Sticky: Phillies Hot Stove Running Commentary

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.35.42 PM

It’s here. Our MLB hot stove running commentary to keep you nice and warm during the Winter Meetings.

Hit it for the latest– 5:32 p.m. Keep scrolling for other posts.


5:32 p.m.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting, in all his tiny glory, that the Mariners and Josh Hamilton continue to close in on a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of three-years, $60-$75 million, which is astoundingly low.

Presumably, a deal like that would include some sort of vesting option for a fourth year. But still, if that’s all it’s going to take to get Josh Hamilton, Ruben should just go to his house, with a six-pack of Mad Elf and $80 million in cash, and get it done right there, because I have a hard time believing Hamilton takes anything under $100 million.

2:43 p.m.

Some videos of Revere thanks to our friend Phillies beat reporter Matt Hammond of 97.3 ESPN (@MattHammondTIP). Revere had the play of the year in baseball in 2011:


2:39 p.m.

Corey Seidman of CSN Philly points out a somewhat troubling stat, that Revere had the highest ground ball rate, 66.9%, of any player since 2002, when they started keeping track of that sort of thing.

Incredibly, that’s 15 points higher than Hunter Pence’s ground ball rate, which helped scorch a hole between home plate and shortstop at Citizens Bank Park.


2:30 p.m.

While you were Googling Ben Revere and his sweet fucking hat tilt (swag lean), some other stuff sort of but not really went down.

Jon Morosi reports the Phillies and Rangers are still working on a Michael Young deal. 

Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners are not close to a deal for Josh Hamilton, as had been reported earlier. He says they like Michael Bourn, who might find himself in that chair once the music stops. And this:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 2.30.43 PM

That sounds hot. I don’t know why, but it does.


2:22 p.m.

My Dad just texted me. I can't tell if he likes the trade or not:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 2.22.24 PM


2:04 p.m. 

Vance Worley and Ben Revere on the trades, via Ryan Lawrence on Sulia:

Revere: "I was working out when I got the call. The Philadelphia Phillies is a great organization. I’ve been playing against them. Played against them this year when I was with the Twins. Their fan base is great. Everything about them is great. They’ve got great players, great coaches and it’s going to be a good time to be over there playing for them." 

Worley: Worley: "I didn’t see it coming. I’m over here at Citizens Bank Park, I just finished working out, and I got the news. So I guess it is just time to pack it up and head over to Minnesota and just keep working on getting healthy for the season."

1:56 p.m.

Ben Revere is on Twitter (@BenRevere9) and this is his ride:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 1.57.56 PM
Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 1.57.56 PM
He gained over 500 followers in 12 minutes.


1:15 p.m.

The consensus on Twitter is that Revere, 24, is a young Juan Pierre-Michael Bourn type player.

Let’s compare.

Revere in 2012: .294 AVG, .333 OBP, .675 OPS, 0 HR, 32 RBI, 40 SB, sweet fucking hat tilt.

Pierre in 2012: .307 AVG, .351 OBP, .721 OPS, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 37 SB, sweet fucking hat tilt.

Pierre at age 24, in 2002: .287 AVG, .332 OBP, .675 OPS, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 47 SB, sweet fucking hat tilt.

Bourn in 2012: .274 AVG, .348 OBP, .739 OPS, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 42 SB, no fucking hat tilt.

Bourn at age 24, in 2007 (limited time with the Phillies): .277 AVG, .348 OBP, .727 OPS, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 18 SB, no fucking hat tilt

Revere has the worst OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of anyone here. His on-base percentage is a bit lower than the others’, but what’s holding him back is his power. He has none. He hasn’t hit a home run in over two seasons with the Twins. But, check out Revere compared to 24-year-old Juan Pierre, from 2002– they’re almost identical. Here, I put them side-by-side:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 1.14.42 PM

No, their stats, silly:

Revere in 2012: .294 AVG, .333 OBP, .675 OPS, 0 HR, 32 RBI, 40 SB, sweet fucking hat tilt.

Pierre at age 24: .287 AVG, .332 OBP, .675 OPS, 1 HR, 35 RBI, 47 SB, sweet fucking hat tilt.

That’s a good sign. Juan Pierre finished in top 10 in MVP voting the next season, led the league in steals (also, caught stealing), at-bats, and the Marlins won the World Series. 

1:09 p.m.

The Ben "Paul" Revere Photoshops are rolling in:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 1.08.40 PM 

via (@RudyMezzy)

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 1.08.49 PM

via reader Tom

12:47 p.m.

Ruben Amaro: "Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable center fielder who fits nicely with our club."

Translation: He was our fifth choice. But I'm not done.

12:38 p.m.

Also like Happ, Worley was working out at Citizens Bank Park when Amaro told him about the trade, Worley told Jim Bowden on XM. Ouch. That seems to be a thing for the Phillies– shooting their starting pitchers while they jog around the warning track at CBP.


12:36 p.m.

Trading Worley and May, who was highly thought of, for Revere is a lot. But count me as someone who thought Worley peaked early, sort of like J.A. Happ. 

Last year (2011), we detailed some reasons why Worley was pitching well over his head– his stuff, location and consistency weren’t parallel to his success. That became all the more apparent after an injury-plagued second season. The Phillies are selling high on Worley, and that’s a good thing. 

12:27 p.m.

Revere is only 24 and has played in 254 games in three seasons with the Twins. He batted .294 last season with no home runs and 32 RBIs. But, batting mostly second in the lineup and some leadoff, he stole 40 bases. He bats left and throws right, was the Twins first round pick in 2007, and is under contract until 2018 (arbitration eligible in 2014). He made the league minimum last year.

