Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rube Been Busy Boy

Ruben Amaro Jr. has been a busy boy (oops- man) signing Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, and Joe Blanton to one year deals avoiding arbitration. He also skirted around arbitration with Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Jayson Werth, and Greg Dobbs by locking them up with multi-year contracts; all within a weeks span. Amaro is like the Arb King or something. Ryan Howard remains the only unsigned Phillie, and he has exchanged numbers with the Phils. However, as everyone knows by now, Howard is demanding an outrageous $18M while the Phils countered with $14M. I wish I could get a raise in my line of employment by actually getting worse over the past 2 years. F'n joke! He's the worst fielding firstbaseman in baseball, strikes out 190+ times per season, and his batting average and walks are steadily decreasing along with the trusty measurement of a player's value of OPS ('06- 1.084, '07- .976, '08- .882). His OPS was ranked 28th in MLB last season, not top 5. If he wins this arbitration case putting him in the upper echelon of MLB salaries then I believe Barack Obama should focus on baseball salary structures rather than a college football playoff system.

Just because I called him a "money grubbing whore" in the comments section yesterday, doesn't mean I hate him. I've always maintained that I'm glad he's a Phillie and we're lucky to have him. However, this is getting tiresome with his A-Rod type dollar signs in his eyes. Howard is essential to the Phils success. That doesn't change the fact that I absolutely hate his negotiating tactics for money. I know other players do it too, it's not just a Howard thing, but damn, it pisses me off. Here's how one dude would spend Howard's millions.

I must admit, I'm impressed with Ruben's recent string of activity by locking up young talent and settling on fair contracts. He may have not done that well in the free agent pool, but he's doing a tremendous job ensuring that Phillies will remain Phillies.

World Baseball Classic:
The Wolrd Baseball Classic is set to take place in March during spring training. Players will be granted permission by their parent teams to play for their national teams. MLB announced its rosters for the World Baseball Classic. Phillies on rosters include...
Australia- righthander Drew Naylor, catcher Joel Naughton, and infielder Brad Harman.
Canada- outfielder Matt Stairs.
Dominican Republic- catcher Ronny Paulino.
Italy- outfielder Michael Spidale.
Mexico- infielder Oscar Robles.
Netherleands- righthander Mike Bolsenbroek.
Panama- catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Puerto Rico- lefthander J.C. Romero.
USA- shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino.
Venezuela- righthander Carlos Carrasco.

*Thanks to Todd Zolecki for the list.

I think the WBC is a good idea, just done at the wrong time. I feel it should take place in November following the MLB postseason and be played in warm weather destinations. To have a guy, especially pitchers, coming in cold after a winter's layoff to pitch competitively in this tournament seems risky. With that said, Go Team USA!!!



GM-Carson said...

Side note- I have to revise this post about 3 times yesterday as the first draft had Durbin and Werth still heading for arbitration. Rube really has been busy.

Also, I know not all will agree with my views on Ryan Howard and that's fine. This is a blog, I'm not going to sugarcoat my opinion just to appease everyone. It's okay to disagree and argue your opinion with me. That's the beauty of the Internet.

GM-Carson said...

Thanks to a tip by Sir Alden it is being reported that Cole Hamels threw the most pitches last season with 3918...yikes!

Bob D said...

There was a comment made yesterday about money coming off the books. Freeagents for next year (w/2009 salary):
Stairs $1mil
Eyre $2mil
Park $2.5mil
Myers $12mil
Feliz $7mil or .5mil buyout
Jenkins $7.5mil or 1mil buyout
Eaton $9mil or .5mil buyout
Thome $1.5mil (yes we are still paying him)

Feliz Jenkins and Eaton will likely have their contracts bought out. That would free up $42.5mil plus anyone that gets released.

GM-Carson said...

Thanks Bob D. I've read from David Murphy that the Phils are still paying Thome $3M...craziness!

GM-Carson said...

Holy crap, Cooch turns 30 today. I don't know why, but I though he was much in the 26-27 range.

GM-Carson said...

So I wonder what Rube is going to do next?

Trade Stairs or Coste?

Cut Eaton?

Sign another reliever or righthanded bench player?

furiousBall said...

is there any chance the phils could do a ryan dempster like deal with sheets? dempster's previous contract was a minimal base salary and then incentives based on innings pitched (i.e. he stays healthy)

Reverend Paul Revere said...

The man is just trying to get his. This is what happens when you leave a guy with this much talent and power in the minor leagues until he's 26. I don't think he's worth 18 mill, but he lost a lot of dough sitting in the minors at no fault of his own.

