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Baseball Winter Meetings Updates

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, December 10, 2009 02:20 PM | Comments: 402
Acquisitions, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Originally posted at 1:09 p.m., December 7, 2009

Phillies Nation will continually update this post throughout the week as the MLB Winter Meetings heat up in Indianapolis.

Day 4:

(6:03 am): The Phillies are now back into the Halladay discussion, according to Ken Rosenthal. He says the Phillies are prepared to ship J.A. Happ, Dom Brown or Michael Taylor, and another prospect to Toronto in a deal.  They would also have to trade Joe Blanton to free up money for this to happen.  My thought: is this 100% worth it? The bounty is not as high as last season, however, giving up Blanton means two very good starters would be out, plus some prospects.  Interesting scenarios are brewing out in Indy early today.

Also, late last night, the Houston Astros swooped in and landed Brandon Lyon for a reported three years, $15 million. That’s a bit more than I figured he was worth, especially for a guy who has an up and down track record.  I though the Phils might be able to get him at two years under $10 million.

(11:30am): Jason Stark mentions the Phils are seriously considering John Smoltz as a “back-of-the-bullpen weapon.”  Smoltz’s agent apparently told the Phils that the pitcher has no problem with Citizens Bank Park; although we all know that has not always been the case.  Smoltz has bashed the Phillies home field  on numerous occasions.

(2:18pm) With the 17th overall pick, the Phillies selected Kenneth David Herndon from the Angels’ AA team. Herndon is a 24 year-old right-handed pitcher who was 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA and 11 saves in 50 appearances last season.

They also picked up Angelo Sanchez, another right handed pitcher. The 20 year-old went 5-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 starts with the Twins’ AAA affiliate.

On the flip side, the Phillies lost right-hander Carlos Monasterios to the New York Mets. You may remember him as one of the guys in the Bobby Abreu trade of 2006.

Day 3:

(9:38 pm): This Phillies.com headline says it all: Phillies not likely to land Halladay.  The Los Angeles Angels made an offer to the Blue Jays, and now it appears the Phillies are out of the mix.

(9:10 pm): Jayson Stark says that the Phillies have been equally aggressive on Fernando Rodney as they have been on Brandon Lyon.  Stark questions if the Phillies would pay Rodney “closer-type money.”

(8:04 pm): Roy Halladay update: Jon Heyman of SI joins the fray saying he’s heard that the Phillies are joining the Halladay discussions.  Who in your opinion has the best shot out of the Phils, Red Sox, Angels, or Yankees in the hunt for Doc?

(7:23 pm): Things have been relatively quiet regarding the Phillies over the past few hours.  However, if your scoring at home, cross Matt Lindstrom, LaTroy Hawkins, and possibly, Rich Harden, off your lists.  Lindstrom went to Houston in a trade, Hawkins signed with Milwaukee, and Harden might be on his way to the Rangers.  I’m a big fan of Harden and what he can bring, although he might be a reliever very soon because he just cant stay healthy.  I also brought up Lindstrom here on this forum a few days ago as a possible back-end guy, but Ed Wade struck while the iron was hot.

(3:53 pm): Earlier today, Todd Zolecki wrote a post saying the Phillies have just as good a chance as any other team at acquiring the services of Roy Halladay.  He polled executives around the league asking if they thought the Phillies had enough depth down on the farm to make something happen, and many said they did.  Still, does it make sense to get Halladay for what will likely be one year?  I see the Angels and Red Sox as front runners here, and the Yankees in the mix too if they are willing to give up either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.  It pains me to say that, because I hate that they get all the “good” players out there, but such is the case.  Would anyone hate to see Happ/Brown/Gose go for possibly one season of Doc?

(2:37 pm): John Smoltz and Ron Mahay are two names that have popped back up within the past few hours.  Smoltz would fight for the fifth spot in the rotation, and/or a late-inning bullpen situation.  Personally, I believe Smoltz is better suited as a bullpen arm. He’d fit well in the Myers/Park role. He pitched well at times last year, but seemed to be a three inning guy.  In 2009, from the fourth inning on, Smoltz recorded an ERA of 5.40.  He never once reached the seventh inning in any game last season.

Mahay is a great option should Scott Eyre walk away for good.  Mahay is 37 (why does it seem like every lefty is at least 35?) and posted an ERA just north of four a season ago with Kansas City and Minnesota.  He would ably fill the gap left by Eyre and can be the #1 lefty if JC Romero is not healthy enough for a return at the start of the season.

(2:25 pm): Sorry for the delay on the news, but we’ve finally resolved our server problems.  It was Phillies overload.

By now, you know that the Phillies inked Ross Gload to a two-year deal to round out their bench.  The terms of the contract have not yet been released, but the Phillies bench certanly will look a lot different than last season.  Gload hit .261/.329/.729 last season with Florida.  This is an OK move for RAJ to make.  Gload won’t knock your socks off, but can play several positions and led the NL in pinch hits in 2009.  I would rather the Phillies saved the money on Gload and went with a younger option, but following last seasons bench debacle, it’s understandable Amaro would solidify that shortcoming right away.  More soon…

Day 2:

(4:09 pm): Looks like that three-team trade between Arizona, Detroit, and the New York Yankees will be made.  The main pieces, Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson, will go to New York and Arizona, respectively.  The Tigers get a bunch of youngsters in return, including pitcher Max Scherzer.

