Hamels and Byrd claimed on Revocable Waivers

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, August 06, 2014 06:09 PM Comments: 13

Phillies ace lefty Cole Hamels has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unidentified team according to Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. The Phillies now have 48 hours to either work out a trade with the unidentified team, or pull him back. The third option would be to let Hamels just go to the unnamed team for nothing with the mystery team paying the rest of Hamels salary. This is very unlikely, however.

Hamels can be traded to nine different teams without his consent. Those teams are the Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Cardinals, Nationals, Rangers, Padres and Yankees.

The Red Sox have shown interest in Hamels this season, with the Phillies having scouted their AA team. Hamels was said to be a fit for Boston if they could not sign Jon Lester to a long term contract. The Red Sox ended up trading Lester to the Oakland Athletics on deadline day leaving a reunion between Lester and “bean town” in doubt.

The Dodgers claimed lefty Cliff Lee last year on revocable waivers, and could be the team in question. Rosenthal reports that the Phillies may be better off trying to trade him in the offseason, rather than trying to work out a trade with this mystery team. The 30-year old ace is enjoying arguably his best season in his Major League career. He has compiled a 6-6 record with a 2.42 ERA. He has given up a career low eight home runs, and opposing hitters are batting just .224 off the lefty. His trade stock has never been higher.

Marlon Byrd was also claimed on revocable waivers by an unidentified team. This could be a move by a team actually looking to acquire Byrd’s services for a stretch run, or it could be used to block other teams from trading for the 36-year old outfielder. Byrd, who has been one of the better free agent pick ups of the winter, has another year left on his contract along with an obtainable vesting option for 2016. Byrd is hitting .269 this season with 21 home runs, and 63 runs batted in.

His contract was one of the reasons on why he was not traded at the July 31st non-waiver deadline; teams did not want to invest two more years into an aging outfielder. It is also worth noting that Jonathan Papelbon cleared waivers.

My take: I respectfully am going to disagree with Ken Rosenthal in regards to Hamels. If you are looking for an ace pitcher, this is the offseason to get one. This free agent class is set to feature both Max Scherzer and Jon Lester. Hamels would be the third choice for teams that lost out on either of those two pitchers. Teams would seemingly rather pony up money than prospects. While his trade stock has never been higher, and I worry of a Cliff Lee type situation, I don’t see a trade happening. The Phillies had been in talks with the Dodgers, but asked for three top 20 prospects in all of baseball for the 30-year old ace. 48 hours just isn’t a ton of time to get adequate value for a pitcher of Hamels caliber.

Byrd is more likely to go. Byrd would be a nice addition for a team needing outfield help, as he is one of the best options on the market. Two of the teams on his no-trade list are the Seattle Mariners, and the Kansas City Royals. Both of those teams had been interested in Byrd, but the slugging right fielder wanted them to pick up his option. The Yankees were also a fit for Byrd, but when the Phillies asked for former first round pick Aaron Judge the Yankees balked and decided to acquire Martin Prado.

Papelbon was the guy most Phillies fans wanted claimed. That would have been the easiest way to get rid of Papelbon and his contract (barring that the claiming team was not on his no-trade list). Hopefully the Phillies will be able to work out a deal with a team for Papelbon, who is still owed $13 million next season, with an obtainable vesting option in 2016 for another $13 million. In Ruben we trust?


Gameday 114: Astros at Phillies

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, August 06, 2014 05:30 PM Comments: 16



Houston Astros (47-66) at Philadelphia Phillies (50-63)

Starting Pitchers:
HOU: Brad Peacock (3-7, 4.93)
PHI: David Buchanan (5-5, 4.40)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Thunder storms, 82
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

If you are a fan of free baseball than you must love the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies won in the 15th inning last night against the Houston Astros 2-1. That is the fifth game this season that has gone 14 innings or more which ties a 1958 franchise record. The Phillies currently lead the Major Leagues in innings played. Lucky us!

