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2007 Philadelphia Phillies

People seem to be enjoying these 2007 outlooks I've been doing by team, so I'll keep 'em coming.  Check out the new 2007 Team Outlooks link to see all of the past ones. 

Here are the current contract obligations for the Phillies.  I should also add that I utilized the terrific Beerleaguer Phillies Blog as a resource to learn some details about the team's plans.

C - Carlos Ruiz - $0.33MM
C - Chris Coste - $0.33MM
1B - Ryan Howard - $0.355MM
2B - Chase Utley - $0.5MM
SS - Jimmy Rollins - $7MM
3B -
1B/OF - Jeff Conine - $2MM mutual option
IF - Abraham Nunez - $2.1MM
LF - Pat Burrell - $13MM
CF - Aaron Rowand - $3.25MM player or $5MM club option
RF - Shane Victorino - $0.33MM

SP - Brett Myers - $3.3MM
SP - Cole Hamels - $0.33MM
SP - Jamie Moyer - $6MM
SP - Jon Lieber - $7.5MM
SP -

RP - Tom Gordon - $7MM
RP - Ryan Madson - $0.4MM
RP - Geoff Geary - $0.35MM
RP - Fabio Castro - $0.327MM
RP - Clay Condrey - $0.33MM
RP - Matt Smith - $0.33MM
RP - Eude Brito - $0.33MM

Current obligations, once raises come in, look to be a touch over $60MM.  The Phils began last season with an $88MM payroll, so there should be money to spend this winter.

Mike Lieberthal's finally off the books, and it does not seem like the Phils will bring him back in a part-time role.  Pat Gillick hasn't fully committed to it, but he is open to the idea of going with the low-cost Ruiz/Coste tandem.  Ruiz will be 28 next season, and he hit a robust .307/.389/.505 at Triple A this year.  He's gotten only 59 big league ABs to prove himself this year.  Coste is a minor league lifer who bombed in a Triple A stint this year but had a great July and August for the Phillies.

The Phils have a great infield core, but have lacked a league average third baseman since David Bell's 2004.  They'll probably look to the free agent market for their next 3B.  Options include Pedro Feliz, Aubrey Huff, Joe Randa, Nomar Garciaparra, Shea Hillenbrand, and perhaps Aramis Ramirez.  Not all of those guys can post an .820 OPS (league average) as well as handle third base regularly.  Gillick will just have to do the best he can; I can see him ending up with Hillenbrand.  If Ramirez hits the market, it will be tough to outbid the Angels and Dodgers.  The longshot solution: trade for Alex Rodriguez.

Pat the Bat has an untradeable contract and a no-trade clause, so the Phillies will have to be happy with Burrell in left.  Maybe Gillick can get creative and make something work, but the odds are against it.  Though Burrell's 2006 may seem disappointing, it's been very similar to his '05.  He's still hitting better than the average NL LF.

Some Phils fans envision Victorino in center and Rowand moving to right, but the above arrangement seems most likely.  Gillick will have to choose between using Victorino as a subpar offensive RF or a very good fourth outfielder.  In a perfect world, he'd sign a better RF and choose the latter option.  The market does contain some useful right fielders like Jose Guillen or Gary Sheffield.  This could be a creative way to compensate for the weak 3B market.

Pitching staff: the current version of Jon Lieber isn't a great way to spend $7.5MM, but it's been an inflated pitching market for years.  You could do worse for your fourth starter.  A front two of Myers and Hamels is impressive.  When he traded for Moyer, Gillick worked out a mutual option for 2007 with him.  I guessed around $6MM.  Right now it's just a possibility that Moyer returns.  Given the short-term commitment and Moyer's success, the Phils really need him to stay.

If Moyer stays, the Phillies can get by trying Brito, Gavin Floyd, or a retread in the fifth starter slot.  Carlos Silva's name has also been mentioned.  If Moyer leaves, they need to hit the market and spend some money.  The market offers options aplenty, depending on what Gillick wants to spend.  Big names, medium names, former Phillies, it's all there.  The club could opt to retain Randy Wolf, but I don't see it.   

The bullpen looks fine to me.  Gordon, the emergence of Geary, the re-establishment of Madson - they should be OK.  Maybe one low-level signing.

   

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Comments

I wouldn't be suprised to see the Phils make a play for Zito.

They'll have to watch what they spend... soon they'll owe Howard and Utley a wad of cash. What was the last word on Gavin Floyd (was that his name) is he completely out of the Phillies plans now?

I believe I read on Beerleaguer that they want him to step up, play in the AFL, and get it together for '07. Still in the plans far as I know, but not being counted on.

Any chance the Phils trade for a 3B prospect? What are the White Sox doing with the Crede/Fields situation? What about the Tribe with Marte/Kouzmanoff? Or even the Rockies' Jeff Baker or Ian Stewart? Outside of Ramirez I don't like that list of 3B.

Here's what I'd do. Trade Madson and maybe Floyd to Washington for Kory Casto. He solves the 3B question without having to spend a bunch of money on a free agent.

Sign a guy like Vincente Padilla for the last rotation spot and maybe overpay a bit for Joe Borowski to setup/occasionally close.

I'd also bet that Burrell does get traded in the offseason, I think Gillick has broken him. I'd probably go more the Thome route and pay most of the salary to get something good in return, then keep Dellucci for LF and sign a guy like Guillen for RF. Give Victorino time in both corners and even in CF, like you said, he is a perfect 4th OF.

Off-season moves by Burrellfan777...

