Analysis

Gallen & Seidman Disagree on Ruiz Signing

choochCorey and I normally see eye to eye when it comes to the Phillies. Hell, that’s why we work so well together on Phillies Nation TV. But after hearing the details of Carlos Ruiz’s new three-year contract, it turns out we were on opposite sides of the spectrum on this topic. We exchanged emails and decided to publish them for you to see. Will you take a side?

Corey Seidman, 1:30pm: Looks like we disagree on the Carlos Ruiz re-signing, huh?

Pat Gallen, 1:34pm: I think so, yes, looking at our twitter feeds. Can’t say I love the three year deal, especially the fourth year option. I know it’s a club option, but it’s just another aging player getting a multi-year deal on a roster filled with them. At some point it has to stop, right?

CS, 1:44pm: For me it’s more a matter of what was available. Brian McCann was too expensive and not a fit because of his left-handed bat. A.J. Pierzynski is even older than Ruiz, a worse defender, and left-handed. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is younger, but overrated and sure to be overpaid. Cameron Rupp and Tommy Joseph? What proof do we have either will ever develop into more than a major-league backup?

Three years seems like a lot at first glance, but consider the alternatives. Initial projections by many had Ruiz getting two years and $18-22 million. This three-year deal is actually for less money annually, which is all that matters for the luxury tax. And do you honestly see this $8.5 million AAV preventing the Phillies from doing something else they wanted to do this winter or next?

PG, 2:21pm: Valid points about the other catchers on the market. The Phillies should not have gone after McCann or Saltalamacchia because they’ll both be overpaid. Pierzynski made zero sense in so many ways. That’s why I was a fan of signing Dioner Navarro. He can hold down the fort for a few years and you could do worse. He was able to catch a full season with the Cubs this year and is much, much younger than Chooch. And we really have no proof Rupp or Joseph can be long-term solutions, but how do you know until you try? At some point they have to give the kids some leeway.

Three years seems like a lot because it is. Again, we’re going down the road of the Phillies signing an old head for three years, or more. I know the money itself doesn’t hinder the Phillies from making other moves, but what it does is keep an old lineup old. When they made the decisions to keep guys like Utley and Rollins and keep them around, plus sign Marlon Byrd, they should have gone younger. They now have five regulars 33 or older!

CS, 3:01pm: Dioner Navarro is an interesting name. He was the unheralded, less expensive option for the Phillies, but it’s pretty reactionary — not by you, by everyone who clamored for him — to just assume he’ll be a valuable full-time catcher moving forward. Navarro hit .300 with an .856 OPS last year, and went 20-for-69 the year before, but in the three seasons prior he hit .207 with a .267 OBP.

All of that to illustrate this point: Any other option at catcher wouldn’t have been the long-term solution. You’d still find yourself in position to develop the next catcher, and Ruiz’s three-year deal doesn’t prevent that. It just gives the Phillies the best defensive catcher on the market, and the one they’re most comfortable with, to stem the tide.

Yeah, the lineup’s old. And there’s a good chance this team fails to deliver in 2014 because of injuries or continued declines from Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. But the fact that you’ve already signed players to those deals isn’t a reason to NOT sign Ruiz. All things considered, this won’t be a negative in 2014. It might be a negative in 2016 if Ruiz can’t play … but seriously, how many free-agent deals work out for the entirety of the contract? Ten percent?

PG, 3:45pm: It’s true, Navarro might be reactionary. But isn’t Amaro giving Ruiz a third guaranteed year THE most reactionary thing that could have happened? The Red Sox and Rockies helped drive the price up and the Phillies bought it.

Again, I don’t have a problem with the player. And really, the money for a person/player of Ruiz’s caliber is likely fair in this ridiculous free agent market. The problem I have is the reluctance to move on and the reluctance of the organization to realize this is going nowhere fast. At some point you just have to let these guys go (one of them at least, right?) and try to get younger and cheaper and hope for the best.

I’m hoping that I’m wrong and that Chooch gives you two solid seasons and perhaps a third. But that’s certainly far from a given. He’s being paid the 4th highest AAV for a catcher in the majors. However, there have only been 33 instances of a catcher playing 120 or more games in a season at age 35 or older. They’re paying a lot of money to hope that he will hold up when few catchers before him have done so.

