End of an era: Utley traded to Dodgers

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, August 19, 2015 04:42 PM Comments: 32

UPDATE: Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies will pick up $4 million of Utley’s contract.

Well, it’s the end of another era in Phillies baseball.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Phillies and Dodgers have agreed on a deal to send Chase Utley to Los Angeles for two unnamed minor leaguers and $2 million $4 million of the 36-year-old’s remaining $6 million. Nothing has been made official at the moment.

Utley will be reunited with former double play-partner Jimmy Rollins. The pair will try to win their second World Series championship.

The extent of Utley’s playing time in L.A. is unknown. Second baseman Howie Kendrick is currently on the disabled list, but is expected to return soon. 23-year-old Enrique Hernandez has played well in Kendricks’ absence. First base is another position Utley could play, but Adrian Gonzalez is having an MVP-caliber season.

Utley is the most beloved Phillie from the 2008 World Series club. His hustle and gritty style of play quickly made him a fan favorite among the Phillie faithful. He will go down as the best second baseman in Phillies history, and the best position player since Mike Schmidt.

In 5,748 at-bats with the Phillies, Utley batted .282 with 233 home runs and 916 RBIs. He ranks second all-time in Phillies history with a 9.0 WAR.


Phillies acquire INF Pastornicky from Rangers

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Mon, August 10, 2015 04:31 PM Comments: 12

Almost two weeks after the Phillies and Rangers engaged in an eight player blockbuster trade, the two clubs have made a much more subtle trade this afternoon, with the Rangers sending shortstop Tyler Pastornicky to the Phillies for cash considerations.

The 25-year-old has played 124 games in the Majors, posting a slash line of .243/.295/.314 with just two home runs and 15 RBIs.

Pastornicky was released by the Atlanta Braves last March, and was signed as a Minor League free agent by Texas. In 53 games for the Rangers’ Triple-A  affiliate, Round Rock, this season, the infielder batted .283 with one homer and 19 RBIs.

Pastornicky will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. With all the trade buzz surrounding Chase Utley, this move could signal that a deal involving the veteran second baseman could be forthcoming.


Phillies officially announce Hamels deal

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Fri, July 31, 2015 12:16 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies have officially announced their deal with the Texas Rangers, which sent ace Cole Hamels and left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to the Texas Rangers in exchange for five prospects, and one veteran arm.

General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is scheduled to hold a press conference regarding the deal at 1:30 p.m, with Hamels addressing the media afterwards at 2 p.m.


A Look at the Return for Hamels

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, July 30, 2015 09:45 AM Comments: 43

phils logoThe Cole Hamels to Texas trade is a six-for-two (plus money) deal with lefty reliever Jake Diekman joining the Phillies’ former ace on his way to the Rangers in return for big league starting pitcher Matt Harrison as well as the following prospects- pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher and Jake Thompson, outfielder Nick Williams and catcher Jorge Alfaro.

Eickhoff, a 25-year-old righty, tallied a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in two starts at the Triple-A level this year and had a 4.25 ERA and an 8.24 K/9 mark in 18 games at Double-A this season. The six-foot-four 240-pounder was a 15th round draft pick in 2011. Eickhoff throws a mid-90′s fastball as well as a curve ball and a change up. It’s possible his future is out of the bullpen.

Asher, a righty, tallied a 3-6 record with a 4.73 ERA in 12 games at Triple-A after posting a 1-4 record with a 3.98 ERA in eight Double-A games this season. The six-foot-four 230-pounder was a 4th round draft selection in 2012. With a (low-90′s) fastball/slider/change up repertoire, the durable Floridian has a promising future.

The next three prospects were all rated among the Rangers’ top five prospects, starting with Thompson, a six-foot-four 235-pounder, who posted a 6-6 record with a 4.72 ERA while striking out 78 and walking 30 in 87 2/3 innings in 17 starts at the Double-A level this year. The 21-year-old right-hander was a 2nd round draft selection in 2012. He is equipped with a pitching arsenal that features a low-90′s fastball, along with a nice slider and a change up that he’s working to refine. He was part of a trade that brought him from the Tigers to the Rangers for Joakim Soria last summer. Continue reading A Look at the Return for Hamels


Reports: Hamels deal to Texas being finalized

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, July 29, 2015 10:21 PM Comments: 30

It’ll go down in history as a storybook ending.  In what is set to become the last start by Cole Hamels as a Phillie, he threw a no-hit complete game shutout on Saturday.  Four days later, several reports have a trade of Hamels to the Texas Rangers as imminent.

