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Juums
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Arm twirls are apparently for fixing injuries, not diagnosing them. It's amusing that we've basically traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Braves for Aaron Harang. Metaphorically, mind you, as it's hard to have an actual trade involving two free agents. (Though that'd be a neat trick to pull off, too.)
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Curt: It's the height of winter and there's not really much to speculate on. Until something unexpected happens -- like RAJ actually trading a guy for (gasp!) a positional prospect -- it'll continue to be slow-going. Or until it starts warming up enough that we can daydream about Spring Training. Either.
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Beerleaguer yet lives! I was afraid I'd be trapped on TGP and banned shortly thereafter for having the temerity to be politically incorrect. But a Christmas miracle has happened! ...or I finally figured out the new URL. Either or. (But probably the latter.)
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Clout: The role of bad luck, or karma, or however you want to put it, probably had the most to do with the Phils' terrible drafting from 2004-2012. Drafting at the bottom of the first-round more often than not, as well as forfeiting a few first-round picks, did not help. But the Phils always pursued a high-risk/high-reward drafting strategy prioritizing toolsy athletes with the hope of teaching them baseball skills. As Jimmy Rollins is leaving Philly, it seems apt to recognize he was probably the greatest success of that drafting strategy. But for every high like Rollins, there's going to be some colossal flameouts, and their names have been myriad. Like Greg Golson. And Anthony Hewitt. And Larry Greene. One would hope that the Phils would have learned their lesson, which they only belatedly seem to have, though the 2014 draft probably went too far in the other direction.
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As we are debating the team's biggest albatross at the moment, I would argue that the biggest impediment to the team's long-term improvement is Cole Hamels. Which I'm fairly certain is a form of blasphemy, so give me a chance to explain before breaking out the pitchforks and torches. Cole Hamels is really good. Him eating a fifth of the Phils' starts keeps the Phils in a fifth of the games they play. If the surest path to rebuilding is to be bad to improve our draft stock, then his being on the roster is counterproductive, and he should be moved for solely that purpose. That he can bring back several pieces useful to the rebuilding is just an added bonus. This is why, incidentally, I'm perfectly fine with getting between half- and three-quarters of a loaf for Hamels. Whatever value you forfeit by not getting Pederson or Soler or Bogaerts you'll (most likely) still realize from the improved drafting position.
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Benji for Welington Castillo and Travis Wood would have been the type of move that fit the zeitgeist of last off-season: A move to avoid big contracts will still putting a vaguely presentable product on the field which, if everything broke right, might compete for a Wild Card spot. As everything the Phils have done so far this off-season indicates they've accepted they're going to be bad for a couple of years, Castillo doesn't really add much to the mix, as he's only got three years of control left and is already older than a rebuilding time would like. (He's closer to 28 than 27.) Castillo wouldn't be a bad piece, but he probably walks in free agency by the time The Next Good Phillies Team is actually a reality. One would think if the Phils really were looking at the future, they'd try to extract an OrgTop10 guy for Benji. (Though, given how deep the Cubs system is, it'd probably be an OrgTop20. Prying loose McKinney or Vogelbach is almost certainly too much to hope for from Benji.)
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BAP: That he is the epitome of mediocrity, doesn't have a lot of control left, and was horrid last year are exactly what there is to like. He's a guy you can get without giving away much because he's going to make way too much in arbitration and he's got enough potential upside that an organization which needs warm bodies could take a flyer on him. But yeah, I absolutely agree. Benji is no great prize, but he's our starting CF and is still somewhere between the third and fourth best OF on a contending team's depth chart. While it makes a certain amount of sense to trade two guys with two years of control left, if the Phils are going to move Benji, you need to get future value for him. Which Travis Wood -- or any other similarly situated arb-2/3 guy -- does not provide.
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The previous I'd seen from Wittenmeyer was just his speculating that Benji could be a guy the Phils could offer up. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Phils traded Benji for Travis Wood, because why do we need any position players? I mean, with guys like Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr waiting in the wings, Benji's clearly expendable. I know we need MLB-pitching depth and Wood was a guy I liked as buy-low rotation filler when he was a non-tender candidate. But if you're going to get rid of Benji, at least turn him into something that helps the future rather than just plugs an MiLB FA/nontender/scrap heap reclamation-fillable hole.
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Got a source of any kind, Tal, or is this just more click-bait?
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Lorecore: That's where I'm at, though I was never really down on the return. (As I'm a fan of stockpiling mid-rotation best-case upside, BOR/middle relief-realistic-ceiling types.) Given the ardor that was gone through to learn the returns, it always felt like something big was going to happen, and to learn that Rollins' "only" brought back a pair of fringy OrgTop10 guys was a disappointment. Had events unfolded as they should've, with the Rollins trade being announced as a leg in a three-team Grandal-for-Kemp swap, there would have been far less drama about it.
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Amidst all of the hubbub, the fact that the Mets have given JMJ an MLB deal almost slipped through the cracks. Not to worry, though. I've already got his spot in the Phillie-Killer Hall of Fame prepared.
