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10-24-2010, 11:19 PM
Amateur Hour
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An early look at the off-season decisions facing the Phillies...

Anyone who thinks Werth will take a hometown discount of any kind (on years or money) is going to be very unhappy. He's gone, and everyone knows it, even the players. As Ross Gload said to Werth last night as he left the clubhouse: "Don't let those Yankees boss you around." In the end, Philly will merely have served as the place where Jayson put it all together and laid the foundation to cash in on a juicy long-term contract. With Boras as his agent and calling him a "franchise player" (give me a break), there's no way he accepts anything less than the contract Matt Holliday received -- and I'm sure some unfortunate team is going to give it to him. It'll probably be one of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, or Angels -- although one of those teams will be out of the running once it signs Carl Crawford.

For us, we need to do some serious house cleaning. For the love of all things holy, if Cliff Lee is receptive to the idea of coming back to Philly, offer him a big time contract. I know the Phillies are adamantly against giving pitchers anything more than 3-year deals, but I think this specific situation supersedes that philosophy. We won't be able to offer Cliff as much as the Yankees or Red Sox, but we can offer him a contract that's appealing enough to the point that, if he really wants to come back to Philly, it can happen. Of course, Amaro can't even begin to think about offering Cliff that type of contract without first finding a way to unload Blanton, Ibanez, and the other dead weight that's eating up way too much money. It just angers me to no end that Ruben jumped at the opportunity to give Howard 5 years and $125M but fed us that line of crap about trading Cliff Lee because he feared he couldn't sign him long-term. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You can't offer Cliff Lee $20+M over a long-term deal -- when starting pitching is the most important commodity in this game -- but you can offer that kind of term and obscene money to a soon-to-be-31-year-old slugger who could very well be trending downward on his career slope?! How does that make any sense, especially when you consider that signing Howard to an extension -- if the team decided that was the way to go -- could have gotten done during the 2011 season? Howard always dedicates himself in the off-season to improving one facet of his game. Well, this off-season he needs to focus on finding a way to get his power back, otherwise he's useless to us -- and cripplingly expensive at that.

Next year there has to be a concentrated effort to start infusing some youth into this roster. We know Dom Brown will be starting/platooning in RF, and it'll be exciting to see how he does in his first full season in the majors. It's also time to see if Mathieson can be a part of our bullpen going forward. Same goes for Bastardo (please develop another pitch). I'd also like to see the Kyle Kendrick experiment end, in favor of giving Vance Worley the #5 spot in the starting rotation.

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