Results tagged ‘ Domonic Brown ’
Charlie Manuel had a formal interview session this afternoon at the Winter Meetings.
Here are a few highlights:
On Domonic Brown possibly being better served playing in Triple-A: “I think Spring Training is going to be big for him. … We kept him on our roster because we felt like at that time he might be able to come off the bench and help us. He definitely didn’t finish the way we wanted him to, but that wasn’t all his fault. I just saw they took him out of Winter Ball. I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried about him getting off to a bad start. There have been a lot of players who have gone to Winter Ball, and there are a lot of players who haven’t done well and sent home. Spring Training is going to be real big for him. I think we’re going to get a lot of work in with him. I think GG and myself, we’re going to work with him some. He’s going to get to play a lot. We can work with his game. … I definitely think he deserves a good chance, and he’s going to get it. I’m not ready to send him to the Minor Leagues yet. I’m not ready to say this guy is going to the Minor Leagues. I want to take a good look at him.”
On Ruben Amaro Jr. saying the bullpen is the top priority: “I think he’s definitely right. I agree with that. We could use a lefty in the pen, but I’d rather have the best pitcher we can find.”
On Ryan Howard showing more power next season: “It wasn’t a Ryan Howard year, but I look for Ryan to come back and have a big year. I look at Ryan as a 40-50 home run guy and about 125 to 140 RBIs. That’s kind of who he is. The fact that he hit 31, knocked in 108 or something. He finished the season with a bad ankle. I’m not making any excuses, we don’t use excuses, but I feel like that was his back side. He was not using his legs at the end of the year. When he came back he didn’t use his legs at all.”
On Jimmy Rollins bouncing back after struggling in recent seasons: “Before the season was over I talked to Jimmy a few times about his season and what he’s going to do. He knows exactly what he has to do and where he’s at from a conditioning standpoint, taking care of himself. He revealed to me that he wanted to play another six years. We talked about things that he had to do, and I told him how he’s got to go about it. We’ll see. Jimmy Rollins is a very talented player. We need him to have a Jimmy Rollins year. That’s all.”
Jayson Werth wore black to an October news conference at Citizens Bank Park.
The color of clothing proved prophetic.
Werth, who had become a fan favorite during four successful seasons with the Phillies, spoke like a man who knew his time in Philadelphia had come to an end. It officially ended today, when he signed a colossal seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. MLB.com first reported the impending deal. CSNPhilly.com reported the Phillies offered Werth a three-year contract with an average annual value of $16 million and an option for a fourth year.
A source told MLB.com the vesting option would have increased the value of the contract to $60 million.
Even if the option had vested for the 2014 season, the Nationals offered $66 million more than the Phillies with an average annual value of $18 million.
The Phillies never had a chance.
“We felt that we offered him a significant contract such that we had a chance to bring him back,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said tonight at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “But clearly, at the end of the day it was about trying to get the best contract he could and I think he did.”
If Domonic Brown earns a big league job, he will have to earn it in Spring Training.
He left his Dominican Republic Winter Ball team, Escogido, after hitting .069 in nine games. A team spokesman said last night Brown left because he was tired and sluggish and they want him ready for Spring Training.
Depending how Brown performs this spring, he could help replace Jayson Werth in right field, if Werth signs elsewhere as a free agent. But the organization has said Brown must earn a job.
Ruben Amaro Jr. said earlier this week he was not concerned with Brown’s performance in Winter Ball because he had not played much late in the season and 20-plus at-bats in Winter Ball were not enough to make an evaluation.
If everything is happening like it seems to be happening, the Phillies’ offseason checklist looks like this:
- Improve the bullpen.
- Resign Jayson Werth (or find his replacement).
- Find a replacement on the bench for Greg Dobbs.
- Acquire starting pitching depth.
Nowhere on that list are the words, “Shake up the lineup,” or, “Move some pieces around.” No, if everybody is to be believed, the Phillies could be relatively quiet the remainder of the offseason, certainly compared to winters past when they acquired Roy Halladay, Raul Ibanez, Brad Lidge, etc.
“Right now, I’m actually pretty pleased with what we have,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday. “That doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with where we’re at. We do need to try to improve our bullpen and give ourselves more depth and such, but if we were to open the season today I would feel very confident with what kind of team we would be fielding. I still think it’s a championship-caliber type of club.”
Based on e-mails, tweets and Facebook messages, some fans think the Phillies need to make a big move. I don’t get the sense they will. It sounds like the only big move they might make is resigning Werth, although nearly nobody in baseball expects that to happen. (Disclaimer: Amaro said before, during and after last year’s Winter Meetings they were not in the hunt for Halladay and a few days later they made one of the biggest trades in franchise history — not only trading for Halladay, but trading away Cliff Lee. In other words, just because the Phillies said it could be quiet doesn’t mean it will be quiet.)
