Author Archive

Reports: Jimmy Rollins Traded to the Dodgers

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, December 10, 2014 05:21 PM Comments: 72



Jimmy Rollins has played his last game for the Philadelphia Phillies, according to reports.

In a deal that gained traction rapidly on Wednesday, Rollins waived his no-trade clause and has been dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers according to multiple outlets, including Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com. The man who was a staple for the Phillies at the shortstop position since he entered the league in 2000 will be suiting up for another team for the first time in his career come 2015. That just feels weird to type.

Rollins, the Phillies’ all-time leader in hits, will be missed. During his career, J-Roll caught a lot of heat. The fan base had a love-hate relationship with Rollins, who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. We loved when he claimed the Phillies were the “team to beat” but were then offended when he dare call the fan base “front runners”. Then, of course, there was the contingent of fans who hated Rollins first-pitch-swinging mentality and propensity to hit the ball for a lazy pop fly. Yes, Rollins’ time in Philadelphia was far from sunshine and roses. But much like Mike Schmidt, when we look back at the career we watched we will do so fondly.

Jimmy Rollins was the best shortstop the Phillies have ever known. He was a leader for the team that ended the title-less streak in this city. He was, unquestionably, one of the best defensive shortstops during his era. He will be missed.

No word yet on the players coming from Los Angeles. We’ll update as information becomes available.


Phillies Hot Stove: Rollins, Hamels, Byrd, Bastardo

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, December 10, 2014 02:19 PM Comments: 10

(Getty images)

(Getty images)

Since the signing of Jon Lester by the Chicago Cubs the Phillies hot stove has been heating up. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is reporting that Jimmy Rollins is contemplating waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Dodgers if the Phillies and Dodgers can find a match.This is the first time we have heard that Rollins is considering waiving his no-trade clause. In the past, Rollins has stated that he would not waive his no-trade clause, and that he plans on finishing the contract that he signed in 2012. Rollins, who grew up in Oakland California, always said that he would want to play for his hometown Oakland A’s before his career was over but he never mentioned the Dodgers. Rollins stated last month that he would not waive his no-trade clause to go to the New York Yankees although there are now conflicting reports about that hypothetical trade to the Yankees.

UPDATE: 4:47. ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Phillies and Dodgers are indeed discussing Rollins, and there is a “real chance” Rollins would be dealt

Now that Lester has signed, the market for Cole Hamels is taking shape. The teams that did not land Lester are, to no ones surprise, the ones that are connected to Hamels. The three top teams are the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. Philadelphia Inquirer writer Matt Gelb has reported that the Dodgers and Phillies matchup best, and the Red Sox are too stingy with their prospects. The Phillies have been aggressively scouting the Red Sox system since last July, and they are likely still viewed as the favorite to land Hamels if he is indeed dealt however, ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Red Sox have yet to reengage the Phillies about Hamels. There is no timetable for a possible deal but things tend to move quickly at the winter meetings.

The Phillies have discussed Marlon Byrd with the Baltimore Orioles. Byrd is an attractive target for teams as he is coming off a strong year, and is a good value at $8 million a year. The Orioles are looking for a corner outfielder now that Nelson Cruz has signed with the Mariners. Byrd, while a very attractive piece to contending teams, has a very obtainable vesting option for 2016 that might scare teams off.

Antonio Bastardo might be switching teams soon. CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reported Tuesday night that the Phillies and Red Sox were discussing a trade that would send Bastardo to “bean town” for former third round pick Sean Coyle. Coyle is nothing but organizational depth at this stage in his career. Drafted in 2010 he was ranked as the Red Sox 30th-best prospect by Baseball America.

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is also reporting that Bastardo is garnering interest for the Pittsburgh Pirates. No players have been mentioned yet, but the market for Bastardo is starting to take shape.

Now here is the fun part. When we sit with baited breath waiting for Ruben Amato Jr. to make a move. Just typing that sentence makes me cringe.


Phillies Yankees Discuss Rollins, Price Too High

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, November 26, 2014 02:48 PM Comments: 37

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting, via Twitter, that the Phillies and Yankees had preliminary discussions about Jimmy Rollins but the Yankees balked at the high asking price. The talks never got too serious, as Rollins was never asked to waive his no-trade clause. Rollins has a full no-trade clause and has stated in the past that he has no desire to change locations.


Yankees asked about Rollins but the price was too high (AP)

A high asking price for an aging veteran?! Well I know I am SHOCKED. This is coming off a 2014 trade deadline which saw the Phillies make no moves because, according to the GM, “teams weren’t aggressive enough”. A laughable comment considering this past years trade deadline was the busiest deadline in history. So a high asking price for Rollins should not come as a surprise considering Amaro is still in charge.

