Previous month:
November 2011
Next month:
January 2012

Scott Boras Should Take Soriano Approach With Ryan Madson, Sign With #Phillies

Posted by Frank Klose

Ryan_Madson_Brian_Schneider

One year ago superagent Scott Boras had a proven closer available.  Just like this year, the market dried up and Boras ran out of teams who needed a closer.   So, just what did Boras do with Rafael Soriano?  Soriano signed a deal with the New York Yankees to set up for Mariano Rivera.  

Rafael Soriano was a closer with a track record superior to Madson, having a stellar season in Tampa Bay after several years in a half set-up/half closer role in Atlanta.  Soriano was indeed a solid reliever on the open market with nobody biting at his line.  Soriano received a three-year contract from the Yankees, with an opt-out clause each year should the market be ripe.

Ryan Madson is worthy to be somebody's closer.  The only real option left on the market would be the Anaheim California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who may wish to add a reliever if they are not comfortable with Jordan Walden as closer.  However, the Angels added LaTroy Hawkins from the right side and have Scott Downs on the left side.  Francisco Cordero is a cheaper option on the market if they want that extra security blanket for Walden.

Madson probably is not a priority high enough to demand anywhere near the money agent Scott Boras would desire. 

At this point, Madson may have as few as two options:

  1. Sign a one-year deal with a team with light pockets for a very reduced amount of money to drive up his value as a closer.  The Colorado Rockies might fit that description but probably are looking to use either Rafael Betancourt or a cheaper option in hometown boy Brad Lidge.
  2. Sign with a club to be a set-up man for a number approaching, but not equal to closer money, and hit the market again when the market is better.

Next year's market may have stronger demand for a closer.  Mariano Rivera's career just may finally end and Rafael Soriano just may opt out.  Teams with money such as the Angels or Nationals may discover that their Jordan Waldens or Drew Storens are not top-notch closers. 

Prior to the deadline, I thought it would have made sense for Madson to accept arbitration.   He chose not to.  However, the likely arbitration number I suggested around $8-9 million for a one-year contract might work with Madson, should he pursue option two and re-sign with the Phillies.

The Phillies do have a little money left over.  They know their window is closing.  So, why not go all out and sign Madson to a one-year deal?

How does this bullpen look to you?

  1. Papelbon (CL)
  2. Madson (RH setup)
  3. Bastardo (LH setup)
  4. Contreras (RH)
  5. Willis (LH)
  6. Stutes (RH)/DeFratus (RH)/Schwimer (RH)/Herndon (RH)
  7. Kendrick (RH) 

I tend to believe that Joe Blanton will have another injury-ridden season and that Kyle Kendrick will make many starts, leaving room for the Herndon/Schwimer/DeFratus spot that would be bumped out of the bullpen by re-signing Madson.

Madson loved the Phillies; the Phillies loved Madson. One-year, $8 million. Let's do it, Rube.

MadsonBillboard
Ryan Madson can continue his Liscio's Bakery blog, too!


3 on 3 for the week of 12.25.2011

Welcome to 3-on-3, a weekly look at the Philadelphia Flyers from a statical standpoint. The Flyers were 1-1-1 last week, gaining three out of a possible six points. Claude Giroux returned from injury against Dallas with a four point performance, but would it be enough to capture the top spot for the week? Let's find out:
3 “Hot”:
  1. Claude Giroux: “G” returned from his concussion and had a goal and three assists for four points. Giroux, only 23, continues to have an MVP-caliber season for the Flyers and currently leads the NHL in scoring with 43 points. He is a plus-8, his relative Corsi is 5.8 and he has kept his faceoff winning percentage at a steady 51.2 percent. Giroux simply makes this team go.
  2. Scott Hartnell: Hartnell also had a four-point week, with a goal and three assists. He continues to have a great year playing on the Giroux-Jagr line. He leads the team in plus minus at plus-20 and is second on the team in scoring with 32 points. He also leads in relative Corsi with a 10.7 rating.
  3. Jaromir Jagr: Jagr had a three point week with a goal and 2 assists in three games. Jagr continues to have a revival in his return to the NHL this season, ranking third on the team in scoring with 29 points, third in plus minus at plus-11 and second in relative Corsi with a 10.6 rating.
3 ”Not”:
  1. The Flyers in the shootout: The Flyers have been historically bad in the shootout, so when they had to go to the skills competition against the Avs, you just had a feeling it wouldn’t go the way of the Orange and Black. Overall, the Flyers fell to 19-36 all time in the shootout with their loss in Denver, placing 30th in the league along with the 30th-ranked save percentage at 54.6 percent. I know whenever it goes to the shootout, I just automatically chalk it up as a loss and I'm thankful for an extra point.
  2. The Flyers at MSG: It has been almost a year since their last win at MSG, February 20, 2011, to be exact, when Dan Carcillo of all people scored the game winner. The Flyers are still an impressive 13-4-2 on the road this season even with those two conspicuous losses at 34th and 7th against the Rangers. They finally scored their first two goals of the year there in the third period on Monday, so hopefully they have broken whatever spell Henrik Lundqvist had over them.
  3. Ilya Brzygalov: Not that he has been awful, but “Bryz” needs to be more consistent and start making the “10-bell” saves that a supposed Stanley Cup-level goalie needs to make.  His save percentage is a dismal 59th in the NHL at .895, and his GAA is 51st at 2.92. There is still time for him to turn it around, but if the Flyers want to win the Cup this season, they will need Brzygalov to be a big reason why.
That does it for this week’s 3-on-3,  join me next week when we look back at two more road contests against Tampa and Pittsburgh.

