Phils Exploring Options with Howard

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 23, 2014 06:06 PM Comments: 68

In what was already a busy day, full of transactions for the Phillies, John Clark of CSN Philly tweeted this bombshell:


There may be smoke where there is fire in what is likely informed speculation by both Clark and Salisbury. My PNTV colleague Corey Seidman wrote at CSN Philly today that “enough is enough” with Howard, and I’m not sure there is anyone that would disagree. Howard is due $25 million per year through 2017 and will receive either $23 million in 2018 or a $10 million buy out. For his price tag, Howard has ranked 32nd out of 32 qualified first baseman according to fWAR.

What created this speculation, you ask? Well, it was likely a series of comments made by manager Ryne Sandberg as reported by Salisbury:


We will certainly keep an eye on this situation. It is worth noting that the recently recalled Darin Ruf is tonight’s starting first baseman.


Antonio Bastardo Garnering Trade Interest

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, July 23, 2014 01:45 PM Comments: 12

Jim Salisbury of CSN.Com is reporting that Phillies left hander Antonio Bastardo is drawing the most trade bastardointerest at this current time. Teams that are linked to Bastardo are the Royals, Tigers, Pirates, and Blue Jays. The Reds had some interest earlier this month as well. Bastardo is signed for $2 million dollars this year, and is under team control next season. The lefty specialist is also one of the few Phillies who does not have a ridiculous vesting option in his contract. All of these things make Antonio Bastardo a very attractive piece for teams needing relief help.

Bastardo is having a solid season compiling a 3.27 ERA with a 10.8 K/9 rate. Bastardo is not only having success against lefty hitters, but righty’s as well. righty’s are hitting just .175 off the 28-year old while lefty’s are hitting just .140. The Royals, Tigers, Pirates and Blue Jays all have scouts in Philly scouting the series with the Giants. Because of his team friendly contract, age, and success this season, Antonio Bastardo could be the first, and possibly the only Phillie moved by the July 31st trade deadline.


Pittsburgh Emerging as Front Runners for Burnett

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, July 22, 2014 02:00 PM Comments: 85

It is looking as though the Pittsburgh Pirates are emerging as a favorite to land Phillies starter A.J. Burnett. Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.Com tweeted Tuesday that Burnett would prefer to return to Pittsburgh. Burnett, in his first year with the Phillies, pitched for the Pirates during the 2012, and 2013 seasons. Burnett had a great year in 2013 posting a 10-11 record with a 3.30 ERA. Those numbers helped land Burnett a $15 million dollar deal with the Phillies in the offseason.

Tom Gannam Associated Press

Tom Gannam Associated Press

Burnett’s tenure in Pittsburgh ended on a sour note. When Pirates manager Clint Hurdle elected to go with Gerrit Cole instead of Burnett for the series deciding game five NLDS game Burnett was said to have felt disrespected. The game five slight was one of the main reasons why Burnett chose to leave Pittsburgh and not resign. But the bad blood between Burnett and Pittsburgh is said to have been overblown.Rosenthal also said that while Burnett wants to rejoin the Buccos the feeling seems to be mutual with Pirates players lobbying the front office for his return. One snag in the deal could be, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Burnett’s vesting option for 2015. Burnett has made 21 starts this season for the Phillies. At 24 starts his option would cost $8.5 million. At 27 starts that number gets bumped up to $10 million. At 30 starts it would be $11.75 million and his option would max out at $12.75 million if Burnett were to make 32 starts this season.

Burnett isn’t having the year the Phillies had hoped for this season. He currently has a 6-9 record with a 4.03 ERA. In his last start the righty got rocked, to the tune of six runs in five innings of work. It should be noted that Burnett is pitching through an inguinal hernia this season.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.Com tweeted Tuesday that Burnett has left the Pirates off his no trade list. Burnett, like fellow starter Cliff Lee, can reject a trade to 20 teams. Crasnick tweeted that the nine teams that can trade for Burnett without the righty’s permission are; Pirates, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Reds, Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, and Nationals. The Orioles are another team that are said to be in on Burnett.

The Pirates currently sit two and a half games out of the division lead, and two games out of a wild card spot. Pittsburgh could certainly use pitching help as their starters have a 3.92 staff ERA which ranks 16th in Major League Baseball. Burnett isn’t going to fetch a top prospect so if a deal does get done don’t expect to hear names like Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, or Reese McGuire.


Which Teams are Watching Cliff Lee? Is Hamels Available?

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, July 21, 2014 08:04 PM Comments: 23

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

During the Jayson Stark Show, hosted by our very own Pat Gallen, Stark named the 10 teams that are in attendance for Monday nights Phillies game presumably to scout Cliff Lee. Those teams are; Tigers, Pirates, Giants, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers, and Royals. Lee is making his first start since an elbow strain put him on the disabled list in mid May.

Lee is owed $25 million next season and the lefty also has one of those pesky vesting options for 2016 for the price of $27.5 million. The Phillies would have to eat some of that salary if they hope to get anything back for the four time All Star. Lee is scheduled to make one more start before the July 31st non waiver trade deadline.

Stark also threw out a very interesting nugget about Cole Hamels. Reports out of Boston surfaced last week stating that the Phillies were not interested in trading Hamels, but Stark rebuffed that. “I’m hearing that Cole Hamels is available.” Stark, quoting an unnamed source, said the Phillies weren’t trying to move Hamels, but looking to see if they could get blown away by an offer. Hamels isn’t as off limits as previously thought. If you are wondering what it would cost a team to acquire the services of the 30 year old lefty Stark notes that the asking price would be similar to that of the Ray’s David Price. Which is a lot.

