NL East Notes: Gregg, Turner, Hamels, Harper

The Marlins announced today that Kevin Gregg‘s season is over, as the 36-year-old right-hander will undergo surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. The Fish inked Gregg to a minor league deal back in early June and guaranteed him a base salary that was roughly equivalent to the value of the Competitive Balance pick they traded to the Pirates for fellow righty Bryan Morris. While the Morris acquisition has paid off in spades — he’s allowed one earned run in 31 1/3 innings — the decision to essentially reallocate that money to Gregg didn’t work out anywhere near as nicely. Gregg allowed 10 runs in nine innings with Miami before hitting the DL last month.

Here’s more on the Marlins and the rest of the NL East…

  • The Marlins‘ decision to designate former top prospect Jacob Turner for assignment raised some eyebrows, and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tries to shed some light on the rationale behind the move. Having tried Turner in both the rotation and the bullpen, Frisaro writes, the Marlins lost patience with his struggles. Wanting to change up their roster with the faint hope of a playoff push still in their minds, the club designated the out-of-options righty to clear roster space for Brian Flynn. However, Frisaro writes that it will likely end up being Brad Penny that takes Turner’s roster spot. While Penny has excelled in five Triple-A starts with the Marlins, it’s tough to buy the idea that a veteran who hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2012 and posted a 5.41 ERA from 2011-12 is a more viable alternative based on 27 2/3 Triple-A innings. Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus give the Marlins a 4.6 percent shot at making the playoffs (via division title or wild card), and the notion that Penny increases those odds enough to justify parting with four years of team control over Turner is a tough sell in my mind.
  • Disagreeing with an earlier piece from colleague Rob Neyer, Dave Cameron writes that the Phillies should have traded Cole Hamels prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. While much has been made of the fact that the Phillies don’t need to shed salary, Cameron notes that the salary saved on Hamels could have been reallocated to the free agent market (one that will be filled with high-end pitchers) to acquire immediate help. Those free agents could’ve paired with potential MLB-ready help to improve the club’s immediate future. Cameron also cautions against the notion that Hamels can help the next contending team in Philadelphia, as the club looks to be far away from contention, and there’s little guarantee when it comes to pitchers — even elite ones — sustaining their success into their 30s.
  • Nationals manager Matt Williams sounded off to reporters, including MLB.com’s Daniel Popper, expressing his anger over the fact that some had inferred from Williams’ comments on a radio station that Bryce Harper could be sent to the minor leagues. In a Wednesday morning radio appearance, Williams was asked if it was a stupid idea to suggest that Harper could be demoted for a week to fix his swing. Williams responded by saying it wasn’t stupid — as such tactics are often employed with struggling young talent — but quickly followed by saying that Harper’s situation was different because he is a “special young player.” In talking with reporters Wednesday evening, Williams vented a bit, stating: “It [ticks] me off to even think about the fact that somebody would take a comment that I make on the radio and infer that I am thinking one way or another. I’ve had it. … [Harper]’s a very important part of our team, just like everybody else is. Do we understand each other? It’s not fair to the kid. It’s not fair to the rest of the clubhouse to even think about sending Bryce Harper to the Minor Leagues or to cause a stir. It’s unacceptable. It won’t happen.”


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58 Comments on "NL East Notes: Gregg, Turner, Hamels, Harper"


Member
bigbadjohnny
11 months 19 hours ago

Cubs claiming Turner will be one of the biggest coups in baseball history……..and the biggest blunders of the Marlins FO.

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NickinIthaca
11 months 19 hours ago

Baseball history? Ruth to the Yankees? Brock for Broglio? Miggy for Miller and Maybin?

And then Jacob Turner getting claimed?

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Danny Phillips
11 months 18 hours ago

Turner hasn’t shown anything to prove he can perform at the big league level.

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ztoa
11 months 19 hours ago

Phillies should have traded Hamels in his walk year, then resigned him. There’s a chance that the Red Sox do that, essentially getting Cespedes for Gomes.

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Phillies_Aces35
11 months 19 hours ago

I’m sorry but that just isn’t realistic. The Red Sox may in fact accomplish that but there is no guarantees once the player hits free agency.

If Cole Hamels had hit free agency in 2012 he would have more than likely been pitching in Dodger Blue.

and keep in mind the players that were rumored to be coming back in a Cole Hamels trade haven’t really panned out (Mike Olt being the potential centerpiece).

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ztoa
11 months 19 hours ago

How is that not realistic? RAJ has proven time and time again he’s willing to Overpay players, in what scenario do you see him not having overpaid to get Hamels to come back after trading him? Rangers weren’t the only team vying for him. They could have gotten a package centered around Segura/Bourjos, which in hind-sight is still so-so, but better than any prospect the Phillies currently have. Olt is terrible, but they wanted Profar not Olt.

