Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Morning Bench Coach

The Pirates Got F#@&3D And Other Thoughts on the CBA
Amongst little fanfare, MLB and the Players Assn. finalized a CBA last week. Yeah, no lockout! Baseball is awesome! Right?

Not so much. Baseball is still jacked up. And in this little agreement, not only have they done nothing to help baseball’s small market teams, they’ve actually made it more difficult for them to compete. Here are some of the lowlights:

1) The draft rule changes really hurt the small market teams. Here is a brief summary of the changes.

Clubs that exceed their Signing Bonus Pools will be subject to penalties as follows:
Excess of Pool Penalty - (Tax on Overage/Draft Picks)
0-5% - 75% tax on overage
5-10% - 75% tax on overage and loss of 1st round pick
10-15% - 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st and 2nd round picks
15%+ - 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st round picks in next two drafts

The ten Clubs with the lowest revenues, and the ten Clubs in the smallest markets, will be entered into a lottery for the six draft selections immediately following the completion of the first round of the draft. A Club’s odds of winning the lottery will be based on its prior season’s winning percentage. The eligible Clubs that did not receive one of the six selections after the first round, and all other payee Clubs under the Revenue Sharing Plan, will be entered into a second lottery for the six picks immediately following the completion of the second round of the draft.

This a brutal. If you look at bonus expenditures from 2011, you’ll see that the top three are the Pirates, Nationals and Royals, by a hefty margin over the other teams. Part of this is due to having the highest picks but much of it is “over-paying” at certain spots to get young players to sign instead of going to college/play football/etc. They won’t be able to do this anymore. The extra ONE PICK is nice, but c’mon, one pick! That’s nothing compared to the number of good young players a team can sign by over-slotting. Instead, MLB would rather have the Pirates over-pay for mediocre major leaguers. The Pirates are going to have to acquire someone with an online accounting degree just to make sure these new rules are followed.

[More after the jump...]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Minor Leauge Depth- Misch & Frandsen

The Phillies signed Pat Misch and Kevin Frandsen to minor league contracts.

Misch is a left-handed pitcher that has seen time with the Giants and Mets over the years (2006-2011). In 6 MLB seasons he's put together an ugly 4-15 record with a 4.80 ERA/1.42 WHIP spanning 200.2 IP in 78 appearances. And before you get the idea that he might be a cheap option for second lefty in the bullpen behind Antonio Bastardo, guess again. Just like Raul Valdes, Misch has worse splits against lefties than righties. This is why he's a future Iron Pig and not a Phillie.

Frandsen was in the Phils organization last year and did get an endorsement from this blog to be promoted over in place of Michael Martinez, but that was before he was suspended 50 games for Ritalin. He's a career .243/.636 hitter over 5 MLB seasons with the Giants and Angels (2006-2010). Last year in the minors he hit .309/.791 at age 29 while playing 2nd/3rd/SS/1st. I still like him better than Martinez.

*Scott Mathieson has been released. Rumor has it that he'll be pitching for an Asian team next year. The 27 year old Canadian compiled a 1-4 record with a 6.75 ERA in 44 IP for the Phillies in parts of 3 seasons.

*Scott Podsednik is back next year on a minor league deal. The speedy 35 year old outfielder ended the year in the Phils organization (.254/.735 in a minors in 2011). Last played in the Majors in 2010, batting .297/.724 between the Royals and Dodgers. He's good depth should the Phils non-tender Ben Francisco and one of the starting outfielders gets hurt.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ed Wade Dissed and Dismissed

The Astros have finally figured out what the Phillies already knew...Ed Wade sucks. Wade has been relieved of his duties as Houston's General Manger. After trading the Phillies Lidge, Oswalt, and Pence the cupboards are bare, so I am not sad to see him go. I suspect he doesn't find an employer anytime soon, unless it's at Target or K-Mart as seasonal help.

*Jimmy Rollins turned 33 years old yesterday. Did Ponce de Leon find the Fountain of Youth yet?

*The Phils received Adam Worthington from the Diamondbacks to complete the Mike Zagurski trade. Worthington is a 24 year old right-handed relief pitcher that has a 4.34 ERA/1.35 WHIP in 3 minor league seasons, none above Single-A. In other words, he won't be heard from again unless he's suspended for PEDs or something.

