Odds & Ends: Papelbon, Manuel, and Asche in Left

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, February 02, 2015 09:35 PM Comments: 28

A lot of news and notes coming from Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly today. First, Salisbury quotes Ruben Amaro as saying “things are still alive” in reference to a potential Jonathan Papelbon trade. Salisbury notes Papelbon’s contract, which includes an easy-to-vest $13 million 2016 option, is one deterrent preventing teams other than the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays from becoming serious suitors.

Salisbury also reported that Charlie Manuel will be one of eight guest instructors joining the club in Spring Training, joining Mike Schmidt, Aaron Rowand, Dan Pleasac, and others.

Salisbury reported earlier in the day that the much-speculated “Cody Asche to the outfield” experiment has begun. Asche is taking reps in left field in Clearwater weeks before players are required to report to camp. As Salisbury notes, Asche has played second base while in the Phillies system and has taken reps at first base and left field at different points through his career. Maikel Franco hit .337 with four homers and 16 RBI in the Dominican Winter League and may play Asche into a new position with a strong Spring despite Amaro’s assertions that Asche is the club’s third baseman.


Report: Brewers interested in Papelbon

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, January 23, 2015 02:21 AM Comments: 31

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Brewers are in serious discussions with the Phillies to acquire right-handed relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon.

The 34-year-old is owed $13 million for the coming season with a vesting option for the same amount in the following year, if he finishes 48 games in 2015.  Papelbon, who was acquired by the Phillies as a free agent following the 2011 season, has a limited no-trade clause.

Last season, Papelbon tallied a 2-3 record with 39 saves and a 2.04 ERA in 66 appearances.


Phils, Reds Deal for Byrd Falls Through

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 29, 2014 05:58 PM Comments: 13

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported today that the Phillies nearly sent outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Reds before the trade fell through. Morosi’s tweet says the deal could still be reworked. The particulars of the deal are unknown at this time and the timing of the rumor is curious considering the fact that the Reds have recently dealt starters Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon and appear to be in somewhat of a rebuild of their own. Byrd, who turns 38 in August, lead the Phillies with 25 homers, a .445 SLG, and a .757 OPS. Byrd has $8 million left on his contract for 2015 with an $8 million option for 2016 that will vest with 550 PA in 2015.


Rumor: Padres Have Explored Trade for Hamels

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, December 21, 2014 05:29 PM Comments: 9

I apologize for this Hot Stove item in advance as it doesn’t seem there are a whole lot of legs to it right now. Or does it? If the reporter is good (he is), I’ll bite.

Ryan Lawrence of Philly.com is reporting that the San Diego Padres have had discussions about trading for Cole Hamels “according to a baseball source” with newly acquired outfielder Wil Myers as the centerpiece of the deal. What is unclear is whether the discussions were internal or included the Phillies and what members of the Padres’ organization had them. Lawrence notes that the Padres are a team that Hamels can be traded to without his consent and that one week ago, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Padres were one of the teams interested in acquiring Hamels.

The pieces do fit together to make a trade work, on the surface. The Padres, who have swung deals for a starting catcher, third basemen, and have at least six Major League starting outfielders after acquiring Matt Kemp, Myers, and Justin Upton within last week. Myers fits the bill with what the Phillies are looking for: he is under team control through 2019 and was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2013 but is recovering from a wrist injury. And despite swinging so many trades in the last seven to ten days, the Padres still have a number of prospects available to compliment a deal for Hamels. Hamels has become more appealing in recent days in large part due to the rising price tags of Max Scherzer and James Shields, the latter who requested a five year deal in the $110 million range, not coincidentally the identical amount Hamels has remaining on his contract if his options vest.

We will continue to keep an eye on this one.


Report: Phillies Frontrunners for Korean SS Kang

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, December 21, 2014 01:47 AM Comments: 18


If you were to believe the rumor mill, the Phillies did an awful lot of due diligence looking at different players to fill their wide open whole at short. Deep into the night, the rumor mill continues to churn and it continues to involve filling the shortstop position.

This rumor is out of left field and has a bit more sizzle than rumors linking the Phillies to Rafael Furcal. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation is reporting that the Phillies are considered frontrunners for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang. While that part is speculation, although there is interesting headcount we will get to later, there is a bit of substance to go along with the report: Kang’s team, the Nexen Heroes, have accepted a $5 million posting fee from a MYSTERY TEAM (emphasis mine) for the rights to negotiate with him. If Kang goes unsigned, he returns to Korea and the posting fee is returned to the winning team.

Cotillo notes that his sources indicate the Phillies and Nationals are the two frontrunners for Kang while other sources have indicated that 11 teams (Mets, Orioles, Padres, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Braves, Giants, A’s, Twins, and Rays) either did not bid or have dropped out of bidding. Kang, 27, hit 40 homers last year with a 1.198 OPS in the KBO, a noted hitter’s league, however Jeff Todd and Brad Johnson of MLB Trade Rumors indicate that those numbers still compare very favorably against league average.


Phillies Linked to Cabrera, Furcal at Short

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, December 20, 2014 04:13 PM Comments: 7

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is reporting that the Phillies could become a player for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera if they are able to clear payroll. Cabrera was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012 with Cleveland where he played from 2007 through mid-2014 when he was dealt to Washington. Cabrera, 29, is a career .268/.330/.409 hitter who has hit .242 and .241 in 2013 and 2014 respectively after appearing to be one of the most promising shortstops in baseball.

Late last night, Crasnick reported that the Phillies may be interested in Rafael Furcal. Furcal, an All Star in 2003, 2010, and 2012, will enter his age 37 season in 2015 and played in just nine games with the Marlins in 2014 after missing the entire 2013 campaign.


