Notes From the Winter Meetings: Wednesday

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, December 08, 2010 11:40 PM | Comments: 123
2010-11 Free Agency, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

-Yes, you heard correctly – Zack Greinke. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. The hottest rumor out of the Winter Meetings thus far pertaining to the Phillies is that they are “considering” the Royals ace and Cy Young winner.  A person with knowledge of the situation told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies brass has had internal discussions as well as talks with Kansas City about Greinke. Amaro said:

“We have explored and tried and talked about acquiring some significant players,” he said. “We’ve tried to shoot for the moon on some things and laid some groundwork, but the possibility of them happening is kind of remote.”

Unlikely as it may be, Ruben and his boys are stirring things up a bit down in Central Florida. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, but what would it cost? If Cole Hamels is involved, you stay away. Hamels fits beautifully in between the two Roy’s, so you don’t want to mess with that. In no uncertain terms, the Royals organization will pillage the Phils farm system – that’s a given. Dom Brown would have to be involved – also a given.

This trade rumor barely as legs, but it’s a big one nonetheless.

-Dennys Reyes still isn’t a Phillie, however, he could be one soon. There have been multiple reports today of him signing with the team, although nothing has been completed. It would be for one-year with a second-year option.

-Aaron Rowand is not coming to Philadelphia, so says Giants GM Brian Sabean. He said the rumors surrounding his expensive, little-used outfielder are conjecture. This one could be a possibility, especially if the Giants pay most of his remaining salary. He’s a guy the Phillies know well; he’s also a guy the Giants would love to unload. Keep an eye on this, it may have legs. Am I fan of it? Not really, but the market is thinned out after Matt Diaz and Jeff Francouer signed.

-Is Magglio worth it? Scott Boras, his agent-extraordinare, says the bidding begins at two-years, $20 million. If that number comes down a bit, then the Phillies might be on to something. However, I’m just not sure if he’s worth $10 million a year. I’m also not so sure Carlos Peña is worth $10 million a season either, but that’s what the Cubs gave him, so anything’s possible.

UPDATE, 9:00 AM Thursday: While I was tucked away in bed, Dennys Reyes finally signed a contract with the Phillies; go figure. The deal is worth $1.1 million in 2011 and there is a mutual option worth $1.35 million in 2012. If Reyes reaches 70 appearances this year, he’ll have the right to exercise that. There is also a $150,000 buyout in ’12.

Not a bad deal for a lefty who will have to remember how to stop lefties. Then again, this seems to be the going rate for guys of his caliber nowadays. Just yesterday, George Sherrill signed a similar contract with the Atlanta Braves. Reyes can’t be any worse than J.C. Romero was in his final year-and-a-half in Philly, and for less than half the price.

UPDATE, 9:12 am Thursday: In the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selcted Michael Martinez, an infielder from the Washington Nationals. Martinez, 28, is a light-hitting, switch-hitter who has been a minor league lifer. In AAA last season, he had a .720 OPS and played five positions.

They’ll get a better look at him during Spring Training to see if he’s worth keeping for an entire season. By the looks of his numbers, it’s a long shot. If the Phillies do not keep him, he will have to be offered back to the Nats.

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Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

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

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Everyone here loves hearing a rumor. And so it is with another one named Greinke. Never mind its’ lack of logic or common sense when the Phillies already have a solid rotation. In the real world, we see GM Amaro starting to fill holes (replacing Romero & Durbin) in the bullpen with the signing of Dennys Reyes, a LH situational reliever. Yet hardly a peep here on Amaro’s latest acquisition. And it makes me nervous to hear rumors of the Phillies’ prized prospect, Dom Brown in any possible trade. I have to reassure myself that again, it’s only rumor(s). In the real world, Francisco (RH) and Brown (LH) will likely share playing time in RF. And once Brown adjust and gains confidence, he could very well contend for Rookie of The Year honors. I’m looking forward to seeing this kid play.

  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Dipsy, compelling as usual my friend. However, 10-15 years since they wanted to win?
    Let me ask you, what was the bulk of the 93 offense?
    Nails – free agent
    Kruck – free agent
    Inky – free agent
    Mariano Duncan (ok a stretch but he had been around)
    Even the pitching,
    Danny Jackson, Terry Mulholland, Mitch Williams all free agents.

    Fast forward to 2003, right after the Phils signed Thome, they also signed Millwood (who’d a thunk the 18-5 record with the Braves was the anomole in his career?) and that is when I committed to buying tickets.

    So, you’re right and wrong. The quality of the free agents they signed in the past, or the money they spent was always suspect. I too did not believe they wanted to win.

    But look at the value of the dollar now. What in the &$#( is going on? How can anyone in their right minds ink someone to a binding contract for 7 years? Is it a guarenteed deal? What if the player gets injured where he cannot perform? 7 years, anything can happen.. it is totally mind boggling and you guys are right, Lee is good but he aint no Halladay!

