The free-agent plans addressed by the Philadelphia Phillies may help Jonathan Papelbon first. That stated, some options have picked up by the involved organizations and others have been declined, including two from former Phils. Who has been become unavailable and who can now be had?
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The Fluid Situation:
The first clue was that Ty Wigginton’s option for $4M wasn’t picked up, which means John Mayberry Jr. will be the right-handed lumber off the bench. Firstly, this will adjust the available limit to $17.4M for a center fielder and a 8th-inning set-up arm. The hurler will cost $4-6M and the bat is in the $10-13M range. Rube Amaro is making decisions, which are based on financial restrictions, parent-club talent, promotable high-minors prospects, and intangible aspects. He moved quickly to secure his prime target, Cinco Ocho, last off-season, but with his current monetary ceiling, things will be a little slower this time. The FA requests are inflated before the market is set with the first to be claimed in that specialty.
Among the possibilities there are familiar names and extenuating circumstances. There are 4 categories of possible signings for the red pinstripes, which are the no-questions fit, the bargain, the risky vet and the alternatives. The first of the four is the healthy, affordable right-handed hitter with pop in the $10-13M vicinity and the $4-6M endgame reliever. That would include RF-CF Torii Hunter, CF B.J. Upton, RP Mike Adams and RP Koji Uehara. Brett Myers is someone who might lower his price to $5-6M, and can close during long streaks of tight games. However, that is third on his list after starter and hammer. Ryan Madson would be a gamble, because he hasn’t proven he’s the stud of 2011.
Another player from the pool would be Melky Cabrera, who needs a 1-tour deal to revive his career after his suspension. However, RP Brandon League and RP Grant Balfour are no longer on the table. Meanwhile, Cody Asche is 1-2 campaigns away from the hot corner at the Bank, which means that Amaro will go with Freddy Galvis for 2013. Plus, when Kevin Youkilis (.235, 19 HR & 60 RBI) is the best at third, it is not worth deeply exploring. Upton (28) might be had for 5 summers at $13M per, while Hunter (37) is a two-year addition. Adams (34) would be the move instead of Uehara (37). Rube will go with the 2 younger guys, if he can.
Adams pitched during the last 162 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 with a week to go, but his surgery was successful. He’ll be at 100% for training camp but this could affect his value slightly. However, he will be at the top of the GM’s chart for the relief corps, while B.J. is his first choice in the lumber department.
$178M Maximum Before The Luxury Tax:
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Upton is seeking $14-16M for 4 to 6 seasons, and Texas must replace LF-CF Josh Hamilton’s bat. The warning-track defender of the Rays will probably garner the headlines, appearing to be first. But the brain trust will need to chip off $1-3M and 1-2 campaigns, while the Rangers will have a big hole in their lineup. However, management is not in a position to overpay, like Paps, and the inclination is not there either.
If Torii comes into the two-star picture, this will require an outlay of $15-16M, but the older veteran had moved from center to a corner position in 2011. Hunter ($10M) and Adams ($5-6M) would equal the funds necessary. However, there are combinations of Upton and Madson or Adams with Cabrera, which could happen in order to fit within the $17.4M limitation. Because there will be competition for all of these known commodities. Most interesting is that Torii and B.J. are represented by Larry Reynolds. Meanwhile, according to my in-progress research of 14 deep-pocket franchises and the other 16 for next week’s appraisal, B.J. Upton will most likely call the Bank his home.
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This is my 2nd storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Amaro’s Trouble Spots) and the 121 storylines for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
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