Is Delmon Young the most important acquisition of the Philadelphia Phillies for 2013? Is it Mike Adams, Michael Young, Ben Revere or a piece that will be added later?
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 team’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.
When the stove is hot, I will continue the process of the previous Monday’s approach, if appropriate. For early birds Sunday evening is post time. Due to a strong response and a complicated off-season, my reviews will be weekly until spring training ends. 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: Posts involving commentary, polls and stats will be listed for the upcoming 7 days.
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This review is updated (2nd posting).
When you strive to stitch up 5 holes with almost $23 million, you need a scalpel, a deft hand and nerves of steel.
There are 2 directions for a franchise, and most general managers decide against exceeding the competitive-balance threshold. After 10 completed campaigns, the Yankees have averaged more than $22 million a year in tax penalties. And they went to 2 Fall Classics, winning one. They have targeted 2014 and its $189 million boundary to push the one-time reset button. It’s a do-over back to a first violation beyond ’14.
The Dodgers will be approximately $44 million over the limit, and be on the hook for an additional $7.7 million (17.5%). Increasing the maximum to $189 million in 2014, they will be $33 million over, which means charges of 30% (’14), 40% (2015) and 50% (2016). Those amounts are respectively $9.9 million (’14), $13.2 million (’15) and $16.5 million (’16). That’s $47.3 million for the next 4 tours and $16.5 million each season after that.
When New York (AL) does not desire losing $22 million per 162, what does that scream? The Phils and 28 other organizations came to the conclusion that this is not a wise business decision. That translates to locking up home-grown talent, like Cole Hamels. It also involves new, challenging ways to assemble a club before training camp, which equals varying risks because of financial limitations.
Comfort levels for a general manager:
- The so-called sure thing: Ryan Howard.
- The limited track record: Revere.
- The gamble on a decent player when healthy or a 3-month breakout star: Jose Contreras and John Mayberry Jr. respectively from 2012.
- The breath-holding roll of the dice: Dom Brown or Darin Ruf.
- The no-resume regular: Freddy Galvis from last April.
For the purpose of the bottom line, Rube Amaro spent $6 million (Adams), $6 million (M. Young), $.75 million (D. Young) and $3.8 million (John Lannan). That’s $16.55 million of almost $23 million, which figures in $1.3 million for Lannan’s incentives–the most achievable ones. Amaro received the best 8th-inning setup man in the majors, a .300 hitter with something to prove, a fleet center fielder, and a replacement rotation arm. He also picked up a corner outfielder with power, although there is baggage. The locals have $6 million to make another move and $5 million for the trading deadline.
The 8th frame was the gap between the starter and the closer that doomed at least a dozen games. Michael can bat 2nd, 5th or 6th and he fixed his mechanical flaw, averaging .313 after August. To supersede Shane Victorino, Revere shores up the middle of the diamond with Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. Revere hit .294 with 40 stolen bases in 49 attempts last summer, while Lannan is good for 180 innings and a respectable ERA.
The Corner Outfielders:
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Combined stats for a double platoon:
- Current left fielders thrice projected to 441 at-bats equals .265, 18 dongs and 78 RBI.
- Current right fielders produced a .242 mark, 19 jacks and 72 RBI.
The 1-7 lineup in some order will be: Rollins, M. Young, Utley, Howard, D. Young, Revere and Ruiz after the catcher returns by early May. The 8th spot will be Laynce Nix, Brown, Ruf or Mayberry.
The Nationals lost 3 southpaws from their ‘pen: Sean Burnett (Angels), Mike Gonzalez (Brewers) and Tom Gorzelanny (Brewers). They added Bill Bray, who was released outright by the Reds. They say their right handers can retire left-side sticks, but that may not be the smartest decision with Howard and Utley on an adversary’s squad.
According to the numbers:
- Tim Hudson is a two: 16-7, 3.62 ERA.
- Paul Maholm is a four: 4-5, 3.45 ERA (Atlanta) and 13-11, 3.67 ERA (total).
- Mike Minor is a five: 11-10, 4.12 ERA.
- Kris Medlen is a three until he duplicates 2012: 10-1, 1.57 ERA.
- Julio Teheran will slot in at five: 0-0, 5.68 ERA.
The Braves added the Uptons, but they bid goodbye to Chipper Jones, Martin Prado and Michael Bourne. Their 5-man staff was stronger last March, and Medlen needs a full campaign to draw a more realistic evaluation. They will have to tax their bullpen more also. Our 2 NL East rivals have their flaws as well, which means the division is up for grabs and the wild card is only a fallback position.
Updated Financial Table[email protected]Philadelphia Phillies news: Suds or studs, retooling
While most are questioning the new right fielder, this inexpensive acquisition reminds me of Juan Pierre last spring. My main concern was Delmon’s fielding, but I did not realize that he had difficulties with his right ankle–or had a November surgery. Brown and Ruf will battle for the left-field job, but Delmon may be slowed by the recuperative process, which presents another wrinkle. That stated, he has matured beyond his late-night troubles, but his fitness issues–on the other hand–have been his Achilles’ heel.
Before his bum ankle, he was a plus defender with a strong arm and right field had been his best position. He hit half of his 18 taters during 2012 in cavernous Comerica Park, and he also will have less real estate to patrol at the Bank. Plus, he has dropped 20 pounds and his contract has incentives for conditioning. He earned $6.75 million last year, and he understands this opportunity will affect his future income.
Once Delmon is sound enough for every game, he will not be replaced in the 5 hole by the returning catcher or the new third baseman.
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This is the 12th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (The Spring Swing) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Suds or Studs.
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.
Tal Venada (Author Archives)