Monday, October 08, 2007

Setting The Table - Part 1

I'm not going to dwell on the Phillies playoff misery. I could spend multiple posts whining about the lack of hitting, Charlie Manuel, etc., but I would rather look forward. This offseason is one of the most important in recent history for the Phighting Phils. They need to build on an already talented team with a focus on certain problem areas (pitching, anyone.) At the point they are now, they can't afford to not move forward. It is rare to have three MVP quality players on a team at once (unless you are the Yankees...) and to not do everything to improve the pitching would be a crime against the fans and the city and maybe even baseball itself.

Throughout the offseason, we'll have rumors, projections, trade/free agent suggestions, etc., but before we can look forward to changes, we have to look and see what the Phils have already for the 2008 season. (Note: This isn't heavily (or at all) researched, so the contract info may be sketchy...)

Catcher - Carlos Ruiz is poised to do the majority of the catching. The club has a $5 million option on Rod Barajas for next year or a 500K buyout. There hasn't been an easier decision since the judge gave the kids to K-Fed. Barajas is gone. Coste isn't arbitration eligible yet, so he can be had for cheap to backup.

First Base - Ryan Howard is not arbitration ready, so his contract can be renewed again. Last year he got the record for a player with less than 2 years of service time. There will be a big push to lock him up with a long term deal this summer, although another big renewal is very much a possibility. We'll have more on this in the coming months.

Second Base - Chase Utley is signed through '13, and makes a bargain priced $7.5 million next year.

Shortstop - Speaking of bargains, NL MVP Jimmy Rollins makes $7 million next year with a max salary of $8.5 in '11.

Third Base - Abraham Nunez is gone. GONE!!!!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!! What? Club option? Aw, crap. Dear tiny Baby Jesus, or as our brothers to the south call you J├ęsus, lying there in your little ghost manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors, please don't allow Abraham Nunez to come back to Philadelphia... Wes Helms has a guaranteed contract for '08, so unless they just eat the contract and release him (nodding head in approval), he'll be back. As will backup Greg Dobbs, whose contract they can renew.

Left Field - Pat Burrell is in the last year of his contract, so at this point he's locked in.

Center / Right Field - You may not have heard, but Aaron Rowand, with all of his intangibles, is a free agent. Jayson Werth is also a free agent. Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn are back with contract renewals, along with Chris Roberson and TJ Bohn if you cared.

So, if the season started today, this would be the lineup:
1. Rollins - SS
2. Bourn - CF
3. Utley - 2B
4. Howard - 1B
5. Burrell - LF
6. Victorino - RF
7. Helms - 3B
8. Ruiz - C

Tomorrow, the pitching staff.



GM-Carson said...

Mike Lowell has went public and said he'd like to play in Philly if the BoSox don't re-up him. I see the RedSox bumping Youk to 3rd and allowing Manny to play 1st or something crazy like that. Lowell would be great for 2 years 20 million, with a club option for a 3rd year. His defense is very good too.

We need a utility infielder and I think Damion Easley would make sense. He is a decent pinch-hitter and can play all of the infield positions as well as some outfield. Mark Loretta would be a good pickup as the utility guy too, but he'll probably want more playing time. Also available on the utility front is Juan Uribe, Jose Valentin, and Cesar Izturis. If we sign Lowell the need for a backup infielder is minimal because Helms can play 1st and 3rd, and Jimmy and Chase play every day, so basically the utility infielder should be able to be a reliable pinch-hitter UNLIKE No-Hit Nunez.

GM-Carson said...

My proposed lineup with Lowell added-
1. Rollins SS
2. Utley 2B
3. Lowell 3B
4. Howard 1B
5. Burrell LF
6. Victorino CF
7. Werth/Dobbs RF
8. Ruiz/Coste C

I'd like to see Werth brought back on a 2 year 4-5 million dollar deal to platoon with Dobbs. Bourn would also see time as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement for Burrell in LF and backup CF and RF too. That is unless he was packaged in a deal to Florida for D-Train Willis.

*By the way, WSBGM's will be posting throughout the offseason, so stay tuned for continued fun, hilarity, and anger.

GM-Carson said...

I was looking at some old posts about predictions for this season and I was dead-on in my Howard homerun prediction of 47. Also, Skeeter predicted 213 homeruns for the team and that is what they ended up with.

I only predicted 18 homeruns for, he proved me wrong. I predicted 23 jacks from Helms who only produced 5...he really proved me wrong.

Jacobin said...

I'd love to see Rowand back, but with certain teams needing someone to play center (Yankees)... I'm afraid the price tag for Rowand will be ludicrous.

