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Phillies targeting Schilling, Rivera?

The Amazing Randarino reports that RHPs Curt Schilling and Mariano Rivera are at or near the top of the Phillies' offseason wish list.

I kind of like both ideas, to tell the truth.  Both continue to pitch well despite playing in the slugtastic AL East, and although Schilling's peripherals are going down faster than a prom princess, he'd almost certainly be the team's second best starter in 2008.  Assuming of course that Brett Myers remains, idiotically, in the bullpen.  Schilling's start tonight in Game 2 of the ALCS will probably go a long way toward setting his price this offseason, so watch closely.

Rivera isn't the assassin he was even two years ago, but he really throws almost no breaking pitches, which cause the most stress on the arm, and he induces grounders and doesn't give up many home runs.  And a look at his stat line for 2007 shows that his strikeout and walk rates are in line with or better than his career norms (74 Ks/12 BBs in 71.3 IP), while his hits allowed (68) spiked a bit, indicating the possibility of some bad luck.  Also, signing him would result in moving Brett Myers back to the rotation, or into a set-up role which might result paradoxically in more high-leverage situations for him to pitch in.  Rivera's availability probably hinges on Joe Torre's fate, so this bears watching.

There's a peculiar secondary economy in the sport developing around old pitchers, who are attractive precisely because they don't demand long-term contracts that can cripple a team for the better part of a decade (see: Zito, Barry).  Teams can afford to pay premiums for players based on their past never-to-be-seen-again performance because they know they'll be off the books in a year or two.  There's also likely the ancillary benefit of having the "grizzled veteran guru" from whom the young guys on the team can learn, as has been discussed vis-a-vis Moyer and Hamels.  That's an expensive pitching coach, however, but as long as Dubee's around, I kind of like the idea of the kids having some second opinions.

Schilling's incredibly bright, but one has to wonder if his personality would have an adverse effect on a clubhouse which by all accounts was a tight-knit and well-functioning unit in 2007.