March 1, 2015

Phillies’ Organization
Trade-Value Rankings

It’s tough to get good conversation going in the baseball off-season unless their is a big trade of some kind. We kind of broke that barrier with our HOF discussion, and I’m hoping to do it again with this feature.

I’m sure many of you have read Bill Simmons’ NBA trade value column. Like him or not, it’s a fun exercise and always a great read.

Here is how it works. You rank all the players from a given group (in this case, the Phillies org.) by their trade value. This includes a lot of factors, including player performance, age (I’ll be using Opening Day 2011 age) and contract situation (I will be putting only the remaining money owed). #1 on the list would not be traded for anyone else on the list under any circumstances. #2 on the list would only be traded if you got #1 back in return. #3 would only be traded for #2 or #1 and so on.

I thought this would be fun and interesting to do with both the major leaguers and minor leaguers for the Phillies as kind of an overall snapshot of where we stand. It will probably be a good off-season exercise every year to see how people have moved on the list.

As far as prospects go, I will use those I’ve ranked in my top-20 in addition to few extras. The rankings here don’t necessarily coincide with my prospect rankings because this is a different type of exercise.

Alright, let get going.

1. Roy Halladay, RHP, 33 (4 years, $80 million)

The un-tradable man. For most pitchers $80 million left for a 33 year old would be a problem. For the guy with the best work ethic I’ve ever seen, not so much.

2. Chase Utley, 2B, 32 (3 years, $45 million)

Utley would be #1 if not for his recent injury problems. When healthy, he is elite in every facet of the game, and he plays a position where production is rare. His contract takes him through the back end of his prime years, and is slightly under market value.

3. Cole Hamels, LHP, 27 (1 year, $9.5 million, 2012 arb. eligible)

A real tough decision between Hamels and Cliff Lee here. Hamels gets the nod because he is 5 years younger, has a no-risk contract, and is likely to be just as good as Lee over the next several seasons.

4. Cliff Lee, LHP, 32 (5 years, $120 million)

As with Halladay, there are many pitchers you wouldn’t want to have $120 million dedicated to at age 32. But Lee, a hard-working, lefty control pitcher who started his career late, is as low-risk as they get.

5. Domonic Brown, OF, 23 (minors)

You could make the argument that he should be #1 on this list because we wouldn’t trade him for Lee or Halladay. However, his pro debut left something to be desired. Still a top-5 prospect in all of baseball though. As a note: Prospects rank high because they are super cheap and under your control for 6 years. Using J-Roll as an example, for his first 6 years (2002-2007) we only paid him $18 million dollars. So if you are thinking ‘contract’ status for high-level minor league guys, think something like 6 years, $20 million. Good, young players are the #1 asset in baseball.

6. Jonathan Singleton, 1b/OF, 19 (minors)

Blessed with one of the sweetest swings in the minors and excellent plate discipline, Singleton is the hottest prospect in the Phillies minor leagues. The Phillies refused to part with him in the Roy Oswalt deal, much to my delight. Which leads me to…

7. Roy Oswalt, RHP, 33 (1 year, $16 million, 2012 club option)

An another ace, but one with a short, reasonable contract.

8. Brody Colvin, RHP, 20 (minors)

Top-of-the-rotation potential and just kept getting better as the year wore on in 2010. Gets the edge over Cosart here because of Cosart’s injury history. Could make the argument to put him ahead of Oswalt, but I’ll take 1-2 years of guaranteed ‘ace’ to a possible 6 years of young cheap pitching starting in 2-3 years given the Phillies current situation.

9. Jarred Cosart, RHP, 20 (minors)

The highest upside of any arm in the system, Cosart can hit 97mph as a starter and has good control for his age. Injury concerns are the only thing preventing him from being the 2nd ranked prospect on this board. He, or any of the prospects mentioned so far, could land us another big fish if we wanted to go that route. I would prefer we hang on to these guys.

10. Carlos Ruiz, C, 31 (3 years, $11.45 million)

That contract for the player with the 3rd best WAR among all catchers in 2010, behind only Joe Mauer and Brian McCann? Yes, please! Easily the best value contract on the club.

11. Ryan Howard, 1B, 31 (6 years, $145 million, 2017 club option)

Easily the hardest player to place on this list. Yes, his contract is terrible and as time goes by, he will continue to move further and further down this list, but right now, his is still a very productive offensive player, and we need him. But if a team came to me and said we will give you a quality major leaguer, a high-level prospect and we will take the entire contract off your hands? I’d be listening.

12. Shane Victorino, OF, 30 (2 years, $17 million)

I’d take him for his defense alone, but Shane is one of many players on the team who really need to step up their offensive game in 2011. Big dollar commitment, but not really on the years, and like I said, his defense makes it worth it.

13. Jimmy Rollins, SS, 32 (1 year, $8.5 million)

Like Victorino, his glove makes the remaining contract worth it. Also like Victorino, he has a lot to prove offensively in 2011. If there were still several years left on this deal, he would rank a lot lower considering his offensive production the last two years.

