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Phillies loading up to chase Upton

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08:05 AM ET 11.05 | For his part, Ruben Amaro Jr. says the moves are purely coincidence -- something a few in baseball aren't buying. Two rival executives smell a rat in the Phillies' pursuit of free-agent center fielder B.J. Upton. Well, maybe not a rat, but a pair of embedded ex-Rays officials who know Upton quite well recently assumed prominent positions with the Phils. Bart Braun, previously a special assignment scout with the Rays, joined the Phillies last month as a special assistant to [Amaro]. Steve Henderson, the Rays' hitting coach from 2006 to '09, will fill the same role for the Phillies. ... But Amaro Jr., while acknowledging the Phillies' interest in Upton, said that nothing unusual is afoot.

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B.J. Upton, Icon Sports B.J. Upton, Icon Sports
November 5, 2012  08:34 AM ET

I wouldn't be surprised if Phillies pony up for Hamilton , Say 5@100 or 125, Hamilton in that little league ballpark would be scary. Upton on the other hand got hot towards the end of the season , but he has a track record for underachieving.

November 5, 2012  08:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I wouldn't be surprised if Phillies pony up for Hamilton , Say 5@100 or 125, Hamilton in that little league ballpark would be scary. Upton on the other hand got hot towards the end of the season , but he has a track record for underachieving.

Both Upton and Hamilton have a propensity for being very streaky. BJ has age on his side, Hambone has better overall numbers on his side. I'm not sure which player I'd go with.

November 5, 2012  09:00 AM ET

The Phillies have 2, maybe 3, years to win and then the entire core of the team will be done except for Hamels. Upton is the guy to get if they are willing to pay that much. Hamilton apparently wants way too much (for anyone, probably) and it makes no sense to pay big dollars to someone who will begin to decline in 3 years. That is exactly when they will be completely rebuilding. Sign Upton and you will have the pitcher and hitter to rebuild around. If they start bombing the ball again, the strikeouts won't matter.

November 5, 2012  09:34 AM ET

Will be very interesting to see what kind of contract an over hyped 250 hitter, that strikes out a lot and has been labled as lazy at times receives in this years weak market.

November 5, 2012  09:37 AM ET

Time to shed Ruben Amaro Jr. It's been downhill since he took over.

November 5, 2012  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Time to shed Ruben Amaro Jr. It's been downhill since he took over.

Seems it wasn't that long ago Philly fans were labeling this guy as the greatest GM in the game? What happened?

November 5, 2012  10:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Time to shed Ruben Amaro Jr. It's been downhill since he took over.

Hmmmmm. Amaro had gotten everything that was asked of him, time to move Charlie out not the GM. Funny comment coming from a Flyers Fan with all the years we dealt with Bob Clarke.

November 5, 2012  10:11 AM ET

Too late -- Justin Verlander's already got it.

November 5, 2012  10:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Seems it wasn't that long ago Philly fans were labeling this guy as the greatest GM in the game? What happened?

Amaro was never a great GM, he is an adequate GM (I'm being nice). When he first took over, he had Pat Gillick (a truly great GM) looking over his shoulder and guiding his hand. Amaro made a splash with the Lee and Pence signings, but he has not done much else to help. Like any baseball town, Philly loves the big splash so they loved RAJ for that reason only. His biggest issue has been backfilling for the big names when they need a break or get hurt.

Gillick had a gift for finding the little pieces(utility guys and PHs) to help the team and identifying raw talent that can contribute quickly. Actually, most of Pat Gillick's big signings blew up on the Phils. Gillick signed Shane Victorino as a Rule 5 pick and Jayson Werth as a FA before they ever did anything. Werth was almost out of baseball with a wrist injury when Gillick signed him to a minimum deal. Victorino was riding the pine when the Phils plucked him.

November 5, 2012  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Will be very interesting to see what kind of contract an over hyped 250 hitter, that strikes out a lot and has been labled as lazy at times receives in this years weak market.

I agree. If you need a CF who can be a complimentary player in your offense, he might be a better choice than Hamilton. But if you need a hitter, he is below average. I suspect he isn't going to accept a "role player" contract, but who knows.