*Amaro offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez with supposedly a "gentleman's agreement" that he won't accept. Is the supplemental pick really worth a $10M risk? The answer is- No. Ibanez is a good guy and by all account so is his agent, but you have to be a bit leery when dealing with that kinda money.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Name That Phillie - I Love the 80's Edition

This 80's superstar dud had a .303 batting average in 3 seasons with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate in Portland, Oregon. Having near ready minor league talent the entire way across the country doesn't make sense, so it remains a head-scratcher as to why the Phils ever did it. Of course much of the 80's and 90's were one big fubar in Phillies history. Anyway, see if you can name this Phillie...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fill in the Blank - Ruben Amaro

Ruben Amaro Jr. is a(n) _______________ GM.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Morning Bench Coach

Getting’ Wiggy With It?
[Sorry ‘bout that sub-title. It’ll never happen again.]

I like this move for the Phils. It gives them short-term insurance for Howard at first and long-term they get a serviceable alternative to Polanco/LF a few times a week and then a more than serviceable RH bat off of the bench.

Also, remember when the guy from Yahoo!!!!! tried to steal our “Howard?” From the "Closing Time" blog by Scott Pianowski in April 2010 – “Ty Wigginton(notes) gave us the Wiggy Hat Trick on Monday, a homer, an error and a strikeout.”

If I was a Rockies fan, I think I would be a bit confused by Colorado giving away Wigginton AND $2 million dollars. Odds are, the Phils won’t give the Rox much in return… because they don’t have that much to give. The French reliever, maybe?

A few articles on the interweb have speculated that the Rockies were searching for “salary relief.” Really? $2 milliion in salary + some cash or PTBN is relief.

This is just another example of how the economics in baseball are totally jacked. There are the “haves” and the “have-nots” and if your team in the latter group, good f’n luck. I love the Phils and I love that they have money, but this league is the most competitively unbalanced in American sports. It’s wrong and eventually, like ignoring the steroid problem, it will come back to bite MLB in the ass. At some point it will not benefit the owners of the “have-nots” to just take their beating and their money and keep quiet. Ask the NBA how promoting unbalance is working for the 2011/2012 season…

/off soapbox

more ATJ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Phillies Minor League Managers

Phillies Minor League Managers
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs:
Ryne Sandberg
Reading Phillies:
Dusty Wathan
Clearwater Phillies:
Chris Truby
Lakewood BlueClaws:
Mickey Morandini
Williamsport Crosscutters:
Andy Tracy

Monday, November 21, 2011

Papelbon a "Junk Baller"?

From a post I did on More Hardball back in 2008...

Being a former college athlete I'm sorta okay with that whole butt slap thing, but grabbing another dude's junk is out of line and borderline (ahem...over-the-top) gay.

Yep, that's Jonathan Papelbon in the picture grabbing the crotch of Manny Ramirez. Does this make Papelbon (aka- Cinco Ocho) a "junk baller"?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Welcome Aboard Wigginton

That shrewd bastard Ruben Amaro Jr. has done it again, nabbing Ty Wigginton from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later or cash. Wigginton plays 3rd/1st/2nd and corner outfield.

With Wiggy aboard this likely means the courtship between the Phils and Michael Cuddyer is over, and that's a relief. Amaro got the Rockies to pay half of Wiggy's $4M salary, and he's only under contract for 1 year. Far better than the 3 year $30M deal that Cuddyer would have likely commanded.

The stats- 34 years old, .265/.768 hitter in 10 seasons with 158 homeruns and 548 RBI. He played for the Pirates back in 2004-05, so he becomes a Phucco. Last year with Colorado he hit .242/.731, 52 R, 21 DBL, 15 HR, 47 RBI, and 8 SB in 130 games. He's a boost to the bench and allows Manuel to give Polanco, Howard, or Utley a day off without having to worry about Wilson Valdez hitting into a double play or Michael Martinez sucking.

Holy Trinity of Arms

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Name That Phillie: 70's Uniform Edition

With the Toronto Blue Jays unveiling a new/old school logo next year, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to the powder blue/maroon uniforms of yesteryear that the Phillies wore. Go ahead, name that Phillie...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Truly Aces

Yesterday Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels finished 2nd, 3rd, and 5th respectively in the NL Cy Young Award voting. The trio had an amazing season and much the same can be expected heading into 2012.

The Holy Trinity's Collective 2011 Stats:
50-23, 95 GS, 17 CG, 7 SHO, 682.1 IP, 121:652 BB:K, 2.51 ERA, 1.02 WHIP.