14. Trevor May, RHP, 21 (minors)

Another high upside pitcher, but with less upside, and less polish than the two already listed. Top-100 prospect though, according to some.

15. Jesse Biddle, LHP, 19 (minors)

Pretty much all projection after only 43 innings last year, but teams rarely trade away high-upside players before seeing at least a full season of them in the minors.

16. Ryan Madson, RHP, 30 ( 1 year, $4.5 million)

The short deal actually hurts Madson here because it’s likely he will demand a lot more on the open market after this one season. If he were locked in at this price for 3 years (like Ruiz), he’d be a steal, but in this case you have to factor in future cost.

17. Brad Lidge, RHP, 34 (1 year, $11.5 million, 2012 club option)

On the other hand, the 1-year helps Lidge, who as a feast or famine pitcher, could be worth at least most of his very high 2011 salary (or none of it). But clearly one would rather have Madson at almost a third of the price.

18. Vance Worley, RHP, 23 (minors)

Looks like he could be a 5th starter in the majors right now, and is practically free.

19. Joe Blanton, RHP, 30 (2 years, $17 million)

This is basically what Blanton would have gotten on the open market, so despite the fact that Cliff Lee’s arrival made him very trade-able, it’s not a bad contract. Plenty of teams could use a pitcher like Blanton and as these rankings show, the Phils should hold on to him unless they get offered a decent prospect or quality reliever.

20. Sebastian Valle, C, 20 (minors)

Good catching prospects are hard to come by, Valle is potentially the future replacement for Carlos Ruiz.

21. Jiwan James, OF, 21 (minors)

Ultra athlete with as pretty good chance of never reaching the majors.  But if he ever puts it together, he could be Dom Brown 2.0. Tough to rank.

22. Justin De Fratus, RHP, 23 (minors)

Flamethrower has the potential to be a future closer. Should at least be a solid middle-reliever.

23. Ben Francisco, OF, 29 (1 year, $1.2 million, 2 arbitration years)

Cheap, and could be an above replacement OF. But he’s probably a 4th OF, and those are pretty easy to find.

24. Placido Polanco, 3B, 35 (2 years, $12.5 million, 2013 mutual option)

Polanco is a popular player with a great glove, but last year he showed his age might be a problem as he spent almost the entire year dealing with injuries. 2 more years for an aging, injury prone player isn’t exactly desirable. Could shoot up this list next year though if he shows he can stay healthy.

25. J.C. Ramirez, RHP, 21 (minors)

Showed some promise as a younger pitcher in AA this year. Could still be moved to reliever.

26. Julio Rodriguez, RHP, 20 (minors)

Intriguing prospect with great K/9 rates who will be watched closely this season.

27. Aaron Altherr, OF, 19 (minors)

Apparently I missed the boat on this kid in my top-20 propsect rankings. In the Dom Brown / Jiwan James mold.

28. Tyson Gillies, OF, 22 (minors)

Still has a good shot to be an everyday outfielder, even after his lost 2010.

29. Antonio Bastardo, LHP, 25 (TBD, 5 years remaining under Phils control)

Inexplicably underused last year, Bastardo could be a quality lefty reliever if he reigns in his control a little. Not sure why the Phillies think Romero is an upgrade over him.

These next fall into the same category of ‘decent prospects who you wouldn’t mind if we traded at all, but could still make some kind of impact in the majors’ – so I’m just going to quick-rank them…

30. Austin Hyatt, RHP, 24 (minors)
31. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP, 20 (minors)
32. Matt Rizzotti, 1B, 25 (minors)
33. Domingo Santana, OF, 18 (minors)
34. Harold Garcia, 2B, 24 (minors)
35. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, 22 (minors)
36. Mike Schwimer, RHP, 25 (minors)

37. Ross Gload, Util, 34 (1 year, $1.6 million)

Nice, cheap contract for a quality bench guy. OPS over .800 last year. But if you got offered a decent prospect for him, you’d certainly take it.

38. Jose Contreras, RHP, 39 (2 years, $5.5 million, 2013 club option)

Multi-year deals for almost any reliever in this day in age are risky. Contreras is 39, has a lot of wear and tear on his arm, and even though he was decent last year, I feel someone like De Fratus or Schwimer could be just as good and a fraction of the price and risk.

39. Kyle Kendrick, RHP, 26 (1 year, $2.45 million, 2 arbitration years)

I’m sure some MLB team could use Kendrick, and I’d be happy to get a prospect of any value for him.

40. Scott Mathieson, RHP, 27 (minors)

At 27, it’s hard to get a read on what future, if any, Mathieson has with the club. The Phillies clearly don’t think his secondary stuff is good enough for the majors, cause his 99mph fastball sure seems to be.

41. Raul Ibanez, OF, 38 (1 year, $11 million)

Obviously worth nowhere near $11 million, and obviously not trade-able or else the Phillies would have done so already. However, unlike the players listed below, he actually has some legit potential value on the field.

