Friday, January 06, 2006

No Kidding, Pat

“Gillick said any further pitching additions would likely come through trades because the free-agent market, weak from the start, has been picked over.”

No kidding, Pat. And we might add you certainly did your part in the proceedings.

It's difficult to determine what, if any, strategy the Phillies' new GM is employing. Other than the Rowand-Thome trade, virtually every other move Gillick has made is either lateral or backwards. If he is positioning the Phils for the future it would be nice to hear him put a date on when that might begin. From the cold perspective of early January, the future doesn't appear to be this coming April. On the other hand, what GM is going to publicly admit as much?


Anonymous kuff6 said...

As I've said before, we may just have to go with status quo for this year, and wait for Wolf, Lieberthal, and Bell ($21M total) to come off the books next winter. I did hear WIP report this morning that Phils reportedly offered Abreu for Tejada, but O's want pitching in the deal. Since Gillick was so eager to get rid of Padilla for absolutely nothing, would have been nice to still have him around to throw in, no?

8:50 AM  
Anonymous kuff6 said...

Oh, and the rumor was Tejada would play 3B.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Martin said...

If kuff were right, and we needed to wait through one more year of mediocrity but had the promise that Leiby and Bell's money would go towards an A-list pitcher, I could deal with that. But the standard practice of the Phront office has been to screw this kind of stuff up...

10:33 AM  
Anonymous George S said...

I think Gillick is biding his time until he can better evaluate the talent for himself and create some salary flexibility. This means that
what trades he makes and what players he signs will initially be for those he knows.

Most of us would agree that reading Bobby Abreu's stat line and watching him actually play every day gives you two different impressions of his value. And the same is probably true about Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. So I'm sure PG wants to be very sure before he pulls the trigger on a deal giving up one of the Phillies 'blue chip' players when he hasn't even seen them play.

If an opportunity comes along where he can move a Bell or a Lieberthal I'm sure he won't hesitate just from the contract standpoint, and he would move someone like Burrell or Abreu right now if he was getting a known (to him) commodity in return, like Tejeda or Zito. Those opportunities have apparently not as yet presented themselves.

So I look for him to be active by the all-star break and the trade deadline, when he has a sense of the talent level and the needs, and then in the FA market next season when he has some $$ to work with. I also think this means players like Victorino, Brito, Madson, Tejeda, and Floyd will get a good long look this year.

This guy did not get promoted to GM from the Phillies PR department or their ticketing office. He's experienced and knows what he's doing. He's built winners. I like the idea that he's keeping rumors to a minimum, but says more than 'no comment'. I like the idea that Abreu's name has been thrown out there, and Burrell's and even Rollins'. I like the idea that there are pitching prospects coming our way in most of the deals, not the other way around. I like the idea that trade rumors in the media involving the Phillies, no matter how off-the-wall they may seem, involve big name players from other teams.

So Franklin falls into the category of a 'comfort level' signing, a known commodity that Gillck thinks is worth the 1-year deal for $2.6 mil. He must think that's better than signing a marginally better pitcher for 3 years, or paying a ?? like Padilla more money that he's worth ($4 mil)based on his record.

Should and could get interesting before the first pitch is thrown.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

As usual, George, you make some good points. There is no question the better moves will be available at the trading deadline in mid-season (though you wouldn't know it from Ed Wade's history). It is also reasonable to assume Gillick wants to see the current roster with his own eyes and make his own judgments. That said, the Franklin signing makes little sense no matter how much Gillick knows about his past. The record, on and off the field, doesn't lie. This team's starters will be collectively so preoccupied eating innings no one will notice they have habitually fallen behind by the sixth inning. No one that is but the guys who are handed the ball in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Billy Mac said...

Gillick said his goal was to make the 2006 team 5 games better. He said the two areas the Phils needed to get better were starting and relief pitching. Gordon ,Franklin, and Santana replace Wagner, Padilla, and Urbina. Are we 5 games better yet ?

5:18 PM  
Anonymous kuff6 said...


While I agree that one can take some comfort in "known quantities", I would argue that there is no comfort at all to be had when it is known that the quantity in question (Franklin) sucks. There is value in league-average-ish innings eating, but Franklin's innings are decidedly poorer than that.

And how much did they really save on Franklin vs. Padilla? You have to factor in Franklin's $2.6 PLUS whatever they have to give R Rodriguez. And, as I noted above, while I agree that he is a frustrating enigma, at least Padilla does have some sort of upside. It is conceivable that with his stuff, he could pitch well (as he has at times in the past). No such chance whatsoever with Franklin.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous verdeforce said...

I actually think Pat may be planning to try Franklin in relief (where he did actually pitch well) and Madson in the rotation if no other relievers are brought in.

If they can pull off Tejada for Abreu and Brito or Floyd and get him to play 3B, this was the best offseason in a long while. Michaels/Victorino in right would be better defensively and should hit the offensive levels of last year's CF platoon. They would have improved their lineup considerably to the point where they could challenge AL teams scoring outputs making the pen less of an issue. Also, Urbina could still end up back here if he is freed.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous verdeforce said...

OK, so the Tejada trade didn't work, how about Abreu and Michaels to the Red Sox for Manny, Clement, and cash. Burrell could move to right, Victorino could back everone up, Franklin could go to the pen. And we'd have a killer L-R-L-R middle of the lineup.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Adam C. said...

Verdeforce, the Boston Globe is speculating along the same lines -- supposedly there was talk that the Phils would flip Tejada to the Sox for Manny and Clement, so on the "cut out the middleman" theory....

I worry about going from bad to worse in terms of OF defense if we have Manny in LF and Pat learning RF as he goes. Rowand's gonna have to be responsible for covering a LOT of ground in that scenario.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Verdeforce said...

But our team sure would score a lot more runs to help compensate! Now that there are so few options left for the Phils to improve pitching and the Red Sox to a) get a CF and b) accomodate Manny I don't know how many more options they have. The other direction the Phils can go is to sign Jeff Weaver and plan on Franklin for the pen - if they are deciding between those options, I guess the question would be is Clement better than Weaver in that scenario?

10:53 AM  

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