But then again a high asking price for Rollins might be justified. Rollins has a very reasonable $11 million dollar price tag for 2015. Rollins had a pretty good year in 2014 and  Fangraphs valued his 2014 season as a $19.7 million dollar player. In 2014 Rollins had a slash line 0f .243/.323/.394 while hitting 17 home runs, 55 runs batted in, scoring 78 runs and swiping 28 bags. His fielding percentage was .988 and he committed just 7 errors in 1170.2 innings. Because of his solid season at the plate and another tremendous year in the field, his WAR was 3.6.

Jimmy Rollins is a very attractive target for potential teams looking for a short stop because of his fielding ability, veteran leadership, and switch hitting ability. I do not think there is a chance that Jimmy Rollins gets traded, BUT the only team I can see Jimmy Rollins waving his no-trade clause to is the Oakland A’s. Jimmy grew up in Oakland, and has stated that he would like to finish his career in Oakland. Other than that I think you can expect James Calvin Rollins to be manning short stop come opening day 2015.


Phillies Scouting Red Sox System For Possible Hamels Deal

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, November 18, 2014 07:42 PM Comments: 27

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies are doing background work on several players in the Boston Red Sox system. Catcher Christian Vazquez, outfielder Mookie Betts, and pitcher Matt Barnes are mentioned by name. The Red Sox are on Hamels no-trade list that was recently updated. Rosenthal theorizes that Hamels would likely require the Red Sox to pick up his 2019 option for $20 million dollars.

Cole Hamels to the Red Sox rumors is nothing new. The two teams have scouted each others system extensively in the past few months. Rosenthal suggests that the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Betts, and catchers Vazquez and Blake Swihart. The odds that the Red Sox truly do not want to part with BOTH of their catching prospects is likely slim, as the reports of them wanting to keep all these players is likely a bargaining tactic.

A deal for Hamels will likely hinge on who winds up with free agent starter Jon Lester. The Red Sox are reportedly interested in bringing Lester back to Boston, but if he chooses to sign elsewhere you would have to think that Hamel would become the Red Sox number one target.

The Phillies trading of Cole Hamels seems imminent. The front office is looking to rebuild this team, and Hamels would help do that with the package of prospects that he would command. If/when the Phillies decide to deal the 2008 World Series MVP they need to make sure they get a decent return. The Phillies haven’t had much luck in recent memory trading proven talent for prospects. Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence are a few names that come to mind. The trading of Cole Hamels could help shape the franchise for years to come, or keep the Phillies right were they are now; Dead last.


Royals Interested In Howard

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, November 11, 2014 03:44 PM Comments: 18

Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote Monday night that the Kansas City Royals have had internal discussions about possibly acquiring Phillies first basemen Ryan Howard. The Royals would see Howard as a fit to replace Billy Butler as the teams designated hitter. Howard is owed $60 million dollars and the Phillies will likely have to eat most of that money.

While the report that the Phillies may have found a taker for Howard is exciting to some, Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net says its not even close. Salisbury cites a source that says the Royals interest in Howard is way overblown and that “teams discuss every player this time of year.”

Its no secret that the Phillies are actively looking to move the 2006 NL MVP who has likely played his last game ever in Phillies pinstripes. A Howard trade is not a matter of “if” but “when” at this point.


Phillies Meet With Tomas’ Agent; Hamels Updates No-Trade List

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, November 10, 2014 04:55 PM Comments: 17

NLCS Dodgers Phillies BaseballComcast Sports Net’s Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Phillies have met with Yasmany Tomas’ agent Jay Alou. Salisbury reports that while the Phillies and Alou have just entered into discussions no offers have been exchanged.

The Phillies are widely considered the favorite to land the 23-year old slugging Cuban outfielder. Tomas is expected to be a $100 million dollar signing, breaking Rusney Castillo’s deal with the Red Sox (seven years for $72.5 million) last August. Many do not believe Tomas is looking for a seven or eight year deal, but more of a four to five year deal. The Phillies have been actively trying to tap into the Cuban market in recent years. They were in on the Cubs Jorge Solar, the Dodgers Yasiel Puig, the Red Sox’ Rusney Castillo, and they landed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. There is no expected timetable for Tomas to sign.

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that starting pitcher Cole Hamels has updated his 20 team no trade list and the Boston Red Sox are on it. Rosenthal goes on to say that this does not necessarily mean Hamels would reject a deal to Boston, but more likely he would like any team that is interested in acquiring him to pick up his $20 million dollar option for 2019.

