Tag: phillies (page 1 of 390)

Papelbon Trade is a Tough Sell Because of Ruben Amaro’s Terrible Contracts

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, rumors came out that the Milwaukee Brewers were about to make a giant mistake and trade something of some value to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon. The Brewers were interested in Papelbon, but as soon as those reports heated up, they subsided. Why? Because Ruben Amaro’s vesting options, like in many of the contracts he draws up, are a real problem.

According to Ken Rosenthal, Papelbon’s $13 million vesting option for 2016 is making any deal for him difficult. The problem comes from the money that would have to change hands in the deal, since Papelbon’s money owed is a bit of a question mark:

It’s difficult enough for teams to agree upon how much money should be in a trade. It’s even more difficult when they don’t know how much the player is owed. So, as much the Phillies need to trade Papelbon, the whole thing is easier said than done …

But why would the Phillies pay, say, an unnecessary $6 million on the vesting option when a more attractive financial and prospect package might become available in July?

Rosenthal adds that the Phillies could give some closing opportunities to Ken Giles early in the season, making it harder for Papelbon to reach the 48 games finished mark that activates his option. Then, knowing whatever team gets him wouldn’t have to worry about paying him a ridiculous option, Papelbon all of a sudden becomes more tradable. Of course, Papelbon would probably light the clubhouse on fire if the Phils tried to pull those shenanigans. Either way, he’s not very appealing at the moment.

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Ryan Howard’s New Children’s Book Drops Tomorrow

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I’m sorry, what?

Ryan and Krystle Howard (a former teacher) have released their first in a series of children’s books about the baseball adventures of… wait for it… keep waiting… here goes: Little Rhino!

From the book’s description on Amazon, which lists the author as a guy whose career highlight came nine years ago:

A new chapter book series from Major League Baseball’s 2006 National League MVP, Ryan Howard!

Every day when Little Rhino comes home from school, he finishes his homework, grabs his bat, his glove, and runs outside to meet Grandpa James. They always practice catching and hitting in the backyard. Playing baseball with grandfather is Little Rhino’s favorite thing to do, especially when he pretends to be a real Major League homerun hitter.

One afternoon, after a long day of second grade, Little Rhino comes home to find out that Grandpa James has signed him up for a baseball league! Little Rhino will finally be a part of a team! But Little Rhino will quickly learn that is not always so easy to a good teammate, especially when there’s a bully wearing the same uniform as you.

From Major League Baseball superstar Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle Howard, a former elementary school teacher, this exciting new series is a fun read for sports and book fans alike!

I’m going to be extremely upset if the bully is not a wedgie-giving narcissist named Five-Eighths, because Howard wrote in the prologue: “Not everything in these books happened to me, but a lot of it is based on my life!” Oh boy, I can’t wait for the one where Little Rhino is backwards-K’ed by Tiny Gimpy, or the one where Grandpa James tells Little Rhino he’s not welcome on the team anymore and no other team wants him because he commands too many orange wedges. That would serve as a harsh dose of reality to those sickeningly rosy youngsters.

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The New Age Outlaws Came Out Wearing Phanatic Hats at The Royal Rumble

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The New Age Outlaws, who are improbably still alive* (oh, I didn’t know), kicked off the Royal Rumble tonight wearing Phanatic hats. Annnnnnnd it’s all downhill from here for the 2015 Phillies.

*I was watching WrestleMania XV from Philly on WWE Network before, and Billy Gunn kicked off that event, too. That was in 1999. What a badass.

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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

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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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