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

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

Jamal Mayers calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

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

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

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.