Phillies Off-season

Thursday, December 27, 2007 ·

November 7th - Acquired Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and Mike Costanzo: I know what you're thinking. Albert Pujols. Lidge has not been the same since the mammoth home run hit off him by Pujols in the 2005 playoffs. However, I change of scenery could be the solution he needs. Lidge is not a terrible closer, but he was once premier and hopefully he can return to form. I don't see us taking a step down from Myers to Lidge. The best part of this move is that it moves Brett Myers back into the rotation. Myers will be the #2 guy behind Cole Hamels. It gives the Phillies a good one-two punch and the likes of generally facing opposing teams #2, it should improve Myers' win total. Myers is what I like to call a 1C. He's not quite another ace, but he is better than your average 2 starter.

Also, with the acquisition of Bruntlett, we have good utility infielder who can play third, short, and second. It is always great to have depth on the team, especially defensive depth.

We did not give up that much. We gave up Michael Bourn who was never really given a chance here, but he was surpassed on the depth chart for center field by Victorino. We all dislike Geary and Costanzo was an alright third-base prospect, but he struck-out far too much and he was terrible defensively.

Grade = B+


November 12th - Signed JC Romero to an extension: I have voiced my opinion on this deal a few times. We signed him to a 3 year, $12 million deal, which now doesn't look too bad. What bothers me with Romero is that his career has been full of high highs and low lows. If Romero remains consistent [not even looking for last year's late numbers] this deal could be great because it gives us a good left-handed arm in the back end of our bullpen. The one thing that scares me about Romero is his high WHIP in his career. Last year had a WHIP of around 1.10 with the Phils. If he can stay between the 1.10 - 1.20 range it is a great move by the Phils. Two different images of himself last year existed, one being with the Red Sox and one with ourselves. I'm not sure if in the middle will be good enough to warrant the contract. Romero and Gordon in the set-up role will be huge to our success this season. Look on the bright side though, LaTroy Hawkins was paid 3.75 million for a year. I would have preferred to have gave Romero 2 years, but 3 years seemed to be the kicker.

Grade = C+

November 20th - Acquired Chris Snelling for cash considerations: Eh, the move does not look that bad anymore for a guy projected to be our 6th outfielder, but he'll likely not even be on the roster. He was a guy with potential but was always injured. He was a low risk, possibly medium to high reward type move. As a 5th outfielder it didn't look to bad, but with the addition of Taguchi, the move now looks pointless. The Phillies however will not able to predict the future that the Cardinals would release So Taguchi. To avoid arbitration, Snelling signed a 1 year, $350,000 contract.

Grade = D

November 28th - Acquired Shane Youman off waivers: I understand the Phillies were looking to add a left-handed reliever, but really...Shane Youman? Maybe, there is something I don't know about him. He is likely to be our left-handed long reliever. Over the last two seasons he has thrown 20.1 innings as a reliever and posted an ERA of 3.54 with a K/BB ratio of 11/4. However, in Citizens' Bank Park, he has thrown 4 innings of 8 hit, 6 ER ball. Maybe our scouts see something, but I certainly don't. Youman can start too, but he is pretty bad at it. There were better left-handed reliever options available.

Grade = F

December 5th - Released Julio Mateo: Last year we traded short stop Jesus Merchant for Julio Mateo. Merchant was a mid-season all star last year. Julio Mateo was great in AAA, but he never wore Phillies pinstripes. Sort of seems like a wasted move. To retain Mateo it would have cost the Phillies $1.5 million. They are still able to re-sign him, but I doubt they'll try especially with Mateo's legal history. He pitched decent for Reading. He could have been a nice steal.

Grade = D, only because we didn't pay him $1.5 million. F because he never saw the majors with us.

December 6th - Selected Travis Blackley and Lincoln Holdzkom in the Rule 5 Draft: Blackley is another left-handed pitcher who could do some long relief. He'll compete with Shane Youman for that spot. Holdzkom is a big-bodied reliever who might turn out to be something. He was not that great in the minors, but he'll compete for a middle relief rule.

Grade = N/A

December 20th - Signed Geoff Jenkins: Jenkins deal is for 2 years worth about 6.5 per season. I like the move. A Jenkins/Werth platoon could very well make-up for the loss of Aaron Rowand. Jenkins can play both corner outfield positions with above average range and a good arm. The only thing I dislike about the move is the fact Jenkins is lefty and I'd prefer to have a consistent right-handed bat in the line-up. Beggers cannot be choosers though. Jenkins offensive numbers should inflate in our park. Hopefully he can cut down on the strike-outs a little.

Grade = B+


December 20th - Signed Chad Durbin: We all know pitching was a top priority and at first glance this move looks terrible for a team trying to improve pitching. Durbin could be a decent middle reliever and gives them some depth at the back-end of the rotation if needed. He's not a great starter, but well he's better than Adam Eaton and could post better numbers in the NL. He had a great 5-1 start to the season, but finished up as 6-6 as a starter. His deal is worth about $900,000 for 1 year. He could turn out to be steal or he could be a pitcher worth $900,000. I'd still like the Phillies to add a real number 3 starter, but it is slim pickings and the free agency class is far better next year. But that is the question? Make a risky move now or a more secure move next season to build a consistent future?

Grade = C only because of his small contract. C- to D otherwise.

December 23rd - Signed So Taguchi: We acquired a veteran outfielder who can spell all three outfield positions, bats right-handed, doesn't strike at whole lot, and can hit for average for $1.05 million for one year. I think this may turn out to be the Phillies best move. It adds great outfield depth to an outfield with a history of getting injured. Also, Taguchi hit .405 as a pinch-hitter last season to lead all major league hitters.

Grade = A

In the big scheme of things, I'd say the Phillies had an alright offseason. They tried for Mike Lowell, but he chose another route. The thing that hurts their grade is that their #1 priority was pitching. They definitely addressed the situation by acquiring a possible premier closer and virtually acquiring a front-end starter in Myers. They still have middle-relief and back end of the rotation holes. I am not sold on Kyle Kendrick repeating his success last year because his numbers outside of ERA do not forecast a similar year. They really need to add a consistent #3 or #4 starter, however there isn't much out there and truthfully there really never was. The Phillies did make some wise decisions and not overpaying for certain players as well in Lohse and Rowand.

OVERALL GRADE = C

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