This team is far from needing rebuilding, but any good team needs to ”retool” every year. Last year, the Phillies won the World Series with Pat Burrell in LF. They evidently decided
that he wasn’t the answer this year, so they signed a guy even older who ended up having his career year. The Phillies may yet be sorry that they signed Raul Ibanez, but right about now, that move is looking pretty good. They added Shane Victorino and Jason Werth in 2005 and 2007 as key pieces to the puzzle. How did they get them? No Big Blockbuster Deals, just incidental signings, which turned out to be pretty good. I don’t think we need to rebuild – the core of the team is in place, but re-tool, we must!
I have taken the 40-Man Roster, plus some others who are technically not on it and divided them into three (3) groups:
- Core players who we need to keep – in BLUE;
- Players who we needs to keep under the right conditions – in BLACK; and
- Players we need to try and lose, trade, release or not sign – in RED.
It’s not hard to see that our core is young and will get even better. I have Jon Broxton on the BLUE list (even though I have serious doubts about him), because we don’t currently have better options (that too could change). Now, I am not saying that I wouldn’t trade Broxton or some of the others, but it would have to be a trade that we would make from a point of strength.
I would not keep the following players:
- Jon Garland – I think he will be too expensive for what he brings. This is arguable however…
- Guillermo Mota – Too expensive and I doubt he’ll have another year as good as this year.
- Jason Schmidt – Stick a fork in him!
- Eric Stults – No room and we have to let him walk.
- Ronnie Belliard- Why when we have DeWitt? I think DeWitt will surprise. This year, he was a yo-yo (up and down, up and down) and that messed with his production. I like him more than ever now, because he just shuts up and plays.
- Casey Blake - He surprised me this year and I realize anyone can have a bad series, but I’d rather have someone younger (and cheaper) or someone with more power like Adrian Beltre, whom I think would really have great year back in LA (especially if he remembers to wear his cup) Maybe Cleveland would take him back. Maybe KC (Close to home). Maybe St. Louis…
- Juan Castro- Hu is ready and so it Castro (ready to coach).
- Mark Loretta – Thanks, but no thanks.
- Jim Thome – Back to where they actually have a DH.
- Juan Pierre- I love Juan Pierre, but we have Raffy to lead-off and we need power in LF – Frank will have to pay something (hopefully not much) to whoever takes him. He deserves to start and he’s a class act.
- Manny Ramirez – The Big Dodger in the Sky won’t shine on us again until he is gone.
- Jason Repko – He will get a raise, and we don’t need him. He might benefit from a fresh start – He’s gone…
I would keep these player under certain conditions:
- Eric Milton – If we can get him on another minor league deal.
- Jeff Weaver- If he doesn’t command a multi-year deal at a larger salary.
- Randy Wolf – Offer him arbitration and we either have him for another year or we get some nice compensation.
- Brad Ausmus – If he wants and if he’ll do it for less than this year.
- Vicente Padilla- Only is he’s cheap and with an incentive-laden deal.
- Orlando Hudson- If he is forced to sign a 1-year incentive-laden deal again (for less than this year), otherwise let DeWitt, Hu and DeJesus compete for the job.
Keepers are plentiful:
- I look for Chad Billingsleyto come back with a vengeance. I don’t know what role his broken leg played, but it may have played a big role in his second half demise
- For as maligned as Russell Martin was this year, his stats weren’t as bad as many other catchers. Again, I think he rebound back to what he was, and better. I still think he can play 2B or 3B on a full-time basis – keep that in mind!
- Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are on the road to stardom (and pretty far down that road) – Look for bigger and better things from them next year. Kemp’s limit is the sky!
- Clayton Kershaw will have his breakout year next year. There’s no reason to think otherwise, as he has gotten better by the minute.
- Scott Elbert, Brent Leach, CHarlie Haeger, Josh Lindblom, James McDonald, Travis Schlicting and some others in the minors are going to make a splash… soon
- AJ Ellis can catch now at the major league level. The only question is, “can he hit?” Lucas Mayis acquiting himself very well and is back as a top prospect.
- Chin lung-Hu, Ivan DeJesus, Jr. and Blake DeWitt can battle for the 2B job, but I prefer the power of DeWitt – This team needs power, which was part of the reason Belliard started in the playoffs. Hu and DeJesus could be trade bait.
- I go back and forth on James Loney, but the guy is solid, a solid-citizen and great with the glove. I’ll ride with Loney at 1B and I think you will see him hit .300 with 25 HR and 100 RBI’s very soon. Adrian Gonzalez would be nice, but we’d have to give up too much. We have 1B covered with Loney. I would sign him long-term.
