Cole Hamels is the first name on the to-do list for the Philadelphia Phillies. Is he the only player with an expiring contract that will return?
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Check out: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: War games
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 6-5 Outcome
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The red pinstripes are up against a hot team in a pennant race. The Giants swept the ‘Stros near Fisherman’s Wharf, and they took 2 of 3 in Atlanta after capturing the first 2. The Phils (4-4) have hit a SF buzz saw with a 7-1 mark since the break. Or a club in a race that wants it more than the locals desire to stay relevant. I think it is the former and not the latter, because the Braves were beat at the Chop Shop. That said, it creates a numbers problem.
The Bank residents need a winning streak to offset these 2 losses before they visit Atlanta and Washington for 6 games. The next 4 battles will point in the direction Rube Amaro will proceed next. A contending organization normally has a difficult time with the acquisition of a strong backend reliever after the trading deadline. However, the hometown 9 would be a rare exception due to their record, which would give them first shot at an NL candidate–if needed. So, there is still the possibility of an August deal, like Jamie Moyer in 2006.
Hamels is the centerpiece of a retooling agenda, which is quickly moving to fruition. The competitive-balance tax limits his destinations for a swap to a franchise that wants more than a talent-costly rental. If he wants 7-8 years guaranteed, he won’t be back unless those 2 campaigns are options. I believe that 6 summers at a locked-in $24-25M will be enough to ink the stud. That is Cliff Lee money.
Shane Victorino could sign for less, and Kyle Kendrick will slot in 5th with Joe Blanton’s agreement completed. If Vic is too costly, centerfield will be covered in-house by an inexpensive platoon, Michael Bourn will be the target, or another FA will be acquired. Juan Pierre could return in left, and John Mayberry Jr. or Dom Brown would patrol center. Third base needs a younger regular, and right field will be Hunter Pence or a more modestly priced alternative. After that, Amaro would look for 1 or 2 veteran bullpen arms.
King Cole at $24-25M would tie up $128-129M for 7 stars, and that would mean $50M spread over 18 other positions. The basic offense would be: Jimmy Rollins, Pierre, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Chooch Ruiz. Pitching is Rube’s main priority, which is why he has 3 aces and one of the best closers.
He has toiled for 6.1 innings plus in 11 of 18 opportunities with 5 monstrosities. However, he is 4-2 with a 4.14 ERA for his last 7 efforts. At San Francisco in mid-April, his line was: 5 frames, 11 hits, 4 all-earned runs, 0 walks and 2 strikeouts on 100 bullets.
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He is 4-3 with a 4.47 away ERA, which is 1.38 lower at home for 9 of his appearances. He has lasted 7 innings or more in 6 of 18 attempts with 6 clunkers.
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Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
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DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
* 1 notch & ** 2 clicks (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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Check out my previous publications (The Must Clusters) and the 79 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
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Tal Venada (Author archives)