Amaro: “Going with what we’ve got” in OF – Phillies Nation

Amaro: “Going with what we’ve got” in OF

Is Brown, Ruf, and Revere enough?

On, Matt Gelb spoke with Ruben Amaro about the direction of the Phillies outfield heading into the 2013 season. Amaro was frank in saying they will likely go with what they currently have due to the monetary restraints in front of them.

“We’re likely going with what we’ve got,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

“There’s some risk in going with a possible double platoon or letting the guys we have battle it out for playing time,” Amaro said. “There are some advantages to that, as well. The best-man-wins type of scenario can be created and likely will be created in spring training. At the same time, a lot of these guys are not proven everyday major-league players. But that doesn’t mean they cannot become them.”

The GM did not eliminate the possibility of a veteran addition for the outfield, but admitted within his current constraints (both monetary and player-wise), there is not much more than a marginal upgrade available. He categorized his current pursuit as “looking around for some low-risk, high-reward type of players.”

Amaro clearly did not want to part ways with their highest draft pick in quite some time, in addition to multiple years on contracts for guys like Swisher, Bourn, and Hamilton. Rather than continually piling on to an aging roster, he’s scaling back and going with what they’ve got.

They’re putting a lot of faith in Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown, but I like that Amaro is firm in his stance. Is Cody Ross going to win you a title? Wait, don’t answer that…

You get the point. They aren’t willing to go overboard on contract for guys who don’t deserve them, so from that aspect, I think this is the right way to go. However, Ruf has to pan out and Brown has to start getting closer to the fulfilling his promise on being the top prospect in the organization.

Will Amaro’s stance work out in the end?



  1. CS

    January 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I’m fine with us holding with what we have. The market has Bourn on it, but that isn’t our solution. Although I’d love to add Brian Wilson.

  2. Chuck A.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I think this makes sense. If the need arises then we can add at the trade deadline. I know Ruben’s being blasted for not making a “splash” this winter but making a splash isn’t always the answer. Besides, he didn’t exactly sit on his hands. He added an everyday, young and promising centerfielder a dominant late-inning reliever with a proven track record and a third baseman that has had a LOT of success at the plate and is probably itching to prove that 2011 was not a normal year for him.

  3. Ian Riccaboni

    January 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    And a friendly reminder: last year’s starting left fielder wasn’t on the team until around February 26. If one of these platoon-type players waits too long for a multi-year deal, there’s always the scenario to bring them to camp on the veteran minimum and see if they stick like Pierre did.

  4. Rob h

    January 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Personally I’m happy with the offseason,and I figured they were done after lannon. The good thing is we didn’t kill future flexibility, nor lose are highest draft pick in years. Also, since we are trying to create the new nucleus of players is that we’ve set the year up that if we are out of the race at the trade deadline we can trade our aging stars(or add to the team if we are in the race). I think rube didn’t like the market prices this year and scrambled and got some good talent. Victorino got more than Rollins if I’m not mistaken that awful. Bj upton is getting 75 mill to hit .240 with 20-25 home runs and 20 steals, ruf will hit that average and homers in a full year at worst and we can make the steals up somewhere else. Hamilton would have been great but not another Howard contract price. It seems like with you losing a pick for top free agents and the rise of contract prices teams will look to in house talent more and I think Ruben understands this. The Howard and papelbon contracts could look like a bargain in 2 years.

    I think this team has one last hoorah in it and I believe they make the wildcard and the win the World Series, maybe I’m thinking with my heart but my man Ricky Bo told me that’s what he thought when I talked to him at my job and I’ve been feeling it ever since. I’m pumped for the season and I’m thinking a lot of balls will be hit to my right field seats from rejuvenated Howard and utley.

  5. Eddie J

    January 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    That was wise. The contracts given out this year will almost certainly hamstring their teams. Going with younger talent is how most teams get better. Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, etc., were all unproven at one point.

