Results tagged ‘ Chad Durbin ’

Durbin Avoids Arbitration

The Phillies successfully avoided salary arbitration with Chad Durbin today when they agreed to a one-year, $2.125 million contract, a source said.

If they had not agreed they would have exchanged salary arbitration figures Tuesday. The Phillies have three other players eligible for salary arbitration: Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz. It is unclear where they stand in negotiations with that trio.

Durbin went 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA in 59 appearances last season. He went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances in 2008.

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Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

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Phillies Non-Tender Clay Condrey

The Phillies non-tendered right-hander Clay Condrey before tonight’s midnight deadline.

Ruben Amaro Jr. had a couple relatively difficult decisions on right-handers Chad Durbin and Condrey. They were not automatic because both were eligible for salary arbitration. If the Phillies had signed other free agent relief pitchers before the deadline they might have non-tendered them rather than risk going to arbitration with them.

But the Phillies did not sign any free agent relievers and still non-tendered Condrey. Based on past experiences that could mean the Phillies made a contract offer to Condrey, who didn’t agree with the salary figure. Rather than go to salary arbitration with Condrey, who made $650,000 last season, and possibly pay him more than they felt he was worth, they allowed him to become a free agent. The Phillies still have the ability to re-sign Condrey, if they desire.

The Phillies also offered contracts to their other three players eligible for salary arbitration: right-hander Joe Blanton, centerfielder Shane Victorino and catcher Carlos Ruiz. Those three and Durbin essentially have been signed to one-year contracts in 2010.

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Cliff Lee Involved in Roy Halladay Deal?

Thumbnail image for halladay.jpgOh, the plot thickens.

FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal talks about a plausible scenario in which the Phillies trade Cliff Lee in a multi-team deal to acquire Roy Halladay. And you know what? I could see it happening.

Halladay likely would require a contract extension to waive his no-trade clause, which means the Phillies would have an ace locked up beyond 2010. It won’t be easy to extend Halladay, but I think it would be easier to extend him than Lee.

The Phillies met this week with Lee’s agent about an extension, but nothing is imminent. In fact, there is nothing to suggest progress has been made. I personally think Lee is intent on testing the free-agent market. In an August interview with The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Lee talked about the Indians’ decision not to negotiate an extension with him during spring training. He said it basically ruled out the possibility of discussing an extension after the 2009 season.

“It doesn’t make sense to do it one year out when I just watched what CC (Sabathia) did,” said Lee, referring to Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million contract.

If Lee hits the open market like he suggests he will, I don’t think the Phillies will re-sign him. He likely will sign elsewhere, and the Phillies will have just two compensatory draft picks to show for it. So I’m thinking the Phillies are looking at two scenarios:

  1. Trade Lee to get Halladay, who they sign to an extension.
  2. Keep Lee, don’t get Halladay and Lee walks after the 2010 season.

But why can’t they get Halladay without trading Lee? Prospects and payroll.

Rosenthal mentions that the Blue Jays might eat some of Halladay’s $15.75 million salary for a bigger haul of prospects. The Phillies might need the help. Trading Lee might allow them to keep their own top prospects like Domonic Brown, Kyle Drabek and even J.A. Happ, and still meet Toronto’s asking price. It also would provide them payroll relief. The Phillies’ payroll is pushing $140 million, which seems to be their limit. That might explain why the Phillies haven’t made much progress in finding bullpen help — they are trying to get pitchers under market value. And if you’re a pitcher, why would you do that? Maybe if the Phillies free up a few million dollars they can fortify a bullpen that has question marks with Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero recovering from elbow surgeries.

There are a lot of moving pieces and considerations here. Fascinating stuff, if that’s what needs to happen for Ruben Amaro Jr. to pull this off.

So what’s your choice, if the Phillies can only have Lee or Halladay in their rotation next year?

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The Phillies have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to tender contracts to the following players or they become free agents: Blanton, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey. The Phillies are expected to offer contracts to all five.

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A Hot Stove Refresher

Let’s catch up with where the Phillies stand as teams can sign free agents beginning Friday.

First, some important dates to know:

  • The Phillies have until Dec. 1 to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents.
  • Free agents offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to accept.
  • The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to tender contracts to their remaining unsigned players.

Everybody knows the Phillies are looking for a new third baseman. They would love Chone Figgins, but they are not expected to be in the running because he is seeking a reported five-year, $50 million deal. The Phillies already have $106.75 million committed to just 12 players next season, which does not include significant raises to salary arbitration eligible players Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz, plus upgrades to the bullpen and bench. The Phillies are going to look for a shorter, more affordable contract to fill their void at third. More likely targets are Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa. The Phillies have had interest in Miguel Tejada in the past, but he also might command too big a contract.

The Phillies reportedly have expressed interest in right-hander Fernando Rodney, but if he can close elsewhere, I imagine that is where he would go.

