Phillies Continue Enthusiastic Search for Terrible Outfield Options
By Justin Klugh
Earlier today, John Stolnis held his breath and talked about whether the remaining free agent options were really worth turning blue.
Hey, that’s not a Phillies uniform! Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The word “crapburger” was used. And let me tell you something: That is not a term we just throw around in the TBOH offices. We take it so seriously that we refuse to even have an office to throw it around in.
The casual observer would note that the Phillies have stood mum since last month, when they nabbed Mike Adams and seemed to call it an offseason. There remains a lot of weeks before the crack of dawn on Pitchers and Catchers Day, so to rule out further movement entirely seems foolish. Especially when your GM is a shadow conspirator.
Therefore, we can take a peak at the Phillies gaping holes–namely, the ones in the outfield, and see that the Phillies are, in fact, still pursuing some players. They’re just not pursuing the right ones.
Not that there is a right one–look, the Phillies didn’t want to spend Josh Hamilton money on Josh Hamilton, so they sure as hell weren’t going to spend it on anybody else. That leaves them with more affordable, less good at baseball options. And that’s where we are. Which mya be tougher to accept, now that the Mets are, just, in on Justin Upton now, I guess. But whatever.
The Angels would be kindly asked to eat most of Wells’ horrible $42 million contract, dollar by dollar, in front of Ruben Amaro, should they go this way. The Angels have no shortage of potentially powerful outfielders, but they also do not plan to trade any of them. Which is good for them because they could hit like 200 home runs.
But the Phils are in more of a “Vernon Wells” phase than a “Mike Trout” phase, or even a “Peter Bourjos” phase, apparently. Wells is so buried on that Angels’ bench he can’t even see the game. Which is fine because he’s got $42 million to keep him busy.
As far as the criteria the Phillies are looking for, Wells, yes–is right handed, technically “plays” outfield, and is considered by many to be a ballplayer. But he only played in half the games in 2012 and posted his second-worst OPS since 2001. On the other hand, they would probably pay us to take him.
Scott Hairston doesn’t know about all that. Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
As long as you keep Scott Franzke out of that conference room, Hairston should face fewer complaints. Another right hander, who can also play second base, Hairston had solid numbers in 2012, as long as you take into account the redefining of the word “solid” when it comes to offense. His .286/.317/.550 splits against lefties is intriguing.
Most people, including Zolecki, would take Hairston out of the available options. He’s 32, he’d be perfect for a platoon system, and there’s no horrible Vernon Wells-esque stigma attached to his name. And this would be the second time the Phillies would be chasing Hairston.
Amaro doesn’t lose a game twice.
Unless, it’s. You know. In the playoffs.
Of the dual Diamondbacks being made available to people, Kubel seemed the most attainable, as Justin Upton was reaching that hallowed status of a guy continuously dangled into the market and then yanked off by a couple of giggling Arizona assistant GMs.
First problem is, dude is left handed. Tracking the other deals Ruben has made this winter, he seems to have reached a new point in his career–maybe signing blockbuster players by having two interns push wheelbarrows full of money up to the potential player’s house, using one to sign him and the other one to set on fire and use to light an $18,000 victory cigar, is not the best way to do things. No, a bit more reserved Amaro is shopping, signing guys to team-friendly, quiet deals that don’t involve the GDP of third world countries.
But so anxious were the D-Backs to be rid of Kubel that they were already making everyone uncomfortable with overly aggressive offers before they even signed Cody Ross. There may not be anything particularly wrong with him, but they consider him vastly overpowered by Ross. Who is not vastly overpowerful.
Despite his left-handedness, Kubel could stabilize one outfield position and leave the lineup card fumbling to a single slot. Unless of course fantasy becomes reality and Darin Ruf and Dom Brown are on the cusps of becoming the greatest 1-2 outfield punches this city has ever seen (with Revere in the middle for speed!) It’s fun to dream.
Justin Upton, wondering if he’ll be put on that market today. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nobody’s trading Cliff Lee for Justin Upton, nobody’s trading Vance Worley for Justin Upton, nobody’s trading Vance Worley for anybody, and is Upton still on the market anymore?
Upton would sort of take the whole “series of smaller deals” argument we just made with Kubel and crumple it up and just hurl it into the sea. Upton’s wanted by just about everyone (Atlanta, San Diego, Seattle, Texas), his going market price is steep, and he can block trades to certain places like Seattle. He’s on pace to make $38.5 million until 2015 and talks openly to his equipment.
But look at that power! Look at that speed! And look at that pairing of the Upton brothers, their intense NL East rivalry tearing the division apart!
OH GOD THE NARRATIVES
Yes. My sources confirm this is definitely going to happen.
PICTURED: Sources, first thing in the morning. Credit: Justin Klugh