3:58 PM: Another potential suitor (albeit an unlikely one) for Jimmy Rollins, the Brewers, signed Alex Gonzalez.
2:14 in the PM: The Winter Meetings are pretty much over with, but we're talking with Mike Stutes about the Phillies' offseason at 2:30 over on Broad Street Radio. Give it a listen.
11:47 AM: The Phillies left the Winter Meetings without signing Jimmy Rollins: [Philly.com]
"Nothing is scheduled (with Rollins' agent Dan Lozano), but I'm sure we'll be in touch with each other sometime soon," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said after the Rule 5 draft brought an official close to the winter meetings. "I'm concerned about filling that spot, but overall I'm not concerned."
Read: I went to Stanford and play figurative poker for a living. If you don't think that I'm still sitting on a pair of Aces, you're out of your fucking mind.
11:36 AM: Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins discuss Jimmy Rollins' contract:
10:13 AM: And Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, can buy himself A LOT of hookers with his commission. But he still has one client to worry about before going cheekbones deep in lady:
10:08 AM: Deal is for 10 years, $250 million. No-trade clause. Wow. America will now be able to watch baseball's best player… three times a year on Sunday Night Baseball. Somewhere, a monkey claps on a giant jumbotron.
10:03 AM: Buster Olney also confirms, Pujols to Angels, per a source.
9:59 AM: Yahoo!'s Tim Brown reports that the Angels will sign Albert Pujols– 10 year, $250-$260 million.
8:36 AM: Phillies aren't saying Rollins deal is close, but it seems most likely, according to Jon Heyman.
7:56 AM: Jayson Stark opines on the third, mystery team believed to be involved with Albert Pujols, in addition to the Cardinals and Angels. He says the following: [ESPN.com]
The identity of the reported third team remained unknown. But people within the sport suggested it was likely to be a club that has an established, big-name first baseman it would need to trade before it could complete a deal with Pujols.
Just a few days ago, it appeared that Pujols was likely to sign with either the Cardinals or Marlins this week. Now, said one source who had spoken with Pujols' camp, there is "no shot" that Pujols will make a decision before the meetings end — and, possibly, any time soon.
Let's throw some shit at the wall and speculate on an unknown source's speculation. What are some teams with "big-name" first basemen that might be able to afford Albert: Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez), Yankees (Mark Teixeira), Tigers(?) (Miguel Cabrera), and Phillies (Ryan Howard). Those are probably the only teams that could play ball, if Stark's people know what they're talking about. Buster Olney says it's probably not the Yankees. Chew on that for a while.
Of course, trading a player with a torn Achilles would be a next to impossible task… unless a desperate Midwestern team wanted to fill the void left by one of the greatest players in baseball history with a hometown kid who happens to be pretty good. But again, this is a hypothetical.
12:34 AM: Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson all decline arbitration.
11:30 PM: As if you needed to know this, Jimmy Rollins says on Twitter that he's officially declining the Phillies arbitration offer. That was entirely expected.
In an unrelated matter, now would also be a good time to point out that Philly Sports Daily's Jim McCormick predicted the drunken blackjack the Marlins are currently playing… in September.
11:23 PM: Todd Zolecki received the same text as Salisbury, apparently– he says no deal tonight with Rollins. The Phillies didn't meet with Lozano today, presumably because he was working on the biggest contract in the history of baseball for his other client, Albert Pujols.
11:08 PM: It's entirely possible Ruben Amaro is currently holed up in a hotel room with two coeds, a bottle of pino and curiously scattered feathers everywhere, all while texting Phillies beat writers conflicting reports, just to show off for the ladies. Jim Salisbury refutes Bob Brookover's report that the Phillies met with Rollins' agent tonight.
10:37 PM: Madson declines arbitration offer from Phillies, according to Jon Heyman. Goodbye, Ryan Madson.
10:28 PM: In the world of hockey, Claude Giroux just finished all over Ryan Miller. Literally. But in Dallas, Jim Salisbury expects that Scott Boras will soon announce (?) that Ryan Madson will NOT accept arbitration.
8:54 PM on the correct coast: The Inquirer's Bob Brookover, who uses Twitter surprisingly well, says Rollins' crummy agent, Dan Lozano (who is the most popular man in Dallas right now– with MLB teams and hookers), is meeting with the Phillies. Deal looks like it could get done soon.
7:11 PM: And Ruben Amaro is dripping smug all over my keyboard. When told about Rollins' agent canceling a meeting with the Brewers, Amaro said: [Philly.com]
"That's good news, I guess. I haven't heard that yet. I hope it's true."
That sound you hear is him smacking his wang on the table– my shortstop!
