The Phils have tendered contracts to the four players on the team who are still arbitration eligible after they had traded Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Vladez. Although it is expected that all four will receive an increase in salary whether they accept the proffered contracts, or go through arbitration, most of the fanbase would prefer that the Phils give multi-year contracts to both Hamels and Pence, especially Hamels, to keep them with the team for a while. As for Kendrick and Valdez, the two have shown their worth as insurance policies in case somebody gets hurt (although Kendrick had also shown that he can be a very good asset in the bullpen).
While this is going on, there has been reports that the Phils have signed to a one-year contract, pending him passing a physical, left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Willis, a former Rookie of the Year (2003 with the Marlins), pitched for the Reds last season, going 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts. Being mostly a starter during his nine-years career with the Marlins, the Tigers, the D-backs and the Reds, Willis had complied a record of 72-69 with an ERA of 4.17, as he had appeared in 205 games, all but three as a starter. The Phils, if he passes the physical, will more than likely be using him out of the bullpen as a left-handed specialist, and a spot-starter, as a kind of compliment to Kendrick, since there is really no way that he will be able to make the rotation, especially with his issues with his control.
Hopefully, the signing of Willis will end up being a good move for the Phils for next season.
According to reports yesterday, the Phils have signed former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year contract worth $50 million dollars, with a possible vetting for a fifth season that could lead to a total of $60 million, all pending on him passing a physical. If this is true, it means that the Phils are passing up on Ryan Madson, who, earlier in the week, was going to sign a four-year contract, worth $44 million, with a possible fifth season, before talks stalled. Reports are that the stalling might have been because Madson’s agent Scott Boras started playing games to push up Madson’s price. If that is so, than Madson has only Boras to blame for his being past over by the Phils, and Papelbon have Boras to thank for the deal he has just gotten, as it is obvious that Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. refuses to play Boras’ little games.
Papelbon, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, pitched the last seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, being a member of the 2007 World Series Championship team. During those seven seasons, he had saved 219 games in 248 chances, as he pitched in 396 games, pitching all but three games as a reliever, with a record of 23-19 and an ERA of 2.33. In 429.1 innings pitched, Papelbon struck out 509 batters, while walking just 115. Last season, as a member of the 2011 Red Sox, which had one of the worst collapses in Major League History, missing the playoffs on the last week of the season, he pitched in 63 games, saving 31 games in 34 attempts, having a 4-1 record with a 2.94 ERA, as he pitched 64.1 innings, striking out 87 batters while walking only 10.
Welcome to the Phils, Mr. Papelbon. I hope that you’ll be able to do what everyone is expecting, especially after what had happened in 2011 up in Boston. As for Ryan, sorry to see you go. Thanks for what you did while a member of the Phils, and I hope that you’ll be able to find another team, especially after what have happened this past week.
Oswalt approves deal to go to Phillies
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
HOUSTON — Roy Oswalt, one of the greatest pitchers to wear an Astros uniform, is headed to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Oswalt told the Astros on Thursday afternoon he would waive his no-trade clause in order to approve a trade to the two-time defending National League champions, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The two sides were working the final details of the deal, which is expected to be announced today.
The Astros and Phillies reached a deal on Wednesday night to send Oswalt to the Phillies if the pitcher agreed to waive his no-trade clause. Left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ and Minor League outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar are expected to come to the Astros, who are also expected to pay a portion of Oswalt’s contract.
When reached by MLB.com earlier Thursday afternoon, Oswalt said he hadn’t made a decision.
“No news yet,” he said.
Oswalt is owed about $5 million more this year and is due to make $16 million next season in the last year of his contract, but there’s a club option for 2012 that would pay him another $16 million.
The Astros had been fielding calls about Oswalt since he informed the team in May he wanted to be traded to a contender. Oswalt said Wednesday he would like to have some time to decide prior to Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accommodate any deals the Astros put on the table.
Oswalt is 6-12 with a 3.42 ERA, but he has received some of the worst run support in the league. He has 143 wins and needed just one more victory to tie Joe Niekro for first place on the club’s all-time list.
The two-time defending National League champion Phillies are 54-46 and trail the Braves by 3 1/2 games in the NL East. By adding Oswalt, they bolstered a pitching staff, which boasts Roy Halladay, that’s ranked seventh in the NL with a 3.99 ERA.
Let see his stats: Played almost ten years for the Astros. Career record of 143-82 3.42 ERA, 303 Games Played, 291 Games Started, 19 Complete Games, 7 Shut Outs, 1932.1 Innings Pitched, 1593 Ks, 446 BBs, 1865 Hits, 747 Runs, 696 Earned Runs. Hmm, welcome to the team, Roy 2. Hope you do real well here.