The Phillies will be facing former top prospect Brad Peacock, who has never put it all together at the Major League level. Opposing hitters are teeing off on Peacock this season hitting .272. Because this has the makings of a big Phillies win, Peacock will likely go out and pitch a no-hitter.


Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd RF / Sizemore LF / Nieves C / Asche 3B / Buchanan P


Phillies Vets to Set Games Played Record Tonight

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, August 05, 2014 05:18 PM Comments: 7

They’ve been together for a long, long time. Longer than some of you would like. But Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley are about to set a new MLB record for teammates at their respective positions.

With their starts tonight, it will be that groups 887th regular season game together in the field at first base, second base, and shortstop, respectively. That record had been held by the Los Angeles Dodgers trio of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, and Bill Russell, who played 886 games together. The stat is courtesy of Jayson Stark and Elias.

Pretty impressive. Although they’re no longer the same players they were in their prime, it’s still quite impressive they’ve been able to stick together this day and age and stay “healthy” enough to be on the field.



Phillies Nation TV – Trade Deadline Special

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, August 02, 2014 01:04 PM Comments: 49

On this special Trade Deadline edition of Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey discuss why the Phillies ended up making zero moves. They breakdown trades around the league and analyze how they led to the Phillies standing pat. They also discuss the prospects for making trades after the deadline and explain how the waiver process works.

Matt Stairs (of all people) gives us a lesson on bunting. Kevin Wilson talks about his relationship with Charlie Manuel. And Tommy Greene gives his opinions on players fraternizing with the opposition.


Why The Phillies Failed At The Trade Deadline

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, August 01, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 34

Mo Money Mo Problems

Yesterday, the 4 PM MLB trade deadline came and went without a single move by the Phillies. Marlon Byrdthe player thought to be the most likely to be dealt, and the one who should have been dealt for at least something, didn’t go anywhere. A.J. Burnett wasn’t traded, and neither were Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, or Cole Hamels.

Around the league, Jon Lester was traded along with Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes. David Price was traded to the Tigers in a three team deal. John Lackey was sent to the Cardinals, and Martin Prado to the Yankees. The Phillies? Nada.

Continue reading Why The Phillies Failed At The Trade Deadline


Time to Say Goodbye: A Fan’s Perspective

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, July 31, 2014 05:57 PM Comments: 19

You know the song “Never Say Goodbye” by Bon Jovi? It seems as if Ruben Amaro Jr. has been listening to that song on repeat for last couple of years. He probably had it playing on his iPod up until today’s 4pm trade deadline concluded.

By now, every Phillies fan knows that the Phillies did not make a single move today, the final day of the non-waiver trade deadline. At this point, a lot of Phillies fans are probably feeling a little bit of confusion and anger. Does RAJ really believe that this same team will have a shot at competing next season? Has he been watching the same team us fans have been watching all season? How about the last couple of seasons? It appears not. Sadly, this current Phillies team will likely be the team we watch again next season, with potentially a couple pieces missing.

Today was the day to make a move. Today was the day to start planning for the future. Today was the right time to start sayingWorld Series: Tampa Bay Rays v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 5 goodbye.

I love the Phillies, and I love their players especially. I basically grew up with this core group of players. I started religiously watching Phillies baseball back in 2004 when CBP first opened. Players like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard are all I’ve ever known (with a little Abreu, Thome, and Burrell mixed in). These guys are my heros, and helped me find my love for the game of baseball by watching them play everyday. They have broken my heart many times, but they have also given me some of the happiest memories of my life. Memories like Ryan Howard’s ridiculous 2006 where he won both the home run derby and the NL MVP award. Memories like Shane Victorino hitting that dramatic grand slam against CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS. Memories like watching Roy Halladay throw a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Reds while I was bedridden with an ACL injury, and of course, memories like watching the entire team dog pile on each other after winning the World Series in 2008. Those memories can never be replaced.