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Brooks – To me, big free agents are Rose, Thome, Lance Parrish and Gregg Jeffries (who didn’t work out). Premiere players. I think we can agree that the ’93 team was lighting in a bottle. I doubt that any of those signings that you mentioned, when made, were considered large or difference making. Not to take credit away from those who built a good team. This is not to mention the players, Schilling and Rolen, who wanted to leave because they perceived that the owners didn’t give a damn about winning. Go to your Baseball Reference and check out the teams from 86 to 2000 and try not to wince.

    The Phillies are an example of a team that changed. Which is great. Just look at the Orioles. My god, how sad is that? What a history and they stink. Baseball owners have no built in impetus to win. If your teams has a low payroll and sucks, you are rewarded with a reasonable profit from operations and then a big fat check collected for the luxury tax from the year before.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    The ’93 team was one of those situations that comes along and shocks the baseball world. What a fun ride THAT was! But considering what preceded it and what came after it…..the Phillies pretty much SUCKED for almost 20 years. And, you’re right, management was lulled into a state of it being “ok”

    As for the Orioles, is there any team out there that has fallen so hard after so much success….and has yet to get back up?? I mean, seriously, what is it now?? 12 straight losing seasons? Hopefully, genius Buck Showalter can make some sort of difference down there. Their fans have to be the most pissed at the Werth deal because it’s right in their back yard.

  • Posts: 0 George

    I’m not sure I totally agree here without seeing the books. But it is certain that major league baseball is a business and nothing else. Every business has it’s winners and losers; the bankruptcy courts are full of the losers, and it’s not always because those franchises and corporations and LLCs chose not to spend money to improve.

    Also, despite what one might think, there is always a limit to revenue. Pittsburgh, for instance, is not a huge area, and has the disadvantage of being too close to markets such as Philadelphia and Cincinnati, which suck off a certain number of fans and viewers.

    I’m not saying that Pittsburgh ownership doesn’t sit on their backsides waiting for their revenue sharing checks; I’m only stating that they may actually be somewhat poorer than other teams.

    Perhaps a better example would be the Florida teams. Neither the Marlins nor the Rays have spent what one might consider “enough money to get the job done” but have still fielded winners and still produced stars. Their rewards have been consistently poor attendance. One can’t always make money by spending more.

  • Posts: 0 George

    One other thing: Sometimes creating a winning or a losing team is not an attitude, but a scouting issue. Some teams just sign the wrong guys or draft the wrong guys or trade for the wrong guys. Some teams overpay or underpay depending on factors that include everything from skilled analysis to basic and simple dumb luck.

    And by the way, Terry Mulholland didn’t come as a free agent; he was obtained from the Giants in a trade.

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    Dip I would definitely disagree with a the comment “Then, to the chagrin of the owners, our farm system started producing and fliers on Victorino and Werth panned out. Next thing you know, we have a really good team. ” They may not have had confidence in what they were doing before, but I am sure the Ownership wanted to win, just had no idea how to do it at that point other than luck into it like 93. Gillick was a great hire the voice that made this team the top notch organization it is, Wade was the one responsible for making the farm what it was.

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    Dip another team that is like the Orioles but longer is the Pirates…. what a sad excuse for a franchise

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Dipsy…I’m offended by your comment. I am a life long milk drinker. Otherwise…good stuff!

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    @Jeff – I think the Phillies were very content with just cruising along doing just enough to put fannies in the seats of their new ballpark, and thats it. I think that when Rollins and Utley and Howard and all those guys started to pan out, and the team became good, I genuinely believed that it frightened management. After all, what is the sense of ownership paying higher salaries for good players instead of mediocre salaries for mediocre players when the improvement in the product didn’t make them enough money in the end. That was “Phase I”, I’ll call it.

    Then “Phase II”. The team got really good. Good beyond the owner’s imaginations. In order to make the real big bucks you can’t be 91-71 and just missing the playoffs every year good, you need to blow up, and that’s what the Phils did. Post season, WS, merchandising, hot dogs, beer, parking, etc. This is the revenue that makes the higher salaries make sense, in my view. This team is a brand, now. People in other areas of the country are Phils fans and spending money for the privilege.

    Sometimes its better to be lucky than good, and the Phils were both, even if the owners had to be dragged along during the first stage. They eventually got out of their own way and let Pat and Ruben do the driving. They’re certainly hip to how it all works now and we are very lucky baseball fans.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I still don’t think, however, that Monty and Co. realize what they have here. They STILL treat Philly as a “small” market in some ways. In some respects it’s good because practicing some fiscal restraint helps to keep games affordable for most fans. I want to be able to go to my 10 or so games a year with my son and buy the occasional jersey or hat and not feel like I was just gang-raped in the process.