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Phillies_Aces35
11 months 18 hours ago

The Dodgers would’ve offered more than what the owners would have allowed Ruben to. Hence why they signed him before free agency.

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ztoa
11 months 18 hours ago

How much more than the 147 they offered Greinke do you think they’d have offered Hamels?

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East Coast Bias
11 months 17 hours ago

Basically, whatever it would take to land one of the two. Or even both!

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Sean
11 months 13 hours ago

At the time the Dodgers were negotiating a new TV contract and buying all the SP they liked. They signed Greinke, Ryu and were pushing hard towards Otani that offseason, most thought Hamels was their number 1 target. Hamels being from Southern Cal and Greinke’s anxiety concerns were the most mentioned reasons why they valued him over Zack.

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NotCanon
11 months 8 hours ago

Considering Hamels is significantly better than Greinke both over the length of their careers and in every individual year but two (2009, 2013)?

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Phillyfan425
11 months 19 hours ago

There is no guarantee you can re-sign a guy after trading him. It’s especially risky to do so with a home grown kid who has never known another organization/club house. They may think that what their team does is better (as far as pitching coaches/routines go, is the best way – but once they get to a new team, they might like how they do it better). It’s too much of a risk to assume that a player will re-sign just because they were the team that brought you up.

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ztoa
11 months 18 hours ago

Pretty sure they only care about $. There are only like a handful of upper tier or just below the upper tier guys that take ‘hometown discounts’ anyway.

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Phillyfan425
11 months 18 hours ago

But by negotiating with him during the season, you have that exclusive power to say “this is how much you’re worth”. He doesn’t have the luxury to go to other teams and ask them how much they think he’s worth. I think that’s a bigger factor than you are taking into account.

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ztoa
11 months 18 hours ago

Greinke signed for 6/147. Hamels 6/144 with a 7th year club option. Both would have been available, if they lost out on Hamels, they’d have targeted Greinke. I’d have taken either, flip a coin.. Hamels is a lefty so give him 51% in favor of over Greinke.

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NotCanon
11 months 8 hours ago

Time to re-check their career and year-on-year stats, if that’s what you think.

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orangeoctober
11 months 7 hours ago

I’m actually looking at both of their pages on Baseball-Reference right now, and their careers are remarkably similar if you look at career averages. You can say Grienke has had the better last two years, and he also won a Cy Young which Hamels has not.

FIP
Hamels – 3.48
Grienke – 3.38

WHIP
Hamels – 1.138
Grienke – 1.226

ERA+
Hamels – 125 (best complete season 2008 with 141, 154 so far this year)
Grienke – 117 (best complete season 2009 with 205, 131 so far this year)

SO (SO9)
Hamels – 1648 (8.6)
Grienke – 1638 (8.1)

BB9
Hamels – 2.3
Grienke – 2.3

IP
Hamels – 1734.0 (8 seasons including this year)
Grienke – 1816.0 (10 seasons including this year)

Win%
Hamels – .568
Grienke – .570

Age
Hamels – 30.223
Grienke – 30.29

Just thought it was weird. Grienke’s 2009 was insane though. Hamels has probably been more even throughout. The fact that his ERA+ is higher without having any years even close to Grienke’s ERA+ of 205 in 2009 says something for sure.

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NotCanon
11 months 7 hours ago

Last two years? Greinke had a really good (for him) 2013 and Hamels had a really bad (for him) 2013, but in 2012 Greinke posted a 115 ERA+ to Hamels’ 132.

Greinke had an awe-inspiring 2009, and a good 2013. Every other year he’s been average-to-above-average. Case in point, Greinke has 2 seasons (not counting 2014, since it’s not over yet) with an ERA+ above 130, while Hamels has had 2 below 130, since 2008 (the first season both were full-time starters simultaneously).

During that period, Hamels has a noticeably higher FIP (but he’s outperformed his FIP in every year except 2009 and 2013, where he grossly underperformed it), a noticeably lower WHIP, a slightly lower SO/9, the same BB/9, slightly higher IP/162 and a slightly lower H/9. Amazingly, they have the same number of CGs during that span, though Hamels has more CGSOs. Greinke’s pitched in more pitcher-friendly parks for pretty much his entire career, which is why ERA+ favors Hamels even in the years where their results were more equivalent.

Greinke’s also missed more time to injury than Hamels has.

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orangeoctober
11 months 6 hours ago

I was just saying, I could see how someone could make a plausible argument for the last two years. Not that it’s what I think. Right, Grienke’s 2009 was fantastic while Hamels has been more consistent.

