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!!!!
Phillies decline Gordon, Taguchi
Righty reliever, now a free agent, hopes to return to club
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
Gordon isn’t a surprise after his injury.Now, Taguchi, I’m surprised he was on the roster for the playoffs.
PHILADELPHIA — Reliever Tom Gordon and outfielder So Taguchi had their team option for the 2009 season declined on Friday afternoon, making them both free agents, the Phillies announced.
The team exercised a $1 million buyout on Gordon, 40, instead of paying him $4.5 million in 2009, and a $150,000 buyout on the contract on Taguchi, 39, rather than a $1.25 million salary.
Gordon’s third season as a Phillies reliever ended in July due to inflammation in his right elbow that eventually required surgery. In 34 games out of the Phillies’ bullpen this year, Gordon went 5-4 with a 5.16 ERA.
After allowing five runs in a trying Opening Day appearance, the right-hander posted a 3.68 ERA in his remaining 33 appearances.
Gordon had surgery on his inflamed right elbow last month, and he said he’d like to return to Philadelphia.
Taguchi never got on track with the Phillies. He served as a backup outfielder and hit .220 (20-for-91) in 2008, mostly as a pinch-hitter. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, looks like the 2009 is already a bit different from the Champs. I wonder who else will be gone by Spring Training, 2009?
The Phillies (64-56, T-1st) will play the final game of their four game set with the Dodgers (61-59, T-1st National League West) tonight. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (5-9, 5.09), who is coming off a victory over the Pirates on August 9, where he would pitch a strong seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. He has pitched rather well since coming back from his stint in the minors, going 2-0 in four starts, with a 2.10 ERA, while the Phils have gone 1-1 in his other two starts. Against the Dodgers in nine starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He will be trying to make it four good starts in a row as he tries to salvage a win in this series to nowhere for the Phils and try to keep them in at least a tie for first place in the East. The Dodgers will counter with Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on August 9, where he pitched eight innings, giving up only an earned run on eight hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to help the Dodgers sweep the Phillies, while keeping them at least tied for first in the West.
Not much to say here other than to hope that the offense will final wake up from its season long funk and hoping that the back end of the bullpen isn’t starting to come apart at the seems since Tom Gordon won’t be coming back this year.
The Phillies are now tied with the Mets who will be playing the final game of their three games series with the Nationals, looking for a sweep. The two teams are both leading the Marlins by a game and a half as they prepare to end their four games with the Cardinals, looking for a split. The Braves are trailing both teams by nine games, as they look to avoid a sweep with the Cubs. The Phillies will be trying to avoid a sweep as well, hoping to remain in first place before they go down the coast to start a three games series with the Padres.
Two days after pulling himself out of a rehabilitation outing at Class A Clearwater, the Phillies’ setup man is scheduled to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Monday for a second opinion. In a 48-hour span, the team went from hoping the 40-year-old righty would be a factor in September, to wondering whether he’s thrown his final pitch.
“Right now we aren’t optimistic that he will [pitch this season],” head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said. “We would really like to have Lew’s opinion because he’s been familiar with Tom. When we get that opinion on Monday, we can really lay out a solid plan that’s more accurate than today.”
Gordon, who was placed on the disabled list on July 6, was pitching in his second rehab appearance on Wednesday, and pulled himself out. Yocum performed Tommy John surgery on Gordon in 1999.
After looking at the results of an MRI performed on Thursday, Sheridan voiced two concerns, one for the ulner collateral ligament and one for the strain of the flexor muscle, the muscle on the inside of his elbow. While Tommy John surgery is a strong possibility, Gordon will gather additional information.
“Flash is trying to figure out what’s going to be best for him,” Sheridan said. “We haven’t talked about surgery. No one’s even mentioned whether he’s having surgery. It’s important to get another opinion on how to proceed.”
Gordon missed two months in 2007 with right shoulder problems and a bout of pneumonia, but returned to play a vital role in Philadelphia’s late-season capturing of the National League East.
After an Opening Day outing in which he allowed five runs in one-third of an inning, Gordon posted a 3.68 ERA in his next 33 appearances. Without him, manager Charlie Manuel has been using Chad Durbin as his primary right-handed setup reliever, and J.C. Romero. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, all I can say, Tom, is this: If the doc says to have the surgery, have the surgery. But please be prepare for the fact that you might not be coming back, career-wise. While I’m hoping that you can sucessfully come back from the surgery, I am prepared for the possibility that we may have seen the last of you. But no matter what, taking care of yourself comes first, so, take the surgery, if it is needed, and get better.
That fresh start will come with the Phillies, who completed their search for an experienced second lefty reliever by acquiring Eyre from the Cubs for Minor League right-hander Brian Schlitter on Thursday.
“I asked how their bullpen was, and if they were just looking for guys, and they said, ‘No, we think you can still pitch,'” said Eyre, who will join the Phillies on Friday. “I said, ‘Great, I’m ready to go.'”
