Tagged: Ruben Amaro Junior

And then there was none: The Phils and Ryan Howard avoid arbitration as Howard signs a three-year contract worth $54 million.

The Phillies and Ryan Howard have both avoided the need to go and meet the three-men arbitration panel, as Howard have just hours ago signed a three-year contract with the Phillies for $54 million. The former NL Rookie of the Year for 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player for 2006 have had the last three of his arbitration years bought out by the Phillies. This means that Howard will now be wearing Phillies red pinstripes until the end of the 2011 season, when he will become eligible to become a free agent.

Howard will become the highest paid Phil as he will be paid $15 million for this season, $19 million for 2010 and $20 million for 2011, as well as receive $1 million from the Phils if they trade him to another team before the end of his present contract.

With Howard’s signing, the main core of the Phillies will be playing in Philadelphia for the next several years, as they prepare to defend their 2008 World Series Championship. This mean that the Phils now just need to: 1) find a right handed bat to come off the bench, 2) a left handed reliever to take J.C. Romero’s place during his 50 games suspension, 3) find out who will be the fifth member of their starting rotation and who will be heading for the bullpen and 4) who will be the catcher behind Carlos Ruiz.

Nice job, Ruben. Now let see if you can get the right handed bench bat and the left handed reliever that the team needs before the pitchers and catchers arrive for spring training this upcoming Thursday. GO PHILS!!!!

And then there was none: The Phils and Ryan Howard avoid arbitration as Howard signs a three-year contract worth $54 million.

The Phillies and Ryan Howard have both avoided the need to go and meet the three-men arbitration panel, as Howard have just hours ago signed a three-year contract with the Phillies for $54 million. The former NL Rookie of the Year for 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player for 2006 have had the last three of his arbitration years bought out by the Phillies. This means that Howard will now be wearing Phillies red pinstripes until the end of the 2011 season, when he will become eligible to become a free agent.

Howard will become the highest paid Phil as he will be paid $15 million for this season, $19 million for 2010 and $20 million for 2011, as well as receive $1 million from the Phils if they trade him to another team before the end of his present contract.

With Howard’s signing, the main core of the Phillies will be playing in Philadelphia for the next several years, as they prepare to defend their 2008 World Series Championship. This mean that the Phils now just need to: 1) find a right handed bat to come off the bench, 2) a left handed reliever to take J.C. Romero’s place during his 50 games suspension, 3) find out who will be the fifth member of their starting rotation and who will be heading for the bullpen and 4) who will be the catcher behind Carlos Ruiz.

Nice job, Ruben. Now let see if you can get the right handed bench bat and the left handed reliever that the team needs before the pitchers and catchers arrive for spring training this upcoming Thursday. GO PHILS!!!!

Well, Jamie has finally re-signed with the Phillies, and for two years. What was the hold up, Ruben?

During the 2 pm progress report on Chase Utley’s right hip, Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro announced that the Phillies have re-signed veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer to a new two-year contract. The 22 years veteran went 16-7 for the Phils in 33 starts, with a 3.71 ERA in 2008, being the team leader in wins. In a two plus month period, from June 6 to August 21, he would give up three earned runs or less to opposing team. The soon to be 47 years old, has a record of 246-185 in 637 games (548 starts) with a 4.19 ERA, tied for 47th place on the all-time Major League wins list, while being presently third among active starters, with the recent retirement of Mike Mussina of the Yankees and Greg Maddux of the Padres/Dodgers. Since joining the Phillies in mid-2006, he has gone 35-21 with a 4.33 ERA in 74 starts, with the team going 46-28 (.622) in his starts, while pitching the divisional pennant clinchers in both 2007 and 2008, and having a good start in Game 3 of the World Series which the Phillies would win in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth.

Moyer’s re-signing means that the first four spots in the Phils’ starting rotation (Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, Moyer) is now set, with the fifth and final spot now being an audition between Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, prospect Carlos Carrasco and Chan Ho Park. Whether the Phils will continue to go after free agent Derek Lowe after signing Moyer and Park is a good question, especially when they should be looking out for a right handed power bat to help counter balance their recent signing of Raul Ibanez, and the obvious departure of Pat Burrell, to counter the presently loaded left-handed power of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. But such a signing would serve notice to the rest of the National League East, after the Mets’ signing of free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez and their trade with Cleveland for J.J. Putz to be Rodriguez’s set-up man to better their weak bullpen, that the Phillies will be looking to repeat as the National League Champions with a very strong starting rotation.

Raul Ibanez has signed a three-year, $30 Million contract with Phillies.

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.

Phillies trade catching prospect for catching prospect with the Pirates.

