NL Notes: Amaro, Nationals, Cordier

Wondering what your team still can or should do to improve before the start of the 2014 season? ESPN.com's Jim Bowden lays out the "missing links" he sees for each of the National League's clubs. On the free agent side of things, he thinks that the Reds (Nelson Cruz), Pirates (Kendrys Morales), and Mets (Stephen Drew) could all stand to add an impact bat. Elsewhere around the NL …

  • In an interesting piece on Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Phils' top baseball man will continue to "take swings" at arguably risky acquisitions. "There are only so many chances to be a champion, and I will never stop believing that if you have a chance, you take the opportunity," Amaro says. "if you don't take a chance on Adam Eaton, then maybe you don't take a chance on Jayson Werth." (Of course, Amaro was referring to Eaton the retired pitcher, not the young outfielder by the same name.)
  • Amaro discussed his philosophies in relation to some of the club's recent moves, He acknowledged that the signing of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was a risk, but called him "a guy with a tremendous ceiling." And while Marlon Byrd will earn $16MM over two years to be "a decent role player" for Philadelphia, in Amaro's words, the GM explained that he had to balance the team's needs. "If I go get Carlos Beltran," said Amaro, "then I can't take a chance on Roberto Hernandez. We've got a lot of holes to fill, and our job is to try to make the right decision 70 percent of the time, not the wrong decision 70 percent of the time."
  • The Nationals recently added another bench piece in Jamey Carroll, and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post expects that the veteran will make the club out of Spring Training. But that does not mean that GM Mike Rizzo is done fiddling with his reserves, says Kilgore. Possible additions include a catcher, a left-handed bat such as Lyle Overbay, or a right-handed corner option like Mark Reynolds. Likewise, another southpaw reliever could still be added.
  • The powerful right arm of reliever Erik Cordier earned him a guaranteed deal with the Giants even though he's never thrown a big league pitch. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned that Cordier's new club had good reason to offer him a MLB deal, as two other clubs were likewise willing to use a 40-man roster spot on the 27-year-old. (Twitter link.) 


36 Responses to NL Notes: Amaro, Nationals, Cordier Leave a Reply

  1. Ryan 2 years ago

    Um Ruben, not being able to take a chance on Roberto Hernandez because you got Carlos Beltran isn’t a bad situation to be in….. Food for thought.

    • I get what he’s saying… clearly he needs to fill a number of roster spots so he can’t go all in on one guy but you have to question some of the guys he has “taken a chance on”. And Byrd is a major overpay for someone viewed as a reserve or “role player” at this point in his career.

      • Ryan 2 years ago

        Yeah, I agree. I get his point, just the examples he gives us as support (Byrd, Hernandez) don’t really help his case.

      • John Donovan 2 years ago

        How is Byrd a role player or reserve at this point in his career? He was a solid All-Star caliber starter last season.

        • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

          But do you think he will sustain that level of production for the next two years? The contract covers his next two years, not the previous year.

          Personally, I don’t think he will be a reserve player, but I also don’t see him repeating last year’s season as well.

          • Phillyfan425 2 years ago

            He doesn’t have to replicate his 2013 season to be worth the deal. He just has to fall in line with his career numbers (as a regular). If you take 2013 and 2012 as outliers (his best and worst years) and go back to when he was a regular (2007-2011), he’s averaged a .290/.350/.440 line with 45 XBH a season. He’s also produced a 2.8 WAR (per season) over that time line. It’s the same kind of risk they took with MY (from an offensive standpoint). Difference is, Marlon isn’t an out-of-position, rapidly declining defender who’s dWAR will cancel out his oWAR.

          • John Donovan 2 years ago

            You are always paying for past production, that’s how sports contracts work. Otherwise Pujols would have never gotten his contract for 10 years. Do you really think ANYONE in baseball thinks Pujols is going to be worth $25 million when he is 41? No, but that was the cost to get him to leave St. Louis and go to the Angels.

            Players and more specifically agents are not unwise. There is a reason players have a career year in a contract year, because they want more money. Whether or not Byrd can sustain that level of production is a gamble that the Phillies are taking. But no one, not even you, can say definitively that Byrd will be a poor player in 2014 or 2015. You can say definitively that he was an All Star in 2013.

        • Amaro himself dubbed Byrd “a decent role player”.

    • theydizneyboy 2 years ago

      Hey Ryan, how about you do some research. Ruben is to do what he’s told. It’s David Montgomery and John S Middleton who are to blame. Stop spamming RUBEN RUBEN RUBEN RUBEN.

      Call out the right people, not the puppet.

      • nepp 2 years ago

        Middleton is a limited partner who has zero say in the running of the organization. He has nothing to do with the day-to-day decision making and is basically the equivalent of a non-voting shareholder who gets a dividend from them every year. Montgomery is the only member of the ownership group involved in the running of the team and I would agree that he has way too much influence on decision making in the FO.

        • theydizneyboy 2 years ago

          Is that true? Montgomery is the only member of the ownership group involved in the running of the team?

          Is it that known around baseball or do you have a source?

          If it is known fact I’d assume it would be spoken about much more than it is now, which is never.

  2. LooksEasyOnTV 2 years ago

    “We’ve got a lot of holes to fill, and our job is to try to make the right decision 70 percent of the time, not the wrong decision 70 percent of the time.”