I’m not terribly familiar with Revere (like, at all), but it seems as though he has a high upside and, quite frankly, is the type of player the Phillies could use– young, inexpensive, fast.

12:23 p.m.

It's Worley and Trevor May to the Twins. Wow.


12:22 p.m.

Scott Miller of CBS Sports reports that Twins get Worley and a "good" minor league pitcher.


12:15 p.m.

And center field is filled. 

Todd Zolecki is reporting that the Phillies have acquired Ben Revere from the Twins. No word on who the Phillies have sent their way.

Danny Knobler is reporting that Vance Worley is in deal.

More soon.

11:24 a.m.

Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies have, in fact, been talking to the Twins about Ben Revere. Heyman, for my money, is the best there is at this. Constant updates, almost always first.

Ruben has the left the building:

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 11.26.01 AM


10:34 a.m.

It sounds like the Rangers are forcing Young to either accept the trade or be a backup.


10:31 a.m.

Jim Salisbury the trade is in Michael Young’s hands to decide if he wants to waive his no-trade clause. Jon Heyman reports that Rangers would reportedly pay $10 million of his $16 million contract.


9:47 a.m.

The Phillies and Rangers are very close to a deal that would send Michael Young to the Phillies with the Rangers paying a large chunk of his $16 million salary. They might just be waiting on Young to waive his NTC. 


9:31 a.m.

If-then statements, baby.

Josh Hamilton and the Mariners are “very close” to getting a deal done, according to the Seattle Times:

It once seemed like Josh Hamilton had become a forgotten man for the Mariners here this week as they pursued a host of other offensive options. But I’m now told the talks between the two sides have been a lot more serious than anyone has let on and that they are actually “very close” to getting a deal done.

The one thing holding the process up is the fact the Texas Rangers are also interested in hanging on to Hamilton and remain the most serious Mariners competitor on that front. But the Rangers also remain engaged in a two-pronged battle with the Dodgers for the services of starting pitcher Zack Greinke and would not be able to land both him and Hamilton. 


The thinking is that the Rangers would prefer to sign Greinke over Hamilton. If that happens, it would essentially be down to the Mariners, Phillies and Brewers as potential suitors for Hamilton, according to most reports this week. It sounds like the Mariners want him bad. So much so, in fact, that they might be part of a four-team mega deal that would see Justin Upton going from the Diamondbacks to the Rangers, who would use Upton to replace Hamilton.

John Morosi of FOX Sports:

The Rangers’ fervent push for Upton, according to one rival executive, is an indication of their confidence in landing Greinke, who also is being pursued by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Upton, 25, would help replace the offense lost by the departure of Hamilton, who likely will be too expensive for the Rangers to keep if they sign Greinke. The Rangers want to add one top hitter and one top starting pitcher, preferably one through free agency, one through a trade, sources say.


Basically, the Rangers are hard for Greinke and Upton, and the Mariners are trying to assure that the Rangers get Upton, so they won’t get Hamilton. The thing is, it all hinges on what happens first. If the Rangers sign Greinke, then they most certainly won’t sign Hamilton. If they trade for Upton, then they probably won't sign Hamilton. But if the Dodgers sign Greinke, then the Rangers will likely become major players for Hamilton again, presumably jacking up his price.

The Phillies keep coming up in these discussions, but usually as also-rans. That doesn’t mean they’re not players, though. Last year, the Angels came in at the last second to sign Albert Pujols. And two years ago… well, Cliff Lee. Rube likes to keep a low-profile, and perhaps he’s waiting for the Rangers to sign Greinke – officially signaling that they’re going in a different direction – and then will take the Mariners head on in bidding for Hamilton.

9:05 a.m.

Jayson Stark says that Michael Young has shown no interest in waiving his no-trade clause to come to the Phillies. A modern day Roy Oswalt, I says! [Oswalt, obviously, caved… and then went back home for a week to play on his tractor and hurt his back, Jules.]


8:50 a.m.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes about the Phillies' five center field options. And they are: Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, Ben Revere and Dexter Fowler. 

The last three would have to come from trades, so I’d still guess Bourn and Hamilton are options one and two.

Knobler calls Hamilton a long-shot, both because of the large contract he will command and because he’s left-handed.

Knobler says that the Phillies are “nowhere near” meeting Scott Boras’ asking price for Bourn, which figures to be around $80 million.

The Yankees may not want to trade Gradnerson, Knobler says.

For Revere, the Twins are looking for young pitching.

And while Knobler calls Fowler “a great fit” (I agree), the asking price has been stiff.

Read the full story here.

8:29 a.m.

So, Rube’s awake, and apparently he’s trying to acquire 36-year-old Michael Young.

According to several reports, the Phillies are in advanced stages of talks that would send Young to Philadelphia: [CSN Philly]

The Phillies entered the final morning of the winter meetings Thursday with a legitimate trade possibility. Multiple baseball sources tell that the Phils are in serious discussions with the Texas Rangers about a deal for veteran infielder Michael Young. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning Newsreported that the two teams were in "advanced talks" about Young.


Young has a no-trade clause, but indications are that he would waive it to come to Philly. He has one year and $16 million left on his deal.

Evan Grant of the Dallas News reported the following late last night:

At the meetings’ outset Monday, sources indicated the Rangers, who have explored trading Young after both the 2008 and 2010 seasons, had approached the Phillies and another team about a Young deal even before clubs descended upon the Gaylord Opryland. 