However, there has been a lot of bad recently. The last two and a half seasons of mediocre baseball have been painfully hard to watch, especially considering that as recent as 2009 people around the sport were talking about a potential dynasty after the Phillies made their second consecutive World Series appearance. Despite all the bad, I have stuck with this team because I love them. When a sibling or a relative makes a mistake, do you stop loving them? Of course not. I will never stop loving them, but I can be angry with them.

The fact that not a single move was made today is unacceptable. Sure they can still make a move before the August 31st waiver deadline, but the time to make a big splash was today, and now that time is over. It is time to move on from this core group of players. RAJ and the front office needs to realize that this team’s winning days are over. Every fan realizes it, so why can’t they? There is no answer right now.

When this team finally decides to move on from the past, and start planning for the future, I’ll still be a fan. I’ll always be a fan of the fightins, but it needs to happen sooner than later.

It is truly time to say goodbye.


Sizemore, Giles Proving Their Worth to Phillies

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, July 30, 2014 01:11 PM Comments: 9

The 2014 season has been a huge disappointment for Phillies fans. The Phillies find themselves 13 games under .500, and in last place in the NL East. The core group of players have not been productive enough to save this team, but some newcomers have found success since putting on a Phillies’ uniform. Those newcomers include Ken Giles and Grady Sizemore.


Since signing with the Phillies, Sizemore has shown flashes of the young, talented, all-start center fielder he used to be back in 2008 with the Indians where he hit 33 home runs and drove in 90. He played 157 games that season, his last full season.

In 14 games with the Phillies this season, Sizemore has a .314 batting average, a .352 OBP, and hit his first home run as a Phillie last night against the Mets. It’s a small sample size, but the Phillies have struggled in the outfield all season long (besides Marlon Byrd). If Sizemore can finish the year strong, he could play into the Phillies’ future plans. Albeit the Phillies will likely be in the beginnings of a rebuilding phase, it would still be nice to watch Sizemore try to find the player he used to be back in 2008. Hopefully his injury days are over.

Ken Giles has been absolutely lights out since coming up to the big leagues. Hitting 100 mph at times, his fastball has been blowing by Major League hitters, and just jumps out of his hand like a rocket. Down 0-2 against him? You better watch out for a nasty slider. Needless to say, Giles has been very impressive in his 18 games with the Phillies. In 19.1 innings pitched, Giles has a .93 ERA, has struck out 27 batters (wow!), and has only walked 4 batters. Like Sizemore, Giles will definitely play into the Phillies’ future plans, and is shaping up to be their closer of the future. We could be witnessing the making of a star in the bullpen for the Phillies.

As we enter into a rebuilding period for the Phillies, these players could make the transition a little less painful.


Phillies Nation TV – Episode 17: Trade Deadline Options

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 29, 2014 08:38 PM Comments: 1

The trade deadline is upon us and Pat and Corey discuss moves around the league and how they affect the Phillies chances to make some trades. The also breakdown the contract situations for potential movers like Marlon Byrd, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard and why they might hamper the Phillies options.

MLB hitting instructor Kevin Wilson joins Corey at Chandler Bats in Norristown to provide hitting tips for youngsters. And Tommy Greene returns to explain why legs and balance are crucial for effective pitching.


Players’ Performances Hurting/Helping Trade Value

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Tue, July 29, 2014 01:40 PM Comments: 12

The Phillies’ front office has been hard at work trying to get some pieces on the move to trade suitors in an attempt to re-tool for the future. Some players are making their job easier, while others are making things more difficult.

A.J. Burnett may have just pitched his final game in a Phillies uniform….or maybe not.

The right-hander’s performance in last night’s game could have been a turn off for potential trade suitors in regards to the July 31st trade deadline.

Burnett had an awful outing last night against the Mets, going five innings while allowing 7 earned runs on 8 hits. 

This season has been an up and down season for Burnett, as he was coming off one of his best performances of the season in his last start against the Giants where he threw 8 scoreless innings.   

