Tuesday, October 24, 2006

News From All Over

Lots of news out there with plenty of details on the Jamie Moyer contract…among other things. Let’s break down the Moyer contract first:

From Randy Miller:

Besides getting two years, Moyer obtained a limited no-trade clause and the freedom to leave Phillies road trips early so that he can fly home to Seattle and spend time with his wife and six children.

From Phillies.com

The club signed the veteran to a two-year contract extension worth $10.5 million plus incentives that could bring the deal to $14 million, keeping him in red pinstripes through the 2008 season.

According to a baseball source, the specifics of Moyer's deal are as follows: He'll earn $7 million in 2007, $1 million of which is a signing bonus. He's guaranteed $3.5 million in 2008, but would balloon to $7 million if he pitches at least 185 innings. He's reached that number in nine of the previous 10 seasons.

From Daily News:

After making $5.5 million this season, in which he went 11-14 with a 4.30 ERA, he will take home $7 million next season: $6 million in salary and a $1 million signing bonus. Moyer is guaranteed $3.5 million in 2008, but could make twice that.

If he pitches 170 innings in 2007, he gets $4.5 million in 2008, and if he hits 180 innings he gets $5.5 million in 2008. He also gets $500,000 if he hits the 165-inning plateau in 2008, another $500,000 for 175 innings and another $500,000 for 185 innings in 2008.

If Moyer completely falls apart this season, then the contract essentially boils down to a one-year deal worth $10.5 million (this year’s salary plus next year’s guaranteed cash). If Moyer pitches 180 innings in ’07 and 185 innings in ’08, he will have collected $14 million from the Phillies for two years of work. $14 million…I am now more convinced than ever that this was a bad deal.

The following is a bit of a jumbled mess with some good news and also some bad news. It's all rumor and hearsay at this point, so take it for what it's worth...not much:

From Randy Miller:

Once the free agent signing period begins next month, Gillick will focus on adding a fifth starter (unless Wolf returns), signing or trading for a third baseman with “a little more pop” — free agent Aramis Ramirez won't be pursued — and strengthening the bullpen. He'll also try to deal disappointing left fielder Pat Burrell.

So Randy Miller says Aramis Ramirez will not be a Phillie. I’m not a huge fan of Miller, but he has gotten some pretty good Phillies information lately…we’ll see about this one.

Daily News:

And the Adrian Beltre experiment, begun under Gillick's extended watch in Seattle, isn't working out all that well for the Mariners in cavernous Safeco Field. Perhaps Beltre could regain that 48-homer righthanded stroke he showed in 2004 with the Dodgers if he hit behind Howard, perhaps coming East (with $35.5 million in salary due through 2009) in a deal that could send embattled leftfielder Pat Burrell (and his remaining $27 million) to the Mariners if he would waive his no-trade clause.

But that doesn't sound likely, to hear Gillick talk.

"There's a very strong possibility that Pat's in leftfield," said Gillick, who noted that despite Burrell's .258 average and his .222 mark with runners in scoring position, "You don't find 29 home runs and 95 RBI in the street."

The Phillies probably won't find it in David Dellucci, either.

The Phillies certainly will be buying in the solid bullpen portion of the free-agency market.

"We're going to be looking to fortify the back end of our bullpen," Gillick said, hoping to improve with a replacement for the setup shortcomings of Arthur Rhodes and Ryan Franklin.

The prospect of a Beltre for Burrell swap intrigues me, but I honestly don’t see it making a whole lot of sense for either side in the long run. Let me just run this quote by one more time: "You don't find 29 home runs and 95 RBI in the street." That is music to my ears…I just hope that Mr. Gillick really believes what he is saying. Dellucci is a goner, no surprise there. Finally, the Phillies are looking to shore up the bullpen through free agency. I can not fully express how bad an idea I think this is. For anybody out there keeping track of the relief pitching market, Mike Timlin re-signed with the Red Sox today and Guillermo Mota is widely believed to be very interested in re-upping with the Mets. So now you know.

Philadelphia Inquirer:

Gillick said the team's next priority is more pitching.

He wants to fortify the back end of the bullpen, and the Phillies will continue to look for more offense. That most likely means a righthanded bat to protect Howard.

Gillick said there's a "strong possibility" that leftfielder Pat Burrell could be back next season, but there's a 100 percent certainty he will try to trade Burrell first.

The Phillies are prepared to eat some of Burrell's guaranteed $27 million over the next two seasons to make that happen. Burrell has a no-trade clause and must approve any trade.

This last link is pretty much unnecessary, but I added it anyway…and there is nothing you can do about it. I just want to reiterate how bad an idea it is to go out and spend real money on bullpen help. The odds of Joe Borowski getting big bucks to come and set up for Tom Gordon just went way, way up. This isn’t a good thing. All this talk of fortifying the back of the bullpen also leads me to believe that the inevitable Pat Burrell and Gavin Floyd fire sale where the Phils pick up a washed up, overpaid reliever is getting closer.


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