56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Ryne Duren

    November 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Corey & Pat. Both of you guys bring up great points. I like both sides of the discussion. I’m sort of stuck in between. My biggest problem is with not only the Chooch signing, but the other signings also. Rollins, Utley, and Byrd.

    I don’t really care about the money they give these guys, it’s the years! and the no trade clauses. I mean come on no trade? By the time we do bring up the younger replacements, they themselves will be old!

    I saw somewhere yesterday, a suggestion that the Phillies should rename the ballpark “senior citizens bank park” I laughed when I read that! It was funny. And that was before the signing of Chooch. I don’t think it’s funny anymore.

    My suggestion to Rube to lower the ave. age of the club would be to hire a 2 yr old and it all looks good on paper. We could give the kid a 2 trillion 35 yr contract. He’ll grow into the inflationary aspect of the contract over 35 yrs.

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Ryne, a few points:
      – they didn’t “give” Rollins a no trade clause, he gets that automatically for being a 5 and 10 guy
      – likewise, Utley gets the same rights soon whether there’s anything in his contract or not
      – from what I saw Ruiz can only block a trade to 4 teams
      – as for Sr Citizens Bank Park, while that is good, the 2013 Phillies were younger than the 2008 team, and most of the alternatives to Chooch would not have made them noticeably younger

      • Ryne Duren

        November 20, 2013 at 12:01 am

        Yea Schmenk I fully understand the 5-10 stuff. I didn’t clarify that in my comment. My Bad. And you are absolutely right on the age part. Again I didn’t clarify! My bad again. What I should have said was their core, not the team ave. age.
        Believe me buddy I’m glad they signed Chooch I think he’s better suited for the Phils, and at that price very well suited. I just get a little cringe cause of his age and what can happen to a player at his position at his age.
        Thanks for keeping me on my toes Schmenk.

  2. Double Trouble Del

    November 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

    At this point there are still some unknowns, particularly how close the Red Sox came to luring Chooch to Fenway. The extra year is surprising and while its not my money I believe that the attitude of the front office team is “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Ruiz only enjoys a limited no trade clause according to sources and should the team fall out of contention they would still have a reasonable priced piece for a post season candidate. Lastly I wonder to what extent Lee, Hamels and the rest of the staff had an influence on the resigning decision.

  3. Mike Lacy

    November 19, 2013 at 9:21 am

    The real problem is the lack of alternative options. When people are getting upset because “They could have had Dioner Navarro” then there’s obviously no real great solution.

  4. George Scott

    November 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I attend at least 18 games of the L.V. Iron Pigs Games. Philly has one of the best feeder progams in baseball. Many of these guys have proven then can or have played with the big team and most of them have played very well. Some I agree should be moved but when you have a feeder program as such I believe it should be used to its fullest extene and I don’t think Philly’s big team is really looking at replace the older players with the fine young players they have. I see Ruben alot as he usually sits several seats in front of us at the games and usually after the game I read where one or two of the Pigs players are sent to the big team. I just don’t see spending high prices for players from other teams when you have the young talent possibly available.

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

      George, most scouts and analysts see the Phillies’ farm system as somewhat below average, possibly as good as middle of the pack. Not one of the best overall, and most of its strenth is at the lower levels of the minors, with players who are at least a couple years away. In this case, the only player who can be said to be ready for the majors is Rupp, and he’s projected by most experts as a major league backup. He could turn out to be better, and may end up with a long a productive major league career, but at this point he’s not a player that they are ready to entrust the full time catching duties to.

      • josh

        November 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        Trying to judge how good a prospect is going to at best a crap shoot some top prospects have turned out to be busts and middle of the pack guys have turned into stars

      • schmenkman

        November 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        There are always exceptions and surprises, and Rupp could certainly turn out to be one.

