Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Amaro, Wood, If

As the Philadelphia Phillies pursue Kerry Wood, in limbo until Saturday is Brad Lidge. What will be the outcome when the posturing ends? Meanwhile, another suitor for Roy Oswalt has signed a cheaper alternative.

Tal's Handy Caps:



I am doing a weekly Baseball-Fix Monday until the end of March. Also, I’ll publish after every game that is not washed out during the summer. My format will remain the same in 2012 with Nitecap Insight, The Precap (restructured as the Precap Pitch), and The Apocalyptic Horsemen. Cap-Size Hindsight will feature certain players plus participants who warrant mention, good and bad, for what they have done in the contest or clubhouse. Penthouse Occupancy will cover all remarkable plays along with solid performances during critical moments by the red pinstripes. The best of those will receive The Crystal Champagne Toast. Cholley’s Doghouse is filled every now and then with a slacking effort. The Outhouse is for something that stinks, like a bad ump call. The Glass House is a stone’s throw away for a man who blows his opportunity to nail a juicier role. The Miniature Mansion is for off-field excellence, like a locker-room influence. However, these houses don’t have visitors after every battle: Some do and others don’t. The Kangaroo Court House will be added to the review for ‘12. Fun House Of Mirrors will also be a new concoction this year. Big House Key will lock some in and reveal The Rising Son on others.

Critic’s Choice:

You might have noticed that I had picked up a detractor, who claimed I lacked originality. He hasn’t commented in 2012, yet. He did me a favor because I reviewed the moving parts, discovering my Precap needed improvement. I will be doing the Precap Pitch this season, which is an innovative non-stat-oriented approach.

Woody Saves A 4-3 Game In Houston On August 15







The Wrinkle In The Wood:


This is the rare, occasional and added publication that falls before the weekend. Finally, the publicly unknown slice of the financial pie was listed. Jimmy Rollins will be paid $11M in each of the 3 or 4 summers. That leaves $4.15M for Wood and $5M to utilize before the trading deadline. The breakdown is at the bottom of the article.

There have been poker-playing statements from Rube Amaro, Theo Epstein and 2 other franchises. Wood earned $10.5M in 2010, but accepted a bargain-basement $1.5M to squeeze into the Cubs’ budget. His modest price tag is $3.5-4M for 2012 only, which is tailor-made to Rube’s specifications. He has the dollars, this is his biggest hole, and it is only for a full 162, which is exactly what he wants with 5 young arms on the horizon. Amaro is commenting that he might not have enough money, which translates to he cannot go beyond his offer.

Woody Pictured During The 8th Inning In New York On September 10

Kerry wants to play at Wrigley, has made a fair request, is not concerned about rebuilding, but Chicago wants a home discount. Epstein doesn’t want to spend millions during a youth movement, and that is the rub that limits him. Wood left the deep impression that he would retire otherwise, remaining in the Windy City to continue his many community involvements. He could be talking to contenders and calling Epstein’s hand. He had arthroscopic surgery after being sidelined during mid-September for a torn meniscus in his left knee. That appears to be a routine issue but he also has a blister problem at times.   

Due to space limitations:  Top = Good, OK = Fair

Wood 3-5 3.35 37 14 4 $1.5M 1 Year
@ Home 1-2 3.76 19 08 2 —- —-
@ Away 2-3 2.92 18 06 2 —- —-


Woody Pictured During The 8th Inning In San Francisco On August 30

The Tigers’ main need is a starter and they are close to a swap for Matt Garza, which doesn’t make Detroit a strong rival this time. Cincinnati inked Ryan Madson for a 6-month campaign, filling their closer slot. That was their pressing requirement, while Wood was a fallback plan. The Halos are ready to catch low-hanging fruit, if it drops into their basket. They’re counting on their young hammer to develop but would take another backend wing for the ‘pen. Jordan Waldon, 24, had 10 blown saves in ‘11 out of 42 chances and a 2.98 ERA.

Oswalt is having selling concerns in a cost-conscience market that is leery of his over $13M sticker. Boston went with Aaron Cook and New York won’t go higher than $8-9M for anybody. Toronto is still out there but they won’t meet his expectations.  And Roy might not get $8M, if he waits too long. Lidge has received incentive-laden proposals with low-guaranteed greenbacks, but the front office is reluctant to make an insulting bid. This is added to my 8-team critique from Monday’s post.

As the tables below illustrate, Amaro has $173.85M allotted and $4.15M remaining before he reaches the $178M competitive-balance ceiling. Rube has the cash, the organization is an attractive landing spot, and Woody is energized by northeastern fans. These are questions that will be answered by Saturday. Will Kerry pitch anywhere but Chicago? Will the Cubs make an acceptable offer? Will the lure of a ring affect Wood and Amaro? Rube has the need, the finances and he wants the look of going past his limit for a special pitcher.


Inked Bats

& Arms

Sub Total




Estimated Wings

& Sticks

New Sub Total




Buyouts (Oswalt & Lidge)

Prorated 26th Man

‘12 Incentives Achieved

July Cash Reserve





TOTAL $173.85M













Chooch Ruiz


Doc Halladay



Ryno Howard


Cliff Lee



Chase Utley


Joe Blanton



Jimmy Rollins


Jonathan Papelbon



Polly Polanco


Jose Contreras



Shane Victorino


Dontrelle Willis



Jim Thome




Ty Wigginton




Laynce Nix




Brian Schneider















Cole Hamels


Hunter Pence



Kyle Kendrick


John Mayberry Jr.



Vance Worley


Wilson Valdez



Antonio Bastardo




Michael Stutes




Familiar Reinforcements is ( Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Amaro’s 3 Ifs ) my previous publication. The Wrinkle In The Wood is the 6th storyline from 2012 that can be found on the Phillies page ( Phillies | isportsweb ) or my author archives ( Tal Venada ).

The Phillies finished 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially after drubbings and defeats. I alternated the 2011 ERA For The NL East ( Philadelphia Phillies: 2011 ERA For The NL East At Game 162 And Final ) and 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 ( Philadelphia Phillies: Final 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 At Game 162 ) with the last 2 in the links. Thank you, to all who bookmark my pages, because feeds are erratic at times. Many visitors come from these outlets, and it is always obvious when one of those didn’t work. Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage.

Note:  A site format change slightly altered the original ERA postings, but I’ll adjust my material accordingly for 2012. Two photos were used for game 162 on both, where 1 to 161(1 picture) experienced only minimal distortion, unlike the finals.