Four More Phillies File for Free Agency

It is a formality, but Chan Ho Park, Pedro Feliz, Matt Stairs and Paul Bako filed for free agency today.

They joined Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers and Miguel Cairo, who filed Friday.

The Phillies have contacted Park’s agent about returning next season, which makes sense at the right price. He pitched effectively in the bullpen, going 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 38 relief appearances. The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. They have declined Feliz’s $5.5 million club option, which means they are exploring other options at third base. Stairs seems unlikely to return, unless they bring him back on a minor-league deal. It sounds like the Phillies will look elsewhere for a backup catcher. Martinez also seems unlikely to return because the Phillies already have Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and others signed or under their control.

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51 Comments

I just hope Park has given up on wanting to start. I’d love to have him back in the bullpen, but he seemed pretty down about being out of the rotation, at least at first.

Of all the FA’s the Phillies have only Eyre, Park and perhaps Feliz are back next year. TO relate to the previous post for a second, I agree there is no financial need to trade Werth. There is however the law of diminishing returns. RIght now, after his best season, his value is at it’s highest. Next year he’s a FA. No option year a pure FA. He makes 7.5 this year, how much will he get as a FA assuming he has a good year? Can we afford that amount, knowing we have Taylor and Brown waiting in the wings, when at the same time, Lee and Blanton are FAs? My assumption is that the Phillies will not sign Werth as a FA (unless he takes one hell of a home team discount). Given that assumption, trading him now gets us a third baseman and perhaps a decent releif pitcher as well, or a bat off the bench. Wating until he’s a FA gets you at best 2 1st round draft choices, and this is baseball, the odds of eithr of them making the big leagues in the next 5 years is remote.
Trade Werth now, not because you have to, not because he’s not the exact type of player we want, but because long term he does’nt fit into the plan and now you can get the most for him, and still have a reasonable alternative (if taylor or brown can’t start the season as the everyday player, there’s Fancisco who can play every day)

and before you compare Fransisco’s or Stud’s offensive production against Werth’s, compare the 3B we got in return’s production against Feliz’s and then decide if we can suffer a lesser bat in RF for a season while the Studs come of age

Rumors are flying already. The Phils are supposedly seeking a deal with Roy Halladay (check philly.com for that article). But the bigger rumor surrounding that is a Hamels for Halladay deal. This according to CSNPhilly’s John Finger. That would be a tough call. Hamels is only 25 and would appear to have just had a bad year in ’09 and would hopefully rebound in 2010. But with the ultimate goal to be getting back to the WS and winning it, wouldn’t getting Halladay be an terrific insurance policy to do that??!

Karen, love to know where you get these rumors from. If the Halladay for hamels offer is really on the table, i pull the trigger without second thought. halladay is the real thing, hamels is the “want to be” thing. As long as we can sign Halladay to at least 3 years I say go. Can you imagine Lee not extending knowing he’d be pitching 1-2 with Halladay?

FIJ: I heard it first on WIP this a.m. Then checked it on CSNPhilly’s website (Comcast Sportsnet) to see it for myself. Finger’s is CSNPhilly’s Phillies blogger and was just putting it out there as a way to possibly get Halladay to Philly. The article in the Inky didn’t indicate who might be in the deal. Both stated that Halladay’s “stock” would be less than it was at the trade deadline since it would be a one year deal since he’s a FA in 2011.

I saw the Inky piece. I can’t believe they’d give up hamels (though I would) nor be able to finance such a move given Voctorino, Ruiz, Blanton, and others are all due nice raises in Arbitration + the 112 million they already have commited and the 10+ players they need to sign. Hope i’m wrong, but…

phan52: Thanks. I’m exhausted arguing the Werth thing with him and his precious prospects. He should come to Wilmington and watch a Blue Rocks game. He’d trade the whole Royals squad for the fistfull of kids at A-ball who can hit fastballs and run like hell. If it were only that easy.

