Results tagged ‘ Bartolo Colon ’

Looking for Starting Pitching Depth

Rumors are flying at the Winter Meetings. I’ve had several people ask me in the past 24 hours if the Phillies are the mystery team in pursuit of Cliff Lee.

No, they are not.

Asked yesterday if the Phillies could get creative and add a frontline starting pitcher, like he had suggested in his postseason news conference at Citizens Bank Park, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “We haven’t closed any doors. If I were a betting man, I would say it’s probably not going to happen because that’s not necessarily our priority. But we can’t close any doors.”

A more likely scenario is the Phillies signing a player to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Bartolo Colon is an interesting name. He is 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA in five starts with Aguilas Cibaenas in Dominican Winter Ball. In 29 2/3 innings he has allowed, 23 hits, four runs (three earned runs), one home run and two walks. He has struck out 26.

Phillies scout Charley Kerfeld has seen Colon pitch for Aguilas, and he gave the Phillies a positive report. But there are a couple big reasons not to sign Colon, too. Remember how Pat Gillick said last week that a player’s makeup is 65 percent of player evaluation? Well, Colon quit on the Red Sox in 2008 and White Sox in 2009. (That’s a pattern.) I’ve got to think that’d be two big strikes against him. But the Phillies also take low-risk, high-reward opportunities, too.

“He would be considered that type of guy,” Amaro said. “But we’re not really on him.”

So don’t go spreading word the Phillies are going to sign Colon. (This isn’t one of those stirring-the-pot-at-the-Winter-Meetings stories.) But the Phillies like to take chances and be creative, so I don’t think I’m too crazy (right? right?! right?!?!?!) for at least asking Amaro about it.

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Get Your Halladay Fix


halladay 02.jpgIt’s been a few minutes since the last Roy Halladay update, and if you’re like me, you’re probably getting the shakes from withdrawl. So here are a few tidbits to get your fix, you baseball junkie:

- Ruben Amaro Jr. said this afternoon he did not have a sense either way if the Phillies would make a trade – any trade – before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But we know most baseball insiders still consider the Phillies the favorites to get Halladay. And we know the Phillies remain hot after Halladay. Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick has been in Toronto recently, and Blue Jays scouts have been combing the Phillies’ farm system as they decide on the prospects the Phillies would need to include to acquire the former Cy Young winner.

- Here’s the kicker if the Phillies and Blue Jays pull the trigger at the last hour: Halladay won’t need to change hotel rooms. The Phillies play the Giants in San Francisco from July 30 – Aug. 2 and the Blue Jays play the Athletics in Oakland from July 31 – Aug. 2. Both teams are staying in the same hotel in San Francisco.

- Amaro said any reports about his prospects being untouchable (or tradeable) are purely speculative, including reports that the Phillies have told the Blue Jays that Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek would not be traded. Amaro wouldn’t say if they would trade Drabek or not. “There are some people we would not trade and there are some people we would, and it’s all subject to change,” Amaro said.

- Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he expects a package “similar or better” to packages the Orioles received in 2008 for Erik Bedard and the Indians received in 2002 for Bartolo Colon. The Orioles received All-Star outfielder Adam Jones, All-Star closer George Sherrill, top pitching prospect Chris Tillman and two others for Bedard. The Indians received Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore, second baseman Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Colon.

- There is some thought the Phillies, if they are unable to land a quality starter, will turn their attention to the bullpen. AOL Fanhouse reported this week the Phillies have scouted Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls. Sherrill could be available at the right price. Bullpen help makes sense. The Phillies just placed left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list, and closer Brad Lidge continues to struggle.

- The Phillies still hope to land a right-handed bat for their bench. They fell short in recent weeks in their pursuit of Mark DeRosa and Scott Hairston. “We have different pursuits,” Amaro said. “We’ll continue to pursue all of them. And we’ll decide by the 31st which is our biggest need. … We’re just trying to improve our club if we can. If it’s with pitching, it’s pitching. If it’s with a bat, it’s a bat. We’ll try to address all these issues. These are all issues that are easier said than done. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be done. They may be done internally, too. Are we trying to improve our club in those three areas? Yes, but how we line it up and prioritize it is something that we’ll keep to ourselves.”

- Asked which he would prefer: a starter or a reliever before the deadline, Charlie Manuel didn’t miss a beat: “I prefer the horse. The horse keeps you out of your bullpen.”

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Pedro Martinez threw 60 pitches in a simulated game and felt fine. He is expected to begin a rehab assingment Sunday with Single-A Clearwater.

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Halladay on the Move?

halladay.jpgHey, look, Roy Halladay is on the market.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Riccardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that Halladay is available.

“We have to see what’s out there,” Ricciardi said. “I’m not saying we’re going to shop him. But if something makes sense, we at least have to listen. We’re (leaning) more toward listening than we’ve ever been.”

The Phillies are interested in Halladay, and who wouldn’t be? But the price for him is going to be enormous. Rosenthal wrote that the Blue Jays would be looking for a deal like the one the Indians made for Bartolo Colon in 2002, when they got Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips. No question the Blue Jays would be looking for one or more of the Phillies top prospects: Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Jason Knapp — although the Phillies have made it known that those three are untouchable.

Michael Taylor? Jason Donald? Lou Marson? Carlos Carrasco? The Phillies are willing to trade them.

But what if the Phillies have a real shot to land Halladay? What if including Drabek is the difference between making a deal and not making a deal? I understand saying no for a pitcher like Erik Bedard or Brad Penny, but Halladay is a different animal. He not only is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he is signed through 2010 at $15.75 million.

So a trade market that looked remarkably weak just a few hours ago — the Phillies are taking a look today at Pedro Martinez — suddenly got a lot more interesting. And the Blue Jays hold the cards.

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