It seems like the Phillies have been trying to acquire Young for four years. He’s an upgrade of the huge hole they have at third base, but he’s not young.

No longer an All-Star, Young batted .277 with eight home runs and 67 RBIs last season. He had a low on-base percentage of .312 and an OPS of .682, the lowest of his career and an almost 100-point drop from the previous decade.

Rube loves him some old white guys this time of year, and I’m not talking about Santa. The Phillies need to get younger, or add a superstar (Hamilton), or address their needs in the outfield, before we should get excited about Micael Young. That said, he’s better than what they got and he’s durable.


11:11 p.m.

Some updates from the evening, as I checked out for a few to film tomorrow night’s Great Sports Debate (THURSDAYS AT 7 ON COMCAST NETWORK!)

Jim Salisbury discusses the idea of Ichiro:

Sources say they’d love to get Peter Bourjos even though the Angels plan on keeping him and starting him in centerfield. A trade for Colorado’s Dexter Fowler is a possibility. And then there’s this whacky idea: Signing Ichiro Suzuki to play centerfield and trading for a corner man like Minnesota’s Josh Willingham. The Phils have interest in both players, sources say.

While it’s admittedly a reach to think Suzuki could play regularly in centerfield, Amaro did not shoot down the scenario when presented with it. He acknowledged that the Phils would have to be “creative” in finding the defense and offensive production they’d like to add in the outfield.


Amaro not shooting something down and shooting something down mean nothing. He likes to do that sort of thing for sport, I think.

Michael Bourn is probably still the best fit for the Phillies, but again, he’s going to get around $80 million, and Scott Boras is touting him as the elite center fielder on the market, which mean he expects more than B.J. Upton’s $75 million from the Braves.  

Nate Schierholtz signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Cubs. 

Joe Blanton signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Angels.


5:44 p.m.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are among the teams interested in Raul Ibanez. Fun.


4:01 p.m.

Ruben Amaro is asleep. But thankfully, we have Ryan Lawrence to take us inside the Phillies’ war room at the Omynreresspsrspsporrspirt Hotel in Nashville. Not surprisingly, a black cloth is draped across the Phillies’ offseason plans (if that’s not a metaphor for something, I don’t know what is): []

So while the New York Mets held a press conference to officially announce a contract extension with David Wright, and while the Washington Nationals add Dan Haren and Denard Span, the Braves add one Upton brother and are rumored to be in on the second, and the Marlins unload everyone other than Billy the Marlin, the Phils have been uncharacteristically quiet.

But quiet shouldn’t be misinterpreted as inactive.

Inside the Phillies’ executive suite is a dry erase board that has a black table cloth draped over it each time the media is invited in for an end-of-the-day rap session. While Amaro has been comfortable seated on the couch for these chats with the media, his top lieutenant, assistant GM Scott Proefrock, is chained to a table and focused on the computer screen in front of him.


There’s a Homeland corkboard reference to make somewhere here, but I’m too bored to find it.

12:26 p.m.

Readers Shane (who checked in earlier in the running commentary) and (our favorite business analyst) Adam are tired of waiting. I am, too. Let's go, Rube.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 12.25.43 PM
Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 12.25.43 PM


12:13 p.m.

Jon Heyman also says the Rangers are working very hard on aquiring Justin Upton– yet another example that they've moved away from Hamilton.


12:07 p.m.

In the past half day or so, we’ve heard that potential suitors for Josh Hamilton may be moving on: The Rangers are going hard after (and for) Zack Greinke, who is nuts. The Red Sox gave $80 million to Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli. And now the Mariners may be moving away from Hamilton. Jon Heyman reports that, like other teams, the Mariners are interested in a short-term agreement, and that they, like the Phillies, like Michael Bourn very much

So, it would seem that the Phillies and Mariners are both interested in the same two outfielders: Bourn and Hamilton. And it would seem that both are wary about giving Hamilton a long-term deal. 

MLB Trade Rumors writes: Most baseball people believe Hamilton will end up signing for five years or less, with some clubs exploring vesting options to protect themselves, says Heyman. He names the Mariners, Red Sox, Phillies and Brewers as teams besides the Rangers that have shown interest in the outfielder.

So, if the Rangers move on to Greinke… and if the Red Sox moved on to stupid contracts… that leaves the Phillies, Mariners and Brewers (one would think they are a long shot, if only because of their small market being terrible for endorsement deals, which Hamilton could use to supplement what is shaping up to be a reduced contract filled with vesting options).

11:25 a.m.

One again, the Rangers, who were previously rumored to be getting close to a deal with Josh Hamilton, are now favorites to land Zack Greinke, meaning they wouldn’t re-sign Hamilton.

9:28 a.m. 

Writing 400,000 words late last night, David Murphy of posits that trading Vance Worley would make sense: []

But let's go back to the original hypothetical that was posed to Amaro in early November. The scenario did not propose trading a high-priced veteran like Lee. It proposed trading a piece who has all of the characteristics that general managers covet: youth, success at the major league level, and a low salary. Like Vance Worley.

Making Worley a piece of a deal would weaken the Phillies' rotation, but the rotation might be easier, and more cost-effective, to address via free agency. The top of the market features Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster. But there is plenty of potential value to be had elsewhere: Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Carl Pavano, Joe Saunders and Kevin Correia are some of the names on the market. The Phillies also have a pair of minor league starters in Adam Morgan and Jonathan Pettibone who could merit a look at the major league level in 2013.