You may not want to hear this, but now that a few of the Yankees blue chippers are packing, does that take them out of the Roy Halladay sweepstakes completely?  Does that also bolster the Phillies chances of getting Doc?  One of the Yankees top prospects, Austin Jackson, goes to Detroit, so they lose that piece which would certainly be involved for Halladay.  This is all just a forethought, obviously, but it’s something to think about. Although nothing really stops the Yankees from making trades.

(12:59 pm):All the talk over the last 24 hours here in Phillie-land has been about Joe Blanton.  Is it wise to move him?  How much will he make next season?  Why would Brad Penny get so much in free agency? (I threw the last one in myself).  David Murphy has put his own spin on it, and in his heart of hearts does not believe Big Joe goes.  That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, however, I think it’s something the Phillies certainly need to explore.

(10:38 am): My own two cents again, but after seeing what some pitchers are reeling in on the open market money-wise, I’d almost rather go with Bastardo, Escalona, and Condrey in the pen, with Kendrick, Moyer, and Free-Agent-to-be-Named in the running for the fifth rotation spot.  That would leave one relief spot open for a guy like Lyon, who looks to be commanding at least $5 million at this point (just a guess).  Rafael Soriano getting nearly $8 million through arb?  Maybe I’m nieve, but none of the guys out there seem worth that kind of dough?  Didn’t think Wagner was worth it, or Penny either.  Guess that’s just the way the market is opening up in the early going.

(9:02 am): According to Jon Paul Morosi, several teams are in on J.J. Putz.  He lists the Cubs, White Sox, D’Backs, Rangers, Nationals, and Tigers as all having interest, but don’t be surprised if Rube is kicking the tires on the former Met.  The 32-year old made $6 million last season, but was hindered by injuries, posting a 5.22 ERA in just 29 appearances.  Prior to his ’09 failure, Putz was a revelation in Seattle, putting up 36 and 40 saves in 2006 and 2007, respectively. He’d fit in nicely with Lidge and Madson toward the back of the ‘pen, but at what cost?

(8:39 am): Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News brings back our old friend Brett Myers as a possible free agent starting pitcher.  Hagen wonders why the Phillies haven’t looked his way at all this offseason.  I’d be all for it if Myers wanted to take a one-year, incentive laden deal, however, reports have him seeking a two-year deal, and he wants a shot at closing if he’s in the bullpen.  I’m not sure you can count on him as a starter, and I’m pretty certain his shtick grew tired here, so it’s doubtful we will see Myers again in ’10.

Cross some relievers off your big board if your scoring at home. Rafael Soriano and Rafael Betancourt each accepted arbitration with their respective clubs.  Soriano will be back with Atlanta, reportedly for somewhere in the $6.5-$8 million range.  Betancourt is looking for a raise from the $3.55 million he made with Colorado in 2009. Other relief pitchers who reject arbitration: Jose Valverde, Fernando Rodney, and Brian Shouse.

Day 1:

(7:30 pm): Take Brad Penny off your list of possible Phillies starters for next year.  He has signed a one-year (get ready for this), $7.5 million contract, plus $1.5 million in incentives, to join the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wow. That seems like a hefty amount for a guy who was released mid-season by the Boston Red Sox.  He finished with a 4.88 ERA between Boston and San Francisco, winning 11 games in 173 1/3 innings.  Hopefully, like with the Billy Wagner deal, this doesn’t hinder the Phillies attempts to acquire a starter through free agency.

(6:10 pm):Justin Duchscherer is now a free agent after declining arbitration from the Oakland A’s, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.  Duchscherer missed all of 2009, but is a former two-time all star – once as a starter, once as a reliever.  He is at the head of the buy-low class, and reports are out there that he may go to an east coast team; the reason being his divorced wife and son live in New Jersey. Assuming he is healthy and has gotten past his personal issues, Duchscherer would look great with a Phillies “P” on his cap.

(4:45 PM): Martino tweets about the Phillies bringing back both Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey, although nothing is set just yet.  Condrey seems like a no-brainer to me, but Durbin is a different story.  He made $1.65 million last season, so that figure may rise north of $2 million.  Not sure he is worth that much.  Thoughts?

(3:00 PM): Earlier today, Andy Martino of the Inquirer posted that the Phillies are meeting with representatives from Chan Ho Park’s camp to figure out where both sides are regarding a contract.  Park as said previously he wants to start, but the Phils view him as a very good piece in the bullpen.  He made $2.5 million last year and almost assuredly will be in line for a raise.  Park was an integral part that kept a shaky bullpen in one piece throughout the 2009 season, however, $3 million or more might be too much for the Phils to think about.

(2:17 pm): This is just my own two cents, but looking at our bullpen situation, does Matt Lindstrom make sense here in Philly?  The Marlins are reportedly shopping him and he’s coming off a season in which injuries took their toll on him.  Lindstrom throws in the upper-90′s, but does struggle with some control issues.  However, he’s arb-eligible this year and next, so he would come cheap.  The question is, which prospects would it take to nab him from Florida?  Anyone for or against this idea?

(1:00 pm):The first bit of Phillies news coming out is from Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse regarding Joe Blanton. Price says the Phils are considering moving Blanton because of his arbitration price-tag.  Big Joe made $5.475 million last season, and is due a raise after a stellar 2009 campaign.

Blanton would be looking at somewhere in the $7 million ballpark through arbitration, so trading him would give the Phils new flexibility.  However, it would take away one of the most solid #3′s in the National League.




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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
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