I agree that Nunez is infuriating, but the guy has a good glove. If he's the last guy off the bench and used for defensive substitutions, I don't mind him being around... that being said, we know Charlie burns through the bench like mad so you need a guy who can actually drive in some runs every once in a while (so, bye bye Nunez).

I realize we're not talking pitching today, but it's impossible not to touch on the fact that if pitchers can be acquired, the money is going to be best spent there this offseason (as compared to overpaying Rowand). Oh, almost forgot, Wes Helms and Rod Barajas should both be gone. Buy out Barajas and spend the next few months trying to package Helms for minor league garbage (if that doesn't work, cut him).

GM-Carson said...

Rowand is looking at 4-5 years at 10+ million per season...not gonna happen in Philly.

If Lowell is signed, the back-up infielder doesn't have to be a great gloveman, because with Rollins, Utley, and Lowell you have 3 all-around solid players, and you never lift Howard for defense. That's why I suggest someone like Easely who can spot start anywhere in the infield and actually hit some. Nunez can't hit and that's one thing a bench guy needs to be able to do in the NL.

Jacobin- You'd think some team in need of a 3B/1B/DH type guy would trade Helms for some over-priced reliever...aka the Yankees and Kyle Farnsworth, basically a classic over-priced unwanted player swap. We don't need Helms, but we do need pitching so why not try and exchange bad contracts?

Jacobin said...

I'd make that trade. Getting rid of Helms for anything that could help out now or down the line would be good with me.

BenJah said...

gm-carson....i was reading your comments and i've determined that the new baby has deprived you of much needed sleep, and as such: YOU HAVE GONE CRAZY!!

mike lowell batting 3rd??

we don't need a backup for middle infield (do i have to remind you a certain mvp candidate who's hand was broken?)???

helms in demand by other teams??


SirAlden said...

Great T.E.A.M. I feel it may be in many ways the greatest Phillies team ever in that they overcame so many obstacles.

Both Game 1 and 3 or the series with the Rockies could have easily broken the other way. Remember the Dynasty Phillies of 1976 were swept 3-0 as well. post seasons build character.

I love this team. Except for Mesa and Eaton.

SirAlden said...

Cabrera, Santana, and Isringhausen will be coming on over in the off-season.

1. Rollins SS
2. Utley 2B
3. Cabrera 3B
4. Howard 1B
5. Burrell LF
6. Victorino CF
7. Helms RF
8. Ruiz C

Bench: 9. Dobbs, 10. Bourne, 11. Jarmillo, 12. Coste, 13. Middle infielder - Nunez

1. Santana LSP
2. Hamels LSP
3. Myers RSP
4. Kendrick RSP
5. Moyer LSP

6. Isringhausen RRP
7. Gordon RRP
8. Romero LRP
9. Madson RRP
10. Lefty LRP
11. Righty RRP
12. Mop-up RRP

hankA said...

I believe Howard is arbitration eligble and that Werth is not a free agent, at least that's what ni've read in some reliable sources.

BenJah said...

werth can be offered arbitration.

isringhoser had his option picked up by st louis

cabrera, willis and santana are rediculous. get more creative, or be perpetually dissapointed.

Los said...

I think we need a better option at third base than Nunez/Dobbs/Helms, but doubt we'll do any better.

I'd love to keep Rowand, but don't think we will.

Too early to tell at this point.

I have a feeling, Charlie will be back ... but hopefully for only one season.

SirAlden said...

The Cards Picked up his option so they can trade him. Their payroll is locked up, go read the Cards Blogs.

GreggyD said...

Just read on that the Phillies have signed Charlie Manuel to a 2 year contract extension with a club option for 2010.

Patty G was quoted in saying "We love what Charlie brings to the ballpark every day, which is an upbeat, positive attitude that rubs off on the players. He helped lead our club back to the playoffs and he and his coaching staff did a great job, especially with the injury issues they faced throughout the season with a number of key players."

My feelings about Fuqua are very neutral right now. I think he makes some VERY terrible decisions, but at the same time he did lead us to the postseason, plus it seems like every guy in the clubhouse wanted him back and loves playing for him.

And so the offseason begins...

SirAlden said...

There was a new blog Phillies Phanatic wrap up, or somesuch.

I lost it. Does anyone have the link? Thanks.

BenJah said...

go read the cards blog??

since when do blogs have relevant information??

next time i'll tell you where to go :-)

GM-Carson said...

Benjah typed- "since when do blogs have relevant information??"...that's funny as hell as he typed this while on a blog. But he's right, since when do we know what the hell we're talking about, we only pretend to.

I hate Charlie Manuel. I'm glad the players like him, but he's horrible at making decisions in regards to pinch-hitting, pinch-running, defensive replacements, and worst of all his pitching staff.