The thinking is that trading Worley could help the Phillies land a player like Justin Upton or another quality outfielder, and that it would be easier to fill Worley's role via free agency, given the current market for pitchers, than it would be to fill one of the outfield spots. Anyway, Murphy used a lot of words to say that.


9:19 a.m.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox and Phillies have not engaged in talks for Jacoby Ellsbury, as was assumed last night following a report by Buster Olney that the Red Sox were shopping Ellsbury. They're looking for pitching, which the Phillies have. We think. If Roy's healthy.


2:50 a.m.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes about the market drying up for Josh Hamilton. The Rangers are sounding like they've moved on (for now) to Zack Greinke. Few other teams have shown interest.

Jon Heyman says the Red Sox are "not focusing on" Hamilton. That makes sense, especially after paying Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli almost $80 million.

So, if the Rangers are out, and the Red Sox are out (this stuff changes by the minute), then that leaves the Mariners… and Phillies?



9:38 p.m.

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.54.09 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.54.09 PMJosh Hamilton has left the Winter Meetings

Some conflicting reports on Josh Hamilton. He supposedly made progress in negotiations with the Rangers, but


Jon Heyman is now reporting that talks are “on hold” as the Rangers focus on Zack Greinke.

Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram says that, as of early this evening, Hamilton hadn’t even met with the Rangers.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies, Mets and Yankees are in the mix for Scott Hairston. I’m sure Scott Franzke is just thrilled.


Jayson Stark on Chase Utley:

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.49.59 PM

Buster Olney reports that the Red Sox might be shopping Jacoby Ellsbury for pitching. The Phillies would be a fit.


To that point, Jim Salisbury says that the Phillies are shopping Vance Worley and Trevor May, not Cliff Lee. Ruben Amaro “vehemently shot down” that report, Salisbury says.


5:57 p.m.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports there is "no truth" to the Lee-Upton rumor.


5:55 p.m.

ESPN's Jim Bowden says it sounds like the Rockies won't trade Dexter Fowler, who was rumored to be on Amaro's radar, which is more like a wide net, tossed over anyone who has ever played outfield. Ever.


5:51 p.m.

Jayson Stark points out that Victorino signing with the Red Sox means Cody Ross won't be back. He could fit with the Phillies, some say. I say he can go to hell.


5:30 p.m.

Shane Victorino to the Red Sox. A three-year, $37.5 million deal. Only one writer from WEEI in Boston is reporting that the deal is done, but the folks over at MLB Trade Rumors ran with it, which is a solid endorsement.


5:17 p.m.

Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks manager, says: "I can tell you right now that's not going to happen."


5:15 p.m.

Ruben Amaro says: "I don't comment on rumors but that one is absolutely and unequivocally false."

So, it's 100% true.


5:13 p.m.

Per Pedro Gomez’s report on ESPN Insider: [paraphrasing] The Phillies would have to send some money to Arizona. How much is unclear. Gomez says “it appears the only way Philly can add significant salary is if they move a contract of their own and Lee appears to be the most likely to go.”

Gomez posits that the D-Backs could flip Lee for a shortstop or third baseman (their needs).

He also mentions Lee has a no-trade clause that includes all but eight teams. Upton has four teams on his and Gomez doesn’t believe the Phillies are on that list.

Can see a screengrab here courtesy of (@FlyersNation).

4:57 p.m.

Nick Piecoro of AZ Central tweets that a Diamondbacks source says the Lee-Upton deal "hasn't been discussed" and is "off-base." Jeff Passan of Yahoo! says the same things.


4:42 p.m.

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 4.44.19 PM

Here we go again– Pedro Gomez is reporting that Phils and D-Backs are discussing Cliff Lee for Justin Upton. Phils would also pay some of Lee’s salary, it seems.

As noted by Matt Gelb, Lee has three years and $87 million left on his contract.


Upton’s stats the last three seasons:

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 4.47.50 PM

He, too, has three years left on his deal, at around $38 million.

Conjecture: What if the Phils made this move and dumped Lee’s salary for Upton’s much more manageable contract, and used the excess money (after paying some of Lee's salary) to sign Josh Hamilton. Hmm. That, of course, would likely mean a deal for Hamilton would require well over five years, $125 million, which would be too long and too much.

Most thought Rube put Lee on waivers this summer for a reason… to see who was interested.


4:12 p.m.

The Red Sox and Indians are frontrunners for Shane Victorino. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have offered a three-year, $38 million deal.


4:02 p.m.

As we’ve mentioned before, the Phillies will get substantial additional revenue from upcoming local and national TV contracts – $27 million more per season that all teams will get from the league starting in 2014 and at least $30 million more per year from a local TV deal in 2015 – and that is the reason why, even with massive contracts to players like Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, the Phils could probably afford a similar contract to Josh Hamilton.

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports thinks so too. His take: [FOX Sports]

After losing out on free agents B.J. Upton and Pagan, Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is facing a more limited number of options to bolster his outfield. Michael Bourn, a fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2003, is the top true center fielder left on the free agent market, but it’s unclear if Amaro is ready to meet the asking price of agent Scott Boras.

Until the Phillies add an outfielder or two, speculation will persist about Hamilton as a fit in center or left. The Phillies can expect added revenues from a new local television rights agreement in the coming years, so Hamilton is more attainable than one might think given the existing commitments to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and the pricey rotation.


The Mariners are in on Michael Bourn now, so the Phillies' options continue to be limited.

2:31 p.m.