Phillies acquire Paulino from Bucs

Jaramillo goes to Pittsburgh in swap of catchers

“We just think it was a good move to give us an incremental edge,” said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “Sometimes, it’s the little moves that can help, and it gives us depth at a premium position that we needed.”

It was Amaro’s second trade since he replaced Pat Gillick only days after the Phillies defeated the Rays at the end of October to win the second World Series in franchise history. Last month, he acquired John Mayberry Jr. from Texas for Greg Golson in a swap of outfielders.

Paulino, 27, split last season between Pittsburgh, Triple-A Indianapolis and the Gulf Coast League Pirates. In 40 games (27 starts) for Pittsburgh, he hit .212 with two home runs and 18 RBIs, although those figures leapt to .387 (12-for-31) and 14 RBIs with runners in scoring position. 

Behind the plate for the Bucs, Paulino threw out 26 percent (8-for-31) of potential basestealers, and for his career, he has caught 24 percent (51-for-216).

Amaro said the deal could lead to interesting choices down the road. The Phillies are already carrying two catchers: starter Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste.

“Ruiz is our No. 1 catcher,” Amaro said. “I think he deserves that. Really, in Spring Training, it will be a competition at backup, frankly, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that we’d carry three catchers. Chris Coste has the ability to do a variety of things and there may be room. But it creates a competition at the very least, and that’s good for our club.”

Jaramillo, 26, hit .266 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 115 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this past season. He was a second-round selection by the Phillies in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. He was an International League All-Star in 2007 and ’08, while leading all catchers with this past season with 113 games played. (H/T Phillies.com)

Okay, the Phillies have now traded one minor league catcher to the Pirates for one of theirs. I hope that Paulino will help the ballclub in the future. Hey, Ruben, how about trading for someone who can help the team now and not the future?

More Trade Rumors: DeRosa might come to Phillies in exchange for J.A. Happ and another prospect to Cubs as part of Peavy deal.

DeRosa may move to Phillies

Infielder could be instrumental in Cubs obtaining Peavy from Pads

The newspaper said the Phillies were working on a complex trade that would import DeRosa, who would provide insurance for Utley at second base and fill, at least partially, the club’s vacancy in left field.

DeRosa, the one-time quarterback for Penn, would move from the Cubs to the Phillies, who would send pitcher J.A. Happ to the Cubs, possibly with another prospect. The Cubs would then move Happ, the second prospect and more to the Padres in a package for pitcher Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner.

The Inquirer reported that the Orioles might be involved in the multiclub deal. “Three teams, possible,” the paper quoted a Phillies source as having said Monday night. “Four, doubtful.”

Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phils’ new general manager, declined to comment about the possibility of being involved in a Peavy trade, although a source said there have been talks. Pat Gillick, the outgoing GM who is now a consultant with the club, said on Tuesday morning that he has no detailed knowledge of the talks.

Utley, the All-Star second baseman, underwent surgery on his hip and is expected to miss at least two months of the season. The void in left field is the result of Pat Burrell filing for free agency. Burrell is not expected to re-sign with the Phillies.

DeRosa, 34 in February, appears to be an ideal fit for the Phillies. He batted .285 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs in 149 games for the Cubs last season, playing six positions including second base (96 games) and left field (27). He is signed for the 2009 season for $5.5 million.

Amaro said on Monday that there was a lot of general interest in infielder Jason Donald, who played for bronze medal-winning Team USA during the Summer Olympics in Beijing and was recently named to the Arizona Fall League’s All-Prospect team

The Padres have been attempting to move Peavy, their ace, who is owed $63 million over the next four seasons. The Cubs have been the main target since a deal with the Braves collapsed last month, but a match between the Padres and Cubs hasn’t been found, so San Diego GM Kevin Towers has said a third or fourth team might be needed to get a deal done.

Towers said Monday that a deal with the Cubs will most likely need to take place this week at the Winter Meetings or he expects to halt the process of trying to move Peavy, the 27-year-old who won the National League Cy Young Award and that league’s pitching Triple Crown just one year ago.

Towers wouldn’t comment on the Phillies being a possible go-between to get Peavy to the Cubs, saying only on Monday that “there’s a package there that would please us.”

Meanwhile, Amaro said he continues to talk with myriad clubs and agents about filling his club’s holes, which also includes one that could be created by the possible departure of veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer via free agency.

According to an SI.com report, the Phillies are believed to have offered Moyer a two-year deal for about $14 million. Moyer is said to be looking for $18 million over two years. At the same time, the Phillies are said to be one of several teams to make an offer to free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe.

Amaro declined to talk about players on other teams he might be talking with, but said that obtaining a starting pitcher would not necessarily preclude the re-signing of Moyer.