*Picture borrowed from The Zo Zone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Schneider Robs Phils & Minor League Grab Bag

*Why couldn't have Schneider disappeared like the man he's pictured with above?

Brian Schneider will "earn" a guaranteed 1 year $800K contract in 2012 with the Philadelphia Phillies with another $200K in incentives dangling like a carrot before the horse. All that for a .502 OPS and 13% CS. Essentially he'll will be robbing the Phils next season. Blame Amaro!

The following is a list of some minor league free agents I feel as a wannabe GM the Phils should throw a bone and add for depth playing for the Iron Pigs.

Stephen Marek
Robert Coello
Jhonny Nunez
Joe Martinez
Matt Daley - Bucknell University graduate, my Alma Marta.
Jose De La Torre
Robinson Tejada - former Phillie
Eric Wordkemper
Winston Abreu
Mark DiFelice - 3.77 ERA/1.22 WHIP with nearly a K per inning in the Majors.

Clay Zavada
Eric Stults
Brad Kilby
Rich Rundles
Victor Garate
Justin Hampson
Ryan Edell - in Phils system last year
Alberto Castillo
Tommy Hottovy

Tony Abreu - 27 years old, .310/.799 in 8 minor league seasons.
Diory Hernandez
Brendan Harris
Argenis Reyes
Jesus Merchen - used to be in Phils system
Drew Sutton - 28 years old, .280/.815 in 8 minor league seasons.
Jayson Nix
Angel Berroa
Hector Luna

Nick Evans
Jorge Cantu

Antoan Richardson
Brett Carroll
Jordan Brown
Brendan Katin - .262/.874 over last 4 seasons in AAA
Drew Locke
Brandon Moss - September callup for Phils
Wilkin Ramirez

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Morning Quarterback

I’ve got a new off-season ploy to keep at least a few people coming to the website feature to introduce today: Wednesday Morning Bench Coach.

It’s a play on the old tried and true Monday Morning Quarterback column that everyone does where they second guess the events of the previous weekend. Basically, there’s stuff I want to say that’s too long for Twitter, too short for an entire post, and usually not even related to the Phillies or baseball or even sports and this will be my outlet…because it’s my blog… and I can do what I want.

Hey ho, let’s go.

Second Catcher

Remember when Carson advocated Erik Kratz for backup catcher and didn't even list Brian Schneider as a viable option? Well, Carson ain't going to be happy. The Phils are re-signing Brian Schneider, according to "sources." Is a .500 OPS good?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fill in the Blank- Phillies 2012 SS

The Philadelphia Phillies 2012 Opening Day shortstop will be _______________.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Top 10 Starting Pitchers in MLB

What is an ace? Someone who consistenly wins games by continuing winning streaks, or halting a string of losses. Someone who takes the ball regularly and goes deep into games while keeping the opponent off the board in most of those frames worked. The following is my list of the Top 10 MLB Starting Pitchers in the game today, and is based off the last 3 seasons (2009-2011).

1. Roy Halladay 57-26, 97 GS, 723.1 IP, 26 CG, 9 SHO, 100:647 BB:K, 2.53/1.07, 22.2 WAR.

2. Justin Verlander 61-23, 102 GS, 715.1 IP, 11 CG, 3 SHO, 191:738 BB:K, 3.06/1.08, 21.7 WAR.

3. Cliff Lee 43-30, 94 GS, 672.2 IP, 19 CG, 9 SHO, 103:604 BB:K, 2.93/1.09, 20.5 WAR.

4. Clayton Kershaw 42-23, 96 GS, 608.2 IP, 6 CG, 3 SHO, 226:645 BB:K, 2.63/1.12, 15.6 WAR.

5. Felix Hernandez 46-31, 101 GS, 722 IP, 13 CG, 2 SHO, 208:671 BB:K, 2.73/1.14, 18.5 WAR.

6. Tim Lincecum 44-31, 98 GS, 654.2 IP, 6 CG, 4 SHO, 230:712 BB:K, 2.87/1.17, 17.3 WAR.

7. CC Sabathia 59-23, 101 GS, 705 IP, 7 CG, 2 SHO, 202:624 BB:K, 3.18/1.19, 18.8 WAR.

8. Jered Weaver 47-28, 100 GS, 671 IP, 8 CG, 4 SHO, 176:605 BB:K, 3.03/1.10, 15.3 WAR.

9. Matt Cain 39-30, 99 GS, 662.2 IP, 9 CG, 2 SHO, 197:527 BB:K, 2.97/1.12, 12.3 WAR.

10. Chris Carpenter 44-22, 97 GS, 665 IP, 8 CG, 3 SHO, 156:514 BB:K, 3.02/1.16, 14.2 WAR.

Honoralbe Mentions: Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Dan Haren, and Ubaldo Jimenez.