Jayson Stark:

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 2.42.23 PM

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and Josh Hamilton are making progress on a four-year deal (my estimation would be around $100 million). If that’s the price on Hamilton, and if Michael Bourn is really going to get an $80 million contract, it is almost a no-brainer to overspend on Hamilton, even if it means going five years, $125 million. I’ve listed the reasons why Hamilton is a huge risk – age, injuries, substance abuse problems and possible relapses – but that risk is much larger at the originally rumored seven-year, $175 million he was looking for. If you can get him at Ryan Howard dollars, then he may be a bargain– he was tied for second in the Majors in home runs last year with 43, second in RBIs with 128, fourth in slugging percentage at .577, and eighth in OPS at .930. And he missed 14 games, which makes his raw power numbers all the more impressive.

He would be used goods in years 5, 6 and 7 of a contract… but if you can get him for 4 or 5 years? Then it’s not so much of a risk. In fact, I’d encourage it.


1:30 p.m.

Jon Heyman on Michael Bourn:

The Marinersmay be emerging as a new possible suitor forMichael Bourn.

The Philliesare among other teams looking at Bourn.

Seattle has been in on Josh Hamiltonand Justin Uptonand has been seen as targeting corner players more than a canter fielder, but they could sign Bourn and moveFranklin Gutierrezto a corner outfield spot.

The NationalsBravesand Giantshave filled their center field jobs, narrowing the focus for Bourn, who has been expected to get a little more thanB.J. Upton, who signed for $75.25 million with the Braves over five years.


$80 million for Michael Bourn is ridiculous, and if it comes to that, I'd rather the Phillies overspend on Josh Hamilton than overspend on Bourn.


12:59 p.m.

Aloha. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says momentum is building for a Shane Victorino deal. Echoing other reports, he says the Phillies’ interest is “tepid.” But Victorino is being helped by large contracts given out to B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan– he's looking at 3-4 years. Red Sox, Cubs (beer!), and Yankees are in the mix.


12:43 p.m.

Readers are getting restless. Email from Shane (no, not Victorino):

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 12.43.07 PM


12:19 p.m.

Jim Bowden of ESPN views the Rangers and Red Sox as likely frontrunners for Hamilton, with the Yankees as the dark horse. No mention of the Phillies.


11:34 a.m.

While we wait for Rube to wake up today, enjoy this hilarious video, which I absolutely can't stop watching:


11:33 a.m.

Buster Olney points out that Haren's deal with the Nationals is pending a physical. There are some concerns with his hip. My grandmom's, too.


11:10 a.m.

The Nationals continue to make a splash. They have reached agreement with Dan Haren on a one-year, $13 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Also, Paul Hagen, formerly of the Daily News, now with, will be this year's recipient of the Hall of Fame's Taylor Spink Award.


9:05 a.m.

Todd Zolecki was on the WIP Morning Show this morning. His comments: “The Phillies would love to have Josh Hamilton on the roster, but right now the price is way too high.”

“If his price tag remains high and Hamilton wants a long-term deal, I don’t see the Phillies going in on it, because so many risks come with Josh Hamilton.”

Zolecki also mentioned that Michal Young is very attractive to the Phillies. Those rumors were posted earlier in this running commentary.

Buster Olney tweeted:

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.09.58 AMNo shit.

8:28 a.m.

Good morn. All was mostly quiet last night as scriptuals (and presumably some GMs) found some uglies to bump. A few updates, though: The first sign of Josh Hamilton’s faith has crept its way into hot stove discussions. This article from FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says that Hamilton met with Mariners officials on Sunday, and the whole religious angle may favor Seattle: [FOX Sports]


Hamilton’s wife, Katie, told Sports Illustrated in June that the family planned to donate a significant portion of Josh’s next contract to charities.

Pro Athletes Outreach, a Christian organization that ministers to athletes, coaches and their families, is based in Issaquah, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.


And from Josh?

Hamilton, a Christian, has said in the past that God will help him make his free-agent decision, an indication that he might not go to the highest bidder or best team.


Zealot. Anyway, that’s just conjecture from Morosi. But when religion comes into play, all reason stands a chance of being tossed into the wind and floated into the hands of God. So, the real question here: Is God a Phillies fan? And even if he is, there’s a chance he would blow that massive contract to a far away place, like Seattle… or Pittsburgh (just because God hates Pittsburgh).

The Hamilton talk is getting louder here. Both Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover of the Inquirer wrote about it today, though their stories are based on comments already posted in this running commentary.

Gelb: But chatter at these winter meetings has pegged the Phillies as possible suitors (for Hamilton) because of Amaro's willingness (and necessity) to make a splash. Moye, about as private as player agents come, would make for an ideal quiet negotiating partner.

Brookover: Free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton is still out there, of course. He would provide the kind of difference-making bat that would allow the Phillies to more easily take a chance on Darin Ruf in left field. Of all the Plan B's rattling around Amaro's mind, the scenario with Hamilton in center field and Ruf in left field on an almost regular basis has to be considered the one with the highest risk and highest reward.


That concept of Hamilton and Ruf in the outfield is an interesting one. Neither is a particularly reliable fielder (though Ruf says he’s improving). The working theory presented by Brookover is that if the Phillies were to sign Hamilton, John Mayberry would return as the everyday center fielder. I could live with Mayberry’s fielding (he tracks the ball well), but he’s not an everyday hitter. You know who is, though? Shane Victorino. If the Phillies’ only “upgrade” to their outfield this winter is Victo, then that would be considered a massive fail. But, if the Phillies were to sign Hamilton and Victorino, and give Ruf a shot in left, then that would be a major victory (at least in the short-term). The Victo-Hamilton thing is my own personal theory. But Victo wouldn’t break the bank and I bet he’d give the Phillies at least a slight hometown discount.