      • Ryne Duren

        November 20, 2013 at 12:18 am

        Schmenk if I remember the same was said about Chooch when he was coming up. I think it was because he started catching late in his minor league career. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t he a second basemen?
        Anyway my point is back when Chooch finally did come up Leiberthal was at the end of his stay with the Phils. ( I liked him but I never liked how he called a game) and the Phils at that point weren’t big spenders cept for Thome and I don’t recall any good FA catchers they could’ve signed so I think Chooch was handed the job with a here you go attitude by the front office. I do remember them saying he had good fundamentals and picked up the positions fine points rather quickly due to his hard work with the coaches. I do think that as you pointed out Rupp could be better and end up having a career as a starter. And I’m also in line with your last sentence about his full time duties. Personally I think from what little I’ve seen he could be a starter if they believe in him and give him a chance as they did with Chooch. And with Carlos under their wings for a few more years, there’s no better mentor for Rupp. And I think that was one reason why they signed Chooch too. IMHO

  5. hk

    November 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

    “Initial projections by many had Ruiz getting two years and $18-22 million. This three-year deal is actually for less money annually, which is all that matters for the luxury tax.”

    Corey,

    Do you really think that the Phils are going to up their payroll to within ~$1.3M of the luxury tax limit in 2014 or 2015? If so, the lower AAV matters. If not, wouldn’t it be better to have the higher AAV in 2014 and 2015 and not have Chooch on the books for $8.7M in 2016 when he’ll be 37?

    • Lefty

      November 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I agree with hk, – that argument didn’t make sense to me either Corey. Generally I’m in favor of shorter deals for more money to older players. IMO- The flexibility you get from having 2 year contracts drop off every other year gives you as much or more ability to stay under the LT threshold than lower AAV’s.

  6. Eskin's an idiot

    November 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

    The point about a roster filled with aging veterans is spot on. where does it end? At what point does RAJ actually perform the duties of a GM? To bring 36 y.o. Byrd into the mix is insulting to me as a fan. And then to re-sign chooch (as much as I love him) isn’t the right move. When has Ruin Tomorrow, Jr. ever brought in a stud offensive player through free agency that was actually younger…Ibanez, old. Michael Young, old. And now Byrd, old. And what’s also getting old….Ruin Tomorrow, Jr. I hate to think what this team will look like in 4-5 years…pathetic that this idiot still has a job.

    • Double Trouble Del

      November 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

      It ends when there is sufficient minor league talent to fill positions at the MLB level. Right now there aren’t. So the question is what do you field your team with? Kids that aren’t ready or can’t play at the MLB level? Talented, contractually controllable youth is the holy grail but youth for youth’s sake is going to win many rings wither.

  7. Hogey's Role

    November 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

    After all of these signings and money and years handed out, I’m really surprised at the fact they let jayson werth walk his 7 year 126 million dollar deal doesn’t seem so terrible after all… Hell I’d welcome him back with welcome arms now… Especially since he’s been almost more productive than anyone else on our team the last three years… Yet he’s the one we let walk

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Your comment about Werth’s productivity got me curious… he has 7.6 fWAR over the past three years.

      Best Phillies over the same period:

      10.8 – Utley
      10.0 – Rollins
      9.5 – Ruiz
      7.5 – Victorino (1.7 years only, through 7/31/12)

      Or if you focus on just hitting, Werth has created 222 runs (wRC) in those 3 years. Best Phillies:

      222 – Rollins
      184 – Utley
      170 – Ruiz
      162 – Howard

      And it’s possible Werth wouldn’t have gotten hurt and missed as much time under different circumstances.

      Still, if Amaro is getting flak for the Ruiz deal, which is quite defensible, imagine the uproar if he had given Werth that contract.

      • Hogey's Role

        November 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        I knew you’d come through schmenk, lol

    • Double Trouble Del

      November 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Please remember that Werth is also a colossal smacked-ass.

      • schmenkman

        November 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Then again if they had signed him he’d be OUR colossal smacked-ass.

      • Hogey's Role

        November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        What is a colossal smacked-ass, just curious??

