Sunday, July 30, 2006

Phillies Trash Is Yankee Gold
By Ben Valentine

Sportszilla’s trade deadline coverage continues. You can find analysis of some of the earlier deals. Keep it here for all your analysis through tomorrow’s deadline.

Yankees receive OF Bobby Abreu and RHP Corey Lidle

The Phillies got back SS CJ Henry, LHP Matt Smith, C Jesus Sanchez, RHP Carlos Monasterios

The Yankees get their man, proving once again that money can go a long way to buying a championship. Granted the 32 year old’s power has evaporated, but he’s still a damn good on base guy, getting on at a .427 clip. It goes without saying this is a huge upgrade over both Bernie Williams and Melky Cabrera. Not that the Yankees needed offense; they were the third highest scoring team in the AL. Abreu might continue in the three spot, or he might move up to two. Either way he improves a very good offense.

Corey Lidle might be the key component in the trade however. Lidle’s K rate has jumped to 7.04 this year, his career mark is 5.68, but his walks have increased as well leaving him with a 2.51 K/BB. His GB/FB is okay at 1.57, but in Philly where homers rule, that wasn’t going to fly. Overall that left him with a 4.74 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He’ll be helped by moving to Yankee Stadium which is a better park to pitch in than Citizen’s Bank, but hurt by the DH. Overall, posting an ERA in the low to mid 4.00’s is probably where Lidle should end up. That represents a huge upgrade over even Jaret Wright and certainly over Sidney Ponson.

And what did the Phillies net back for one of the better outfielders in the game? I’ll let the answer come from a Phillies fan:

“I think the Phillies are (expletive deleted) stupid. They just gave up on the season”

I couldn’t phrase it much better than that. Thank you to WNYU Cheap Seats’ host Rachel Steinberg for her always colorful and exuberant commentary.

Last year shortstop CJ Henry posted an .714 OPS in the Gulf Coast league. Things have gotten even worse for the twenty year old in the South Atlantic League (Mid A), with an 643 OPS in 263 ABs this season. Also distressing is his 31/84 BB/K ratio, down from a 17/34 mark of a year ago. Could the former first round pick find himself? He is only twenty so yes, he could. But he’s a long way off from being a big leaguer now.

Smith, a lefty reliever, is 27 and a decent candidate for the pen with his high strikeout totals. He’s averaged 7.90 K/9 in the minors and has gone up every year to a high of 10.73 last year. This year he’s got an ERA 2.28 with a 1.27 WHIP and a 21/6 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings. He’s seen 12 innings with the Yankees this year and was not impressive, posting a 9/8 K/BB mark in that time. Overall, he’s potentially decent as a reliever, but nothing to write home about.

The last two prospects are in the rookie Gulf Coast League. The 18 year old catcher Sanchez is hitting just .264/.319/.364/.683. He’s young, but that’s about it when it comes to his upside. Monasterios, 20, has a nice 24/3 K/BB in 30.1 innings this year in seven games. (three starts) Not exactly eye popping numbers there.

So what did the Phillies net here? Nothing but salary relief. And that is atrocious. Is it nice they can dump the 35 million dollars they owe Abreu? Sure, but to get nothing back for him is a poor job.

Meanwhile the Yankees prove that money can still potentially buy you a championship. As Rotoworld mentioned in regards to these rumors late last night, the Yankees will now have a payroll 100 million dollars higher than the next closest team. There is something wrong with that.

But in the end, the only people who care about that are Yankee haters. And there are a lot of them. Still, today a Yankee fan can get giddy. They look to have made themselves the team to beat the AL East.


Blogger David Arnott said...

I'll repeat here what I keep telling everyone about this: the deal is crappy if all you look at is the talent changing hands, but in one fell swoop the Yankees took on more payroll than the ENTIRE MARLINS 25 MAN ROSTER MAKES. That's money the Phillies can now direct elsewhere. Every team has a budget and financial limitations. This gives the Phils tons of flexibility. If they can dump Burrell before the deadline (or after, for that matter), they'll have the ability to completely remake their roster for next year, building around Utley, Howard, and Hamels, with Myers and Floyd as guys who could still be improving. That looks pretty damn good to me.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Ben Valentine said...

David I hate salary dumps because they usually involve giving up a good player for way less than he's worth for the assumption a good free agent hits the market. Abreu's contract had one year plus a 2 million dollar buy out. The Phillies, even if they kept him would have been strapped for one year. If they ate his salary and got a good prospect back they'd have been fine.

They're far away from competing. Howard and Utley look good and Myers has been solid. Hamels has nice upside. But thats really it. Floyd hasn't shown anything in the bigs. They need 3-5 spots in their rotation, some help in the pen and some help for Howard and Utley. Abreu's 16 million isn't giving them all that. But with a solid couple of prospects they could have gone a long way to solving those problems.

But they didn't do that. The Phillies are unlikely to be better next year and that's all they were on the hook for with Abreu. So it's a bad trade.

12:31 AM  
Blogger David Arnott said...

Player payroll isn't a closed system. The Phils might put that money to use signing a top prospect that might otherwise go to college, or something like that. If all they do with the cleared money is sign Pedro Feliz, then we can say they screwed up, but since this is one of the old-CBA crazy money deals, I think we have to give Gillick the benefit of the doubt, because that money goes a lot farther now than it did then. Finally, they COULDN'T get any better prospects because Abreu wouldn't waive his no-trade unless he went to one of only 2-3 teams. The question then became one strictly of salary vs. production, since they knew they couldn't get much talent back, and it's pretty clear that they decided the money is better spent (or kept) elsewhere. BP did a study a couple years ago showing that even though Manny was one of the five best hitters in the game, his contract still hurt the Red Sox. For a player who's still very good, but not what he used to be and no longer in the upper crust of ballplayer talent, there are only two, perhaps three, teams in baseball that can justify absorbing his salary, let alone absorbing his salary in the name of putting the team over the top.

3:06 AM  
Blogger SRQbaseball said...

OH right.......Phillies fans should hang their hats on a wife beater...Myers.........Yanks got the best out of this deal. The Phillies organization is a disaster

11:53 AM  
Blogger SRQbaseball said...

PS. The Yankees are drawing 4 million plus fans, have their own TV network and possibly the most expensive ticket in the majors. They are obliged to spend that money and put a great product on the field. All this discussion about how money buys championships is a load of crap. Every organization should only have the smarts and the determination that the Yankees show year in year out. You get what you pay for and that's guaranteed every time you shell out that cash to go to see them play at Yankee stadium; the Rolling stones of baseball.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Ben Valentine said...

Again, the argument would have more logic if Abreu had two or three years left on his deal. He has one. The Phillies get 16 million dollars of relief this year. Big deal. If they go out and throw that money at Barry Zito, they'll end up in worse shape.

The Yankees payroll is obscene. The Mets/Red Sox are not even in their league and both teams have a 100 million dollar player. The Yankees have THREE! The Yankees now have four players who are making, by themselves, MORE than the ENTIRE Florida Marlins payroll. (A-Rod, Jeter, Giambi, Abreu)

The Yankees have not shown smarts, just the ability to buy their way out of problems. This is a franchise that handed Drew Henson millions before he saw a pitch at AA. That would have killed the Kansas City Royals. But the Yankees absorb the loss and move on. Andy Morales, Kenny Rogers, Steve Karsay... I can probably come up with a bunch more of mistakes that are easily forgotten because the Yankees can throw more money at a replacement.

1:54 PM  

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