I have a feeling something happens today that changes the future of the Phillies. Rube keeps mentioning center field, which tells me he's looking everywhere else but center field.



6:07 p.m.

Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Phillies have talked to the Rockies about 26-year-old Dexter Fowler, who is under contract until 2016. He batted .300 last year with 13 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 11 triples. Rosenthal says Rockies would want pitching in return.

TR Sullivan of reports that the Phillies are interested in Michael Young, but gives no details. Young is 36-years-old and under contract until 2014.



5:48 p.m.

As pointed out by reader Joe, Ruben Amaro is slowly sliding his dick onto this table. These Tweets from Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News:

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 5.52.40 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 5.52.40 PMHere it comes.


5:29 p.m.

Ruben Amaro isn't worried. He says he had "10 Plan Bs" going into the offseason. We can only assume he means fallback options and not, you know…

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 5.32.09 PM 

… because that will get you sick in the morning.


5:06 p.m.

With Angel Pagan off the table, Matt Gelb of wonders if we haven’t been focusing on the wrong thing all along. Perhaps the Phillies aren’t going hard for a center fielder… perhaps they’re looking for a corner outfielder, like:

Josh Hamilton, probably a corner outfielder at this point in his career, has tantalizing talent with obvious risk. Nick Swisher, 32, has averaged 26 home runs and an .850 OPS during the previous four seasons. Ryan Ludwick, 34, bashed 26 home runs for Cincinnati in 2012.


Gelb writes that the Phillies do not want to meet Michael Bourn’s demands, which he says are higher than B.J. Upton’s, who got $75 million from the Braves (the Phillies only offered $55 million).

4:38 p.m.

After a somewhat quiet day (at least as it relates to the Phillies), things are starting to pick up as the GMs settle in and approach cocktail hour.

Strike another one off the board. The Phillies had been rumored to be interested in center fielder Angel Pagan, but he is close to a four-year, $40 million deal with the Giants. That pretty much leaves only Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino left has options in center field.

And then, of course, there’s Josh Hamilton. Jayson Stark checks in:

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.45.03 PM

Rube is quiet – too quiet – right now. But that’s just the way he likes it. I suspect things will pick up soon.


121 Responses

  1. It’s a pipe dream, probably, but I say sign Hamilton and trade for his teammate, Michael Young.
    That lineup could be scary. Streaky, yes, but scary nonetheless.
    Sign a solid 8th-inning, reliever, let the kids compete for the rest of the spots.
    Not a World Series lock, but not bad either.

  2. It’s also an old lineup. How many games can Utley play? And everyone is another year older. Although they dont have any other option at this point, Hamilton is mid thirties. Just a fact

  3. Oh my gawd! If they trade for Curtis motherfuckin’ Granderson I will have a stroke. Fuckin’ .232 with 195 strikeouts and a lefty. Imagine him hitting behind Howard.

  4. Kyle should be in Nashville covering the winter meetings. maybe talk & eavesdrop on some drunk GM’s at the hotel bar

  5. Frandsen should be the leadoff hitter… Or maybe even utley (with Frandsen 2nd). But Rollins needs to go bottom 3rd now.
    I dont want Michael Young
    And are we really back to thinking Rube is some genius again??????
    NO LOVE,
    Beez Nutz

  6. ^ Agreed. Anyone who wants Michael Young should just start from scratch and learn baseball all over again because you are a fucking idiot.

  7. Every possible player that we are hearing, either free agent or trade, makes me sick. Old, washed up, pricey, injury prone, etc. I would rather just bring up our young guys. Then I think about watching D Brown in RF, and I vomit all over myself. We are screwed

  8. Phillies fans love getting their dicks hard for big name free agents even if that means no payroll flexibility and an old as shit roster. Last thing that team needs is another aging player who can’t stay on the field.

  9. Still don’t want Victorino back. He still played like shit last year and when he was dropped in the lineup he benched himself.

  10. phillies should get david ortiz, josh beckett and see if they can rekindle their red sox magic

  11. also, should trade for a-rod..would fill need at 3B and maybe he can out together another good season

  12. Rollins
    Frandsen / Chavez (platoon)
    This is based off if Ruf sticks but if he does, he has to be the guy who splits all the lefties up.

  13. Rube is going to consume Hamilton’s soul for breakfast if he signs him. He’ll be banging hookers drunk, while smoking crack and shooting heroin a week after coming to Philly.

  14. The Yanks need serious help and limited options. I think they roll with Bret Garnder in CF and make Granderson available in trade. That is where I want Rube to go……maybe Young at 3B and you have a nice mix of young and old! Young only has one year left on his deal, nice stop gap with limited options at 3B this year

  15. BobHALO, I like that lineup. But Hamilton and Utley can hit lefties. No need to be so concerned with breaking the lefties up……

  16. Beez – Haren was traded to the Cubs last month for Carlos Marmol & the trade was cancelled by Chicago b/c they wouldn’t clear Haren medically. The Angels declined a 15mil option & he became a free agent. He still has to pass a physical with the Nats, but they’ll probably fudge it the way we did with Freddy Garcia years ago. Just like we learned with Bynum – when a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. If Haren was healthy he would have a lot more suitors & get more than 1yr 13mil. Heck, the Angels even paid him a 3.5mil buyout on what would have only been a 1 year deal. That tells you they didn’t want to be stuck with his whole salary on the books b/c they don’t think he’ll be healthy this year.