7:07 PM: A Boston reporter says that the Phillies are not sure whether Madson will accept their arbitration offer. Well no shit.
6:57 PM: A second meeting between the Brewers and Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano, was cancelled. It was at that point the Brewers knew J-Roll™ was headed back to Philly. Nothing is official, but it's another sign that the Phillies and Rollins are close.
6:29: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals could be going after Roy Oswalt, who may be their number two option after Mark Buehrle, now that he has signed with the Marlins.
5:38 PM: It appears Jim Duquette took a momentary piss all over the Philly sports landscape– Todd Zolecki also denies his report, saying that a deal between the Phillies and Rollins isn't done. That doesn't mean it won't get done (it now sounds like it will), but it's not done yet.
5:18 PM: Jim Salisbury reports that sources on both sides deny there being a deal, yet.
5:14 PM: Jayson Stark denies report, saying there is no deal in place.
5:12 PM: MLB Network analyst Dan Duquette reports that the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins have reached an agreement. No details given. Stay tuned.
Also, a man fell in the fountain at the Winter Meetings hotel yesterday. If you haven't seen it yet, MLB has video of it here.
2:38 PM: Ken Bow Tie checks in again. He says the Phillies are still persistant on Gio Gonzalez. All jokes aside, Rosenthal hasn't slept in three days.
1:03 PM: Confliction!!! Ken Rosenthal reports a deal between the Phillies and Rollins is not imminent. Jon Heyman says it's "likely to happen." Deal would be at least three years, maybe four. Brewers still feel he's headed back to Philly. What chaos. Ladies and gentlemen, your Winter Meetings!
12:49 PM in the East: Multiple reports say the Phillies are close to re-signing Jimmy Rollins. Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt (yo, vowels) is "hearing that Jimmy Rollins is staying with the Phillies," and ESPN's Chris Singleton thinks it will get done soon, too. via Hardball Talk
11:58 AM: Closer update– Huston Street went to the Padres. The Rockies are now hard (mountain joke) for Brad Lidge, a Denver area native. The Rockies are also interested in Michael Cuddyer and Cody Ross.
With Street going to San Diego, and Lidge being a target of the Rockies, the list of potential suitors may be dwindling for Ryan Madson, who could be forced to accept the Phillies’ arbitration offer. Yesterday, in our discussion on Broad Street Radio, Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence appropriately described the situation as musical chairs: Madson may be left standing when all the seats are filled. Good for us, bad for him.
9:48 AM: ESPN's Jim Bowden and his molester hair report that the Phillies have discussed with the A's the possibility of trading Domonic Brown for Gio Gonzalez. No further details were given, but I truly don't understand the logic of trading a young, high-potential hitter (as skeptical as we may be) for another pitcher… unless the Phillies do, in fact, plan on trading Hamels, as was earlier reported to be a possibility by Ken Rosenthal.
It's not completely crazy to think that the Phillies would trade an Ace, but said move would have to free up some dough to sign another impact player. Example: if the Phillies trade Brown for Gonzalez, then move Hamels, there would have to be another move coming… otherwise it makes no sense. Unless, of course, Ruben has completely thrown in the towel on Dom Brown, who posts stuff like this on Facebook:
7:33 AM: A lot happened overnight. First of all, Ken Rosenthal doesn't sleep– that should be noted. Now, here are the details:
– The third team in the Albert Pujols sweepstakes is the Angels, not the Phillies. The Marlins have offered Pujols a contract which includes provisions beyond is playing career. Here's an ESPN.com link to Jayson Stark's story, complete with a molesty-looking Jim Bowden and a tired Tim Kurkjian on an autoplay video.
– The Phillies have, however, entered the Gio Gonzalez sweepstakes, if such a thing exists. Gonzalez, the 26-year-old lefty who was 16-12 last year with a 3.12 ERA for the A's, could mean the end of Cole Hamels: [FOX Sports]
The Phillies, on the other hand, are something of a surprise in the Gonzalez sweepstakes, given the strength of their rotation and high number of prospects they have traded in recent seasons.
But the idea makes sense. The addition of Gonzalez would give the Phils the depth to trade left-hander Cole Hamels — give them or a ready-made replacement if Hamels leaves as a free agent after next season.
The potential suitors for Hamels? See the teams listed above [Tigers, Diamondbacks, Marlins and Reds].
It sounds like there is a third dimension to this move that is going unmentioned, or is more likely unknown.
– Jon Heyman reports that Aramis Ramirez is "all but out of" the Phillies' picture, which hurts their leverage with Jimmy Rollins.
9:32 PM: Just to calm you down, Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies are not the mystery team in on Pujols. Of course, mystery teams rarely like to be identified.