The Phillies have nine free agents: catcher Paul Bako, infielder Miguel Cairo, left-hander Scott Eyre, third baseman Pedro Feliz, right-hander Pedro Martinez, right-hander Brett Myers, right-hander Chan Ho Park, outfielder Matt Stairs and left-hander Jack Taschner.

Park and Eyre, who are Type B free agents, seem to be the most likely players to return. Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has contacted Park’s agent about bringing him back. Eyre, who had elbow surgery last Monday, said he will play for the Phillies or retire. If he decides to play, the Phillies seem interested. He is 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 games since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008.

The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. If Stairs returns, it would on a Minor League deal.

If Feliz returns it means the Phillies’ plans to upgrade at third base did not go as intended. Amaro said last week that he has told Martinez that they have not closed the door on his return, but are focusing their attention elsewhere. It seems unlikely Martinez will be back.

Amaro hasn’t ruled out Bako’s return, but he also said finding a backup catcher is a priority, which indicates they will be looking elsewhere. Taschner is expected to sign elsewhere. It is difficult to picture the Phillies signing Cairo to anything other than a Minor League deal.

The Phillies have seven players eligible for salary arbitration: Blanton, infielder Eric Bruntlett, right-hander Clay Condrey, right-hander Chad Durbin, Ruiz, Victorino and right-hander Tyler Walker. The Phillies are expected to tender contracts to Blanton, Ruiz and Victorino. Durbin is a good bet, depending on how the Phillies rebuild their bullpen. The futures for Bruntlett, Condrey and Walker seem less certain.

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Happ In, Martinez Out for Game 3

Thumbnail image for happ 0805.jpgThanks to the cold and snow today, the Phillies are going to continue firing left-handers at the Rockies in the National League Division Series.

They will start left-hander J.A. Happ tomorrow night in Game 3 at Coors Field.

Pedro Martinez had been scheduled to pitch, but with today’s postponement because of cold weather, it allows the Phillies to go with a better matchup. It also allows them to pitch left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4 and left-hander Cole Hamels in a potential Game 5.

“It’s the most reasonable thing to do,” Martinez said this afternoon in the lobby of the team’s hotel. “I haven’t thrown in 10 days. Difficult weather. Happ has been in there. He has a better feel for the ball. I’m just hoping I get an opportunity to pitch a couple innings before they use me.”

Charlie Manuel and Happ will speak on a conference call later today.

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The consensus regarding today’s postponenment? Good call.

“Hopefully, Game 5 last year kind of set the tone for future events like that,” Jayson Werth said.

“There’s no need for a game of this type of importance to come down to 22 degree weather or a guy possibly getting injured or something like that,” Chad Durbin said. “Hitting, running bases, fielding ground balls would have been tough. Any athletic. Skiing up in the mountains is athletic, but to play baseball it’s not conducive.”

Jim Tracy said it perfectly,” Scott Eyre said. “The first two games have been so good. Well played. Players have played good. Managers made decisions they thought were right and worked out. You don’t want to have a game like we had last year in the World Series, where Jimmy (Rollins) misses a pop fly and they tie the game because of crap weather. You don’t want to make that mistake again.”

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How were many players spending the day? Going to the mall.

“What else do you do when it’s snowing outside?” Werth said.

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Pedro Goes Wednesday, Moyer Goes to Pen

pedro signs.jpgThe Phillies announced Pedro Martinez will make his Phillies debut Wednesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

They moved Jamie Moyer to the bullpen to make room for Martinez in the rotation.

The Phillies rotation looks like this for the immediate future:

- Tuesday vs. Cubs: LHP J.A. Happ
- Wednesday vs. Cubs: RHP Pedro Martinez
- Thursday vs. Cubs: LHP Cliff Lee
- Friday vs. Braves: RHP Joe Blanton
- Saturday vs. Braves: LHP Cole Hamels

Martinez went 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA (seven earned runs in 12 1/3 innings) and 16 strikeouts in three rehab starts. The Phillies have not yet made a move to accomodate Martinez on the 25-man roster. That will come before his start Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

“Based on our reports on how Pedro has pitched in his rehab starts, we felt it was time to move him into our rotation,” Charlie Manuel said in a statement.  “Jamie was a total professional and team player when we let him know of the decision to move him to the bullpen.  He has been and will continue to be a very important part of this team.”