This is a smart move by Hamels who gives himself some leverage with this move. It was not announced if the Cubs were also one of the 20 teams that was on the list, but you would have to think they are. The Cubs claimed Hamels off waivers in August but were unable to come to a deal for the 30-year old left hander. The Red Sox and Phillies were both very active this season scouting each others farm systems, and were/are seen as the favorite to land Hamels if he is indeed dealt this offseason. Both the Cubs and the Red Sox have very deep farm systems.


Burnett Turns Down Player Option

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, November 03, 2014 10:29 PM Comments: 12

AJ Burnett declined his player option. Contemplates retirement PHOTO: AP

A.J. Burnett declined his player option. Becomes a free agent  PHOTO: AP

In a move that has the Phillies front office breathing a sigh of relief, pitcher A.J. Burnett has turned down his $12.75 million player option and will become a free agent. This weekend the Phillies turned down their team option which cut Burnett’s player option from $15 million to $12.75 million.

Burnett was brought in last off-season in a move to bolster the pitching rotation after a very successful year with the Pirates but Burnett failed to match the success he had in Pittsburgh. Dealing with a hernia for much of the season Burnett compiled a 8-18 record with a 4.59 ERA. He led MLB in walks (96) and was second in MLB in hit batsmen (16). He will be 38 next season and his agent has stated that he expects Burnett to pitch “for a contender”. Shockingly that does not include the Phillies (in their minds).

Many thought that it was a forgone conclusion that Burnett would pick up his $12.75 million, after all who turns down that amount of money? But for a slightly better than average pitcher (4.04 career ERA), Burnett has done well for himself. His career earnings are $135,771,500. That’s $37 million more than Chris Carpenter. A.J. Burnett has made his money and he is willing to leave $12.75 million on the table in order to not play for the 2015 Phillies. And, honestly, who could really blame him?

According to a tweet from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Burnett’s agent indicated that the veteran desires to compete for a team that’s slated to be a contender next year and not in rebuilding mode, like the Phillies are.


Gillick: Phillies Wont Contend Until 2017

Posted by Pat Egan, Thu, October 23, 2014 06:32 PM Comments: 63

Phillies interim CEO Pat Gillick doesn't believe the team will contend until 2016

Phillies interim CEO Pat Gillick doesn’t believe the team will contend until 2016

Pat Gillick has always been a brutally honest man. When he traded franchise corner stone Bobby Abreu, along with starting pitcher Corey Lidle during the 2006 trade deadline Gillick stated that the Phillies wouldn’t contend for two years. Two years later they were hoisting the World Series trophy. So folks, get your lawn chairs ready for that parade in 2017!

In an exclusive interview with CSN’s John Clark, Gillick said that the Phillies won’t seriously contend until 2017. He followed that up by saying everyone on the roster is available in a trade. That includes, of course, ace Cole Hamels. Ruben Amaro Jr., not wanting to make a liar out of Gillick, inked starter Jerome Williams and outfielder Grady Sizemore to new deals this week. Both moves are an indication that a 2015 run might not be in the cards.

The Phillies are coming off a 73-89 season which saw them finish dead last in the National League East. The Phillies need a shakeup and it could come soon. We mentioned earlier today that the Phillies were the favorite to land Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. The 23-year old is a start, and he would be in his prime (26 years old) in 2017. Aaron Nola is likely another reason for Gillick’s proclamation. The right hander who the Phillies took seventh overall in the 2014 draft should be in the rotation at some point next season. He would turn 24-years old during the 2017 season.

Its no secret that the Phillies will likely look to move ace left hander Cole Hamels this winter. Hamels is coming off the best season in his career (2.46 ERA) and his value has never been higher. The Phillies, mainly GM Ruben Amaro Jr, has never had much luck trading proven players for prospects, so lets hope that trend will stop if the Phillies move Hamels. The Boston Red Sox are likely the favorite to land Hamels, and their farm system is deep.

Then of course you have the few pieces in the Phillies system that could contribute soon. Can Maikel Franco make the jump to the majors and be the guy that smashed 31 home runs in 2013? Can former first round pick Jesse Biddle rebound after his tough 2014 season? Will JP Crawford be in the majors by 2017? Can Roman Quinn, and Kelly Dugan stay healthy enough to reach the majors in three years and contribute?

Obviously no one knows just yet. But if you combine Tomas and Nola, with the package the Phillies could get for Hamels, mixed with the prospects they have in the system, then Pat Gillick might just be onto something. The Phillies could theoretically turn this old team, into a young nucleus this offseason. Give that nucleus a few seasons and who knows. Just in case, I’ll be camped out on Broad St. claiming my spot. Stop by and say hi!



Phillies Recent Winning Ways Could Prove Costly in the Long Run

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, September 15, 2014 02:35 PM Comments: 24

Ruben Amaro Jr. could stay put thanks to the Phillies recent winnings ways. (AP Photo).

