Deconstructing The Phillies: Outfield

November 30th, 2014 by Mike H. | Filed under Baseball, Phillies.

Finally, we make our way to the outfield. Where hopes and dreams have gone to die. Ben Revere must be Juan Pierre’s illegitimate child, without the bunting skills. Marlon Byrd had one of the best offensive seasons at a discounted rate, but has very little value due to his age. Then there is Domonic Brown. I had a lot of hope for Brown. Five years ago, Brown was hitting .320 with 20+ home run power. His defense was a little suspect, but the offense more than made up for it. Heck we had dealt with Pat the Bat and Rauuuuuuuuul, so why not one more. Yeah, so his defense didn’t get any better and his offense has gotten significantly worse. If you look at the numbers, 25% of Brown’s CAREER home run total came in May of 2013. 12.5% of his CAREER runs batted in total are also from the same month. Yes, they are glimpses of what could be/have been, but I doubt anyone expects that to happen again in red pinstripes. Let’s put this baby to bed, so that we can have one last look at how this team would be different if I was calling the shots.

Let’s start with the easiest move. Ben Revere, if you recall, was a part of the trade that finally saw Jonathan Papelbon traded to the Detroit Tigers. You can go back and read about it here. I still believe it to be a viable deal and one that should be explored even with the acquisition of former Phillies prospect, Anthony Gose. With that being handled, let’s move to the corner outfield positions.

Marlon Byrd SHOULD be a valuable trade commodity. He should have been traded last year at the deadline, but stayed because teams, other than the Phillies, have a problem paying corner, power hitting outfielders close to their 40th birthday. Byrd’s no trade clause also stood in the way as he is allowed to block trades to four teams each season. I could see Toronto and Tampa Bay remaining on his list, but with the World Series appearance by Kansas City and bright future in Seattle, I’d imagine both of those teams coming off. It is possible that he keeps the same teams hoping to go to a potential contender and requiring that team pick up his option year. If Seattle were to come off his list, I’d revisit that deal for two reasons. The obvious one would be that the Phillies would shed themselves of that money owed and getting something, anything of value, but the better reason would be to deny the Braves, who have been in rumors involving Justin Upton to Seattle for a better package than the one they received for Jason Heyward.

If I’m in charge, I’m calling Seattle and cutting the Braves out of the question. The Braves are probably looking for something that involves one of Paxton or Walker as a centerpiece. The Phillies should be calling and asking for a package that includes Hisashi Iwakuma and Danny Hultzen, if they balk at adding Hultzen, then Byrd for Iwakuma straight up is fine. Gives us a right hander that could succeed and net us an extra draft pick in 2016 or flipped at the deadline in July. Iwakuma makes $1M less than Byrd in 2015, so I’d be willing to subsidize part of the contract, especially if it nets us Hultzen. Yes, Hultzen has been injured, but he could turn out to be the lottery ticket that Jayson Werth turned out to be.

As for Brown, at this point, he is nothing more than a change of scenery guy. For a while, I’ve had this thought that the Astros were a perfect fit for him. His offense plays slightly better than current left fielder Robbie Grossman’s does. With the 40-man rosters being set, and the Astros at the limit, a good scenario to take advantage of would be to trade Brown for Delino DeShields Jr. Granted it is still very likely possible that the Phillies could get him for a small amount of cash in the Rule V draft, but trading Brown for DeShields straight up keeps the Phillies roster available to still make a similar move.

Let’s take one last look at the completely revamped Phillies roster heading into 2015.

Rotation:

  • Cliff Lee
  • A.J. Burnett***
  • David Buchanan^
  • Anthony Ranaudo****
  • Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
  • Jerome Williams
  • Hisashi Iwakuma

Bullpen:

  • Ken Giles
  • Justin De Fratus
  • Jake Diekman
  • Antonio Bastardo
  • 2 of Mario Hollands, Cesar Jimenez, Luis Garcia, and Ethan Martin
  • Yimi Garcia

Infield:

  • Cody Asche
  • Maikel Franco
  • Darin Ruf
  • Chase Utley
  • Carlos Ruiz
  • Freddy Galvis
  • Cesar Hernandez

Outfield:

  • Delino DeShields
  • Scott Van Slyke
  • Garin Cecchini
  • Grady Sizemore
  • Aaron Altherr

Subtractions:

  • Cole Hamels
  • Kyle Kendrick
  • Jonathan Papelbon (plus $8M or $15M*)
  • Ben Revere
  • Ryan Howard (plus $50M**)
  • A.J. Burnett
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Domonic Brown
  • Marlon Byrd

Additions:

  • Deven Marrero****
  • Garin Cecchini****
  • Brian Johnson****
  • Anthony Ranaudo****
  • Angel Nesbitt
  • Austin Kubitza
  • Francellis Montas
  • Yimi Garcia
  • Scott Van Slyke
  • Hisashi Iwakuma
  • Delino DeShields

Finally, I’ll close with the depth chart:

Starting Rotation

  1. Cliff Lee (LH)
  2. Hisashi Iwakuma (RH)
  3. Jerome Williams (RH)
  4. Anthony Ranaudo (RH)
  5. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (RH)

Bullpen

  • Ken Giles (CL)
  • Jake Diekman (LHSU)
  • Justin DeFratus (RHSU)
  • Antonio Bastardo (LHMR)
  • Yimi Garcia (RHMR)
  • Mario Hollands (LHRP)
  • Ethan Martin (RHRP)

Batting Order

  1. Delino DeShields (CF)(R)
  2. Garin Cecchini (LF)(L)
  3. Maikel Franco (1B)(R)
  4. Chase Utley (2B)(L)
  5. Carlos Ruiz (C)(R)
  6. Cody Asche (3B)(L)
  7. Aaron Altherr (RF)(R)
  8. Freddy Galvis (SS)(S)

Bench

  • Cesar Hernandez (2B, 3B, SS, CF)
  • Scott Van Slyke (1B, OF)
  • Darin Ruf (1B, OF)
  • Grady Sizemore (OF)
  • Free Agent Infielder (2B, 3B, SS)

Granted this roster will most like give you anywhere from 85-100 losses, but it is purely a stop-gap for when guys like Nola, Johnson, Crawford, and Marrero are ready. It also rids the Phillies of tens of millions of dollar against their payroll as early as 2015.

*$15M would include $8M for 2015 and $7M for 2016 if option vests. **$50M includes paying $20M per season and $10M buy out for 2017. ***A.J. Burnett declined his option and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. ****Updated Hamels/Red Sox trade to Marrero, Cecchini, Johnson, and Ranaudo as it seemed more likely to get more very good prospects than to target a couple of elite targets. ^David Buchanan would be sent to AAA Lehigh Valley in the event that Hisashi Iwakuma was added to the roster.

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