Looper Talks Prospects

aumont.jpgGot a chance to speak with Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper about the three prospects the Mariners sent the Phillies for Cliff Lee: pitchers Phillippe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies.

Looper, who said they’re all likely to start the season in Double-A Reading, had some familiarity with them because he worked in Seattle through the 2008 season, but he also said the Phillies scouted these three prospects pretty thoroughly.

Here is what he said:

On Aumont. “He signed as a starter. He’s a big 6-foot-7 right-hander that has got a very good arm. We had him up to 97 mph in the (Arizona) Fall League with very good sink. They moved him to the pen. I think they thought that was his quickest way to the Major Leagues. Fastball, slider and he’s now throwing a split. I thought he was a starter all along, but maybe a reliever is where he belongs. But that’s an internal discussion we’ll have.”

On Ramirez: “He’s a 6-foot-3, big, strong right-hander with very good arm action and delivery. I looked at an old report. In ’08 I had him at 90 to 96 mph. Good arm. Good slider. I really liked his arm action and delivery and body.”

On Gillies: “He’s a strong tool, above average run and throw. A high energy guy that gets on base and steals bases.”

On comparing Aumont’s potential to Kyle Drabek. “I don’t like comparing players. We do often when we’re sitting around talking to players, but he’s what we would classify as a good prospect. And that’s where we had Kyle at — a good prospect. We didn’t want to give up Kyle, but the two pitchers we got we like them a lot, too.”

On Domonic Brown’s presence making it easier to trade Michael Taylor. “In looking at our prospects, we probably have more outfielders than we do anywhere else. Whether it be Michael or Brown or (Anthony) Gose. We didn’t want to give up any of them, but we felt like giving up one outfielder we still had some guys that we liked that we think will be Major League players in the outfield.”


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aaaaaaand what will these guys do in the 2010 World Series?!?
Sorry if I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth, but I’d still rather have Lee than these guys. If we win next year, all will be forgiven. But until then, I’ll have to be happy with Doc (which I AM).
I’m just saying, If we had Doc, Lee, Cole, Blanton and Happ in the rotation, I’d be screaming on the top of my lungs all the way to Broad St to buy season tix.

As one of the many annoyed fans who felt the Phillies should’ve kept Lee and gone for it all in 2010, after hearing Amaro’s honest explanation on why they had to let him go, I actually feel better. Yes, I am at peace now about this whole ordeal. We gave up the farm to get Halladay, and with very little chance of retaining Lee after the season, he was the best option to try to replenish the system. Ideally, we could’ve gotten all of Seattle’s farm for Lee as well, but he’s a 1-year rental for Seattle, so that’s the best we could do. Who knows? Maybe the Canadians pan out. As for 2010 itself, money was not the issue, as they could’ve just let Blanton go four days ago and use the money to keep Lee for one more year, staying around their $140 million budget. But Lee had more trade value. Alas, we could’ve gone for it all, but it’s okay, as 2008 is still fresh in our memories. Now we just need some big time bullpen help, and hope Hamels (and Lidge) come back in 2008 form. John Smoltz, anyone?

Thanks for this article. It explains a lot of what happened with the Lee trade. Where can I watch video of Amaro’s explanation for the trades? Was it during Roy Halladay’s press conference? I missed it, and really want to see the full video. It’s not on YouTube yet, will you be posting the video on Phillies.com?

well here we go, bring in a cy young winner and gives you 7 straight victories and two world series victories and trade him, remember phillie, if the line up would have hit the ball and backed the pitching the would have been repeat champions. When your 3,4,5 hitters don’t produce guess what you lose. This has to be another blunder that is going to come back and haunt the phillies for years to come. Just like the sixers and the eagles. You had the line up in pitching and just needed your hitters to hit, when your primary hit strikes out 14 times IE” Ryan Howard, what do you expect to get. I can’t believe the are going to spend 60 million on this guy. He didn’t produce this year and will not next year. If the phillies SHOULD WIN I WILL HAVE TO EAT CROW FOR THIS THEN,

Haha, Halladay “didn’t produce.” You’re adorable.

Anyway, I’m glad to see Looper thinks Aumont can project as a starter. That will slow his progression to the majors but increase his overall value. The kid could be a great pitcher if he just stays healthy.

I’m okay with the deal, even though it means that we traded Lee, Drabek, Taylor, d’Arnaud, Donald, Marson, Knapp, and Carrasco for Fransisco, Halladay, Ramirez, Gillies, Aumont and 3 months of Cliff Lee’s pitching.

My question is what did Toronto see that we didn’t, that they wouldn’t except Seatle’s pitching and outfield prospects instead of our (I understand they needed a catcher in the deal and Seatle didn’t have one to trade). In other words, why wouldn’t they take a deal of Gilles, Aumont and d’Arnaud (and I’d even be willing to thow in Ramirez). That way we’d have kept our prospects. What does TOronto know that we don’t know, or that we’re not being told?

Todd, do you feel the prospects are an equal wash talent wise?

It’s because Drabek and Taylor are much more highly regarded prospects than Aumont and Gillies

f.i.j.: It’s also because Toronto has scouts who have actually SEEN these guys play, which is something that none of us have going for us. The only players we know about are Lee and Halladay.