BJ Upton: .255/336 with 18 HR/150 games played, averaged 145 games per season since 2007, 29 years old; UZR/150 is 3.9 in CF (slightly above average)

Hamilton: .304/.363 with 32 HR/150 games played; averaged 129 games per season since 2008; 31 years old, UZR/150 is +8 in LF (way above average), and -9 in CF (way below average)

November 5, 2012  12:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Will be very interesting to see what kind of contract an over hyped 250 hitter, that strikes out a lot and has been labled as lazy at times receives in this years weak market.

plus don't forget a change of league could affect his production as a hitter in the national league, roll eyes to adan dunn!!

November 5, 2012  12:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Both Upton and Hamilton have a propensity for being very streaky. BJ has age on his side, Hambone has better overall numbers on his side. I'm not sure which player I'd go with.

well, if we have to observe the injury rash both sides hamilton has a heavy injury-prone history and hamilton has the drug/alcohol/tobaco/ problems in the past, about BJ upton he may have a few things against him but not as bad as hamilton!!

November 5, 2012  12:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Time to shed Ruben Amaro Jr. It's been downhill since he took over.

this GM has done a very decent job at the front office, to put a tough rotation has not been too easy,plus he was able to ink cole hamel for another 5 years best move done by this GM, and if he is able to sign BJ upton,, would be a plus!!!

November 5, 2012  12:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The Phillies have 2, maybe 3, years to win and then the entire core of the team will be done except for Hamels. Upton is the guy to get if they are willing to pay that much. Hamilton apparently wants way too much (for anyone, probably) and it makes no sense to pay big dollars to someone who will begin to decline in 3 years. That is exactly when they will be completely rebuilding. Sign Upton and you will have the pitcher and hitter to rebuild around. If they start bombing the ball again, the strikeouts won't matter.

....phillies were done end of 2011...the time since is all gravy train for the real teams....

November 5, 2012  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The Phillies have 2, maybe 3, years to win and then the entire core of the team will be done except for Hamels. Upton is the guy to get if they are willing to pay that much. Hamilton apparently wants way too much (for anyone, probably) and it makes no sense to pay big dollars to someone who will begin to decline in 3 years. That is exactly when they will be completely rebuilding. Sign Upton and you will have the pitcher and hitter to rebuild around. If they start bombing the ball again, the strikeouts won't matter.

I would say most of that core outside of Hamels is already done. Halladay is 35 and coming off a 4.49 ERA season. Howard is 32 and coming back for an anchilles had an OPS of .718, 200 points below his career level. Rollins will be 34 and put up a decent OPS of .743, but isn't close to what he was. Really only Lee and Hamels are playing to their career normal stats.

November 5, 2012  02:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

well, if we have to observe the injury rash both sides hamilton has a heavy injury-prone history and hamilton has the drug/alcohol/tobaco/ problems in the past, about BJ upton he may have a few things against him but not as bad as hamilton!!

Perhaps. They're all intangibles that are difficult to project.

If I were a GM and had to pick between the two, I'd Take BJ.

November 5, 2012  04:04 PM ET

I wouldn't take either of them and neither should RAJ. We need guys like Chase Headley or Chris Heisey. Both are bottom line players. Hamilton is a once in a generation talent, but like the above poster said, his intangible are horrible, plus he is very injury prone. Upton has a sub .300 OBP and seems like he doesn't play hard enough. He would get chewed up and spit out in Philly.

Comment #18 has been removed
November 5, 2012  06:35 PM ET

wiseup Ruben Amaro Jr. as GM has sat on his hands while the Phillies slowly age with no plan on replacing the number of players reaching the sunset of their careers.If the phillies land Upton, put him in center and move mayberry to left and wave bye bye to Juan Pierre. Move Galvis to second and trade Utley to AL where he could end his career DHing, in exchange for some pitching to cover Lee and Halliday or a SS to cover Rollins.

 
November 5, 2012  06:39 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

wiseup Ruben Amaro Jr. as GM has sat on his hands while the Phillies slowly age with no plan on replacing the number of players reaching the sunset of their careers.If the phillies land Upton, put him in center and move mayberry to left and wave bye bye to Juan Pierre. Move Galvis to second and trade Utley to AL where he could end his career DHing, in exchange for some pitching to cover Lee and Halliday or a SS to cover Rollins.

Mondo: Hi wiseup!

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