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Joe Valenti
11 months 19 hours ago

The only time I can think of that ever happening, and it really didn’t work, was with Washburn in Seattle. Generally, teams that feel like they have a good shot of resigning a guy don’t risk putting him in a position where he can envision being on another team

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ztoa
11 months 18 hours ago

If he was willing to sign an extension when they were terrible, he’d like them more if they had an influx of talent. I think we traded Cliff Lee and then resigned him when he became a FA….? No?

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NotCanon
11 months 8 hours ago

Not the same situation. When Lee was traded he had a whole year for the ill will to subside and he spent it with 2 different teams; Hamels would have been traded during his walk year. Lee was traded to a place that was losing and nowhere near his home; Hamels would have been moved to a place that was winning and very near his home. Lee has frequently cited his wife and child (who is in remission for cancer, if I’m remembering correctly, which is why The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was a major draw) as primary factors in signing with the Phillies for less guaranteed money than he’d have gotten in Texas or NYC; Hamels has no significant ties to the Philadelphia area other than those developed after he started playing for the Phillies.

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Joe Valenti
11 months 7 hours ago

Obviously NotCanon has some good points but being even less specific: Lee wasn’t a guy who was traded for prospects because the team had concerns about him walking and wanted to make sure they still got value for him at the deadline. Lee was traded in the offseason because he netted the Phillies a superior pitcher (Halladay). So it’s not like the trade was a last ditch deadline effort to salvage a free agent. Also, at this point, you have to assume that the Phillies have done everything possible (within reason) to resign Hamels. With a full year left on his contract, you really can’t be sure that the Phillies ever had serious extension talks with Lee yet.

Also, not sure where you get the idea Hamels was willing to sign an extension. If that was the case wouldn’t he be signed?

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NotCanon
11 months 7 hours ago

There was lots of talk at the time that Lee wanted to test the FA waters, and no extension conversations were going to prevent him from doing so. Obviously, the Phillies had the money to sign him when he hit FA (after all – they did), but that was due in large part to their long-running home sellout streak. While it began mid-season 2009, they had no way of knowing that it was going to continue for over 2 years, which (presumably) is what emboldened the owners to up their financial commitment to the team, and change their “mid-market” mentality.

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Joe Valenti
11 months 7 hours ago

Right, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were going to trade Lee regardless of whether they could resign him. Your Hamels situation is dependent on the ability to resign him after you traded him. I don’t think trading Lee for Halladay is comparable to trading Hamels for prospects

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NotCanon
11 months 2 hours ago

To be fair, Lee wasn’t traded for Halladay, but it was allegedly a command From On High that both pitchers not be on the same team at the same time for more than a day or two, else the fanbase would grow accustomed to the idea.

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Joe Valenti
10 months 29 days ago

I actually completely forgot about that. I had remembered it as a 3 team trade. My comment still stands valid though

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NotCanon
10 months 29 days ago

Well, my point was kind of that the Phillies may have been interested in working out an extension (say, in the $16-17MM AAV range, which was more realistic back then, or maybe 3-4 years instead of 5-6), but he (and his agent) were very gung-ho (and vocal) about hitting FA.

Without those comments, maybe ownership doesn’t feel so scared about keeping him on the same team as Halladay, and they don’t end up needing to trade for Oswalt.

Not that they’re terribly missing what they gave up for Oswalt, and 2011 was a nice consolation prize, to be certain.

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Andrew m
11 months 7 hours ago

Ha! Ruben? Making a trade? Not realistic. Besides it’s no guarantee Lester actually resigns with the Sox.

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Bubby
11 months 19 hours ago

Pitchers have figured Harper out. It was bound to happen to such a young guy.

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kungfucampby
11 months 18 hours ago

Huh? He’s OPS’ed .811 over 1200 PA’s, they’ve now figured something out?

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Bubby
11 months 16 hours ago

OPS went from .817 to .854 to .692 this year. The article discusses his batting problems this, don’t blame me.

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Alexander_Brovechkin
10 months 29 days ago

He broke his thumb and is coming off a back injury. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that he would have obvious swing issues. You should look at the recent article in the WP by Adam Kilgore. Harper was doing just fine before his injuries.

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Bubby
10 months 26 days ago

Yes, injuries have really affected Harper, but he is a mess at the plate now.

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Phillies_Aces35
11 months 19 hours ago

The Phillies new TV deal kicks in after the 2015 season (?). That combined with the salaries of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, Carlos Ruiz, Mike Adams, Marlon Byrd, etc coming off the books within the next two years suggests that the Phillies could be primed for a Yankees like shopping spree in the 2015 and 2016 off seasons.