While specifics of the swap are finalized, fans can speculate.  Rangers reporter Jeff Wilson tweeted that there will be money coming from the Phillies and there are multiple players involved from both sides.

The left-handed Hamels will wrap up his career with the Phils sporting a 114-90 record with a 3.30 ERA and 14 complete games in the regular season. He was also the MVP of both the National League Championship Series and the World Series in 2008.

Further updates as they become available…

Continue reading Reports: Hamels deal to Texas being finalized


A Sellers Guide To Cole Hamels

Posted by Pat Egan, Fri, July 24, 2015 06:56 PM Comments: 23

What team will Cole Hamels be on come July 31st at 4:01? Will it be the Dodgers? The Red Sox? The Cubs? The Rangers? The Phillies? It has been a question that has been on the minds of Phillies fans for well over a year now. The Phillies reportedly have been waiting for the “perfect” offer for Hamels, which leads to the question “what exactly would that offer entail, and who is making the demands?” There is a strong likelihood that Hamels will be in Phillies pinstripes come August 1, with the Phillies once again waiting to move Hamels in the offseason….. or maybe next years trade deadline….. or maybe never. Either way, talk should start to really heat up in the coming days so lets look at some teams top prospects and who the Phillies should target.

Red Sox: The interest that the Red Sox have for Cole Hamels is just annoying at this point. They are the guy who goes to a car dealership every week, looks at the car he clearly wants, and never buys it. They have heavily scouted Hamels for over a year now, and yet they will not make a move. The Phillies have reportedly coveted catcher Blake Swihart, and outfielder Mookie Betts, both are currently with the Red Sox Major League club. The Red Sox have long balked at that price and with both having reached the big leagues it is unlikely that the Red Sox would trade either as it would leave two holes in their lineup. The Phillies could of course offer up Carlos Ruiz and Ben Revere along with Hamels but I do not know if that would get it done. So lets take a look at a few other Red Sox prospects that could intrigue that Phillies.

Continue reading A Sellers Guide To Cole Hamels


Phillies deal prospects for international signing cash

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, July 05, 2015 09:43 PM Comments: 3

LAKEWOOD, NJ- It was no surprise when the Phillies announced a trade on Sunday, but the players that we dealt weren’t ones that fans were expecting to hear.

In a swap that saw two of Class A Lakewood’s six starting pitchers leaving the organization, the Phils acquired the number 1 overall international signing slot for the 2015-16 signing period in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal helped the Phils gain a load of funds for future international signings.

Coming to the Phillies is Arizona’s top slot, a budget of $3,590,400 for the 2015-16 international signing period. Going to the Diamondbacks are right-hander Chris Oliver and lefty Josh Taylor as well as the team’s number 9 overall signing slot ($1,352,100).

The deal would allow the Phillies to ink 16-year-old Dominican slugger Jhailyn Ortiz and avoid any penalties that would prohibit the club from signing other international players for more than $300,000 until for the next two years, according to Phillies.com’s Todd Zolecki. Teams that exceed their designated pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.

The Phillies have been long rumored to be interested in acquiring prospects the old fashioned way, by trading proven starts like Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon.  It’s certainly possible those individuals could be parting ways with the team soon enough as well.

According to Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan, the teams had been working on the deal for some time, with Arizona notifying the Phillies of what it would take to make the deal in recent days.

“I’ve had the names for a day or two and we’ve been kind of going back and forth as far as just how we felt about it,” Jordan said in an exclusive interview with Phillies Nation at Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park on Sunday. “I mean, we did pick up a sizable amount of money and it’s, listen, it’s unfortunate. Just from the standpoint of our relationships with the two guys that are no longer part of our organization. We were invested in them, their development and so that part of it you hate to see that happen. But, for us, we felt it was the right thing for us to do this year and this next year as well. We lost two assets, but we picked up some flexibility.” Continue reading Phillies deal prospects for international signing cash


Phils trade for minor league catcher Forsythe, release RHP Nesseth

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 14, 2015 04:22 PM Comments: 7

The Phillies have acquired minor league backstop Blake Forsythe from the Athletics in a trade announced on Wednesday.  Oakland received cash considerations in the deal.

