After Their World Series Win, What Should The Philadelphia Phillies Do During The Offseason?

What's the deal with Pat the Bat?

11/12/08 in MLB   |   thegrammarphile   |   respect

Fresh off their first World Series win since 1980, the Phillies now have a lot of choices to make in the offseason as to which members of this championship team will be back in 2009.  Money's a huge issue here.  They've already got over 63 million dollars committed to 9 players, plus another 3 million committed to Thome if the ChiSox don't pick up a 13-million-dollar option.  They've got 10 arbitration-eligible players (including Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson, Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, and Greg Dobbs, among others) who collectively earned over 20 million dollars in 2008, and this amount will surely increase for 2009.  With this increase in salaries, plus they money they owe Scott Eyre (who they just resigned) and Jamie Moyer (if they resign him, which I really hope they do), their payroll will be close to 100 million dollars.  The biggest wild card/question mark right now is Pat Burrell, who has mentioned numerous times that he'd like to stay in Philly, but who is a) expensive, and b) gets slower and more tired the longer he's in a game, usually meaning that the Phillies have to send in someone to take his place, like Eric Bruntlett.

Is Burrell worth it?  I'm not sure.  He's streaky--he dazzled in the spring of 2008, and then slumped later on in the year.  That being said, he gave the Phillies a lot of homers, RBIs, and walks, and he had a couple really key offensive plays in the postseason.  Then again, the man's a notoriously slow runner and sometimes pays more attention to fixing his hair than running for balls hit into his little corner of the outfield.  But still, isn't there something to be said for home-grown talent?  He's spent his baseball career with the Phillies.   Phillies fans (and not just the ladies who think he's cute!) seem to want him to stay.  Whether or not he'll be playing in Philly in 2009 is anyone's guess.  I can see him being quite the attractive player for some American League team looking for a DH.  It solves the problem of him being slow in the outfield and would probably keep him from getting so tuckered out.

If Burrell doesn't come back to Philly next season, the Phillies are certainly prepared: they've got Werth, Victorino, Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs who can all do the outfielder thing.  (I'd love to see Dobbs get some more playing time--I think he's severely underrated.  And smokin' hot.  But I digress...)  But Jenkins has been on a gradual decline, Stairs is no spring chicken, and I'm always hearing rumors about the Phillies considering using Victorino and/or Werth as trade bait (that thought terrifies me--I don't want to see the Phillies get rid of these young, fresh players).

In terms of pitching, with Hamels, Blanton, and Myers locked in for 2009, the Phillies have some good consistency.  I'm really hoping they bring back Moyer, who--despite the fact that he's not a young whippersnapper like that Hamels kid--was incredibly consistent in the 2008 season.  Yeah, his fastball's not all that fast, but he's patient and in control, and sometimes that's the perfect combination.  I'm guessing that J.A. Happ and Kyle Kendrick will be battling it out for a fifth rotation position...and I'm curious about this Carlos Carrasco dude everybody's talking about!

I think the makeup of the 2009 lineup is really gonna come down to money.  The reality is, the Phillies might not be able to afford to keep Burrell.  Since new GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. says that focusing on pitching is the team's priority, I'm not convinced that they're gonna shell out the dough to keep Burrell in Philly if they have the opportunity to explore a new (and cheaper) pitching prospect instead.  Speaking of money, can I tell you how relieved I am that the Phillies probably don't have the money to try to get Manny Ramirez?  As much as I respect Manny's abilities as a ballplayer, I don't think he'd fit in with the Phillies at all...and he's not exactly known for being the best team player, you know?

The Phillies are fresh off a Fall Classic win, with a new GM, with a big-and-getting-bigger payroll, and with a couple player-related question marks in the air.  Buckle up, kiddos--I have a feeling that the offseason's going to be just as much of a wild ride for Phillies fans as the 2008 season was!


About the author: NIKKI is the snarky little so-and-so behind RED PEN, INC.  She also talks baseball facts and baseball fluff over at THE BILF REPORT.  She's a die-hard, lifelong Phillies fan who's still really, really giddy about the Phillies' World Series win.
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11/13/08   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

I don't think Perez is anything special, but I do think that he's affordable, and could be a good spot starter and/or back of the rotation kind of guy. He IS inconsistent, but he has talent and potential. For a #4 or #5 starter, he's perfect.

11/13/08   |   thegrammarphile

Pat wrote:
I think there are a few other guys out there who could help a lot, for considerably cheaper than Sabathia.

Burnett, Dempster, Garland, Lowe, Oliver Perez, Sabathia and Sheets all would provide the Phillies with a nice boost (some more than others, obviously).

