Monday, January 23, 2006

Who But Jason Michaels...

Alright, here are some of the highlights of the previous two articles mentioned in the previous post - perfect for if you were either too lazy to click on the links yourself or have been waiting anxiously for my take on each (that is a scary thought). Ken Rosenthal's article from is first and Jim Salisbury's take in today's Inquirer is second:

The Indians' tentative plan to trade outfielder Coco Crisp to the Red Sox and reliever Arthur Rhodes to the Phillies could hinge on whether Red Sox reliever Guillermo Mota passes the Indians' physical, has learned. The first trade, the core of which would be Crisp for Mota and third baseman Andy Marte, would trigger the second, Rhodes for outfielder Jason Michaels. But officials with two of the clubs involved cited Mota's recent arm trouble as a potential deal-buster. Rhodes' condition also could be an issue — he missed time in August with an inflamed right knee. Rhodes, 36, and Mota, 32, are the two oldest players in the deals.

The Red Sox are not operating under the assumption that their acquisition of Crisp is a given. They maintained contact with other prospective trade partners Sunday, keeping their options open in the event they needed contingency plans. They could revise their deal with the Indians if Mota is not included, or pursue another center fielder.

The first paragraph sums up the whole situation as we understand it currently, while the second paragraph adds a fun wrinkle that allows us to engage in some wishful thinking. Chances appear to still be pretty good that Phillies OF Jason Michaels will be sent to Cleveland for LHP Arthur Rhodes shortly after the Indians deal OF Coco Crisp to the Red Sox. That is the most likely scenario as it stands now. Rosenthal leaves the door open for a possible collapse of the original Cleveland-Boston deal; Boston would still be in the market for an outfielder if this were to happen. Would Jason Michaels plus a little something extra be worth the same deal they'd give up to obtain Coco Crisp (Mota and AAA 3B Andy Marte)? If talks with Cleveland die down and the Sox decide to seek another center fielder, Jason Michaels represents the best logical fit for their ballclub. This scenario isn't likely, but not impossible.

Rhodes, 36, is a well-traveled lefthander coming off a strong season with the Indians. He would likely become the Phillies' primary setup man for closer Tom Gordon. The acquisition of Rhodes would allow the Phillies to shift Ryan Madson to the starting rotation.


Rhodes, who has one year and $3.7 million remaining on his contract, was 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 47 games for the Indians last season. He pitched in only four games in the final two months of the season because of a stint on the disabled list (inflamed right knee) and time on the bereavement list due to a family illness.


For Michaels, the trade would mark the close of a four-year stay in Philadelphia that ended in controversy. He was arrested on July 3 and charged with assaulting a Philadelphia police officer outside a nightclub. He avoided a trial and last week was placed on six months probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

The cause and effect behind any deal where the Phillies acquire anybody whom they consider to be a bonafide major league reliever relates back to Ryan Madson. If the Phillies were to go out and get a replacement for Madson in the bullpen, then the odds of him starting skyrocket. That seems to be the case with this deal. I don't deal a useful bench player/guy who will be a major league starting outfielder on his new team for a generic relief pitcher. Never. Dealing talent for a reliever or signing a reliver for big bucks in free agency is rarely a good idea. Relief pitching is too volatile a thing to invest so much in, not to mention the fact that no position in baseball is easier to fill from within than relief pitching. Just a general, philosophical belief of mine that is quite different from any Phillies team belief over the past decade. But if there is a silver lining in all of this, it is that acquiring relief help will lead the Phillies to believe that Madson is not needed in the bullpen and thus can be used as a starter. That's the good news.

There isn't much to be said about Rhodes as he is still only rumored to be coming to Philadelphia. No sense in writing 500 words about a guy who may or may not ever play in South Philly. His contract situation is one that many people seem to be unfamiliar with and I'd like to at least attempt to clear it up. The Oakland A's are reported to be paying about $1 million of what is owed to Rhodes - that is why you see his number at $3.7 million and not $4.7 million as some outlets have reported. The Pittsburgh Pirates are also believed to be on the hook for at least some of that $3.7 million. So all we really know about what is owed to Rhodes at this point is that it will be somewhat less than $3.7 million.