On the season, Burnett is 6-10 with a 4.15 ERA, and has just not been able to find the same consistency he had last season with the Pirates. If last night’s start has indeed hurt his trade value, and the Phills cannot move him before Thursday, then they will have to clear waivers and try again before the August 31st.

Marlon Byrd is another player who could very likely be on the move by Thursday. Unlike Burnett, he has helped his trade value with his recent play on the field. Last night was no different, as Byrd went 4-5 from the three-hole with 4 singles. He also flashed the leather in right as he made a great back-handed catch on a ball that was heading towards the gap in right-center.

On the season, Bryd is having one of the best seasons of his career, batting .273 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is on pace to set a new career high in home runs, and might be the best right-handed bat on the market. His value as a right-handed power bat would definitely be a lift to any contending team in need of one.

Tonight, Cole Hamels takes the mound in game two against the Mets, and while the Phillies have said that Hamels is on the market, it would take a ridiculous deal for the Phillies to even consider moving their 30-year-old left-handed ace. Hamels has been outstanding since starting the season on the DL, despite the fact that he only has a 5-5 record. He has a 2.72 ERA on the season, and has not allowed more that 3 earned runs in a game since May 27th against the Rockies. Baseball is a strange game, however, and anything can happen. Do I think that this could be Hamels’ last start as a Phillie? Nope. There is a slight possibility though.


Three Years Later: Revisiting the Hunter Pence Deal

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, July 29, 2014 01:34 PM Comments: 46

July 29, 2011 will go down as a day that will live in infamy for Phillies fans. July 29, 2011 was the day the Phillies mortgaged the future for a false messiah. It wasn’t Hunter Pence‘s fault. Pence did not force Ruben Amaro to trade Jared Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and eventually Domingo Santana for him. When it became clear that Pence was not the savior the Phillies had been hoping for, Pence did not force Amaro to trade him for a sub par return. Hunter Pence was the golden calf from the Bible. And we are going to be paying for it for a long, long, long time.

2011 was a good year to be a Phillies fan. It was not a question of “if” the Phillies would get to the World Series, but who would they play. Ticket prices on the secondary market were going for as much as $40 for a random Tuesday night game. Philadelphia had “Phillies fever”. But what the Phillies did not have was a solid right fielder. All season long the Phillies had gone with a platoon of Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr, and a call-up named Domonic Brown. The team needed more consistency from the position, and a player who preferably could bat from the right side to protect Ryan Howard. Enter the Houston Astros.

The Astros were beginning a rebuilding period in 2011, and had former Phillies GM Ed Wade at the helm. The Astros hottest commodity was a 28-year old right fielder named Hunter Pence, and he was everything the Phillies needed. Pence batted from the right side, was under team control through 2013, and was one hell of a player. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro could almost taste that World Series championship, and was willing to do anything to get the one missing piece. We didnt know it then, but three years later it is clear. The Phillies trade for Hunter Pence was the baseball version of the Herschel Walker trade.

If you trade for four prospects, you are happy if two of them reach the majors. Ed Wade’s parting gift to Houston (before he was fired) can certainly be deemed a win for the Astros as all of the players the Astros received have reached the majors. Jonathan Singleton became the first player in major league history to sign a long term extension before seeing a pitch in the majors. Jared Cosart is the Astros number three starter. Zeid is pitching out of the bullpen, and Santana made his major league debut earlier this month. When Ruben Amaro traded for Hunter Pence it was thought that he was setting up the Phillies to be a dynasty, but in reality he was setting up the Astros to be just that.

The anticipation for Pence’s first game was high. Ticket prices reached $75 for the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, and the actual game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was an after thought. The 28-year old two time All Star played as advertised in his 2011 season with the Phillies. In 54 regular season games Pence had a slash line of .324/.394/.560. The former second round pick hit 11 home runs, and drove in 35 RBI while primarily batting fifth in the order. It was looking as if the price the Phillies had paid for Pence was worth it, and then it happened.

