Raul Ibanez, a left-handed free agent outfielder, has just signed a three-year, $30 Million contract with the Phillies, pending on him passing a physical. His signing, once he has passed the physical, will more than likely mean that the Phillies will no longer be persuing right-handed free agent outfielder Pat Burrell, while adding another potent left-handed bat to their lineup. Ibanez, who had spent the last five years playing for the Seattle Mariners of the American League, ended 2008 with a .293 Batting Average, 23 homers, 110 RBIs, a .358 On-Base Percentage and a .472 Slugging Percentage, would be replacing Pat Burrell’s 30 homers plus bat.
I will say this, I was not expecting Ruben Amaro Junior to actually pull off something like this, especially as he has been saying for the past month or so that pitching was the team’s number one priority, and that he works for a bunch of cheap skate owners. I don’t know, maybe the owners have decided to spend some money after all. If so, I hope this will turn out to be a good move for the team, although they should’ve gone after a rightie, to take some of the pressure off of their other lefties in the lineup, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I’m going to give this signing the benefit of the doubt, for now. But, if it goes south in ’09, I’m going to be having a hard time not being a Phillies boo bird.
Oh, Ruben, by the way, about the pitching, are you still going after Jamie, or is Derek Lowe the one who is now in your sights? Or, is it both pitchers that you’re after now? Just checking, is all.
Phils have specific goals for Vegas
Entering Winter Meetings, re-signing Moyer remains priority
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Will that include some actual spending, Ruben? I’ll be right here waiting for nothing to happen. Am I’m being cyncial? What was your first clue?
PHILADELPHIA — The next phase of Ruben Amaro Jr.’s accelerated stint as Phillies general manager starts Dec. 8, when representatives from all 30 teams gather for the annual Winter Meetings.
Though the Meetings are being held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from Dec. 8-11, the Phillies don’t plan to hit the jackpot. Re-signing starter Jamie Moyer remains a priority, along with continuing the search for a left-field solution should Pat Burrell leave as a free agent.
“Pitching wins, and we want to strengthen that,” Amaro said on the day he was introduced as general manager. “That’s our focus.”
It has remained the focus, especially on a team looking to become the first National League team to repeat as World Series champions since the 1975-76 Reds. A team with expected payroll increases may not have financial room to add CC Sabathia or Manny Ramirez, but it will explore tweaks as necessary.
“We have things to deal with,” Amaro said last week. “We’re trying to improve our club, and we will look at every option.”
With the 2009 returns of second baseman Chase Utley (right hip surgery) and third baseman Pedro Feliz (back surgery) unclear, the team has explored utility player options such as former Phillie Nick Punto, as well as adding another arm to an already deep and effective bullpen.
In case Moyer doesn’t return, the Phillies have kicked the tires with the representatives for free-agent right-handers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe. On the outfielder front, while they will continue to speak with Burrell, the names Raul Ibanez, Rocco Baldelli and Juan Rivera remain on the surface.
Like many teams, the Phillies may have to wait until Sabathia and Ramirez make decisions on their futures, opening up the rest of the market.
Amaro has been swamped since officially replacing Pat Gillick as general manager on Nov. 3. Later that day, he whisked away to the GM Meetings in Dana Point, Calif., briefly interrupting that cross-country journey for a trip with manager Charlie Manuel to dismiss third-base coach Steve Smith.
In the next three weeks, Amaro hired Benny Looper and Scott Proefrock as assistant general managers and promoted Chuck LaMar to assistant general manager. Amaro also negotiated deals with pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Milt Thompson, first-base coach Davey Lopes and new bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer.
Bench coach Jimy Williams resigned and was replaced by Pete Mackanin, while Sam Perlozzo took over as third-base coach.
On the field, Amaro re-signed Scott Eyre to a one-year, $2 million contract extension, and hopes to do the same with Moyer. The team added organizational depth by signing reliever Mike Koplove to a Minor League deal, and would like to bring in more arms to compete for jobs in an already deep and effective bullpen.
