Storyline: Rumored Nemeses for the Philadelphia Phillies

On the next horizon, four teams are posturing for a bargain, while the Philadelphia Phillies negotiate with Jonathan Papelbon’s future setup man. Will another front office outmaneuver Ruben Amaro Jr. for that coveted arm?

TAL'S HANDY CAPS

TAL’S HANDY CAPS

Welcome, Newcomers: 

This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the organization’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles.

There will be a published storyline each week.

To see why Mitchell Boggs is an important signing, check out this complementary piece:                              Storyline: Amaro’s Next Acquisition for the Philiadelphia Phillies

 

Adams Dials Up a Four-Seam Fastball During the Eighth Inning at the Bank Against the Pirates on April 24.  (Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America)

Adams Dials Up a Four-Seam Fastball During the Eighth Inning at the Bank Against the Pirates on April 24. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America)

 

NITECAP INSIGHT

 

 

 

 

Addressing Rivals:

Boggs is the targeted acquisition for the eighth-inning role, and the red pinstripes wanted to land him before January.

While some endgame relievers have found a new home, the former Cardinal is still available. What’s the holdup? The answer could be any combination of a desired position, a contending organization, the dollars or the contract length. That stated, the remaining bidders have their own circumstances.

Bastardo Cranks Up Some Heat After the Sixth Inning in St. Louis on July 25. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

Bastardo Cranks Up Some Heat After the Sixth Inning in St. Louis on July 25. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

Of Amaro’s other possibilities, Jose Veras inked the $4 million deal his rejected option called for. Before Chicago (NL) signed him for that amount with a 2015 club option of $5.5 million, Detroit had passed on him. Meanwhile, Houston picked up Matt Albers for $2.45 million and a 2015 contractual opportunity. With, nonetheless, only Luis Ayala as a backup plan, the Phils will obviously pursue Boggs.

Jayson Stark opined that the Cubs, Indians, Mets and Mariners are the right-hander’s other suitors. After, however, an abbreviated review of franchises, no other organization appears to be chasing him.

Dollars and Sense:

The Wrigley Field squad has James Russell, Pedro Strop and Blake Parker, which questions the strength of their interest. In other words, their general manager Theo Epstein will accept a bargain or bid low for a potential trading-deadline chip. A fair offer locally should be enough against this foe.

In Queens, New York has spent $80 million for Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon but has been quiet since. While their bullpen depends on Bobby Parnell’s health, shortstop has been their main worry. Parnell, however, may not be ready by Opening Day, and they will need a setup man who can close in the interim. Boggs has not fared well as a hammer, and their GM Sandy Alderson will hesitate before even matching a reasonable proposition.

Setup Men:

**30 on 1/20. ***36 on 1/12.
25% for a BAD % is roughly average for a solid late-inning pitcher.
*He is no longer available.
HURLER & AGE
2013 $
ERA
INN
GMS
BAD %
GOOD
OKAY
BAD
RH Mitchell Boggs, 29$1.48M8.1023.12740.7%140211
Boggs (COL)-----3.1208.10922.2%060102
Boggs 2012-----2.2173.17820.5%530916
RH Luis Ayala, 36***$1.00M3.2733.03933.3%230313
* RH Jose Veras, 33$1.85M3.0243.16019.4%490513
* RH Matt Albers, 30**$1.75M3.1463.05625.0%321014
Papelbon and Ruiz Celebrate a Victory at the Bank on August 19 over the Rockies.  (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz Celebrate a Victory at the Bank on August 19 over the Rockies. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

 

With a relief corps needing a ninth-frame hurler, Cleveland is depending on two youngsters: Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw. Chris Perez (the Dodgers), Joe Smith (the Angels) and Albers (the Astros) have landed with new clubs. That said, Allen and Shaw are ready for the eighth inning, but the Tribe also has an unsettled rotation. Boggs would only be a setup alternative and is not a solid fit for this franchise.

Basically, Seattle expended huge money for Robinson Cano and Cory Hart, but the back end of their pen isn’t strong. Danny Farquhar is their current fireman, but they have a tendency to play the hot hand for the final frame. Since Boggs has struggled already in this role, he would not be their best option if Farquhar falters. After committing $30 million annually so far, this organization is unlikely to overpay for a eighth-inning arm with questionable closing potential.

Boggs Hurls a Seventh-Inning Dart at Home Against the Diamondbacks on September 20. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America)

Boggs Hurls a Seventh-Inning Dart at Home Against the Diamondbacks on September 20. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America)

Preview of Potency:

BJ Rosenberg and Jake Diekman are leading Justin De Fratus and Ethan Martin for the final two relief-crew seats. Joining the squad is Brad Lincoln, who is the veteran middle reliever. Antonio Bastardo is the southpaw setup man, and Mike Adams is the primary eighth-frame choice if he’s healthy in April. With that uncertainty, looms the other concern to lock down victories: Papelbon–who clocked in at 94 mph during the Boston series–needs a mission with postseason potential to excel anew.

The prediction here is that Papelbon will bounce back, Adams will be effective, and the red pinstripes will have a strong bullpen with the addition of Boggs.

 

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