Why wouldn’t Seattle take Gilles, Aumont and D’Arnaud? Because Seattle is built to compete now, not in the future. They wanted Lee, not prospects for prospects. Toronto got prospects from the Phillies for Halliday because they’re rebuilding. Seattle got an ace (Lee) becasue they’re ready to compete now. All three teams got what they need. It wasn’t a three way trade. It was two seperate trades. The second one occured to put back pieces taken from the farm system to complete the first trade. Do I not understand the question?

Keep in mind that Amaro’s assistant is a guy named Looper who headed scouting for Seattle up until last year. Do you think he might have had something to do with getting the prospects from Seattle and letting Drabek, Taylor and the catcher go to Toronto?
I have a funny feeling the Phillies are gonig to come out on the better side of the prospects that have been exchanged. Remember my first post……its all a poker game.

I have been around long enough to conclude that Amaro is C-Y-A-ing it already. I thought the idea in baseball was to have your minor league system feed your major league club not the other way around. Amaro has now segued from the “the Phillies would not have been able to resign Lee” defense to the “Phillies needed to replenish the farm system” defense even though the ink is not yet even dry on Halladay’s contract.

I think if you read Todd’s article you’ll get a better understanding of how this all transpired. I think RAJ was saying both things all along. He knew they needed to restock the farm system in order to do the Halladay trade. He was thinking not of only of 2010 but the future when the core players will be eligible for FAs and the Phils would need to have minor league players ready to possibly take their spots.

But if we kept Lee, and he left after next year as Free agent, we would get 2 #1 draft picks????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LIKE THAT BETTER

draft picks aren’t a sure thing……

A lot of people are under the misconception that we would get two #1 picks if Lee walked at the end of 2010. That is not the case. If it was from a team that was picking 16-30, it would be their first round pick and a sandwich pick between rounds 1 and 2. If it was from a team that was picking 1-15, it would be their SECOND round pick and a sandwich pick.
I’d rather have what we got…three high A, highly scouted players with a professional track record. You will be able to watch all three at Reading next season.

“You will be able to watch all three at Reading next season.”
Gee, you mean then we’d have a chance to form an opinion based on what we see rather than what somebody else tells us? What a novel concept!

“In other words, we traded Donald, Marson, Knapp, and Carrasco for Fransisco, Gilles, Aumont and Ramirez with 3 months of Lee’s pitching thrown in. How does that trade look to us??”

That is the correct comparison, f-i-j, and it will be a while before we know how that shakes out overall, but the three months of Lee was very satisfying.

Mule and Phylan, you make my point for me. If the prospects we were getting from Seatle were equaly as good or better then Toronto would have taken them for Halladay ( d’Arnaud excluded as he’s a catcher). The fact that they didn’t seems to say that we got less then we gave up. Now, how do we compare the 4 prospects we gave up to get Lee and Fransisco to the three we got (+ Fransisco) for Lee. In other words, we traded Donald, Marson, Knapp, and Carrasco for Fransisco, Gilles, Aumont and Ramirez with 3 months of Lee’s pitching thrown in. How does that trade look to us??

F-i-j said: Mule and Phylan, you make my point for me. If the prospects we were getting from Seatle were equaly as good or better then Toronto would have taken them for Halladay ( d’Arnaud excluded as he’s a catcher). The fact that they didn’t seems to say that we got less then we gave up.

F-i-j what makes you think Seattle was even in the running for Halladay. He has a no trade clause. Halladay wasn’t going to Seattle!

As far as trading Blanton instead of Lee, then what do you do in 2011 when Lee goes to the Yankees or Red Sox for a CC Sabathia like contract. Then your rotation is Halladay, Hamels, Happ and who?

FIJ, the prospects from Seattle are all Single-A minor league graduates who will be STARTING Double-A next year. D’Arnaud is similar, I think. Taylor and Drabek, however, will be ready to play for the Jays sometime during the 2010 season, which basically means they are “more polished”. Actually, Toronto needs Happ but settled for Drabek. They need to replace Halladay in the rotation NOW. They may even rush Drabek to the Majors and risk ruining his development. In summary, the prospects from Seattle won”t be ready until 2012-13, whereas Drabek and Taylor will be playing in a Jays uniform next season. Got it?

Fij, I have to confess I couldn’t stop laughing at some of the stuff you have posted. I know you’re being serious and that’s why I’m apologizing. You panic and rush to conclusions. You sometimes get names, stats, etc. wrong. Personally, I love it. It’s pure entertainment. NEVER change FIJ!

Predicting prospects is a total crapshoot, but I do feel much better now that I know that Benny Looper was behind this deal, and he obviously knows these prospects very well. With that said, I still wish we could have worked out something like this:
We send Toronto d’Arnaud and Taylor. Seattle sends Toronto Aumont and Ramirez and sends us Gillies. That way we keep Drabek and replace Taylor with Gillies. Seattle gives up the same 3 prospects. And Toronto gets 4 prospects (d’Arnaud, Taylor, Aumont, and Ramirez) instead of 3. That’s the deal that I originally thought was going to happen. The fact that Toronto held out and passed on Aumont to get Drabek instead just shows how strongly they felt about Drabek. I fear they will be proven correct.

In order that people may be happy in their work, these things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it. Do you think so?

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