @ Morris

    I like the comparison to Nomar. Hopefully Chase will prove us wrong, but it is an eerie thought. Something is clearly not right with him. Maybe some off-season rest is sorely needed and maybe no further injuries with him.

  65. mg52

    October 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Morris and Kate, I actually do agree with both of you about the Game Four starter. I just put it out there as something that had been debated. What happened with the offense throughout the series and the season is still more of my concern too. I’ve heard Charlie say that Jimmy’s the leadoff hitter and that they’ve got to hit better and to deliver with RISP. But I’m yet to see guys like J-Roll and Vic and, really, most of the line-up make significant changes in their plate approaches – both between games and within games. Not enough of hitting it where it’s pitched, not enough level swings, maybe too much bailing on some outside pitches. I don’t know – it’s hard to tell what Charlie, Gross, et al have been doing with them, but whatever it is, it doesn’t come across very clearly to me. What do you guys think?

  66. brooks

    October 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Talk of getting rid of Chase – everyone – that is not going to happen.
    There were 2 players who had comperable if not better seasons this year offensively – mostly due to injury and some, just an off year – it happens.
    The Phils:
    2009 – 224 hrs led the league .447 Slugging % also led the league
    2010 – 166 hrs 5th in the league .413 Slugging % also 5th in the league.

    The entire team bar Chooch and Werth had down years offensively. Chooch hit a career best .302 with 53 rbi.
    Jayson improved in all offensive categories except for hrs (a respectable 27) and RBI (85 and hard to understand why so low).

    I, and probably a few others on this site thought we would see offensive numbers from 09 that would compliment the great pitching we saw in 2010. If 09’s numbers were a 1 time fluke that would be another story but they were a progression from the 07 and 08 numbers.

    Now I’m getting myself worked up for the 2011 season! Hoping there is a way to keep the Werth!

  67. Lefty

    October 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I’m hoping too Brooks, but this doesn’t sound to promising to me.

    “Those fans in right field; I’ll probably never be in that position again … I’ve had the best time of my career playing baseball in this city … I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get to play with guys like this again,” Werth said.

  68. Al

    October 26, 2010 at 10:47 am

    So far we have these on the books (from David Murphy at High Cheese):
    SP (4):
    Roy Halladay
    Roy Oswalt
    Cole Hamels
    Joe Blanton

    RP (3):
    Brad Lidge
    Ryan Madson
    Danys Baez

    IF (5):
    Ryan Howard 1B
    Ross Gload 1B
    Chase Utley 2B
    Placido Polanco 3B
    Jimmy Rollins SS

    C (2):
    Carlos Ruiz
    Brian Schneider

    OF (2):
    Raul Ibanez
    Shane Victorino

    And that’s 16 players at about $135.5 million. Add in those likely to receive arbitration:

    Ben Francisco
    Kyle Kendrick

    Francisco is probably going to get around $1.5 million, and Kendrick would likely get around $2 million. Francisco is definitely a keeper, and I would keep Kendrick as well (~180 IP is not bad for $2 million), though perhaps Worley would be cheaper and as capable in the 5 starter role. Let’s just say that Kendrick stays.

    Now we’re at 18 players and $139 million. Non-tendering Dobbs, buying out JC’s option, and letting Durbin and Contreras walk will probably mean that the RP slots will be filled from the minors. Re-signing Valdez will cost, at most, $1 million.

    Scott Mathieson (7th inning set-up/middle relief)
    Vance Worley (long relief)
    Antonio Bastardo (7th inning set-up/LOOGY)
    Wilson Valdez

    That’s 22 players for $141.5 million. This leaves 3 spots open for anywhere from $5 million to $15 million – pinch hitter, RF, and backup corner infielder.

    Option 1 is to resign Werth, probably for around 5/80. If we pay him ~$10 million the first year and back-load the contract, then sign Sweeney and back-up 3B/utility guy for close to the minimum the payroll sits at around $153 million. That’s probably as high as it will go for 2011, and that gives the Phils limited payroll flexibility, but it keeps Werth.

    Option 2 is that RF could potentially be a Francisco-Brown platoon, leaving room to re-sign Sweeney for ~$700,000 and a cheap 3B/utility man, putting the payroll at $143 million.

    Option 3 is that Brown could also platoon with another RH bat in right. Some people have mentioned Magglio Ordonez and Cody Ross, but I think that Ross will be given an above-market extension by the Giants and Ordonez will likely cost around $10 million. Jermaine Dye is an interesting possibility, but he’ll likely ask for too much money and he’s been out of baseball for a year. I think that the Phillies may go after Andruw Jones. Jones has an abysmal line against RHP, but he mashed lefties to a .256/.373/.558/.931 line this year. Plus, he was paid only 500,000 this year.

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