        If it’s someone who had an over .900 ops last year than I’ll agree with that

      • Ryne Duren

        November 20, 2013 at 12:35 am

        I haven’t heard that phrase ( smacked ass ) lol for over 40 years! I used to use that on practically everyone of my friends. Cause they were lol I also once knew a girl in 1970 that had that phrase tattooed on her A double Scribble. (upper left cheek to be precise. And that was way before tattoos were the in thing. So imagine my surprise when she said to me at a party .( hey wanna see my tattoo?) Speaking of tattoos I once got in trouble 2 yrs later with my girlfriend, now my wife of 38 yrs when we were at a club and an ex girlfriend A classic blonde ran into me on the dance floor and said hey wanna see my tattoo? Of course I said yea! Hoping for the left cheek thing. When to my surprise she lifted her mine up and dispayed at small butterfly at the very top of her thigh right next to you know what. The next thing I saw was stars as a pocket book hit me upside the head and I heard you smacked ass!

      • Double Trouble Del

        November 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Years ago a former manager of mine advertised in a local synagogue’s news flyer that we would have all of the kosher chicken/ poultry in stock to meet their holiday needs. The problem is he never spoke to me or my colleagues about ordering the product. When we had no product on the following holiday week he stormed into the backroom red-faced and screaming that he looked like a “G-D” smacked-ass. Its been a favorite of mine ever since.

  8. Justin McElroy

    November 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The only bright spot is that every bad contract gets us one step closer to the end of the RAJ regime. The next GM is going to have a real mess to sort out though.

  9. Greendale

    November 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

    At this point, it’d be prudent for the Phillies to not give out any contracts over three years this winter, pray to God this team can somehow find fresh legs, and try to win that way. They are too invested in older players to do anything else.

    Realistically, you’ll have Rollins, Papelbon, & Byrd expiring after 2015, with Howard, Lee, Utley, & Chooch off the books after 2016. (Assuming realistic options are vested).

    In my opinion, it’d be smart to limit contracts that don’t go past 2016 as of now, continue developing their farm, and in two years, when you see the light at the end of the horizon on Howard’s deal, THEN start spending your $$$ from your new tv deal. In a vacum, I’d much prefer Ellsbury or Choo to just resigning Chooch, but considering the box RAJ has already signed this team into, limiting yourself to three, years wise on any contract, is the smart play.

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

      On your last paragraph, it appears that’s what they’ve been doing for the last year and a half.

      • George

        November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        Limiting contracts to three years is also going to limit the talent that you can actually sign. The best players these days are getting 5,6, and 7 year deals.

        It’s not that you can’t get lucky with a mid-level free agent, as the Red Sox did, but by signing mid-level guys a team usually doesn’t go that far.

  10. wbramh

    November 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Corey is correct – three years at $26 mil was a better buy than two at 20, but then, 10 years at $75 mil would have been an even better deal. Or how about 75 years at $500 mil? At what point is a 34-year-olf player with diminishing numbers and playing the most career-shortening position in baseball no longer worth the bargain?

    If Ruben can build a “win now” team by paying last year’s 4th place players more money to stay on the team while over-paying mediocre and high-risk cast-offs from other teams then all the more power to him.

    • hk

      November 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Whether $26M for 3 years is better than $20M for 2 years will depend on how Chooch produces in each of the next 3 years. It will also depend upon if the team has an in-house replacement ready to get significant playing time in 2016. If Chooch has a great 2014, a decline to below league average in 2015 and a significant decline to just about replacement level in 2016, $20M for 2 years will turn out better, especially if his $9M commitment in 2016 keeps the team from giving playing time to a young catcher. Contrarily, if Chooch’s decline from 2014 to 2016 is not steep and none of the catchers in the system is ready to go by 2016, spreading a lower AAV over 3 years will turn out better for management.

  11. MP

    November 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    ^LOL

  12. George

    November 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Corey’s comment was only about the luxury tax considerations, nothing else, and is a legitimate point. If 2yrs/$20M pushed the team over the tax threshhold, the money they’d be fined would likely be more than any money they’d lose at 3yrs/$26M if Ruiz fails to do much in his third year.

    Carrying the argument to 75 years is just bad logic, because it’s never going to happen and is therefore an invalid point in a baseball context.