    It’s a fine balance between putting a quality, championship-caliber team on the field without becoming the Yankees or Red Sox in the process.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    7 years for Werth (31) and now potentially Lee (32) is JUST CRAZY.

    7 years for guys in their late 20s like Adrian Gonzales (28) and Carl Crawford (29) make a bit more sense, though they are still pretty incredible. I’m glad we’re staying away from all those ridiculous contracts. Oh wait, we have Howard (31) locked up for the next 7 years, too (the 5-or-6-year extension kicks in after the 2011 season). Though I’d give that contract to Howard over Werth any day, any time. Oh well.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Pujols is the better of the two between him and Howard…so he SHOULD be receiving more than Ryan. But Howard’s contract will definitely be a bargain when it’s on its back end. Pujols will probably be a 30M per I would think.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    After measuring against Werth’s deal, Pujols may get 35 or even 40m . All thanks to the Borasionals.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I’m guessing Pujoles will get 8 years $240 million.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    I agree…it is a shame that baseball is getting ruined. It’s always been my favorite sport for many reasons. I love the pitcher/hitter psychology with each at bat. I love that any player on any given night can single handedly win the game for you, whether it be Ryan Howard or Ross Gload or Roy Halladay. It’s the only sport without a time clock. And I love the fact that the players don’t do a celebration dance after doing what they’re PAID to do…unlike football and basketball. I couldn’t imagine being a fan in Kansas City or Pittsburgh or God forbid, Toronto and Baltimore. Unless they catch lightning in a bottle, those teams will never win their division. Most teams can’t compete anymore. Or you have a team like the Nationals that wants to compete, but has to significantly overpay a player to come play for them, thus helping to ruin the economics of the game. Like Chuck, I’d like to continue going to a handful of games and not have to break the bank to do it. But something drastic has to be done with these salary increases and it has to happen fast or it will only be corporations in attendance in the near future. Other than that, the game is still pretty awesome. Have a good weekend fellow phans.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    No way 35 or 40. 30M per will be a new threshhold and will make enough news.

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova


    That makes more sense! I definitely agree with the 2 phase part, I mean I am sure they wanted to win just not willing to risk throwing crazy money to do so. As you said just content on making it almost look like they wanted to win at all costs with the Thome, Millwood, Bell signings

  • Posts: 0 jeff of Nova

    Actually I really tend to ignore the salaries for the most part, cause we are an organization that can play with the big dogs and we have a winning way here now.

    Many forget when ARod got that huge 10 year deal with the Rangers, everyone was outraged, then all the salaries hung around the same going up steadily and slowly and now the big pocket teams have not won enough recently so they have to outbid everyone.

    I agree Werth’s deal is ridiculous, so is any deal Lee will get. To say Lee is worth the highest salary in Baseball is absurd, We all know who the best pitcher in baseball is and how much he gets paid.

    Crawford maybe since he is not over 30 and has proven track record. Pujols will get an obnoxious salary that will make Howards look like a steal. As long as Ryan breaks the funk he was in most of this year including the playoffs he will be worth it. I am fairly confident that Rollins, Utley, Howard, Vic are going to have solid to stand out years… if they do we take the NL.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    With a HEALTHY lineup….all wanting to prove themselves…

    along with H20….

    a bolstered bullpen and a pick-up here or there such as a RH bat….

    This team SHOULD win the division.

    I think Hamels continues his dominance of 2010 and Roy O, with a fresh start with the club right out of the spring, will win 15 games. Doc is Doc and I would think that a healthy Blanton will be fine.

    This COULD be their last immediate shot, though, with expiring contracts at the end of the year and a LOT of questions moving forward.

    Dipsy makes a good point in that why would Ruben NOT go out and get a big bat to serve this lineup and these guys well?? It wouldn’t make sense unless they feel SOOOOO confident that Ben Fran can be that guy.

  • Posts: 0 betasigmashag

    IMO long term you do not need that big bat this year, I think Ben can be a 20HR 75 RBI .275 hitter mostly full time with maybe some platooning in RF, also an above average defensive guy. Take Ryan Jimmy and Chase hitting like they can and Poly being a little better because he will not have a bone floating around his elbow, the offense can win 100 games. Especially if Chooch can ht .290 with a ..400 OBP like last year. This team can score 4-6 runs a game more than enough for wins even when Big Joe/Kendrick/Worley are pitching.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I think that’s what Ruben thinks, too…that Francisco can produce with those numbers…..which is ok with me. I’ll take that from him. In reality, like Don said the other day, who out there besides Maggs is really any better than Francisco at this point?

  • Posts: 0 pheelin' it

    Im rooting for Ben Fran, then, what can brown do for you in left in 2012

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