Dealing outfielder Greg Golson to the Rangers for Minor Leaguer John Mayberry on Nov. 20 potentially added a right-handed corner outfielder, at least for the long term.
Internally, the Phillies are also believed to be mulling ways to sign Ryan Madson, Jayson Werth and Cole Hamels to contract extensions to avoid arbitration and keep them around beyond ’09 (for Madson and Werth) and ’12 (Hamels), respectively.
It’s assumed that Amaro took a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will now turn toward some Christmas shopping.
“We’ll be looking at every possible way to improve our club,” he said. (H/T Phillies.com)
I’m hoping that Ruben will get off his *** and re-sign Moyer and hopefully Burrell, while extending the contracts of Madson, Werth and Hamels, but frankly, I’m not holding my breath that any of this will be done before the year is over as long as the idiots running this club are a bunch of tightwads with the dough. Oh, guys, kindly spend the dough for these guys. And Ruben, how about doing some work, that’s all I ask.
Phillies decline to make offers to four
Arbitration not extended to Moyer, Burrell, Gordon or Seanez
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Say what?? Not even with Moyer? Are the penny pinching idiots at it again????
PHILADELPHIA — Perhaps mindful of the raises Pat Burrell or Jamie Moyer might earn through salary arbitration, the Phillies opted not to offer arbitration to any of their four eligible free agents, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The decision, a procedural move, allows the Phillies to negotiate with the players on their own terms, rather than potentially guaranteeing a raise based on last season’s salary. Because they didn’t offer arbitration to Burrell, Moyer, Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, the Phillies forfeited Draft-pick compensation if those players sign with another team.
This doesn’t prohibit the defending World Series champions from bringing back any of the affected players, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said that the Phillies would like to bring back Moyer, at least. By offering six-year free agents arbitration by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, clubs would guarantee two Draft picks for any Type A free agent it lost, such as Moyer and Burrell.
A club cannot receive compensation for any free agent it loses if it does not offer arbitration. Because the Phillies can still negotiate with Moyer and Burrell — unlike in previous years, prior to a Basic Agreement change — Monday’s deadline was more about compensation and salary, not a lack of interest in either player.
The Phillies are faced with 10 potential arbitration cases — including World Series MVP Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin and Jayson Werth — and didn’t want to run the risk of seeing the payroll jump even further.
While protecting Draft picks is incentive for teams to offer arbitration, the danger of a player accepting can make it not worth the risk. In recent years, the Phillies have been burned in this manner by Kevin Millwood and Placido Polanco.
Burrell is coming off a season in which he earned $14 million, while hitting 33 homers and driving in 86 runs. Given the state of the economy, Burrell might not have received anything close to that annual salary and may have accepted the offer, essentially making him a signed player and guaranteeing himself a raise.
Ditto for Moyer, who earned $8.5 million after incentives, and went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts for Philadelphia. While the organization has made no secret of its desire to keep the 46-year-old — especially with a one-year deal — perhaps the team just wanted to continue talks on its own terms.
Discussions with Moyer have grown cold in recent weeks, even as the sides appeared close and the Phillies have prioritized bringing back the lefty. Moyer is believed to be seeking a multiyear deal, but his earning potential for 2009 likely prompted Philadelphia’s decision.
Though the Phillies could likely budget for the players, the uncertainty was likely a factor as it could influence the team’s pursuit of other free agents. It may now affect the chase for pitchers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe and outfielder Raul Ibanez, because all three were offered arbitration by their respective teams.