Sorry to see you go, J.A. Happ. Wish you a lot of luck in Houston.
Okay, guys, time to charge after the Braves. Yeeeeee haaawwwwww!!!! Go Phils!!!
With the signing of Carlos Ruiz to a three-year contract worth $8.85 million dollars and the earlier signing of Shane Victorino to a three-year deal worth $22 million dollars, the Phils have signed all four players that were originally arbitration eligible.
Last Friday the Phils announced that they had signed their center fielder, Shane Victorino, to a three-year, $22 million dollars deal, which buys out the final two arbitration years and his first year of free agency. Victorino, who, in 2009, batted .292 with 39 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases, will be with the ballclub until 2012. He and the Phils both hope that he will build on his success in both 2008 and 2009.
Carlos’ deal involved three years worth $8.85 million dollars, with a fourth-year club option worth either $5 million dollars or a $500,000 buyout, plus performance incentives based on games started, pending a physical. As with Victorino, the signing take care of the remainder of his arbitration years plus, possibly, his first year of free agency. In 2009, Ruiz batted .255 with 43 RBIs and a career-high 9 home runs. Although he has batted .246 in four years with the Phils, he is a .303 hitter during the playoffs.
There is also a report that the Phils have signed Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies pitcher Jose Contreras to a one-year deal worth about $1 million dollars, to add him to the presently weak bullpen. Contreras, if he has been signed, will most likely be taking Chan Ho Park’s position in the bullpen as long reliever and spot starter. In 2009, for the White Sox and the Rockies, Contreras went 6-13 with an ERA of 4.92 in 28 games (23 starts), striking out 106 batters while walking 53 in 131 2/3 innings of work. Career-wise, he is 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA.
Although best known as the betrayed manager of the infamous 1919 Black Sox, Kid Gleason began and ended his baseball career in Philadelphia, first as a pitcher for the Phillies and later as a coach for Connie Mack’s A’s.
William J. Gleason, Jr. was born on October 26, 1866 in Camden, N.J., although at least one biographer claims that he was born in south Philadelphia and that his family would move across the Delaware River to Camden while a toddler. Gleason’s father, William, Sr. worked as a foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, working out of the Market Street Ferry Terminal. Growing up, Gleason would play baseball, being nicknamed the ‘Kid’ because of both his short stature and his energetic, youthful play, while also working as a brakeman for the railroad, continuing to perform that duty during the off-season for a short time after becoming a professional ballplayer. After playing for local Camden ballclubs, including the Camden Merrit club in 1885, he would play for a team in Williamsport, PA., in 1887 and then play for a team in Scranton, PA., later that same year. The following year, he would play his first professional ballgame as a member of Harry Wright’s Philadelphia Phillies, making his major league debut on April 20, debuting as the team’s opening day pitcher. Pitching against the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves), the team would lose 4-3.
Playing in twenty-five games during that first season with the Phillies, all but one of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in twenty-three games and finished the other one. His record for the year would be 7-16 with a 2.84 ERA, as he would pitch in 199.7 innings, giving up 199 hits, 11 of which would be home runs, leading the team in that category that year, allow 112 runs to score, 63 of which would be earned, as he would also walk 53 batters, strike out 89, hit 12 batters, leading the team in that category, and throw 11 wild pitches. The following year, 1889, Gleason would play in thirty games, pitching in twenty-nine of them. He would start in twenty-one games, completing fifteen, and finishing seven other games, being the team’s leader in that category. His record for the season would be 9-15 with an ERA of 5.58, as he would pitch in 205 innings, giving up 242 hits, including 8 home runs, while allowing 177 runners to score, with 127 of them being earned. He would also walk 97 batters while striking out 64, hit 9 batters, once again leading the team’s pitching staff and throw 14 wild pitches. Gleason would also save one game, putting him in a tie for the team’s lead with Ben Sanders.
