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Phils Ink 16-Year Old Shortstop Gamboa

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 02, 2014 01:31 PM Comments: 10

The Phillies have signed 16-year old Venezuelan shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa to a deal worth $900 K reports MLB.com. Gamboa is a light-hitting, plus-glove defender who stands at just 5’11″ and 158 lbs. Gamboa was ranked as the 15th-best international prospect in 2014.

$200 K out of Gamboa’s $900 K salary comes from a bonus pool of $3,221,800 which is determined by the teams’ record in the previous season. Gamboa joins a number of Venezuelan coaches and players in the Phillies organization, including Freddy Galvis and current Clearwater Threshers manager Nelson Prada.

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #4 Phillies Enlist Secretary of Defense

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 01, 2014 12:15 PM Comments: 5

http://nbchardballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/garry-maddox.jpg%3Fw%3D267Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

Rusty Staub was a fine outfielder and first baseman in the National League. From 1963 through 1974, Staub hit .279/.366/.430 with 178 homers, earning MVP votes five times and making five-straight All-Star squads from 1967 through 1971. Staub was often the best player on bad teams, spending 1963 through 1968 with the expansion Houston Colt .45s and Astros, 1969-1971 with the expansion Montreal Expos, and then with the recently-created Mets from 1972 through 1975.

The Phillies, sensing an opportunity to improve in 1975, had signed veteran first baseman Dick Allen for a return to the team. Third baseman Mike Schmidt was coming off one of the single-greatest seasons in Phillies history (MLB-leading 36 homers, NL-leading .546 slugging) and Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski all were developing into cornerstone pieces for the franchise. After signing Allen, incumbent first baseman Willie Montanez became redundant and the club attempted to trade Montanez to the Mets for Staub.

It resulted in one of the best non-trades in club history. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #4 Phillies Enlist Secretary of Defense

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #5 Nails and McDowell Take the Turnpike

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 30, 2014 01:00 PM Comments: 1

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Dykstra was one of the key offensive contributors on the 1993 pennant-winning squad.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

It’s easy to forget just how good the 1986 Mets were. And it is amazing to think they traded one of their best players to a division rival that helped said division rival net a pennant four years later.

New York sent four players as starters to the 57th All-Star Game, including 21-year old Dwight Gooden, 24-year old Darryl Strawberry, and a pair of 32-year olds in Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez. While the club was known for being youthful, the club had a tremendous mix of both veterans and young talent that carried them through the playoffs and on to the World Series.

Beyond their four All-Star starters, the Mets had a fifth All-Star, Sid Fernandez, former All-Star third baseman Ray Knight, who hit .298 with 11 homers in 1986, a once-in-a-lifetime season from second baseman Wally Backman, .320/.376/.385 with 13 steals, six pitchers that won 10 games or more, including five that won 14 or more, and two relievers that accumulated at least 21 saves. The Phillies had a pretty remarkable season in 1986, also, tallying an unexpected 86 wins, but would be dwarfed by 21.5 games by the 108-win Mets.

Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #5 Nails and McDowell Take the Turnpike

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Phillies Add Catcher Raywilly Gomez

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 30, 2014 09:57 AM Comments: 9

Gomez

In what appears to be the final move in a series of roster changes predicated by this weekend’s doubleheader, the Phillies traded the recently designated for assignment Ronny Cedeno to Arizona for minor league catcher Raywilly Gomez.

Gomez, 24, is a career .286/.369/.367 hitter across seven minor league seasons and has been assigned to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Gomez could factor into the ‘Pigs plans, at least temporarily, as both Cameron Rupp and Koyie Hill are with the Major League club.

If you are following along at home, Cedeno was designated for assignment to create a roster spot for starter Sean O’Sullivan, who was then designated for assignment this weekend to create a roster spot for Andres Blanco. This trade looks to be a small win for the Phillies as Gomez profiles as a Major League back-up.