  17. Kyle, how much do you like the “winter meetings” to title this blog “STICKY”. what the fuck are you doing while updating this?

  18. This is starting to look like the Flyers attempt of signing of major players….not looking good.

  19. Rube is playing it cool but I hope he is taking into consideration the fact that it is no longer cool to play for the Phillies. If this were 2 years ago, we would have signed Upton after his visit. Suddenly our aging roster and starting rotation is working against us when trying to sign players. We will need to rely on home grown talent until we can prove that we are the team to beat again.

  20. Hamilton won’t ever come here. The media would be asking him daily if he took drugs the night before and would follow him around like paparazi, waiting and hoping for a mistake to be the first to write or tweet about it.

  21. Don’t give me that “we can’t spend the money” schpiel. A team like this with the highest attendence in the majors for two years running, top 5 every year since 2008. If they don’t pick up a big name free agent, it will be equivalent to theft from the fans at this point.

  22. “As we’ve mentioned before, (insert link to Crossingbroad page containing links to baseball writers twitter accounts/mlb trade rumors)……..”

  23. Rube better start hanging done all over these fucking meetings and making some big deal trades. What about Justin Upton? They want a SS right? Send them Galvis and Valle for Upton, THEN go sign Michael Young or Mark Reynolds.
    Time to start rolling the dice RAJ.

  24. Kyle, SHUT UP with the Ruben putting Lee on waivers theory.
    You, fucking YOU and only NON-EDUCATED baseball fans thought that move was to see who would be interested. AND WHO THE FUCK WOULDN’T BE INTERESTED IN CLIFF LEE?
    Give it up. You were embarrassed this summer by running with a story when it was COMMON PRACTICE in August and every other player was put on waivers, too. Stop trying to crawl back out of that hole, because you’re only digging yourself deeper.
    I like what you do, but this is fucking ridiculous. Anyone with a clue thinks you look like an idiotic child for even bringing that back up.

  25. Oh, and NEWSFLASH Kyle.
    Remember how Lee was claimed by the Dodgers? Yeah? And how he had to clear the NL teams with a worse record than the Dodgers in order to get to them (since that’s how waivers works)? Well the Dbacks had a worse record than the Dodgers. AND THEY DIDN’T CLAIM CLIFF.
    So if they were so interested, why wouldn’t they claim him?
    Your “theory” is retarded and claiming “most” thought RAJ was gauging interest is an insult to real baseball fans.

  26. RAJ is horrible. Got us into all these bad contracts and depleted our farm system. Now we still have one of the best rotations, but no bullpen and no offense. Time to blow up the team and get prospects before they go the way off the Eagles with no talent and no heart. Man it sucks to be a philly fan. We are starting another 20 years of no talent losing sports team!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Victorino signing with the Red Sox is a huge relief. Although all of the married dudes in Boston better watch their wives.

  28. Rube is such a dope – People assume Arizona would flip Lee to Texas for a shortstop (Profar or Andrus), but what if they flipped him to Atlanta for SS prospect Andrelton Simmons instead? The Phillies would be paying Cliff Lee to pitch for the Braves.

  29. If Cody Ross is in red pinstripes next year, ill be so pissed. That dude is a total fuck

  30. Now that Victo signed with the Sox, what about flipping a few prospects to Boston for Ellsbury? CF and leadoff hitter, only $8 million and on the last year of a deal, arbitration eligible next year.

  31. Yup – never speak again you fucking assclown. I wouldn’t trade fucking Spike Lee for Granderson let alone Cliff Lee.

  32. @Godfatherlocks: 1000* ROCKETS -1 WIN. ***10-1 last 11 NBA picks*** 19-5-1 ATS run in all leagues past 10 days. Check out the weekly subscription and win!

  33. Lee for Granderson? – that is one of the most heinous questions ive ever heard asked.
    Sign Hamilton and trade for Ellsbury. Done and done.
    although what in the hell are the Red Sox doing? Victorino over Ellsbury? Ellsbury has batted almost .300 for his career and is 29. Going from Vic to Ellsbury is a downgrade.
    In other words go get him Rube! And sign the drug addict to play one of the corner spots!

  34. I agree with boom! Amaro would be a major league FOOL if he doesn’t find a way to snatch up Ellsbury!

  35. All of these ads and links loading are fucking annoying as shit on a mobile

  36. I have a feeling this blog will just be this hot stove post the whole week

  37. here comes report from curt schilling that philly called boston to see about Lee for Ellsbury, should be posted in

  38. Here comes retraction that that was actually schilling requesting the phils to do that, i quit

  39. Crasnick just answered a question in that live feed thing on ESPN saying that the Phillies will pursue Bourn but it depends on $$ and that Cody Ross is a good fit.

  40. I agree. Fuck Cody Ross. I don’t even want to hear that shit. I’d rather do nothing then sign that mouth breather.

  41. I don’t want Bourn either for the $$ he’d cost.
    He better work a damn trade or sign Hamilton, otherwise we’re going to field the same team as last year and pray.

  42. I told you trading Pence was fuckin stupid
    Glad we got shit for him
    Glad we gave up a ton for him
    Fuck Rube … Ed Wade should actually be running this team, I cant believe I just wrote that

  43. We’re expecting a healthy Howard & Utley returning.
    Get ready to hear that 1000 times from Rube


  45. @Tee
    I dont think he “stinks” but he was over-jetered as shit, I agree with that.
    Still at this point not sure what the logic in moving him was (considering we got nothing). Id have just paid him for the 1 year and let him go after.

