Posts for trade

Trading Hunter Pence Was Stupid

Kyle Scott - January 29, 2013



image from mobilwi.typepad.com
Perhaps only Scott Hartnell thinks it was a good move

Bile Scott, writing in the comments yesterday, put forth the following: I still don’t understand why you dump Pence at the deadline last year. He was under team control for another year so instead of going to arbitration with a solid RF, you get Young and platoon unproven pups in left? It makes no sense!

Agreed. Pence had one year remaining on his contract (arbitration eligible) and is 29-years-old (30 in April). At the time of the trade, he was the youngest, most durable and reliable projected everyday player for the Phils in 2013.

True, the Phillies had to sell at the deadline last season, and trading Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton, each in the final year of their contract, made sense. But why move the youngest controllable starter when you still expect to compete the following season? 

Prospects. Eh. It’s not like either of the minor leaguers the Phillies got for Pence – Tommy Joseph and Seth Rosin – are can’t-miss players. Both are highly regarded, but, as is the case with all prospects, there are no guarantees. The Phils are still in win now mode (I think), so trading a 30-year-old everyday player with one year left on his deal for prospects, well, it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Money. Who cares? It’s not yours. Pence avoided arbitration with the Giants by signing a one-year, $13.8 million deal, which is certainly at the high end* of what he would have gotten from the Phils, whose only spending limit is $178 million– the luxury tax threshold for 2013. Right now, the Phillies’ current payroll stands at around $156 million (plus around $10 million for player benefits that gets factored into luxury tax calculations). That leaves them about $12 million under the threshold, or, in other words: roughly a Hunter Pence under the threshold

*He likely earned himself a $2 million, “thanks for those pre-game sermons” bonus in San Fran

Having Pence this season would have made no difference to the construction of the rest of the team, as it currently stands. Yes, the Phils now have substantial flexibility, something they undoubtedly planned to, um, do something – anything at all – with this winter. But they didn’t. So, unless you’re an owner, applauding the $10 million or so they saved is foolish. And even John Middleton is going to be shaking his DAMN head when he watches Young try to catch a slicing looper.

Upgrades. Not really. Obviously, the Phils tried to do more with the money, but missed on available players – either via trade or free agency – such as the Uptons, Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and others. They failed to sign any impact hitters, instead settling on 900-year-old Michael Young, controllable Ben Revere (thumbs up there), and the anti-Semitic Delmon Young. They spent on pitching, sort of: Mike Adams ($5 million), Chase Utley hater John Lannan ($2.5 million), Aaron Cook ($1.6 million) and Chad Durbin ($1.1 million). None of those names, except for maybe Adams, jump out at you, but they bolster a bullpen that needed bolstering.

It all comes back to the lineup, though. The Phillies are certainly no better there than they were last season. Young is a minor upgrade over Placido Polanco, but the outfield now consists of John Mayberry, Dom Brown, Darin Ruf, Ben Revere, Laynce Nix and Delmon Young. That’s terrible for a supposedly contending team.

Pence certainly has his issues – he’s a lousy fielder, frustrating hitter, and owns a strip of land between home plate and shortstop – but he’s not as bad in the field as Young, and his stats are better than Young’s across the board. Even Swisher, who just signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Indians, and who some thought could have been the upgrade in the outfield, didn’t have much better numbers than Pence in 2012. Oh, and he’s three years older. I have no idea if the Phils ever seriously considered signing Swish, but he at least had the type of power numbers (24 home runs, 93 RBIs) that the Phillies were likely looking for.

Some would argue Pence had the worst season of his career last year– a rarity for a 29-year-old. Yet he still finished the season with 24 home runs, 104 RBIs and was credited by his Giants teammates as being a clubhouse leader in their run to their second World Series championship in three years. Not bad.

And that’s what I keep coming back to: If nothing else, Pence is reliable. He’s played in over 150 games, and hit over 20 home runs and 25 doubles every year since 2008. In four of those five seasons, he’s driven in over 80 runs, including 91, 97 and 104 in each of the past three seasons, respectively. Those aren’t necessarily All-Star numbers, and Pence’s on-base and slugging percentages are mediocre, but he’s a plus corner outfielder, still in the prime of his career, and would have been under contract in 2013 at an amount that would have allowed the Phillies to remain under the luxury tax threshold while making the “upgrades” they did this winter. 