As for the Halladay/Hamels thing, I heard it too, but ask yourself: Did you know who John Finger was before this morning? Me neither. Junk like that is written by unknowns to garner attention for themselves. They cite “unnamed sources” and we believe it. Meanwhile, down at CBP they are likely shaking their heads and trying to figure out who the sources are. The source is John Finger.

f-i-j, you keep assuming that these kids will be ‘studs’. They are not ‘studs’, they are ‘prospects’. Look up the definition of ‘prospect’ and get back to me. And you don’t have to trade anybody this offseason to get a third baseman or bullpen help. There are more possibilities at those two positions than any other in free agency this offseason. They need to milk Werth for all he is worth (no pun intended) in 2010 and worry about 2011 next year at this time. The idea of Ben Francisco as a regular in RF and batting 7th or 8th does not excite me, and Michael Taylor has not had a single at-bat in the major leagues. I love Taylor and Brown’s apparent skills, but you end up being wrong about ‘prospects’ more often than not.
I would trade Hamels for Halladay in an second, but I think that is just rumor and speculation. When I hear Ruben discuss the possibility I will pay attention.

Phan, I admire your defense of the core. i agree that we dont’ need to do anything. We cn sign player X as 3B as a FA and aquire bullpen help that way, or via pharm system etc. What we cn’t do is get anything for Werth after the trade deadline this year (unless you count 2 draft picks). I guess you agree with Toronto not trading halladay last season and “milking” him for everything. Too bad that they, and we, if we make teh same mistake, will be giving away a player for nothing instead of gaining a good return on it. I do notice that you aren’t arguing about them not signing Werth as FA or extending him. So, what you are saying is one season or Werth’s bat is better then having Taylor/brown/Fransisco in RF and a top level 3B (we’re talking one who has a salary in teh area of 12 million a year). IF the two kids in the system aren’t as good as we’ve been told, then why weren’t they traded at the deadline for pitching etc which we desperately needed.

We don’t need to get anything for Werth. We can get a good 3B from free agency right now, in Figgins, Beltre, or DeRosa. If Werth wants a boatload of cash after this season, then tell him goodbye. What we’ll have “gotten” from him is 3 excellent, productive corner OF seasons, AND Michael Taylor has gotten another year of refinement in the minors. The whole “trade him at the point of his highest value” thing is for teams that are rebuilding, like the Blue Jays. The Phillies are still (rightly) in win now mode.
I highly suspect the Halladay rumors are a bunch of crap, but if they aren’t, I sure wouldn’t want to trade Hamels. He’s 25 years old, coming off one aberrant rough year. Halladay is elite but is over 30. If we could swindle him away for Happ and Taylor or something like that, by all means do so.

I suspect the Hamels part of the Halladay trade rumor is just gossip/bs, but its interesting to contemplate.

Leaving the Werth issue aside (we simply disagree) let’s serriously discuss hamels. His highest Win total is 15. His best era is 3.09, he gives up an average of 26 HR a year (last 3 years) and his whip is at 1.02 for his career. These are good numbers, but they’re not ace numbers. their not even #2 satrter numbers if we’re honest with ourselves. We allow 2008’s post season run to influence our thinking. Why do we believe Hamels has the mental makeup to be a Lee, Halladay or Lackey? If I can get Halladay in a staight up deal for Cole (halladay signed for at least 3 years) you have to do it. A proven ace to go along with Lee, another proven ace spells WS for the Phillies

f-i-j, I never said the two kids are not as good as advertised. I said that they are question marks. For all I know, they are both destined for the HOF. But you can’t have a question mark at a corner outfield position on a team that aspires to be a WS champion.
I am sure that Werth is going to have a monster year. They should give Taylor a lot of work in spring training and give him a shot at the fourth OF position. He can play both corners and give the starters some rest and they can get a better idea of his ability on the ML level.

Another option for 2011 BTW, is arby eligible players on financially strapped teams. The Phillies should be buyers in that market going forward when it comes to filling needs. That just happened with Jeremy Hermida to the Red Sox.

