Saturday, November 30, 2013

Remember When?

Remember when the Phillies had the best rotation in all the land?
Remember when the Phillies were World Series favorites?
Remember when the Roys were relevant?
Remember when Amaro was praised, not belittled?
Remember when the fourth starter was Roy Oswalt not some KK?
Remember when...dammit, do you remember?!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

WSBGMs Looking for a Little Help


We Should Be GMs is looking for a helping hand (or hands, hard to type with only one) this offseason.  If you're interested in writing a post about the Phillies, then simply email us at weshouldbegms@hotmail.com.  The article could be about a favorite player, your version of an offseason blueprint, hatred of Amaro, love of Eric Bruntlett, worst Phils trade ever, etc.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bob McClure- Pitching Coach

The Phillies answer to their pitching woes, enter Bob McClure. He pitched for 19 seasons in the Majors (1975-1993) with the Royals, Angels, Brewers, Expos, Cardinals, Mets, and Marlins. Primarily a reliever through his career, making 698 appearances to the tune of a 3.81 ERA/1.40 WHIP, McClure has also been the pitching coach for the Red Sox and Royals, with poor results. Pitching guru, Leo Mazzone, offered his services via Twitter, but the Phils passed. Hmm...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reid Brignac Hits Rock Bottom, Signs with the Phillies

Holy poop on a popsicle, Amaro has landed a former top prospect in the form of Reid Brignac.  The 27 year old might have unsightly stats spanning 6 MLB seasons with the Rays, Rockies, and Yankees, but he sure is versatile.  He can play 2nd, SS, 3rd, and some outfield.  For his career he's a .221/.573 hitter in 302 games.

Reid was a 2nd round pick by Tampa Bay back in 2004 and was ranked as one the game's Top 100 prospects 4 years straight (2007- #17, 2008- #39, 2009- #78, and 2010- #54).  However, his minor league stats surely don't suggest greatest  (.272/.764 spanning parts of 9 seasons).

Who knows, perhaps Brignac is a late bloomer and will be the steal of the offseason.  More likely that struggles to produce for the Iron Pigs and is released mid-season.

Preparing For Your Fantasy Draft In 2014

The 2014 baseball season is still months away, but people are already taking a look at how fantasy baseball drafts will play out. Heading into 2013, the talk surrounding three players going #1 overall: Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Ryan Braun. The first two lived up to expectations, but Braun struggled with a suspension that ultimately left his career with a permanent asterisk. So a year later, will Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout be the consensus choice for fantasy baseball owners?

For the second straight season, voters gave Cabrera the nod as the American League’s Most Valuable Player, as he received a total of 23 first-place votes from voters. Trout received just five first-place votes, and once again lack of team success could have played a role. In his young career, Trout has yet to taste postseason success while Cabrera has two division titles in that span.

While winning MVPs are nice, Trout actually had the better statistical season from a fantasy baseball perspective in 2012, while coming up just short in 2013. He played 18 more games this season, but his home run totals and batting average went down just a bit. Meanwhile, Cabrera was basically a clone from a season ago, but he improved his batting average by 18 points.

The 2013 season was not all fun and games for Cabrera, especially towards the end of the year. With a groin injury that limited his mobility, he was not as effective down the stretch and in the playoffs. He isn’t getting any younger or more agile, so it is a minor concern for fantasy baseball owners going forward.

Meanwhile, Trout theoretically has his best years still ahead of him. He turned 22 at the end of the regular season, and the Los Angeles Angels are doing whatever possible to surround him with some talent as well. One has to figure at some time the Angels will all click and make a playoff run, but so far things have not worked out as planned. 

While Cabrera is perhaps the best hitter of this generation, Trout has too much all-around game to ignore at this point. He is probably the safer option at this point, especially if Cabrera never fully heals from the nagging injuries he dealt with this year. They should go #1 and #2 in most formats, with Andrew McCutchen possibly sneaking in. After two seasons of production, now is the time to fully invest in Mike Trout as the best fantasy baseball option out there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Phillies- Hoarders of Old Players

Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz has been re-signed to a 3 YR/$26M deal with an option for $4.5 in 2017 when he'll be 38 years old.  Signing a soon-to-be 35 year old catcher to a 3 year pact seems foolish.  Of course, so was allocating $25M per season to Ryan Howard, but this is Ruben Amaro Jr. we're talking about here.  Don't get me wrong, Chooch is still a decent starting catcher, but that's a hefty price for diminishing goods.

The Phillies are the only organization that Ruiz has ever known, and it appears it will remain that way until he retires at the conclusion of his new deal.  Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both fit into this category, being Phillies lifers that are likely only to don the red pinstripes during their careers.  

The Phillies are freakin' old: Marlon Byrd 36, Cliff Lee 35, Mike Adams 35, Carlos Ruiz 34, Chase Utley 34, Ryan Howard 33, Jimmy Rollins 34, and Jonathan Papelbon 32.  Put Dr. Feelgood on alert, because the injuries are sure to happen with this elderly bunch.