UPDATE: Rollins Deal in Danger?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, December 18, 2014 12:23 PM Comments: 18



UPDATE, December 18, 2014, 12:23 PM – Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Matt Kemp trade is being held up by a physical that revealed Kemp has arthritis in both hips. It is unknown if the Padres are still interested in proceding with the Kemp deal which, at the very least, would change the Rollins deal.


December 17, 2014, 9:20 PM

Things haven’t broken down yet but they have certainly gotten more interesting in the potential deal that would send Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

First, despite being announced a few days ago, the trade is not yet official. The hold up is a deal that would send Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres. One of the pieces headed from San Diego to LA is pitching prospect Zach Eflin, who would immediately head to Philadelphia as one half of the return for Rollins. Seems simple enough, right?

Well, the Kemp deal is not yet official either and has a reported deadline of Thursday. The Padres, as you may have heard, acquired 2013 AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers today in a three team deal. Still following me? Ken Rosenthal speculates that there may be posturing by either San Diego or LA to sweeten either side now that the Padres have an extra outfielder while others have speculated that the Padres may be looking for a way out now that they have acquired a younger, cheaper outfield option.

What does this mean for the Rollins trade? At worst, Rollins will still likely be traded to LA but the Phillies may see a different prospect in return. While Eflin is an enticing prospect, the Dodgers have comparable talent they could ship to Philly instead. In its clearest path, both San Diego and LA take themselves to their deadline tomorrow, agree to continue with the trades as constituted, and Rollins heads to LA.


Rumor: Astros Potential Hamels Trade Partner?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, December 14, 2014 05:41 PM Comments: 11

hamelsAccording to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Houston Astros have joined the ranks of teams that are interested in Cole Hamels. Cafardo calls the Astros a “dark horse” trade partner candidate alongside other presumed potential trade partners in the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, and Rangers. Cafardo also lists the Giants as a possible destination for Hamels.

Analysis: The Astros certainly make sense from a talent standpoint. With one of the deepest farms in baseball, the Astros could put together one of the best offers among any teams interested in Hamels. Where this rumor or speculation falls apart, however, is why, exactly, the Astros would pick now to trade for Hamels.

The Astros finished 28 games behind the first-place Angels and 18 games behind Wild Card game participant Oakland and Seattle has shown a willingness to continue to build on a strong 2014 by spending more money to lock up home grown talent and sign free agents. I just can’t see why the Astros would pick now to try to trade for Hamels unless they think their young talent will make a significant jump in 2015.

But if the Astros are interested (debatable) and the talent is a match (quite possible), Hamels has a 20 team no trade clause. As of 2014, Hamels could be traded to the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Cardinals, Nationals, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers without his consent but his list was updated in late October. It is unlikely that Hamels updated the list of teams he gives his consent to be traded to to include the Astros.


Fan Poll: Who would you NOT Trade?

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, December 11, 2014 10:23 AM Comments: 26

It’s Winter Meetings time and already the Phillies have parted with one of their legends. As Jimmy Rollins heads to sunny Los Angeles and Antonio Bastardo is off to less sunny Pittsburgh, other Phillies like Cole Hamels and Chase Utley wonder if they’re next. Are there any sacred cows on this team? Take our poll below and let us know if you think there is one player the Phillies should absolutely not trade.

Who should the Phillies NOT trade?

View Results


Phillies Trade Rumors Roundup – Winter Meetings Edition

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, December 09, 2014 02:07 PM Comments: 8

(AP Photo).

(AP Photo).

Building upon Jay’s Winter Meetings post from earlier, we continue to discuss the latest rumors and see what might happen over these next couple of days.  As we know, the Phillies are finally in full-on rebuilding mode, at least according to Pat Gillick.  Although there’s no urgency to start a fire sale, Gillick claims it would be disappointing if they didn’t make any moves before Spring.

While the Phillies aren’t a directly involved in the Jon Lester sweepstakes, they certainly have a vested interest in where he lands (which may happen as early as today).  The Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Giants are all courting the lefty free agent and whoever fails to land him would be a prime candidate for Cole Hamels, as Corey mentioned over at CSNPhilly.com. The Dodgers and Cubs are the most likely, but Cole may add the Sox to his tradeable teams list if they’re willing to pick up his 2019 option.  Matt Gelb goes a step further and says the Dodgers are the best suitors after polling executives around the league.

As much as fans would hate to see Cole Hamels leave Philadelphia (and I’m sure the feeling is mutual for Cole), the real question remains, what would the Phillies get in return for their ace?  Rumors that Ruben Amaro has been unreasonable with his trade requests have been denied by the man himself.  Still, in his talk at Shibe Vintage Sports last week, Jayson Stark portrayed Ruben as a guy with few dance partners around the league.  Therefore despite holding a key trade chip, the Phillies desperation to rebuild and Ruben’s reputation around the league may lead to less-than-stellar returns, or more likely no deals at all.  At least for Cole, that is.

The Phils continue to shop Ryan Howard and to an extent Jonathan Papelbon, but for reasons well-known to everyone, those will be some tough trades to make.  Marlon Byrd is probably the Phillies second-best piece of trade bait after Hamels and the hot stove will heat up for him once a few other players like Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Yoenis Cespedes settle into their 2015 teams.  Meanwhile, Brett AndersonBrandon Morrow and Josh Johnson lead the list of potential free agent pickups for the Phils. As I mentioned, the Phillies won’t be making the first moves this Winter Meetings, but their tactics will certainly be shaped by those who do.  Follow us on Twitter at PhilliesNation for the latest breaking news as we watch to see how this all plays out.

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