Players’ Performances Hurting/Helping Trade Value

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Tue, July 29, 2014 01:40 PM Comments: 12

The Phillies’ front office has been hard at work trying to get some pieces on the move to trade suitors in an attempt to re-tool for the future. Some players are making their job easier, while others are making things more difficult.

A.J. Burnett may have just pitched his final game in a Phillies uniform….or maybe not.

The right-hander’s performance in last night’s game could have been a turn off for potential trade suitors in regards to the July 31st trade deadline.

Burnett had an awful outing last night against the Mets, going five innings while allowing 7 earned runs on 8 hits. 

This season has been an up and down season for Burnett, as he was coming off one of his best performances of the season in his last start against the Giants where he threw 8 scoreless innings.   

On the season, Burnett is 6-10 with a 4.15 ERA, and has just not been able to find the same consistency he had last season with the Pirates. If last night’s start has indeed hurt his trade value, and the Phills cannot move him before Thursday, then they will have to clear waivers and try again before the August 31st.

Marlon Byrd is another player who could very likely be on the move by Thursday. Unlike Burnett, he has helped his trade value with his recent play on the field. Last night was no different, as Byrd went 4-5 from the three-hole with 4 singles. He also flashed the leather in right as he made a great back-handed catch on a ball that was heading towards the gap in right-center.

On the season, Bryd is having one of the best seasons of his career, batting .273 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is on pace to set a new career high in home runs, and might be the best right-handed bat on the market. His value as a right-handed power bat would definitely be a lift to any contending team in need of one.

Tonight, Cole Hamels takes the mound in game two against the Mets, and while the Phillies have said that Hamels is on the market, it would take a ridiculous deal for the Phillies to even consider moving their 30-year-old left-handed ace. Hamels has been outstanding since starting the season on the DL, despite the fact that he only has a 5-5 record. He has a 2.72 ERA on the season, and has not allowed more that 3 earned runs in a game since May 27th against the Rockies. Baseball is a strange game, however, and anything can happen. Do I think that this could be Hamels’ last start as a Phillie? Nope. There is a slight possibility though.


Three Years Later: Revisiting the Hunter Pence Deal

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, July 29, 2014 01:34 PM Comments: 46

July 29, 2011 will go down as a day that will live in infamy for Phillies fans. July 29, 2011 was the day the Phillies mortgaged the future for a false messiah. It wasn’t Hunter Pence‘s fault. Pence did not force Ruben Amaro to trade Jared Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and eventually Domingo Santana for him. When it became clear that Pence was not the savior the Phillies had been hoping for, Pence did not force Amaro to trade him for a sub par return. Hunter Pence was the golden calf from the Bible. And we are going to be paying for it for a long, long, long time.

2011 was a good year to be a Phillies fan. It was not a question of “if” the Phillies would get to the World Series, but who would they play. Ticket prices on the secondary market were going for as much as $40 for a random Tuesday night game. Philadelphia had “Phillies fever”. But what the Phillies did not have was a solid right fielder. All season long the Phillies had gone with a platoon of Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr, and a call-up named Domonic Brown. The team needed more consistency from the position, and a player who preferably could bat from the right side to protect Ryan Howard. Enter the Houston Astros.

The Astros were beginning a rebuilding period in 2011, and had former Phillies GM Ed Wade at the helm. The Astros hottest commodity was a 28-year old right fielder named Hunter Pence, and he was everything the Phillies needed. Pence batted from the right side, was under team control through 2013, and was one hell of a player. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro could almost taste that World Series championship, and was willing to do anything to get the one missing piece. We didnt know it then, but three years later it is clear. The Phillies trade for Hunter Pence was the baseball version of the Herschel Walker trade.

If you trade for four prospects, you are happy if two of them reach the majors. Ed Wade’s parting gift to Houston (before he was fired) can certainly be deemed a win for the Astros as all of the players the Astros received have reached the majors. Jonathan Singleton became the first player in major league history to sign a long term extension before seeing a pitch in the majors. Jared Cosart is the Astros number three starter. Zeid is pitching out of the bullpen, and Santana made his major league debut earlier this month. When Ruben Amaro traded for Hunter Pence it was thought that he was setting up the Phillies to be a dynasty, but in reality he was setting up the Astros to be just that.