Sabathia's actually the one guy I would stay away from this offseason, because I believe in the "buy low, sell high" theory, and this is about as high as his price tag is ever going to get.

Garland or Perez would be able to help out the back of the rotation a bit for relatively cheap, I would think. But I'm also a little obsessive when it comes to pitching. If I were a GM, I'd sign at least 3 of those guys, no matter what team I had. You can never have too much pitching.

Perez?  Really?  When he's good, he's *quite* good, but when he's bad, he's awful.  (I kept flirting with the idea of picking him up on my fantasy team toward the end of the season, but considering that every time I saw him pitch in person, he freakin' imploded, I kept stopping myself from getting him.  Not sure if I made the right decision by not picking him up, but I do know he can be kinda risky.)

Good point--yeah, you're definitely right on about the price of Sabathia.  And regarding the Phillies, I haven't heard anything specific (yet) about them showing interest in any of the above (or any OTHER, for that matter) pitchers.  It's early in the offseason, but still--that kinda worries me...

11/13/08   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

thegrammarphile wrote:
I'd like to see them get more pitching, too.  But with the budget issues they seem to be having, I strongly suspect they're not gonna get a big name in pitching (or anywhere close, for that matter).  I wish they could get somebody like Sabathia, but I keep hearing that the Yankees are probably gonna be the ones to pick him up.  Sigh.

I think there are a few other guys out there who could help a lot, for considerably cheaper than Sabathia.

Burnett, Dempster, Garland, Lowe, Oliver Perez, Sabathia and Sheets all would provide the Phillies with a nice boost (some more than others, obviously).

Sabathia's actually the one guy I would stay away from this offseason, because I believe in the "buy low, sell high" theory, and this is about as high as his price tag is ever going to get.

Garland or Perez would be able to help out the back of the rotation a bit for relatively cheap, I would think. But I'm also a little obsessive when it comes to pitching. If I were a GM, I'd sign at least 3 of those guys, no matter what team I had. You can never have too much pitching.

11/13/08   |   thegrammarphile

dillo19 wrote:
Yes, he is old(ish).  Yes, he is slow.  But he still puts up good numbers and the Phillies need a right-handed power hitter.  I hope they bring him back.

Yeah, he does put up good numbers...and he's been a staple on the Phillies team for so long.  It would be sad to see him go.  I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens...

11/13/08   |   thegrammarphile

Pat wrote:
This Pat approves, as well.

I think the Phillies need to get more pitching. Moyer is something like 500 years old and they could use a true #2.

I'd like to see them get more pitching, too.  But with the budget issues they seem to be having, I strongly suspect they're not gonna get a big name in pitching (or anywhere close, for that matter).  I wish they could get somebody like Sabathia, but I keep hearing that the Yankees are probably gonna be the ones to pick him up.  Sigh.

11/13/08   |   thegrammarphile

Chief_aka_James wrote:
Pat approves this post.

http://enrico.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/01/patburrellgivesthefinger.jpg

I love this picture of Pat!

11/12/08   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

Cyraro wrote:

I'm just saying that it doesn't look like Pat Burrell.

(Edited by Pat)




I'm convinced.

11/12/08   |   Cyraro

I'm just saying that it doesn't look like Pat Burrell.

11/12/08   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3307 respect

Cyraro wrote:
there is no way thats Pat Burrell.

Umm...who is it then exactly?

11/12/08   |   Cyraro

Chief_aka_James wrote:
Pat approves this post.

http://enrico.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/01/patburrellgivesthefinger.jpg

there is no way thats Pat Burrell.

11/12/08   |   dillo19

11/12/08   |   dillo19

Yes, he is old(ish).  Yes, he is slow.  But he still puts up good numbers and the Phillies need a right-handed power hitter.  I hope they bring him back.

11/12/08   |   Batman9   |   6 respect

They will be fine whatever they do, although I feel that they will keep Shane & Jayson but perhaps have Jenkins in left even tho he's on the downside for a stopgap, everyone else will be just fine. Also, they will probably make Jamie the #4 man in the rotation rather than 3 because I feel it will be Cole, Brent, Joe and then Jamie with either KK or Happ but I would rather have Happ, but even if Moyer is gone, with KK and Happ, they will have a nice rotation.

11/12/08   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

This Pat approves, as well.

I think the Phillies need to get more pitching. Moyer is something like 500 years old and they could use a true #2.

11/12/08   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3307 respect

Pat approves this post.

http://enrico.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/01/patburrellgivesthefinger.jpg