October 7, 2011 the window closed. Hollywood could not have scripted a more fitting ending to a storied run. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard ruptured his Achilles to end the game, the season, and the good times. The Phillies had lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the divisional series. Ace pitcher Roy Halladay pitched a gem, but ended up taking the 1-0 loss. It would be the last time Roy Halladay was dominant. The window had closed, but no one wanted to believe it.

Howard would start the season on the disabled list, leaving a lot of pressure on the savior Hunter Pence. Pence played ok, but the right fielder could not pick up the slack that was left in the absence of Ryan Howard. In 101 games for the Phillies in 2012 Pence had a slash line of .271/.336/.447. He managed to smash 17 home runs, and drove in a respectable 59 RBI, but he just wasn’t enough. Facing a 45-57 record Phillies GM Ruben Amaro decided to sell. The player he bought so high on a year earlier, was sold low.

Rather than pay Pence a projected $13 million in 2013, and then be forced with the decision on weather to sign him to a long term contract, the Phillies decided to move the former All Star right fielder. The Phillies traded Pence to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin, and Tommy Joseph. I wouldn’t take any of those players over Cosart, Santana, or Singleton. It was a bad deal then, and it is a bad deal now.

The center piece in the trade was Tommy Joseph. A right handed hitting catcher who scouts said would be a good hitter at the Major League level. During his tenure with the Phillies Joseph has dealt with injuries. The former second round pick has dealt with concussion problems that could force him from behind the plate. When he’s not injured, he’s playing just ok. He’s had just 78 at-bats this year for AA Reading, and is currently on a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He has yet to reach the majors, but is only 23.

Tommy  Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter  Pence trade to the Giants

Tommy Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter Pence trade to the Giants

Could Tommy Joseph amount to a productive Major Leaguer? Of course! But the Phillies traded away three of the their top 10 prospects to acquire Pence in 2011, and when it came time to trade him away they received one decent prospect, a fledgling right fielder in Schierholtz, and a minor league reliever in Rosin. What hurts even worse is when you look at the Phillies problems this season.

It is no secret that the Phillies would love to get rid of former MVP Ryan Howard, and his hefty contract. It sure would be nice to have Jonathan Singleton there to replace him. When Cliff Lee went down with an elbow strain injury the Phillies replaced him with David Buchanan. The Phillies thought so highly of Buchanan that they left him unprotected for the Rule-5 Draft. He went undrafted. It sure would have been nice to have Jarred Cosart there to fill in for Lee. Instead of signing Grady Sizemore, who was released by the Red Sox, it would have been nice to be able to call up 22-year old Domingo Santana. This season at AAA Oklahoma City Santana has a slash line of .283/.365/.459. He has 13 home runs, and 55 RBI. He figures into the Astros plans for next season.

Ruben Amaro has proven one thing in his time as the Phillies GM. He can trade prospects for proven talent, but he has trouble when it comes time to trading proven talent for prospects. It started with the Cliff Lee deal when the Phillies received Tyson Gillies, JC Ramirez, and Phillippe Aumont. Next was the Pence deal, and then Amaro traded former All Star Shane Victorino for Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, and Stefan Jarrin.

Amaro is now in the same spot Ed Wade was in three years ago. The Phillies are in last place in the NL East with a 46-50 record and are ready to start their own rebuilding period. Just like in Houston, the Phillies have a very tradeable commodity in Cole Hamels. Hamels is 30-years old and is having a phenomenal season. The Phillies will not be good for a long time. Long after Cole Hamels is out of his prime. It would make logical sense to sell Hamels high, and replenish a farm system that has been decimated recently thanks to poor drafts, and poor trades. If the Phillies trade Hamels, they need to get receive a package similar to what they gave up for Pence. They need to make the fan base forget about the Hunter Pence trade of 2011.

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