The anticipation for Pence’s first game was high. Ticket prices reached $75 for the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, and the actual game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was an after thought. The 28-year old two time All Star played as advertised in his 2011 season with the Phillies. In 54 regular season games Pence had a slash line of .324/.394/.560. The former second round pick hit 11 home runs, and drove in 35 RBI while primarily batting fifth in the order. It was looking as if the price the Phillies had paid for Pence was worth it, and then it happened.

October 7, 2011 the window closed. Hollywood could not have scripted a more fitting ending to a storied run. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard ruptured his Achilles to end the game, the season, and the good times. The Phillies had lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the divisional series. Ace pitcher Roy Halladay pitched a gem, but ended up taking the 1-0 loss. It would be the last time Roy Halladay was dominant. The window had closed, but no one wanted to believe it.

Howard would start the season on the disabled list, leaving a lot of pressure on the savior Hunter Pence. Pence played ok, but the right fielder could not pick up the slack that was left in the absence of Ryan Howard. In 101 games for the Phillies in 2012 Pence had a slash line of .271/.336/.447. He managed to smash 17 home runs, and drove in a respectable 59 RBI, but he just wasn’t enough. Facing a 45-57 record Phillies GM Ruben Amaro decided to sell. The player he bought so high on a year earlier, was sold low.

Rather than pay Pence a projected $13 million in 2013, and then be forced with the decision on weather to sign him to a long term contract, the Phillies decided to move the former All Star right fielder. The Phillies traded Pence to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin, and Tommy Joseph. I wouldn’t take any of those players over Cosart, Santana, or Singleton. It was a bad deal then, and it is a bad deal now.

The center piece in the trade was Tommy Joseph. A right handed hitting catcher who scouts said would be a good hitter at the Major League level. During his tenure with the Phillies Joseph has dealt with injuries. The former second round pick has dealt with concussion problems that could force him from behind the plate. When he’s not injured, he’s playing just ok. He’s had just 78 at-bats this year for AA Reading, and is currently on a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He has yet to reach the majors, but is only 23.

Tommy  Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter  Pence trade to the Giants

Tommy Joseph was the center piece of the Hunter Pence trade to the Giants

Could Tommy Joseph amount to a productive Major Leaguer? Of course! But the Phillies traded away three of the their top 10 prospects to acquire Pence in 2011, and when it came time to trade him away they received one decent prospect, a fledgling right fielder in Schierholtz, and a minor league reliever in Rosin. What hurts even worse is when you look at the Phillies problems this season.

It is no secret that the Phillies would love to get rid of former MVP Ryan Howard, and his hefty contract. It sure would be nice to have Jonathan Singleton there to replace him. When Cliff Lee went down with an elbow strain injury the Phillies replaced him with David Buchanan. The Phillies thought so highly of Buchanan that they left him unprotected for the Rule-5 Draft. He went undrafted. It sure would have been nice to have Jarred Cosart there to fill in for Lee. Instead of signing Grady Sizemore, who was released by the Red Sox, it would have been nice to be able to call up 22-year old Domingo Santana. This season at AAA Oklahoma City Santana has a slash line of .283/.365/.459. He has 13 home runs, and 55 RBI. He figures into the Astros plans for next season.

Ruben Amaro has proven one thing in his time as the Phillies GM. He can trade prospects for proven talent, but he has trouble when it comes time to trading proven talent for prospects. It started with the Cliff Lee deal when the Phillies received Tyson Gillies, JC Ramirez, and Phillippe Aumont. Next was the Pence deal, and then Amaro traded former All Star Shane Victorino for Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, and Stefan Jarrin.

Amaro is now in the same spot Ed Wade was in three years ago. The Phillies are in last place in the NL East with a 46-50 record and are ready to start their own rebuilding period. Just like in Houston, the Phillies have a very tradeable commodity in Cole Hamels. Hamels is 30-years old and is having a phenomenal season. The Phillies will not be good for a long time. Long after Cole Hamels is out of his prime. It would make logical sense to sell Hamels high, and replenish a farm system that has been decimated recently thanks to poor drafts, and poor trades. If the Phillies trade Hamels, they need to get receive a package similar to what they gave up for Pence. They need to make the fan base forget about the Hunter Pence trade of 2011.


