Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Phillies still playing moneyball in quest for free agents

Ruben Amaro's reputation as Phillies GM is on the line more than ever in 2014

The Phillies parted ways with two players that impacted the team positively over the past couple years. Roy Halladay was injured last season, and perhaps the Phillies management thought it best to not have his pitching services for 2014 because of that. That's somewhat understandable.

Carlos Ruiz also did very well for the Phillies in the past couple years, he seemed to have stepped out of the mold of a catcher that couldn't hit. Ruiz swatted the ball with impunity and wasn't terribly overpaid for the kind of greatness he brought to the Phillies game. He was given the opportunity to join another team next year by the Phillies.

Here's Ruiz's numbers so far: Ruiz played in 97 games for the Phillies and his production was down last year, but looking at the year before that, Ruiz was clutch for the Phillies when the team shouldn't have had to rely on him doing that. He had a career year in 2012.

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI Awards
2006 27 PHI 27 78 69 5 18 1 1 3 10
2007 28 PHI 115 429 374 42 97 29 2 6 54
2008 29 PHI 117 373 320 47 70 14 0 4 31
2009 30 PHI 107 379 322 32 82 26 1 9 43
2010 31 PHI 121 433 371 43 112 28 1 8 53 MVP-17
2011 32 PHI 132 472 410 49 116 23 0 6 40 MVP-23
2012 33 PHI 114 421 372 56 121 32 0 16 68 AS,MVP-28
2013 34 PHI 92 341 310 30 83 16 0 5 37
8 Yrs 825 2926 2548 304 699 169 5 57 336
162 Game Avg. 162 575 500 60 137 33 1 11 66
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/13/2013.

 The Phillies went out and signed Marlon Byrd for $8M a year for two years when no one in the league except the Mets took a chance on him for such a small salary last year. The Phillies seemed to have said one thing when it came to a few players that were let go in the past few years with Victorino and Pence that they didn't want to sign them at the money that they were going to be getting. Then the team goes out and signs an incredibly strange deal to land Byrd for way more that his market value was. 

It just seems like things are wildly askew with the way the Phillies are relating to certain players, and then with other players, it's just a total lack of good judgement with them. 

The Phillies aren't finished playing the free agent game in acquiring players for this team, they are reportedly in a hot chase for Nelson Cruz or Carlos Beltran. What would one of those players command? If you're paying someone like Byrd $8M, is the asking price for either one of those two players $20M? 

Acquiring players in this manner hasn't done too well for the Phillies in the past couple years, their payroll has been sky high and it hasn't produced much in the way of a winner. Winning teams cannot be bought, and that's the good thing about baseball. It's not who has the highest priced players all the time, it's about assembling a team that plays together and wins together.

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