September 23, 2004

$9M was $8.66M too much for Milton

The deal for Eric Milton doesn’t get the negative press it deserves.

Milton has pitched a productive season, including a near no-hitter, which factors into why fans and media tend not to question it the way they do with the Millwood trade. But in terms of value, the Twins have to be thrilled with Carlos Silva to the same extent the Braves are happy to have Johnny Estrada.

It’s no longer a fluke, as first believed, that Carlos Silva is a legitimate starting pitcher. He doesn’t blow batters away but is stingy with his walks. He's 3-0 in his last six outings, with an ERA in that span of 2.02. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has also reported he will likely pitch Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

He's been the best starter for the Phils this season, but 14-4 is still all smoke and mirrors. Milton comes in at the top of the list of starting pitchers with the most LUCK.

The amount Minnesota is saving is really unbelievable: Silva will earn $340,000 this season to Milton’s $9 Million.

With the money the Phils would have saved by keeping Silva, they’d have almost enough for Carlos Beltran ($9 Million). The difference ($560,000) could have been paid if they wouldn’t have signed Shawn Wooten ($575,000), plus a little extra to pay a part-timer ($15,000) to go fetch Harry the K's ciggies ($3.99).

September 21, 2004

This Byrd should fly south for winter

Marlon Byrd might benefit from playing winter ball in Venezuela or the Dominican Republic, where there's a healthy blend of Latin-American stars and players on the rise.

Instead of Arizona, Puerto Rico or Mexico, where players tend to be too young or too familiar, what if Marlon Byrd spent the winter playing in Venezuela or the Dominican Republic, lacing up his cleats next to some of the best players in the game?

Miguel Cabrera, Melvin Mora and Magglio Ordonez, among others, all played in Venezuela once the Fish fried the Yankees. And in the Dominican, Miquel Tejada, David Ortiz and Rafael Furcal kept their games sharp through winter.

Byrd isn’t Hispanic, but it doesn’t matter. Neither is Eric Byrnes, outfielder with the A’s, who's a former MVP of the DWL.

Traditionally, the Phils like to send young North American players to Arizona. Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd spent last fall there. Older fringe players, like Jason Michaels and Lou Collier, will play in Puerto Rico or Mexico.

Marlon would certainly benefit from time away from his teammates and in a less instruction-oriented situation. Who knows; Byrd could even become next-year’s resurrection story, like Giants third baseman Pedro Feliz this season. His .342 avg. with seven homers in DWL lead to a breakout season with San Francisco.

Giants 3B Pedro Feliz stepped into a starting role this season after a strong winter with Cibao Gigantes of the Dominican League, where he hit .342 with seven home runs.