Team to Beat? Not Anymore

Jimmy Rollins, Roy HalladayJimmy Rollins hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind as long as I’ve known him.

He memorably called the Phillies the team to beat in the National League East in 2007. He even maintained they were the best team in the division last season, despite an 81-81 finish, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals and 14 games behind the second-place Braves.

“With us being healthy, you know, they’re a second-place team,” Rollins said about the Nationals. “But we weren’t.”

But asked following yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the Mets if he still felt the Phillies were the best team in the NL East when healthy, Rollins said, “There’s a lot of talented teams in the division. The team that we had in the past definitely was. The team going forward, we’ll figure that out. There are a bunch of new pieces. We haven’t had that around here for a long time. I’m excited about them. They’re good, young players. Big eyed. A lot of hopes and wishes, it’s our part to make sure they come true. It’s fun seeing the energy and excitement every single day. The world is still theirs and it’s at hand. They can change it. I was that guy. Now it’s up to me, Chase (Utley) and Ryan (Howard) to make sure they do change it.”

The Phillies already have lost 84 games with seven games remaining. Anything can happen next year, but as the Phillies get further and further removed from their 102-win season in 2011, it gets harder and harder to picture them winning 90 games and competing for a championship.

Especially because at this moment you pretty much know how this team is going to look next season. The everyday lineup is almost set, although the Phillies have to resign Carlos Ruiz or find somebody to replace him. They also have to decide if Darin Ruf is going to be the other right-handed bat in the lineup. The rotation has plenty of ‘ifs’ behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The bullpen has shown some promise lately, but the Phillies were feeling the same way about their bullpen at the end of last season.

The Phillies entered this season with countless ifs. If the majority of those ifs turned out OK, they could have competed for a postseason berth. But very few did. So is there any reason to think those countless ifs will be any easier to achieve next season?

28 Comments

Offense a problem for the past several years, trade Howard pay half his salary for two years, Ruiz, Kendrick to Yankees for Robinson Cano put him in Left until Rollins goes after next year . Outfield Cano left, Revere ? center, Brown left. Ruf at first, Utley second, Rollins short, Asche third, forget the name of the catcher in the minors who has really come on this year bring him up, Kratz back up, bring up Franco in August give him time at second to give Utley some days off. This would have to occur before Cano becomes a free agent.

Its nice to dream…but you’re crazy if you think that’s going to happen because Howard is the biggest question of all going into next year and beyond. And lets get to Cano the talk is that he’ll get a 200 million dollar deal and there is NO way that the Phillies will get into that discussion so keep dreaming big there is nothing wrong with that.

There is so much wrong with this comment that it’s difficult to know where to even begin.

We can start with the fact the Cano is a free agent this year.

This may be the most scattered post in the history of this blog. John Taglieber, do you even follow the Phillies and MLB, or are you just throwing names that you heard out there?

Dude, You’d better stop posting about the real MLB like it’s a fantasy league you belong to. Only a retarded fantasy club GM, which Cashman is NOT, would make that trade…..

you want to put the best 2nd baseman in baseball to move to left field. first place the phillies do not have the cash to sign cano and if they did they would have to move utley to another position. why rollins playing short stop would have any affect on a 2nd baseman is beyond me.

Nice trade John. Let’s also send Mayberry and Stutes to the Tigers for Verlander, and Mini-Mart to Miami for Stanton. What do you think? Oh, and can I get some of what you’re smoking?

And after Doofus Amaro goes dumster diving for cheap players this off-season, the Phillies will know nothing will change. Philly is no longer the team to play for. All MLB players now know how weak Doofus is at team building. Five years at the helm and it’s been straight downhill.

If Howard is actually healthy next season, that would make a big difference. I hope Amaro decides to keep Ruf.

My hunch is that we are going to see Amaro make an all-out push to trade for Stanton this off-season. Just imagine adding Howard & Stanton to this lineup. Could be scary good.

The bullpen is actually looking better already, IMO.

The bench needs to be revamped. No more mini-Mart or Mayberry, please.

Here is my prescription; Trade Howard to AL to be a DH and pay 66% of his salary. They have to admit that the contract with him simply did not work out because, unless he changes his swing he is done as a good hitter. Trade Biddle, Ruf, oneo f the young arms like Rosenberg and one other pitching propspect for Stanton. As he approaches arbitration, you know the Marlins won’t pay him 20 million per so somebody will trade for him. It is Amaro’s job to try to get him. Re-sign Chooch but also sign McCann. If he hits half of what he does against the Phils he’ll be an all star. Have him split time with Chooch and have McCann play some first base (which he can) and bring up Franco to play first. Sign some starting pitching and relief pitching but do a better job of it. Next year’s line-up; Chooch and McCann catching, Franco and McCann at first, Utley, Rollins, Asche, Brown in left, Have Hernandez and Revere battle for center, and Stantonin right. Hernandez, Bernadina, Frnadsen off the bench(no Mayberry) worst swing in the big leagues. Re-sign Halladay for one year incentive laden, Try to trade Papel;bon for young arms; he is done.

