The pursuit of talent for the Philadelphia Phillies is a 8th-inning set-up man, and a center fielder in that exact order, while it simultaneously presents Darin Ruf with a leftfield shot. Why is the brain trust concentrating on the 2nd choice first?
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Retooling In Progress:
Rube Amaro has 2 types of answers during interviews. The first is to reveal exactly where he stands and the other is deliberately vague. In other words, he does not want to display the hand he’s playing, which would tip off other general managers and agents. You will also notice that the information stream of Amaro’s moves is very shallow, which is an intentional strategy. His main deficiency is a 8th-frame reliever, and his pattern has been to secure his greatest need first before proceeding. His off-season blueprint has shifted this time, however.
Usually, Rube fills his biggest void, and uses the rest of his allotment to patch the next hole. The difference here is that his second requirement is the more expensive and less abundant one on the open market. Ergo, it is his first move, which should not be confused with his top priority. But take notice, he will investigate every possibility in the outfield, third base and the ‘pen, like his contact of Kevin Youkilis. Expect rumors on fallback plans with other players, which are not the best available fit of a Koji Uehara and a B.J. Upton. There are other fly-ball trackers: Angel Pagan, Shane Victorino and Cody Ross. But the Phils are looking for someone in center who swings right handed with pop. Torii Hunter and Melky Cabrera have been inked, while Upton will decide this week.
Target: Right-Side Bat With Power
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Jeremy Affeldt has re-upped with the Giants at $6M for 3 campaigns. Joel Peralta received $3M per from the Rays for two 162’s. The first closer to commit was Brandon League for 3 more tours at $7.5M each with the Dodgers. Ryan Madson and Jonathan Broxton came to agreements on Tuesday. The A’s have exercised their option on Grant Balfour, while the Tigers did the same with Octavio Dotel. Brett Myers has been mentioned for starting jobs, and Texas has passed on Mick Adams, who had an asking price that was too high. If that was $6M per for 3 summers, the Rangers may prefer someone in the $4-5M range. However, if it was $8M per, that would be exorbitant. Other than organizations with the want-him-back mantra, there are only a few reports on: Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria, Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor and Brandon Lyon.
Free-Agent Back-End Arms:
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** He pitched with a mild case of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, where the rib bone pushes against a nerve to cause numbness. He faltered only in his last appearance, producing a 2.79 ERA before that.
Amaro has recently proceeded toward a 2-season deal to land Koji with the quietness and swiftness of a stealth submarine. Plus, Rube was the first to have personal contact with B.J. by dispatching Cholley Manuel for a personal visit. Since those discussions are reaching the end point, the brain trust will return next to the 2nd part of their off-season targets. The GM has already stated that he would desire to go the free-agent route instead of depleting the farm. That statement was glossed over by rumors, fan-like dreams, and answers to other interview questions.
Financial & Budget Tables @ Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Ruf’s path, an economic revelation
Myers will only return, if he does not get a rotation or hammer position. Wilson and Soria are firemen who were last healthy in 2011, which means they haven’t proven they are sound. Adams and Lyon will probably cost $5.5-6M per over 3 years, which is too high after spending approximately $14.5M for the CF from Tampa Bay. That leaves Uehara, Rauch and Frasor as the top 3 choices in that exact order. Koji had the best numbers and can be had with a 2-campaign arrangement, which would give the young guns time for growth. When all things are considered, Uehara is the most comfortable selection.
There was no way to anticipate a trade–pending physical today–for a young experienced reliever, who will earn approximately $1.4M in 2013 through the arbitration process. This means management will have $17M available for a bat.
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This is my 4th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Dollars For Double U’s) and the 121 storylines for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
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