    Ruf has shown – albeit in a small sample – that he can mash major league pitching. People forget that Brown is still just 25, and his production at this age is comparable to Utley and Schmidt. That’s not to say he will produce like them; just that it’s far too early to give up on him.

    If either Ruf or Brown develops into a star, the team will contend, provided the veterans maintain their track record. If they both do, the team should go deep in the playoffs, and Amaro will look like a genius.
    He will also have the financial flexibility to tinker. Hamilton, Bourn, Swisher, even Ross would have precluded that.

    Fans love a splash, but ask Andy Reid what expensive band-aids get you.

    • Dave P

      January 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      “If either Ruf or Brown develops into a star, the team will contend, provided the veterans maintain their track record.”

      These are the kind of phrases that get me excited for the season. It’s true and I hope that this happens.

  6. zoltek

    January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    personally, I’d rather watch the phillies with question marks and root for them to do well. Instead of yelling at an under performing overpriced free agent who is hitting 221 and it’s June.

    Previous years, you just kind of watched casually and wait for the playoffs, having a young outfield will be something that will at least be something different to watch…. I am on board 100%

  7. Rob h

    January 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Agreed and from what I have read about brown, whatever surgery he had on his legs takes a full year, so we could see some power return. He made decent contact last year, so with some extra power and being more comfertable I think it plausible for a .270 15-20 hr 60+ RBI season. I would be happy with that from both guys honestly. I don’t think they platoon as much as they are saying, at least in the beginning. I think you almost have to give brown 4/5 games for him to be successful, and for ruf let him play early and see what you got. The double platoon they refer to should be a last resort to protect the players after at least 2-3 months of playing full time. If they want future stars they have to allow them to grow and learn from mistakes against same handed pitchers. The time for babying people is done with, this year is critical to see if its time to clean house and compile prospects. We also need to figure out if halladay and utley have any future production in them, I believe they do but on 2-3 year deals max. Big year for the phillies on all accounts, as stated by someone else if ruf or brown develops into a star we get back that division crown.

  8. Steven

    January 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Maybe Ruben Amaro is learning on the job about giving out long-term contracts. Cough . . . Cough .. . Ryan Howard . . . Cough . . . Cough. Who knows what happens next season anyway? Maybe Howard and some of these other question marks step up their game.

    • landshark

      January 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Why does everyone bash Ryan Howard? If he was healthy last season and put up the numbers he’s used to having, everyone would be on his jock strap. We take for granted what we have sometimes. The poor guy is ranked #27 on all time slugging .551, Gives you 35-40+ HR’s a year (still capable of hitting 50+). His defense is 50/50. His arm is terrible, but he picks balls out the dirt with the best of them. I wouldn’t say he’s worth the contract (but no major league player to me is worth what they get paid) but if you compare his power numbers with the rest of the big contract players, it doesn’t look as bad

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        Whoa…wait a second. I’m one of the biggest Ryan Howard apologists (or “Ruben Amaro giving him the contract” apologists) there is on this site….and even I don’t think he’s capable of hitting 50+ homers in a season anymore.

      • schmenkman

        January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        Agree that Howard will likely not come close to 50 again. For each of the past three years, he has been on pace for ~35 per 700 plate appearances.

        By the way, I thought this was interesting — according to baseball reference, his closest comparables at this point in their careers:

        Most similar through age 32:

        1.Mark McGwire (924)
        2.Richie Sexson (922)
        3.Cecil Fielder (917)
        4.Willie Stargell (884) *
        5.Norm Cash (882)
        6.Frank Howard (880)
        7.Mo Vaughn (878)
        8.David Ortiz (876)
        9.Jay Buhner (874)
        10.Tino Martinez (867)

        Without the kind of help McGwire got, best case there is obviously Stargell.

  9. Betasigmadeltashag

    January 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I also do not think there will be a true full time double platoon but rather more of a day of rest for some these guys in bad match up games. Also all the complaining about the Howard contract can we wait until heis fully recovered and 100% before we say the extension should not have been offered

    • George

      January 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      I’m with you on the Howard contract, Beta.