Get Your Own Business Cards and Meet Mr. Met! Only $20 Million. (Not a Joke)

Posted by Frank Klose

Mr._Met
Courtesy basebalwiki.org

The New York Mets' money troubles are well-documented.  The Mets tried to find a partner  to buy into the franchise in David Einhorn, but the deal ended up falling through, probably because control of the Mets would almost assuredly fall into Einhorn's hands.

Now, for $20 million, one may buy a four percent share of the team.   "Up to 12 Preferred Limited Partnership Units" will be sold.

The New York Times published this "strictly confidential" document outlining the investor benefits.   They include:

  • Membership in an "advisory board" of the club, with three meetings each year to "provide input with respect to club operations and significant strategic decisions.  (Blogger's note: you get no real control)
  • Really cool business cards that say "Owner".  (Blogger's note: can't I just make these with some Avery business cards and an ink jet printer for $11.99?)
  • One weekend at club hotel during Spring Training (Blogger's note: $999.00 retail value)
  • Parking spot (Blogger's note: $20 x 81 = $1620.00)
  • Private lunch with broadcasters (Blogger's note: if ONLY Tom McCarthy had stayed)
  • Opportunity to attend a road trip with hotel on the road (but the club decides which)
  • Opportunity to *purchase* All-Star tickets
  • Opportunity to *purchase* postseason tickets
  • Invitation to Mets holiday party
  • Discounts to *purchase* MLB-Licensed merchandise

Mets_Business_card

This one is my favorite:

  • "Mr. Met made available for Owners at Citi Field events"

My personal analysis?  This is about as valuable as membership to the Fightin' Phils Club, which costs $24.99 a year.  I prefer that option to the $20 million Mets option.

Now, lets do some math.

$20 million a share times 12 shares: $240 million, and 48% of the club.

This would mean that the club is worth  $540 million.   If the owners really do have a 4% share, this amount appears very undervalued, for a big market such as New York, and when the Los Angeles Dodgers may be about to sell for around $1 billion.   The team's debt must be substantial for the value to be that low.

This "partnership unit" is probably near worthless, but hey, if I had $20 million sitting around to blow, I might want to have a similiar share of the Phillies, just for the fun of it.


Former GM Ed Wade Returns to Phillies as Scout; Wade is Ready for Jokes

Posted by Kevin Durso

One of Ed Wade's biggest free agent signings was bringing Jim Thome to Philadelphia in 2003. Wade returns to the Phillies as a scout after being dismissed as GM of the Astros after the 2011 season. (Courtesy of pjstar.com)

The longest-tenured Phillie, Jimmy Rollins, is back for three more years in a deal that was finalized yesterday. That ensures that a band of longtime Phillies' stars: Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels, will remain together for at least one more season.

That band of players was all formed under the GM term of Ed Wade, who also had a huge impact on the 2008 World Championship team that featured Pat Burrell, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, all players Wade drafted, and also Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett, two players Wade traded to the Phillies as GM of the Astros.

In recent years, Wade made even more deals with his former team. Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence came over in mega-deals with the Astros, and Wade was the one behind the Astros' negotiations for Phillies' prospects such as J.A. Happ, Michael Bourn, Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Anthony Gose.

Now, the former Phillies' GM, who was relieved of his duties as Astros' GM at the conclusion of the 2011 season, is rejoining the team that he helped build to built it some more. Wade now joins the Phillies' scouting system.