    • hk

      November 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      George,

      Your first paragraph is not true. If the 3yrs/$26M deal with an AAV of $8.67M puts them right at the luxury tax threshold, the 2yr/$20M deal with an AAV of $10M would put them $1.33M over the threshold. They would pay 17.5% of that $1.33M, or $233,333, in 2014 and 30% of that $1.33M, or $400,000, in 2015. That’s a fine of $633,333.

      • George

        November 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

        So I did the mdidn’t do the math. Sue me.

        The tax issue depends on other potential signings, too.

        And maybe that extra $633,333 (2014 and 2015) they wouldn’t pay to the league would could go instead to a decent bench bat or middle reliever.

        You save that annual value wherever you can, in my opinion, and in my opinion, 3 years isn’t going to hurt the team. They’ve dumped as much or more in the past (Adam Eaton, Geoff Jennings)and still managed to sign some big names (Lee, Hamels) later.

      • George

        November 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

        First paragraph should read “So I didn’t do the math. Sue me.”

        Clarifying the last paragragh: If Ruiz falters in year three he could be released, and it won’t hurt the team.

      • Ryne Duren

        November 20, 2013 at 12:41 am

        George I’m calling my lawyer in the morning and showing him your post! I hope you have deep pockets buddy. He’s a real loser too, your toast! just kidding George! I couldn’t help myself .

  13. Chris M.

    November 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Chooch was def. the correct choice from the options available. Chooch at $8 million/yr for three years is the problem. The option is a vesting option so the team doesn’t even have to worry about it if Ruiz breaks down.

    Why not two years with the same vesting option for a third? Chooch for $15 or $16 ($7 – $8 million/yr) million for two years isn’t horrible.

    At least the third year he can move to a bench role…hopefully.

  14. Tom in South Philly

    November 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    First of all, I have to admit I really like the “Senior Citizens Bank Ball Park”, and I am sure we will be hearing many more comment of this typ over the next few months.

    While I think there wer many interesting comments on boht sides, I have to agree with Cory; there are no signfiicanly better options than re-signing Ruiz. I don’t see any internal options (Rupp/Joseph/Valle) being ready for a full-time job in 2014, and maybe not 2015. By the third-year of the contract, we should have a pretty good idea if any of the in-house options have paned out; and then Ruiz may be either a very tradable asset or a valuable back-up. I know this is expensive, but who kows what the market will be in three years.

    The other free agent possibilities for catcher will liekly be for even more money and more years. I don’t love this contract, but I don’t hate it either. I just think it is probalby the best option given the situation.

  15. Dave

    November 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Ruiz was the best option for the Phillies, but it’s too much money and too long a contract for an old player – and an old catcher to boot. But, since I cancelled my season tickets after 10 years, I no longer care what they do with their money. They’re not getting another dime from me.

    • Betasigmadeltashag

      November 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Now there is a true fan. Now maybe your tickets went up the last few years but my tickets in 427 have only gone up twice in that time. But I only buy them when there winning. Now it would be different if they were not trying to be competitive. But agree or disagree with the moves they have made they are moves that they thought would make them better. Maybe in hindsight they did not work out and maybe you knew it all along and have never been wrong. I’ll see you the year after they make the playoffs again. Hope you don’t hurt yourself jumping off the band wagon

      • Dave

        November 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        Yes, because they’ve been winning the last two years.

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      I guess there’s something to be said for waiting for two losing seasons, instead of just the one that some jumpers would need 😉

      But on Ruiz, I guess you’re saying that he was *not* actually the best option, and they should have gone with someone else, since what it took to sign him was too much.

      • Dave

        November 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

        Honestly, I didn’t like any of the other candidates except for McCann, and we knew that would never happen because he’s lefthanded and we already have too many lefties. So for the position that Amaro put himself in, I guess Ruiz was the best option.

  16. Chuck A.

    November 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I’m with Corey on this one. For me it really comes down to who else was out there and Corey spells that out nicely. I think Salty is probably the one guy that got the most interest as a legitimate signing and I’ll argue til the cows come home that, despite being 5 years younger, he is greatly overrated.

    On the other side of the coin, Pat suggested Navarro and I suppose he could have been a nice stopgap but …really???…Navarro over Ruiz just to save money?? Sorry…I’ll take the older but the MUCH better defensive Ruiz any day of the week.