    • EricL

      January 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

      You can wait if you like, but under no circumstances will Ryan Howard ever live up to that contract. He’s bad in the field, among the worst base runners in all the sport, and is an aging slugger who has trouble hitting left-handed pitching. And for that, he’s got one of the highest salaries in the sport.

  10. Bart Shart

    January 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I am not surprised or discouraged with Amaro’s decision. I would love to see Ruf as the real deal in left. He can’t be much worse than Pat Burrell or Pete Incoviglia out there, and we knowthat he has real power. One name that may be worth investigating is Delmon Young. as he is only 27 with decent experience. He also is a rotten fielder but with an explosive bat and he should come fairly cheap.

    • hk

      January 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

      In addition to being a poor fielder, Young has produced a below league average OPS (OPS+ is 98) for his career, not to mention that he’s supposed to be a real jerk. It would be a very telling commentary on what the front office thinks of their current OF options if they think that Delmon Young is be an upgrade.

  11. Janette Littledove

    January 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    At least the 2013 infield will have hitters.

  12. Ryne Duren

    January 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    hey guys i’m on board with all of your points. save the money for when we need it to upgrade. let these guys play and see what happens. i look at it this way. let em play and see if ruf ,brown and revere open that window up a little. you know the window a lot of people say is closing. we’ll also find out if utley, howard and halliday have IT this year going forward. if not then we ain’t winning. then by not spending foolishly this winter you have a couple coming off the books and you’re able to reload and get something next off season. i don’t think it would take long to get back. it would be much faster if the young outfield works out.

  13. Lefty

    January 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    So they may go to battle with what they have. Is it April yet? I’m ready.

    • schmenkman

      January 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Yeah, me too. I’ll settle for pitchers and catchers — 36 days to go.

  14. wbramh

    January 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I’m reminded of the time my block in town was closed to vehicular traffic and all of my neighbors and I held a flea market and cookout. The hot dogs disappeared but the cast-off junk that was in one neighbor’s basement ended up in another neighbor’s basement.
    A net zero gain or loss.

    With few exceptions, that’s pretty much the way baseball free agency has worked except there are no dollar tables, the junk costs more than it did when it was new, at peak performance and had all its original parts.

    Better to buy new junk at the old junk prices and hope there’s a Da Vinci under that velvet clown. That’s why the team has to start rebuilding the farm system, and like the not-too-distant-past, begin to do do a better job of recognizing diamonds under their Rufs.

    Sometimes a little brains and a lot of patience can land you multiple division championships (along with a few hot dogs) and keep you out of that basement..

  15. Eddie J

    January 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    In the next year or two we may be saying we have a star outfield and no production from the infield. How ironic would that be?

    Soon we’ll be hoping Asche, Galvis, Joseph, Hernandez, et al develop into productive starters. If they do, if Hamels and Lee continue to be aces, if Biddle, May, Morgan, Pettibone, etc., round out the rotation well, if the talented bullpen arms fulfill their potential, that window of contention may not slam shut as quickly as most expect.

    Re: Howard’s contract – considering the 1B contracts given out in recent years, it’s not as bad as it’s usually considered. If he hit the free agent market and was healthy, Amaro would have either had to give him more years, overpay for someone like Pujols or Fielder, or settle for a lower-tier player. Yeah, it’s a millstone, just not as heavy as it seems. And if Howard gets his health and power back, he’ll be a feared presence again.

    • Andrew from Waldorf

      January 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

      If Howard hit the free agent market hed have gotten a 1 year deal for 8-12 million.

      Its the worst contract in sports.

      You will end up paying another team 10-15 million a year to cover the rest of the contract.
      If you can get that lucky.

      Please lets be real about things.

      • Bob in Bucks

        January 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        I applaud your self control!

