Category: Phillies (page 1 of 395)

There Are Some Reports This Morning That the Phillies Could, Maybe, Trade Jonathan Papelbon to the Brewers

Photo: MLB Fan Cave

Photo: MLB Fan Cave

Another day (January 23, to be exact– just weeks away from pitchers and catchers) and another loosely-sourced report that the Phillies possibly, maybe, might trade their most hated player.

Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan reports:

The Philadelphia Phillies have engaged in serious discussions to send closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Milwaukee Brewers, sources familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.

Papelbon’s contract, which calls for a $13 million salary this season with a $13 million option for 2016 that vests if he finishes 48 games this year, includes a no-trade clause that can block deals to 17 teams. It is unclear if Milwaukee is on the list.

But not so fast, my friend, says the bow tie man himself, little baby Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal):

Source: #Brewers on Papelbon’s no-trade list. Talks with #Phillies have picked up in recent weeks, but deal still not close. For #Brewers, #Phillies to make Papelbon trade, they would need to agree on $$$ going to MIL and players to PHI – and secure Pap’s approval. For #Brewers, #Phillies to make Papelbon trade, they would need to agree on $$$ going to MIL and players to PHI – and secure Pap’s approval. To this point, none of those things have occurred. But deal certainly not out of question, given #Phillies’ motivation to move Papelbon.

Rosenthal goes on to say that he represents the Lollipop Guild for Papelbon to waive his no-trade clause, the Brewers would have to guarantee his $13 million option in 2016.

He also says that the Phillies may prefer to keep Cole Hamels around, because if Cliff Lee is healthy and capable of producing and his 2016 options vests, then the Phils would have at least two formidable starters in 2016… which, to me, makes absolutely no sense. Lee is 36 and coming off a throwing-arm injury. How useful will he possibly be a year from now, at age 37, on a team that likely still won’t have a lineup capable of contending? It’s just speculation from Rosenthal, but I wouldn’t put it past Ruben Amaro and the Phillies to actually be thinking along these lines. There’s an argument to be made for keeping Hamels around, but it has nothing to do with Lee.

Back to Papelbon: Jim Salisbury reports that the 12 teams he can be traded to without his permission are the Red Sox (surprise!), Rays, Royals, Angels, Mariners, Astros, Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Reds, Cubs and Padres.

Sadly, this will be the nature of most Phillies posts for the next, oh, three years or so.

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Ryne Sandberg Doesn’t Think the Phillies Had a Good Clubhouse Last Year

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ryne Sandberg did not have a great time last year. The Phillies finished with 73 wins, the same as the year before, but finished last in the division for the first time since 2000. On top of that, Sandberg supposedly had to deal with some bad clubhouse guys, a theory he now backs up:

“I didn’t think we had a good clubhouse last year. I don’t think it was conducive to winning. I don’t think it was about winning a baseball game that day, in some regards. I think there were some distractions there. So [we have to] be on top of that, have a better atmosphere.”

Sandberg was speaking at the Phillies’ 21st annual winter banquet in Lakewood when he said the above, according to Ryan Lawrence, and he “spent about 10 minutes trying to explain himself.”

We knew (were told) that Lee and Byrd weren’t clubhouse guys, while our eyes (and ears) told us Papelbon wasn’t. But it’s entirely possible that everyone in red pinstripes didn’t mesh enough for any of them to be considered a “clubhouse guy.” And that’s a bigger issue.

Sandberg credited some problems to a lack of leadership and young players not being able to be themselves, two problems which will definitely, positively, in no way be problems anymore as Jimmy Rollins was traded away and Ryan Howard continues to take playing time from younger players. Sandberg’s job hasn’t been easy so far, and with the long road the franchise is embarking on, he’s gotta wonder to himself if he’ll be here long enough to see it get that way.

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Fred Wilpon, the Disgraced Owner Who Nearly Bankrupted the Mets Due to His Involvement with Bernie Madoff, Will Head Major League Baseball’s Finance Committee

Photo credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Mets owner Fred Wilpon has reportedly been tapped by new commissioner Rob Manfred to head Major League Baseball’s finance committee. Here’s a succinct graf from Deadspin summarizing just some of Wilpon’s missteps in the late-oughts and early-10s(?):

Madoff money went to cover the Mets’ payroll, to support the single-A Brooklyn Cyclones, to construct Citi Field and to launch a regional sports network. And when it disappeared, Wilpon and co-owner Saul Katz found themselves desperate. They took out a reported $450 million in loans (including about $65 million in emergency bailout money using a line of credit from MLB), using the SportsNet channel as collateral. They publicly announced he was willing to sell minority shares in the team to inject much-needed cash into the operation. They settled a lawsuit brought by Madoff victims for $162 million. They still carry hundreds of millions of debt.

So it makes sense that Wilpon would head MLB’s finance committee. You learn from your mistakes, right? I mean, it’s not like Wilpon just dumped a huge chunk of money on a MASSIVE new scoreboard for his only-six-year-old stadium or anything. Oh… wait… what’s that? I’m sorry, Jim, but I’m getting in my ear that Wilpon has in fact invested in a new scoreboard instead of, say, a fourth starter or any other player(s) capable of turning the Mets into something that resembles a contender:

The Mets announced Monday they are installing a new Daktronics high definition screen in center field that will be unveiled for the April 13 home opener.