In my mind, Salisbury's source is Amaro, and that conversation (via text) played out thusly:
JS: Hey Rube, Jim here– you guys third team?
RA: Fuck outta here.
JS: OK, thanks.
9:03 PM: Multiple reports have a third, dare I say mystery team in on Pujols. Said team, along with the Cardinals and Marlins, have offered Pujols a 10-year contract, but declined to be identified. No word on who it is.
Now, it would be totally unrealistic… but how fucking crazy would it be if all along when Rube was meeting with Dan Lozano, who is the agent for both Rollins and Pujols, they were talking about Albert, not J-Roll™? – manical laugh, maniacal laugh –
3:45 PM: Pat Gillick, who preaches getting to know a player before acquiring him, actually met with Aramis Ramirez in the Dominican Republic last month, according to Jim Salisbury. So the Phillies' interest in him certainly isn't new.
Clearly, that meeting went well enough for the Phillies to continue their pursuit. No word on what Gillick was wearing, but I'd imagine it was either a Hawaiian shirt or something similar to what he was wearing when I saw him standing outside a Days Inn in Clearwater Beach last spring:
3:09 PM: Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb weighs in on the Madson-arbitration discussion, too:
Madson made $4.5 million in 2011 as one of the game's top closers. If he accepts arbitration, he would receive a sizable raise for a one-year deal. Purely guessing, but the ceiling is likely around $9 million. Maybe less.
The Phillies could then try to trade Madson to a team that is more comfortable with having him on a one-year deal or simply keep him to form the best setup-closer combo in baseball for one season.
What would be Madson's incentive to accept? He could be a free agent next winter in a market not saturated with closing options. He would still have a high visibility as the setup man on the Phillies. He'd be in a familiar environment.
Full story here.
2:52 PM: Stark now ruminates that, with closer openings going away, Ryan Madson may be forced into accepting arbitration (for one year) with the Phillies. That… would suck for Madson, who would presumably be relegated to setup man, and forced to test the market again next year.
Delco Times beat writer Ryan Lawrence, who stopped by our radio show today, thought that the chances of Madson accepting arbitration could be as great as 50/50.
Great for Phillies… lousy for Mad Dog.
1:23 PM: Jayson Stark lays out the Phillies' plan, saying that they are not "shopping" Polanco, but will consider trading him if they are unable to sign Rollins. The thinking is that if Rollins goes elsewhere, the Phillies will need to replace his bat with a guy like Aramis Ramirez or Michael Cuddyer. To make room, especially for Ramirez, they would have to trade Polanco.
Problems: They're only willing to pay about a third of the $7.25 million left on Polanco's contract (God, what a shitty deal– $6.25 next year, $1 million buyout following year). Teams want the Phillies to eat more of it. Also, losing J-Roll™ and Polanco would mean a precipitous drop-off in defense– the Phillies would likely fill Rollins' spot with minor leaguer Freddy Galvis. Read the full report here.
12:48 PM: A Brewers reporter, um, reports that Brewers GM Doug Melvin also met with Lozano yesterday, but no offer was made.
12:39 PM: Ken Rosenthal takes a short respite from representing the Lollipop Guild to bring us this update– he says that the Phillies and Dan Lozano, Rollins' crummy agent, met "late into the night" last night. Which means it's entirely possible hookers were involved (I'm only half joking).
An earlier photo of Lozano, posted by Deadspin two weeks ago: [click to enlarge]
Jeez, he's attacking that thing with the vigor of an old lady hopping into a cold pool. Get in there, my man! If this is any indiciation of his tepid approach with Rube, J-Roll™ is going to come away with a one-year, $1.33 million deal… which would be just fine by me.
10:36 AM: Jon Heyman, who recently left SI for CBS, checks in saying that the Phillies' interest in Aramis Ramirez is "real," but it's lukewarm– they seem to be using it more for leverage with Rollins. He also throws out some other options. The "kid" is Freddy Galvis:
9:14 AM: Morning, children. Not a lot happening overnight– it seems most of the news coming out of the Winter Meetings the last 12 hours centers around Albert Pujols, and rightfully so. Some AM reading on the Phils: video of Amaro speaking with CSN, Bob Brookover spins something out of nothing and writes about Aramis Ramirez and Freddy Galvis filling Rollins' role, Brewers looking at J-Roll™, George Sherrill? and assistant GM Scott Proefrock on why the Phillies didn't go after Reyes.
Also, reader "Nike Shox shoes" (real name?) checks in down in the comments. He says: "I'm sure it's not me, but doesn't Kyle mention a penis in every post? The daily update is called Morning Wood for god's sake."
I don't know what you're talking about, ya dick.