This is a great move by the Phillies, who owe much of their success to draft picks Wade made. The list of names is impressive: Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Burrell...all of them were key players in the team's first championship in 28 years. With the Phillies' goals still set on winning, but also remaining a constant contender in the National League, Wade is back to assist in adding young talent to an aging Phillies' team. Their current team has the potential to be winners for the next few seasons, but beyond that, the current minor league talent will need to fill the void.

That's what Wade's job is here, as he will join the Phillies' scouting team helping to build the Phillies' future. After succeeding at that once, Wade will get a welcome return to do it again.

UPDATE 12/20 10:45 a.m.:

Ed Wade had some comments for the Houston Chronicle and Zachary Levine:

As to when Wade got the invitation to re-join the Phillies organization:

“Ruben contacted me as soon as I was let go and asked me if I would have some interest,” Wade said. “I said ‘let’s put this in neutral for a while’ but we talked a couple more times since then.”

Addressing the elephant in the room that Wade's many dealings with the Phillies may have been underhanded:

Many Astros fans and others have joked or otherwise suggested that his dealings with the Phillies stemmed from his past there or a chance at a future there. Wade has insisted they were all the best baseball decisions, and he recognizes the criticism.

“That certainly will be insinuated,” Wade said lightheartedly. “I’m prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so Ruben would give me a job if I got fired.”

~Frank Klose


The Longtime Leadoff Man Returns: Rollins signs 3-year deal

Posted by Kevin Durso

After spending the first 11 years of his career with the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins will return for three more seasons after agreeing to a deal with the Phillies. (Kevin Durso/Philliedelphia)

It certainly seems long overdue, but finally, the Phillies are bringing back the one player that fans couldn't imagine going anywhere else.

Jimmy Rollins has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal, worth approximately $33 million, with the Phillies with a vesting option for a fourth season. The deal comes just days after another Phillies' target, Michael Cuddyer, signs with the Colorado Rockies, all but ending any backup plans the Phillies may have had for Rollins.

The longtime leadoff man and shortstop for the Fightins has had his ups and downs, but as the vocal leader that marked the beginning of what is now a division dynasty, Rollins has always been the center of this team. He had an instant impact upon his arrival in 2001, making an All-Star Game in his rookie season. He added two more All-Star appearances, and prior to the 2007 season, voiced his thoughts on where the Phillies were going, making his now famous "team to beat" statement.

2007 was an MVP year for Rollins, who led the way on the Phillies first division championship in 14 years. 2008 went even further, and even with Rollins starting to decline in numbers, the Phillies made their first World Series since 1993, and won their second in franchise history. 2009 marked another return to the Fall Classic with some J-Roll magic. His walk-off double in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers may be his finest moment in a Phillies uniform.

Even with injury troubles of late, the team still needs Rollins, who has grown into a leader and a role player. Could you think of anybody else leading off for the Phillies in 2012? Probably not, so this is not only expected, it's just natural. For the 33 year-old lifetime Phillie, this contract will likely keep him in pinstripes for the rest of his career. With what is being described as an "easy" vest for a fourth season, Rollins will be 37 by the end of the contract.

There was just no way to picture Jimmy Rollins with any other team at the beginning of the offseason, and as the market dwindled and options faded for Rollins, it was evident this would happen sooner or later. Finally, that day has come.

The Phillies have all but finished their offseason shopping, so the only thing left to do is wait for Spring Training to begin. Granted, the Phillies could still surprise, but there is really is nothing else to expect. But, if you haven't started counting down the days yet, it might be a good time to start. The 2012 Phillies' roster is almost complete.


Whatchu Talkin' Bout, Willis? Someone Finally Confirms Shane Victorino's Implication: Phillies to Sign Dontrelle Willis

Posted by Frank Klose

Willis

Well, Twitter was abuzz last night speculating on an exchange between Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and pitcher Dontrelle Willis:

Shane_Dontrelle
Well, now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that the two sides have agreed to a one-year deal.

Willis was once a stud pitcher for the Florida Marlins prior to his trade to the Detroit Tigers where he had lost his form.   The Phillies could use him one of two ways:

1) As a starter.   The Phillies may not believe much in Joe Blanton's ability to come back from nerve damage in his elbow.  As many have noted, nerve damage in the elbow is a recipe for disaster.

2) As a left-handed reliever.   The Phillies clearly needed one last season to compliment Antonio Bastardo.  This could be a new approach for Willis, but maybe pitching mostly an inning he can succeed.

3) As a left-handed bat off the bench.  Willis is a career .244 hitter with 9 home runs and 39 RBI.  (Just kidding). 


Phillies Trade Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays; I Have Yet Another Useless Jersey

Posted by Frank Klose

Ben_Franciscop
Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani 

Ok, so maybe some of you could call my #10 Ben Francisco jersey useless already.