So there is an AL team that will accept Ryan in a trade, knowing that he can’t hit lefties at all? I guess the player the Phils would get for Ryan would be ranked lower than the Dodger’s Rasmussen (Dodgers’ 20th ranked prospect), who they got for Michael Young. I suppose you are just trying to save $7-8 million next year. Good luck with that.

Man, there is some PRICELESS armchair General Managing going on up in here! But, besides the entirety of John’s proposals, my favorite has to be: “Sign some starting pitching and relief pitching but do a better job of it.” by jimmy g.
Here that, General Managers of baseball?? Sign guys, but do a better job of it!!

Damn – you beat me to it. :)

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We will have Mike Adams to pitch out of the pen next year. If he’s healthy, he should be able to pitch well. The question is how much of his injury problems were caused by a change in his arm slot because of the rib-removal surgery he had. If he has completely recovered from that and his season ending injury was a fluke thing that happened to him, he should be able to fill a spot in the pen, even if it isn’t the SET-UP guy role he’s being paid to fulfill.

Does anyone know how much money the Phils have tied down to contracts in 2014 so far?

The luxury tax threshold will rise in 2014 to $189 million, and the Phillies owe $119 million to seven players in 2014 (Howard, Lee, Hamels, Utley, Papelbon, Rollins, Adams). They have 11 who are arbitration eligible, but some of them won’t be tendered (Lannan, Wells, Orr, Bernadina, etc.). The only guy who would make a lot in arby would be Kendrick and he isn’t doing himself any favors the way he is pitching down the stretch. Guys like Frandsen and Bastardo will get minimal arbitration raises and guys like Brown, Galvis, Asche, Diekman, DeFratus, Hernandez, etc. will make close to the minimum. They may try to sign Brown to a contract through his arby years. People who are calling for Howard to be a salary dump make no sense, until they see what he can do when he is healthy, which he hasn’t been since 2010. Why pay for him going 35-100+ for somebody else?

They have a lot of money to play with, but plenty of holes to fill, and I don’t trust Amaro to be the guy making those decisions.

Thanks Phan52. I suppose Kyle will get close to $8 million. That leaves a lot of money under the Luxury Tax threshold. We’ll have to wait and see what creative way Ruben will find to waste the money for next year’s payroll ;+{

Also, Chooch should be signed to an extension. That could cost $4 million or so next year.

no one who is not wearing a red P on their shirt is taking Ryan Howard in 2014. Health is not his biggest problem, an inability to hit left-handed pitchers is. He is too easy to get out now, managers know how to sit him down. This is especially the case in the AL. Maybe – MAYBE- after next year they can get rid of him by eating most of his salary for the following 2 years. But I don’t see anyone taking on his contract for 3 years when there are many better options. Their best hope is that next season at the deadline some new contender will be desperate enough to take a chance on him. But more than likely, they are stuck with him for the duration. I would hope that they focus on replacing 2nd and SS – perhaps not in 2014, but for 2015. They need a PLAN. Too often it seems like this team has been doing its business in a very knee-jerk reactionary manner. Good teams plan, they don’t react.

Better chance of building a time machine and going back to 2006-2008….

You have to live with that contract and all its’ joys……..

2014 is our “rebuilding” year. Or whatever Ruben is calling it. Post-season in 2015.

I’m loving the fantasy trades, signings going on here. Trade for a FA 2B to play LF until the SS leaves, have a 3b play 2B, trade half a dozen nobodies for one of the games best young players, etc. The only thing so far that makes sense is Howard. Given the Phillies move of Franco to 1B towards the end of the year, and Ruff’s ability to play 1B, it is a good bet that the Phillies try to move Howard this off season. How much of his contract we’ll have to eat, and who will take a DH who can only hit RHP are questions we won’t know until it happens, if at all

FIJ, Ryno recently said that he expects Ryan to be a big part of the Phils offense next year, when he’s healthy. As long as Ryne has faith in Ryan as a productive hitter in the clean-up spot in the line-up, Ryan ain’t goin’ nowhere….

I would expect them to find someone to platoon at first (or use Ruf and find someone else for RF) so Howard doesn’t play or rarely plays against left-handed pitchers.

the first thing would be to fire amaro, or vote with your wallet and stay away from CBP next yr– that would get amaro to the door – worked w/ wade.

Ruben is trying to rebuild and put together a contender at the same time, which is impossible, but just because he says he’s doing it, he can fool some phans.

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