Did Hamels have one aberrant year or was he water that found his own level? At least one more year is needed to decide. But if there is any truth to this rumor about getting Halladay, which I have read as well at another unreliable site, I believe it would have to be a multiple player deal on both ends I and do not mean throw ins. And for Toronto, and in the spirit of keeping the pot stirring, the salaries of Hamels and Werth just about make up what Halladay would make next year. While it is true the Phillies would not move either Hamels or Werth out of financial considerations, the same can not be said for baseball considerations.

Phan, I agree that we have no guarentees on Brown or taylor, but there are no guarentees about werth either. Your idea of letting Taylor make the team as th 4th (I think he’d be 5th behind Francisco) Of is good, but it kid of puts him in the Mayberry quagmire-not enough ABs to allow him to grow.
AS for us picking up Arbi eligible players I agree. Feeding off bottem dwellers who need to dump salary is always a good idea. We should look for a good hitting, fair fielding backup catcher, a utility guy like Harrison jr, and, of course, a top rated 3B. I am not concerned if the 3B we get will miss 30-40 games on DL (as long as it’s not in Oct/Nov) as we’ve seen that Dobbs does much better when he has more ABs like in 2008 and not in 2009. Getting one who can swing over to SS or 2b as well is just an added bonus

f_i_j, from 2008 to 2009, here is what happened to Hamels’ statistics: his K/9 went up slightly, his BB/9 went down slightly, his HR/9 stayed the same, his line drive percentage stayed the same, his groundball percentage stayed the same, his flyball percentage stayed the same, and his infield flyball percentage went up.
These are the statistics that a pitcher is in control of. These are the statistics that show you how hard batters were able to hit the ball and how well the pitcher is able to elude the bats of the hitters (by the way, the percentage of balls in the strike zone that hitters were able to make contact with decreased sharply from 2008 to 2009).
So what DID change that made Hamel’s 2009 appear worse? The efficiency of the defense behind him while he was on the mound went down FIFTY EIGHT POINTS, from .741 to .683. A fifty eight point decrease in the efficiency of the defense behind him. You going to blame that on Cole? As a result, the percentage of balls in play that fell for hits (BABIP) went up 59 points. 59 points. More of those groundballs bleeding through the infield, more of those bloop hits falling between the outfielder and the infielder, and the defense simply making less plays behind him. I
Next year, his BABIP will normalize, as it always does, and he’ll recover in a big way. Trading a 25 year old with an elite changeup after one bad year is preposterous. Don’t talk to me about pitcher wins, it’s a crap stat and I’ve already explained why.

In other news, Utley just got snubbed for a golden glove by Orlando Hudson. These are probably the dumbest of the annual awards they hand out.

f-i-j, how can you place Werth as a question mark on a level with Brown and Taylor? He is as close to a guarantee as you can get at the ML level. The guy has improved exponentially for two straight years. The next step would be to hit righties better but, even if he doesn’t do that, I’ll take what he has been doing and go from there. Going forward, if they find that the kids can play, I would move Victorino, not Werth, and let Werth play CF.

phylan: even accepting your stats, even in 2008 Hamels wasn’t ACE qualty. Whether the pitcher is soley responsible or not, the team won 15 games when he pitched and he didn’t hold the other team to less the 3 runs per 9 innings. He’s a good pitcher who at present is a #3 starter. We keep trying to make him an ace because up until Lee showed up we didn’t have one.
Shame Utley didn’t get his Gold Glove this year

I’m beginning to think f_i_j is just ******* with us, all of the time.

phan, Werth could break his leg tomorrow. Nothing is a 100% certainty. Vic plays CF, Werth, Taylor Brown Fransisco all play corners, Vic is under Arbi contro for 2 more years while Werth is a FA after 2010. How can you compare the two? (not to mentin that Werth is a power hitter and Vic is a top of the lineup singel double OBP kind of guy)

phylan, making you guys think a bit, hopefully out of the box

World F-ing Champs

I’m sorry, you’re just wrong, or have ridiculous standards for ace quality. In fact, whatever your standards are for Ace, I’ll take a 25 year old with an amazing changeup with an ERA in the low to mid 3s and great peripherals. He’s a number one starter on most teams in the league. And if you think Cliff Lee is not subject to the same problems as him, why don’t you take a look at the years Cliff had before 2008, or hell, his September 2009.
Wins have nothing to do with a pitcher’s ability. Nothing whatsoever. They are useless for comparing pitchers.

wins are not useful in comparing pitchers but you can’t be an ace if you don’t win 18+ games every year. The only possible exception to that rule is for the poor pitchers playing for the Royals, nats, Pirates and other last place AAA teams

How many games did Cliff Lee win this year?

