Tag: trade rumors

Desperate times call for desperate measures of production

Wes Helms was undeniably awful last season, but the Phils still shouldn’t be dealing him away for a minor leaguer regardless of whether they pay half his salary or not. Even given his miserable ’07, his combined numbers over the last two years are still pretty solid.

 
AB

2B

3B

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG
2006 240 19 5 10 .329 .390 .575
2007 280 19 0 5 .246 .297 .368
               
Total 520 38 5 15 .285 .341 .463

Over the two years combined, Helms has posted an .804 OPS. The Phillies were 15th in OPS in ’07 from their third baseman. They posted a .688. An .804 OPS would have been good enough for seventh-best in the NL.

There’s certainly no guarantee that Helms will bounce back in ’08, but hoping for him to do seems to make more sense than investing in acquiring someone from what looks to be a mostly weak group of available third baseman (by which I mean more Mora, Inge, Feliz and the like and less Hank Blalock).

Trading Helms without adding third base help would be a disaster. Dobbs clearly can’t play third every day, he hit 214/267/214 against lefties last year for one thing, and the only other choice at this point seems to be Bruntlett. Bruntlett is a better offensive player than Nunez, but he turns 30 in three months, hasn’t hit a home run since 2005 and has a career high in RBI of 14.

Helms’ numbers over the last two seasons look adequate only because his ’06 was so fantastic. After being a miserable hitter against righties all his career, Helms hit 323/368/632 against them with the Fish in ’06. His line against righties was the worst of his career this season as he hit 221/261/313 against them. He also didn’t benefit from Citizens Bank Park in ’07, hitting just 197/225/295 there while hitting a far more reasonable 291/357/432 in the Phils’ away games.

In 139 plate appearances at Citizens Bank Park in ’07, Helms had seven extra-base hits. While with the Marlins in ’06 he had 19 Citizens Bank Park plate appearances and had four.

Overall, Helms was as bad as he’s ever been last season. It doesn’t mean that he couldn’t get worse, but it does mean that he there’s reason to believe he can get a lot better. And as bad as the Phillies are in the minors, this isn’t the time to be trading the guys who might help you now for the ones that might help you later.

In this article, Ken Griffey Jr suggests that Ryan Howard is the best player in baseball in the “young generation.”

This article says the Phillies are interested in Nate McLouth.

Jeff Fasero wants to make a comeback. 45.

This article suggests that Iguchi’s agent will talk to him this week about whether he wants to play in Colorado.

This article recalls the 1974 Winter Meetings during which the Phils may or may not have backed out of a deal they had agreed on to send Bob Boone to the Tigers.


Me and Julio down by the school for strange transactions yard

The Phillies released Julio Mateo. Really they did. To recap, the Phils acquired Mateo, never used him despite being desperate for bullpen help last season while he threw to a 2.81 ERA with an 0.94 ratio at Reading, and then released him. Mateo could have helped the Phillies on the field last year and he could have helped them this year. I have no problem with not picking up a guy because of issues unrelated to what he does on the field, but it seems like the time to decide whether or not you’re going to let him pitch is before you add him to your team.

Here’s hoping the 330/404/478 that Jesus Merchan hit at Reading was just a coincidence. In the Phillies defense, his Reading numbers were by far the best of his career as a 26-year-old at Double-A.

This article says the Padres checked to see if the Phils had interest in Mike Cameron and the Phillies don’t. It also suggests the Phils have made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda that may have been for $30 million over three years but the pitcher is looking for four years and about $44 million. This article says the Phils are out of the race for Kuroda altogether.

This says the Phillies are one of four teams pursuing Mark Prior, who likely won’t pitch before May.

The Nationals released Billy Traber. He’ll surely be picked up by someone soon. Traber is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in four career appearances against the Phillies. In 194 2/3 innings overall, the 28-year-old lefty has thrown to a 5.41 ERA with a 1.55 ratio. He can get out lefties, who have hit 210/303/310 against him over his career. Righties, not so much (329/382/512).

This says the Brewers are expected to make Tad Iguchi an offer and the Padres may be interested as well. Rockies too. And the Giants. That didn’t take long.

In what is surprising development to me, it looks like the Dodgers will sign Andruw Jones to a two-year, $36.2 million contract. It turns out the answer to the why the Phils don’t try to sign Andruw to a short contract is less that Jones doesn’t want to sign a short contract and more that the Phils don’t want to pay him more than $18.1 million a year to do so.

This article says the Phillies won’t talk with Ryan Howard about an extension until next month.

This article says the Marlins have approached the Phils about getting Wes Helms back to help fill the third base void created when they lost Cabrera.

The Rule 5 draft is this morning.


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