Park, Eyre, Blanton and More

The Phillies continue to talk with Chan Ho Park‘s people and Scott Eyre‘s people about possible returns, but there seems to have been little progress. In fact, Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies probably would not make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Stalemate?

“It depends what you mean by stalemate,” Amaro said today. “We’re comfortable with the numbers we’ve presented, and if those are numbers that won’t really get it done then we might have to go ahead and move on. I’m sure they’re trying to maximize the value, which is the job of the agent. If they feel like there’s a better opportunity to make more money or to be in a different situation then they’re going to take it. … We’re still talking.”

But Amaro said the meetings have been productive. He already had meet with three or four teams earlier today and is scheduled to see two or three more before the end of the day. They might not be able to hammer out something before Thursday, but he sounds happy with the groundwork he has laid going forward.

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One source said today that Joe Blanton “is on the market, by the way.” Trading Blanton would weaken the rotation, and the Phillies don’t have a lot of depth to replace him. So why is he available?

“They want to get a big bullpen piece,” the source said.

Amaro has said the Phillies are most likely to add bullpen pieces via free agency. That would seem to make the most sense, unless they can get a real stud — which could be beneficial should Brad Lidge carry his 2009 struggles into 2010.

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Amaro said if the Phillies can’t get the veteran pitchers they want for the bullpen, they might have to go young. Candidates include left-handers Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo and right-hander Scott Mathieson.

“You’d like to have guys who are veterans,” Amaro said. “Guys who have been through the wars, and have dealt with the adversity. In a perfect world you’d have young starters and have veteran-type relievers. But that’s just a perfect world. We have more young players in our bullpen this year. We’ll probably start off with (Kyle) Kendrick as a guy who will be pitching and fighting for a job in the rotation, but if he doesn’t make the rotation maybe he’ll be pushed into the bullpen.”

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A report earlier today had the Phillies interested in Cuban pitcher Ardolis Chapman, but a team source said the Phillies are not interested.

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11 Comments

I’m pumped to see Mathieson and Escalona get ample opportunity in the bullpen for 2010, but I don’t really know what Bastardo could do for us. The guy is pretty much all fastball, and his location leaves a lot to be desired.

Oh and I want to reiterate the big no thanks on Brandon Lyon. If they’re trying to trade Blanton to free up salary for him, that’s the dumbest goddamn thing I’ve heard in a while.

I like what Amaro said about Kendrick. This is a big spring for him. He either goes or stays.
I’m also optimistic about both Park and Eyre coming back. Both guys played a big role in the bullpen.
Completely forgot about Matheison, so it could be an interesting spring for him too.
I think they still need to get a guy with some experience as a closer, since I’m not sold on Madson doing it. Lyon closed a little with AZ, and I know (phylan) I’m not excited about it either, but he might be the best available option. He had 26 saves in 2008, although with 75 hits in 59 innings, he must have come in with a lot of 3-run leads!

Ooops … 59 hits in 75 innings. Still…

Nope, I was right. Old age dyslexia kicking in.

So Joe Blanton is definately on the market. The means we are going to see a very different rotation from last year. After Lee, what dependable constants do they have in the rotation? Lee, Hamels, Happ and two unknowns. Amaro said, “In a perfect world you’d have young starters and have veteran-type relievers. ” Guess that means two of the spots to young guys coming up and Blanton gets traded for bullpen help.

They may also work out a cheaper deal with Blanton to avoid arbitration, depending on how willing he is. The deadline is in 4 days.

In any case, I don’t care whether he’s labeled closer or not, we need another top-tier reliever. Rafael Betancourt would’ve been a good choice, but I believe he is accepting arbitration with the Rockies. If anyone on the current roster has to be a “closer” I’d prefer Madson. Of course, this is all moot since Charlie will stubbornly run Lidge out there to get shelled all of the time.

I really hope they don’t let Blanton go. That rotation is a house of cards without him. We’re left with a lot of hoping. Hoping Hamels returns to 2008 form, Happ is dependable and constant, Lidge returns to 2008 form, they sign Park and Eyre, Romaro comes back or they sign a dependable FA or two for the pen. Its not an easy puzzle to solve. For all of those things to go right might be wishful thinking.

joebridge: yes, those are all world-aligning events, but still possible. I think Romero coming back is the biggest long shot.

I’m shocked and dismayed they’re shopping Blanton. He was their #2 for significant stretches this summer. You’re not going to find a guy who can pitch as effectively for as many innings for the price he’ll get in arbitration. Not even frickin’ close. And you’ve got to be kidding if you think his replacement might be Kyle Kendrick. Sure, we need bullpen help in a big way. I’m all for getting it and maybe even trading someone for it. But not Joe! Look at how many innings BP guys pitch vs. how many Joe pitches. Jeezus, this rumor is really pissing me off.

so sick of hearing about this scott mathieson. will they ever stop tryin to sell this injury proned unexperienced pretender? cant trade big country. a great number 4 option…after halladay lee and hamels of course.

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