Monday, October 16, 2006

First Real Post of the Offseason

It's hard to get into the offseason mindset when there is still baseball being played, but today we'll do our best to ignore the pesky distraction that is postseason baseball and instead focus on what in the heck the 2007 Phillies are going to look like. I sketched out a rough idea of 2007 payroll figures and here's what I've come up with thus far:

Catchers:

Chris Coste (C): .350*
Carlos Ruiz (C): .350

Infielders:
Ryan Howard (1B): .500
Chase Utley (2B): 4.500**
Jimmy Rollins (SS): 8.000***
Abraham Nunez (IF): 2.100

Outfielders:
Pat Burrell (LF): 13.000
Shane Victorino (CF): .350
Jeff Conine (OF): 1.450****

Starting Pitchers:
Jon Lieber (SP): 7.500
Brett Myers (SP): 5.000
Cole Hamels (SP): .350

Relief Pitchers:
Tom Gordon (CL): 7.000
Ryan Madson (SU): 1.400
Geoff Geary (SU): 1.200
Matt Smith (MR): .350

Miscellaneous:
Jim Thome: 5.500

16 players
58.900 million dollars committed

*I listed all of the players still on their original contracts at $350,000, my projected major league minimum. I’m not sure yet what the minimum will be in 2007, but I’m fairly certain it’ll be less than $350,000. So why did I set it there? Well, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

** I did my best to come up with accurate figures for the 4 arbitration eligible players on the above list (Utley, Myers, Madson, and Geary). Again, I tried to be conservative and give the players the benefit of the doubt salary-wise. I personally can not see any of the four arbitration eligible players making more than the salary figure I’ve estimated…but you never know. Howard’s salary is unofficial as well…he’ll get more than the minimum, but not by much. I settled on $500,000 because that’s the amount Chase Utley played for this past season.

*** Rollins is owed $7,000,000 in base salary in 2007, but the Phillies are also obligated to pay him $1,000,000 of his signing bonus as well.

**** Conine is owed $2,000,000 in 2007, but the Orioles are on the hook for $550,000.

I would imagine the opening day roster is composed of the following:

C, C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, IF, IF, LF, CF, RF, OF, OF = 13
SP, SP, SP, SP, SP, CL, SU, SU, MR, MR, X, X = 12

I’m not sure what the “X” stands for exactly…just a quick and easy notation for the bottom of the barrel bullpen guys. I suppose that it could either signify a long-man or a mop-up man or even just another “middle reliever” – all of this definition in the bullpen doesn’t really mean anything (they are all relief pitchers after all), but it’s somewhat useful (for me, anyway) within the confines of this exercise. I suppose labeling any of the relievers (with the exception of the closer, Tom Gordon) as “MR” would have worked just as well…I mean how do we really determine whether Ryan Madson is a “SU” or a “MR” if we are just making up the terms on the fly? Anyway, I’m sticking with the current system unless anybody out there has any objections. Hopefully a tiny bit of that made sense and didn’t just confuse anybody even more. Moving on…

The 16 players listed above are very likely to find spots on the 2007 roster of the Philadelphia Phillies. This means that the following spots are up for grabs:

3B, IF, RF, OF
SP, SP, MR, X, X

If we believe that the Phillies will have a $90 million payroll yet again (give or take a million here or there), then that means that the Phillies have roughly $31 million to spend on 9 remaining players.

As you may have noticed, I’ve omitted the players that have options for next year - Aaron Rowand and Jamie Moyer. I think there is a very good chance that both players could be back in ’07, but until the news is made official, they shouldn’t count against the payroll, right?

So here is the contract info. Now what? Well, I’ve been working on putting together an offseason plan for the Phillies and I hope to unveil it shortly. Expect multiple versions of the plan because I’m having a tough time trying to figure out my ideal Phillies offseason. I’m also hopeful that I’ll finish up my predictions for what I think the Phillies will do this offseason as well – I think it’s a pretty safe bet that my ideal offseason and what I think the Phillies will do will be quite different, but that’s what makes the whole thing fun. Until these big plans are ready to see the light of day, the goal here is to update this here site with any bits of news/rumors/juicy gossip concerning potential roster moves as frequently as I can. At the very least I like to think I’ve provided a pretty decent framework for any other enterprising Phillies fan out there who wants to formulate their own offseason plan…so what are you waiting for? Get to it.

4 Comments:

Blogger GM-Carson said...

If Madson costs this team upwards of 1 million dollars next season we should get rid of him...he's horrible!

The biggest need is 3rd base. Hard to believe we're actually going to pay Nunez 2.1 mil next season...disgusting.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom G said...

I agree with Corey/Carson, that is a lot of money for Madson. I like him, but he is not worth that much. At least the 2006 version wasn't. Maybe the '05 and '04 version is.

I have to disagree with Cory/Carson on the "biggest need". The biggest need is pitching pitching pitching. The Phillies led the league in runs scored with two horrible batters at 3rd, they can get by with less there.

7:19 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

Yeah, I'll agree with both of you guys (or technically all three) about the Madson contract. Quite frankly, I think my guess at his '07 salary is way too high...I was just a little concerned about Scott Boras' abilities to milk the most money he can out of a team. Even when considering the Boras factor, 1.4 million is too much (way more than Madson deserves and way more than he'll probably get). This is a subject that I deem personally intersting enough for a post of its own - maybe Wednesday.

"Biggest need" is very tricky to define. I think third base ought to be high on the Phillies list for the simple fact that Abe Nunez really was that bad. His production was so bad that it statistically neutralized the positives of Chase Utley's great year - Nunez was as bad as Utley was good. That's pretty incredible if you think about it. Imagine if the Phils even had a league average third baseman instead?

All that said, pitching will always remain my number one priority - it's cliche, but you really never can have enough. How the Phils fill out the starting rotation and bullpen will go a long ways in determing their success in 2007. Plus, I happen to think the free agent/possible trade targets on the pitching market have more solutions than the free agent/possible trade targets that are third basemen.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree as well. I think 3rd base is a priority but not as much as a good set-up man or a nice bat behind Howard. It would be sooooo nice if they can find some sucker and unload Burrell and most of that 13 mil.

4:07 PM  

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