This isn’t meant to become a running series, but some mornings you just can’t help but shake your head like a 1950s sitcom child and say, oh, the Phillies.
The Phillies could trade Ryan Howard (if they pay, like, 90% of his remaining salary). This leak brought to you by Jon Heyman and his deadline Tweet deals (from $70!):
The Phillies are said by rival executives to be working hard to find a suitor for Ryan Howard, presumably in the American League.
Word from competing execs is that Philly would be willing to eat much or most of the $70 million remaining on his deal. On Wednesday, news leaked that the Phillies have considered whether just to cut Howard after the year. It’s hard to see how that could help his trade value, which has to be severely limited as it is.
Howard — hitting .224 with a below-par .682 OPS — has $70 million to go through 2016, so any acquiring team would only be expected to pay a small portion of the overall deal, which includes a $10-million buyout for 2017. While he has 15 home runs and 60 RBI, everyone understands he is badly underperforming, including him.
However, two GMs said they believed he should have a value of up to $5 million a year to an AL team looking for a DH, though those particular execs were not offering to take him, as they don’t currently have the need. He has an extensive no-trade provision which covers 20 teams, but with the Phillies making clear that they’d prefer he’d be gone, he’d seem to have incentive to accept a trade, if they could find one.
No idea what “small portion” means, but if it’s anything under $40k, I’d consider bringing on the Big Piece as a part-time columnist. I could offer the Phils #socialmedia skillz in return. Or Jim.
Papelbon was booed when he took the mound on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. His recent comments on the Trade Deadline are well known by Phillies fans. But Papelbon is happy to play the role of villain if he sticks around in Philadelphia.
“No, I enjoy it,” Papelbon said when asked if the boos bother him. “I just think that it’s fun. It just brings a little bit of energy and life to the park, and gives me a little bit of something to look forward to do every day … You’ve got to be able to take it if you want to dish it out, right? I think that goes both ways for me. It’s kind of like a big brother little brother relationship, I would say.”
And which brother is Papelbon?
You know who likes to be booed by the home crowd? Sociopaths.
Cole Hamels is all growed up:
“I think it’s just the workouts that I’ve been able to do in spring training and throughout the season that are starting to kick in,” Hamels said. “Just changing my routine enough where everything stays loose but strong.”
Right from the get-go, it was clear that Hamels was pitching with some edge, some urgency, some anger. He blew a 95-mph fastball by the Giants’ best player, Buster Posey, to end the top of the first inning, and got Hunter Pence on another 95-mph heater in the fifth. Hamels struck out Pence, a Phillie tormenter, three times.
Afterward, Hamels admitted to being in a bit of a bad mood when he took the mound. He’d seen the Giants beat the Phillies three straight nights and wanted to write a different story.
“It’s just about going out there and being able to compete and having a little extra adrenaline and anger, trying to prove a point,” he said. “Just trying to go out and let it happen. I think losing the past three games, you just want to go out there and win.
Not a ton of respect for Cliff, salary notwithstanding. Jayson Stark, who rounded up all the Phillies trade rumors:
Looks more and more like an August deal waiting to happen. And he will get through waivers. “Nobody is claiming that guy,” laughed one exec. The Phillies are motivated to move him. But with at least $45 million left on his contract and his recent two-month stay on the disabled list, teams are wary of giving up real prospects, even if the Phillies pay down his deal. “He scares me,” said one exec. “Maybe if he was going to be a free agent,” said another, “I could see taking a chance. But not with that contract.”
Oh, the Phillies.