42. Wilson Valdez, SS, 32 (TBD)

Valdez might be a fan favorite because of his rocket arm, but he has little value and good defensive SS’s who can’t hit are always available.

These next couple guys can be categorized as “guys who are on the active roster, who I don’t think will make a positive impact ever, but at least we aren’t paying them anything.”

43. John Mayberry, OF, 27 (TBD)
44. Mike Zagurski, LHP, 27 (TBD)
45.  Drew Carpenter, RHP, 25 (TBD)
46. David Herndon, RHP, 25 (TBD)
47. Drew Naylor, RHP, 24 (TBD)
48. Cesar Hernandez, 2B, 20 (TBD)
49.  Freddy Galvis, SS, 21 (TBD)
50. Michael Martinez, 2B, 28 (TBD)
51. Carlos Rivera, SS, 22 (TBD)
52. Brian Bocock, INF, 22 (TBD)

53. J.C. Romero, LHP, 34 (1 year, $1.35 million)

The 1 year contract is good, sure, but I’d be surprised if he got a major league offer from any other club.

54. Brian Schneider, C, 34 (1 year, $1.5 million)

Not really better than anyone we could find on the scrap heap (Paul Hoover, Paul Bako, etc…)

55. Danys Baez, RHP, 33 (1 year, $2.75 million)

The least trade-able player on the team. Anyone want to pay $2.75 mill to a reliever who is worse than 60% of the guys in your farm system? Didn’t think so.

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  1. joof says:

    Pete, I love reading B Simmons NBA Trade value rankings. That’s a good call on your part. I think it would be great if he did one for MLB but it seems really tedious.

    I wanted to ask you 2 opinions: Why do you think the Phils signed Howard for so long? I always wonder why teams are so willing to give huge long term deals despite the risk. 

    What do you think the chances are that Kendrick is traded instead of Blanton? I know one needs to be traded but the more I think of Kendrick the more it seems like a possibility. I’d like to think he’s a better pitcher now then he was 3 years ago. It’s incredible that this is his 3rd(?) straight spring training where he isnt even slotted in as a starter.

  2. Pete says:

    I think they signed Howard for so LONG because they thought his work ethic would enable him to age better than other hitters his size. The strange part was that they didn’t have to give him anything until after this season. The deal will be OK for the next couple seasons, but potentially a huge disaster after that. Hopefully not though.

    I’d say the chances of Kendrick being traded are a little less than Blanton. I’m sure someone could use him, and he’s cheap, but every team probably has someone as good as him in their system. If we do trade him, we won’t get anything back.


  3. Ken Bland says:

    If I can interject a comment on why RyHo was given such a long contract, I think the answer is fare more basic than the Phils projections on his long term ability.  Aside from the fact that they did sign him earlier than necessary, the reason they gave him the years and dollars they did was because that’s what they thought he’d command on the open market.  And if you believe what RAJ said, which is optional, I’ll paraphrase, “we’re paying him for what he’s already done.”

    Whether the market would actually have gone as high as 25 mil per  for 5-6, it’s tough to say because Albert’s negotiation is probably (I am really guessing here) more on a best player in the game standard against ARod’s deal than best 1B in the game.

    But TBP would have gotten this money and length on the open market, or darned close to it.   

  4. Lefty's Curve says:

    I noticed you have not included Mayberry on your list.  If he doesn’t have a better ST than Brown, I’d be happy to see him and KK packaged perhaps with Rizzotti for a good RH batter from a team where they all would have a better chance to play in 2011.

  5. Pete says:


    That was an oversight, nice catch.

    I’ve added him to the last group of minor leaguers – can’t say I’m too high on him.

  6. Stacy says:

    Weren’t Polanco’s injury troubles due to being hit by a pitch?  I think that paints a little different picture than classifying him as “injury prone”.
    Quick question:  Is there any truth to the Phils considering trading Hamels?  I first heard it on MLB but I wasn’t sure if it was just an opinion or if its coming from the Phils themselves.

  7. Pete says:

    Stacy -

    PP also had back trouble (missed the NLDS opener). And while he did get hit by a pitch, like Ibanez in 2009, the injury just lingered and lingered.

    I have heard nothing about trading Hamels. I’m certain it won’t happen before this season. I could see it happening at some point if they Phillies decide they don’t want 3 massive pitching contracts on the books and they think some of the younger guys can step in.