1890 would be the Kid’s breakout year as a pitcher as he would become the team’s ace thanks to that year’s Players’ League revolt. He would start the year off as the team’s opening day pitcher, facing future Hall of Famer Amos Rusie of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants on April 19, leading the Phils to a 4-0 victory over the previous season’s National League champ. Appearing in sixty-three games that season, he would play sixty games as a pitcher and two as a second baseman. Gleason would start in fifty-five games, completing all but one, while finishing the other five, placing him third in the NL in all three categories. His record for the season would be 38-17 for a .691 winning percentage, leading the team in wins (while setting the team’s record for wins in a season, which still stands) and winning percentage and placing him second behind Bill Hutchinson of the Chicago Colts in wins and second behind Tom Lovett of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in winning percenatge, with an ERA of 2.63, leading the team and placing him fifth in the league. He would perform six shut outs, placing him second behind Kid Nichols of the Beaneaters. Gleason would also have two saves, tying him for first place in the NL with Dave Foutz of the Bridegrooms and Hutchinson of the Colts. He would pitch in 506 innings (3), giving up 479 hits (3), of which 8 would be for home runs. Gleason would also give up 253 runs, of which 148 were earned (4), walk 167 batters (5), strike out 222 (3T), perform one balk and throw 11 wild pitches. The following season, 1891, he would once again be the Phils’ opening day pitcher, pitching against the Bridegrooms on April 22, as the Phils would lose the game, 1-0. The Kid would have another winning season, but just barely, as his record drops to 24-22 with an ERA of 3.51, although leading the team in wins and ERA, and, sadly, also losses. In sixty-five games, fifty-three of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in forty-four, completing forty games and finishing nine others, leading the team in all four categories, as well as leading the NL in games finished. He would have one shutout, tying him for the team’s lead with Duke Esper and John Thornton and one save. Gleason would pitch in 418 innings, giving up 431 hits, 10 of which would be for home runs, while also giving up 237 runs, 148 of which would be earned, leading the team in innings pitched, hits allowed, home runs allowed and earned runs allowed. He would also walk 165 batters while striking out only 100, and throw 17 wild pitches, leading the team in both walks and wild pitches. This would be his last season as a Phillie as at some point between the 1891 and the 1892 seasons the Phils would either let him go or trade him to the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) one of the four teams picked up by the National League following the folding of the then second Major League, the American Association.
Among Phillies’ leader, Gleason is presently still 16th in wins (78), 21st in losses (70), 22nd in ERA (3.29), 58th in games pitched (166), tied for 27th in games started (143), 11th in complete games (132), tied for 37th in shut outs (7), tied for 89th in saves (4), 17th in innings pitched (1328.2), 18th in hits allowed (1351), 12th in runs allowed (779), 23rd in earned runs allowed (501), tied for 89th in home runs allowed (37), 9th in walks (482), 34th in strike outs (475), tied for 12th in hit batters (49), 9th in wild pitches (53) and 176th in winning percentage (.527). But, this would not be the last time that Phillies fans would see Gleason as a Phil, but we are presently getting ahead of ourselves.
Gleason would spend two plus seasons with the St. Louis Browns. He would begin the 1892 season as their opening day pitcher, going against the Chicago Colts on April 12, that would end up as a 14-10 lost for the Browns. Gleason would play in sixty-six games, forty-seven of them as a pitcher, of which forty-five would be starts, completing all but two. The rest he would play as either a shortstop or in the outfield. Gleason’s record that season would be 20-24, including two shut outs, with an ERA of 3.33. He would pitch 300 innings that year, giving up 389 hits, 11 of which would be for home runs (7), allow 244 runs to score, of which 148 would be earned (9). Gleason would also walk 151 batters, while striking out 133 and throw 9 wild pitches. He would lead the Browns in all pitching categories mentioned, except for ERA and runs allowed. The following year, 1893, would see him play in fifty-nine games, of which he would pitch in forty-eight games (6T), starting forty-five games (4), completing thirty-seven of them (8), while finishing three, pitching one shut out and saving one game (6T). In 380 and a third innings (7), he would give up 436 hits (5), of which 18 would be for home runs (2), while allowing 276 runs to score, of which 195 were earned, the lead leader in that category. He would also walk 187 batters (3), while striking out 86 and throwing 16 wild pitches (5). He would lead the Browns in wins, games started, home runs allowed, walks, hits allowed, earned runs allowed and wild pitches, while being tied for the lead in games pitched, saves and shut outs.
The 1894 season would see him play for two teams. He would begin the year playing for the Browns, with a record of 2-6 and an ERA of 6.05 in eight games pitched, all starts, with six complete games. Overall, he would play just 9 games with the Browns, playing his other game as a first baseman. He would pitch in only 58 innings, giving up just 75 hits, only two of which would be for home runs, as he would give up 50 runs, only 39 of which would be earned, while walking just 21 batters, striking out 9 and throwing just one wild pitch. On June 23, 1894, the Browns would sell him to the Baltimore Orioles for $2400. Kid would become sort of rejuvenated upon joining the Orioles, as he would end the season with a 15-5 record with a 4.45 ERA, as he would pitch in twenty-one games, playing twenty-six games overall, as he would start twenty games, completing all but one, and finishing one other game. Pitching in 172 innings, he would give up 224 hits, only three of which would be for home runs, allow 111 runs to cross the plate, of which only 85 would be earned. He would also walk 44 batters, while striking out 35 and throwing only three wild pitches, as he would help lead the Orioles to the first of two straight pennants (1894-1895) as a member of their ball club. This would turn out to be his last major year as a pitcher, as the National League, now the only major league in existance, would move the pitcher’s mound to its modern distance of 60′ 6″ from home plate, ending his effectiveness as a pitcher. He would appear in just nine more games as a pitcher in 1895, starting in five, completing three games, and finishing the other four, recording one save, as he would record a 2-4 record with an ERA of 6.97. Gleason would pitch in 50 and a third innings, giving up 77 hits, four of which would be home runs, as he would allow 51 runs to score, of which 39 would be earned. He would also walk 21 batters while striking out 6 and throw one wild pitch.
