Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Pop quiz: Which lefty reliever would you rather have? (2012 stats listed, 2013 aged season listed) - Player A: 52 IP, 14.02 K/9 IP, 4.50 BB/9 IP, 3.18 xFIP. Age 27 - Player B: 50.1 IP, 7.51 K/9 IP, 3.93 BB/9 IP, 4.17 xFIP. Age 30 - Player C: 27.1 IP, 11.52 K/9 IP, 6.59 BB/9 IP, 3.92 xFIP. Age 26 - Player D: 31.1 IP, 11.49 K/9 IP, 4.02 BB/9 IP, 3.24 xFIP. Age 27 - Player E: 31.0 IP, 10.16 K/9 IP, 1.45 BB/9 IP, 3.03 xFIP. Age 35 - Player F: 25.0 IP, 5.76 K/9 IP, 2.88 BB/9 IP, 4.48 xFIP. Age 27 There are a lot of players on that list – of the six, five are currently on the Phillies 40-man roster and one was reportedly a free agent target. Player F is the only player whose stats indicate that he is probably not as good as the other five. Player F is Joe Savery – let’s assume everyone is OK with moving on from Savery for the sake of this exercise and move on to exhibit B. Knowing that four of the five are already available on the Phillies 40-man, and that the Phillies have limited salary available headed into 2013, here are the estimated commitments for each of the players above: - Player A: ~$1 million, three years of team control available - Player B: $4-5 million per year, two to three year commitment - Player C: ~$480-500 thousand per year, five years of team control available - Player D: ~$480-500 thousand per year, five years of team control available - Player E: ~$480-500 thousand per year, four years of team control available As you can probably tell, I am intentionally leading the witnesses here. One of these players’ costs is between four and ten times higher than the other four and I have made statements already indicating which direction I would go. Player A is Antonio Bastardo, Player B is J.P. Howell, Player C is  Jake Diekman, Player D is Jeremy Horst, and Player E is Raul Valdes. Late last evening, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported the Phillies were one of five teams that had interest in Howell. The Phillies bullpen shined last year in getting strike outs (highest K/9 IP in the Majors) and had a nice xFIP (fifth in NL, eight in MLB) but struggled avoiding walks (fifth in NL/MLB), getting ground balls (worst in NL, 29th in MLB), and gave up a lot of home runs (fourth worst in NL in HR/9 IP, seventh worst in MLB). A lot of the struggles came early on and the team improved by cutting loose the deadweight (Chad Qualls, Savery) and finding quality arms from within their system (Horst, Diekman, Phillippe Aumont). In the areas where the Phillies should seek improvement, Howell is not an improvement. His BB/9 IP (3.93) and his HR/9 IP (1.25) are downgrades while his 48.9% GB% is a minor improvement. Bastardo, Horst, Diekman, and Valdes are all cheaper options with years of team control with the potential to get better. The Phillies would be foolish to waste precious resources on Howell who does not present himself as an obvious upgrade to what they currently have that throws left-handed. What they have that throws right-handed has been addressed with the acquisition of Mike Adams and may have been the best opportunity to score the most bang for their buck.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can play for Vikings or not at all

RG3 misses 'having fun playing football' after two tough seasons

Houston mayor's office weighs in on Kaepernick Instagram post

Dallas Cowboys using drones to tape practice sessions

LeBron James' manager is mentoring Johnny Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Details emerge from McDonald's domestic violence arrest

Eagles rookie receiver arriving early to practice in a taxi

Eric Berry 'doing well' after finishing cancer treatments

WATCH: Blatt has special message for LeBron

Shaq once threatened to murder Kobe Bryant

Bryce Harper: Mike Trout is the best player in baseball

Are the Texas Rangers contenders or pretenders?

WATCH: IRS official zings FIFA with play on words

LeBron James needs to revert to an old style, not an old form

After sweep by Cavaliers, what's next for the Hawks?

Michigan DB Jabril Peppers tees off on NCAA on Twitter

Star NFL player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Adrian Peterson expected to attend 'Adrian Peterson Day'

Blatter, corruption and Women's World Cup: It's complicated

JR Smith’s mom quotes Drake after sweep of Hawks

Hawks radio announcer calls Dellavedova 'Tonya Harding'

FIFA officials arrested, to be extradited to US for corruption

WATCH: LeBron throws down huge dunk from inside FT line

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.