  8. bob says:

    As I said when RyHo signed the new contract, I think it was a wise move by the Phils, because the more players that are “locked up” it’ll become easier to access costs and plans moving ahead.  24 mil per year should be at the low end for this generation of first basemen over the next 5 years.  (watch what prince, AG contracts look like after Pujols signs with whoever) I’ll bet Phils would be paying $28 mil per year minimum for RyHo.)
    I expect RyHo to have a good “bounce back” year, as his bad ankle affected his power and RBI numbers during his favorite power months (aug & Sept)

  9. Ken Bland says:

    (watch what pPrince, AG contracts look like after Pujols signs with whoever) I’ll bet Phils would be paying $28 mil per year minimum for RyHo.)>>

    call me naive, but I can’t ernthusiastically agree with this.  As I suggested above, the Pujols contract might well be based on a compariosn to Alex Rodriguez, a long time contender for best player in the game.  That’s what Albert’s negotiating for, not a comparison to other 1B. And I’m not in the camp that thinks Albert resigns with the Cards for that reason. Even in an open market, I don’t believe that Prince or Adrian will keep driving the market up.  There’s a diminishing big market need for well thought of 1Bmen, and the Nats mentality of needing to overspend for Jayson is not going to become a trend.  I suspect the Phils 24 mil (I thought it was 25, but what’s a million bucks) winds up a pretty good guess on what he’d have gotten as the contract develops, and what fair “value” winds up as 5 years out.  Now whether TBP performs to that level for a while, or the duration is a whole other story that plays out very interestingly.

    Meranwhile, I guess my suspicions about who we face Opening Day are wrong.  As of earlier this morning, David Murphy followed Bill Conlin’s mention of about 2 weeks ago now on the Opening Series by speculating that Brett Myers would be the opponent.  I thought we’d face Wandy, but guess I was wrong.  So I guess Wandy gets Cliff in Game 2.  Good luck, Wandy.  You’re gonna need it.

  10. Pete says:


    I get what you are saying, but I think where the Phillies erred was comparing him to Albert Pujols.

    Howard is a lot closer to someone like Adam Dunn (he’s better than Dunn) than he is to Pujols.

  11. bob says:

    I hear ya Ken, but I still think with the way the agent’s play the game, they’re still going to play the highest player salery per position, against their client’s. and first base is a “premium” position.  

    Prince will be interesting to watch, if he isn’t signed or traded by season’s end, I think he’ll be coveted by alot of team’s needing to keep their fan base happy next year. (mets, Cubs, Dodgers, angels) plus teams that will have $$$ to spend (Nat’s, Marlins, Blue Jays).  Contracts just don’t get cheaper over the year’s because there aren’t many Cliff Lee’s.   

  12. Pete says:

    Over the last 3 years…

    Player A: .331/.439/.635, 126 HR, 369 RBI, 26.0 WAR

    Player B: .269/.350/.541, 124 HR, 395 RBI, 9.7 WAR

    Player C: .255/.380/.526, 116 HR, 308 RBI, 6.6 WAR


  13. bob says:


    I agree, but Ithink the Phils were comparing the cost of all te premium players in that position asper my post to Ken.

  14. Ken Bland says:

    I think he’ll be coveted by alot of team’s needing to keep their fan base happy next year. (Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Angels)>>

    That’s regarding Prince Fielder, and does nicely crush my statement abiout big market teams running at a diminished rate in quantity in need of a first baseman.

    The thing that caught my attention about it was the mention of the Mets and Dodgers.  You have to make a lot of good decisions to win as the Phils have the last several years, but timing and good fortune don’t hurt.  The financial plights of the Mets and Dodgers over the last what…2-3 years now probably will have run their course in the next 12 months or whenever and make them players again.  Had they been in better shape back when both Doc and Cliff (when we got him from Cleveland) were avasilable, we might not have them both.  Neither franchise will be down forever as both appear to be bottoming out at the same time.

  15. Andrew says:

    Anything to a rumor of Ibanez and a prospect to the Astros for Carlos Lee and cash?
    If the economics worked (i.e. The Astros paying a good chunk of Lee’s 2 year huge contract) I’d say we take a shot at this deal.
    Any thoughts?

  16. Pete says:


    I hadn’t heard that – where did you hear it?

    Lee is owed $18.5 mill per season for the next 2 years and was worse than Ibanez last year. Sure, he could bounce back, and is a RHB, but it would have to be A LOT of money coming our way for me to do that deal.

  17. Pete says:

    And believe it or not, Lee is actually a worse defensive OF than Ibanez as well

  18. jeff says:

    Howard was signed last year to enable the Phillies to sign Lee in the off season. Without knowing how much cash would be tied up in Howard they wouldn’t have been able to commit to Lee, not to mention making the Oswalt move, etc. Rube is being smart and getting the obvious out of the way so he knows his budget.

  19. Pete says:

    jeff -

    obviously with Lee in the fold, I can’t complain about how it went down. But I would have preferred that you switch the two names in your first sentance and they did it that way. (Sign Lee first to figure out what to pay Howard after this season).

