Winter is Coming: The Phillies at the Winter Meetings, Part II


Day one is in the books, and things are going about as articulately as possible:

Angel Pagan and the Giants appear to be happy together, slimming the prospects of a huge Amaroese deal that lands a free agent center fielder, laughing on top of a pile of money.  Which is what we… we… **consults briefcase full of messily arranged papers**

… which is what we want?

**Looks back at crowd of Phillies people, still with handfuls of paper. The crowd collectively nods**

Which is what we want.

But that’s okay, because that was part of the plan all along.  Well, part of one of the plans.  Amaro has indicated–I know, right?!  Rube is indicating things!–that his Winter Meetings plan is far less of a concentrated push and more of a several thousand-part plan to peck someone into submission.

Despite knowing how the plan will be executed, there are still some singularly critical aspects of it that remain a mystery, such as, “what is the plan?” and “when will the plan happen?”

Don McPeak-USA Today Sports

We obviously do not even carry the influence of a minor league center fielder waiting to see who he needs to outlive, so our odds of ever knowing any of this until it happens is low. The truth is, like the rest of us, the cracks in any of these plans are visible, and Rube doesn’t like what he sees.  Now there’s just less of what he didn’t want.  I mean, who wouldn’t want Bourn leading off, or Hamilton in the middle of the order?

But who wants to take a risk on Bourn’s speed declining at this point in his career as he tries to get paid as much as possible, or on Hamilton missing 50 games in the summer or leaving the center field position unresolved while piling up in one of the corners. Patience is jarring for us.  It’s supposed to be good, but we’re not used to having to restrain ourselves.

Throwing money around hasn’t really worked, unless you count 102 wins in 2011 as “working.”  Which I do.  But as far as World Series titles go, there are still only two, but hey, Jonathan Papelbon is here with $50 million! The less news there is on the Phillies, the less we have to worry about for the future.

There are a lot of wrong moves to make this winter, and Rube has yet to make one.  Of course, he has yet to do anything at all, really, but in a market like this, those two are close to the same.

I mean, would you rather be wondering:

Ha, ha, ha–no you would not.

Perhaps Rube is growing up, progressing from a slick, hungry suit with a money clip trying to pay for everybody’s drinks, to a shell shocked exec knowing he isn’t invincible.  A lot of execs don’t get the tenure to develop.  A lot of them come in with a personality, grind it into the franchise, and leave with a ring, or in a lot of cases, nothing at all.  Rube is using the past years–and the current market–and Dan Haren signings–as learning experiences.  We aren’t who we were.  And neither is he.

**Stoic silence**

Okay I’m getting internet reports that the Phillies have signed Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn to a 10-year, $650 million deal that doubles in price if either one of them is able to play in more than half a season for the next decade.