Archive for the 'Hot Stove' Category

Utley’s happy to have Halladay around

Posted by mattsmith on 26th January 2010

Chase Utley admitted that it would have been cool had the Phillies somehow managed to keep Cliff Lee for the 2010 season.

In a perfect world, the Phillies would be the odds-on favorite to WIN the World Series.

Utley spoke to reporters Tuesday and said he looks forward to playing behind the Phillies’ new ace.

In his first public comments since The Trade, Chase Utley backed the Phillies decision to acquire Roy Halladay.

In his first public comments since The Trade, Chase Utley backed the Phillies' decision to acquire Roy Halladay.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Utley said. “Ive heard a lot of good things about him. Everybody I’ve talked to who’s played with him or against him has nothing but good things to say about him. His preparation is off the charts. I’m excited to see him work.

“Cliff Lee, I had a good time playing behind Cliff. Obviously, he pitched outstanding. Hopefully at some point I get to play with him again. But it’s a business. We all realize this now. Every year there are new faces in the clubhouse no matter what.”

Tags: Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay
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Ruiz agrees to three-year deal

Posted by mattsmith on 25th January 2010

Carlos Ruiz was the Phillies’ final arbitration-eligible player and on Sunday the 31-year-old catcher reportedly agreed to a three-year contract for  $8.85 million.

The deal includes a fourth-year option at $5 million.

The three-year pact takes cares of Ruiz’s arbitration-eligible years.

Well, I think this is a good bargain. Is Ruiz the best catcher in baseball? No way…. but he’s certainly emerged as one of the best defensive catchers, perhaps second only to Yadier Molina in the NL.

Any catcher that can hit .250 and drive in 40-plus runs from the No. 8 hole and provide stellar defense behind the plate is a pretty darn good player. Ruiz has been an underrated contributor. It’s good to see a guy who has worked this hard get awarded …. and it’s hard to believe he’s been a part of the organization since 1998!

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies
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Sheets scouted; Gagne offered tryout

Posted by mattsmith on 21st January 2010

Phillies representatives were one of 20-plus clubs in Louisiana to watch Ben Sheets’ pitching session Tuesday.

Sheets, 31, missed all of last season due to injury.

The Phillies are not considered a “leading suitor” for Sheets, according to

Eric Gagne, the former dominant closer whose name was included in the Mitchell Report, was had a tryout on Wednesday.

Christ Almighty, what are they doing????? Instead of doing whatever they can, within the realm of possibility, to keep Chan Ho Park around, we’re looking at Gagne??? The same guy who sucked so badly after Tommy John surgery in 2005, he played in some  Quebec semi-pro beer league (That’s in Canada, folks!) and sucked it up even more (6-6, 4.65 ERA). Ya gotta be kidding.

However, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said that he has “no expectations, at all” regarding Gagne. Funny.

Sheets, on the other hand, is a guy I would LOVE TO HAVE. What’s the risk, really?? Roll the dice on the guy and, who knows, maybe he’ll be 3/4 of what Cliff Lee was last year?? And maybe, just maybe, I can stop hearing people complain about not having Lee around anymore.

Tags: Ben Sheets, Cliff Lee, Eric Gagne, Philadelphia Phillies
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Phillies talking extensions with Victorino, Ruiz, Blanton

Posted by mattsmith on 21st January 2010

The Phillies had been in talks with Shane Victorino regarding a multi-year deal. Now, it appears, both Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton are being targeted for extensions, too.

All three players are arbitration eligible.

Blanton would be a free agent after this season, while Victorino wouldn’t be a free agent until after the 2011 campaign. Ruiz, 30, is arbitration eligible for the first time.

Tags: Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Phillies, Shane Victorino
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Blanton looking for fat salary

Posted by mattsmith on 21st January 2010

It was reported Tuesday and confirmed Wednesday that Joe Blanton is commanding a ridiculous salary increase for the 2010 season.

The burly right-hander is seeking $10.25 million. The Phillies countered with $7.5 million.

Is Blanton a workhorse? Yes. Was he arguably the Phillies’ best starting pitcher for the ENTIRE SEASON in 2009? Yes. Should the Phillies offer him an attractive raise from his $5.457 million last year? Yes.

Should it be $10.25? No, but somewhere between $6.5-7.0 million seems right.

Is Joe Blanton on the same planet as Tim Lincecum, who is seeking $13 million? Absolutely not.

I can see Heavy B’s positioning here. The Phils basically paid Brett Myers roughly $10 million a year for three seasons, and isn’t Blanton better than Myers??? Yep.

At the same time, the fact is, Joe Blanton is not worth that much.

Tags: Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Phillies
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Eyre retires

Posted by mattsmith on 8th January 2010

In a better-late-than-never Phillies-related news item, left-handed specialist Scott Eyre has retired after 13 seasons in the major leagues.

Eyre, 37, posted a career 28-30 record with a 4.23 ERA in 617 games with the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and

Scott Eyre owned a 3-0 record with a 1.88 ERA after joining the Phillies in 2008

Scott Eyre owned a 3-0 record with a 1.88 ERA after joining the Phillies in 2008


The Phillies had offered Eyre a minor league contract. Eyre turned down the offer, but said he was set on retiring, anyway.

“I had most of this retirement thing planned out,” Eyre said to “I think even if he would have offered me a better contract I still don’t think I would have taken it. My family took a trip to Disney before Christmas. We stayed in the RV. We didn’t even go to the amusement parks. We fished. We hung out. It was fun. The more time I spent with the kids at home the more I realized I wanted to hang out. I’ve played long enough.

“I go out playing in back-to-back World Series. I won one of them. I lost two of them. I’ve been to three, so it’s not like I didn’t accomplish anything in my career. I pitched in a whole bunch of games and had a lot of fun doing it.