According to many reports, like this one from CSNPhilly, Ben Francisco has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league relief pitcher Frank Gailey.  Gailey may just be minor league inventory.   The CSN report states that he is a graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, PA.

This is mainly to spare Francisco from being non-tendered.   What this does do is save the Phillies a couple million dollars and give them a slot for another right-handed outfielder.

It won't be Aaron Rowand, who could make the major league minimum, will it?

FOR SALE: #10 red batting practice jersey with "Francisco" on the back.   $35 OBO.
Phillies


3 on 3 for the week of 12.11.2011

Welcome to this week’s 3-on-3, where we look back on the week that was for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers won all three games last week to gain 6 points and take over the overall lead in the Eastern Conference from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Let’s look at this week’s 3 “hot” and 3 “not”: 

3 ”hot”:


  1. Claude Giroux: “G” has continued his stellar play and has taken over the scoring lead in the NHL with 39 points, 3 points ahead of Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Claude totaled one goal and 7 assists in the 3 games but left in the second period on Saturday with an "upper-body" injury when teammate Wayne Simmonds ran into the back of his head. Giroux leads all forwards in average ice time with 21:28 per game and is a plus-7. Hopefully, he will not miss any time as he has been playing great hockey lately.

  2. Scott Hartnell: “Harts” has been riding the wave with his linemates Jaromir Jagr and Giroux,but Scott has been putting up some good numbers all by himself. Hartnell had 3 goals and an assist in 3 games and is a team high plus-17. He currently has a five-game goal scoring streak as well. If he keeps it up, Hartnell will be on pace for a career year, one on par with his 30-goal season in 2008-09.

  3. Jaromir Jagr: The ageless wonder notched 2 goals and an assist in the 3 games last week, continuing his great return to the NHL. Jagr ranks 3rd on the team in scoring and fourth in goals and is a plus-7 as well. He continues to play both ends of the ice equally well, which was not always the case early in his career.


3”not”:

  1. No one really: The team is on a five-game winning streak, so other than a misplay here and there, everyone on the team is playing well. Not much to complain about when it’s all going right, despite injuries and playing 9 rookies this season.


That’s it for this week’s 3-on-3, join me next week when we look back at 2 road tilts against Washington and Montreal and a home contest with Boston.


So, Despite Reports, Jimmy Rollins Did NOT Have Surgery on Thursday

Posted by Frank Klose

Jimmy_Rollins

Despite many reports to the contrary such as this one from Sporting News, Jimmy Rollins did NOT have surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday.   The Phillies' own website had a story here earlier, but it has been retracted.   Sporting News and other sites cited MLB.com in their reports.

My Twitter follower Francine Green saw these reports and asked Phillies beat writer for Calkins Media and Phillyburbs.com Kevin Cooney:

Cooney

I too saw the report this afternoon, so I just asked Jimmy myself:
Rollins_Convo

So, there you have it.   His wrist is perfectly fine to use the pen to sign his forthcoming Phillies contract.

PS - He also does not want to be Mayor of Philadelphia:

Mayor



Albert Pujols Introduced to the Angels; Looks like Impact on Phillies is Minimal

Posted by Frank Klose

PujolsPressConference

After Albert Pujols signed a 10-year contract with the California, er, Anaheim, er, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, some wondered the ripple effects that this deal could have with the Phillies, particularly with shortstop Jimmy Rollins, given the Cardinals' need for a shortstop.

Why would people connect Rollins and the Cardinals?  Presumably, the Cardinals would like to add offense where they have openings in the wake of losing Albert Pujols.   However, as it turns out, the Cardinals went to their deadline aquisition Rafael Furcal as the two sides agreed to a two-year contract .  

Besides, as many have pointed out: Jimmy Rollins has the same agent as Albert Pujols.  Would they really want to negotiate with them now?

So what other possible suitors exist for Jimmy Rollins?

The Brewers agreed to a one-year contract with Alex Gonzalez.

The Giants are broke, and as a result are turning to Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan for their outfield rather than singing Cody Ross or Carlos Beltran.  They have no money to spend on a shortstop and instead will focus on extending Tim Lincecum with their money.

The Red Sox have Jed Lowrie, Marco Scutaro, and prospect Jose Iglesias at shortstop and Rollins would be an upgrade, but the two sides have not been connected.

The Minnesota Twins are going with utility man Jamey Carroll as their starter.

 Clint Barmes got a two-year deal to start for the Pirates.

Yuniesky Betancourt is still available as a free agent.

It looks like the sides can just assume that something is going to get done, unless someone who already has a shortstop is ready to jump in.