    Lee was signed last year to enable the Phillies to sign Howard in the off season. Without knowing how much cash would be tied up in Lee they wouldn’t have been able to commit to Howard

  20. jeff says:

    Ifthey didn’t have Doc, Hamels and Oswalt I’d agree. However with that 3, Howard was without a doubt more important to the team long term. Besides, with all the 1bonthe market they would have been trying to meet the deals signed by Prince, Adrian, Dunn, Puhols, etc. This way they were out in front of the pack

  21. Andrew says:

    The rumor came from ‘The Baseball Guy Blog on (might be an insider article)
    If the Phils only have to eat lets say 6-7 million or less over the two years I would think about the deal.  I know the D would be poor in left, but if Victorino shades toward left and Brown who has room shades towards center we might be able to make up for a bit of the range difference.
    BUT to be able to a huge right handed bat in the line up (say behind Howard) would be invaluable to a team in need of that one player on Off to put us over the edge.

  22. Pete says:

    jeff -

    yeah, I get that. I just think the bottom line is that they overvalued Howard moving forward. Dunn (who is only 10 DAYS older than Howard) got 4 years, $56 million from the White Sox this off-season. I would argue that using that as a baseline, Howard’s extension after this year should have been for something like 4 years, $65 million or 5 years, $75 million, rather than the 5 years, $125 million he got. He got well more that DOUBLE what Dunn got!

  23. phillyfan says:

    Rube is being smart and getting the obvious out of the way so he knows his budget.>>

    This to me is the hardest part of figuring out where the PHils will be in 2-3 years.  Signing Howard to 25 mill per, with was unheard of 3 years ago itself, was supposed to hamstring the organization.  Instead, they added Halladay at 16 per.  At that point you really get concerned about future moves.  So what do they do?  They add Oswalt and about 15 mill per.  Signing Howard, Halladay, and Oswalt certainly made them completely hamstrung – so instead the sign Lee for 20 mill per. 

    So my question to you is, What budget?  Howard is distant past, three mega-contracts ago.  I don’t think anyone should evaluate the Howard contract and be concerned it hurt the long-term viability of the team, unless you want to put the same focus on giving big deals to 3 pitchers who are arguably past their primes.  That was only 1/4 of what RAJ would spend in the next 18 months. Who know how much is left in the kitty?  As far as deserving it, Howard deserved it as much as the pitchers we signed based on past accomplishments.   

  24. Pete says:


    Maybe getting traded to a contender would rejuvenate Lee a little, but right now his bat looks pretty awful.

    He ranked DEAD last in the NL in WAR for outfielders. He ended with -1.6, meaning he was actually worse than a replacement level player.

  25. Pete says:


    I agree that it looks like budget might not be as big an issue as it seemed before. They will still have a budget, but who knows what it will be. Even the mighty Yankees showed yet again that they have a budget as they were unable to blow us or Texas out of the water for Lee’s contract. But the Phils will continue to sell out for the next several years, so it might not be a huge problem while Howard is around.

    Howard deserved it as much as the pitchers we signed based on past accomplishments.   “

    This point however, is no way to run a business. 5 years, $75 million would have been plenty reward.

  26. phillyfan says:

    Regarding the Howard contract and “worth” I will only say that worth must be defined by more than sabremetrics.  I can gaurentee you alot of players took notice that the organization rewarded one of their own, possibly moreso than they had too, as suggested in post #22.  What gets lost on some is that kind of move could have influenced Roy H in coming here, Roy O in agreeing to come here, and C Lee in signing here.  It wasn’t a huge reason for any of them, but may very well have contributed to the overall impression of this franchise.

    This wasn’t a case of Danny Snyder overpaying Bruce Smith or Deon Sanders when they are over the hill.  This was one of our own, in the prime of his career, who put up 4 hall of fame seasons, rarely matched in all of baseball history.

    I know everyone wants to go all sabremetrics all the time, but winning requires a ethos.  The cardinals will pay up for Pujols – maybe 30 mill per year.  But this process they are going through isn’t doing anything extra to enhance their value as a quality organization.  Just normal free agent contentious process.  In that way the Howard signing was a value signing in the sense that in stepping out of the box the organization gets more back (Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, etc) from its investment than simply signing a player.  I think they looked at it as 20 mill per for the player and 5 mil per added value of this statement move.

    While there was headscratching in some quarters when they signed howard, I don’t recall much actual criticism from the real baseball people – only the sabremtrics folks, which is not surprising.  Strictly from a narrow production-by-individual standpoint one can quibble with a few million.  But there was more to it than that and one must look at the overall stretagy of the franchise.

    Howard isn’t just a bit better than Adam Dunn, and he is alot better than Ryan Klesko.  

  27. phillyfan says:

    This point however, is no way to run a business. 5 years, $75 million would have been plenty reward. >>

    Pete, see my above post.  I disagree.  I think this was most of all a “business” decision, one that the organization thought long and hard about and sought more than a one-for-one return.  I think as all business people understand, it isn’t how much you spend but how you spend what you spend.  Every dollar spent isn’t equal.  In some cases spending more for widget A makes sense, in other cases spending less for widget A makes sense. 

  28. Pete says:

    It’s not just sabermetric stats – look at any stat you want, and Dunn and Howard have been very similar the last 3 years. I know you will point to RBI’s, which is an important stat, but one that has a lot to with who you play with. Howard’s RBI numbers would have been a lot lower on the Nats and Dunn’s higher on the Phils.

