1. Mike July 1, 2010 at 10:23 am
    -sigh- At this point I can’t think of the Phillies as an elite organization. In the past two years they have gone from an elite team with a top 5-10 minor league system to an underachieving team who traded for the best pitcher in baseball and traded away another ace pitcher to try and restock. They gave away the chance to have one of the more ridiculous top two combinations ever created in Halladay and Lee. They got almost nothing for Lee. If they get Haren they will have even less. They have an aging roster and all those great players are nearing or at 30, and we all know how fans players break down, not to mention the ridiculous contract Howard signed that doesn’t even kick in until he is 32(?). Hamels is not at all the pitcher he was when they won the WS and Lidge, probably the single biggest reason they won the series, is not close to the shut down reliever he was in 2008.

    Fine add Haren. Maybe they will win the division because of it. But it is not guaranteed to work, and their system will be even further weakened.

  2. Mike July 1, 2010 at 10:24 am
    “and we all know how fast* players break down”

    Wish there was an edit button…

  3. isuzudude July 1, 2010 at 10:48 am
    The Phillies have won 3 straight NL East titles and have made it to the WS in back to back seasons. Until they fail to make the playoffs, there’s no way you can’t label them as an “elite organization.” They may be underachieving but they’re still just 2 games back of a playoff spot with half a season still to be played.
  4. Mike July 1, 2010 at 11:39 am
    Sure you should give them the benefit of the doubt, but ever since Ruben Amaro took over for Pat Gillick they have made several really questionable moves. I’m just not ready to place them on the top tier organizations list right now, regardless of the past success. This is something I have been thinking about for a while.
  5. gary516 July 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    the Sillies only seem like a great organization because the Mets are inept. i thought that might change but here comes atlanta reclaiming their division. sheesh.
  6. isuzudude July 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm
    Well, Mike, injuries have been taking their toll on the Phils this season (Madson, Romero, Durbin, Lidge, Rollins, Utley, Polanco, Ruiz), and though I am making no excuses for them, the rash of injuries most certainly has something to do with their sub-par record. If and when they start getting healthy, I am very confident they can pick up where they left off in 2009.

    And I agree that the Ryan Howard signing was questionable, but what else has Amaro done that has been to the potential detriment of the team? He traded for Lee last year and he helped them reach the world series, while the players he traded to get Lee have done little for the Indians thus far. The he traded Lee, knowing he wouldn’t sign a contract extension, and acquired perhaps an even better pitcher in Halladay, who he was then able to lock up long-term. And taking a peek at who the Phils traded to obtain Halladay, none are looking very impressive in the Jays’ minor league system right now. Kyle Drabek is a strong prospect, but who would you rather have for the next 4 seasons, Halladay or Drabek? That should be an easy question. He signed Polanco to replace Feliz, a good move. He signed Ibanez to replace Burrell, and though Ibanez’ contract may have been steep and he’s slumped as of late, it’s hard to argue that he was a bad signing when you look back at his 34 home runs from last season. And Ibanez’ contract is doing nothing to prohibit the Phils from adding more salary, as evidenced by the Halladay acquisition, the Howard signing, and the Dan Haren rumors. So what else has Amaro done that can be construed as questionable?

    I just think that, until it is proven that the Phillies can be beaten when the pennant race is at its hottest, you cannot discount them. And if you can’t rank an organization that has been to 2 consecutive world series and still carries much of that same roster in 2010 as a top-tier organization, then I think you may be letting your personal biases cloud your judgment.

  7. Micalpalyn July 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm
    Interesting dude,
    So the Mets were 1 game short in 2007&2008 and fell off in 2009 only to (so far) on the rebound in 2010. ….despite subpar efforts from Santana and no CB…not one inning.

    In 2 yrs the line up is OVERHAULED. A new starting 4 behind Zohan, and a new rightsided infield OF and CF, and LF. Haren, Jackson, Lee and others are on the block and could be great behind Zohan. Its nice to see the Mets focussing on pitching.