Ruiz- The Stats:
8 seasons
825 games
.274/.770
169 doubles
57 homeruns
304 runs
336 RBI
17.8 WAR

It seems to get their man, the Phils had to go 3 years, or Amaro is just that stupid.  I don't hate the deal, but I don't like it either.  I suppose this can be considered a necessary evil.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Amaro Busy Building a Contender

Look out Major League Baseball, because Ruben Amaro Jr. is tearing through the free agent market, leaving the cupboards bare for those that snooze.  Updated World Series odds are going to have the Phils pegged at the top after this bevy of transactions, right?!  View here for more MLB World Series odds.  The week started off with a bang with news of Marlon Byrd being signed.  He easily adds 10 wins himself.  Then the minor league deal given to Shawn Camp.  Hello, Mr. 8th Inning!  Now, Rube doles out a trio of minor league contracts to some major league studs.  Yep, Clete Thomas, Cesar Jimenez, and Leandro Castro are going to put the Phillies over the top and assuredly secure a playoff berth in 2014.  

Clete Thomas is a 30 year old outfielder, who has sported amaze-balls OPS of .458 and .597 the past two seasons with the Twins and Tigers.  I can't believe 29 other GMs passed on him. Clearly he's an MVP candidate, or an All-Star at least.  He's a career .233/.664 hitter over 4 seasons, but hasn't been productive since 2009.  His minor league numbers aren't that promising either- .263/.748 over 9 seasons.  Basically, don't expect to see Clete in a Phillies uniform any other time than during spring training.

Then there's the Phils 2013 bullpen stalwart Cesar Jimenez.  The 29 year old lefty veteran of 4 MLB seasons, turned in a 3.71 ERA/1.41 WHIP over 19 appearances last season.  Don't be surprised if Cesar is one of the first relievers recalled from Triple-A in the event of injury, because he's capable of being mediocre for short stints.  While mediocre isn't a ringing endorsement, it's better than other alternatives (Chad Durbin anyone?).

Lest not forget the gem of this group, minor league lifer Leandro Castro.  The 24 year old outfielder spent last season with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs batting .256/.647, and has been in the Phillies organization his entire career (7 minor league seasons).

Attaboy Rube!  

As loyal reader Bob D said, "If Ryan Howard hits 40 homeruns, if Jimmy Rollins bats .300, if Domonic Brown hits 30 homeruns, if Kyle Kendricks wins 15, if Jonathan Papelbon saves 40, if Miguel Gonzalez wins 15, if Ben Revere steals 70 bases, if Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels remain healthy, if the defense can improve dramatically, if they can hit left handed pitching, and if they can win more than anyone else in the division - then they will be a playoff team."

In other words, the Phillies need everything to go their way next season if they want to be a contender.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amaro is Ready for a Camping Trip

Holy balls!  That heading is corny.  Oh, well, I'm rolling with it, because Amaro just signed reliever Shawn Camp to a minor league deal.  This is exactly the sort of signing Amaro needs to do in order to create organizational depth.  Camp lead the NL in appearances in 2012 (80 G) and was a reliable reliever in 3 out of the last 5 seasons.  Though, last year with the Cubs he was a mess (7.04 ERA/1.87 WHIP in 26 appearances).

Camp will turn 38 years old next week and is right-handed.  His career spans 10 seasons with the Royals, Rays, Blue Jays, and Cubs.  Stats- 538 G, 4.40 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 589 IP, 402 K.  Nothing special, but certainly someone that can be called upon for a 15 day stretch when the inevitable DL stint arises in the Phillies bullpen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Phillies New Outfield Right-Handed Hitting Power Bat: Marlon Byrd?

Marlon Byrd is back in Phillies pinstripes.  Amaro landed his supposed right-handed hitting outfielder with power on a 2 year/$16M pact.  Byrd had a renaissance season last year after signing a minor league contract with the Mets and later being traded to the Pirates.

The Facts:
*Suspended for PEDS in 2012
*Had a career year in 2013, the season following his PED suspension (24 HR)
*36 years old
*Career .280/.761 hitter with 106 homeruns over 12 seasons.  An average of less than 10 HR a year does not equate to "power" in my mind.
*Career splits- .273/.743 vs. RHP and .291/.804 vs. LHP

Marlon began his career in Philadelphia and manned center field from 2002-2005.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Veterans of MLB

As America recognizes the men and women that have served or who are currently serving in this wonderful country's Armed Forces, WSBGMs wants to stick with the theme and give a shout-out to each MLB teams' longest tenured player.


