Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 12/16/12
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Achieving their top priority, the Philadelphia Phillies will make Cliff Lee their happiest pitcher for 2013.  But who will be more relieved than the manager?   TAL’S HANDY CAPS WELCOME, NEWCOMERS: My articles are designed to represent a baseball-man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the stick-glove-or-power requirements, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.   Check out:  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: The GM’s creative juggling ahead   Baseball-Fix Schedule When the stove is hot, I will continue the process of the previous Monday’s approach, if appropriate.  For early birds Sunday evening is post time. Due to a strong response and a complicated off-season, my reviews will be weekly until spring training ends. The new summer schedule will allow me to publish the best 3 storylines each week, but there will be an updated calendar included with each feature:  Posts involving commentary, polls and stats will be listed for the upcoming 7 days.   TIMEFRAMEFORMATPUBLISHING December to AprilBaseball-Fix MondayWeekly December to AprilSuds or Studs2-4 Times a Month April to Season's EndNitecap Insight3 Times a Week April to Season's EndSuds or Studs2 Times per 10 Days April to Season's EndTal's Handy Stats2 Times per 10 Days     This Is What We Need in the 8th Inning   3RD DECEMBER BASEBALL-FIX MONDAY        The Number One Requirement:   On Thursday, I followed the bread crumbs, and realized that Mike Adams was soon to be inked. Follow the clues that led to my conclusion, which I had hoped would be published before the fact. Rube Amaro began the year with 4 weaknesses to address, and he made 2 trades, solving half of them. In the process he opened a rotation slot, which will be filled by John Lannan. Center field was the hardest task in front of Amaro, and was the first on the check list to be accomplished. The hot corner was only a $6M solution after he seized an opportunity for a stopgap answer from an over-stocked franchise. The remaining piece to acquire is a corner outfielder with right-side pop. Management’s considerations: A $10M annual upgrade in center was not desired except for B.J. Upton ($11M). Amaro basically passed on Upton ($15M), Angel Pagan ($10M) and Shane Victorino ($13M).   John Lannan Dials Up a Heater in the 2nd at the Bank on September 26 Against the Phils Josh Willingham of the Twins was targeted for his $7M contract with two 162’s remaining, and Ichiro Suzuki was tendered 2 tours at $7M each.  And Amaro wasn’t sold on Alfonso Soriano or Scott Hairston at $5M per for 2 campaigns. With them the main concern would be left-side defense behind Michael Young, which would be covered in the late frames by Kevin Frandsen, Freddy Galvis and John Mayberry Jr. When it came to the bullpen, Koji Uehara accepted a proposal of $4.25M elsewhere for only 2013, leaving Adams, Brandon Lyon, Jon Rauch and Jason Frasor on the market. Since Adams and Lyon would command similar paydays, the first choice was not difficult to figure out. Next, I examined the competition for the right hander. There were 7 other organizations mentioned for the dependable hurler. The Angels and Rangers had elected to spend $4M for that job. The Cubs are rebuilding, and the Brewers had dropped out of the running. The Nats have Tyler Clippard, while the Jays have taken the route toward R.A. Dickey. The White Sox have Addison Reed, who saved 29 games in 33 chances with a 4.75 ERA, which was a 5.83 ERA as a closer. Financial boundaries: Approximately $8.5M is available before $1M is at least set aside for Lannan’s incentives ($2.5M). Cody Ross wants $25M for 3 years ($8.33M each).   Financial Table @ Philadelphia Phillies storyline: The GM’s creative juggling ahead   Ben Revere Dives for a 5th-Inning Out on May 20 in Milwaukee Like Adams, Ross has similar suitors. They are the financially-limited Mets, the cutting-back Yankees, the reluctant O’s, the undesirable-destination Mariners, the bargain-hunting Braves, and the more cautious Sox. The higher-ups have consistently offered major assets (3 seasons) and complimentary stars (2 years) a vesting option for an additional 162. Jimmy Rollins, Doc Halladay and Adams have that, which protects the club against an injury. Ross may receive the most lucrative paycheck of the Philly newcomers, but the greatest need was an arm to protect 8th-inning leads. In other words, Mike Adams was the big get for 2013.   LINK-UP BELOW: A link for specific email notification is provided below. Any holdups that may occur will be posted at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook. This is the 7th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Next on the Docket) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Suds or Studs.  I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the 2013 ERA for the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page. TAL’S HANDY LINKS   Email Notifications TAL’S HANDY CAPS on Facebook  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: The GM’s creative juggling ahead Philadelphia Phillies news: Suds or studs, the boss Phillies Tal Venada (Author Archives) Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the NL East at final game 162 Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the MLB 5 at final game 162  
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