There his been a lot of discussion about whether or not the Phillies should retain Cole Hamels. I did some brief research on the situation as I believe they SHOULD sign him. My thought process is that by the time any prospects netted in a deal for Hamels are ready- the effects of age on Lee and Halladay will negate any offensive gains.
If you annualize 1b, 2b, 3b, HR and runs scored numbers from 2011 you actually will have HIGHER numbers in all categories except for 3b hits. The offensive decline we often talk about is actually not as significant as one would think (See excel document.) I think this offense would be far an away better than most years since 2008 if in fact they had any power. I believe this will be the case next year when Howard returns.
As far as players go we know we have several issues:
Polonco (6.25 or 1mm buyout)
I believe they should keep him. Obviously his batting average is down (slightly) however so far this year he has as many doubles as he had all last year. He is a solid fielder and may benefit from Howard in the lineup.
Pence (10.4 million) Victorino (9.5)
I think you have to get rid of Victorino and I suppose see what you can do with Pence. They need to get Dom Brown up and see what he can do. I look at Victorino’s numbers this year and they are strikingly similar to Dom Browns in 2011 (184 ab for the Phillies.) My point is not that it’s a great solution – but the offense is doing about equal to 2011 with those numbers in center field. If Brown makes NO improvement from 2011 you save about 9 million in payroll.
Obviously the bullpen needs to get better. They will buyout Contreras for .5 and free up 2mm in payroll. With the other guys coming back you should be able to patchwork something together here. I believe the starters lack of success this year has also put stress on a depleted bullpen thus augmenting our problems.
I suppose the elephant in the room here is Utley. I think they just need to do what they did this year and see what they can get out of him/Galvis. Obviously this is not a great solution but if you look at the numbers this year runs scored are only down 10% from the 2008 season WITHOUT Howard.
During the 2010 and 2011 playoffs IMO we failed because no one could hit singles (ironically enough.) We would get a double – and then strike out 3 times. This year for the first month and a half they had the 3rd best BA in the entire MLB. I think this lineup can be blended in a way to be serious contenders for 2 more years. At that point you have Halladay coming off the books. That is precisely when I would blow this thing up. Again if you even "retool" this thing now I believe we will have no chance- at least the scenario I described above I believe we have a chance to compete.
brief look at annualized 2012 hitting stats (vs. 2011) and what I think they should do with Hamels