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  1. There’s some joke about getting to third base here.

    Comment by Jack — September 21, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  2. Suprised you didn’t mention that there is a possibility that 3B is less demanding on his knee condition than 2B, where he has to deal with double play breakup slides and the turn as well (though his footwork in this regard is fantastic).

    I would have no problem giving Scutaro a 2 year deal around $11-12 mil, and have him play 3B. He would be league avg with the bat (better than Polanco) and above avg defensively, plus he is more likely to play 140+ games. The team can use Frandsen and Galvis as their utility men off the bench (instead of Mike Martinez please!), and decide on the bigger issue this offseason – who will play CF going forward. My choice there is to use Brown in LF, Mayberry/Schierholtz platoon in RF, and sign BJ Upton to play CF (he will likely not be many teams’ first option and shouldn’t be overpriced). Nix then is the 5th OFer, and they decline Wiggy’s option.

    The other concern is Manuel saying he wants an “elite reliever” added, which is by all angles a terrible idea. We’ll see how it all plays out.

    Comment by DD — September 21, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  3. Elvis Andrus and mike Olt will both likely be available at some point, especially if the rangers were to resign Hamilton, as the rangers don’t really have a place for them, Olt being blocked and Andrus destined to be replaced. If I were the phillies, I’d try to do complete that cliff lee deal that was rumored this year, if they can get those guys, even if they have to pick up a lot of the contract.

    Beltre, Olt, Andrus, Kinsler, Profar, Moreland, there isn’t space for all of them and they won’t be able to keep Profar and Olt in AAA forever.

    Comment by Crumpled Stiltskin — September 21, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  4. The one thing I think we would need to know before evaluating this would be whether or not it would affect his knee positively or negatively. If for whatever reason third would involve less wear and tear on the knee, allowing Utley to play 140 games in relative health, then the move is worth it.

    Unfortunately, I think that’s what the crux of this decision rests on, and the answer is unknowable by third parties.

    Comment by Bob — September 21, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  5. Would the Phil’s really want to pay a premium for Andrus when they already have a good shortstop they would have to move off his natural position to accommodate Andrus? Rollins’ bat certainly isn’t going to play as well at 3rd.

    Comment by Bob — September 21, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  6. Why wouldn’t it play well at third? Not disagreeing you that he should stay at SS, but he hits better than many 3B in the league.

    Comment by DD — September 21, 2012 @ 10:29 am

  7. Honestly, taking a serious look into Jeff Keppinger may not be the worst idea for the Phillies. If Utley can play third base, like DD said, it would relieve some pressure from his knees and possibly allow him to play more full seasons. For the third time in his career, Keppinger is posting a 2+ WAR and he’s only making about $1.5 million. My guess is a he’s looking for a contract longer than one season, and for the Phillies, with Galvis and Frandsen as the other options for the Phillies, Keppinger is worth a look. Keppinger has a 120+ wRC+, which would be a great upgrade for the Phillies. I know you can’t count on Keppinger to have that kind of production every season, but given the other options he might be worth it.

    Comment by Ben — September 21, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  8. The Phillies’ farm system is substantially less depleted than it was a year ago at this time…they have probably moved from the bottom third into the middle third just by adding Joseph and Martin at the deadline and not trading any of their own guys — some of whom progressed mightily this year. Specifically, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, Cody Asche, Maikel Franco, and Roman Quinn took major steps forward. And Tyson Gillies rebounded nicely from two miserable seasons of injuries.

    Asche looks like the closest thing the Phillies have had to a third base prospect since Rolen, and he could be ready by the middle of 2013 or spring 2014. If the Phillies can patch up the position enough for one year between Galvis and Frandsen they can leave Utley where he’s best suited and spend their money in the outfield.

    Comment by Governator — September 21, 2012 @ 10:36 am

  9. If you’re going to pay for Andrus you might as well pay the same price in prospects and get a true third baseman in Headley or Olt. Andrus’ value is completely tied in being a shortstop and playing good defense there, just like Rollins.

    Comment by Governator — September 21, 2012 @ 10:39 am

  10. He is cheaper than Scutaro or another option, and younger, but like Pierre he looks really good when his avg is up and below avg when it is down. He doesn’t draw walks or hit for much power, so most of the value is in his versatility and BA. I’d rather pay Scutaro twice as much as he has a better all around game and is better defensively.

    Comment by DD — September 21, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  11. What’s third base? OTPHJ? Or at Fangraphs, wOTPHJ+.

    Comment by TKDC — September 21, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  12. Aaron Hill might be the best option out there for the Phillies if they can pry him away from the Diamondbacks for a midlevel prospect. Signed through 2013 at ~$6m and has played some third base in his career.

    Comment by Governator — September 21, 2012 @ 10:48 am

  13. That’s not a bad idea, but do the D’backs have someone waiting in the wings to push Hill off of 2B or out? If their internal replacement options aren’t there, then I don’t see them rushing to trade Hill given that his contract is both reasonable and short.

    Comment by Jason B — September 21, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  14. He has the same wRC+ as Chris Johnson and Hanley Ramirez this year. That’s tied for 11th out of all qualified 3B, and Longoria, Sandoval and Middlebrooks aren’t qualified.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — September 21, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  15. (He’s the 6th best hitting SS)

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — September 21, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  16. $12 mill is not cheap. And BJ Upton absolutely won’t be.

    Comment by Richie — September 21, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  17. What Bob says. Rollins is well into the stage in his career where each year you project less from the bat, not more or the same.