The 36-year-old Eyre appeared in 19 games for the Cubs this season because of stints on the disabled list for left elbow inflammation and a strained left groin, and worked only 11 1/3 innings. He’ll work in a situational role in the middle innings, and replace either Les Walrond or J.A. Happ on the roster.
After nine scoreless innings in his first 14 outings this season, Eyre fell out of favor with Cubs manager Lou Piniella when he allowed nine runs in five appearances, spanning 2 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday, giving the Cubs seven days to trade him or he would become a free agent. He packed up his family in his RV, parked outside of Chicago, and headed to his home in Bradenton, Fla.
Eyre will turn around and drive to Philadelphia from Valdosta, Ga., where the family had reached when informed of the deal. The Phillies will be his fifth team, after the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs.
The last time he was designated for assignment, on Aug. 5, 2002, the Giants claimed him. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 21 appearances with San Francisco, which reached the World Series that year.
The Phillies’ bullpen has thrown the third-fewest innings in the National League this season, a product of the starters tossing the fifth-most innings. Still, manager Charlie Manuel would like some relief for late-inning pitchers Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.
Lefties batted .259 (7-for-27) against Eyre this season, and have hit .244 against him in his career. In his past five seasons, Eyre has appeared in 317 games, the fourth-highest total among Major League lefties. Romero tops that list at 336.
“He’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We’ve been looking for a left-hander for a long time, and think this left-hander can help.”
The Phillies thought that, too, when they pursued him in the winter of 2006, before he signed with the Cubs.
“This is a veteran guy who has had a lot of success,” Amaro said. “He’s had success in the playoffs and he’ll rise to the challenge. He’s been through it, having those kind of experienced guys is helpful. We think he has enough bullets in that 36-year-old arm to help us.” Schlitter was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater, with 58 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this year. He was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hold the phone. They went after him during the off-season, and didn’t get him? Why didn’t…oh that’s right, cheapskate owners. I keep forgetting that. Anyway, I hope he will be the left handed complement to Madson, as he and the rest of the ‘pen needs a break while Gordon and Seanez are still out. Now, who will go? My guess is Walrond, since J.A. Happ can still be used as insurance against either Blanton or Myers going bad, or maybe giving Hamels a possibily needed rest. As I’d said earlier, time will tell.
The Phillies (52-44) will start the second half of the season with a three games weekend visit with the Marlins (50-45) in Miami. The first game of their three games series will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran Jamie Moyer (8-6, 3.95), who is coming off a recent victory against the Cardinals on July 10, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has already faced the Marlins twice so far this year, winning both starts. In those two games, he has gone a combine total of fifteen innings, giving up just five earned runs on nine hits. He will be going for his ninth win of the season, while trying to start off the Phillies’ second half with a win. He will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (10-4, 3.70), who is coming off fifth straight wins, although his last start was a no-decision against the Dodgers on July 12, where he went six innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. In those five wins, he would go a combine total of thirty-seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only six earned runs on twenty-four hits. He has already faced the Phillies twice this year, winning both starts, going twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. He will be going for his eleventh victory of the season, while also trying to set the tone for the Marlins’ second half, especially after Andrew Miller has just been put on the disabled list.
As the Phillies get ready to start the second half, they have the knowledge that, like it or not, they are a rather good second half team. They also know that, with the Blanton trade, they now have an overabundance of starters, although not all of them are presently good (Adam Eaton and Brett Myers). The team hopes that either a returning Myers or the newcomer Blanton will become their number two starter, to help balance their ace Cole Hamels, while Jamie Moyer and a continuing to improve and impress Kyle Kendrick will become their no. 3 and 4 pitchers, respectively. And it is rather encouraging to learn that J.A. Happ, in his first start after being sent back to Lehigh Valley, has made a very strong statement to bring him back to the Majors, as he shut down the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in seven innings of scoreless baseball. At this point, the odd men out appear to be Eaton and Myers, with Eaton being the most in danger of saying good bye to Phillies’ pinstripes at the moment. Myers would be next, especially as long as he continues to be a headcase if he doesn’t show any improvement after coming back from the Iron Pigs and Reading. But with all that said and done, the Phillies still need to find a new reliever, preferably a leftie, to help the bullpen pick up the slack while Tom Gordon is still out and to help take some of the pressure off him when he returns. Lastly, hopefully the All-Star break will have done most of the players some good, especially Jimmy Rollins, who the Phillies need to get on base to help jump start the offense. (Jay-Ro, a word of advice, please lay off the first few pitches that are thrown at you, unless you are very, very sure that you can hit it away from a fielder. That’s all I’m asking. Be more selective at the plate. Oh, and Ryan Howard, will you please stop swinging at pitches that you can’t reach. Please???? The sooner you do, the sooner the pitchers will stop throwing their junk at you.)
