Sports Opinion & Analysis

The Phillies Should Blow The Whole Darn Thing Up

In MLB on July 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

The Phillies won a World Series in 2008 (vs. the Rays) and lost one in 2009 (vs. the Yankees). Every year since, it’s seemed they’ve tried to make big moves to not only get back to the top of the mountain, but become perennial title winners as well. Over the years, they’ve brought aboard Pedro Martinez, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence and Jonathan Papelbon. They’re paying $104 million dollars just in Lee, Halladay, Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley alone. The team has been dropping bills to try to win rings.

So far, it hasn’t worked out so well for them.

Objective correlative for 2012 season.

This season, the Phillies have been bad. Really bad. I mean, almost as ugly as those old “Saturday Night Special’s” they wore in 1979.

They can’t pitch, they can’t hit, they can’t run bases, and they can’t play defense. Their relief pitching has been atrocious, and the best play Papelbon’s made so far was stopping a fan from running on the field (although, given how hilarious that was last time, it probably would have been more entertaining than anything the team’s shown this season).

Profile picture for life.

With so much invested in the Phillies roster, you’d think by the All-Star Game they’d have better than a 0.8% chance of making the playoffs, wouldn’t you?

Maybe those Saturday Night Specials aren’t so bad after all.

Going into the break, the Phillies are thirteen games under .500, with a record of 37-and-50. Their payroll is the second highest in the league, at $173,458,939, which is roughly $22 million (give-or-take) less than the New York Yankees. If you divide the Phillies payroll in half (since we’re only half-way through the season) then divide by the number of wins the team has produced, the Phillies are paying $2,344,039.72 for each win. In comparison, the Minnesota Twins have an almost identical record (36-49) and are only paying $1,306,736.11 per-victory.

No matter how you spin it, that is a bad investment. That is JP Morgan bad investment.

There are a lot of theories in the City of Brotherly Love on how to make the team pay a little less for each win. The team’s already been making minimal strides by shipping Jim Thome back out-of-town as fast as he arrived, and if Shane Victorino’s late scratch from Sunday’s game against the Braves means anything, he’ll soon be rested up and playing for a new team by the week’s end.

This picture is not relevant to the article.

If you’re the Phillies, that’s simply not going to cut it. I know the team doesn’t want to blow it all up before Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard return (which he did yesterday), but the Phillies have too much money invested for so few wins, especially when they’re paying Cliff Lee $10,750,000 for his one win of the season so far.

“Can you guys dump some Gatorade on me? This is the best day of my life!”

The first thing the Phillies need to do is trade 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels to a team who would be interested in a half-season, gun-for-hire rental. Teams like the Dodgers, White Sox, or Angels, who are in the fight but just need a little bit more pitching to get them over the hump.

After the Phillies trade Hamels, they need to back up a dump-truck filled with money to his house and try to re-sign him the day free agency starts. Hamels himself even said he’d be open to such a circumstance.

Think about it, right now the Phillies still owe Hamels $7.5 million for the rest of the season, and at that price, he simply isn’t worth it. He is still relatively young, and it’s a gamble he might not return to the team if traded, but considering how the Phillies are a bunch of overpaid old guys anyway, they are facing a serious rebuild mood very, very shortly. They could use Hamels as a valuable trade bait to acquire high-valued prospects. Apparently, the Phillies are asking for four-or-five prospects, but should lower that price to two-to-three, and hope really, really hard that they get him back.

The rest of the plan is relatively easy. The team is old and overpaid, and needs to get younger and cheaper. Victorino’s pretty much already gone, so while they’re at it, they should trade Lee to another team on the cusp and load up on even more prospects. Follow through with the rumors that pitcher Joe Blanton and third basemen Placido Polanco are also available. I know dumping salary is probably not exactly what you were expecting when I said something about making those wins cost a little less, but let’s be serious, this year’s a wash, look toward the future. The odds are so against the team making the playoffs that it would be better to dump salary, and add young, fresh faces that may or may not even play this year.

The beauty about this tactic is that even if the team gets loaded in the farm levels, you’re still the Phillies, meaning you’re still a team like the Yankees who can pretty much buy whomever you want, whenever you want. Dump the older guys who are not earning their keep, get a bunch of cheap, fresh new faces who will either one day become the old guys you overpay, or trade them for veterans to fill the roster.

Normally I’m not the one to toss a grenade in a clubhouse, just because things aren’t going the way management expected (unless you’re the Phillies, Red Sox, or Lakers, apparently) and usually I’m the one to say “the roster’s got too much talent to give up on,” when it looks like the nuclear option is about to take place. Normally (I think) I’m like that, but with 0.8% chance of the post season, and roughly 2.3 million dollars per win, every day they don’t meet expectations is just too damn expensive.

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