Lidge Has Surgery

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lidge knee.jpgThe Phillies announced Brad Lidge had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital yesterday. Team physician Michael Ciccotti performed the surgery, which consisted of the removal of loose bodies and meniscal debridement.

“The surgery went well and Brad is expected to begin his throwing program in 10 days,” head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said in a statement. “We’re not sure if he’ll be ready by Opening Day, but we don’t expect that he’ll be too far behind. This surgery was not directly related to any previous surgeries.”

Update: Here is what Ruben Amaro Jr. said before he hopped on a plane this afternoon: “He was working out this offseason, continuing his rehab on his elbow. His elbow is doing extremely well. We’re very encouraged by that. He had some discomfort in his right knee during the course of those workouts, so we decided to take a look at it.”

Lidge had a MRI. Amaro said the Phillies decided to do “expoloratory surgery on the knee.” He said Ciccotti found nothing dramatic inside it. He said he trimmed some cartilage and took out a loose body or two.

“It was not a particularly invasive procedure,” Amaro said. “We think the recovery time is two to three weeks. He should be throwing a baseball shortly. For us it really doesn’t dramatically change the start time on his clock. We’re not sure if he’ll be ready by Opening Day. Again, if it’s just after Opening Day that’s fine. As long as he’s 100 percent healthy that’s the goal. But if he’s not available by Opening Day, he’ll be available soon thereafter.”


Brett Myers said during his introductory news conference with the Astros that he wants to “stick it” to the Phillies when he faces him. He basically said the same thing the day the Phillies told him that he wouldn’t be back in 2010, but he said it in a joking kind of way. He also said that day that he hopes Phillies fans get on him the way they got on other former Phillies when they returned to town.

Funny, but I thought Tomas “Pie Man” Perez got a warm reception his first time back in Philly.


Details of Danys Baez‘s two-year, $5.25 million contract:

He will make $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011. He gets $50,000 for 45 games pitched; $50,000 for 50 games; $50,000 for 55 games; $50,000 for 60 games; and $50,000 for 65 games. He gets $100,000 for 30 games finished; $150,000 for 35 games finished; $150,000 for 40 games finished; $150,000 for 45 games finished; $200,000 for 50 games finished; $250,000 for 55 games finished; and $500,000 for 60 games finished. Plus: $50,000 for All Star; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids Relief Man Award($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd); $25,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for Silver Slugger.


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Those bonus clauses crack me up. They pay a guy millions, then give him a bonus if he turns out to be worth the money. Nice. I’d be all for a “give back” clause, where guys give some money back for being lousy. Adam Eaton would owe the Phils millions.

So Baez could make a nice bonus if he winds up being the Phils’ closer, adding games finished in with games pitched. Of course, throwing a walk-off HR also qualifies as a “game finished,” right?
I’ll personally give him $100,000 if he wins the Silver Slugger Award. Will he get 10 at bats all year?

I was rolling on the floor laughing my *** off about Beltran, and then I read this about Lidge.
At least Lidge told the Phillies he was getting the surgery.

Joe, he wouldn’t just make the $50,000 for 65 games or the $500,000 for the 60 games finished. He would make the additional money for each milestone leading up to those numbers.

If he maxes out the incentives, he will make $4.8 million total in 2010. Obviously he won’t, so it’s moot.

If he maxes out the incentives:
50,000 for 65 games
500,000 60 games finished
50,000 all star
100,000 WS MVP
50,000 LCSMVP
100,000 Rolaids relief man
25,000 Gold Glove
25,000 Silver slugger
it comes to

$900,000 extra for achieving all of that. Add that to the $2.5 million base salary and you got him for $3.4million. Thats a hell of a bargain.

Itd actually be 2.1 mil in bonuses

RIght, but is he going to finish 60 games? Lidge has only done it twice in his career. Mariano Rivera has only done it 3 times in the last 8 years, so that is practically non-achievable in my opinion.
He might get to one of those lower numbers (in the 35 to 45 range) if Lidge is out for any extended period.
And he’ll never win the Silver Slugger. That’s just ridiculous. So I guess that $2.75 million is an even better bargain? We’ll see.