    Howard IS better, but it’s a darn close.

  29. Pete says:

    Make your argument. Using facts, that Howard has been significantly better than Dunn in the last 3 years. I want to see numbers.

  30. Andrew says:

    Well if you look at Lee 2 and 3 years ago (high 20s in HR and OBP around .350) When he actually had some decent hitters around him and a competing team – he was a solid power bat.
    Last year he had the likes of Pense, JASON MICHAELS hitting behind him, Keppenger, Quintero, etc around him, an average pitching staff, and not much to play for for almost the entire year. He prob was bored out of his mind, unmotivated, and well paid…. you think the Phils locker room would let him loaf around…. I bet he would be intimidated to play hard every single day…
    Put him behind Ryan Howard, add to that the potential to have runners on base all year, and you force the opposing team to play the R/L bullpen match ups.  Are we that high on Ibanez being able to hit lefties, hit in the clutch, and be a proper 5 or 6 hitter?

  31. phillyfan says:

    Dunn can’t carry a team like we have seen Howard do it – not measurable but our own eyes have seen it.  Dunn has never carried a team in his career. Winning hits at meaningfull times.  No way the Phils offense is as good or feared if you substitue Dunn for Howard. 

    Howard may be barely average defensively, but Dunn flat out cannot play the position.  I watch at least 100 Nats games a year and there is a reason he went to AL this year.  You think Howard is bad defensively, Dunn cannot play defense for a winning team.

    Are you saying you would trade them straight up if we just swapped contracts?  Seems to be what you are insinuating – since the contract seems to factor in so heavily in your valuing a player.  I hope not.  You can’t tell me we are as good a team.

    howard still had the potential for 45/50 – 135/145.  Dunn doesn’t.  Dunn’s is 40 – 100, 260 with 200ks.  There is no upside above that. that is a “down” year for Howard. 

  32. phillyfan says:

    If Utley and Rollins can be healthy and return to above-average offensive form, we may have the division locked up by the end of July.  15 game lead I am thinking.  Probably the only thing that keeps us rfom winning 110 games this year is the lake of being pressed. 

    I am so fired up for this season to start.  Would like to win the next two World Series – 3 titles out of 5 years and 4 out of 5 years in the WS – to be remembered as a major dynasty. 

    I hope D. Brown isn’t a dud.  I think of a guy like Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols and you realize how special it is to make that jump from minors to majors and be even better in the majors.  Just so rare to see. But just think how good we will be if things kick in for him and he does 280 – 28 – 90 or something close. 

  33. Ken Bland says:

    There is a great tendency to underestimate Howard and forget his past when you try to devalue him.

    Go by what his peers think for a minute.

    Just to pull out 1 comment, somebody in baseball, prolly another GM was asked about what’s the Nats GM’s name, Mike Whatever, about his trying to trade Dunn last year.  And the guy said he thinks he’s trading Ryan Howard.

    Howard is easy to rip.

    Those complaints are valid.

    But the whole package is still good.

    I’m glad he’s on our side.

    And if the Phils offered him 15 mil for 5 years, it would have been a shorter negotiaition than the so called conversation Ruben had with Cliff’s agent in 2009.
    Thatr’s as underpaid as he is overpaid.

    Adam Dunn?  C’mon!

  34. Pete says:

    Dunn can’t carry a team like we have seen Howard do it – not measurable but our own eyes have seen it”

    It is measurable. It’s called “stats.” If he carries a team, his stats get better. When he slumps, his stats get worse.

    Look – this is an old conversation. And once again you have provided zero statistical backing for your claims. I could actually make an argument for you using “stats” to show Howard is a better clutch hitter than Dunn.

    I know he is. I also know he’s a better defensive player. And I would rather have Howard on my team for sure.

    But he’s not $56 million vs. $125 million better.

    If we didn’t have this rotation and were really clearly the favorite to win the WS the next 2-3 years, I would strongly consider moving Howard if someone would take his contract. But this team isn’t thinking for the future and Howard gives us the best chance to win right now – so I wouldn’t move him.

  35. Ken Bland says:

    Any conversation debatng the past 3 years between Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard  is triggered by the fact that Howard’s numbvers dropped off in 2010.  One of the 3b year category. Feel free to jump to the conclusion that that’s the start of a trend.  Don’t expect me to board the same ship.  Many, many HOF members had off years mixed into their careers.

    First of all, even in his 31 homer, 90 point OPS drop from a season before, for whatever it’s worth, Howard finished 10th in the MVP voting.  He was 3rd the year before that, 2nd prior to that.  Dunn garnered votes last year for the first time in 3 years to finish 21st. 

    Dunn’s 3 year totals have been with club’s not suited for a penneant race.  He heads to his 4th big league club this year.  Howard, on the other hand, not once, not twice, but all 3 times in the past 3 years has been the underlying foundation of divison winning teams that jumped on his back

    You can point to the OPS similarities and ignore RBI as environmental, the high strikeout similarities, and dress down the insignificance of Howard having a better batting average, but even if you consider Howard’s 2010 massively off, I don’t see any legitimate debate just based on that 1 paragraph above.

