The Phillies continue contract talks with 22 years veteran Jamie Moyer, trying to nail him in with a two-year, about $15 Million dollars deal, partly explaining why the Phillies were still in Las Vegas, beside getting ready to sign Raul Ibanez. Talks between the Phils and Moyer has in fact increased since their signing of former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ibanez has all but ended the possibility of the Phillies resigning their free agent left fielder, Pat Burrell. If Moyer does resign with the team, it would mean a starting roster consisting of Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton and Moyer, with the fifth spot to be fought over between Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco, and Adam Eaton.
Correction, the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation has increased by one as former Dodgers Chan Ho Park has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies for $2.5 Million dollars, with bonuses that could push it up to $5 Million. With Park’s signing, the Phillies have added depth to the bullpen, while also adding another possible starter in the fight for the fifth and final spot in the rotation, if Moyer resigns with the ballclub. The 15 years veteran last year went 4-4 wiith a 3.40 ERA in 54 games with the Dodgers.
Hopefully this latest move will help the Phillies as they continue to see if they can get either Moyer or free agent Derek Lowe.
Phillies acquire Paulino from Bucs
Jaramillo goes to Pittsburgh in swap of catchers
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Raises an eyebrow. Two trades since Ruben took over and they’d both been minor league prospect for minor league prospect. Okay, Junior, there’s better be a method to this while we all wait to hear the final results of the Peavy trade.
LAS VEGAS — The Phillies and Pirates completed a swap of catchers on Wednesday night, with Ronny Paulino coming to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Jaramillo.
“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?
DeRosa may move to Phillies
Infielder could be instrumental in Cubs obtaining Peavy from Pads
By Barry M. Bloom and Marty Noble / MLB.com
Let me get this straight? The Phils will get DeRosa from the Cubbies in exchange for Happ and another player, and Happ and that prospect would then be sent over to the Padres with another player or two for Peavy? Oh, my brain hurts.
LAS VEGAS — The anticipated absence of Chase Utley for an extended period has prompted the Phillies to become involved in the Cubs’ pursuit of Jake Peavy. The Philadelphia Inquirer said as much in its Tuesday editions, reporting the Phillies seek to acquire versatile Mark DeRosa from the Cubs.
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.
Manuel to manage Phils through 2011
Club picks up 2010 option, adds another year to contract
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Congratulations, Charlie. Now let see if you can lead the guys to another World Series Championship by then. I know you can do it, man.
LAS VEGAS — Fresh off winning his first World Series as a big league manager, Charlie Manuel’s contract with the Phillies was extended through the 2011 season, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Tuesday as the second day of the Winter Meetings began to wind down.
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.
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.