Because the Phillies won’t receive compensation if they lose one of their own free agents, they may be reluctant to sign a player who would cost them their own first-round Draft pick. Rocco Baldelli and Juan Rivera are two potential fits who can be signed without losing a Draft pick. (H/T Phillies.com)
Okay, I can understand why they are not going to make arbitration offers to either Gordon (Injury) and Seanez, and also why they are skipping it with Pat the Bat, but I can not understand for the life of me why they aren’t making such an offer to Moyer, especially with them constantly saying that re-signing Moyer is a top priority. (Sure it is. Prove it to me. Sign HIM!!!) I wonder if the penny pinching morons who call themselves owners are behind this move? If so, shame on you. Stop being so penny wise and pound foolish, you dorks. Spend some money. If you want Moyer back, be willing to pay him what he wants, if it is within reason. Stop being so worried about money. You want to repeat in ’09? Spend the money to do it now. GGGRRRR!!!!
The only thing missing is the official press release. Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said Friday that he couldn’t comment, though sources have confirmed the acquisition of Stairs for an unidentified Minor Leaguer.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies would send left-hander Fabio Castro to Toronto. Castro, who is 8-4 with a 4.71 ERA this season at two Minor League levels, was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Friday’s game.
Philadelphia didn’t make a corresponding roster move, with a team spokesman saying one would be made before Saturday’s game.
“If you’re guessing that it could be in the state of Pennsylvania,” Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said, “I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong, but, I’m not going to tell you anything else.”
Ricciardi, speaking to reporters at Yankee Stadium before Friday’s Jays-Yankees game, adding that his club hoped to complete the trade by Saturday at the latest.
The Jays designated the 40-year-old Stairs for assignment Thursday to make room for top outfield prospect Travis Snider. The Phillies had been searching for a left-handed hitter off the bench, and intensified that search after potentially losing Geoff Jenkins for the season with a strained right hip flexor.
Stairs is hitting .250 this season with 11 homers and 44 RBIs, and is a career .279 pinch-hitter with 12 home runs. He could join the Phillies on Saturday.
One potential holdup could be money. Stairs signed a two-year deal for $3.25 million in November. He would earn what remains of his $2.25 million salary for this season and $1 million in 2009.
For Stairs to be eligible for Philadelphia’s postseason roster, he would have to be in the organization by midnight Aug. 31.
He would be the second player the Phillies plucked from another club’s waiver wire. Earlier this month, they landed lefty Scott Eyre from the Cubs for Minor Leaguer Brian Schlitter. In seven appearances for the Phils, Eyre has thrown eight scoreless innings. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, all I can say is I hope this guy’s bat will help this team, since they need help badly right now as far as the offense is concerned, especially with Geoff Jenkins possibly gone for the rest of the season. As for whether they have sealed the deal or not, just eat as much of the money he is own by the Blue Jays and get his butt over here. You want to win this division or not? I’m talking to you you silent morons. Just get it nailed down. NOW!!!!
No players headed to Philadelphia, as Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline passed without the Phillies making an acquisition. Though it wasn’t for a lack of trying, the team didn’t acquire a left-handed reliever it had sought.
The Phillies had been linked to nearly every lefty reliever on the market, including Rhodes, who went 0-5 with a 5.32 ERA for Philadelphia in 2006. The Giants’ Jack Taschner, the Reds’ Jeremy Affeldt and the Royals’ Ron Mahay had all been speculated to join the Phils at some point.
Earlier this month, a rumor of a blockbuster with the Rockies surfaced, with Colorado dealing outfielder Matt Holliday and lefty reliever Brian Fuentes for outfielder Shane Victorino, lefty pitcher J.A. Happ, Double-A catcher Lou Marson and Double-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Victorino had been monitoring rumors since then.
Despite Thursday’s inactivity, the Phillies didn’t miss out of deal-making. On July 17, they acquired right-handed starter Joe Blanton from Oakland for a trio of prospects, lefty Josh Outman, infielder Adrian Cardenas and outfielder Matthew Spencer. (H/T Phillies.com)
Another trade deadline has come and gone, and the Phillies weren’t able to get anyone other than Joe Blanton. Okay, I’m just going to go out and say it: Thanks a lot you bunch of cheapskate morons. Nice going with your blasted buying on the cheap thinking. I am so praying that this will not come back to haunt our team at some point between now and October. I know, I know, trading will still be going on, but that now have the added danger of a traded player being placed on the waiver line, with the possibilty of a third team playing ******* and wanting to make a claim on one of the players involved in the trade, just so they can quash the deal. I’m sure no team want to face that possibility. But, with the owners of this club, I wouldn’t put it pass them they’re hoping to do that themselves. If so, jerks. Sigh, unless something comes up, I guess the team will have to get to the post-season dance with what they already got. BLEAH!!! At least there’s one small piece of comfort: The Marlins aren’t getting Manny. I’d figured that would never happen.