    Howard gets the big contract, and gets looked at a lot differently than he used to.

    At the start of the 2008 vseason, Pete rated the first basemen in MLB this way…
              1. Ryan Howard, Phillies
              2. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
              3. Prince Fielder, Brewers

    Howard’s last 3 years have individually been pretty darned good.  So he’s dropped behind Pujols.  Now you know how Babe felt when despite a kick ass like nobody else 1927 finished behind Lou Gehrig as the MVP.  The anchor of an offense that’s won 3 straight divisions while Albert Pujols anchored a complete offensive team flop in 09, and watched the playoffs on the big screen in 2010.  Howard personally carried this team ro a division title with a September on slaught in at least 1 of the first 2 years in that time frame.

    People scream about guys like Howard and Werth striking out too much.  Like there has ever been a power hitter in the game that didn’t strike out a lot. 

    The guy deserves to be criticized or booed about as often as Doc or Cliff in my opinion.  He’s already done his part, and despite the legitimate intellectual concerns about the guy’s future, I doubt the professionals within the game think it’s as dreary as those of us on the outside looking in.  Not to mention a real rapid rush to judgement.

  36. Ken Bland says:

    On this Carlos Lee discussion, for all his simplicity and lack of smoioth articulation, Charlie has contributed eloquent words to the change in Phillies history.  Starting 2-3 years ago, when the subject of pitching acquisition possibilities came up, 11 out of every 10 Charlie quotes arounhd the trade deadline were, “don’t get me what I have already.”

    Forn years, the Phils motto seemed to be if he’s finished, lets get him.

    A small difference, n’edt ce pas?

    Charlie’s motto was reflected by Ruben in a recent WIP interview about the outfield.
    Ben Fransisco is the measuruing stick against who you have to be superior to.  Ifr you see Carlos Lee at this point as superior to Ben Fran, you can justify it.  Personally, I don’t, and I doubt the Phils do which is my basis for not putting much liklihood in that developing.  Just one person’s opinion.

  37. Pete says:


    • Last year might be (and hopefully was) an outlier, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and when have a player of Howard’s size moving into his 30′s, you just don’t know what is going to happen.
    • MVP voting hasn’t caught up to Cy Young voting yet. But I imagine if Dunn had the year he had last year on a team that led the league in wins, he would have been ranked a lot higher. Both of you guys seem intent on penalizing Dunn for being on a horrible team.
    • You cannot discount the fact that Howard is on the same team as Utley, Rollins, Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Werth, etc, etc, etc. Is Jayson Werth a worse player now just because he is on the Nationals and they won’t make the playoffs? Your rationale says yes.
    • My knowledge of baseball value has changed a lot since 2008. I would not have put Howard ahead of Pujols now.
    • While Howard can carry a team for stretches like few others, it wouldn’t be as necessary if he played as well the rest of the time. All the games count the same, and for as many times as he carries us, he also goes in deep slumps. It all evens out in the end.
    • I don’t care about Howard’s strike-outs
    • I feel like I need to restate this. I love Ryan Howard. I think Ryan Howard is a great player and definitely better than Adam Dunn. I do not think he is more than twice the player Dunn is, as his salary would indicate.
  38. Ken Bland says:

    I hope D. Brown isn’t a dud.>>

    I absolutely completely promise you he will be a very effective major league player.
    Wish I felt that way as soon as this year.  That part is highly debatable.

    Are we that high on Ibanez being able to hit lefties, hit in the clutch, and be a proper 5 or 6 hitter?>>

    I pretty much am, yeah.  Raul is streaky.  He’s not young anymore.  And for conversation’s sake, let’s say that his injury of nid 09 did linger.  Maybe, maybe not, but let’s look at it optimistically.  His numbers H2, 2010 were pretty good, a little too good when good, and a little low when he redove.  But he’s playing for his baseball life in the last year of his contract, and strikes me as one of the better lefty versus lefty hitters that I’ve ever seen.  I wish it’d been a 2 year deal, but considering the charmed life Ruben leads, he should be at least okay in this “extra year.”  Defensively, maybe he’s one of the better fielders in the Ibanez family, but you can’t have everything for 11 mil.

  39. Ken Bland says:


    I’m not suggesting Dunn is worth half of RyHo, or vice versa on the double side.

    I’m just expressing the view that Howard’s past 3 years were better.

    You raise some valid points about the deep slumps creating the need for carrying the club.  I don’t think I’d jump to agree about all the individual talent on the club though.  I think to some degree, but not completely, mind you, Ryan’s presence makes our guys better.  A truth lies in the middle type deal. 

    Glad you spoke to changing values on worth since 08.  I’d have assumed just thoughtr Howard was better.  That’s a good thing that you can look back and say you’d have thought differently knowing what you know now. 