  46. At this point I dont care if they sign anyone. Id almost prefer they didnt.
    Bring up Ruf and maybe try to sign Ichiro to a 1 year deal.
    Pray Halladay is back to being the man and they should be alot better
    They were pretty good in the 2nd half. Who knows

  47. @Beez
    not a bad plan but we need Bullpen help and we still need a CF of some kind. Farmer John Mayberry in center field is no way to go through life.

  48. @boom
    agreed im not wild about running mayberry out there in CF either. But IMO for one year that is better than droppin serious coin on Bourne.
    The bullpen is 100% something that needs to be addressed, but I was more addressing the everyday players.

  49. if we’re signing an aging vet i’d rather get me some ee chee roh before raul. although ichrio’s OBS took a hit last year…
    trade for stanton. i think he hit 55hr against us last year in the 5 fucking games he played here. he would be a MONSTER in CBP.

  50. Jayson Stark
    @jaysonst#Phillies have touched base w agents for 2nd-tier starters to express tentative interest, in case they trade Vance Worley.
    Well that’s encouraging I guess.

  51. The “There’s a blah blah blah reference to make somewhere here, but” joke is getting old, and it wasn’t even that funny the first ten times you’ve done it. Please pronounce this pathetic display of writing dead. If you don’t have the skills to make a funny reference, then just don’t

  52. @Godfatherlocks: 9 STRAIGHT NBA WINNERS & 11-1 last 12 NBA picks. 21-5-1 ATS the past 11 days and a 5-0 week going. Check out the weekly subscription & win!

  53. Bourn is an awful fit and will be REALLLLLLLY overpriced. We need scrappy hitters, not a K machine with the occasionall HR. Been there, done that. It isn’t sustainable. I’d take Cody Ross (choking as I wrote that) over bourn.

  54. Josh Willingham baby! Reppin that since his Marlins/Nats days, get that mofo for one of the corner spots regardless, dude will be a beast at the bank.
    Mikey Young? We better get that white boy cheap.
    Sign the drug addict for CF, Willingham in left. Then we might be in business as long as Chase keeps secretly putting tobacco in Hamilton’s gum.

  55. They should’ve signed Willingham last year. Big fan of the hammer. If they could somehow get him, I’d be extremely excited.

  56. I too want Willingham and wanted him last year but I dont see it happening
    And no thanks to Fowler either … can they go after anyone that has less than 100 strikeouts every year to play CF.. WTF

  57. They shoulda went after Keppinger … coulda played 3B this season and replaced Utley after that

  58. @FACE
    I was just looking at this Ben Revere (mentioned in that article by Knobbler) guy .. admittedly i know nothing about him
    Just based off stats that’s who I want. not sure what they’d need to give up but that is the guy they should target

  59. @Beez
    indeed Keppinger, where was Rube at one that one?
    Mikey Young LOVES TEXAS and TEXAS LOVES Mikey.
    better move on Willingham.
    this whole thing looks like it’s going to come down to an old fashioned standoff between Michael Bourn ( whose suitors will dwindle to only the Phillies if he keeps that price up) and the Phillies (whose candidates are dwindling to only Bourn).

  60. Dude, please stop slurping Hamilton’s nuts. They have to be chafing by now. You sound like a school girl bitch.

  61. Agreed, I’d be in on Ben Revere. I would’ve liked Denard Span too. We could’ve easily made the trade the Nats made.
    I actually really like this Michael Young move. This is essentially the Cudyer they missed out on last year. He can play any infield spot and he can rotate to give guys rest and is insurance against injury. That and Texas is eating most of his salary.
    This outfield problem is getting murky though…really wish I knew what Rube was thinking there.

  62. Phillies took outfielder Ender Inciarte in the rule 5.
    Decent numbers in the minor leagues. Hits around .280 for his career, high on base percentage and has pop…Nothing move but who knows.

  63. @FACE
    we also could’ve easily made the deal the Giants made for Pagan.
    Ruben better know what the eff he’s doing.
    missed out on: Pagan, Span, Keppinger so far….

  64. Young is perfect for this team. One year at a discount of Michael Young playing for his baseball career and his next possible FA contract on the line? It’s a great move imo. That doesn’t help the OF, but I think picking up one good OF will do the job with Ruf, Mayberry, and ________ Along with improved production at 3rd with Young. Improved 1st base with Howard, And more Utley. If Mayberry and/or Ruf can’t prove himself up until the TDL then make another move granting they are in the playoff hunt, which they should. Ibanez and Suzuki wouldn’t hurt to have either, they’re still unemployed at this point. Rube has his work cut out for him sons.

  65. DUDE, Heyman is a fucking joke and is the worst there is. He is nothing but a source for agents to get there shit out there. He should be on the Boras payroll. The fact you think he is the best there is, speaks volumes

  66. So Revere (another lefty, .295ish avg with 40 SB last year) hopefully will be leading off for us right? RIGHT??? Rollins better not even sniff anything above the 6 hole this year.

  67. If Hamilton signs for 3yrs/60mil and it isn’t with the phillies, Rube should be fired on the spot.

  68. @Mike
    and yet there will be plenty of people that applaud him for not committing 20 mil a year when he’s a huge risk…i suppose i fall somewhere in between, but so goes the life of GM.
    people hate him for big deals, people hate for not going for the big deals, and around and around we go….

Comments are closed.