The development of JP Crawford, Aaron Nola (who should be in the rotation by the end of the 2015 season), Maikel Franco (who’s going to be up in September), Jesse Biddle, and Roman Quinn is also going to play a major factor in how fast the team turns it around. The Phillies are also going to have another top 10 draft pick next year and they probably will again in 2016 and those players should make some type of impact on the future teams as well. I don’t think it is overly optimistic that the Phillies could contend in 2016.

If things don’t break their way, 2016 would be the time to deal Hamels (unless he hurts himself). At that point you have a clearer picture of how long it will take to contend and the pieces that are going to be needed.

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Phillyfan425
11 months 19 hours ago

They need a lot to break their way to contend in 2016. Like you’d said, they’d need nearly perfect development from their top 5 prospects – and have them be major league contributors by that season. While I think Crawford is the real thing – I also know it’s a lot to ask of a (to-be) 21 year old. I think they all could be up here by then, but it’s a tough sell to say they’ll all be contributors (I’m talking 2+ WAR players).

But I do agree with you on Hamels. You wait a year and a half and re-evaluate.

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Phillies_Aces35
11 months 19 hours ago

Which is where the free agency money comes into play. Let’s say they sign at least one of Jon Lester, David Price, Max Scherzer, or Jeff Samardijza, One of Justin Upton or Jason Heyward, Rusney Castillo, a reliever or two to bolster an already promising bullpen of Justin DeFratus, Jake Diekman, and Ken Giles with the potential of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez contributing in a setup role, and a few other role players to compliment those guys they could field a very good team.

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Phillyfan425
11 months 18 hours ago

I get that FA comes into play. And don’t get me wrong, I have long said they have the (albeit, outside) chance of competing in 2016. I’m just saying they need a lot to break their way (development-wise), which hasn’t really happened much for this franchise.

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Jaysfan1994
11 months 15 hours ago

Relievers are hit and miss on a year to year basis, a good example is looking at how many closers there are from 3-4 years ago still closing today or even pitching in the majors for that matter.

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Jeff Miller
11 months 17 hours ago

It all depends on what they’re offered for Hamels. If the Cubs approached them with a deal involving Russell and Soler + 2 more good prospects, they have to consider that and I’d probably do that deal with the 2 other prospects being McKinney and either Edwards or Pierce Johnson. A move like that doesn’t cripple the Cubs system and would get them a front of the rotation arm for the next 4-5 years.

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FredBlassie
11 months 9 hours ago

No chance the Cubs make an offer anywhere close to that.

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orangeoctober
11 months 8 hours ago

Yeah, for real. It took Samardjiza and Hammel to get Russell. I don’t think the Cubs trade Russell AND Soler PLUS two more good prospects for Hamels.

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Jeff Miller
11 months 5 hours ago

Hamels under control through 2018-’19 has far more value than Samardjiza through ’15 and Hammel for 3 months. Hamels also has a much longer track record than both of them as well.

I’m not saying the Cubs would or even should trade for Hamels, but it wouldn’t be cheap if they do.

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Jeff Miller
11 months 5 hours ago

I’m not saying they would. I’m saying that they could and it wouldn’t cripple their system, and that they need a front of the rotation arm going forward with their top prospects starting to show up on the big league roster.

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Johnny Bench Called
11 months 8 hours ago

” If the Cubs approached them with a deal involving Russell and Soler + 2 more good prospects,”

I LOL’d.

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Jeff Miller
11 months 5 hours ago

4-5 years of Hamels isn’t worth 4 prospects? 2 years of James Shields and swing-man Wade Davis got the Rays 4 prospects. That included a top 5 (Wil Myers), a top 75 (Jake Odorizzi), a fringy top 100 (Mike Montgomery) and a good low-level prospect in 1B/3B Patrick Leonard who is showing a lot of promise in A+.

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kungfucampby
11 months 18 hours ago

The Nationals need to trade Harper because Matt Williams is going to ruin him.

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Drazthegr8
11 months 18 hours ago

I’d prefer to see us get rid of MW. He and Harper clearly dislike each other and I think Harper is a bit more important to the franchise.

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kungfucampby
11 months 18 hours ago

Yeah I’m actually baffled Matt Williams got hired to begin with.

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Drazthegr8
11 months 18 hours ago

Same here. I watch every game and am often finding myself shocked at how bad of a manager he is. I wish there was a way to send MW to AAA rather than considering sending Harper down.

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Revery
11 months 6 hours ago

He’s the new Dusty Baker. And that ain’t good.

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Alexander_Brovechkin
10 months 29 days ago

You and most of the DC Metro Area.

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Danny Phillips
11 months 17 hours ago

It would help if you know Harper would produce at all this year.