“I’ll be 38 in May. I’ve pitched in a lot of games. I’ve had elbow issues. I had the surgery to get it fixed, but nobody really knows if it’s going to work or not. I can’t guarantee it’s going to feel great when I’m snapping off sliders. So I really do understand why he (GM Ruben Amaro Jr.) held back (on offering Eyre a major league contract). He’s trying to protect the organization in case I get hurt. It made the decision a little easier, but I don’t think it would have swayed it.”

Eyre will miss his teammates and the city of Philadelphia.

“Every day I think about what I’m going to miss,” he said. “I’m going to miss going to the clubhouse. Being with the Phillies, I’m going to miss seeing Chad Durbin sitting at his locker doing the crossword puzzle. I’m going to miss watching Brad [Lidge] read his biblical books in his locker after batting practice, eating the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen anybody eat. I’ve talked to guys about it. I talked to [Jon] Lieber about it. Basically, you miss the camaraderie with the guys. And the Phillies’ clubhouse is great. That’s one of the reasons why Cliff [Lee] didn’t want to leave. It’s one of the best clubhouses you could be in. I don’t care what anybody says about theirs. I’ve been in a few of them. This is one of the best. I never once said, ‘I don’t want to go to the field today.’”

Scott Eyre will be missed. He was a great clubhouse guy, a consumate professional and a clutch performer since he was acquired from the Cubs via trade in 2008. I think it’s going to be tough finding another lefty as effective as he was. J.C. Romero will be counted on to bounce back and the Phillies will either scour the free agent market for another lefty or let a youngster like Antonio Bastardo prove his worth.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Ruben Amaro Jr., Scott Eyre
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Report: Phillies sign reliever Baez

Posted by mattsmith on 31st December 2009

According to, the Phillies have agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Danys Baez.

The deal is contingent on Baez passing a physical.

Baez finished with a 4-6 record and a 4.02 ERA in 59 games with Baltimore last season. He’ll fill the void left by Chan Ho Park, who will not return.

Baez is flexible. He recorded 99 saves with Cleveland and Tampa Bay from 2003-05, so he could be an option at closer if Brad Lidge struggles.

Tags: Danys Baez, Philadelphia Phillies
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Phillies sign reliever…supposedly

Posted by phillies09 on 24th December 2009

ESPN is reporting that the Phillies have signed a free agent reliever. With Fernando Rodney inking a 2 year/11 million dollar deal earlier, it is unknown who the pitcher of question is. The most likely man behind the curtain is either:

Danys Baez - 71.2 innings, 4.02 ERA, 40 SO in 2009 for the Orioles


Mike MacDougal - 54.1 innings, 4.31 ERA, 34 SO, 38 BB in 2009 for the Nationals

…couldn’t even get resigned by the Nats?

Tune in later to see the new Phillies reliever who will be blowing leads in the 09-10 season.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies
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And now, the bullpen situation …

Posted by mattsmith on 20th December 2009

It’s Dec. 20 and the bullpen situation is very questionable.

Brad Lidge is going to be the closer, as everyone in the Delaware Valley crosses their fingers for a bounce back season.

Chan Ho Park likely will play elsewhere in 2010

Chan Ho Park likely will play elsewhere in 2010

Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero, who expects to be healthy by spring training, are locks to go along with Lidge. Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo, both left-handed hurlers, will compete for a spot.

What about the Phillies’ best relievers, Scott Eyre and Chan Ho Park? According to Todd Zolecki on, there’s still a possibility Eyre returns. However, Park brief tenure in Philly is all but over.

Oft-injured right-hander Clay Condrey was not offered arbitration and will not return, either.

“I would assume Park is going to go someplace else, because the price point between us and Park is just too far apart,” GM Rubern Amaro Jr. said. “Unless something were to change in the next couple of nights, I would say that it looks less probable that we would bring Chan Ho back.”

The Phillies are reportedly interested in free agent Fernando Rodney, who saved 37 games as a member of the Tigers last season. John Smoltz’s name has been thrown around, too.

Bob Howry (San Francisco) and Kiko Calero are also on the radar, according to Zolecki.

Howry posted a 2-6 record with a 3.69 ERA last season. Calero had a stellar campaign with the Marlins, finishing 2-2 with a minuscule 1.95 ERA in 60 appearances.

“We have to be careful and make sure we have somebody we think is going to be healthy and durable for us,” Amaro said.

Tags: Antonio Bastardo, Bob Howry, Brad Lidge, Chad Durbin, Fernando Rodney, J.C. Romero, Kiko Calero, Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Madson, Sergio Escalona
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Report: Halladay is signed, sealed and delivered

Posted by mattsmith on 15th December 2009

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Roy Halladay has agreed to a contract extension with the Phillies. Terms of the contract are undisclosed.

Here’s the breakdown on the four-team blockbuster, which now includes Oakland

Phillies Acquire (from Toronto)

  • RHP Roy Halladay
  • RHP Phillippe Aumont  (minor leaguer)
  • OF Tyson Gillies (minor leaguer)
  • RHP Juan Ramirez (minor leaguer)
  • $6 million cash

Toronto Acquires (From Philadelphia/Oakland)

  • C Travis d’Arnaud (minor leaguer)
  • RHP Kyle Drabek (minor leaguer)
  • 1B/3B Brett Wallace (minor league)

Seattle Acquires

  • LHP Cliff Lee

Oakland Acquires (From Toronto via Phillies)

  • OF Michael Taylor (minor leaguer)


More reaction to come …

Tags: Brett Wallace, Cliff Lee, Juan Ramirez, Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Oakland A's, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillippe Aumont, Roy Halladay, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Gillies
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