1. Re-sign our 1st baseman
2. Re-sign our 2nd basman
3. Re-sign David Dellucci
4. Release Lieberthal
5. Release all pitchers but Hamels, Mathieson, Madson, Myers, Gordon, MAYBE Rhodes
6. Attempt to re-sign Wolf, and instead sign Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis
7. Sign Tejada to 3rd base
8. Sign Soriano to the outfield
9. Keep Chris Coste our starting catcher
10. Release Aaron Rowand for what happened with Chase Utley
11. Release Charlie Manuel for being a horrible manager (07)

Comments

1. Already signed
2. Already signed
3. OK
4. Don't need to, his contract is up
5. Rhodes is a free agent. Lieber does have some value, releasing him would be weird.
6. Willis isn't a free agent
7. Tejada isn't a free agent
8. OK
9. Questionable move
10. What happened, and why would you release a player other teams find valuable?
11. OK, I guess

Prof, out of that group I think only Crede could be had.

God Philly fans are dumb...hey burrellfan777-after you "sign" Tejada and Willis, are you going after Jeter, Santana, Manny, Big Papi and Burnett?....how can you visit this site and know so little...?

If Burrell is put on waivers and claimed by another team will the Phillies still be held to pay any portion of his contract due to the no-trade clause? Is there any chance another team might claim him? If so, let him go! Getting nothing in return is worth more than that monster contract.

1. If they don't re-sign Howard then they ARE in fact losers.

2. A 44 game hit streak and you're questioning Utley???

3. yup, resign David Dellucci.

4. of course

5. Lieber is weird. I agree. Get rid of him

6. They'll go where the money's at.

7. He'll go where the money's at

8. Yup

9. It wasn't questionable and that was uncalled for.

10. Rowand is a danger to himself and other teammates if he stays. Release him.

11. yup

Yeah well that's just me. The me that's been seeing losing Phillies seasons since 1994.

Well ya know Matt it's just a little difficult to agree to all of that when the Phillies are 2 games out of the WC race... and havn't made the playoffs in over 10 years to think that they wouldn't need players like the ones I just listed is absurd.

Oh, and they HAVE the salary for it too.

1. Under the Phillies' control. It's not a re-signing.
2. Under the Phillies' control. It's not a re-signing.
5. Releasing players that other teams would trade for is dumb.
6. Doesn't matter where the money is, players who are not free agents don't pick and choose their teams.
7. Doesn't matter where the money is, players who are not free agents don't pick and choose their teams.
9. Counting on a 30-something year old minor league lifer as your starting catcher is indeed questionable.
10. Releasing a decent player because he collided with someone is pure lunacy.

Maybe he's drunk? Or he just doesn't understand free agency...

I like these team analyses, can you do the cubs next (as sad as they are)?

This one is adressed to Snuffy, if the Phillies put Burrell on waivers and someone claims him, it would be an answer to their prayers. They would just dump his contract on whichever team was dumb enough to claim him. It will never happen though, the only possible way I could see them moving him is if they pick up a big chunk of the contract which kind of defeats the purpose of getting rid of him.

Personally, You need to think outside the box on 3B this year, I heard that the Phillies were looking into a Japanese FA, another possibility is trading , there are a few teams with cluds in 3Bs, White Sox, Royals, Rockies espically, the Phillies are not in a favorable position here relative to say... the Angels, but they still might conjure up something.

Trading for Teahen or Stewart would be espically smart. if they can pull it off that is...

If possible at the right price they could consider bringing back Delluci and/or Wolf, i think with Wolf the problem is there is a major price problem in FA pitchers, if you can get to him fast to sign a below market deal for a few years that would be very nice.

Another possibilty for the Phillies is to shop Rowand around, he's bat simply isn't very productive and they are probably better off with Victorino leading off eventrually instead of Rollins. i would love to be able to stick Victorino permenently in center, look for a shorter term solution in right... it could be possible that they pull a trade for Stewart using Rowand as a piece as well. which would solve two problem at once.

If they miss out on Wolf, I'm not sure what they should do, perhaps looking for another Cory Lidle type inning's eater... perhaps make a run for a top starter. (i doubt it though.) considering the options, make a quick move to lock up Wolf seems the best overall option.

Get one more setup guy is a must as well.

Hey Roto, a lot of talk with Crede and Fields.... could you do one of these on the White Sox, since they are now out of the playoff race?

What's the realistic solution for the Phillies? What is going to get them over the hump? I think their main concerns are to get rid of Burrell. Yes, his numbers are still up there but he's terrible in clutch situations which is what the Phillies are in desperate need for. I've heard rumors of a Burrell for Estrada trade. What a perfect situation that would be for the Phillies. I love Chris Coste, but do you Phillie fans really trust him as your number 1 catcher?? Unfortunately, I don't think Randy Wolf has a place in Philadelphia anymore. The Phils need to sign a proven #1 starter. They can't rely on Lieber or even Myers to be there Ace....yet (for Myers). The Phillies definately need to find that right handed bat to protect Howard at third base. What's the realistic chance of landing Aramis Ramirez? I don't know, too many rumors flying around but I think it'd be smart. The outfield should stay as it is for now with Conine in left, Rowand in center, and Victorino in right. Rowand could never hit another ball again in Philadelphia and he'd still be loved for making that unbelievable catch that sent the damn Mets packing that night in May. I love Rowand, I'd love to see him stick around for awhile. If the Phils decide to make a run for Sheffield or Soriano (Soriano unlikely) then Victorino is going to be the best spot starter in the league as Sheff would start in right. Doesn't this make sense?

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