You can give up 8 earned runs and get a win. You can give up 1 earned run and not get a win. Why should “ace” be dependent on a stat like that?

because by definition the ACE is the guy who puts a w in the win collum every 5th day. You dn’t get to teh post season based on your stats, or your potential, or anything other then how many wins you had compared to the other teams. If you won 110 games 10-9 you’d win the division. If you lost 110 games 2-1 you’d be the Mutts. it’s simple. No matter how, no matter who, the object is to WIN. ACE pitchers find ways to do that on a constant basis for their teams

They don’t “find ways to do that.” The best they can do is allow as few earned runs as possible and leave it to the offense. You will not find any pitcher who will be credited with a win for every start he makes. Some will get a bunch of wins they don’t really deserve, and some will get a bunch of no decisions and losses that should’ve been wins if the offense did its job.
In 2008, despite Cole having better peripheral stats, Jamie Moyer had more wins than Cole Hamels. Why? Because the offense scored 5.4 runs per 9 innings for Jamie Moyer, and only 4.6 per 9 innings for Cole Hamels. What does the pitcher have to do with that?
If you’re evaluating pitchers, you need to use the statistics which pitchers have control over. Pitcher wins aren’t one of them. You need to let go, it’s a worthless stat.

I’m sure that the Dodgers also agree that wins are a useless stat. they “know’ they were the best team in the NL this year.

Team wins and pitcher wins are different things. Teams are entirely responsible for whether they get a win or not. Pitchers aren’t, not even close.

When I say “wins is a useless stat” I’m referring to pitcher wins, by the way.

Also, you haven’t told me how many wins Cliff Lee had this year yet.

f-i-j, what you fail to understand is that Victorino’s arby status is what makes him far more marketable than Werth. Werth is not a tradeable commodity with one year left to free agency, while Vic would bring a great deal of interest. And to use an argument that a player might ‘break his leg’ is as specious an argument there is. I won’t even listen to something like that.
And Werth is not just a corner OFer. He is the best athlete on the team and had played plenty of CF.

According to f-i-j’s standards, Cliff Lee and Johann Santana are not ‘ace’ quality pitchers.

Werth is not a god fielding CF. He has the arm, but not the range, despite his quickness. His value, even in his last year before FA is to a team, like Texas, LA Angels, Boston, etc who want to win this year and are missing a piece. Kind of like us and Lee, though that was for 1 1/2 years.

Lee won 14 this year. he was playing for hald a year with the indian, though, who qualify as a last place AAA team. We can both agree that if he’d played the whole year with phila he’d have won at least 18 if not 20 games. Hamels, playing for the Phillies has never broken the 15 mark, nor posted any kind of numbers like Lee’s this year or last. I also don’t buy that every team has an ACE pitcher on it. Who is the ace on the Dodgers staff?

Trading Hamels will hurt ticket sales. Many women go to games to see Hamels pitch. Hamels got the new money contact and came to spring training out of shape. He should return to form next season. Trading Hamels for Halladay is a mistake. Offer Taylor, Tracy, Blanton & Walker for Halladay.

why would anyone take Tracy and walker, who are nothing players, in return for Halladay?? Hamels will return to form this year? oh gret, he’ll win 15 games, have a 3.20 ERA and have a whip of 1.1 and cry because he lost a game he wanted to win. He has no guts and no mental make-up. he’s a good #3 pitcher and nothing more. I am not saying get rid of him, I’m saying if Toronto is willing to do halladay for Hamels straight up it’s a no brainer