    • hk

      January 8, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Eddie J,

      The Howard contract is a lot worse than Fielder’s deal. Fielder was much better than Howard in 2011 and signed for a lower AAV than Howard. Plus, Detroit gets Fielder for his age 28 to 31 seasons before getting him for his age 32 to 36 seasons whereas the Phils only got Howard for his age 32 to 36 seasons via the extension.

  16. Bruce

    January 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hey! If Amaro is quoted correctly, that great news. I agreed with several here that it’s best to gamble with youth (Ruf & Brown) than throw megabucks in the free agency market for aging recycled players with their best years far behind them.

    • Bruce

      January 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      I do have this one nagging thought that Amaro may regret big time for the one free agent signing costing him $12 million and a pile of headaches. No, I’m not thinking of Michael Young although that too may be another regret. It’s the other Mike. Mike Adams with a new two year contract after coming off a serious surgery. The surgery for a problem involving interference of nerve transmission beginning in the neck area may have come after a series of conservative attempts to fix the condition. Prognosis given by one doctor is “guarded” at this point.
      In my opinion the better choice would have been Brett Myers who just signed a one year deal for $7 million with the Cleveland Indians. Just think about his value. He offers options as 8th inning set-up reliever, occasional turns as closer, spot or emergency starter (in case of injury to another starter). Instead Amaro chose to look in another direction. Apparently Amaro is won over by Adams’ past reputation and his health issues takes a backseat..

      • George

        January 8, 2013 at 9:06 am

        Myers wanted to be a starter again, would have maybe agreed to be a closer (not a set-up man) and so probably wouldn’t have signed with the Phils. Also, Adams’ surgery has been successful in the cases of other pitchers, and the Phils didn’t sign him without a physical and assurance from their own medical personnel.

        In my opinion, your concerns are valid, but a little too pessimistic.

  17. brooks

    January 8, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Aye, I agree with Lefty and Schmenkman – lets get it going.
    The outfield has the biggest margin for improvement and look, the Expos of the late 70’s made some history with 3 young and unknown outfielders – anything is possible, even another dud performance like last year? Nah..
    3 outstanding starters, what appears to be a very solid bottom of the pen, but the core of Utley, Howard and Rollins really needs to make a showing – for any kind of real success (meaning post season of course)
    By the way, the Expos outfield had a nickname that escapes me, anyone?

  18. Andrew from Waldorf

    January 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

    I am with the optimists.
    Ruben has hurt the team less this off season than he is usually prone to doing.
    Really alot less damage particularily the long term damage he is prone to inflicting.

    I can see anything from 95 losses to 88 wins.

    Comes down to Lee and Halladay and Hamils being studs.

    2011 Lee and Halladay can make the playoffs.
    2012 Lee and Hlladay and you have fallen off the map and I may lose my Mets better record bet.

  19. Rob h

    January 8, 2013 at 2:23 am

    A-rod, not Howard, and puhols in 3 years are the worst contracts in baseball. A 60 percent Ryan Howard had this club winning 3/5 after the allstar break. A healthy Howard could get us back to the promise land. Him being in the lineup protects are other hitters, whether he’s producing or not. Is he overpaid probably, what athlete isn’t that isn’t on a rookie contract in any sport. I don’t care about his average, nor his strikeouts, even his hitting against lefties… The man hits 100 RBI’s+ when he’s healthy for most of the year. That does not come cheap in this league if it did everyone could do it. Ryan Howard is the biggest reason we are in, and have been blessed, with maybe the golden age of phillies baseball. To say that he’s the worst contract in baseball is laughable and your mets give out about 2 a year that are worse.

    • brooks

      January 8, 2013 at 6:38 am

      And that is pretty much the word Rob. When healthy, Ryan Howard makes this club a winner – hands down. Hopefully the Phils have enough support staff to surround him to be a contender.

    • hk

      January 8, 2013 at 6:51 am

      I agree that ARod’s contract is worse than Howard’s and that Pujols’s will be worse in 3 years, at which time Howard’s will only have one year remaining. However, I don’t get much consolation from the fact that his contract is the 2nd worst in baseball.