So, yeah, trading him was stupid.

Shane Victorino Says He Wanted to Come Back to the Phillies

Kyle Scott - January 7, 2013


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Photo: Philadelphia Boys & Girls Clubs

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Shane Victorino wanted to return to the Phillies this winter. Of course, the feelings weren’t mutual because paying Victorino $39 million over the next 36 months – something the Red Sox signed up for – at this stage of his career is ridiculous. But despite Victo’s sometimes annoying Twitter and all that Slappiness, for me, the Phils trading Victo signaled the end of an era. Not the end of success, (because the Phils still have plenty of players remaining from the 2008 team and will contend for the next few years)… just the end of a short, magnificent era of Phillies baseball. 

Victorino was in (Not-So) Nicetown* on Friday for the one-year anniversary of his Boys & Girls Club. Here’s what he told Matt Gelb of Philly.com about wanting to come back to the Phillies:

"Oh yeah, absolutely," Victorino said. "I focused on that. I wanted to come back. We kept in touch and informed them on what was going on and the opportunities I was getting. We gave them every last shot to give me an opportunity to come back. This was the place I wanted to be. But unfortunately it didn't work out."

"I look at all the memories I've left here and I will always have here," Victorino said. "You never say never. Will I never be a Phillie again? Who knows? But right now I'm a Red Sox and I'm focused on that opportunity. Every time I come back to this city, the memories rekindle.”

Phillies fans will have a chance to formally show their gratitude for Victorino's service May 29-30, when the Red Sox play a two-game interleague series at Citizens Bank Park. "To be a visiting player in my home park," he said, "it's going to be fun."

 

The folks in Boston may take issue with Victorino calling CBP his “home park.” But I’m just fine with it.

*He was joined by his old boss, Phillies president David Montgomery.

Bryce Harper Wants Giancarlo Stanton to Play for the Nats, Forgets About Current Right Fielder

Kyle Scott - November 14, 2012

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Photo: Beau Phillips

You’re not the only one who, when the Marlins sold off their franchise yesterday, thought that Giancarlo Stanton would make a good fit for your team. One Washington National, one Mr. Bryce Harper, Brycecakes, also felt that way, and he let Giancarlo know about it on the Twitters:

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Besides that being the fruitiest Tweet of all-time, let's talk about the possibility of the Marlins trading Stanton, too: The fact of the matter is, Stanton makes less than a million dollars and won’t be arbitration eligible until 2014. If the Marlins want their attendance numbers to soar into the tens next year, then keeping Stanton around might be a good idea. After that, however… well, I’m sure the fish will be biting.

When asked for comment about Harper’s Tweet, Jayson Werth, the Nats' current right fielder, the same position that Stanton plays, offered only the following:

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Poor guy.

The Marlins are Trading Their Entire Roster to the Blue Jays

Kyle Scott - November 13, 2012

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I guess that whole stockpiling thing didn’t work out so well for the Miami Marlins. According to reports from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, they are sending just about their entire team to Toronto in exchange for slop.

Here’s what’s known so far: Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio, or some combination thereof, are heading to Canada. Coming the Marlins’ way? Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez and Justin Nicolino.

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This is not completed yet, and Bud Selig may be hard pressed not to nix this nonsense, but these are the reports. What a wonderful day for Canada, and therefore, of course, the world.

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UPDATE: On Twitter, Marcus Vick Requested a Trade for His Brother, Complained About Offensive Line

Kyle Scott - November 5, 2012

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Marcus Vick, Michael’s criminal younger brother, has a Twitter account (@MVFive), and he had some things to say about the first quarter of the Eagles game: [in reverse order]

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In that second Tweet, the one where Marcus referred to his Twitter handle in the third person, he was criticizing his brother for the interception turned 98-yard touchdown.

