Under Pat Gillick the Phillies have developed a rather cavalier attitude toward money, at least when it comes to signing and acquiring players through waivers, Rule 5 and below-the-radar free agency. Indeed the organization's willingness to throw away $25,000 here, $50,000 there, on these extraordinarily marginal players, continues to add up. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the large number of pitchers who have come and gone over the past two seasons, most of whom had little if any chance of making the 40-man let alone 25-man rosters. In a few forgettable instances, these guys actually appeared in a game, to disastrous results. Adam Bernero could be the poster boy for all of them.
Jim Warden is merely the latest in a long line of such players. Acquired from Cleveland as a Rule 5 player for $50,000, he had to make the 25-man roster and stick or be offered back to Cleveland for half the original price. That's exactly what happened this past week when he was returned to the Indians. In the end, the number of times Gillick & Co. have gambled and lost on these types is adding up to real money, at least some of which could have been better spent on among other things an appropriate salary increase for someone on whom it can be fairly said the franchise's hopes depend, Ryan Howard.
It all must be pocket change to Mssrs. Gillick and Amaro.