Soss said...

This is all about bragging rights. Howard wants to be seen as the best player in base via most money per year. It's not about the actual money, all these players have more then enough to live through previous contracts and endorsements.

Whatever happened to players wanting to be on a winning team and bring home championships? Everyone is so self-absorbed they just care about their numbers (stats and $$$).

GM-Carson said...

I know Howard seems like a villain, as he should, but I do understand his desire to get paid. Hell, if I could make more money in my profession I'd take it. He just comes off as so greedy though, and this is partially due to his family (particurally his father) dipping into the honey pot too.

Bob D said...

Can you believe it, 22 days till Spring Training starts!

Amanda said...

Totally agree on Howard. I'm a fan of Howard, but the money he is asking for is ridiculous, and he doesn't exactly deserve it, as you showed in his decline in OPS (my favorite stat, although I'm not really a big stat head)

GM-Carson said...

Amanda- be careful to whom you admit that you're not a big "stat head", because at some sites they'll crucify you for that. Really, I know bloggers that have since parrished from such statements.

Corey said...

i'm just checking the blog for the first time today, and i want to weigh in on a few of the comments that have been left so far:

1) "Cut Eaton?" - cutting eaton is pointless. they would still have to pay him and they're already shown the willingness to stash him in the minors. you might as well keep a guy like this around. you never know when some team (maybe even the phils) gets demolished by injuries ands needs a starter.

2) re: Howard in the minors for a long time "at no fault of his own" - that is wrong on a couple of points. first, he didn't spend a lot of time in the minors. he was only there for three whole seasons and parts of two (one of which was the short season after being drafted.) by comparison, chase utley spent 3 whole seasons and 2 partial seasons. nobody complains about that. and he didn't have an all-star slugger signed to a big contract at his position. second, that is what happens when you spend years on college and don't come out MLB ready, you end up making it at a later age with less free agent time through your career. so that part is howard's fault.

3) "I do understand [Howard's]desire to get paid" - then how is he a money grubbing whore?

4) re: Ben Sheets - i think the phils should make a run at sheets.. granted, i don't have to balance the books, but a healthy sheets at a per year of < 10 mil is a bargain. when you pass up bargains, you end up overpaying for crap (eaton...)

GM-Carson said...

The "money grubbing whore" comment was my gut-reaction to seeing what Howard was asking for. Like I said, it pisses me off that he is trying to squeeze an 80% pay increase after actually getting worse last season. It pisses me off that many athletes go to the highest bidder, but so is the way of professional sports I suppose.

Reverend Paul Revere said...

Actually, I complained quite a bit about not bringing up Chase sooner and moving Polanco to third, seeing as David Bell sucked. And 3 years in the minors is absolutely a long time in this day and age for starting-caliber everyday players, especially ones that develop in college.

GM-Carson said...

Most players need 2-4 seasons in the minors, and bringing them up after only 1 or 2 is usually risky and considered rushing them, which could end up stunting their progress so much that they never reach their full potential. Could Howard and Utley been called up sooner and had positive contributions? Perhaps, but that's something we'll never know, and can only bitch about.

GM-Carson said...

From MLBTR- Chuck Hixson of recently asked Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. about free agent starters Braden Looper, Jon Garland, and Randy Wolf. Amaro responded:

"I'd like to think that we're at the point on our payroll, where those guys wouldn't fit. We're really kind of looking more for bullpen help. We are looking at some guys from outside the organization to add some depth and experience for us in the bullpen."

David said...

Cot's has Thome paid off, not sure where the 'Murph' is getting his info.

I would love to take a shot at Sheets, and that fireballin' reliever from AZ. It would take our 2nd and 3rd picks in the draft.

In for a penny in for a pound this year.

Dan said...

Random note, but did anyone see the post on ESPN a few weeks ago noting that Jeter has been named the starting SS for Team USA? Note, too, that Rollins is on the team, and he's a shortstop. That's ridiculous. There's no way that Jeter can hold a candle to Rollins at this point in their respective careers. Rollins has more power, more speed, better defense...possibly a slightly lower average, but honestly, that's just a silly thing, to name Jeter the starter immediately.

GM-Carson said...

Dan, I too read that and am puzzled and pissed about it.

NE Phillies Phan said...

Jeter has given far more women herpes when compared to JRoll. Maybe Jimmy will simply not even play if he's just a backup. He needs reps to get ready and riding the bench so a once-great vet can butcher the position is no way to do that.