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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Big Trade in the works? 

I read on the net that the Phils are exploring a blockbuster trade with the Cards that would send Millwood and Polanco to the Cards for Steve Kline and Matt Morris. A few thoughts…

-It would be odd to send Polanco back to the team we got him from for Rolen, wouldn’t it?

-I guess that Kline angered LaRussa a few weeks back and that might be a reason why he’s on the chopping block. If we get Kline are getting someone else’s problem?

Going strictly by the numbers, this one is a probably a good deal for the Phils.

-Millwood v. Morris looks like a straight-up-swap of starters. Both are 29. Millwood’s thrown about two hundred more innings in his career than Morris, so Millwood probably has a little more wear-and-tear in his arm. Their 2004 season-to-date:

Morris: 1.21 WHIP; 4.33 ERA (9-6)
Millwood: 1.49 WHIP; 5.15 ERA (6-5)

Naturally, because Morris hurls in more of a pitchers park, this is a little off and needs to be park-adjusted, but Morris has a clear edge there. Poor Millwood has had a difficult season that (unlike Milton) could be chalked up to Citizens: Home ERA: 5.43; Road ERA: 4.86. On the other hand, Millwood basically collapsed in the second half of 2003 (Pre-All Star: 1.17 WHIP; 3.60 ERA; Post-All Star: 1.36 WHIP; 4.58 ERA); and he seems to be wearing down quickly in ’04: after having a respectable 3.38 ERA in April, he lodged a 6.59 in May and a 5.00 in June.

Morris on the other hand has seemed to log a more consistent performances (’03: 1.18 WHIP; 3.76 ERA). There is no telling how Morris would react to pitching in Citizens, but certainly Millwood looks awful these days. Maybe a change in scenery would benefit him and the Phils could use a fresher arm.

-Kline v. Polanco: I’m sure when Chase Utley heard about this deal he probably jumped for joy … Polanco has been a disappointment in ’04, largely due to his injury that gave Utley so much playing time.

I’ll confess that I am not a big fan of Placido Polanco. His career OBP isn’t that great (only about forty points over his BA). He is probably a better defensive second-baseman than Utley, but I’m not sold on the idea that Utley is as bad at the pivot as people say. Also, Polanco's going to be a free agent in the off-season, so why not deal him for an arm now?

Kline looks like a capable arm for the bullpen, which we could need. Is it worth going with Chase Utley for the rest of the regular season? Who will bat second in the lineup? (Bell?) Could this need for a two slot hitter hasten Byrd’s return from Scranton? These are unanswered questions, but my take on it is that the Phils would do well to make this deal (might also make signing Morris in the offseason easier) because it would give them sorely needed arms in exchange for a second baseman having a bad year and the starting hurler who has seen better days. If the Cards will take ‘em, I say do it…

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