- Rafael Furcalhad a bad year for whatever reason, then came on at the end and crashed in the NLCS. Sometimes players just have bad years (can you say Jimmy Rollins?). We have no better options. We just have to hope that he can rebound to the Raffy we know.
- We have Xavier Paul and Jamie Hoffman as 4th OF candidates. After missing most of the season with an infection, X. Paul is ready and could even win a spot in LF, if there was no other option.
- I like Doug Mientkiewicz and I hope we can re-sign him. He’s good for the team…
- That leaves openings at 3B and LF. I would make a run at Adrian Beltre for a 3-Year deal at $30 million, but that’s probably too low.
- That would leave LF. Is there a FREE AGENT on the market who can help us? No way I would sign Matt Halliday or Jason Bay to a big deal. Forget that stuff. We need to find that guy who can have a career like Ibanez. How about Hideki Matsui, Xavier Nady or Aubrey Huff for LF? One of those guys will be a steal, but I’m not smart enough to know which one.
- Ben Sheets is out there. Could he be stolen? Can he ever recover the promise he once showed?
Here’s the Roster Breakdown
|40-Man Roster & A Few Others|
|54 Ronald Belisario||R/R||6-3||235||12/31/82|
|58 Chad Billingsley||R/R||6-1||245||07/29/84|
|51 Jonathan Broxton||R/R||6-4||295||06/16/84|
|57 Scott Elbert||L/L||6-1||215||08/13/85|
|21 Jon Garland||R/R||6-6||210||09/27/79|
|37 Charlie Haeger||R/R||6-1||210||09/19/83|
|22 Clayton Kershaw||L/L||6-3||225||03/19/88|
|56 Hong-Chih Kuo||L/L||6-1||240||07/23/81|
|18 Hiroki Kuroda||R/R||6-1||220||02/10/75|
|45 Brent Leach||L/L||6-4||220||11/18/82|
|31 James McDonald||L/R||6-5||195||10/19/84|
|28 Eric Milton||L/L||6-1||220||08/04/75|
|59 Guillermo Mota||R/R||6-5||235||07/25/73|
|44 Vicente Padilla||R/R||6-2||220||09/27/77|
|49 Travis Schlichting||R/R||6-4||215||10/19/84|
|52 George Sherrill||L/L||6-0||230||04/19/77|
|50 Eric Stults||L/L||6-1||220||12/09/79|
|38 Ramon Troncoso||R/R||6-1||220||02/16/83|
|47 Cory Wade||R/R||6-1||190||05/28/83|
|36 Jeff Weaver||R/R||6-5||200||08/22/76|
|43 Randy Wolf||L/L||5-10||200||08/22/76|
|12 Brad Ausmus||R/R||5-11||190||04/14/69|
|49 A.J. Ellis||R/R||6-2||225||04/09/81|
|55 Russell Martin||R/R||5-10||210||02/15/83|
|31 Lucas May||R/R||5-11||195||10/24/84|
|3 Ronnie Belliard||R/R||5-10||210||04/07/75|
|23 Casey Blake||R/R||6-2||205||08/23/73|
|14 Juan Castro||R/R||5-11||190||06/20/72|
|33 Blake DeWitt||L/R||5-11||205||08/20/85|
|15 Rafael Furcal||S/R||5-8||185||10/24/77|
|60 Chin-lung Hu||R/R||5-11||195||02/02/84|
|13 Orlando Hudson||S/R||6-0||190||12/12/77|
|7 James Loney||L/L||6-3||220||05/07/84|
|5 Mark Loretta||R/R||6-0||200||08/14/71|
|26 Doug Mientkiewicz||L/R||6-0||210||06/19/74|
|25 Jim Thome||L/R||6-3||250||08/27/70|
|16 Andre Ethier||L/L||6-2||210||04/10/82|
|27 Matt Kemp||R/R||6-2||225||09/23/84|
|3 Xavier Paul||L/R||5-9||205||02/25/85|
|9 Juan Pierre||L/L||5-10||185||08/14/77|
|99 Manny Ramirez||R/R||6-0||200||05/30/72|
|17 Jason Repko||R/R||5-10||190||12/27/80|
Odds & Ends:
- I told you 2 weeks ago that Kim Ng wouldn’t get the San Diego job and that Jed Hoyer would. I had no statistics to back that up however.
- Bud the Dud and the rest of the baseball morons need to wake up, realize this is the 21st Century, tie their horse and buggies to the hitchpost and vote in instant replay.
- There’s no pitchers who are Free Agents who are “all that.”