Stark: Byrd, Burnett Tough to Move

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 29, 2014 08:54 AM Comments: 23

Yesterday on 97.5 the Fanatic, my prestigious co-host, Jayson Stark, spoke at length about the Phillies trade deadline options. It’s not pretty, as you should well know. You can hear the entire hour of baseball greatness here. Below are some excerpts.

-Marlon Byrd is the best bat on the market according to Stark, but his no-trade clause and 2016 option is holding up a trade. Kansas City and Seattle both had interest, and both happen to be on his ridiculous four-team NTC. For him to waive the NTC, he needs his option, two years from now, picked up. Both teams seemingly have no interest in doing so for a late-30′s power hitter.

-AJ Burnett was awful against the Mets on Monday, damaging his trade value further in the process. The Pirates have been considered a viable option in a trade, however, as Stark points out, Burnett wants his 2015 option picked up before OK’ing a deal. Pittsburgh can’t afford that and want Burnett to assure them he will retire so that the option isn’t an issue, which they cannot afford under their financial structure.

-Stark said Cole Hamels was like his friends beach house. It had a FOR SALE sign on the lawn, but when Stark asked his friend about the sign, the owner said it was “priced not to sell.” The Phillies are hoping a team blows them away with a considerable – and likely unachievable offer – or else they aren’t dealing him.


Gameday 106: Phillies at Mets

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, July 28, 2014 06:30 PM Comments: 35

phillies other

Philadelphia Phillies (46-59) at New York Mets (50-55)

Starting Pitchers:
NYM: Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA)
PHI: A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86 ERA)

Time: 7:10, Citi Field
Weather: 74, Partly cloudy with a chance of rain
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

This is the week where clubhouse chemistry is pushed to the limit. Guys on both sides of the diamond are wondering if they’ll be in a different uniform before the game is over. The Phillies did already make one roster move today. They released Tony Gwynn, Jr. after he was designated for assignment last Monday. Ryan Howard is back in the lineup after yesterday’s short term bounce-back game; while Chase Utley has the night off.

The Mets are back home in Queens after a 5-5 road trip coming out of the All-Star Break. Since 2012, the Phillies are 14-8 at Citi Field.

Lineup:  Revere CF / Rollins SS / Byrd RF / Howard 1B / Brown LF / Ruiz C / Asche 3B / Brignac 2B / Burnett P


Listen to the Jayson Stark Show with Pat Gallen Now on 97.5 the Fanatic!

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, July 28, 2014 05:50 PM Comments: 0

irOur very own Pat Gallen is hosting a radio show with ESPN’s Jayson Stark every Monday from 6-7pm on 97.5 the Fanatic. It comes to you live from the Green Parrot Pub & Patio in Newtown, PA.

Jayson, of course, is the preeminent baseball writer in the world. He’ll be giving his insights on the Phillies and the world of baseball. Plus, he’ll always have his awesome trivia question ready to go.

Our friend, Pat can be seen on Phillies Nation TV on TCN & CSN and heard on 97.5 the Fanatic on Sundays also. Plus, he’s the Phillies Nation Editor-in-Chief!

Should make for an insanely informative and fun hour of baseball talk! Click below to LISTEN LIVE!

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 10.51.44 PM


Report: Hamels is On the Block, Dodgers Kicking Tires

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, July 28, 2014 04:13 PM Comments: 7

Update: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports the Phillies are only willing to eat about $10 million of the approximately $90 million that remains on Hamels contract. According to Stark, the Phillies are asking for teams’ three or four best prospects in one shot for Hamels while teams have been turned off by the amount of money left on Hamels’ contract.

Be sure to tune into 97.5 the Fanatic tonight at 6 PM to hear Stark and our Pat Gallen discuss Hamels and, I’m sure, much more.


Is he or isn’t he? Just three days away from the MLB trade deadline, nobody seems to know.

Per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, LHP Cole Hamels is reportedly on the trading block. Morosi reports that the Phillies price tag is currently very high and other outlets have reported that the Phillies are looking for at least three pieces in return for Hamels.