You can listen to the Jayson Stark show every Monday from 6-7 on 97.5 the Fanatic. You can also watch the show live as it broadcasts from the Green Parrot in Newtown Pennsylvania.


Report: Royals Interested in Byrd

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 20, 2014 11:20 PM Comments: 4

According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Kansas City Royals are interested in Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd. The Royals are the second of four teams that Byrd is able to block trades to interested in the veteran right fielder’s services. As Morosi notes, the Royals, at 48-48, are on the fence right now as they have won just three out of their last ten and are now seven games out of first place in the AL Central and three and a half games behind Seattle, with three teams between them, for the second AL Wild Card.


Quick Hits: Latest on Hamels, Burnett, Pigs Moves

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 20, 2014 11:20 AM Comments: 25

Good Sunday morning! Just 11 days away from the trade deadline, here are the latest trade rumors surrounding the Phillies.

- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe cites Major League sources, stating that if the Phillies find a taker for the entire remainder of Cole Hamels‘ contract and get three pieces in return, Hamels “is gone”.

- The Phillies and the Orioles have begun “very preliminary” discussions regarding A.J. Burnett per Jon Morosi. Burnett, 37, has seen a drop in peripheral numbers this year with a rising ERA. Burnett has a vesting option for 2015 that increases in value the more he pitches with a limited no-trade clause that does not include the Orioles.

Some minor league transaction notes:

- Freddy Galvis has completed his rehab assignment and joined the IronPigs on July 19. Outfielder Clete Thomas returned from the seven-day disabled list yesterday while pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes was activated by the Pigs as well. Finally, the IronPigs have released Barry Enright. Enright, 28, had a 5.58 ERA for the ‘Pigs and surrendered seven earned in three and a third innings pitched in a 13-0 loss to Syracuse on Thursday.


Report: Hamels Not Available

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 18, 2014 11:15 AM Comments: 16

According to two separate Boston Red Sox reporters, the Phillies are not interested in dealing ace lefty Cole Hamels. The 2008 World Series MVP, still just 30, is owed about $90 million over the next four seasons but should be worth the money: Hamels is durable, making 28 or more starts in every season since his first full Major League season in 2007, and leads all NL pitchers in fWAR while ranking third in starts and innings since 2006. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, the Red Sox had inquired about the availability of Hamels early in the season but nothing came of it.


Report: Dodgers Emerge As Suitor for Papelbon

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, July 17, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 42

According to Mark Saxon from ESPN Los Angeles, the Dodgers reportedly are expected to pursue Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon, 33, is owed the remainder of his $13 million in 2014 and then $13 million in 2015, with an attainable vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 55 games finished in 2015 or 100 between 2014 and 2015. Despite his velocity dipping once again in 2014, Papelbon has a 1.21 ERA with a 0.857 WHIP and 22 saves.

Analysis: The Dodgers have not been afraid to go all-in the last few seasons, taking on big contract after big contract. With a glut of high-priced outfielders and super-propsect Joc Pederson murdering the Pacific Coast League, the Phillies likely could aim for a player like Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp in return which would help the Dodgers alleviate some salary concerns of their own while making room for Pederson.

In my opinion, a trade like that could be potentially disastrous for the Phillies: Ethier makes between $17 and $18 million a year through 2018 while Kemp makes $21 to $21.5 million per year through 2019. The Phillies would likely rather eat part of Papelbon’s contract instead in an attempt to obtain a Major League-ready prospect. Sorry Phillies fans, there’s no way they can pry Pederson out of their hands in a deal involving Papelbon.

However, a Papelbon for Ethier or Papelbon for Kemp deal could be the framework for a much larger mega trade that the Dodgers have shown an affinity for in the past, whether it was the deal that netted them Nomar Garciaparra or the Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez deal. Could Papelbon and Lee for Kemp and a handful of prospects make sense? It sure could – it would give the Phillies some financial relief without having to kick in a whole lot of money because it would be offset by Kemp’s mega deal, which is still less than Lee’s.  Something interesting to think about.


Phillies Nation TV – All-Star Edition and Maikel Franco interview

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, July 16, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 1

In this All-Star edition of Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey breakdown the Phillies season at the halfway point. They discuss the AL and NL All-Star teams including who just missed the cut. They also hand out their mid-season awards for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.

Jay Floyd sits down for an exclusive interview with top prospect Maikel Franco who is struggling this season at Lehigh Valley, but has turned it on recently.

Tommy Greene talks about what coaches and catchers say to pitchers on the mound – the answer might surprise you! And the Batters Inbox question has a new feature as Natalie joins Ryann to include questions from fans tailgating outside Citizens Bank Park.


Report: Phils Have “Serious Discussions” With Seattle About Byrd

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 13, 2014 06:23 PM Comments: 31

According to Seattle Mariners’ beat writer Ryan Davish, Marlon Byrd has indicated he is willing to waive his no trade clause to go to Seattle in a potential deal that has reached the serious discussion stage. According to CSN Philly’s Leslie Gudel, Byrd has not yet committed to doing such.:


Byrd is hitting .263/.315/.479, leading the Phillies in homers with 18 and slugging percentage. Byrd, 36, is signed through 2015 at $8 million per year, has a limited no trade clause that would require his consent to be dealt to Kansas City, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Toronto, and has an attainable trigger for 2016 for an $8 million salary.

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