Phils need to cut bullpen losses

There truly is such a thing as addition by subtraction and the Phillies need to apply that new math to their questionable bullpen. Rheal Cormier hasn't gotten the job done this spring and has generally been pretty disappointing during his stint in Philly. Cormier is guaranteed a nice chunk of change this season, but so what? The left-hander has worn out his welcome in the city of the cracked bell and needs to be shown where the entrance ramp to the turnpike is.

It's easy for fans to sit around at their computer and say "hey, so what if the guy makes almost $3 million this year? Cut him loose." After all, it's not our money. The truth is though that it just plain makes sense financially and otherwise.

Joe Roa and Hector Mercado are both out of options. Roa's situation has likely been put on hold since it now looks like Brandon Duckworth may need more time to get ready after suffering tendonitis in his arm. That leaves a hole in the rotation that Roa can easily slide into without missing a beat. Mercado is another story unless the Phillies look at the bigger picture.

If Mercado isn't on the 25 man roster then he will likely be snagged when the Phillies try to sneak him through waivers as they would have to do. Losing Mercado would be a bad move for the Phillies. He's a solid left-hander who can pitch either out of the bullpen or the starting rotation. The easiest way to clear room on the roster and not exposing Mercado to waivers is to go back to the addition by subtraction theory.

No matter what Cormier does or where he is this summer, the Phillies owe him $2.9 million. Why keep him in Philadelphia and get white knuckles everytime you need to call him out of the bullpen? The money is better spent not risking having him blow games. Instead, we can have Mercado on the roster and feel a little more secure when he marches out of the bullpen instead of Cormier.

Another option, albeit less possible, is to trade Cormier. The Phillies could pick up a big chunk of his contract and maybe at least get a guy who could fill some hole in the minors somewhere. No, we wouldn't get any sort of prospect in return, but who cares? Again, the Phillies are signing the check no matter what Cormier is doing, so why not at least get some journeyman out of the deal?

The Phillies of old would have hung onto Cormier and pointed to his contract and how the money would be wasted if they cut him loose. These are the new Phillies though. The ones who threw $85 million at Jim Thome and signed Bobby Abreu, Randy Wolf and Pat Burrell to long-term deals. You don't throw that kind of money around only to have the team held back by just under $3 million.

Do the math; Cormier is a nice guy and you can never say that he didn't give his all, but it's time for him to go. Maybe he and Greg Vaughn can sign somewhere as a package deal. Sounds like a package the Phillies of old would have been interested in having.


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