WTNYDecember 04, 2003
Phils Philling Roster
By Bryan Smith

I expect the Ruzich Meeting to be up tomorrow now, so today I thought I'd put my two sense into every transaction I could get my hands on. I got a lot of mixed response from the Cubs post yesterday, which is always appreciated.

In their quest to ensure themselves the 2004 NL East crown, the Phillies traded for Eric Milton yesterday, officially ending their quest for Kevin Millwood. Here's a look at some Milton splits:

Milton 2003: 1-0 2.65 15/17 7/1
Milton 3-Year: 29-16 4.47 410/408.2 285/92
Home: 16-10 4.28 214/218.2 169/46
Road: 13-6 4.69 196/190 116/46

Eric had limited time in 2003, so I thought it would be more valubale to show some 3-year numbers. Milton preferred the Metrodome, but did pretty well in the Majors last season. I wouldn't be suprised to see him match 3-year ERA mark of 4.47ERA with the Phillies, which would definitely put him fourth in the rotation. One interesting Spring Training battle will be that between Amaury Telemaco and Ryan Madson for the fifth spot. This was purely a salary dump for the Twins, as they only got Carlos Silva, Nick Punto, and a future minor leaguer in the deal. Here are stats for Silva and Pinto...

Silva: 4.43 92/87.1 48/37
Vs. RH: .266/.349/.407 Vs. LH: .300/.376/.438
Home: 3.27 39/44 25/18 Road: 5.61 53/43.1 23/19
Pre-ASB: 3.62 54/54.2 26/23 Post-ASB: 5.79 38/32.2 22/14

Punto MLB: .217/.273/.272
Punto AAA: .315/.353/.396

Silva should be used primarily against right-handers, but I think he could still be pretty useful as a reliever. He's not a bad middle reliever, and the Metrodome is quite similar to what Veterans Stadium provided him. I'm worried his second half numbers might be indicative of 2004, but at least Jesse Crain will be ready by then. Punto sucks, but the team may let him replace the Denny Hocking officially worthless bench spot. If not, he'll be a regular in Rochester.

The Twins now have a lot more money to spend this offseason, and it will go at Shannon Stewart, Eddie Guardado, and one veteran starter. Jacque Jones and Doug Mientkiewicz are both rumored to be on the trade block, and I think the Braves would make a perfect fit for them. Minnesota could easily land their fifth starter from the Braves, along with some more depth for the farm system. With Stewart I like their lineup, and with Guardado I would like their bullpen. Romero should bounce back next season, and Nathan was one of the best relievers in baseball against right-handers. We'll see...

Meanwhile, the team that took the Twins out of the playoffs, the Bronx Bombers, continue to strengthen their bullpen. After adding Tom Gordon earlier in the week, Paul Quantrill and Felix Heredia were both signed yesterday. Here's a look at that pair:

Quantrill: 1.75 61/77.1 44/15
Vs. RH: .243/.267/.306 Vs. LH: .198/.279/.260
Home: 1.86 27/38.2 22/10 Road: 1.63 34/38.2 22/5
Pre-ASB: 1.40 32/45 27/8 Post-ASB: 2.23 29/32.1 17/7

Heredia: 2.69 74/87 45/33
Vs. RH: .225/.310/.335 Vs. LH: .233/.282/.459
In AL: 1.20 13/15 4/5

I like Quantrill a lot, and I expect his ERA to be in the 2.50 range next season. Steve Karsay really will be eased back into relieving, as Gordon and Quantrill take over in set-up and right-handed relief roles. I hate Heredia, and I truely hope that move blows up in their faces. My guess is in 2005 that Steinbrenner will really regret carrying lefties Chris Hammond and Felix Heredia on his roster. Both should have ERAs in the 4.00s next season. Dollars towards the 2005 team keep getting racked up, and they'll already have about $120M spent there when Sheffield signs. Jay Jaffe at the Futility Infielder has kept watch of this, and I frequently check his page for that info. I also hear the Yanks are close to signing Kenny Lofton in the outfield, which would probably trigger a Javier Vazquez deal when the Winter Meetings role around.

Onto lesser important moves, Brian Sabean re-signed a couple of free agent Giants before the December 7 arbitration deadline, keeping Dustin Hermanson and Jeffrey Hammonds for under one million. Hermanson will battle for a rotation slot with Kevin Correia, and Hammonds will likely be kept in a 4th OF role. Both showed some life in San Fran, as evident by these stats:

Hermanson: 3-3 4.06 70/68.2 39/24
As Starter: 2-1 2.97 30/33.1 22/10

Hammonds: .242/.329/.424
With SF: .277/.370/.479

What Sabean does the rest of the offseason is one of the more interesting cases to watch, as this team will need a 1B, SS, and RF at different points. I still think Greg Maddux ends up here, although I really have no evidence off which I base that. Yesterday I touched on a Rockies trade in which they dealt Juan Uribe for Aaron Miles, and I wanted to expand today, first with some stats:

Uribe Career: .258/.298/.408
Career Home: .288/.324/.468 Road: .227/.271/.345

2003 Miles AAA: .304/.351/.445
2002 Miles AA: .322/.369/.450

Uribe's career consists of about 1150 AB, or two full seasons. Ken Williams should learn Allan Baird's lesson not to acquire former Rockie middle infielders, and Uribe looks like a poor man's Neifi Perez. Ouch. If the White Sox fully intend to make him their shortstop next season, I will begin a countdown until Willie Harris moves Valentin back to short. I mean, god, Uribe's terrible.

But, maybe I'm slanted on this deal, as I love Aaron Miles. His last two minor league seasons have been fantastic. He's hit well over .300, smacked more than 30 doubles, 10 home runs, and walked 40 times. He runs the bases with instincts, and plays pretty good defense. I love the thought of what Coors Field may bring him, especially in his forthcoming peak seasons. If Miles gets the second base job in Colorado, he will be a nice $1 pick in fantasy leagues, a.k.a. a good last round choice.

Onto a few rumors...

- Kevin Brown will not end up a Yankee unless the Bombers add to that package. Nick Johnson and Jeff Weaver might get the deal done, and then I would really support the trade for Los Angeles. The team doesn't realize what Dodger Stadium can do for pitchers, and Weaver would immedietly become a breakout candidate. Johnson would hit a lot of doubles in Los Angeles, and provide some cheap, much needed offense for the team. They will not acquire Carlos Beltran, contrary to many rumors flying around the Internet. There's no fit for these two teams, and the Royals really are going to keep Beltran.

- Speaking of Kansas City, Peter Gammons reports the team could sign Raul Mondesi and Benito Santiago as early as today or next Monday. Mondesi would probably play right, moving Aaron Guiel to left field. Both are iffy additions, but after the Twins and White Sox decreases, the Royals may become the '04 favorite.

- Terry Francona will be named Red Sox manager this week, although that won't come as a suprise to many Red Sox fans. The real question floating Yawkey Way is if Keith Foulke will be joining his 2003 bench coach in Beantown. I'm guessing no, after which I'll make fun of Billy Beane for paying a closer.

- The only other story I advocate following this weekend is Pudge Rodriguez, as we know by Sunday whether or not he remains a Marlin. I would think yes, and the team will probably sign a two-year, $16M deal with him this weekend. That's going to be a pretty solid team, but the Phillies are still the favorites.

Check back tomorrow for the Cubs Meeting, and I'll be spending the day in the doctor's office. Ugh...