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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013. I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise). What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars. 2013 looks a lot better than the years after. Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.
I am predicting the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season. The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive. The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.
The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma. You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013. I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.
The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well. You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.
Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons. I wrote an article about this some time ago here. The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it. It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.
Ryan Howard highlights are below. He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.
For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:
For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:
For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here
For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here
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Update: Friday March 1, 2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.
The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.
Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:
Saturday November 3rd, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer): Both B.J. Upton and his younger brother Justin will be available this offseason. Bossman Junior (B.J.) will be a top centerfield free agent option, and Justin signed a lucrative 6-year deal just two years ago, is widely known to be on the trading block from Arizona. The Upton brothers are the two highest drafted brothers in sports history. B.J. was a second overall pick in 2002 and Justin, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft. They have both had ups and downs in their young careers, but both have performed extremely well and shown glimpses of brilliance. Justin has already cashed in on his first big major league contract, and B.J. is looking to so this offseason. Where B.J. will sign, we will find out over the next months. But one thing that is clear…he makes since for just about any team out there.
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams that could envision B.J. Upton gracefully patrolling centerfield for 162 games. As a premier center fielder facing free agency, B.J. as become far too expensive a commodity for the Rays to retain going forward. He plays top-notch defense in centerfield and has a cannon for an arm. All he did in 2012 as 27-year-old (in his 8th year in the MLB) was hit 29 doubles, 28 home runs and steal 31 bags. Yes, with this amazing tool set that combines defense with speed and power comes a lifetime .255 batting average and about 150 strikeouts a year. There are weaknesses in every player’s game, but B.J. Upton’s strengths make him a very attractive target for any team that doesn’t have Joe DiMaggio manning centerfield.
There is no doubt that B.J.’s speed and power will fit very nicely into the Phillies lineup along with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. We have to also consider what it is going to take to get B.J. signed to a contract. Right now, we know that the Tampa Bay Rays have offered B.J. a qualifying offer. While the chances of B.J. agreeing to this are virtually ‘zero’, it does mean that whoever signs B.J. is going to have to sacrifice their first round draft pick next year to Tampa. For a team like Philadelphia that can afford to sign top free agents, giving up a top prospect is an acceptable part of doing business. Read the rest of this entry