Between the strategy and the move, there was the unexpected curve that led to Ben Revere for the Philadelphia Phillies. The same is true for Mike Adams.
By design my articles 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 club’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. 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.
The new summer schedule will allow me to publish the best 3 storylines each week, but there will be an updated calendar included with each feature: These posts involve commentary, polls and stats for the upcoming 7 days.
Post time is 6 to 9 pm for the days listed below.
[table id=479 /]
The Plan and the Actions:
Rube Amaro initiated his retooling effort with only $24 million to plug 5 holes.
The average of $5 million per player is a challenge for any general manager with the outlay required today to score talent. That is the reason that one $25 million piece was not the answer for the locals, but other franchises have similar problems. Amaro’s solution was to look for bargains first, and use the remaining funds on the unfilled requirements. This approach has pitfalls requiring some fortune, like the 40% luck that comes into play on the field.
The original targets would have changed the landscape of the roster currently in the dugout.
The initial offer to the Twins was Vance Worley and Trevor May for Josh Willingham, 34, who had 2 years remaining at $7 million each on his deal. He hit .260 with 35 homeruns and 110 RBI for 2012 in a pitcher’s park. Minnesota proffered Revere instead for the 2 arms, and young, inexpensive up-the-middle regulars are not plentiful. The trade with the Twins was exchanging one bigger shortcoming for a smaller one.
Management bartered for Wilton Lopez in late November, but he was too much of a risk. He had a balky elbow at times in 2012, and that factor helped to squash the deal after his physical. About a week later, he went to Colorado and he signed for $1.7625 million, which avoided arbitration. The bad news for the Rockies was his blown save during the 8th inning on Monday, where he cratered their 3-1 advantage with the surrender of 3 all-earned runs.
$178 Maximum before the Luxury Tax Threshold:
[table id=187 /]
The next acquisition was Michael Young, who was attractive as a stopgap measure for 1 campaign at the hot corner. Texas owed Michael $7.6 million for his final tour but had more infielders than positions. That alerted me to a solid option at third base for the red pinstripes. The final agreement was for $6 million paid by the Phils along with Josh Lindblom, who did not make their club this spring. Meanwhile, 3B Cody Asche is at Triple-A Lehigh Valley until September, and that will hold true unless something changes.
Amaro struck again just before Christmas by procuring Adams and John Lannan. In the southpaw the brain trust picked up a decent starter for the back of the rotation, who will consistently give the squad 6 frames. His cost is $3.8 million when you figure in the most reachable incentives, and that compares to $3.75 million for Kyle Kendrick. That stated, Kendrick pitches like a three when he has the stability of taking the mound every fifth day.
Offseason Financial Transactions:
[table id=486 /]
Adams was the pricey item on the winter shopping list at $6 million per 162. Lopez would have allowed Amaro the extra money to pursue Cody Ross, who is on the disabled list. If Lopez imploded here during the 8th, the production from a healthy Ross would be elementary. Adams, on the other hand, is arguably the best setup man in the majors.
The price tag for Lopez and Ross–who prefers left and center to right field–would have been $9.7625 million. Adams and Delmon Young at $8.2 million seem to be the best combination, because even with 2 players on the DL, the locals are stronger offensively. When you add Chad Durbin to the mix, the threesome ran the higher-ups $9.3 million. Delmon has enough pop to protect Ryan Howard, and Durbin adds a quality hurler with veteran leadership in the ‘pen for the young guns.
Like Willingham and Lopez, 3B Young was the first choice. However, Revere was the counteroffer from Minnesota, and Adams was the pivotal move of the winter with his big-splash contract. Lannan is a decent inking for the 5th arm on the staff, Durbin is very versatile, and Dom Brown has claimed a job as a starter. When Carlos Ruiz returns, he and Delmon will lengthen the lineup from 6 to 8 sticks.
Sometimes the best plans are the secondary ones, like Adams and Durbin in the relief corps instead of Lopez.
A link for Phillies e-mail notification is provided above and below. Any schedule changes and holdups that may occur will be posted at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook.
This is the 23th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Grudge Match One) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Story-poll. The last one was Odd Man Out.
I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the 2013 ERA for the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
Philadelphia Phillies storyline: The hunter anew (Grudge Match One)
Philadelphia Phillies story-poll: The ‘pen gambit (Odd Man Out)
Tal Venada (Author Archives)