I wasn’t implying that he even had a chance to achieve all of the incentives. The point I was making was that in the absolute extreme case where all of the incentives were reached, the contract would be a bargain. We talk about paying a player what they’re worth. If the player achieved all of that, he’d be worth more that what all the bonuses total up to. In looking at the numbers, it seems if he hit any one of the bonuses, adding that to the total would make the contract worth it. Im wondering now, what is $2.5 million worth of pitching? How do you quantify it? How do you know at the end of the year you got your money’s worth?

If you give a guy unreachable objectives, what difference does any arbitrary dollar figure mean?
So many things have to work in Baez’ favor for him to finish any games at all, let alone 30, 35 or 40.
If it turns out that Baez is the Phils closer, their season is kind of messed up to begin with, so maybe it qualifies as bailout money?
Notice that the “games pitched” bonuses are substantially lower than the “games finished” bonuses. Why do you think that is? Because they figure he’ll never reach them or because he’ll be so valuable in that role that they’ll want to reward him?

Unreachable objectives? Arbitrary dollar figures? According to whom? So the Phillies minds/contract lawyers sat there with the lawyer/agent of Baez and drew up a contract and pulled arbitrary numbers out of the air? I don’t think so. I think if you get a MLB team together with an agent to negotiate a contract for millions of dollars, something tells me their not pulling arbitrary numbers out of the air.

Notice that the reward for 60 games finished is the highest reward. Its highly unlikely that he’ll finish 60 games but the chance is not 0% regardless of what anyone thinks. If he did happen to get called into the closer role and did finish 60 games, I think he’d want some kind of reward for that other than, wow, thanks Dany for filling in during our time of need. Its acknowledgement that in the highly unlikely case that you do finish 60 games, we’ll reward you beyond your contract.

I think the contract covers every possible scenarion of the pitcher performing beyond expectations. THAT is why agents are lawyers. Lawyers think of things like that because no one else does. Yes, things do have to happen to work in the favor of Baez for the incentives to kick in, so what’s your point? If they do happen, however unlikely, he will be rewarded for it.

I think all contracts should have built-in incentive clauses based on achieved stat levels. This way players will make what they and the team feel they deserve based on their actual performance instead of their perceived value before the season begins. Some clubs rip off some players; some players rip off some clubs. Somewhere in the middle players get what they deserve and teams get what they pay for. It’s the entertainment industry. Money doesn’t seem to be used the same way as in other businesses. Not much you can do….

Oh, thanks to phan52 and justin for correcting me. He would get the bonus for each milestone.

If you’re going to argue so vehimently for incentive clauses and performing “beyond your contract” then you’d also have to include give-back clauses for messing up. Where’s the subtraction for blown saves, walk-off hits and runners allowed? Those same issues would make him worth less than he’s earning, wouldn’t they?

I showed you, by using Rivera’s numbers, that Baez’ 60 games finished clause was ridiculous. That’s what I meant by an unreachable objective. It’s eyewash, as Whitey used to say. Nice contract language for people who buy into that junk, but his real money is in his salary. Do you think he’s going to bust his butt or play injured to earn an extra $50,000 when he’s already guaranteed his salary? Don’t kid yourself.

It’s a strange world where a guy earning $5.25 million to do anything would need incentives.

muleman: Im all for a give-back claus, I don’t think you’d find a fan that isn’t. But, who would dare be the first player to sign such a claus? Even if that palyer exists, somehow, the players union would make sure it didn’t happen. I agree with you on the 5ok point. His real financial motivation would be the position it would put him in when the next contract comes up.

As erichh1 said, its just an entertainmet business. They all put fans in the seats. Halliday can’t pitch 9 innings everyday.

Yes, strange world indeed. Not as strange as the banking execs and GM and Chrysler execs that get bonuses for being complete failures as businessmen and having to go on government welfare. But thats a different rant.

You can’t really call the Baez deal a “bargain” because he – how can I put this diplomatically – sucks. That’s what I was looking for. Yeah, he’s bad. I have no idea why Rube saw fit to pay him millions of dollars.

