Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 12/28/12
The final roster spot for the Philadelphia Phillies could affect Darin Ruf personally. Will this be decided even before day 1 of training camp?   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: Manuel is relieved   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.  This review is updated (2nd posting). 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     Ruf Enjoys his 1st MLB Homerun in the 2nd at the Bank on September 25 against the Nats   4TH DECEMBER  BASEBALL-FIX MONDAY          The Moving Parts:   The Phils could not close a $1 million gap to sign a 22-homerun hitter, and will consider Dom Brown and Ruf in platoon roles.  Meanwhile, the finances have become slightly more complex, because John Lannan has $2.5 million in incentives. The brain trust usually sets aside $3 million for achieved inducements, and $1.3 million of Lannan’s agreement is within his norm. After bringing Ben Revere and Michael Young aboard, Rube Amaro had approximately $17 million for 3 players. He appropriated $6 million for a big-splash reliever to set up Jonathan Papelbon. Then, he calculated $7 million for a right-handed bat with pop, leaving $4 million to plug the bottom of the rotation. Outfield economics: A trade offer was made for Josh Willingham and his $7 million annual paycheck. The proposal to Ichiro Suzuki was for $7 million yearly. A similar amount to Cody Ross for his services was probably on the table.   John Lannan Dials Up a 4-Seam Fastball on September 12 in Queens If Lannan makes 32 appearances and toils for 180 innings, he will earn $3.8 million. He made 30 starts, including Triple A, last year and 33 in 2011. He fired 181.1 frames in 2012 and 184.2 total for ‘11. That equals $1.3 million additional to be set aside for incentives. That stated, Cole Hamels appeared in 31 games for the top mark (’12) on the 5-man staff. The reason that Suzuki was tendered a 2-season, $7 million offer was that run production can also be achieved with doubles.  Patience is the only virtue with this $7 million ceiling.  Amaro will not and cannot go north of $7 million (average annual value) for 2013. After Ross was acquired by Arizona, it separated the expensive from the affordable talent. Michael Bourne and a few others occupy the sphere that is above the $7 million demarcation. However, Scott Hairston and Vernon Wells are not the answer either.   $178M Maximum Before The Luxury Tax: NOTE:  Click entries button to open more than the visible 10. (Revised as of 12/27) DOLLARSALLOCATIONPLAYERS $72.14MCore FourRollins, Utley, Howard & Hamels $56.50M2 Aces & the CloserHalladay, Lee & Papelbon $06.25M2 StartersKendrick & Lannan $12.00M4 RegularsC Ruiz, 3B Young, CF Revere & LF Brown $03.60MBenchMayberry, Nix, Kratz, Frandsen & Galvis $08.10M4 Bullpen SeatsAdams, Bastardo, Aumont & Horst $01.00M2 Bullpen SlotsRosenberg, De Fratus or Schwimer (plus Stutes, if Healthy) $09.30MSet Aside$5M (Trading Deadline), $3M (Achieved Incentives & Injury Replacements) & $1.3M (Lannan's Incentives) $02.00MBuyoutsPolanco, Contreras & Wigginton $170.89MTOTAL24 Roster Spots $07.11M1 PositionA Corner Outfielder     Dom Brown Homers in the 7th on September 17 in Queens It now comes down to Brown and Laynce Nix against right-handed pitchers. Against the southpaws, there are Ruf, John Mayberry Jr., Hairston or Wells. Two of those right-swinging sticks could be flanking Revere. Unless there is something in the scouting reports that explains an interest, Hairston and Wells are not an improvement over Ruf or Mayberry. Hairston wants 2 tours at $5 million each, while the Halos will probably expect $8 million in relief over 2 summers for Wells. The next step is to search for bargains before Clearwater dominates our consciousness. Last year Ryan Madson was procured at that time. After that there will be the extra outfielders who become available when rosters are pruned to 25. This is where the $7 million enters the picture, if it is necessary. Brown was going to be the left-side hitter in a platoon with Mayberry, if Ross was inked. However, Ruf–who is taking this situation seriously–will probably get a full shot with the blessing of management. At this point his performance during March will prominently figure into the equation, and Charlie Manuel has been noticeably anxious to witness that development.   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 8th 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  

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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