“You can never have enough pitching,” Amaro said.

“We’ve spent the day trying to crystallize some of the things we want to do,” Amaro said. “We’ve had some sort of discussions with each of the 29 other clubs. Our desire is trying to improve this team.”

As far as Burrell goes, Amaro said he’s had no substantive talks about bringing back the right-handed slugger, who had three homers and eight RBIs in 14 postseason games.

The Inquirer also reported that the Phillies retain interest in left-handed-hitting, free-agent outfielder Raul Ibanez to play left. However, Ibanez would make the Phillies’ batting order unbalanced once Utley returns. Utley and Ryan Howard also bat left-handed, and without Burrell, the club would lack a right-handed power presence in a ballpark tailored for right-handed hitters.

Ibanez, 36, batted .305 in 187 at-bats against left-handed pitching with the Mariners last season. He batted .293 with 23 homers and 110 RBIs overall, playing in all 162 games.

But opponents would be more likely to throw left-handed pitching at the Phillies whenever possible, and that seemingly would serve to defuse Howard’s potent home run bat.

Ibanez is considered a favorite of Gillick, a one-time Mariners GM, the paper said. Gillick is in Las Vegas for the Winter Meetings.

If the Phils don’t get DeRosa or Ibanez, they may pursue free agent Juan Rivera, a right-handed hitter who played for the Angels in 2008. He could become part of a left-field platoon with left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs.

The Phillies also have spoken with the Twins regarding outfielder Delmon Young. (H/T Phillies.com)

Even after reading this, my brain still hurts. Okay, a local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting this and not the Boston Globe. Anyway, if this does happen, I hope the Phils know what they’re doing and that DeRosa will still help the team once Utley comes back, since Utley is the regular second baseman. I just hate to see Happ go, though, after what he did for the team this year. I’m just hoping that they aren’t going to send along another player who would have helped the team in the future. Or next year for that matter. As for them and Moyer, if they’re that close, money wise, to settling the deal, then just meet half way and get it done. It isn’t rocket science, you know. Now on Lowe, if they are able to outbid the Yanks, I’ll be really surprised. Lastly, guys, either re-sign Burrell or go after another right handed power bat. I think we already have enough left handed power in Howard and Utley.

Charlie Manuel is given contract extension; will manage the Phillies to 2011.

Manuel to manage Phils through 2011

Club picks up 2010 option, adds another year to contract

Manuel was already under contract for the 2009 season, and in the new deal, the Phillies exercised a club option for ’10 and added an additional year in ’11.

“He’s happy, he’s pleased and he’s ready to win games,” Amaro said. “At least that’s what he told me.”

Manuel, 64, was not available to comment because he was sick with the flu on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, he had to cancel his appearance during the sessions that the 30 big league managers conduct with the media over the course of three full days of Meetings.

Manuel’s entering his fifth season as Phillies manager after three with the Indians (2000-02) and has a 354-294 regular-season record in Philadelphia, where his teams have never finished lower than second place in the National League East. He led the team to the playoffs the last two years.

This past October, he became only the second manager in the 126-season history of the Phillies to pilot them to a World Series title when they defeated the Rays in a rain-delayed five-game series. Dallas Green, still a consultant with the club, managed the Phils to their six-game victory over the Royals in the 1980 World Series.

Manuel is not only known for his baseball acumen, but for his even clubhouse temper and steady hand with players. His club was 11-3 during the postseason, including 7-0 at Citizens Bank Park.

“He’s our manager moving forward, and he’s done some great things for our organization,” said Amaro, who replaced Pat Gillick as GM only days after the World Series, following a decade as an assistant. “We’ve talked about it a lot over the last two months; his steadying influence and the way he goes about his business in our clubhouse is one of the keys to our success.

“The players know what to expect from him every single day. In this day and age, it’s important for them to know that they have support of the manager every single day. That’s what it’s all about.”

Manuel finished second in the NL Manager of the Year Award voting, which was compiled before the playoffs.

Last Saturday was “Charlie Manuel Day” in his hometown of Buena Vista, Va. At a banquet that night, the No. 32 Manuel wore at Parry McCluer High School was retired, and a new LED sign, declaring Buena Vista as the “home of Charlie Manuel, the Manager of the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies,” was unveiled. (H/T Phillies.com)

I think this is one of the few times that I believe that the Phils have actually made a good move as they extends Uncle Charlie’s contract into 2011. Sure, Charlie have made some bad managerial decisions, but he seems to have his players’ confidence, and the fact that they were recently willing to collect money which they then gave to his late mother’s church after her death is more than enough proof of that. Okay, Uncle Charlie, time to use your calmness to lead the team to another pennant and world championship.