Ruben Amaro Jr. could stay put thanks to the Phillies recent winnings ways. (AP Photo).

Lets face it, this has not exactly been a fun year for Phillies fans. The aging team that we all thought would struggle to compete has lived up to our expectations. The GM that fans thought was incompetent did nothing to diminish that philosophy at the trade deadline when he failed to make a move on one of the most active trade deadline’s in years. The baseball legend turned manager has made questionable calls, and come under criticism by his own players. Yes this has certainly not been a fun year for Phillies fans. Yet the Phillies have been doing something lately that has been out of the ordinary this season; They are winning. Not enough to actually make a run, but enough to have a possible negative impact on the future.

In 1968 Eagles fans jumped into the national spotlight when they threw snowballs at a Santa Clause look-a-like. Yes, I am here to dispel the myth that Eagles fans threw snowballs at the real Santa. It was not him, but a skinny guy in a bad Santa suit. What does not get mentioned by the national media when this story gets brought up a few times a year is the reason why. In 1968 the Eagles were terrible, arguably the worst team in the NFL. The saving grace for Eagles fans was a running back from the University of Southern California named Orenthal James Simpson. The Eagles however did not end up with the future Hall of Fame running back, but instead they drafted Leroy Keys (who?!). The Eagles ended up winning the final two games of the season, which dropped their draft stock from first, to third. Sitting in frigid temperatures, watching a terrible team lose out on Simpson was the last straw for those fans that day. The Phillies are doing the same thing that the Eagles did in 1968.

On August 19th the Phillies held the sixth pick in the draft with a record of 55-71. After a series win against the Marlins that ended with a loss on Sunday the Phillies now hold the eleventh pick in the draft. Thanks to the Astros failing to sign their first round pick Brady Aiken they will be awarded the second overall pick in next June’s MLB draft, pushing the Phillies draft pick back by one pick. So while the Phillies have the tenth worst record in Major League Baseball, they hold the eleventh pick thanks to the Astros ineptitude.

The immediate impact is obviously not the same in Major League Baseball as it is in the National Football League. But the long term impact of the Phillies recent winning ways doesn’t stop at the draft, but could also bleed into the front office. The Phillies 16-14 record is tied for the eleventh best record in baseball over the last 30 games. This could possibly give the front office reason to not only not change a thing, but actually believe the team can compete in 2015. Because of the recent mediocre success of the team we could be looking at déjà vu come 2015.

The top 11 picks in the 2015 MLB Draft will be protected. So if the standings stay as is Phillies fans wont have to worry about Ruben Amaro Jr. giving away the teams first round pick for a Type A free agent. Since Ruben Amaro Jr. will likely be feeling the burn of the hot seat that he currently sits on, he will likely look to sign a top free agent, and then once again tell fans this team can compete, the window is not closed, and 35 is the new 25.

If you are hoping for change this offseason the Phillies are doing just enough to ensure there wont be any. The depleted farm system could certainly use a top five pick in the draft, but likely wont get one at this rate. For sheer sanity’s sake Phillies fans need a major change in the front office, but the seventh worst team in 2013 is now the eleventh worst team in 2014 and to this front office that is seen as “improvement”. Watching the Phillies win these meaningless games in September is fun. But the long term impact might prove that these games are not meaningless at all. If you are hoping for change this offseason you need the September Phillies to play like the May Phillies.


Gameday 121: Phillies at Angels

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, August 13, 2014 06:39 PM Comments: 17



Philadelphia Phillies (53-67) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (69-49)

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: A.J. Burnett (6-12, 4.29)
LAA: Jered Weaver (12-7, 3.68)

Time: 10:05, Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Weather: Sunny, 79
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Every time Phillies starter A.J. Burnett takes the hill this month Phillies fans know it could be his last with the club. Burnett has been centered around trade talks since mid June, and we are two and a half weeks away from the waiver trade deadline. Burnett has just six wins this season, and win number seven is going to be tough. The Angels enter tonight’s game 20 games over .500 and they are sending their ace pitcher (Jered Weaver) to the bump tonight.

Marlon Byrd is another trade piece the Phillies have, and he has some success against Weaver in his career. In 25 career at-bats against Weaver Byrd is hitting .320. Marlon Byrd is third among Major League right fielders in home runs & runs batted in. Byrd is also ranked fifth in slugging, and is ranked 6th in WAR. Byrd would have already been dealt if it was not for a ridiculous vesting option. He was claimed on waivers last week and was not traded, meaning any trade for Byrd would likely happen in the offseason.


Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd DH / Sizemore RF / Brown LF / Ruiz C / Asche 3B

Previous Page