      You really have to bend over backwards to revise history to claim that Ryan Howard, who produced below league average hitting, which is compounded by the fact that he plays 1B, bad fielding and bad base running is responsible for the Phils winning nearly 60% of their games in the 2nd half. Chooch / Kratz, Utley, Rollins, Frandsen, the SP’s and the Qualls-less bullpen all deserve credit for last year’s 2nd performance before Howard does. In fact, the only real positive thing to say about Howard’s performance last year was that his return was an upgrade over the crap that the team ran out there at 1B in the first half of the year.

      Having said all of the above, I will say that I am a fan of Ryan Howard the baseball player. If his feet and legs are healthy, I expect him to return to his 2010 / 2011 form at the plate and maybe to his 2008 / 2009 form in the field and on the base paths. I just think that he is overpaid and that he had a bad year last year, which I write off because he was recovering from injury.

  20. Chuck A.

    January 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

    It’s now 2103 … a new year, another year, time marches on …. and the Ryan Howard hate continues on with it …..

    • EricL

      January 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Oh, that’s not fair, I bet nobody will even remember Howard’s name in 2103.

      • EricL

        January 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Or, maybe everyone will remember Ryan Howard, because by that time we’ll all have Johnny Mnemonic-type brain implants which give us exabyte-sized memories with instantaneous access to the collective knowledge of mankind.

        Who knows. It should be interesting.

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Oops. My attempt at dyslexia has kicked in once again!

  21. hk

    January 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Very few people on here hate Ryan Howard. Many hate his contract, but that’s a problem with the GM, not the 1B.

    To point out that it is absurd to credit Howard as being the primary factor behind the Phils’ winning at a .590 clip to end last season is not hate. To note that Prince Fielder is better, younger and cheaper is not hate. To state now, like you stated at the time the extension was signed, that it is unlikely that Howard’s 2012-2016 production will equal his salary is not hate (of Howard).

    • Ryne Duren

      January 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

      i think a healthy howard, utley and halliday will make them a contender. we didn’t have those three for a whole season and won 81 games, personally i feel much better with no qualls in the pen. if our young pen does better. (which i think they will) as they did in the second half in 12. even if we don’t win the 17 or so games the pen coughed up last year, and only win say 14. theat’s a 95 win season! if the big three are healthy? i see more wins. and then there’s the outfield. right now we don’t know what we’re gonna get. i think we know what with brown, i’m hoping there’s more from him. i feel very optimistic, however i’ve said it before. too many if’s and question marks right now so i’ll stay with a strong 3rd place. and that is a slight upgrade from a few days ago. unless they add a peice , which i don’t think they will, then that’s as high as i think they’ll finish till the ST games start being played to see who’s healthy and actually on the field.

      • Ryne Duren

        January 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

        oh and i have to add to my last post. i think rube is taking the right path. i’m glad he didn’t sign one of these high priced FA’s. he’s gearing up for the younger guys to start filtering in. besides ruf ,revere, and brown. we’ll possibly see asche, pettibone and more from galvis.
        if i remember there’s and old saying . if your farm system can produce one player a year. then your farm is doing good!

    • George

      January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Fielder’s contract is only a tiny bit cheaper PER YEAR, but it’s for so many years that it is probably going to end up being way worse than the Howard deal.

      • hk

        January 8, 2013 at 9:36 am


        When you factor (a) that Fielder was already better than Howard when the new contract / extensions began, (b) that Detroit gets his age 28 to age 31 seasons before his age 32 to age 36 seasons whereas the Phils only get Howard’s age 32 to age 36 seasons and (c) that salary inflation will make the last half of Fielder’s contract look relatively cheap compared to the first half, methinks you are on the very wrong side of that argument. When these two contracts are finished, I would be willing to bet that Detroit gets more WAR/$ from Fielder than the Phillies get from Howard. In making this claim, I reiterate that I don’t hate Ryan Howard the baseball player, but that I do hate his contract.