    Contracts are such emotion driven decisions.  Look at the way the offers for Cliff seemed to jump everyday.  ARod was in the right placer at the right time.  The arbitration process helped Ryan get to where he caught a 3-0 fastball with the wind with all his homers and ribs ftom early on.  Maybe the Phils expect too much, too long, but he sems to have the character to go down fighting if a big tailoff is his destiny.  So like you, I hope for the best, and stay in his corner.   

  40. Lefty's Curve says:

    Howard’s deal should have been 20M/yr w heavy post-season performance incentives — that was my immediate sentiment (u can check my FB) and was only compounded on Oct 23.  Howard would have been a shoe-in for NLCS MVP (as he was in 2009 – any help on who last got back-to-back LC MVP) with an RBI in the 1st, 5th or certainly in the 9th innings of game 6. Incidentally, his fellow salary elite, A-Roid finished the Yank’s season virtually identically -taking a close strike- the day before.
    RAJ has proven himself to be anything but niggardly with home grown talent (KK’s 2.45M being the most recent exhibit) and that may well be a wise management strategy in terms of the ineffable value of esprit d’corp and motivation.  Wonder what the original Ryno – Ryan Sandberg- thinks about how the organization has changed in 30 years as he takes the reigns in Allentown.

  41. phillyfan says:

    David Ortiz went 270/32/102 with 36 doubles and he is four years older than RH.  I don’t think Ortiz is in half the shape Howard is.  And Howard is 4 years younger.
    At the ages of 31, 32, 33, and 35 (injured at 34), Jim Thome averaged 47 / 120.  If Thome can do it, so can Howard.  Howard has an even more impressive track record entering that age than Thome.  And, if I recall correctly, when Thome came to the Phils at the age of 32, it was like a king to a coronation.  Nobody talked about him being past his prime.  He was thought to be in his prime – and he turned out to be in his prime.  Again, another player not thought to be a workout freak with a perfect body but extremely productive well into his mid-30s.
    It reasons that in this day and age Howard has at least four more years of 35-45 / 120-145 if he stays healthy.  And he has proven to be extremely durable.

  42. Pete says:


    I’m glad you mentioned Ortiz, because he only makes my point stronger.

    Not a bad year from Ortiz, but was it a $25-million year? Cause that’s what Howard will be making at age 34.

    What kind of contract do you think Ortiz would have gotten on the open market this year?

    Cause when Ry Ho is that age, he will be due 3 years, $85 million guaranteed. Would you have signed Ortiz to that deal this off-season? Ortiz was just as dominant as Howard from 2004-2006.

    I’m not saying Howard is going to be BAD – but $25 million means he needs to be one of the best players in the league to justify the contract. Ortiz wasn’t a top-30 player in baseball this year. Some would argue he wasn’t top-50.

    Howard and Thome are completely different hitters. Thome has been able to last this long because of his plate discipline and pitch selection. Howard is not that type of hitter.

  43. Ken Bland says:

    Speaking of Ortiz, a couple points that may or may not wind up lead indicators on Howard down the road.

    He, like TBP had monster homer seasons when younger.  47 and 54.  And in the last 4 years, from about the same as age as RyHo is now, he’s hit right around 30 a year.  And while the bottom line is the bottom line, the totals have been the results of ridiculous hot and cold streaks.

    Ortiz, since 2007 has played about 25 games in the field.  You’d have to figure that’d be more taxing on Howard as a National Leaguer.

    For whatever correlation there is between production and money, Ortiz’s peak pay has been around 12-13 mil ther last 2-3 years, but I don’t think he was ever in a situation with arbitration kinda forcing his employer to sign him for 18 mil, which you couldn’t expect him to take a pay cut from as his peak years approached when negotiating a long term deal..

  44. Ken Bland says:

    I know the Howard subject is beyond beat up, especially since every power hitter in baseball over 5’8, 150 (DING!) was analyzed beyond age 34 when the deal was inked, but since Papi’s name came up in BoSox beat writer Pete Abraham’s column today, I’ll offer up what the Boston lefty has done the last 4 years (agewise, Ryan’s next 4).  The bottom line is Papi’s numbers on the whole may look good (totally forgetting value based on pay), but as I mentioned last night, with streakiness that would seem to even dwarf THP, the numbers are really brought down against LHP.
    This is only relavant if Ortiz is a lead indicator.  You probably could build a solid case that he isn’t.

    <<Here are David Ortiz’s statistics against lefthanders the last four seasons:
    2007: 210 plate appearances, .308/.390/.462 with 5 HR
    2008: 121 plate appearance, .221/.308/.433 with 5 HR
    2009: 188 plate appearances, .212/.298/.418 with 6 HR
    2010: 200 plate appearances, .222/.275/.324 with 2 HR
    You don’t need to be Bill James to figure that out. His OPS against lefties has plunged from .852 to .599. That’s not a trend, that’s falling off a cliff.>>

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