* = free agent

AL East:
Baltimore Orioles - Jim Johnson/2006 *Brian Roberts/2001

Boston Red Sox - David Ortiz/2003

New York Yankees - Derek Jeter/1995

Tampa Bay Rays - Ben Zobrist/2006

Toronto Blue Jays - Adam Lind/2006

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox - John Danks/2007 *Paul Konerko/1999

Cleveland Indians - Asdrubal Cabrera/2007

Detroit Tigers - Justin Verlander/2005

Kansas City Royals - Billy Butler & Alex Gordon/2007

Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer/2004

AL West:
Houston Astros - Jason Castro/2010

Los Angeles Angels - Jered Weaver & Erick Aybar/2006

Oakland Athletics - Daric Barton & Jerry Blevins/2007

Seattle Mariners - Felix Hernandez/2005

Texas Rangers - Ian Kinsler/2006 *Nelson Cruz/2006


NL East:
Atlanta Braves - Kris Medlen/2009 *Tim Hudson & Brian McCann/2005

Miami Marlins - Chris Coghlan/2009

New York Mets - David Wright/2004

Philadelphia Phillies - Jimmy Rollins/2000

Washington Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman/2005

NL Central:
Chicago Cubs - Jeff Samardzija/2008

Cincinnati Reds - Brandon Phillips/2006 *Bronson Arroyo/2006

Milwaukee Brewers - Rickie Weeks/2003

Pittsburgh Pirates - Neil Walker & Andrew McCutchen/2009 *Jeff Karstens/2008

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

NL West:
Arizona Diamondbacks - Miguel Montero/2006

Colorado Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki/2006

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

San Diego Padres - Chase Headley/2007

San Francisco Giants - Matt Cain/2005

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

One Helluva Offseason Awaits

Ruin Tomorrow Jr. Ruben Amaro Jr. has stated that the bullpen, outfield, and catcher are the areas of focus this offseaon and that he'll likely have to be "creative" in addressing them. Below you will find the Phillies roster broken down into groups (Guaranteed Contracts, Arbitration Eligible, and Renewable Contracts). Also, I have proposed a set of free agents to sign with accompanying contract details.

Guaranteed Contracts:
1. Ryan Howard - $25M
2. Cliff Lee - $25M
3. Cole Hamels - $22.5M
4. Chase Utley - $15M
5. Jonathan Papelbon - $13M
6. Jimmy Rollins - $11M
7. Mike Adams - $7M
8. Miguel Gonzalez - $4M
Total - $122.5M

Arbitration Eligible:
*Estimated arbitrations earnings
9. Kyle Kendrick - $6.6M
10. Antonio Bastardo - $2M
11. Ben Revere - $1.5M
12. Kevin Frandsen - $1.3M
Total - $11.4M

Renewable Contracts:
13. Domonic Brown
14. Darin Ruf
15. Jake Diekman
16. Cesar Hernandez
17. Freddy Galvis
18. Justin DeFratus
19. Cody Asche
20. Jonathan Pettibone
21. Erik Kratz/Cameron Rupp
Total - $5M (each player averaging roughly $550K)

Total for Players Currently on 40-man Roster - $138.9M (round it to $139M)

Luxury Tax Threshold - $189M

Remaining Cap Room - $50M

This does not account for players such as BJ Rosenberg, Joe Savery, Michael Stutes, and/or Ethan Martin that will likely be called upon during some point in the 2014 season.

Suggested Contracts:
($) = Cap Hit
22. Carlos Ruiz - 2 YR/$14M ($7M)
23. Nelson Cruz - 2 YR/$30 M ($15M)
24. Ricky Nolasco - 4 YR/$52M ($13M)
25. Edward Mujica - 3 YR/$18M ($6M)
26. Matt Albers - 1 YR/$2M
27. Franklin Guitirrez - $1 YR/$3M
Total - $40M

Grand Total - $179M

Lineup:
1. Revere/CF
2. Utley/2B
3. Brown/LF
4. Cruz/RF
5. Howard/1B
6. Rollins/SS
7. Ruiz/C
8. Asche/3B

Bench:
Ruf/1B/OF, Frandsen/UTL, Galvis/UTL, Rupp/Kratz/C, Guitirrez/OF

Rotation:
1. Lee
2. Hamels
3. Nolasco
4. Gonzalez
5. Pettibone/Kendrick

Bullpen:
1. Papelbon
2. Mujica
3. Adams
4. Albers
5. Bastardo
6. Diekman
7. DeFratus

Minor League Free Agent Targets:
*These guys are coming off injuries or down season where they've been released/traded.
David Aardsma/RP
Peter Moylan/RP
Matt Guerrier/RP
Michael Bowden/RP
Kyle Farnsworth/RP
Carlos Marmol/RP
James McDonald/SP/RP
Aaron Harang/SP
Colby Lewis/SP
Cody Ransom/UTL
Brennan Boesch/OF

I know I didn't account for the entire 40 man roster and benefits, which would assuredly push the team over the $189M luxury tax threshold.  However, I don't think it would be much over and the front office might be willing to do this (or should be willing to in order to field a competitive team, especially with the money they'll be getting from the new tv deal).

Free Agent database and estimated arbitration salaries provide by MLBTradeRumors.

Salaries for players currently under contract provided by Cots Baseball Contracts.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the above team making the 2014 playoffs.  If you're a betting man, or woman, I'd suggest laying down some cash at Sports Odds.