      • hk

        January 8, 2013 at 9:48 am


        To put this another way, for Fielder’s contract to be worse, much less way worse, than Howard’s, Fielder would have to be almost inconceivably worse during his age 32 to age 36 seasons than Howard is in his age 32 to age 36 seasons to negate the value that Detroit will get from Fielder in his age 28 to age 31 seasons. I see no reason to expect this to be so, especially after Howard posted -1.0 fWAR in his age 32 season.

    • Jeff of Nova

      January 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      I agree about hating the contract, I think only Andrew really hates Howard on here, personally I am a big fan hope he returns to greatness, he is also a great person on top of it!

  22. Chuck A.

    January 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Trust me…there’s hate of Ryan Howard out there. I go to enough games and some of the stuff i hear in the stands translates into a very intense dislike of him and not his contract. It’s old and it’s disgusting.

    And…. anyone that doesn’t think that Howard being in the lineup during the last 2 months of last season had anything at all to do with the Phillies playing .600 baseball during that time … is just flat out is not paying attention.

    • hk

      January 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

      I don’t disagree that there are some people out there who hate Howard, but they seem to me to be more of the extremes out on the fringes than the typical fans. Many fans hate Howard’s contract, but root for him to do well and earn as much of it as possible.

      For every person who hates Howard, there are probably an equal number who go too far to the other extreme and try to make him into something that he’s not…like particularly responsible for the Phils record after his return. He had a .295 OBP and a .423 SLG while fielding and running the bases poorly. While, IMO, his sub-par performance last year was both expected and excusable due to his injury, his production played a very small role in their finish. To me, that is actually good news because (a) they finished so well with him playing so poorly and (b) I expect him to return to his 2010-2011 production levels meaning that his 2013 production should be a significant upgrade over what the team got from the 1B position throughout all of last year.

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 10:41 am

        I didn’t say he was “particularly” responsible. I said he had something to do with it. Just the mere fact that the #3 and #4 hitters were actually in the lineup is a huge….not the only … but a huge reason why they improved their record after July 31st.

      • hk

        January 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Chuck A.,

        Correct, you did not say particularly responsible. That comment was in response to Rob h writing, “A 60 percent Ryan Howard had this club winning 3/5 after the allstar break”.

    • Lefty

      January 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Chuck, It’s no worse than the Mike Schmidt hatred was. I was there, I’m sure you were too. It’s just the way things work around here. The man who is now known as the undisputed greatest third baseman of all time couldn’t get break in his own yard. Would you really expect any different for a player like Ryan Howard?

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Yup. Great comparison.

      • hk

        January 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm


        I was there, too. This is different. The Schmidt-hate came about because everything came so easy to Mike, it looked like he wasn’t playing or working hard. If there is Howard-hate, which is different than Howard contract-hate, it has to be for a different reason. If not the contract, why do people hate Howard the player? The strikeout to end the Giants series? Another difference is that Howard was also loved before he was hated.

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        Yeah, ok…hate is still hate.. And this town is pretty good at it.

      • Lefty

        January 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Agree with Chuck on this one, I don’t think it matters how it’s different, and Schmidt was loved before the hatred began. The making it look too easy part is true though- a good comparison there right now might be Jimmy Rollins, although I never remember an actual hustle incident with Schmidt.

      • wbramh

        January 9, 2013 at 8:07 am

        True about Schmidt.
        And I think you’d find that most most great power hitters strike out a lot and tend to get their share of heat for it from fans; heat despite their astronomical RBI totals and often decent batting averages. In Schmidt’s case, he was also a golden glove 3rd baseman and still got crapped on. Of course, Schmidt always seemed to too casual and aloof for many fans, especially in comparison to the fiery Bowa, Rose or McGraw. His style never affected his performance on the field. He just did things with ease – and did them quite well. Mike also had a nasty habit of talking about himself in the third person (which personally drives me crazy with a lot of athletes). Still, every man has his Achilles heel – and not every player is Achilles. Schmitty was and so is Howard, warts and all.