It is also widely believed the Phillies organization is going through the process of "cleaning up" the ballclub - first with the ouster of Vicente Padilla for far less than face value and now with Jason Michaels being sent away for a marginal return (reportedly). If this is the case, then so be it, but it is always distressing to see the ballclub get weaker when major league sports franchises that are in no position to take a stand attempt to do so. I've joked about cop punching in the past, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the serousness of the situation. I don't enjoy being in a position where I am defending a cop puncher, but dealing a player for one mistake seems like a dangerous club policy to set. I truly haven't given all of this much thought, but that's my real quick take on that last little blurb in Salisbury's column.

Later: either more possible updates (i.e. a finalized deal or changed rumor) or the new spin that catching could be involved in a potential deal. Stay tuned.


Blogger Adam said...

I'm kinda wondering if this thing will ever finalize. Mota's health concerns could lead to the breakdown. Either Boston will replace him with someone else or Cleveland will take Mota and realize he's still not 100%.
Oh yea, I keep changing my damn blog address. atlantabravesbaseball.blogspot was it, but when I did a search someone else had the address, but stopped posting sometime last year. Now it's bravesdugout.blogspot

I use your site for Phillies news. Do you know any good reliable blogs on the Nats, Mets, and Marlins? From my searches I haven't found too many consistent updated sites.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous braveswin said...

Wade Miller signed with the Cubs. $1M deal with up to $1M more in incentives. That's cheaper than the $4.5M we talked before. I wonder if the Phils actually made an offer and tried to negotiate?

9:24 PM  
Blogger XXX said...

I'm sticking with my hope that the longer this thing is talked about, the less likely it is to actually happen. If it is Michaels for Rhodes, then I say talk all the time you want - let's drag this thing out for years if we have to.

It is a shame to see Wade Miller sign with the Cubs and not at least hear anything about the Phils making a run - especially at the bargain cost the Cubbies got him for. Maybe there is more to the story and the Phils did make an attempt, but, in any event, I wish him nothing but the best in Chicago. He'll either be a great success there or have another injury riddled season - well worth the million or two bucks to find out in my opinion. Easy for me to say when it is not my money though.

I've noticed all the changes in addresses for you braveswin - one day I went to look at your site and it wasn't there anymore. I thought abravesfan was pretty cool, but bravesdugout is cool too. Hopefully you have good luck with that one.

I love the idea of using blogs as a way to check in on local news about all 30 of the ML teams. I happen to think the Phillies are very well represented with all kinds of quality sites devoted to covering the team. I check your site daily for Braves info and, on occasion, I'll check in at for their take.

The best Marlins site I've found is It lacks real info and hardcore analysis and seems very casual. Maybe it'll pick up as the season gets closer. The Mets and Nats both have very interesting blogs that make for great reads - for the Nats and for the Mets. They both are more in a storytelling format than delivering straight information and analysis.

One of the best team sites/overall rumor collection sites has got to be Definitely worth a daily look in my opinion.

Hope that helps some, let me know if you find anything good that is worth a look.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous braveswin said...

Thanks for the links. BravesJournal is a really good blog, Mac has been blogging since the prehistoric times, '98 is when he began. BravesJournal has a solid following and usually good discussion topics. Metsblog is pretty handy on news/rumors. I looked there alot during the Winter Meetings. I have been trying newmets.blogspot but the guy never responds to posts so I gave up. I'll try the other ones out. One question..I'm going to add some more links to the blog eventually, do you care if I add a link to your blog for Phillies news? I'm trying to get one from each team in the East.

8:29 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

I'd be honored to be linked up to your blog - I've been meaning to do the add some links to the side of this site, but I can't figure it out. If I can ever figure it out, I'll add your site to my list of links for sure.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

It's easy to setup links. Login and go to the the Template tab, you'll see the html at the bottom. Scroll down to near the bottom until you see the word Links and then you'll have your list of links. Right now you have google. To add other links just use the format the google link is setup as. And you know, just type in whatever address and then the name of the site.

9:32 PM  

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