It is not what Hamels gives up it is when he gives them up. It seems it is always at the least opportune time. In this regard, all of the positive stats in the world do not mean squat. This past season he wilted, if not melted, under pressure. Ace is the guy who a team can count on to stop the bleeding when a team hits a 3 or 4 game losing streak. Hamels is far from this guy. How many times do we have to hear that although Hamels gave up a home run at least it was a solo shot?

f-i-j, you are clueless, on many levels. While I would trade Hamels for Halladay, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have tremendous upside. Success at such a young age is not a predictor of a ceiling. He upped his innings count by almost 50 in 2008, so it is not surprising that he might have a backslide the following year. Add in all the other ancillary stuff that went on last offseason and his 2009 is not really a surprise. Cole Hamels has a ton of upside, as long as he gets his head on straight. He’s got ‘ace’ skills.

pherrisphain understands the issue with Hamels–he has no soul. Yes, he’s a good, if not very good pitcher. he may even be a future Cy Young award winner. However, he’s not, and never will be, the guy I want on the mound in game 7 of the WS. Even this year, I’d rather have had Happ go if there was a game 7 then Hamels.

I also agree with you Phan, he has ACE skills. it’s too bad he doesn’t have the mentality that being an ACE requires as well. Happ doesn’t have ACE skills yet acted the ACE for a good part of the past season for the team

Hey f-i-j, they didn’t have any game 7’s in 2008, primarily because of Cole Hamels.
He had a lot of stuff pile up on him in 2009. He’ll learn from it and move forward. Besides, he doesn’t have the pressure of being the ‘ace’ in 2010 with Lee around. As far as his overall mentality goes, maturity will take care of a lot of problems. He’s not a ‘bad’ guy who doesn’t get it.

I hope you’re right Phan, but I don’t see it. i didn’t see it last year (2008) despite his success and I didn’t see it this year. I hope I will see it next year as I don’t honestly expect us to trade for halladay, as nice as that would be.

I’ve seen a few posts on the Web saying we should go after Rodriguez from Texas as a free agent back up to Ruiz. I don’t get it. We have a great Defensive catcher. What we need for a backup is a decent Defensive guy who can swing a good bat. In other words the oppposite of Ruiz. In my mind, possible back up catchers on the market are: Olivo (23 hr in 390 ab and a FP of .990), or Kendall if he’s willing to take a salary apropriate to a back up. As for utilty guys (in place of Brunlett) I’d give a long look to: Jerry Hairston Jr, Juan Uribe

Know what I love about baseball is that a guy like Bruntlett who’s BA is around the Mendoza line yet will be in the baseball history books for a game ending unassisted triple play! Plus he always managed to score in several game winning playoff/WS games.

And the ironic part is he was playing for one of the best 2nd basemen who just happen to be given the day off.

Charlie has to learn to play the bench guys not only becuase the starters need a day off, but because the bench guys need a day on. We’ve seen in Dobbs thedifference between a back-up getting regular ABs and one not getting his abs. This is why, in my opinion, the bench was so bad this year. No one got regular at bats except the back up catcher and Fransisco (who came over after having been a starter so he already was in the groove.

Did you stop to consider it was perhaps because none of the bench guys were very good? Not because they couldn’t “get in the groove?”
I’ll say it again, Cole is a #1 starter on most other teams. Spare me your crap about intangibles – “guts” and “soul” or whatever. It’s a bunch of hocus pocus. Production is what I care about.

Another argument over the “value” of a pitcher’s W-L record? LOL. Save your breath phylan, some people can’t be reasoned with.

Hamels for Halladay straight up shouldn’t even be a consideration imo. We’d be renting Halladay for one year and paying huge money to him for at least three more after that. On the other hand we have Hamels signed for two more years at a reasonable price (compared to Halladay) and another year he’ll be arbitration-eligible after that. These rumors are ridiculous.

Of course the losing record on a bad team does not mean too much. But what about the losing record of the putative “ace” on a pennant winner? I know, I know, it means nothing. Of course, of course it is a mere aberration. Next they will be claiming the astronomical ERA of a winning pitcher on a pennant winning team does not mean anything either. Go figure.

how do you get from W-L record meaning nothing to ERA meaning nothing?

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