  23. Mike in NJ

    January 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I’m totally fine with going into the season with our current outfield. There was no reason to give guys like Cody Ross 3yr/$27M+ deals or trade even more prospects we can’t afford to lose for over the hill underachievers like Vernon Wells. Hopefully Ruf can put up at least Burrell type numbers and provide solid protection for Howard in the 5 hole and Brown can hit at least .260 with 15+ HRs.

    I’d still like to see Cholly shake up the lineup and break up Utley/Howard as 3/4 and move Rollins out of the 1 hole. I’m sick of seeing lefty specialists in the 7th/8th inning pitching to Utley and Howard back to back…move Utley to 2 and put a RH bat at 3. I’d also like to see Revere develop into a leadoff hitter so Rollins can drop to 6 where he’d do more good in a lineup that overall appears to lack pop.

    • EricL

      January 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

      If Ross can provide something like 1.5 WAR a season his contract is fine, although there was no reason for the Phillies to pursue him with Mayberry on the roster.

      Swisher’s contract isn’t bad either, and he would have been a substantial improvement over some platoon of Ruf/Nix/whomever.

      I still would have liked to seen them break the piggy-bank for Hamilton, because he’s a true difference maker and the Phillies are a 18 months away from signing a multi-billion dollar television contract, but I guess Ruf/Brown/Revere is the better underdog story, if you like that sort of thing.

      • hk

        January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm


        If the Phils had signed Ross for $27M for 3 years and he only produced 4.5 WAR, that would be a bad signing and his contract would come up well short of fine.

  24. Ken Bland

    January 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I love the way Ruben is quoted as saying LIKELY done, and the regurgitation kicks in with over 40 comments on the thread. You just gots to love it.

    I would say this is seemingly likely a story.

    Pitchers and catchers need to start reporting in November.

    Elsewhere on the scoreboard, he commenced originally, where do ya draw the line on misspelling player’s names. Like I’m innocent of course, but I remember 1 guy who thankfully doesn’;t post on this board used to spell Madsen every bleeping time. How long do a guy have to pitch for the club you follow before you spell his name right.

    So what’s up with this Puhols crap? Albert’s not household enough name for people to spell his name with a j. Second time I noticed that spelling here in recent days. Well, the pressure’s on now for me not to misspell Bourne or Strassburg for a while. This might be, could be interesting. Course don’t nobody read my posts since I don’t regurgitate and the peeps love reading regurgitation. Always remember…I spells correctly, and I don’t regurgitate. Nevah!

    • Chuck A.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Notables (at least the ones I’ve actually seen):

      Madsen – (you already go that one covered)

      This is just a few…I’m sure I missing some..

      • Dave P

        January 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

        Went to a game last year, and planet hoagie had a sandwich named after a player – “the freddy glavis”

      • wbramh

        January 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

        Oh yeah?

        Well if these guys simply used surnames like Roberts, Simmons, Jones, Miller and Church they wouldn’t have their names misspelled so often, would they?

        There, I said it.

  25. EricL

    January 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Not thrilled with the direction the Phils went this winter, and if this is the team they’re going to run out there they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs in my opinion. It’s possible, but they need a lot of things to go right: Howard return to form and stay healthy, Utley to do the same, Halladay to do the same, Young to do the same. Ruiz, once he finishes his suspension, must also stay healthy).

    I know I repeated the “stay healthy” line a bunch of times, but that’s what you worry about when you have a handful of guys in their mid-thirties with recent histories of injury problems.

    Domonic Brown must turn in a decent season and Ruf has to prove he can actually hit major league pitching, because if he can’t mash he’s utterly useless in the OF seeing as he has no (or negative) defensive or base running value.

    • Chuck A.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Phillies average age is down by more than one year.