According to the press release, the video board – at 5,670 square feet – will be among the 10 largest displays in professional baseball. The old video board was 3,500 square feet.

I can’t wait to see MLB’s balance sheet next year.

Photo note: I can’t tell if Chris Christie is farting or if he’s merely shifting his copious weight to prevent bedsores. Maybe both?

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Phillies Sign Brown and Revere to One-Year Deals

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Domonic Brown and Ben Revere, underachievers both in their own ways (namely defensively), have avoided arbitration, with the Phillies signing each of them to one-year deals that amount to gigantic raises. According to Austin Laymance at MLB.com:

Revere will earn $4.1 million after making a base salary of $1.95 million in 2014. Brown, eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career, will earn $2.5 million after receiving $550,000 last year.

And thus, the arguments that they both just became overpaid can be heard on WIP and The Fanatic from now until this time next year.

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Jimmy Rollins Is Mr. June in the Phillies’ 2015 Calendar

Voila_Capture 2015-01-16_12-14-30_PM

Inept doesn’t even begin to describe the Phillies these days.

John Gonzalez, who tweeted the picture, notes that the calendar arrived at CSN offices over the holidays, so there’s no doubt it was printed prior to reports (December 10) and completion (December 19) of the Jimmy Rollins trade. Still… the Phillies.

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Your Daily Cole Hamels Update: Still Here, Because Ruben is Trying to Save his Job

I don't know what I'm doing!

I (still!) don’t know what I’m doing!

Tale as old as time, true as it can be: Ruben Amaro is “trying” to make a trade, but executives from other teams really doubt his commitment. It was the theme of last trade deadline, and now, it’s continuing.

Just yesterday, we heard a report that Cole Hamels would likely begin the season in a Phillies jersey, but that hasn’t stopped teams from trying to make a deal. Maybe, though, Amaro is just waiting for the perfect deal that probably doesn’t exist. According to Ken Rosenthal:

A rival executive interested in Cole Hamels was puzzled by a recent conversation he had with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., wondering if Amaro truly intends to trade his prized left-hander.

The Phillies say they are open to moving Hamels for the right package. The problem, the rival exec speculated, is that Amaro wants to make the “perfect” deal — and perhaps needs such a deal to keep his job.

Unless I’m missing something, I don’t think a Hamels deal can really make or break Amaro’s employment status. The fans all hate him, sure, but the organization has said over and over again that he has their trust. If he ends up dealing Hamels for a pile of rocks, yeah that’s a problem. But a group of prospects who we might not see pan out for a couple of seasons aren’t going to move the needle either way on the organization’s feelings towards Amaro.

Common sense tells you that if Amaro thinks this is a make or break deal for his career, he’ll make the best one he possibly can. But then again, this is Ruben Amaro. His brain doesn’t seem to run on common sense.

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Report: Cole Hamels Not likely to be Traded Until the Season Starts

Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few days after hearing that the Padres have a real interest in Cole Hamels — and hearing since that the Rangers have been asking about him — Jim Salisbury reported that Hamels will most likely start the season in a Phillies uniform.

Salisbury says the Phillies are currently in a “staredown” with a few clubs (Padres, Red Sox, Rangers, Cardinals), but it looks like none of those clubs are ready to bite on Hamels by dishing some top prospects just yet. Matt Lombardo has more on who the Rangers would (possibly) part with, but Salisbury’s report pushes the potential trade back to the “warmer months.”

The Phillies might be — in general — over the hill and out of the race, but at least we might get one more Hamels-pitched opener before it’s all gone forever.

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The Saddest Chart You May Ever See

I don't know what I'm doing!

I don’t know what I’m doing!

SB Nation baseball writer Grant Brisbee uses little actual math and science when he compiles his annual win-now, win-later baseball windows graph. It’s subjective, but telling nonetheless. [Last year he did have both World Series participants, the Royals and Giants, on his should contend side of things, though they were closer to the middle of the pack than hindsight would like.] And this year, like last year, the Phillies are in literally the worst spot on the age of talent-should contend scale:

Voila_Capture 2015-01-15_09-49-01_AM

via SB Nation

The Phils hanging off the side of the page isn’t a cropping issue– they were placed there, ostensibly because their chances of contending this year may have dipped into the negative. In fact, Brisbee even refers to that undesirable upper-left quadrant as Phillies. Here’s some of what he had to say:

It’s really, really hard to be in this quadrant. You have to try. That, or be in denial. Teams that aren’t on the should-contend side of the spectrum look around and say, “OK, who isn’t going to be here when we do contend?” Then they ship those players off for prospects, or at least make room for younger players to see what sort of part they might play in the future. The Phillies declined to do any of that. They declined with extreme prejudice. And now they’re kinda old and definitely abysmal. The younger players they have aren’t thrilling.

– sad face –

H/T to (@jason_kantor)

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