Despite starting the season on the disabled list, Hamels is having one of the best seasons of his career, posting a 2.72 ERA in 122 1/3 IP. Hamels has been among the best pitchers in the National League since 2006, leading the NL in fWAR in that time period.

Morosi notes that the Dodgers are interested in the Californian lefty and that they are one of nine teams Hamels can be traded to without his consent.

Analysis: Any trade for Hamels would likely have to include Joc Pederson and maybe even Corey Seager, two blue-chip prospects that the Dodgers have been reportedly unwilling to move in trades. 17-year old LHP Julio Urias could be a name to watch out for in a potential Hamels deal as well as the Mexican-native has seen his stock skyrocket in 2014.


Papelbon Won’t Go to Team Unless He is a Closer

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, July 28, 2014 01:53 PM Comments: 9

Papelbon unwilling to be a set up man

Papelbon unwilling to be a set up man

As if there weren’t enough obstacles for the Phillies in regards to trading closer Jonathan Papelbon, “Cinco Ocho” just added one more. Joel Sherman of the New York Daily News is reporting that Papelbon is unwilling to waive his no-trade clause to go to a team who plans on using him as anything but a closer.

The good news is Papelbon can only veto trades to eight different teams. The bad news however is that there aren’t many teams looking for closers. Even with Papelbon’s solid season, his contract could present an issue. Papelbon is owed $13 million next season, with an obtainable vesting option for 2016. Combine his demands to be a closer for a perspective team, and his contract, it could be difficult for the Phillies to move Papelbon before the July 31st non waiver deadline.

The Phillies closer has gone on record as criticizing fellow teammates for not wanting to waive their no-trade clauses to go to a potential winner. So while Papelbon wants to go play for a winner, he wont do so as a set up man. The Phillies are most likely chomping at the bit to get rid of the five time All Star and begin the Kenny Giles era. I think the Phillies best chance to get rid of Papelbon will come after July 31st during the waiver trade deadline.


Are the Phillies Willing to Sell?

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, July 28, 2014 10:10 AM Comments: 21

If you were banking on the Phillies selling everyone, which you know…. would make sense, you may want to sit down for this. ESPN.Com’s Buster Olney had a series of interesting tweets Sunday night.



Ruben Amaro is a man who likes to give 35-year old players two year deals with obtainable vesting options. So it should come as no real surprise that Ruben Amaro is overvaluing his players and doesn’t want to sell.


Gameday 105: Diamondbacks at Phillies

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, July 27, 2014 12:55 PM Comments: 32



Arizona Diamondbacks (45-59) at Philadelphia Phillies (45-59)

Starting Pitchers:
ARI: Vidal Nuno (0-1, 3.78 ERA)
PHI: Roberto Hernandez (4-8, 4.25 ERA)

Time: 1:35, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

This may the last time some Phillies suit up in the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.

Lineup: Revere CF / Rollins SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Byrd RF / Ruf LF / Asche 3B / Nieves C / Hernandez P


Tommy John surgery just part of the game for prospect Mecias

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 26, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 67

Yoel Mecias, Image- Jay Floyd

As prevalent as reconstructive elbow surgery has become for baseball players, it just comes with the territory, if you ask Phillies lefty pitching prospect Yoel Mecias.

The Venezuela native was an All-Star last year for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws when the team hosted the South Atlantic League’s annual showcase of its top players.

As a 19-year-old Mecias was impressive, posting a 4-3 record with a 3.79 ERA with 70 strike outs in 57 innings through 13 outings (11 starts) in 2013 for the ‘Claws, prior to being sidelined with an elbow issue that resulted in Tommy John surgery.

As a rising prospect that had begun garnering plenty of attention throughout the Sally League, Mecias was disappointed to have his breakout campaign cut short, but he didn’t let the negative feeling settle in too deeply.

“In the beginning the injury was hard on me, but I knew it was all mental. I just tried to take that away. For me, I just had to be patient and just work. It’s part of the game,” Mecias stated with the help of Lakewood hitting coach Lino Connell, who translated the youngster’s thoughts. Continue reading Tommy John surgery just part of the game for prospect Mecias

Previous Page Next Page