      • EricL

        January 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

        Sure, but that’s nearly entirely due to the outfield.

        Pierre (34) is replaced by Ruf (26)
        Vic (31) is replaced by Revere (25)
        Pence (29) is replaced by Brown (25)

        That has nothing to do with any of the guys I mentioned needing to stay healthy. And unfortunately, you can make a pretty good argument that while getting younger, the OF got a lot worse, too.

        The infield, where the Phillies expect to get most of their offensive production, has gotten older and the pitching staff has gotten older. The pitching staff, which has been integral to the success of the team over the last 3 years, is also older.

      • Chuck A.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        Yes I could make that argument.

        Or I could say that Brown will out play Pence, that we’ll finally see what all the hype has been (and Pence wasn’t the best of fielders and had zero plate disipline)….

        …that Ruf’s power will overshadow Pierre’s ability to get on base (Pierre can’t throw and Ruf’s a warm body out there)…

        … and that we have a diamond in the rough with Revere, that his defense is as good as Vic’s and that he has the ability to get the ball in play and get on base.

    • Lefty

      January 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I thought of you when I read the title to this posting EricL, all of your campaigning earlier this offseason. Sorry man, they just didn’t see it your way i guess. I wasn’t pushing for it, but of course I wouldn’t have minded seeing Josh Hamilton here. Oh well, we move on.

    • wbramh

      January 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

      On the positive side, it seems when Ruf makes contact he only has to walk around the bases.

  26. Bob in Bucks

    January 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Amaro can stick where he is but Michael Morse is probably available from tne Nats now that they have signed LaRoche. Morse has one year at $6.75 which could fit the Phils financially. On the other hand he will be FA in 2014. If the Nats will take one reliever and a prospect I think we could have a proven RH power threat in LF. Career OPS of .839.

    Key will be not giving up too much of the future but I am always scared when this guy comes to the plate. Love to see him batting #5.

  27. Chuck A.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Morse would be awesome but I can’t see the Nats dealing within the division…especially with the Phils.

  28. CS

    January 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Bastardo, Savery, J.James, T.Colvin

    • Lefty

      January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      IMO-I think you gotta do a lot better than that, they are in “win now” mode. We’re talking major players, with us eating more than half the contracts. It wouldn’t bother me to send them Papelbon and half the money to pay him. A prospect or two plus Utley and Paps- for Espinosa and Morse is probably more like what it would take for them to do inter-division. Maybe more.

  29. Rob h

    January 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Morse would be a good fit, doubt the nats trade him inside their own division with a ton of potential suiters.

  30. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    January 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I’m ready to roll with the outfield we have. Like I have said and others before and after me – let’s give the young guys an opportunity to shine.

    “Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest.” – Ty Cobb

  31. Rob h

    January 9, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I’m not saying Howard takes all the credit for the 2nd half last year, but I believe him being on the lineup card alone helps win ball games. Healthy or not pitchers need to be careful every pitch when he steps up to the plate, they still have to respect his power, even if some people do not. Also, him being in the lineup gives our guys some confidence. He takes pressure off Rollins, chooch, utley and all the rookies who played decent last year. When the 3-4 hitters were in the lineup we played good baseball, the staff helped I don’t deny that, but when these guys are healthy the phillies get their swag back.

  32. Greg

    January 9, 2013 at 11:43 am


  33. schmenkman

    January 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Fangraphs had an article on Morse yesterday:

    “He’s worth trading for, but not giving up a huge return. For a team who wants an offensive upgrade without a long term commitment, though, swapping a reliever for Mike Morse makes a decent amount of sense.”

    As others have said, trading within the division is probably not the Nats’ first choice, and may drive up the price for those teams.

    • Lefty

      January 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Exactly, they are not going to want to face him 18 times. The price will be different for teams from the other 5 divisions than it would for the Phils.

  34. CS

    January 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Bastardo and Savery sound like a decent overpay for Morse. Question, how does Morse match up in the stats with what we already have.

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