Eyre put up a 3.72 ERA in the 2 years in Chicago before he was picked up by the Phillies. He got off to a poor start there in just 11 innings in 2008 and the Cubs just got rid of him because Lou Pinella really hated him for some reason. So I don’t think he sucked prior to coming to the Phillies. Victorino and Werth had obvious potential but after Werth’s wrist injury, LA didn’t want to bother with him. Werth actually hit .262/.338/.486 with 16 HRs for them in 2004. That’s an .825 OPS. Victorino struggled in limited ML appearances but he tore up the minor leagues in LA’s system from 1999-2004. Romero was dead on league average in his career before coming to the Phillies, and immediately prior to joining them, he was coming off a stint in Boston where he put up a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings. Lidge had a bad 2006, but was quite good in 2003 through 2005, and 2007.
The point being, each of these players had either good track records or obvious signs they could be developed into productive players. Baez’s K rate has been plummeting since 2001, and the last time he posted an ERA under 4 was 2005. Ask Orioles fans about him, there’s no track record or promise there, just a fringe reliever that we’re paying millions to for some reason.

Lidge also sucked before he came to the Phils. Romero sucked so bad he was released and picked up off the waiver wire. Eyre sucked in Chicago. LA didn’t want Victorino or Werth because they sucked. Eaton sucked before he came to the Phils and sucked off the charts when he came ot the Phils. Phils don’t do too bad fixing sucky players. 5 out of 6 ain’t too bad

The Phillies have not done badly in recent years when bringing in pieces for the bullpen. Lidge, Eyre, Romero and Park have all served them pretty well. I’ll wait to pass judgement on Baez.

Look, maybe he’ll have a great season out of nowhere and make me look stupid, and I really hope he does. But there’s just no indication that we should expect that, and it really makes me wonder what the FO saw in him.

The pen is the one area that’s making me nervous. A lot riding on how well Lidge & Romero recover from surgery. Also losing Park, Eyre and to a certain extent even Condrey.

Phan52: I too laughed & laughed over the Mutts/Beltran mess. Couldn’t happen to a nice team🙂

OK, OK, I’ll stop defending Baez. The consensus is he sucks and Amaro paid too much for him. Im going to wait and see how he pitches first though.

phylan: Take it from someone who paid for the MLB cable package so he could watch Orioles games: I thought, at one point last season that Baez could take over the closer role from Sherrill so they could trade Sherrill and get something. Well, that didn’t happen – although they did trade Sherrill, they didn’t get anyone to take over the closer role. Not that it mattered.

I don’t think Baez “sucks” but I’m not entirely sold on him either.

karen: The bullpen is my major area of concern too. I think that losing Park and Eyre will hurt but it will depend on how the replacements fare. Be careful when you laugh at the Mets because the Braves and Marlin are close behind.

I agree with Muleman when it comes to evaluating Baez. At least you have to take into consideration that he pitched for the Orioles in the AL East and got those stats. I won’t be surprised if he does well.
As for those ridiculous incentives for saves, that was probably more to light a fire under Lidge than anything else. This season Brad will not get the chance to blow 11 saves and lose 7 games.

Thanks erichh. Even though he pitched for the Orioles, they have a nice lineup and if I remember, they swept the Phils at CBP last year.
Maybe the incentives were a light for Lidge or maybe they were a concession to Baez’ agent. Either way, they are non-achievable. Maybe Charlie will give Lidge another shot at 11 blown saves before he goes to Baez?

incentives are also a way to keep the payroll down on the bools. Since you can’t calculate them before the end of the season, you won’t find them listed anywhere when comparing teams salaries. This way, the Phillies can remain under their budget, but still pay the players what they want, provided they do the job. I agree with the reverse incentives as well. For example: if Howard hits under 30 HR he returns 1 million dollars, for every blown save, lidge returns 10K, etc. This has to work both ways

If something like reverse bonuses were ever even suggested by the owners, the Players’ Association would definitely laugh them out of the room.

MLB players have guaranteed contracts. That is one thing they will NEVER give back.

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