The left-hander was pulled from his Sunday start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley after 2 2/3 scoreless innings and 41 pitches, then was seen accepting congratulations from teammates in the dugout. The shorter stint signals that the Phillies likely will use him as a lefty reliever.
Happ compiled a 3.27 ERA with no decisions in two starts for this Phillies this season. After being optioned back to Triple-A, he allowed six hits in 15 2/3 innings, with three walks and 23 strikeout in three outings.
Eaton accepted a Minor League assignment on Monday, and will return to a starter’s role. Losing his rotation spot after the acquisition of Joe Blanton, Eaton had made two relief appearances since being moved to the bullpen on July 18.
The team had been non-committal in naming Happ as the roster addition, fueling talk that a trade was imminent. The Phillies might still make a move by Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver Trade Deadline. (H/T Phillies.com)
Palmslap to the head!!! No, no, for god sakes NO!!!! This has got to be a dream. Happ to the pen, Eaton possibly coming back as a starter? Okay, sounds like the brain trust doesn’t have any brains after all. I might be able to live with Happ as a reliever if he’s there as an insurance policy just in case Myers continues with his implosion, but I’d thought that the powers that be have finally come to their senses with Eaton. Guys, eat his blasted contract and release him. That’s it. Stop acting like…oh god, what am I thinking. This is Phillies management. They haven’t really thought about anything since the days when the Carpenter family was in charge. Grumble grumble grumble. Where’s the Alka-Selzter?????
The weekend series continues this afternoon as the Phillies (54-49) hosts the Braves (49-53) at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, being shown nationally on Fox Sports Saturday Baseball. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, where he went eight innings, unleasing his nasty new curveball which helped to keep the young Marlins off-balanced all day, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after having already pitched three straight quality starts with little to no run support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.
It was reported that the team had a meeting behind closed doors yesterday afternoon for 15 minutes to try and address the problems that they are presently having. You know, to try and clear the air. Oh, I hate to tell you, Charlie, but I think these guys needs more than 15 mins. to correct this mess. They need a good old fashion Dallas Green/Larry Bowa-style kick in the pants tirade, telling them what they should be doing, and not what they’re doing, and I do believe that target number 1 of the tirade should be Jimmy Rollins. Sorry Jimmy, but that laid back attitude of yours need to be thrown out the window, along with the swinging at the first pitch(s) thrown at you that you are presently doing too much of. Honestly, dude, you are suppose to be the leader of this team. As long as you keep doing your imitation of Alfred E. Neuman’s “What, Me. Worry?”, this team is not going anywhere. You want to regain the pennent and get into the World Series, start acting like you want it bad!!!! Of course, this goes all the way to the top, with the idiots owners who own this club, who keep wanting to do things on the cheap, and it keeps showing with the kind of people who they keep giving contracts to, who end up being busts. Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Phillies’ fan, we need to revolt against these cheapskates who runs the team, and get our boys out of their cheapo hands and into the hands of a George Steinbrenner-type who will be willing to put out the money for the necessary talents for both the farm system and the main team that will be in the pennant race year after year as a constant threat. Until that happens, what we are seeing now is just going to be constantly repeated again and again until they are finally removed from the helm.
The Phillies are presently tied for second place with the Marlins, both trailing the Mets by two games. The fourth place Braves are trailing the Phillies and Marlins by four and a half games, and poised to get back into the race. The Phillies need to step it up, get out of their present funk and show to the rest of the league that they are not dead yet!!!!