Tag: Kris Benson

Would you like to buy an ‘O’?

The Phillies traded Chris Roberson to the Orioles for cash. Roberson hit 232/254/261 in 69 at-bats with the Phillies between 2006 and 2007. He turns 29 in August. I’d be kind of surprised if it turns out to be a lot of cash. Probably more than a nickel, though. Shhh.

This mailbag from the Phillies’ web site says that the Phillies’ interest in Kris Benson has cooled and suggests adding Chad Durbin was an alternative to Benson. If the Phillies’ search for a fifth starter is truly over, that’s bad news.

Pete Laforest will be invited to spring training. The Phils don’t have a lot of depth at catcher, but I’d be surprised if Jaramillo didn’t get the first shot behind Ruiz and Coste this year. Laforest may appeal as a left-handed bat off the bench, but the Phils don’t appear to have any space for him. I don’t think you’re likely to see a 25-man roster for the Phillies in which Laforest is the second-best defensive catcher.

This article lists the Lidge trade as one of the most lopsided of the off-season (in the Phillies favor). I don’t agree. The pen is still a problem for the Phils. Lidge is obviously an improvement over Geary, but trading away useful middle relievers creates new problems.

Gloom and Doumit

Things are looking just a little bit bleak for the Phils. With that in mind, I went on a search for hidden gems of right fielders. Hidden gems in this case meaning players who got at least 100 plate appearances against righties in ’07, posted an OPS higher than Jayson Werth’s .760 OPS against righties in those plate appearances, appeared in at least 25 games in right field and didn’t make me immediately say “there’s no way his team would trade that guy” or “he’s way too expensive for the Phillies.” Some of those criteria are somewhat subjective. Anyway, here’s what I came up with, along with Werth’s numbers against righties:

vs RHP






Ryan Doumit 195 282 347 518 865
Skip Schumaker 153 327 340 471 810
Fred Lewis 128 289 385 422 807
Gabe Gross 172 244 328 459 788
Jayson Werth 167 257 371 389 760

Nobody real exciting there except for Doumit, and the Pirates are going to need him, especially if they trade Bay or Nady. I don’t think the Phillies would give a spot on their 25-man roster to any of the other three guys.

Jenkins, who got zero plate appearances as a right fielder last year, didn’t make the list. All of his plate appearances in ’07 came as a left fielder or a DH. He posted an .807 OPS against righties. In ’06 he was a full-time right fielder and put up an .871 OPS against righties.

Still holding out hope for Jenkins. But if the Phils don’t get him, one of the guys some people might be wishing they had shown more interest in is Cliff Floyd. Floyd signed a one-year contract with the Devil Rays under which he’ll earn between $2.75 million and $4.75 million in ’08. This article from last Wednesday suggested the Phillies had little interest in him. And yes, I agree he’s sure to get hurt. But so is Jenkins. And Snelling. And Victorino. So it’s a little late to start discriminating against the sure-to-be-injured.

This mailbag from the Phillies web site seems to suggest that the biggest chance to add a third baseman is Pedro Feliz, and that that’s unlikely.

This article says that the Phils watched Benson pitch yesterday and didn’t say much about what they thought about his performance. It also says that the Padres are unlikely to match the Phillies’ offer to Geoff Jenkins. Finally, it says that Benson would likely sign a one-year contract. A one-year contract would no doubt be highly attractive to the Phillies.

This says that Kyle Lohse is considering offers from the Mets and the Phillies and that the Phillies’ offer could be for as long as four years. A four-year contract would no doubt be highly repulsive to the Phillies. I would be a little surprised if the Phillies signed Lohse at all and a lot surprised if they signed him to a four-year deal.

Javy Lopez is back with the Braves.

The Orioles may be interested in Octavio Dotel.

Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, maybe around April 27 or so

This article from the Phillies’ web site suggests the Phils are interested in Mike Cameron. I find it hard to believe the Phillies would be looking to move Victorino out of center. Whether you believe the Phillies’ interest in Cameron is genuine or an effort to get Jenkins to make a decision, it seems likely that getting Jenkins would be the first choice for the Phils and getting Cameron a distant second at best.

This article from December 6 suggests the Phillies had told Cameron’s agent that they weren’t interested in Cameron. Rowand has left the Phillies since, but you have to believe that the Phillies were expecting that.

This quotes from a book excerpt that suggests Cameron, who will miss the first 25 games of the 2008 season after testing positive for a banned substance, told the author he has played drunk.

The article linked in the top paragraph above says the Phillies are expected to watch Kris Benson pitch today in Arizona.

This says the Phillies are considering Sidney Ponson. Hopefully not for long. It also suggests Ponson might sign a minor league contract.

Or maybe they’ll just talk about Scott Rolen’s secondary average for four days and decide to do nothing

If the Phils spent the first day of the Winter Meetings dealing for a corner outfielder, a third baseman and a couple of pitchers they’re apparently keeping it on the down-low. Fingers crossed.

This article suggests that the Dodgers are more interested in trying sign Andruw Jones to a shorter contract than giving a longer deal to Rowand. Opinions apparently vary about the chances of Rowand returning to the Phils. I think he is going to the White Sox, but I would say the chances of him coming back to the Phils are low but not zero. You have to believe that they would increase at least a little if the Phils don’t add another corner outfielder or acquire help at third.

This article suggests that the Phils have clear interest in Kris Benson and some interest in Bartolo Colon and Jason Jennings and not as much in Carlos Silva or Kyle Lohse. Gillick also sounds like he’s feeling a little less than warm and fuzzy about Randy Wolf, calling Wolf’s signing with the Padres a blessing in disguise.

While we’re on the subject, Scott Rolen’s secondary average last year was .232. I would guess the Phillies are about as likely to bring him back as they are Steve Jeltz.

And speaking of the man, if we could get Jeltz to weigh in it sounds like we could call it just about unanimous that the Phillies aren’t interested in Melvin Mora.

This article talks about what the Braves might be trying to do at the Winter Meetings. The Braves, I fear, are looking likely to continue their upswing.

The Nationals traded for Elijah Dukes. It’s gonna be quite a clubhouse.

This article says that the White Sox are still interested in Rowand and may be looking to trade Joe Crede.

Lefty Brian Anderson is attempting a comeback after missing the last two seasons. The Rockies may be interested. Anderson had elbow surgery in 2005 and 2006. In 2004 with the Royals he gave up 33 home runs in 166 innings while throwing to 5.64 ERA, so he’s not really screaming ideally suited to finish out his days at Citizens Bank Park.

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