    2/20 or 3/26? To me it’s really no difference and the extra 6MM is worth it to get the best defensive catcher (and no slouch offensively) on the market.

  17. George

    November 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I’ll agree with Corey, too. When someone is the best option, you have to pay him like he’s your best option, whether it’s in money or in years, or someone else might grab him. Two years with an option, Ruiz could very well have walked, and you’d be stuck with some other guy that’s either left handed, old, too expensive, hasn’t been a full time catcher for years, or a rookie that projects as a backup.

    There are lots of things you can want, but sometimes you can’t get them. I haven’t heard of any young catchers available who are as good as Ruiz. If there were some “can’t miss” free agents, or “can’t miss” prospects, I’d even say they should have held back. But there aren’t right now, and though three years isn’t great it’s not going to ruin the team or foul up the pitching staff, even if Ruiz slips in year three.

  18. Jael

    November 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Everyone need to stop talking about cliff lee he there to stay he the best player him and cole my boys do not say shit about them in 2013 lee and cole work there ass off for the phillies go look at the videos I thank the GM for cliff lee I was happy w he coming back to Philadelphia phillies

  19. Joe A

    November 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I’m hearing the comments that Rupp and Joseph may never be more than backups. When Chooch first came up no one expected much… no one expected him to be the player he became. But he was given the chance to play,and to develop into the player he is today. Back then expectations were lower and decisions weren’t based on a TV contract. If Chooch was coming up today he wouldn’t had a chance to be the regular C on a WS team, he would have toiled in the minors behind an aging vet

    • schmenkman

      November 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Where does this idea come from? Chooch didn’t play regularly until he was 28, which will be Rupp’s age in 2017. And yes, it’s possible that he’ll be more than a backup and have a long career as a starter — that’s just not the most likely scenario for him at this point based on his skill set.

      I don’t know that anybody has said that Joseph will be a backup. What has been said is that he could hit very well for a catcher and has a future there. When there were concerns about his concussions and whether that meant he might have to move to first, the thought was that he would have to significantly improve his hitting to stick as a first baseman. Fortunately, he seems to be catching regularly in winter ball, so hopefully he can continue behind the plate.

  20. Lefty

    November 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I’m still on the fence. After doing my exhaustive round the clock research, all I can come up with is that it’s still going to fun to yell Chooooooch! for a while longer. But seriously, there have been a few catchers that continued to produce offensively, while lasting defensively behind the plate in to their late 30’s like Jorge Posada and a handful of others. But these guys are clearly the exception, most that last to that age switch to first base. (yeah, like there is any chance that’s gonna happen here)

    So I guess I’m left with, Choooooooch! – which isn’t so bad.

  21. Andrew from Waldorf

    November 20, 2013 at 1:52 am

    In a vacuum of a real team with real moves. This is a celebrated move.

    Instead you have moron Amaro and its just keeping another old player.

    Of all the old fossil relics worthless players Ruiz rates this.

    But then the next was Victorino.

    Rollins 1 Howard 4 is the Ruben mantra.

    You have a heavy dose of it coming.

    Hope they can win like its 2008.

    But its not and Ruben is a moron.

    This move is not a part of that.

  22. John A. Naguski

    November 20, 2013 at 11:33 am

    His hitting will be a big factor, however his handling of the pitching staff is an A+.

  23. Whatever

    November 20, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I thought the above discussion between Corey and Pat was awesome. Both had great points and both made sense. I’d like to read more discussions between them – they can agree or disagree but their discussions add to my baseball knowledge.

  24. The Original Chuck P

    November 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Hey all… been a while.

    Preface my comment with this… I don’t care what they have to pay. As a fan, I want an ownership group that is willing to make an effort to sign the best player for our team at every position. I understand budgetary constraints exist but I’m far less concerned with that because I’m a fan… if the owners have to take a smaller check for the Phillies to field a better team, I’m quite alright with that.

    Re: Chooch…
    Of all the catchers out there, Ruiz is probably the best defensive catcher available, which is more important than offensive production at catcher. Over the past five years, he’s been a top 10 defensive catcher… McCann and Suzuki are arguably better defensively but McCann has regressed (like Chooch) and would cost an arm and a leg while Suzuki is too much of an offensive liability to use as an every day catcher (especially in this town where booing is a second language).