Forsythe, 25, was originally a 3rd round draft selection of the Mets in 2010.  The righty batting Tennessee product was batting .267 through five games with Triple-A Nashville this season.

In 391 career games, Forsythe, who has played five games at first base and five in the outfield as a pro, sports a .226/.314/.377 slash line.  He’ll reportedly be assigned to Double-A Reading.

The deal was necessary following an injury to Lehigh Valley catcher Tommy Joseph this week.

In a corresponding move, the Phillies announced the release of righty reliever Mike Nesseth.   The 27-year-old had a 0-2 record with a 5.02 ERA in eight appearances with Reading this season.  Nesseth was a 17th round draft selection in 2010.



Ken Rosenthal, Awkward Press Conferences, and Why The Phillies Are Stuck In Neutral

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, February 12, 2015 10:30 AM Comments: 81


“Stuck in neutral”

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Phillies in his column over at Fox Sports.

He started out with four hypothetical “awkward” press conferences–Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, and Ryan Howard–asking the players about potential trades when Spring Training rolls around. These are all guys that the Phillies probably should’ve parted ways with by now. They know it, reporters know it, most fans know it. Heck, even the Phillies might know it. Here’s a quote from Rosenthal following the intro:

We’re talking awkward — painfully awkward. And unless things change before the Phillies’ first workout a week from Thursday, their offseason will look like a major fail.

Now, I think I disagree that the offseason will be a major fail if they don’t move any of those four guys before Spring Training. They did manage to make deals to part ways with Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd, which was noted by Rosenthal. Those weren’t exactly blockbuster deals, but they were something.

But I agree that a failure exists with the Phillies front office. The failure, in my opinion, does not lie in the 2015 offseason. It has already happened. They should’ve moved Cliff Lee a long time ago. Ryan Howard, in my opinion, should’ve been simply released during the season last year. Jonathan Papelbon should’ve been traded for something, either at the deadline last season, or any time during this offseason. Only Cole Hamels was worth hanging on to going into 2015. The David Price trade at the deadline last year hurt Hamels’ value, and the free agent moves this offseason (Jon Lester to the Cubs, James Shields to the Padres, to be precise) didn’t help either. I think they’ll get some better offers leading up to the deadline, as contending teams realize that they need a starter.

But Rosenthal is right. Maybe the Phillies are being too stubborn, and maybe it’s doing more harm than good. Here’s what he had to say about it:

The front office’s stubbornness, though, appears to go even deeper, whether it’s Amaro or Gillick who is actually calling the shots. The Phillies refuse to accept that they might not get exactly what they want.

Can the Phillies fix their mistakes? Sure. But, as Rosenthal states, it would require the Phillies to loosen up and entertain some offers that might not be up to their standards. Unless something changes soon, things will only get worse. Here’s how he put it:

And good luck to the Phillies persuading their fans to buy tickets for a team that remains stuck in neutral.

Stuck in neutral. I like it. The car that is the Phillies is on a downward path, stuck in neutral, and Ruben Amaro Jr. is at the wheel. He still has time to turn that baby around, but time is running out. Tick, tick, tick.


Phillies nab two minor league hurlers in return for Rollins

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, December 11, 2014 03:59 PM Comments: 8

At long last, it was announced on Thursday what the Phillies would obtain in return for franchise all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins.  Righty pitcher Zach Eflin and lefty Tom Windle are the players headed east.

On Wednesday, news leaked that the Phillies and Dodgers agreed on a deal for the three-time All-Star and 2007 National League most valuable player, Rollins, but it wasn’t know what the Phils would get in the swap for close to 24 hours.

The 20-year-old Eflin was the Padres’ first round draft choice (33rd overall) in 2012 and had just been acquired from San Diego in the deal for Matt Kemp.  With Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore this year, Eflin, who stands six-foot-four and weighs 200 pounds, tallied a 10-7 record along with a 3.80 ERA and a 6.5 K/9 mark in 24 starts.

Scouts like Eflin’s excellent change up and his fastball sits in the low 90′s with potential to increase.  His pitch menu also includes a slider. Continue reading Phillies nab two minor league hurlers in return for Rollins

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