Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm a bit saddened today as we have to say goodbye to one of my favorite players, Pat Burrell. The writing is on the wall as Ruben Amaro, our idiot of a GM, has just signed Raul Ibanez to a 3 year 30 million dollar deal. Why does this deal make me upset aside from losing Pat?
1) Raul is 36 and that's the age where players start to rapidly decline. There are exceptions, yes, but it's not a good gamble to give him a hefty raise from ages 36- 39. In contrast, Pat is several years younger, 32.
2) Raul is left handed. The Phillies line up is littered with lefties. The likey spot in the line up where Raul would bat is with Howard and Utley who are also left-handed. This makes it easy in the later innings for opposing teams to use left handed relievers to shut down the middle of our line up. In contrast, Pat is right handed.
3) Raul was offered arbitration by Seattle. That means since the Phillies signed him away, they have to give their 1st round draft pick to Seattle. The Phils won't have their first pick for a long time (somewhere in the 60's) since there are lots of supplemental 1st round picks and are last in the order. In contrast, Pat wouldn't have cost us any picks what so ever, plus, had we offered arbitration and he signed somewhere else, we'd have the extra pick.
4) Ruben jumped the gun too soon. By being the first free agent outfielder signed, we have just set the market price. Instead of being a bit more patient, we perhaps could have signed Ibanez for a smaller amount of money or if it went higher signed a better bargain or platooned players to their strengths. Ibanez's salary increased by 4.5 million over last year by signing this contract. If you're really sold on him, I honestly think we could have had him cheaper. In contrast, Pat will likely sign for the same money and length of contract.
5) Raul's defense and speed are horrible. In contrast Pat's is just as bad.
6) Raul is a slap hitter who hits for average and lots of singles and doubles. To be fair, Ibanez does get on base a lot, which is important. But his style of hitting doesn't play well at Citizen's Bank Park. Doubles and singles get suppressed while homers increase (actually making the park play neutral offensively despite what people say). I think Ibanez will hit a few more homers this year but his average will drop sharply. In contrast, Pat had a higher on base percentage, higher slugging percentage and was a slightly better overall hitter than Raul.
To sum up-
We signed an older, left handed version of Pat Burrell to a contract that's too long and too much and lost a draft pick and a player that's been great for us since 2000.
Thanks Ruben, I have a feeling you're going to be making idiotic moves like this until you get fired in 3 years. I'm just glad we won it all before you had a chance to screw it up.
Goodbye Pat, I wish you all the best and hope you have much success wherever you go. (except the Mets)