The Phillies will begin their second half now tied for first place with the Mets, who will be continuing a four games series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The third place Marlins are trailing both teams by a game and a half as they prepare to host the visiting Phillies. The fourth place Braves trails the two division leaders by six and a half game as they prepare to host the Nationals for three games. The Phillies hope to perform better against Eastern Division rivals that are not the Braves, while trying to get back sole control of first place against the presently streaking Mets and the pesky fish.
The Phillies lose their third straight game to the Mets as a late inning rally would fall short as they could not overcome an early deficit, losing 10-9. The Phillies’ starter, Adam Eaton, would only be able to go two and two-thirds innings as he is roughed up by the Mets’ batters, who were coming off a high left over from their win on Sunday. The damage would begin in the very first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and have moved to third on Endy Chavez’s single, would score the first Mets’ run on a David Wright ground out, second to first, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while Chavez would go to second on the play. Two batters later, with Chavez on third and with two outs, a Damion Easley would score Chavez, making it 2-0 Mets. The Mets would increase their lead in the second, when, with two men on and two outs, Chavez would hit a RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who has gotten on base earlier during a force out, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. A Wright double would make it 5-0, as he knocks in Reyes, who has earlier walked and Easley. The Mets would then chase Adam Eaton out of the game in the third inning. With one out, and with runners on the corners, Schneider would ground out short to first for out number two, while scoring Carlos Delgado, who has earlier doubled, to make it a 6-0 Mets’ lead. Pedro Martinez would then reach base on a Greg Dobbs’ fielding error, allowing Fernando Tatis, who has earlier singled, to score, making it 7-0 Mets. Two batters later, Chavez would single in Martinez, making it 8-0. Clay Condrey would relieve Eaton and would finally end the inning by getting Wright to fly out. The Phillies would get a run back in the fourth as Chase Utley would hit his major league leading twenty-fifth home run of the year off of Mets’ starter Martinez, a solo shot, which would make it 8-1 Mets. The Mets would then increase their lead in the sixth, as they knocked in two runs off of R.J. Swindle, who was pitching his first game after being recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace Tom Gordon in the bullpen. The first run would come in on a solo home run by Wright, his seventeenth home run of the year, to make it 9-1 Mets. Later, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Martinez would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Beltran, who has earlier singled, making it 10-1 Mets. But, that would be the last run that the Mets would score last night, as Shane Victorino throws out Easley at home plate, with Chris Coste supplying the tag, for the final out of the inning. From that point on, the Phillies would attempt a comeback. It would begin in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, to make it 10-2 Mets. The Phillies would continue in the seventh, as Victorino would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins who has earlier singled, to cut the Mets’ lead to 10-3. Two batters later, Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, on a ball that was originally called a ground rule double because of possible fan’s interference. But, after an agrument from Charlie Manuel, and a conversation among the umpires, the ruling was changed into a home run. This would in turn lead to an argument from Mets’ manager, Jerry Manuel, who would then be ejected from the game, as the Mets now lead the game 10-5. In the eighth, the Phillies would continue their comeback, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, making it 10-7 Mets. Then in the ninth, with Billy Wagner on the mound, the Phils tried to send it into extra-innings. Victornio would start the inning off with a double, followed by a walk to Eric Bruntlett, with nobody out. After Howard strikes out and Burrell flies out to right, Pedro Feliz would hit a pinch single, scoring Victornio and sending Bruntlett to third, making it 10-8 Mets. On the play, Beltran would throw the ball away, as he tries to cut down Bruntlett at third, for an error, allowing Bruntlett to score and sending Feliz over to second base, as the Phillies now trail the Mets 10-9. But, that would be as close as the Phillies would get, as Wagner would get Werth to fly out to right to end the game, recording his twentieth save of the year.
Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he gets rocked for eight earned runs on ten hits as he is only able to go two and two thirds inning. His record is now 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two and one third innings of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits. R.J.Swindle would pitch three innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Pedro Martinez would get the win, as he goes five and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.86 ERA. Tony Armas would go an inning and a third, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Aaron Heilman would also go an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Billy Wagner would pitch the ninth, recording his twentieth save of the season, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense was once again stifled in the early going, while being put in the hole early by Adam Eaton’s bad start on the mound. But slowly it came back to life, scoring all but one of its runs in the last four innings, mostly by the long ball, as they, for the first time in a while, refused to quit, despite being buried early. It could mean the reemergence of the team that was finding ways to win games back in April and early May before the period when the team would seem to be able to score runs at will. If so, it would be coming not a moment too soon, as the Cardinals and then the Diamondbacks would be coming into town for the last two series before the All-Star break.
The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games set with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing out on his third complete game shut out. He would instead go eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins has been cut down to one and half games, as the fish were able to defeat the Padres. The Mets are now trailing the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six games as they lost to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope that last night’s comeback attempt, although a failure, could be the launch pad for a very productive period, as the Phillies look to find somebody, or rather somebodies, upon whom to take out their present offensive frustrations out on, while trying to once again take complete control of the East before the All-Star break.