The team is flying to Chicago tonight, which means Martinez, Moyer, Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee will be unavailable until tomorrow. But I had a chance to speak with Ruben Amaro Jr. Here is some of what he said:

Q: Why did the team decide to move Moyer to the bullpen to give Martinez a shot?
A: We just felt that Pedro is pitching well enough that he deserves a chance to pitch in the rotation, and we hope it’s an upgrade.
Q: How tough of a decision was this considering how much Moyer has meant to the organization? It’s different moving a guy like Moyer to the bullpen than somebody like Eude Brito or Amaury Telemaco.
A: Clearly, he’s got a lot more of a track record and he’s done a lot more for us than your average pitcher. Jamie has dedicated himself to his starts and to his performance and he will continue to do that, but we are trying to do what we can to win baseball games and win this division. And these are baseball decisions that are made collectively, and we feel it’s for the betterment of our club.
Q: Can Jamie be effective in the bullpen? He’s 46 and hasn’t done that in years.
A: We’ll see. He’s done it before. He hasn’t done it in a long time, but we’ll see how it goes. You’ll have to talk to Dubee and Charlie about what his role is, but we’ll see how effective he can be.
Q: How did Jamie take the news?
A: Extremely professionally. You’ll have to talk to Jamie about it, but I’m sure he wasn’t real happy about it. But at the same time he understands that we’re doing what we possibly can to have success. We just felt it was the right thing to do and he understands it.
Q: What are the realistic expecations for Pedro?
A: We’re going to watch him pitch and hopefully he’s an effective starter for us. I don’t have expectations one way or another, other than we hope he is successful and he helps us win games.

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Left-hander J.C. Romero had a MRI today. Amaro said Romero has mid-grade tendinitis that is healing. He will not throw for another week or so, when he will return to Clearwater to begin his rehab.

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The Phillies activated right-hander Chad Durbin from the DL. He went on the DL on July 23 with a right latissimus dorsi strain (that’s fancy talk for strained back muscle). The Phillies optioned right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Durbin. Lopez had a clause in his contract that stated he must consent to an assignment in the Minor Leagues. He had an option remaining, which is why they were able to option him.

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Making Room for Pedro


pedro lehigh valley.jpgCharlie Manuel
got asked every which way he might shape the rotation once Pedro Martinez joins the Phillies.

J.A. Happ to the bullpen? Jamie Moyer? Martinez? How about a six-man rotation?

“It’s something we’ll go over when it’s time,” Manuel said before tonight’s game against the Rockies.

It would have made little sense for Manuel to spill the beans with Moyer scheduled to pitch tonight, Happ scheduled to pitch tomorrow night and Martinez scheduled to make a rehab start tomorrow night for Double-A Reading. Anything could happen before Martinez returns.

But the interest in this situation is legitimate and understandable. Happ has pitched remarkably well as a starter this season. He is 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA overall, and 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 starts since May 23. He ranks 16th out of 53 National League pitchers in ERA since May 23, which is better than Josh Johnson (3.12 ERA), Ted Lilly (3.75 ERA), Randy Wolf (3.98 ERA), Jamie Moyer (4.00 ERA), Johan Santana (4.09 ERA), Cole Hamels (4.57 ERA), Derek Lowe (4.65 ERA) and others.

But Happ might be headed to the bullpen because Moyer and Martinez are not seen as viable bullpen options. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said repeatedly the Phillies signed Martinez to be a starter (although also has said things could change). Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee has echoed that sentiment.

“I think what’s going to weigh into it is what our best options are,” Dubee said. “What’s going to give us a chance to win another World Series. That’s our goal.”

Wednesday will be Martinez’s third rehab start. And while he has bonuses in his contract based on relief appearances, if the Phillies considered him a relief pitcher they might be preparing him differently.

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The entire pitching staff is in flux. The Phillies have Brett Myers, J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey and Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list.

Myers, who is recovering from surgery on his right hip, started to jog Tuesday. He will throw a simulated game Thursday in Clearwater, Fla. Durbin, who has a strained muscle in his back, will make a rehab appearance Wednesday with Single-A Clearwater. Romero, who has a strained left forearm, will make a rehab appearance Friday. Condrey, who has a strained left oblique, is progressing slowly. The Phillies are going to make sure he heals completely before they bring him back.

If Myers returns throwing hard, he could become a nice weapon in the bullpen. He also could be an insurance policy should closer Brad Lidge continue to struggle. Lidge is 0-4 with a 7.11 ERA. His ERA is the highest in baseball amongst qualifying relief pitchers.

“He’s our closer,” Manuel said of Lidge. “Showing him confidence, that’s how he’ll get back on a streak. He’s very capable of doing that. He’s showed how good he is. I’m very positive. I have all the faith in the world in him. I know exactly what he can do.”

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Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who went 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts, already has been moved to the bullpen to make room for left-hander Cliff Lee.

“It’s tough, but having a former Cy Young winner it’s pretty understandable,” Lopez said. “It’s too bad he took my spot, but I want to win.”

Even with Lopez out there are too many starters and not enough spots for them, unless the Phillies would go to a six-man rotation. And what are the chances of that?

“Personally, I think it would be pretty tough,” Dubee said. “Organizationally, I don’t know.”

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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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Romero and Durbin on DL

The Phillies placed left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list today.

Romero has a strained left forearm and Durbin has a strained right latissimus. Romero has been bothered with the forearm injury since last week in Florida. Durbin has been bothered with his back injury for about a month, although he notified the Phillies about it today for the first time.

Right-hander Tyler Walker had his contract selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Right-hander Andrew Carpenter also has been recalled.

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