Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday Reading

I pulled this out of the comment section from a few days ago because I think it's fairly topical today (original comments in bold, expanded comments found afterwards):

Matsuzaka: Odds of the Phillies getting involved...very low. Then again, you never know with Pat Gillick now in charge - Seattle had a strong presence in the Pacific Rim (though I'm not so sure he had all that much to do with it...). I'd personally take him over any starting pitcher on the a large margin.

Two reasons why I think Daisuke Matsuzaka is the best free agent starter on the market this offseason: 1) I think he is the best pitcher out of the group...better than Zito, better than Schmidt, yes, even better than Vicente Padilla, and 2) I think Matsuzaka will wind up being a relative a baseball payroll sense. To the best of my understanding, the posting fee that teams must pay is rarely credited to . It is more of a lump sum payment made by ownership that is considered a business expense outside of the baseball team. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if my understanding of this procedure is correct or not (I'm awaiting more information on this from people in baseball much more in the know than I), but it's all I have to go on for now. Details on his latest outing (a 9 inning, complete game shutout with 137 pitches thrown, 6 hits allowed, no walks, 4 hit batsmen, and 13 strikeouts) can be found at the very detailed Matsuzaka Watch.

Continuing on the the topic of Japanese ballplayers: [The Japan Times]

Iwamura had a so-so first half this season following recovery from a hamstring injury sustained in the World Baseball Classic in March, but he's the guy who tied a team record with 44 home runs in 2004. He's also been as hot as the weather lately, with 11 homers in his first 15 games during August, and his season batting stats through games of Aug. 18 include 26 home runs, 58 RBIs and a .305 average.

Closer Ishii, said to be coveted by several MLB clubs, missed three months of this season with a shoulder injury but, over a full schedule in 2005, Ishii was 4-3 with 37 saves and a 1.95 ERA in 61 appearances.

Scouts from at least three National League teams were at Tokyo Dome Aug. 15-17 to check out the Yomiuri Giants vs. Swallows games. While they got to see Iwamura in fine form, there was no chance to watch Ishii because there was no save situation for Yakult and, inexplicably, Ishii was deactivated again following the first game of the series on Tuesday.

I know for a fact that one of the three National League teams that had scouts watching Iwamura was Phillies. It's a long offseason, but I don't think it would hurt Phillies fans to store away the name Akinori Iwamura in their memory somewhere. He is a 28-year old, lefthanded hitting third baseman who, if he could be had relatively cheaply, would make a fascinating lefty half of a third base platoon.

Estrada: I hope the Phillies don't even consider would be a disaster.

I'd be willing to bet just about anything that a Chris Coste/Carlos Ruiz catching tandem will greatly outproduce any kind of season Johnny Estrada hopes to put together in 2007. Even if you believe Estrada is on the same level of the Coste/Ruiz duo, it is damn near impossible to justify the salary that Estrada figures to receive as an arbitration eligible player this offseason. The only way I would be okay with Estrada's return to Philly is if A) the Phillies give up little to nothing to obtain him, B) Estrada's salary remains reasonable, and C) the Phillies bring him in and use him correctly - Estrada and Ruiz at catcher (Estrada vs. righties, Ruiz vs. lefties), with Coste getting plenty of spring training time at third base - not as a potential regular, but as a player capable of catching, playing the infield corners, and serving as the top bat off the bench. [East Valley Tribune]

Top Priority: 3B, figuring out the OF situation, and pitching, pitching, pitching.

Dellucci: He'll be moving on.

I should point out that these priorities are in no real set order and can be solved in any number of ways. Today, just for fun, let's take a look at some of the recent news concerning the OF situation. As you can read, I already made my opinion known that David Dellucci won't be back with the Phils in '07. More news on that:

"I want to be with a team that allows me to do what I can do," he said. "I feel that I'm more of a contributor than just a utility-type player... . I wasn't satisfied, especially coming off the amount of playing time I had last year... . Gosh-darn it, I know I can hit lefthanded pitching. I haven't been given the opportunity.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]

I don't think he'll be back.

Rumors about Aaron Rowand’s future have also been hot as of late. The latest on Rowand beginning with the persistent noise that the Rockies are very interested in adding a centerfielder this offseason:

The club is expected to pursue Coco Crisp or Aaron Rowand through trade, with Dave Roberts among several potential free-agent possibilities. [Denver Post]

Centerfielder Aaron Rowand has a $3.75 million player option for next season, with a $5 million club option. "The only way I won't be back is if they trade me," Rowand said. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Rowand will be back unless the Phillies trade him. I don't think the organization has it in them to deal the guy...we'll see. I wouldn't mind bringing back Rowand for $3.75 million as a platoon player (as you can see, I'm big on the idea of platoons), but, again, I don't think the Phillies are bright enough to do something like this.

Phillies manager in 2008: My personal list of favorites includes Davey Johnson, Larry Dierker, Orel Hershieser, Terry Pendleton, and, the guy who I think will be the next manager of the Phillies, John Russell.

Charlie Manuel will be back in 2007, but because his hold on the job is so shaky, the list of candidates for the job come 2008 is worth discussing. I'd be more than happy with any of the above candidates. I'd be ecstatic if John Russell was promoted to the role of Phillies bench coach.


Blogger GM-Carson said...

3rd base is by far our biggest priority.

I do not want Estrada back. He's a solid guy, but I think Coste/Ruiz duo will do as well and possibly better. Plus they're cheaper.

Some quality setup bullpen arms would help too.

I want the same rotation that ended the season for the entire '07 season...that's a strong rotation just lacking an ace, which Hamels and/or Myers may become.

7:00 AM  

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