Results tagged ‘ Ben Sheets ’

Oswalt Oswalt Oswalt Oswalt Oswalt


oswalt.jpgRuben Amaro Jr.
said this morning he does know who will be pitching Saturday against the Rockies.

Don’t bet on Roy Oswalt.

A deal for Oswalt is not close, and there are reports the Cardinals are involved. One report said Oswalt prefers not to pitch for a team with a “large and aggressive” media contingent. Oh. My. Lord. Really?! If that is true, that pretty much makes him the opposite of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, who I’m pretty sure eat nails for breakfast.

But Oswalt has the power because he has a complete no-trade clause. Say both teams make comprable deals and agree to pick up Oswalt’s $16 million option in 2012. Say the Astros come up to Oswalt and say, “Honestly, we have two great offers. You can go to St. Louis or you can go to Philadelphia. Your choice.”

Would he pick the Phillies?

The Phillies are seven behind the Braves in the NL East and four behind the Reds in sixth place in the NL wild card. They have lost six of seven since the break. The offense has been flat. They have looked lifeless on the field. Everybody in the clubhouse has said there is something missing from this year’s team. The Phillies simply are not making a strong case for themselves if other teams are in the hunt. And remember Oswalt has the power. He can steer the Astros toward St. Louis (or anybody) by simply telling them, “You might be close with Philly, but I want to play for the Cardinals. Make it happen.” Now Houston can come back and say, “Philly has made us a much better offer. It’s Philly or nowhere.” But Oswalt can always stay in Houston if he wants. He has that choice. But if the Cardinals are serious that makes things much more difficult for Philadelphia.

Another question to ask: how much would Oswalt or Dan Haren or Ben Sheets help the Phillies? If the offense doesn’t get on track, it won’t matter much. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino need to get on track ASAP.

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Amaro's Next Move

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract, and it could be their final move this offseason.

But Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that he still has a left-handed reliever and another starter on his wish list:

Amaro said the Phillies “probably have finished the negotiations” with Scott Eyre, whom they offered a Minor League deal. Eyre was 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008, but he also is coming off elbow surgery. Amaro said the Phillies offered Eyre the Minor League deal for protection from the surgery.

“I don’t believe he’ll be a Phillie next year,” Amaro said.

But Amaro said he still will explore opportunities for left-handed relievers because there is some question whether or not J.C. Romero will be ready to start the season. He had elbow surgery in October. He could begin throwing in the middle of the month, but Amaro said Romero is behind closer Brad Lidge, who also had elbow surgery and also might not be ready to start the season.

Free agent left-handers Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are possibilities to take Eyre’s place.

“There is not a lot to choose from,” Amaro said.

There is not much the Phillies can afford, either. Baez will make $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011. That pushes their 2010 payroll to $118.45 million, and that does not include salaries for Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, Ben Francisco, J.A. Happ and others.

Amaro added that Jamie Moyer, who is slated as the team’s fifth starter, also might not be ready to start the season. He is having the meniscus repaired in his right knee Monday. If he is not ready, Amaro said Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched last season in Japan, would be candidates for the fifth starter’s job. And because of the uncertainty surrounding Moyer, Amaro would like to add more depth to the rotation. He said he has talked with the agents for Ben Sheets, Chien-Ming Wang and others, but they seem unlikely to sign unless their asking prices drop significantly. Amaro said he also has spoken to Brett Myers‘ agent, which is noteworthy because Amaro said immediately after the season that Myers would not return.

That said, Amaro said he doesn’t see much likelihood that Myers will be back.

“If we had our druthers, we’ll try to perhaps sign somebody else – one or two pitchers who could fight for one of those jobs,” Amaro said. “Probably a Minor League deal at this point. A player who is anticipating getting a Major League deal and quite frankly the market isn’t out there for them.”

The Phillies have had interest in right-hander Miguel Batista in the past, although it is unclear what the market is for him. Amaro also said he will leave the lines of communication open with Pedro Martinez, although it seems their prices are far apart.

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