    I think the better option would be to try making the right decision 100 percent of the time, while realizing that there is a margin of error (perhaps as high as 30 percent).

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      Going .700 in baseball is pretty darn good! That’s a 113-49 season!

      • LooksEasyOnTV 2 years ago

        Or a .700 batting average!

        My point was that it is odd to hear a GM state that his goal is to be wrong 30 percent of the time.

        • Karkat 2 years ago

          That phrasing was wicked odd. But as someone else pointed out I doubt there’s much that Amaro could say at this point that wouldn’t net him a tremendous amount of scrutiny.

        • raltongo 2 years ago

          yea, i thought that was kind of a hum-dinger quote also…hoping to be average? 70/100? That’s a “C” in school

    • Tony DiQuattro 2 years ago

      I’m sure Ruben will take your comment into consideration.

    • Phillyfan425 2 years ago

      RAJ tries to be an optimist – Phillies fans slam him for being unrealistic.
      RAJ tries to be a realist – Phillies fans slam him for being too pessimistic.
      I guess he could try being a pessimist, like most Phillies fans. But them I’m sure he’d get slammed for being “too negative”.

      • theydizneyboy 2 years ago

        Dude, it’s not Ruben’s fault, it’s David Montgomery and John S Middleton! Do some research!

  3. Has anyone signed Jeff Baker? If not, he might be an option for the Nationals if they can’t get Reynolds.

    • Stuart Brown 2 years ago

      Baker should probably be the primary option, not Reynolds.

  4. phillies1102 2 years ago

    Okay, Ruben had made some mistakes in past offseasons, but putting his entire history behind him, he actually had a good offseason given his position. He had to add talent in RF, SP, and C and with only $22 million, that is not easy to do. I would have done things a little differently, but in reality, my moves wouldnt have made both our team better and our budget possible. I still think we should have traded Brown, but I understand if the return wasn’t suffice.

    His only mistakes were giving Mayberry a contract and giving Ruiz a third year, but in a market where Skip Shumaker got 2 years, 5 million, Mayberry’s deal is plausible and the market demanded a 3rd year for Ruiz. So we’ll see how well his moves will work, but I have good feelings about Byrd.

    • Andrew m 2 years ago

      The Ruiz signing is horrendous. Especially after seeing the deal salty got. Would it kill this guy to sign someone who isn’t in his mid 30’s??

      • phillies1102 2 years ago

        The Salty signing did hurt, but he wasn’t a fit for us and he clearly wanted to be more than a 7 hole hitter. His defense is average, while Chooch’s is always superior, but yes I am suprised overall Ruiz got that kind of deal. Doesn’t mean he can’t live up to it.

  5. Ron Loreski 2 years ago

    Kendrys Morales is 100% not a fit for the Pirates for 2 reasons.

    1. He’s a DH.
    2. No way they surrender a 1st round draft pick for any player.

    • bucsws2014 2 years ago

      And people wonder why Bowden is no longer a GM. smh!

  6. alexamato 2 years ago

    I’d rather have Fontenot make the Nat’s roster over Carroll

  7. leowalter 2 years ago

    Seriously,I have never heard Bowden explain why he thinks ANY NL orginization would give up a no. 1 pick for a DH that should never pick up a glove more than once a week.

  8. Andrew m 2 years ago

    I’m confused… Does he think the phillies have a shot to contend this year? Guy is an absolute joke of a general manager. For the love of god, let us reload our roster. He’s trying to scrape togethor another 2008 season from a roster that simply not as good, and clearly on the decline. Not looking forward to another dreadful season this year.

    • Bob 2 years ago

      I think if the Phillies could get 200 innings out of Matt Garza and production from Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, they could push for a wild card spot.

  9. Phillyfan425 2 years ago

    Yea, they’d just be slamming him for not signing anyone in an offseason where they need to make additions to certain areas (C, RF, SP).

  10. phillies1102 2 years ago

    Skip and Mayberry are both versatile yet choppy on the field, and have had worse 2013 season than 2012. They can play all the same position (All 3 OFs), except one can play 2B, while the other can play 1B.. 2012-2013 OPS combined: Mayberry .687 Schumaker .684

    These are two VERY similar players. Skip’s ability to play 2B is outweighted by Mayberry’s (very) slightly higher upside and optimal age. So, considering we kept Mayberry instead of replacing him with a market quality equal, our decision was plausable.

  11. Bob 2 years ago

    what about Chad Qualls?

  12. formerdraftpick 2 years ago

    I wonder if the Pirates would be able to jostle Howard and Rollins away from the Phils? It seems like they are ready to move on from Rollins, but Howard, not so sure.

  13. Bob 2 years ago

    no one wants Hunter Pence

  14. phillies1102 2 years ago

    I agree with the Baker signing, I would have chosen him over Mayberry to help out Utley and Asche in addition to the other positions you listed. It would have cost maybe an extra 1-2 million more, and then we would have to bring in a LH OF bat, but there guys like Grady Sizemore or Andres Torres who might fit that mold. Not anymore.

    My point is, Mayberry’s tenure wasn’t a bad move, even though there was a better move. But in the grand scheme of things, that decision will give the Phillies 1 extra win at best, so not as crucial to Amaro’s plan as the rest of his offseason.

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