Tagged: Ruben Amaro Junior

Phillies might be third party in a trade to move Jake Peavy to the Cubs.

Phils may be third party in Peavy talks

World Series champions could facilitate ace’s trade to Cubs

According to a Major League source, the Phillies are exploring “every option” to try to improve their pitching staff and fill a hole in left field which could be created by the possible departure of free agent Pat Burrell.

The Padres like some of the Phillies’ young Minor League pitchers. Who the Cubs might send to the Phillies is up to question at the moment, with the name of veteran right-hander Jason Marquis consistently being floated.

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.

The Padres have been attempting to move 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 ace 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 a myriad of clubs and agents about filling his club’s holes, which also includes the possible departure of veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer via free agency.

“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.”

Amaro, who replaced Pat Gillick just days after the Phillies defeated the Rays in a ran-delayed five-game World Series, is in his first months as a GM after a decade with the club as an assistant.

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

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

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. (H/T Phillies.com)

I know that rumors are fun guys, but remember, they are just that, rumors. Unless there are any real meat behind them, they are nothing. I won’t believe that the Phils are an actual party in getting Peavy to the Cubs (who are own by an organizaton that has just declared bankruptcy, by the way), until it happens. And if it does, I just hope the Phils have not outsmarted themselves as management have done a lot of in this team’s history. 

Sources claim that the Phillies have made an offer to the Dodgers’ Derek Lowe.

Phillies make play for veteran Lowe

With Moyer talks hitting snag, club reportedly makes offer to righty

Derek Lowe’s name surfaced in a Boston Globe report, which indicated the Phillies have made an offer to the right-hander, who is represented by Scott Boras. Citing a source familiar with the club’s intentions, the report said that the Phillies have discussed the matter “pretty extensively.”

The newspaper reported another unidentified team — not the Yankees or the Red Sox, though both teams are expected to meet with Boras this week — has also submitted an offer.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn’t confirm or deny that an offer had been made, but said, “I will tell you that I’ve talked to Derek Lowe’s representatives. He’s not the only free agent that we’ve had discussions with. There have been plenty of them.”

The Phillies have also spoken with Darek Braunecker, the agent for A.J. Burnett, though it seems unlikely they’ll meet Burnett’s request for a five-year deal, though Amaro didn’t rule that out.

Philadelphia’s interest in broadening its horizons beyond Moyer has been spurred by a snag in talks with the 46-year-old, who earned $8.5 million in 2008 — $5.5 million in base salary and another $3 million in incentives. The lefty went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 196 1/3 innings in the regular season, and he won Game 3 of the World Series.

Despite his age, Moyer is an attractive middle-of-the-rotation name in a market that includes fellow southpaws Oliver Perez, Andy Pettitte, Randy Wolf and Randy Johnson.

Lowe, 35, would command more dollars than Moyer, prompting some creative contract structuring — and may shift the focus toward a more fiscally responsible replacement for free-agent left fielder Pat Burrell.

The Phillies also must prepare for 10 potential arbitration cases, all of which will result in salary increases, and that could limit the team’s spending. Philadelphia didn’t offer salary arbitration to Moyer, preferring to remaining flexible in its offseason spending, so the club will not receive two Draft picks should Moyer land elsewhere as a free agent.

Hot Stove

The Phillies would lose one if they signed Lowe or Burnett. Moyer remains the priority.

“We haven’t put any deadlines on [Moyer making a decision],” Amaro said. “He clearly wants to pitch beyond [2009]. The challenge is to try and to add pitching. With or without Jamie, we’ll try to do it.”

As for Burrell, Amaro declined to say that his time in Philadelphia has ended, despite the belief that the team has little interest in bringing him back.

“I couldn’t really put a percentage on it,” Amaro said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of substantive discussions, but that doesn’t preclude us from bringing him back. This is a slow-moving process.” (H/T Phillies.com)

My take, I think this is all just a ploy on the Phillies part to get Moyer back to the negotiating table. I mean, remember who’s Lowe’s agent is, Scott Boras. I do not trust that guy, and not just because of the J.D. Drew fiasco. This guy just yells slime to me. If the Phillies have made an offer to Lowe, I’m sure Boras is going to have him asking the Phils for a lot more than they can afford to give out. Hey, Junior, get off your lazy butt, talk with Moyer, quit being cheap and seal the blasted deal already. Sheesh!!! Oh, and if you are going for Lowe, Junior, you better freaking deliver, dude!!!

Ruben Amaro will be going to the Winter Meetings with some goals.

Phils have specific goals for Vegas

Entering Winter Meetings, re-signing Moyer remains priority

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.

Utley’s operation is successful, recovery time is still seen to be four to six months; Feliz also has a successful operation.

Utley’s recovery remains 4-6 months

Hip surgery successful; Feliz’s back surgery also goes well

Providing further details, the Phillies said in a press release on Tuesday that the three-time All Star had surgery Monday morning to trim the labrum and a bony lesion in his right hip at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Dr. Bryan Kelly performed the procedure, which was described as an “arthroscopic debridement.” Kelly said the surgery went well and the findings were consistent with the tests performed before the operation.