    The need is probably 2-3 years if you think that Joseph and/or Rupp is the catcher of the future at which point you’ll need a serviceable back up. Chooch would be one heck of a backup… perhaps he’d be overpaid but it’s what it is. $8 million shouldn’t prohibit them from adding the necessary pieces in a few years. If you’d sign McCann to the mega-deal that he’ll command and that didn’t work out, you’d be sorry you did.

    If you don’t think Joseph/Rupp has it, you’d go get a guy like Saltalamacchia or explore some trade options… but once you do that, you risk thwarting the growth of Joseph and Rupp. In my opinion, this was the best deal for this team right now. We haven’t seen enough of Joseph or Rupp to say what we’ve got there. If either (or both) of those guys pans out over the next two years, we will have the luxury of the greatest catcher in franchise history serving as a mentor. That’s not terrible…

    Marlon Byrd is really bothersome to me because 1.) he’s not the best player out there (he is not the best way to address our need) and b.) I see no purpose in overpaying for a 37 year old outfielder with limited ability… he made less than $1 million last year and we gave him $8 million for each of the next three years. If Rube is selling him as our starting right fielder, I’m not buying. He’s a fill in guy who plays best when he’s playing for a job… you give him job security and he plays small. If we get one good year out of him I’d be surprised and even then, his contributions are not going to help us get to where we want to be. We need an impact player. Byrd is a filler… but I guess it all boils down to Ryan Howard, doesn’t it? If he can contribute, Marlon Byrd and co. will be fine out there. If not, we’ll be tearing down the walls at CBP complaining that Rube didn’t do enough this off season to address the needs in the OF. In my opinion, you really can’t rely on Howard… I’d love to be able to say I’m confident he will come back with vengeance – I’m a Howard apologist/defender and I hope that he will – but as a GM in a make or break year, I’m not sure you can take that stance and get away with it.

    • Hogey's Role

      November 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      I think we’d be lucky to get one good month out of Byrd… Other than that I can agree with most of what you said, I still think we would have been better off pursuing a trade for a outfielder than signing Byrd

      • Rudy Canoza

        November 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        The problem is that unless you’re talking about trading some combination of Brown, Biddle, and Franco, the Phillies have very little that would interest another team. For the most part, teams are after young, inexpensive talent.

      • Ryne Duren

        November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

        Hogey if we can get 1 good month from him and another 1 good month from Brown, and another 1 good month from Revere. All we have to get is 3 good months from every other outfielder. Then we’re set. I’m not worried, I think we can lock 3rd place or 4th with no problem.

  25. jake

    November 21, 2013 at 6:00 am

    While I’m not a huge fan of the three year deal for Chooch, given the options out there- which Corey addresses, I think the signing isn’t all that bad. One thing that appears to get overlooked is Chooch’s effect on the pitching staff. A good catcher improves your staff. Hamels and Lee trust Chooch and feel comfortable with his decision making behind the plate. If we’re trying to improve our pitching, keeping an intelligent signal caller is critical. Also, if the Phils want to develop young arms, having an experienced catcher helps tremendously.

    Would I like Chooch to be 29. Yes. Would I prefer the Phillies didn’t have a roster of 30 somethings? Yes. Are those reasons to NOT sign Chooch? Not really.

  26. Ryne Duren

    November 21, 2013 at 9:50 am

    The Phillies had no other choice but to sign Ruiz in my mind at this time. The money and the years to me don’t matter. Chooch will be a positive force in the line up. That is if he’s healthy. And that goes for all the others in the line up as well. our offense last year wasn’t good, our pitching killed us last year. The first half the starters did ok , well 4 out of 5 anyway. And our pen was horrible. the 2cd half the pen tightened up but then we had only 2 starters actually pitching consistently well. We’ll have enough offense if healthy, we need pitching!
    Just as last year we went into the year with a ton of question marks which ended up not being resolved and we’re as it seems, going into this year with just as many. Unless they can get pitching and stay healthy 3rd or 4th is the best they’re going to do.

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