In nine season as a pitcher, Gleason would compile a record of 138-131 for the Phillies, the Browns and the Orioles for a winning percentage of .513, with a 3.79 ERA. He would pitch in 299 games, starting 266 games and finishing 30 others. Gleason would complete 240 games, while throwing 10 shut outs and saving six. The Kid would pitch in 2389.3 innings, giving up 2552 hits, of which 75 would be home runs, while allowing 1511 runs to score, of which 1007 would be earned. He would also walk 906 batters, strike out 744, hit 21 batters, throw 83 wild pitches and commit one balk.
During the 1895 season, Orioles’ manager, future Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon, would turn Gleason into an everyday player, mainly playing at second base. During that first season as a regular, Gleason would blossom as a player, hitting .309, with a slugging percentage of .399 and an on-base percentage of .366, as he would go 130 for 421 in 112 games. He would knock in 74 runs while scoring 90, as he would collect 14 doubles and 12 triples, while walking 33 times as he would strike out only 18 times. He would also steal 19 bases, as he would help lead the Orioles to their second straight NL pennant. On November 15, the Orioles would send Gleason and $3500 to the Giants, in exchange for catcher Jack Doyle.
I will continue the story on Kid Gleason next week, starting with his years playing for the New York Giants.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org, Delaware Valley Rhythm and Blues Society, Inc.com-Camden Sports Hall of Fame, The Baseball Page.com, Phillies.com
The Phillies have announced earlier today that they have finally released Adam Eaton. Joining the Phillies as a free agent in 2007 after signing a three-year contract worth $24.5 million, Eaton in two years with the Phillies would pitch in 51 games (49 starts) and would go 14-18 with a high ERA of 6.10. Late in the 2008 season, he would be taken out of the rotation and sent to the minors to see if he could improve his pitching, as was done earlier with fellow Phil Brett Myers. Unlike Myers, who would got his brain back into the game in time to have a stellar second half, thus helping get the team into the playoffs and World Series, Eaton would only get worst in the minors, getting bombed in each of his outings. Although called back up to the team in September, he would make very few mound appearences for the ballclub, and would not be placed on the post-season roster.
Eaton, who has been in the major leagues for nine years with the Padres and Rangers, along with the Phils, has a career record of 68-83 in 197 games (193 starts) with an ERA of 4.80.
With his release, the Phillies will be paying the last year of his contract, worth $8.5 million. Eaton has already expressed during the early part of Spring Training that he is sure that another team will pick him up. Me, I’m not so sure, since no one wanted to take him off of the Phillies hand when they tried to trade him during the off-season. But, anything is possible, but I will state right now that I will feel sorry for whichever team does pick him up and he continues to pitch as badly for them as he has done during the last two seasons while pitching for the Phils.
Goodbye, Eaton. I wish you luck, but I seriously don’t expect to see you with another team until you can prove that you can pitch.
Right on the heels of Jayson Werth signing a two-year, $10 million contract with the Phils, the Phillies has just signed reliever Chad Durbin to a one-year deal worth $1.635 million dollars, leaving Ryan Howard as the only one of the original arbitration eight still not under contract.
Chad Durbin, pitching in the bullpen, made 71 appearances for the Phillies in 2008, going 5-4 with an ERA of 2.87 while pitching a total of 87.2 innings. Career-wise, Durbin has a record of 30-41 with an ERA of 5.29, appearing in 185, 75 of which were starts, for a total of 552.2 innings of work.
With Durbin’s signing, the Phillies now have only Ryan Howard to worry about going to arbitration, as he asks for $18 million while they offer him $14 million.
I was right again about the Phillies signing Durbin before the weekend, I just was not expecting it to happen so soon. Another good move by the front office. Now then, how about trying to tie down Howard, while getting a right handed bat for the bench and someone of the lefthanded variety to pitch in place of J.C. Romero while he’s out for fifty games.