    Comment by Richie — September 21, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  18. One part is knowable in that position switches raise the likelihood of injury. A la Will Carroll. And others, I believe.

    Comment by Richie — September 21, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  19. Agreed, agreed, agreed. Once you stop pretending the Phillies can just reach into the Monopoly money bank when nobody’s looking, this is absolutely the sound move. The only sound move.

    Comment by Richie — September 21, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  20. Hell will freeze over before Scott Rolen plays for the Phillies again. And it has nothing to do with whether or not he has anything left in the tank.

    Comment by walt526 — September 21, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  21. Eh- Rolen’s problems were with the long since departed Larry Bowa. I think if the Phillies called, Scott would at least pick up the phone.

    Comment by Brian — September 21, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  22. I’m inclined to vote with Brian. If he really wants to try another year, he’ll go to whatever Bowa-less place promises him first crack at the starting job. With the Phillies’ reasonable aspirations of contenderhood providing another plus.

    But does he so want??

    Comment by Richie — September 21, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  23. $6 million per season is cheap for the Phillies.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — September 21, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  24. Phillies should seriously make a play at Chase Headley. The Padres still want to get rid of him and I think they’d do it for pitching prospects. Padres have no high upside pitchers in their otherwise strong farm system.

    Comment by Daniel — September 21, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  25. If they wanted to get rid of him, why didn’t they do so at the deadline? I think the Padres see themselves as legit contenders next year, hence the signings of Street and Quentin, which would be indefensible if they are in rebuilding mode.

    Comment by Cookierojas16 — September 21, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  26. It seems to me that the Phillies need to get a huge amount of production from one individual, a new player (presumably a free agent acquisition, as the farm system is pretty barren at this point), in order to make it back to the playoffs. Since there is no such star 2B or 3B available in free agency, it makes sense for the team to sign a star outfielder, and to stick with some combination of Chase Utley, Freddy Galvis, and Kevin Frandsen at 2B and 3B.

    I have convinced myself into thinking that the Phillies are going to just go for it this offseason by making a strong run at Josh Hamilton, who is really the only such outfielder out there who is a very good bet to put up a massive amount of production. B.J. Upton is a tease, whereas Michael Bourn strikes me as the next Carl Crawford (not a compliment), since so much of his value derives from his speed, and human beings inevitably get slower as they enter their thirties.

    Add Hamilton to the middle of the order, play John Mayberry and Domonic Brown every day at the other two OF positions, maintain the status quo in the infield, keep your big three starting pitchers around (at least for one more season), and go for it one more time, before your veterans fall off a cliff, which likely starts happening by 2014. And obviously you want to hope that Ryan Howard can simply be solid but overpaid, rather than terrible.

    If the team can’t get Hamilton, or decides that the price tag is just too outrageous, the team should look at Torii Hunter (two years, $24 mil?), Melky Cabrera (one year, $8 mil?), Alfonso Soriano (Cubs would absorb a huge chunk of his remaining monies owed), maybe even the resurrected Ichiro Suzuki (two years, $18 mil?). Although, in this scenario, the team will really need other things to happen if they want to make a legitimate run at one more World Series title (e.g., a big rebound from Ryan Howard, a far healthier season from Chase Utley, a “breakout” year by Domonic Brown, a career year from John Mayberry).

    Comment by Robbie G. — September 21, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

  27. All the Phillies really need is their pitching aces to perform like aces. If Halladay, Lee, and Hamels pitch like they are capable of, they’re in the playoffs this year and next year.

    Comment by Bob — September 21, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  28. Why are you so sure the Phils need “huge” production from a new player, when their current roster has given them an outside shot at the playoffs right now? This after just half-seasons from Howard and Utley, an extended DL trip for Halladay, bone chips for Worley, and zombie Placido Polanco. With a patch at 3B and healthy seasons from their key guys, they should contend next year without doing anything drastic/desperate like signing Hamilton.

    Comment by Matt C — September 21, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  29. Well, I guess I am taking what I believe to be a realistic view, which means that old players are inevitably going to spend chunks of time on the D.L., and that it is unlikely to expert a return to form by a 33-year-old Ryan Howard. I think we should also expect some regression from both Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz, right?

    Also, I tend to look not at what teams should do, but what I think they will do, based on past behavior. And what we know about Ruben Amaro, Jr. is that he is extremely, extremely aggressive. Maybe ownership has told him that it’s time to trim payroll but I doubt it. You have a mixture of overly aggressive management, ownership that is tolerating (perhaps encouraging) this overly aggressive management, a rabid fan base, and, I believe, an upcoming huge cable contract. So I think we’ll see the Phillies re-assert themselves this offseason and remind the world that they are one of the big boys by going for it. Although maybe the organization will go a different route, who knows.

    Comment by Robbie G. — September 21, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  30. Well they resigned Street and Quentin, but not Headley. So that by itself tells me they’re still interested in trading him if the right deal comes along. The right deal didn’t come along at the trade deadline. Headley has turned himself into a legit MVP type player. Padres have Gyorko and Phillies can make a great deal for Headley.

    Comment by Daniel — September 21, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  31. Galvis is a backup player with a good glove. He’s not a step up if used as a starter at 2b. Uttley needs to play 3b now to see if he is even capable arm-wise. That doesn’t seem to be a sure thing. If he can, Kelly Johnson could be had at a reasonable rate. He’ll be recovered from his near season long injury by then and could surprise in that park. Galvis could see time at 2b vLHP. Johnson is better than his stats this year if healthy.

    Comment by algionfriddo — September 22, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

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