Marcus seemingly has some dealings in Michael’s businesses, according to his bio: New Twitter page!!! Co-Founder of V7LLC!! Muscle Pharm, Core Synergy, Memorabilia Team, Apple Get in the Game app, Nike Boyz!! #TeamVick. On a plane to the Money. 

I highly suggest you follow along for the rest of the game… and until the end of time, so you can read gems like this*:

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In a disgustingly sick but most hilariously twist of fate, it seems that not only did Michael buy his brother a huge house, but also (indirectly) a GIGANTIC sliding aid that could actually be of some benefit to the Eagles quarterback.

*No joke, I spent seven consecutive minutes crying from laughing so hard at that Tweet. Ms. CB is questioning her life choice.

UPDATE: Marcus continued his parade of hits throughout the game last night. He removed the Tweet about wanting his brother traded. The rest remain (for now). I’ve aggregated all of them, with some commentary, for your reading pleasure. See them after the jump.

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Juan Pierre Clears Waivers, Could Be Traded Today

Ryan Gillon - August 31, 2012

Juan

(Photo: Rick Shultz/Getty Images)

He will be missed.

Jon Morosi from FOX Sports is reporting that Juan Pierre has cleared waivers.

Why is midnight tonight relevant? Pierre will be able to play in the postseason if he's traded by then. Because he's useful to a potential contender, there's a decent chance he'll be dealt.

Pierre, 35, is batting .300 for the Phillies with 32 stolen bases and 22 RBI, but's his .343 on-base percentage that likely makes him attractive to other teams.

Stay tuned.

Report: Sixers Involved in Talks for Blockbuster Four-Team Dwight Howard Trade

Kyle Scott - August 9, 2012

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OHHMMAAAGODDDDDWEREGETTINGDWIGHTHOWARD.

We’re not.

Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarakaowjwskdsowhskski reports that the Sixers, Lakers, Magic and Nuggets are involved in talks for a blockbuster four-team trade that would land the Sixers Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol and send Andre Iguodala to Denver. Yes, please: [Yahoo!]

There are multiple moving parts in the fluid talks, but the framework of a possible deal includes Howard and Denver forward Al Harrington going to the Lakers, Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala going to the Nuggets, Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum moving to the 76ers, and Los Angeles forward Pau Gasol and Denver guard Arron Affalo going to the Magic, sources told Yahoo! Sports. 

 

He goes on to say that Bynum or Gasol could be the player who goes to the Sixers.

That’s great. Really, it is. But it’s hard to get too excited. The key player in the deal, Howard, would be going elsewhere, making someone else a title contender. 

Lately, we’ve gotten used to the Phillies (pre-end of days days), Eagles and Flyers going after big-time, big-name players in their respective quests for a championship (none have paid off– the Phillies’ spending has come in the Amaro years… and, well, they’ve gone backwards each year). The Sixers, however, still play the patsy, a means to an end, for other teams. Bynum and Gasol are fine players, both undoubtedly better than Iguodala (trust me, I’d applaud the trade), but it’s swapping a Robin for a Robin. Admittedly, the Sixers would be trading Chris O’Donnell’s Robin for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s. But they’d still be getting the Robin to Howard’s, um, Superman.

The last eight teams to win championships have had either LeBron, Dirk, Kobe, Celtics trio, or Duncan. Winning teams need stars. And while it was a long shot that Howard was going to wind up in Philly, it’s hard to get too excited when the Sixers play a mere supporting role in helping another team (Lakers) land the all-around best player in the deal.

Still, getting Bynum would be a good thing.

Bill Simmons, whose basketball trade value list is my go-to for NBA player rankings, had Bynum at 21 this past year, up from 38 in 2011.

Here’s what Simmons wrote in each of those years:

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Video: The Hunter Hath Arrived… in San Francisco

Kyle Scott - August 1, 2012

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Let me eat?

Ugh. If you want to injure your soul a bit more, here’s video of Hunter Pence arriving in San Francisco last night. The shot is quite similar to what we saw on CSN locally last summer, when Pence arrived in an SUV in the bowels of CBP. The scene is the same. The location, much different.

Pence was immediately greeted by a blonde, however. So, yeah, he’s going to do just fine in San Fran.

Video after the jump.

via The School Philly

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