“Our early reports are that it was very successful surgery,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said at Monday’s red-carpet premiere for the release of the DVD commemorating the 2008 World Series champions. “It was favorable.”

The team also provided a medical update for third baseman Pedro Feliz, who had a lumbar discectomy performed Nov. 20 by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles. That procedure also went well, and Feliz will return home to complete a rehabilitation program, which is expected to require eight to 12 weeks.

Utley’s return target date remains unclear. A six-month recovery would keep him out until June, though the four-month time frame could have him ready by Opening Day. With those extremes, the realistic approach might be looking late April or early May.

Through June 3, the All-Star second baseman was batting .321 with a .684 slugging percentage and was leading the Major Leagues with 21 home runs. He had become the early favorite for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. But after that, his production dropped, and he hit .272 with 12 homers.

“He’s strong and will come back and be fine,” reliever Ryan Madson said. “We don’t want him to rush back, though. We want him to be ready.”

Depending on Utley’s progression, the team may line up backup plans for a short-term replacement. Former Phillies Nick Punto and Tadahito Iguchi have been linked as possibilities. (H/T Phillies.com)

Good to hear that the opeartions on both Utley and Feliz went well. Okay, guys, especially you, Utley, take this time to fully recover. That would be best for both you and the team as a whole.

Chase Utley has surgery done on his right hip.

Utley undergoes hip surgery

Phillies hoping for quick recovery for All-Star

The two-time All-Star had the procedure performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

“Our early reports are that it was very successful surgery,” said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. at the red-carpet premiere for the release of the DVD commemorating the 2008 World Series champions. “It was favorable.”

Amaro declined to elaborate on exactly how favorable, saying more will be known Tuesday, when he confers with head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan, Kelly and team physician Michael Ciccotti. The team is hopeful for a quick recovery, putting Utley in a uniform sooner than the worst-case scenario of the beginning of June.

Utley’s condition was distressing news last week to a team that celebrated its first World Series title since 1980. One of the team’s best hitters and one of its on-field leaders, Utley is a hard-nosed player who treats every play as if it’s his last.

Through June 3, the All-Star second baseman was batting .321 with a .684 slugging percentage and was leading the Major Leagues with 21 home runs. He had become the early favorite for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. But after that, his production dropped, and he hit .272 with 12 homers.

Utley hit just .220 in the postseason, with two home runs during the World Series. He constantly shrugged off speculation about his condition, always joking or smiling. His name popped up on the team’s internal injury report in mid-May, but Utley kept playing.

“That’s always tough news to hear, but he’s strong and will come back and be fine,” Ryan Madson said. “We don’t want him to rush back, though. We want him to be ready.” (H/T Phillies.com)

I’m also hoping for a quick recovery, but I hope that the doctors advice him to take it easy and allow to heal properly. I’m also hoping that its not as bad as all the reports last week have made it sound. Just hope that the worst case scenario is just that, a worse case scenario. Anyway, hoping for the best, but, as a typical Phillies fan, expecting the worst.

Phillies add Scott Proefrock as new assistant GM.

Phillies name Proefrock assistant GM

Amaro’s former position filled by Orioles front-office employee

Proefrock spent the past three years as director of baseball administration in Baltimore. He had spent the previous 11 years with Tampa Bay, eventually serving as assistant GM to Chuck LaMar through the 2005 season. He also worked with LaMar with the Braves from 1991-95 and Pittsburgh in 1989-90.

He’ll be working with LaMar again in Philadelphia, as both share an assistant GM title. Proefrock will handle big league contracts and the composition of the roster, a role held by Amaro while assisting former GMs Ed Wade and Pat Gillick.

Amaro named Benny Looper and LaMar assistant general managers last week, with both focusing on scouting and player development.

Proefrock was chosen over former Mets GM Jim Duquette, former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky and Muzzy Jackson, formerly an assistant GM with the Royals. (H/T Phillies.com)

Once again, welcome to the Phils, Scott, and how that you’ll have as big an impact here as you had, if a bit late, with the American League Champion Rays.

Scott Eyre to stay with the Phillies as he signs a one year contract.

Phils re-sign lefty reliever Eyre

A late-season add, hurler helped in World Series title run

“It’s written in my hat: ‘Have fun,'” Eyre said, upon joining the Phillies in August. “I like to laugh and have a good time.”

Eyre had so much fun with the World Series champions that he re-signed with them Monday, inking a one-year, $2 million deal, which also includes performance bonuses.

Acquired from the Cubs on Aug. 7 for Minor League pitcher Brian Schlitter, the 36-year-old southpaw went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. Combined, he went 5-0 with a 4.21 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings in 2008, holding left-handed batters to a .220 average and one home run in 50 at-bats.

Eyre provided manager Charlie Manuel with a key complement to fellow lefty J.C. Romero, allowing Eyre to face lefty batters earlier in the game.

Eyre immediately fit in a bullpen of unique personalities that consists of Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Romero, Clay Condrey and Chad Durbin.

For his career, Eyre is 26-29 with a 4.36 ERA for the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants, Cubs and Phillies.  (H/T Phillies.com)

One post-season contract signing down, two more to go (Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell). You’re doing okay so far, Rueben. Keep up the good work.