    I strongly believe Thole, Wilmer, are bait, but also Carlos Beltran will be traded to an AL team to recoup talent.

  8. Walnutz15 July 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm
    I’m a huge fan of Haren.

    If they’re throwing him out there for bites — then Domonic Brown is definitely a guy I’d be looking for in any package from the Phils. Haren’s controlled through 2012, with a 2013 option….if I’m not mistaken.

    Contract Specs, per Cots:

    4 years/$44.75M (2009-12), plus 2013 club option

    signed extension with Arizona 8/5/08, replacing option year & final guaranteed year of previous contract

    13:$15.5MM club option ($3.5M buyout)

    Whoever’s on the line with the DBacks should be expecting to hear that they’re going to have to give up a lot for his services.

    That’s Ollie Perez-type money, per season….sad. Haren’s still just about a strikeout an inning, and the DBacks are almost 20 games under .500.

    I’d view the hits/inflated WHIP as a result as an anomaly, just as easily as someone might think his arm’s going to fall off tomorrow.

    The DBacks have been atrocious this year.

    115 K’s, 22 BB’s in 116.1 IP…..

    .345 BABIP

    Imagine Dan Haren pitching at Citi Field, with an infield of Davis, Tejada, Reyes, and Wright – baseball gods willing?

    He’d be hella expensive, though.

  9. isuzudude July 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm
    Of note – Dan Haren is a notoriously bad 2nd half pitcher. I don’t know if he fatigues or loses concentration or if it’s just a fluky thing, but if I were considering trading for Haren I’d be taking into account his 2nd half slumps.
  10. Mike July 2, 2010 at 11:35 am
    I don’t know if you will see this at this point, ‘dude, because the comments don’t notify you anymore, but I have to say this anyway.

    The Ibanez contract absolutely is the reason the Phillies don’t have both Lee and Halladay right now. Take his money and give it to Lee and everything works out for them. Ibanez was unbelievably good the first half of last year, but ever since his injury he has been pedestrian at best, and a liability on the field. So much so that rumors swirled that he might to straight up cut. His contract is one of the worst given out in the past few years in my opinion.

  11. Mike July 2, 2010 at 11:39 am
    I got a chill up my spine when I read this not 3 minutes after submitting my last post. http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/4205/would-phillies-trade-jayson-werth

    Neyer is using this same argument, that Ibanez’s contract is keeping the Phillies from making other moves, or forcing them to consider making moves. Amaro goofed with the Ibanez deal, plain and simple.

  12. isuzudude July 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    I realize the Ibanez deal was entirely over-valued, but I can’t believe that his contract is the sole cause for why a team like the Phillies was forced to trade Lee and are considering trading Jayson Werth. Why not blame Brad Lidge’s $12-mil 2010 salary? Or Jamie Moyer’s $8-mil? Surely their contracts are just as much at fault for the Phillies’ increasingly handcuffed payroll flexibility.

    But let’s get back to the initial claim, which is that the Phils are not an elite organization anymore. To reach this conclusion you bring up a dwindling farm system and a number of questionable signings and trades. Who would you consider to be an elite organization, then? The Yankees? Well, the trades for Javy Vazquez and Curtis Granderson have further depleted their already thinning farm system, while they continue to pay Kei Igawa $20 million to pitch in the minors, and currently have 4 30+ year olds all making over $20-mil per season, 3 of whom are locked up long term. How questionable is that? Their payroll ceiling is limitless so bad contracts don’t seem to matter to them – but still, by using your guidelines of eliminating which organizations are elite, the Yankees would not qualify.

    To me, the bottom line is that you have to include recent history into determining what franchises are elite. For example, the Braves kept losing more and more talent as the 2000s progressed, but year in and year out leading up to 2006 they kept winning NL East titles. They were a team that proved that they could not be discounted until they were officially eliminated from contention. And seeing as how the Phillies have now rattled off 3 NL East crowns in a row, with a world series championship to show for it, they have to be considered an elite team until all chances of making the postseason are extinguished. They still have way too much talent and time on the clock to be counted out of any race or rank.