WAR = Wins Above Replacement, provided by

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Name That Phillie: Closer Edition

In the spirit of the new Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, WSBGMs wants to see if our readers recognize this past Phillies 9th inning specialist. Name that Phillie...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Watch Out For Miami Marlins

It has been reported that the brand new Miami Marlins have made "substantial offers" to some of the biggest names on the free agent market this winter- Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle. This may seem laughable as a mere ploy to show the public that they (the Marlins) are trying to spend big and be competitive moving into a new home. However, this looks real deal Holyfield, because how could that trio possibly pass up the opportunity to wear these...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Greed Is Good

Rube's done it again.

Jon Papelbon - 4 years, $50 million.


MLB Veterans Day

On this day in America we honor the past and current members of our Armed Forces and give gratitude to those who risk their lives to protect our country. Happy Veterans Day.

Keeping with the "veteran" theme, I compiled a list of each MLB teams' longest tenured player, based on years of service.

Does not include free agents that would otherwise be team's "veteran"- Albert Pujols, Jimmy Rollins, Tim Wakefield, Michael Cuddyer, Jose Reyes, Paul Maholm, Ryan Doumit, Jonathan Broxton, and Jorge Posada.

AL East:
Baltimore Orioles - Brian Roberts/2001

Boston Red Sox - Kevin Youkilis/2004

New York Yankees - Mariano Rivera & Derek Jeter/1995

Tampa Bay Rays - BJ Upton/2004

Toronto Blue Jays - Dustin McGowan/2005

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox - Paul Konerko/1999

Cleveland Indians - Travis Hafner/2003

Detroit Tigers - Brandon Inge/2001

Kansas City Royals - Mitch Maier/2006

Minnesota Twins - Justin Morneau/2003

AL West:
Los Angeles Angels - Ervin Santana & Maicer Izturis/2005

Oakland Athletics - Kurt Suzuki, Dallas Braden & Daric Barton/2007

Seattle Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki/2001

Texas Rangers - Michael Young/2000

NL East:
Atlanta Braves - Chipper Jones/1993

Florida Marlins - Josh Johnson/2005

New York Mets - David Wright/2004

Philadelphia Phillies - Chase Utley/2003

Washington Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman/2005

NL Central:
Chicago Cubs - Carlos Zambrano/2001

Cincinnati Reds - Bronson Arroyo & Brandon Phillips/2006

Houston Astros - Wandy Rodriguez & Hunberto Quintero/2005

Milwaukee Brewers - Corey Hart/2004

Pittsburgh Pirates - Ross Ohlendorf, Evan Meek & Jeff Karstens/2008

St. Louis Cardinals - Chris Carpenter & Yadier Molina/2004

NL West:
Arizona Diamondbacks - Stephen Drew, Miguel Montero & Chris Young/2006

Colorado Rockies - Todd Helton/1997

Los Angeles Dodgers - Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney & Chad Billingsley/2006

San Diego Padres - Tim Stauffer/2005

San Francisco Giants - Matt Cain/2005

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2nd Lefty- Raul Valdes?

While the deal for Ryan Madson remains on hold, Amaro decided to sure up the bullpen by inking 33 year old lefty reliever Raul Valdes to a minor league deal. In 2 MLB seasons with the Mets, Cardinals, and Yankees, he has whittled his way through 70.2 innings with a 4.58 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His minor league numbers aren't anymore encouraging- 4.63 ERA/1.47 WHIP.

Antonio Bastardo is currently the only lefty in the Phils bullpen. Joe Savery is an option, but an untested one. Maybe Valdes will slip into the second lefty in the 'pen role. Doubtful he has what it takes to be a LOOGY though, with a .322/.936 slash line allowed to left-handed batters. Yikes! It's likely safe to assume that this is nothing but Triple-A filler and that he'll only appear in a Phillies uniform in case of emergency (see Mike Zagurski, RJ Swindle, and Juan Perez for past examples). Although, he is Cuban, so maybe he was signed to keep Jose Contreras company.

