Darin Ruf could make the 25-man team of the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies next April. However, it will be due only in part to his long-ball noise during October and November. But keep in mind, the warning-track patrol should become much clearer by mid-December.
My articles are designed to represent a baseball-man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the stick-glove-or-power requirements, the track record, the competition and the intangibles.
I published after every battle that was not washed out. I had many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, which were especially important after drubbings and defeats. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Check out: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: A Ruf October (Updated & Current Stats)
- Events will dictate the number from 1 to 4 each for November and December. January to mid-February will be every other week, and it will be weekly after that until the year begins.
Only on a trial basis due to a strong response, the scheduled articles will be supplemented with special fill-ins between main postings. Continuation is based on reasonable numbers, which appears to be extremely possible.
|December||1 Monday During The Month||The Other Mondays|
|January To Mid-February||Alternating Mondays From 1/7||The Other Mondays|
|Mid-February To April||Weekly||-----|
Dollars For Double U’s:
B.J. Upton and Koji Uehara could be the solutions to two problem areas. Meanwhile, there is more talk about the younger sibling. Justin Upton is under contract for 3 seasons in Arizona, but the Rays have the starters that interest the D-backs: Jeremy Hellickson (10-11, 3.10 ERA), James Shields (15-10, 3.52 ERA) and David Price (20-5, 2.56 ERA). The thinking is that Tampa Bay will replace B.J. with his brother, who is signed for 3 tours at $38.5M, and deal a hurler about to become expensive. Hellickson (24) and Price (27) are arbitration eligible, while management’s options for Shields (30) are reaching the pricey regions. ‘Zona wants to trade for frontline pitching, which means they will keep LF Jason Kubel ($7.5M), RF Gerardo Parra ($2.1M arb. approx.) and CF–no relation–Adam Eaton ($500K).
Tampa has a wing to exchange for the younger Upton, while they cannot add the payroll by re-upping B.J. The Diamondbacks prefer 2 players from Texas, who won’t barter either of them. The Snakes want an arm and a shortstop that are young. Meanwhile, there are 14 franchises that fall within the well-heeled category, now or tomorrow. Eleven have other needs, financial limitations, no outfield openings or a good CF currently. Besides the Phils, the other two possible organizations are the Rangers and the Nationals. Other than Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Atlanta are 2 of the other 16 clubs that could be in the mix.
12 Of The 14:
NOTE: Click entries button to open more than the visible 10.
|Yankees||Looking For 1-Year Contracts To Reduce Payroll Under $189M For 2014|
|Mets||Limited Financial Resources For 2013|
|Dodgers||Have A Center Fielder|
|Angels||Didn't Re-Sign Torii Hunter Due To A Crowded Outfield|
|Nats||Don't Need An Outfielder|
|Cubs||Have A Center Fielder|
|White Sox||Looking For A Third Baseman & A Catcher|
|O's||Have A Center Fielder|
|Tigers||Have A Center Fielder|
|Red Sox||Have A Center Fielder|
|Pads||The O'Malley's New Team Has A Center Fielder|
The Giants plan to keep Angel Pagan and are more concerned about their top of the order. Texas will need a replacement for Josh Hamilton’s bat. The Rangers, however, have 3 fly-ball trackers and could go the DH route. Washington has CF Bryce Harper, RF Jayson Werth and LF Michael Morse, who can move to 1B. If Adam LaRoche goes elsewhere, the Nats might look for another outfielder because Morse filled in during LaRoche’s 2011 absence. Center would be their preference but they are right-side heavy.
$178M Maximum Before The Luxury Tax:
NOTE: Click entries button to open more than the visible 10.The last review of this table was on 5/20.
|$72.14M||Core Four||Rollins, Utley, Howard & Hamels|
|$56.50M||Aces & Closer||Halladay, Lee & Papelbon|
|$06.25M||2 Starters||Kendrick & Lannan|
|$12.75M||5 Regulars||C Ruiz, 3B M. Young, CF Revere,
RF D. Young & LF Brown
|$03.70M||5 Bench Spots||Mayberry, Nix, Kratz, Frandsen & Galvis|
|$10.00M||6 'Pen Seats||Adams, Bastardo, Durbin, Horst, Aumont & De Fratus|
|$10.75M||Set Aside||$5M (Trading Deadline), $3M (Achieved Incentives,
Replacements & Injury Replacements) & $1.45M
(D. Young's Incentives)
Lannan's $1.3M Included in Row Total
(See Add-on at Bottom).
|$02.00M||Buyouts||Polanco, Contreras & Wigginton|
|$173.59M||TOTAL||25 Roster Spots|
|$01.30M||Add Change||$1.3M Lannan's Incentives (Unreachable due to Injury)|
The timing of Upton’s suitors reveals the value and approach by the order they occurred. San Francisco hasn’t been mentioned, Texas hasn’t made an arrangement to meet with him, and Washington had initial dialogue for now. The Braves had discussions with him on Thursday, which followed his visit from Cholley Manuel earlier in the week. Rube Amaro is taking the lead on the acquisition, while Atlanta is monitoring the competition due to boundaries for dollars and years. However, the loss of a top leadoff hitter figures into their equation as well. Like the red pinstripes, they need someone at the hot corner and 2 fence guards. Martin Prado is most likely to replace Chipper Jones at third. Pagan and Cody Ross are possibilities that would require 3-campaign agreements instead of the 4 to 6 summers for B.J.
The Moving Parts:
|Add Center Fielder||- $14.5M||$03.9M||B.J. Upton|
|Minus Outfielder||+$01.6M||$05.5M||Nate Schierholtz|
|Add Leftfielder||- $00.5M||$05.0M||Darin Ruf|
|Add Set-Up Man (8th Inning)||- $04.5M||$00.5M||Koji Uehara|
|Add 25th Man||- $00.5M||$00.0M||Michael Martinez Or Pete Orr|
Realizing the connection and the competition’s parameters, Amaro brought on board Steve Henderson, who was Upton’s offensive coach in 2009. It wasn’t the only factor but it was part of the equation. The top bid for the center fielder could be $15M per over 5 seasons, which the Braves probably will not match. Meanwhile, Jeremy Affeldt was inked for three 162’s at $6M each, which sets the mark that affects the set-up role. If the brain trust can fit both stars within a framework of $19M, that could be structured as $14.5M (Upton) and $4.5M (Uehara, 37).
Amaro could non-tender Nate Schierholtz ($1.3M for 2012), who would receive approximately $1.6M in arbitration. Or the Phils could re-up him and swap him, which would equal 4 open slots. The final roster spot would be for an extra infielder (Michael Martinez or Pete Orr) at $500K. By Rube adding Upton and Uehara to the squad, “Babe” Ruf would platoon with Laynce Nix in left. He could even earn the starting job.
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This is my 3rd storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (The Fluid Situation) and the 121 storylines for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I alternated the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
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