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Galvis Called Up, Brignac DFA’d, Adams Update

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, August 23, 2014 03:26 PM Comments: 4

The Phillies made a roster move Saturday, calling up infielder Freddy Galvis, and designating Reid Brignac for assignment.

Galvis, who hasn’t appeared in a game for the Phillies since May 8, was hitting .267/.322/.452 for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. After being optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley (he had just two hits in 42 ABs for the Phils) back in May, he broke his collarbone just a few days after reporting.

He returned to the IronPigs on July 19.

Brignac had been a less-than-stellar bench player for the Phillies. He was hitting .222 in 91 plate appearances in 2014. He hadn’t appeared in a game since August 16. Assuming Galvis won’t be hitting .048 this time around, he should be an upgrade to the bench.

In other news, reliever Mike Adams is scheduled to begin his rehab on August 26 with the IronPigs. He’s been sidelined since June 7 with shoulder issues.

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Phillies Acquire Valentin, Release Reyes

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, August 17, 2014 12:32 AM Comments: 11

The first player to be named later from the August 7 Roberto Hernandez trade has been selected. Second baseman Jesmuel Valentin will be headed to the Philadelphia Phillies. Valetin, who turned 20 on May 12, was a supplemental first-round selection of the Dodgers in 2012 at 51st overall. Valentin is hitting .282/.352/.433 for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons. Each one of Valetin’s triple-slash numbers are well above Midwest League average (.252/.323/.370) and is the Midwest League’s most productive second baseman according to wRC, wRC+, wRAA, and wOBA.

In an unrelated move, the Phillies released starting pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes. Reyes, 29, was 1-3 with a 10.45 ERA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in five starts.

Analysis: The Hernandez trade has the potential to be a solid one for the Phillies. I did not anticipate Hernandez, who was exactly replacement-level for the Phillies, to be traded for much but the first piece of this deal is promising. Valentin is currently the best second baseman in the Midwest League and has a fine combination of speed and power. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Phils get with Valentin’s initial placement for the final few weeks of the season. As is, Valentin is likely better than both Angelo Mora and Anthony Phillips, the two second baseman on the 41-82 2014 Clearwater Threshers and that may warrant a promotion.

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Cubs Awarded Claim on Hamels, Deal Unlikely

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, August 08, 2014 10:14 AM Comments: 25

As first Tweeted by 97.5 FM’s Mike Missanelli, the Cubs have won the revocable waiver claim on Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels but a deal is unlikely says Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times.

The Phillies reportedly asked for super shortstop prospect Addison Russell as a start to the deal. Russell, in itself, isn’t a bad place to start, but the mechanics of a trade get incredibly complicated after that. As Wittenmyer notes, a few of the players that the Phillies would be interested in in a theoretical deal, like Starlin Castro and Javier Baez, are already on the Cubs 40-man roster and would have to clear waivers in their own right. Finally, it may make more sense for both sides to conduct their business once the season ends: with a number of high-profile free agent arms available, the Cubs may be best served to attempt to sign one from free agency while the Phillies, if interested in trading Hamels, would be foolish to limit themselves to just one trade partner unless they are blown away.

Hamels, at 30 years old, is in the middle of the best season of his career, posting a near-career high K/9 IP rate and career-lows HR/9 IP rate, ERA, and FIP. Per fWAR, Hamels ranks sixth in the NL while ranking fourth in ERA and sixth in FIP.

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Phillies Trade Hernandez to Dodgers

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, August 07, 2014 02:31 PM Comments: 93

As the world waits to see if the Cubs and Phillies find a match for Cole Hamels, the Phillies wasted no time in dealing a different starting pitcher.

According to the Phillies, they have traded pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named later. Hernandez, who turns 34 on the 30th, was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA, his lowest since 2010. Hernandez did, however, have major control issues throughout the season, ranking dead-last in MLB among qualified pitchers in BB/9 IP. Hernandez also ranks second-to-last in the NL in xFIP. Hernandez was slated to be tonight’s starter. Hernandez will be replaced by recently-recalled Sean O’Sullivan.

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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?

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Five Placed on Revocable Waivers

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, August 04, 2014 01:16 PM Comments: 11

Per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Phillies have placed five on revocable trade waivers on Saturday: Antonio BastardoA.J. Burnett, Ryan Howard, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernandez. Per the rules of revocable trade waivers, if a team claims any of the players, the Phillies can either negotiate a trade with the claiming team within 48 hours of a claim, let the other team have the player outright with the claiming team assuming the contract, or revoke the player from waivers with nothing happening. Players are on revocable waivers for 48 hours; if a player goes unclaimed in that time, they can be traded to any Major League team for any other player that has cleared revocable trade waivers or any player that is not on an active 40-man roster.

This likely is not the last of players being put on revocable trade waivers and we should know the fate of these players before the end of the night, with the 48 hour period expiring then.

Analysis: Bastardo and Burnett, by far, drew the most attention out of any players on the club outside of Marlon Byrd prior to the deadline if reports are to be believed. Kendrick likely has some value to a team, particularly if there is an injury closer to the August 31 deadline (a player must be active or on the disabled list on a team’s active roster prior to September 1 if they are to be playoff eligible). Hernandez has the worst BB/9 IP in the Majors right now and likely will clear waivers and not be traded while Howard will likely face the same fate.

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Don’t Expect Cole Hamels To Go Anywhere

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, July 29, 2014 11:53 PM Comments: 16

As the MLB trade deadline approaches, the buzz about who the Phillies might or might not trade gets louder and louder. And of the many trade pieces that the Phils possess, Cole Hamels might be the most appealing, and may produce the highest potential return. He is an ace, left-handed pitcher in his prime, and has plenty of playoff and World Series experience.

Jon Morosi reported that Hamels was officially on the trading block. However, Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. reportedly set the price tag very high for Hamels.

Because of that, it is looking more and more likely that Hamels, at least for now, will stay put in Philadelphia. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies have received no real offers for the lefty and cites a source claiming that Hamels is the least likely candidate to be traded.

The market for Hamels right now might not be strong with other top lefties David Price and Jon Lester on the trade market. And Hamels, more so than any other player on the Phillies, is a guy you absolutely need to sell high with, unlike some other players like Marlon Byrd, Jonathan Papelbon, and A.J. Burnett, to name a few. The return for him needs to be outstanding. There will be more–and potentially better–opportunities to trade him in the future.

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Phillies Recall Aumont, Activate Carlos Ruiz

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, July 23, 2014 02:30 PM Comments: 5

After a 14 inning game on Tuesday night the Phillies needed some relief help for a tired bullpen. The Phillies recalled 25-year old Phillippe Aumont from AAA Lehigh Valley. The Phillies also activated Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list and optioned catcher Cameron Rupp to AAA Lehigh Valley. To make room for Aumont on the 40 man roster the Phillies designated reliever Jeff Manship for assignment.

Who knows, maybe the 22nd time will be the charm for Aumont…..

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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.

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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.

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