In other news- Rod Barajas became a Phucco today, signing a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Would You Rather...? (Free Agent Closers)

The reported contract between Ryan Madson and the Phillies is currently held up for a myriad of reasons. Since there is pause in the signing, I'd like to look at the crop of free agent closers and the speculative pricetag for each.

*Age listed for upcoming 2012 season.
#:# = BB:K, #/# = ERA/WHIP, % = Save Percentage

Past 3 Seasons:
Jonathan Papelbon (31) 4 yr/$50 - 194 G, 199.1 IP, 10-9, 62:239, 106 SV, 88.3%.

Ryan Madson (31) 4 yr/$44M - 196 G, 191 IP, 15-9, 51:204, 2.78/1.15, 47 SV, 78.3%, 44 HLD.

Heath Bell (34) 3 yr/$33M - 199 G, 202.1 IP, 15-9, 73:216, 2.36/1.16, 132 SV, 90.4%.

Francisco Rodriguez (30) 3 yr/$22.5M - 196 G, 197 IP, 13-10, 85:219, 2.88/1.26, 83 SV, 82.1%, 17 HLD.

Francisco Cordero (37) 2 yr/$14M - 211 G, 209 IP, 13-14, 88:159, 2.84/1.26, 116 SV, 86.6%.

Joe Nathan (37) 2 yr/$13M - 118 G, 113.1 IP, 4-3, 36:132, 3.18/1.02, 61 SV, 88.4%, 8 HLD.

Frank Francisco (32) 2 yr/$11M - 161 G, 152.2 IP, 9-11, 51:170, 3.71/1.24, 44 SV, 78.6%, 21 HLD.

Matt Capps (28) 2 yr/$10M - 200 G, 193 IP, 13-18, 47:139, 4.01/1.35, 84 SV, 80.1%, 8 HLD.

Jon Rauch (33) 2 yr/$9M - 187 G, 179.2 IP, 15-8, 51:131, 3.81/1.32, 34 SV, 73.9%, 23 HLD.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Madson Contract

4 years, $44 million.


[Ryan Howard thinks he'll be underpaid.]

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fill in the Blank- Jimmy Rollins Contract

Jimmy Rollins' contract "demands" are ____________________.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Backup Catcher- Go Cheap

The free agent market for catchers is uninspiring. When the marque name is a 36 year old Ramon Hernandez, you know the pickings are slim. He's likely to command a multi-year deal in the neighborhood of $4M per, so no thanks. There are other viable options like Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder, Rod Barajas, Ramon Castro, and Jose Molina, but I'd rather not guarantee any of them millions just to catch roughly 40 games.

Carlos Ruiz is the starter. When healthy he's on the field at least 5 times a week. Most of the catchers listed above want more playing time than what they'll likely get in Philly. Therefore, I suggest going cheap. Not Brian Schneider cheap either. Schneider is old (35) and can no longer hit or play solid defense anymore (-0.9 WAR in '11).

1st Choice- Erik Kratz. He's already in the Phillies system and has proven that his bat is worthy in the minors (.267/.810 in AAA), and he's gunned down 33% of base stealers too in 10 minor league seasons. He's a 31 year old "hometown" boy from Landsdale and is familiar with some of the Phillies pitchers because of spending last year in the organization.

2nd Choice- Max Ramirez. At one time, this 27 year old was a big time prospect. He's since been bounced around from organization to organization and lost that label. His minor league stats are encouraging- .295/.867 and even in 45 MLB games has shown the ability to get on base (.343 OBP) despite a low batting average (.217). He's the perfect guy to sign to a minor league contract and have compete for the backup job in spring training and stow away in Triple-A if he doesn't seize the opportunity to start the year.

3rd Choice- Ivan Rodriguez. Amaro has already added one ancient future Hall-of-Famer (Thome) to the 2012 Phils, why not another? Pudge remains an excellent defender and his desire to continue catching remains high in his quest for 3000 hits (currently at 2844). Sell him on the chance to handle the Phillies pitching staff and the shot at a World Series title and it might not take much to lure him to Philadelphia.

Other Options- Wilkin Castillo, Robby Hammock, Corky Miller, Omir Santos, Jose Morales, and Brad Davis all have MLB experience and are minor league free agents, so they will come cheap and add depth in the minors if not awarded the backup job out of spring training.