10:31 PM: Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins' agent may meet again tonight.
7:43 PM: Scrath that last one– CSN's Jim Salisbury says that the Phillies and Camp Ramirez have nothing scheduled tonight.
7:04 PM: After a brief break for dinner and a frustrating distraction with the new Sixers mascot selections, we're back and ready to go. Looks like Matt Gelb of the Inquirer is kicking a little ass this evening. He reports that Ruben Amaro has "dug in," or, as I like to say, "whipped it out."
Ladies and gentlemen, your GM via Gelb:
"Honestly, there is no rush to do anything [with Rollins]"… And on his meeting with Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano: "It was a meeting."
Ohh smug. This isn't going to end well for Rollins, Lozano or his hookers. In fact, Amaro plans to meet with the agent for Aramis Ramirez tonight. Ramirez is either a Plan B for the Phillies or a pile of chips in Amaro's poker game. We shall see.
4:35 PM in the East: Happy hour must have started way early in Dallas. Very few updates in the last few hours. It's entirely possible that a drunken Ruben Amaro is trying to pawn off a useless Placido Polanco. That or he's waterboarding Rollins' agent.
Many more (real) updates after the jump. This is a sticky post– newer posts are below.
3:42 PM: Ruben Amaro just sexted Jimmy Rollins a picture of his wang: Does this look like it belongs to someone who will blink first?
Either that or the Big Poker is just trying to put the fear of God in Jimmy Rollins: I'll do it, I'll fucking do it, Jimmy. I sign Aramis and you're done here. Your move. Want to blink now?
3:04 PM in the East: "I gave the Phillies a discount the first time." – Jimmy Rollins
That quote, via a source of the Inquirer's Matt Gelb, who has more here. Gelb, like Salisbury, says that Rollins remains firm on his five-year demand, and the Aramis Ramirez rumors arose out of the "epic Roman battle" between Lozano and Amaro. It looks like Rube is ready to play hardball… Lozano may want to take cover… or call one of his hookers.
2:42 PM: Well, this isn’t surprising. Jim Salisbury gets his reporting on– he says that the meeting between Amaro and Lozano (Rollins’ agent) “did not go that well." Hmm… perhaps it did play out like that whole “epic Roman battle” thing from earlier.
Sources tell Sully that J-Roll™ is still – ludicrously – asking for five years, a request that has led to the below Aramis Ramirez rumors. One source tells Salisbury those rumors are all smoke and mirrors, and merely serve as a bargaining chip with Rollins… another tells him that the Phillies are melodramatically coming to terms with the fact that J-Roll™ may not be a Phillie next year. Stay tuned.
2:15 PM: Hey, let's pile on Polly! It's like Hop on Pop, only with bad elbows, aching backs and huge heads, or whatever. Buster Olney dials in to the Twitter machine to bring you this update:
Phillies said to be very down on polanco because of injuries, lack of pop.
Ouch. True– but ouch. Can't say I disagree, however… The thinking is that they may be able to move Polly to acquire Aramis Ramirez.
1:04 PM: Nats reliever Tyler Clippard wishes his friend well. Cute.
12:58 PM: Ken Rosenthal is on his game today. He reports that one "rival exec" says the Phillies are actively shopping Placido Polanco and his many ailments so they can sign Aramis Ramirez.
12:22 PM: Ken Rosenthal checks in from bow-tie land– the Phillies deal with Nix is apparently worth $2.5 million and should not preclude Ruben from slapping is dick on other bargaining tables, thankfully.
Also, one rival agent tells Rosenthal that there is an "epic Roman battle" between the Big Poker and Rollins. I'd imagine J-Roll's™ crummy agent, Dan Lozano, is the one supplying some hooker with the war helmet… but what do I know? If the Phillies can't come to terms with Rollins, their next option is… minor leaguer Freddy Galvis. I just gulped
11:46 AM: Agents feel that it's more and more likely that Michael Cuddyer stays in Minnesota. No surprise– especially as it relates to the Phillies. Thome, Wigginton and Nix don't leave much room for the 32-year-old right fielder.
10:36 AM: Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post tweets that the Phillies are "strong players" for Aramis Ramirez…
10:09 AM: Rollins Tweeted with our friends over at (@SportsTalkPhila). He actually gave a little bit of insight. Says there's no timetable.
10:03 AM: Buster Olney spoke with perpetual liar Ruben Amaro– he said that the Phillies have not had any contract extension talks with Cole Hamels, but he has spoken with Jimmy Rollins' crummy agent, Dan Lozano. Rollins appears to be top priority for the Phillies.
9:15 AM: Jon Heyman says the Phillies haven't ruled out going after Michael Cuddyer, another slow, plodding white guy.