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #6 Owens Brings Believer Into Fold

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, June 27, 2014 02:45 PM Comments: 4

McGraw turned a bullpen from worst to first and led them to the 1980 World Series.

Most modern Major League general managers will tell you that one of the keys to staying under budget while fielding a competitive team is spending wisely on relief pitching. These days, Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year, $62 million pact gets a lot of, deserved, flack for perhaps being too long, too expensive, or both for a reliever while young players like Greg Holland and Ernesto Frieri seemingly turn up every year or reclamation projects like Joe Nathan or Jason Grilli become success stories.

The key to rationale behind the long commitments is the idea that good, and more importantly consistently repeatable, relief pitching is incredibly difficult to find. While Holland has continued his excellence in 2014, Frieri has not, posting a 6.39 ERA at press time. And while Grilli and Nathan were great stories of value relief pick-ups for 2013, 2014 has been disastrous to say the least for either.

As you may imagine, the long held narrative of find reliable, consistent relief pitching being difficult to obtain existed even in a time when relief pitching was first becoming specialized. Tug McGraw was one of the original stewards of this expansion of roles on a baseball team. According to the SABR Baseball Biography Project, a then-swingman McGraw was told in 1969 by Mets manager Gil Hodges “Tug, I have three pieces of advice for you. One, I think you should think about staying in the bullpen permanently. You could be a great reliever and at best an average starter. Two, this team needs a late-inning stopper, and I want you to be my stopper. Three, I think you’ll make a lot more money as a reliever than as a starter. Now it’s up to you.” Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #6 Owens Brings Believer Into Fold

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #7 Phils Dupe Detroit

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, June 26, 2014 04:15 PM Comments: 1

Detroit felt Bunning was on the downside of his career. He wasn’t and the Phillies acquired a Hall of Fame pitcher for very little.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

The 1963 Phillies were a successful squad without an identity. Led by left fielder Wes Covington, then 31, and right fielder Johnny Callison, then 24, the Phillies had successfully blended veteran leadership with a small youth movement. Throughout the line-up, there was a solid blend of youth and experience: for every 26-year old Clay Dalrymple there was a 36-year old Roy Sievers, for the 26-year old Tony Gonzalez, there was 35-year old Don Hoak.

The mix of veterans and youngsters was less pronounced on the pitching staff where youth dominated the ranks. Including 19-year old spot starter Marcelino Lopez, the 1963 Phillies featured nine pitchers at age 26 or younger out of the 14 that appeared for them in 1964. Four out of five starting pitchers that started 16 games or more for the Phillies were 25 or under. The exception? 37-year old Cal McLish, who went 13-11 with a 3.26 ERA with 10 complete games. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #7 Phils Dupe Detroit

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Jesse Biddle to the Inactive List, Jiwan James Released

Posted by Pat Egan, Thu, June 26, 2014 03:50 PM Comments: 2

JesseBiddle5The Reading Fightin Phils have announced that starting pitcher Jesse Biddle has been placed on the temporary inactive list. This move comes just three days after the 22 year old surrendered 10 earned runs in just three innings of work. The team also announced they have released outfielder Jiwan James.

Biddle entered the year as the second best prospect in the Phillies system, and the 45th ranked prospect in all of baseball. But the lefty out of Germantown Friends high school has struggled mightily this year. In his second year with with Fightin Phils Biddle has a 3-9 record with a 5.03 ERA. In Biddle’s last 10 games he’s compiled a 6.26 ERA and has won just one game.

This is coming a year after Biddle, in his first year in AA, posted a respectable 3.64 ERA in 138.1 innings of work. Biddle has gotten rocked this season resulting in some to say he might need a demotion to High A Clearwater to get his head right. Hopefully this leave of absence will result in him finding his game again.

James had just returned from a knee injury and played respectably. But the 25 year old was likely never to get a real shot with the Phillies, and they decided to cut ties. The former 22nd round pick in the 2007 draft had battled injuries during his career, and was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. This move comes just four days after the Phillies released another former top prospect Tyson Gillies. Its been a banner year for the Phillies farm system!