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BAP: No. The ultimate conclusion of all of this is that Michael Martinez is going to become an inner-circle Hall of Famer. This is what you've done by making a new post, Weitzel. You're sending Mini-Mart to Cooperstown.
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Up is down, left is right, cats and dogs are living in peace and harmony, Ryan Howard's contract is valuable, etc.
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Beerleaguer ‏@beerleaguer 9m9 minutes ago #Phillies Rule 5er Odubel Herrera, 22, is raking in winter ball: .374/.421/.565 w/ 4 HR. 2B or corner OF. Lefty hitter. Good pick. Our blog overlord likes the pick. And if the power surge is real, then I certainly like it better too. But it seems rather more likely it's just winter ball noise arising from the sample size and level of the competition.
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BAP: My first thought at doing a bit of research on Herrera is that he's a two-year-younger version of Cesar Hernandez. So are we now going to carry two UIFs who can't play SS? Or is this one of those instances of adding some dudes in the hope something shakes loose in Spring Training?
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Rule 5 Draft Results: Odubel Herrera (2B, TEX): Athletic player who is a competent 2B defender without the range to stick at SS and with a career .294/.354/.377 career line. Clearly a case of the Phils seeing something in the on-field product which is not presented in the stat line. Andrew Oliver (LHP, PIT): Forget a scouting report. Just look at one stat: 5.81 BB/9 in 583.2 MiLB IP. Isn't the point of taking guys in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft to carry them on the 25-man squad? We could've just promoted Aumont and called it a day?
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Digesting all of the movement that's occurred in the past two days regarding the trade market is going to take some time, but you can't help but get the inkling that RAJ has missed his window to move Hamels this off-season. It's always possible someone's arm will fall off between now and Opening Day, but the teams that were the best matches for Hamels have filled their pitching needs elsewhere. But given yesterday saw the Dodgers acquire Andrew Heaney only to give him up for a year of Howie Kendrick, so who knows what might still happen this off-season?
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WP: I think you're discounting the role of bad luck just a bit. As Tommy Joseph was a legitimate piece who would have probably spent a decent amount of time with the Phils in 2014 had his career not been absolutely derailed by the concussions he received in 2013.
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Rob: They also have Alex Guerrero in their system, who we were discussing earlier, who's a natural 2B. Still, things getting snagged on a potential Utley inclusion would be an interesting wrinkle. Olney, however, is reporting that the hold-up in the Rollins deal is that the Phils are sending some money to LA, which requires the Commissioner's approval.
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From The "That's Not At All Ominous" File... Tim Brown ‏@TBrownYahoo 36s37 seconds ago In course of Rollins conversations, Dodgers and Phillies also discussed Chase Utley, according to source. Now Dodgers have traded their 2B.
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TTI: Thanks for the link. I'm now...less confused, if nothing else, by the Bastardo return. As this does seem to be a case where you can't scout stat lines, at least if you're looking for what could've motivated the Phils to do what they did. Can't say I like the deal, but at least I understand what the Phils are hoping to get out of it. For one-year of a somewhat volatile reliever, Rodriguez's upside isn't half-bad. Needs to develop that slider to start sniffing it, though, and we'll see if our player development folks can make it happen.
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Joely Rodriguez certainly is some dude. Ranked as the #30 prospect in the Pirates' system by BA after 2013, he owns a career 5.32 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9. Allow me to quote the most eye-opening line from BA's scouting report: "Rodriguez has become a groundball pitcher over the last two years, and that fits with the organizational philosophy of frequently employing defensive shifts." I'm sure the change in organizational cultures will not do a thing to diminish the value of this return. Nope.
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Clout: My concern with Galvis is that, while in a lost season, you can stand doing an experiment to test his bat only so long as the defense remains as advertised. The problem is that Galvis's defense has regressed since he broke his back. And non-elite defense combined with his bat could be sufficiently ugly that "draft some dude who plays SS well in the Rule 5 draft" might be preferable. 2015 promises to be interesting, if nothing else. I've already got the Benny Hill theme cued up for Opening Day.
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MG: On the one hand, if the return from J-Roll is something like Miley, such gives you a certain amount of roster certainty that isn't found in year-to-year signing of reclamation projects. So if the move was done to fill the middle of the rotation with a quality innings-eater for the next three (or more) years, it's hard to fault it, given that our in-house pool is looking rather spartan with Morgan, Pettibone, and Biddle all having question marks about how close to their upside they can get. On the other, this is The Plan™ in action, and I've been incredulous from the beginning about prioritizing young pitching over young positional players.
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Well, "disappointing". Miley's a solid mid-rotation arm (97 ERA-/97 FIP-, though heavily weighted by his rookie season) who'd be a quality innings-eater. He's also just turned 28 and is entering his arb-years, which I don't really consider "young", at least when you're dealing with the usual back-of-the-rotation pieces that're being talked about when a team's looking for "young" innings-eaters. The disappointment is no shiny new player unbloodied by MLB to dream on. Being hardheaded, three years of a #3 is a rather good return for a year of J-Roll. If Miley's movement is associated with the J-Roll trade.
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