The enormous contract extension recently given to Ryan Howard has fans – myself included – wondering if it will have an effect on the Phillies’ ability to re-sign Jayson Werth. Can the Phillies continue to pay Howard and still keep Werth? Absolutely!
Jamie Moyer may very likely retire after the 2010 season; if he doesn’t, he will probably have to accept a big pay cut if he wishes to stay with the Phillies (Moyer reportedly makes $8 million in 2010). I believe Raul Ibañez will be gone after the 2010 season. Ibañez reportedly makes $12,166,666 in 2010).
If Moyer were to retire and the Phillies were to let Ibañez go, that would give them $20,166,666 to experiment with (barring any decrease in spending). I believe Werth could be signed for anywhere between $12 million and $16 million. If I am correct, then this would leave the Phillies anywhere between $4-8 million to spend after signing Werth! This money could then be used to give raises to other players to be re-signed (Jimmy Rollins).
If this chain of events were to occur, then Domonic Brown would be Ibañez’s replacement. Ben Francisco will then back up Brown; Werth would remain in right field and Shane Victorino would remain in center field. Moyer would obviously be replaced by Kyle Kendrick. If the Phillies feel a need to bring in more relief pitchers, they can always call up players from within the system (Antonio Bastardo).
Domonic Brown 2010
27 games with Reading Phillies to date
The only concern I have with Brown at the moment is the fact that he strikes out more often than he walks. Nevertheless, he carries an excellent batting average and on-base percentage thus far. I looked at the prime of Ken Griffey Jr. to get a feel for what type of numbers to expect from Brown.
Ken Griffey Jr. (1996-2000)
49 HR per season
114 strikeouts per season
83 walks per season
1996-2000 was perhaps the best stretch of Griffey’s career, evidenced by his .290 AVG and 49 home runs per season. He put up those mind-boggling numbers, despite the fact that he averaged 114 strikeouts to 83 walks during that time.
Don’t read too much into my Griffey/Brown comparison. I am not insinuating that Brown can become the next Griffey; however, I do believe it’s reasonable to project Brown as a .290 hitter with plenty of power. I merely brought up Griffey’s numbers to show that even the greatest player of our era had more strikeouts than walks on a regular basis; furthermore, Griffey failed to post a .400 OBP in any season from 1996-2000.
I won’t expect Brown to duplicate Griffey’s 49 home runs per season, however. Giving a conservative (in my opinion) projection, I believe Brown will be a .290 hitter with 25+ home runs per season in his career. In other words, he could at least have a career which models that of Fred McGriff. If he posts numbers which are better than my projections, the Phillies will be extremely happy with his production.
Despite Howard’s enormous contract, I foresee the Phillies as being able to re-sign Werth and let Brown flourish.