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #8 Amaro Makes a House Call

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 25, 2014 10:00 AM Comments: 1

Acquired from Toronto in December 2009, Halladay pitched many memorable games in Philadelphia, including his May 2010 Perfect Game as seen above.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

The 2009 Phillies came just two wins short of repeating as World Series champions. Throughout the series, the Phillies deficiency was clear: the Phillies, despite getting two memorable performances, and more importantly wins, out of midseason acquisition Cliff Lee, lacked starting pitching. Relying on two starts from 37-year old Pedro Martinez, the Phillies dropped a very winnable World Series in six games.

Lee was the reigning AL Cy Young winner heading into the 2009 season. The Phillies snagged Lee in a midseason deal that sent Carlos Corrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp, and Lou Marson to Cleveland in exchange for Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco. At the conclusion of the season, Toronto made the league aware that 2003 AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay was available. During the 2009 All-Star break, rumors went wild that Halladay would be willing to become a Phillie. The Phillies, facing fears that they would not be able to resign Lee beyond his $9 million option for 2010.

The dots all started to connect themselves in December 2009. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #8 Amaro Makes a House Call

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #9 Thomas Steals Abreu From Devil Rays

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, June 24, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 2

Acquired in 1997, Abreu spent parts of nine seasons with the Phillies and became one of the franchise’s all-time great players.

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

Lee Thomas had put together a pretty solid playing career. An All-Star first baseman/outfielder in 1962 for the Los Angeles Angels, Thomas spent eight years in the Major Leagues with the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs, and Astros, accumulating 106 career homers before spending a year in Japan with the Nankai Hawks.

After retiring following the 1969 season, Thomas became a coach and, eventually, the director of player development with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 1980’s, Thomas helped assemble and develop the Cardinals clubs that won three pennants and the 1982 World Series. In June 1988, the Phillies tapped Thomas to steer the ship as their general manager.

This is the first of three Thomas-era trades that will appear in the Top 10 but it is the last to occur chronologically. Thomas won The Sporting News Executive of the Year in 1993 after guiding the Phillies from worst to first and a World Series appearance. Thomas made several shrewd trades in addition to the ones that will appear in this countdown but struggled with keeping talent for reasonable prices.

Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #9 Thomas Steals Abreu From Devil Rays

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Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #10 Phils Acquire Lidge

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, June 23, 2014 02:00 PM Comments: 3

Acquiring Lidge instantly improved the Phillies’ bullpen. Photo AP

Over the next two weeks, in conjunction with the run-up to the July 31 trade deadline, Phillies Nation will be presenting the Top 10 Trades in Phillies History. Consideration was given to the performance of the players traded with their new club v. the performance of the players acquired with the Phillies in addition to heavily weighing the success of the Phillies once the trade was completed.

This series will be immediately followed by the Top 10 Worst Trades in Phillies History, starting approximately on July 7.

Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies as the team to beat in the NL East. After a remarkable late season surge, erasing a 7 ½ game lead with just 17 to play, the Phillies found themselves NL East champions for the first time since 1993. The man on the mound to close out the clincher? Starter-turned-closer Brett Myers.

Myers was one of 21 pitchers to appear out of the bullpen that season for the Phillies, joining more memorable Phils like J.C. Romero, Jose Mesa, and Clay Condrey and blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em Phils like John Ennis, Joe Bisenius, and Anderson Garcia in a bullpen that ranked 24th in MLB in ERA, 26th in K/9 IP, and 24th in HR/9 IP. Looking for bullpen stability after their first-round sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, General Manager Pat Gillick was looking to make a splash to upgrade the bullpen of a team with the best offense in the Majors per fWAR. Continue reading Top 10 Trades in Phillies History: #10 Phils Acquire Lidge

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