That should not surprise anybody. Werth was not going to sign a contract during his exclusive negotiating period with the Phillies. But beginning at midnight Saturday anybody from any team can contact any player, including Werth.
I still don’t think Werth resigns with the Phillies.
Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent, said yesterday it doesn’t have to be that way.
“The Yankees are a Goliath,” Boras said. “George (Steinbrenner) built them with the idea of the word ‘best.’ The Phillies are now Goliaths. The reality of it is they have the ability to do what they need to do to retain their players. It’s merely a matter of choice. It’s not a matter of good business because I think everybody would agree they’ve made some really good business decisions. They’ve all proven to be fruitful economically as far as franchise value increase, future television negotiations, fans. Everything is going well. Somebody asked me if they can have a $200 million payroll? Of course they could. It would be good business to do so.”
I’ve gotten plenty of questions about the Phillies’ offseason since their season ended. I’ll try to answer some of those questions the best I can.
Question: Are the Phillies going to resign Jayson Werth?
Answer: No, I don’t think they will. Somebody is going to give Werth a big contract. I don’t think he’ll get the seven-year, $120 million contract Matt Holliday got from the Cardinals, but he’ll get paid. The only way I see Werth returning is if the market simply isn’t there for him and he surpisingly accepts salary arbitration from the Phillies (Kevin Millwood surprised the Phillies when he accepted salary arbitration in 2003) or the Phillies get him at a team-friendly price. I don’t see either scenario happening.
Do I think Jayson Werth will be back next season?
No, I don’t.
I don’t think the Phillies expect him back, and I don’t think Werth expects to be back. I think the writing has been on the wall for months.
Ruben Amaro Jr. has said several times he cannot have a roster full of $15 million-a-year players, which Werth aims to be. The Phillies already have roughly $145 million committed to 16 players next season. Assuming Werth lands a contract between Jason Bay‘s four-year, $66 million deal and Matt Holliday‘s seven-year, $120 million deal, I just don’t see how it fits.
The Phillies could move some players to clear salary for Werth, but I think it’s unlikely. I’ve gotten e-mails like, “Just trade Raul Ibanez. There’s $11.5 million right there.” Really? Just trade Ibanez and have a team pick up his entire salary? Just like that?
But I think the Phillies will miss Werth’s bat. Werth had an .889 OPS the past three seasons, which ranked 10th in baseball for right-handed hitters. His 87 home runs ranked eighth among right-handed hitters. He played good defense. He stole 53 bases. He had a career-high .921 OPS this season, which was best on the team. And while he struggled with runners in scoring position, I do think it’s an anomaly.
He will be tough to replace, unless Domonic Brown develops incredibly quickly. He had a 1.083 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Ben Francisco had a .901 OPS against left-handed pitchers. If Brown can hit right-handers and Francisco can hit left-handers it just might work. But after hearing Amaro express his concerns about an everyday lineup with everybody in their 30s — everybody in that lineup had subpar seasons other than Werth and Carlos Ruiz – it is a risk.
They added Kyle Kendrick as the 11th pitcher, kept Domonic Brown and dropped Greg Dobbs.
“It’s great,” Brown said, who went 0 for 1 and scored a run in the NLDS. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be on the roster, but it has turned into another great experience for me.”
Ruben Amaro Jr. said manager Charlie Manuel made the final decision. He said Manuel felt Brown “would bring a little bit more to the table. It was a tough decision. Charlie ultimately felt like it was the right thing for us to do.”
Brown hit .210 (13 for 62) with three doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs during the regular season. Dobbs hit .198 (32 for 163) with seven doubles, five home runs and 15 RBIs. Manuel said Brown’s and Dobbs’ offense was equal. He said Brown’s speed was an advantage over Dobbs, although he said Dobbs’ experience and ability to play the infield were important.
Not important enough.
“I thought that maybe my postseason experience and how well I’ve done in the postseason might play a role in it,” Dobbs said. “Being an older veteran, more experienced, more versatile, I thought that would play in my favor. Obviously, it did not.”
Werth recently left agent Jeff Borris from the Beverly Hills Sports Council for Boras, who represents some of the biggest names in the game.
Werth should be set up for a nice payday once he reaches free agency after the season. He is hitting .292 with 44 doubles, two triples, 24 home runs and 76 RBIs in 146 games. He has hit 60 home runs since the beginning of the 2009 season, which ranks second in the Majors amongst right-handed hitting outfielders. (Jose Bautista is first with 62.) Werth also can run, throw and play good defense.
How this affects his future with the Phillies, if at all, remains to be seen. It already was believed Werth would be impossibly difficult to resign with the Phillies already having committed more than $140 million in payroll in 2011, Domonic Brown waiting in the wings and Werth likely to fetch a contract at least similar to the four-year, $66 million deal Jayson Bay received last winter from the Mets.
The Phillies scratched Domonic Brown from tonight’s lineup against the Marlins because of tightness in his right quadriceps.
Brown said he has been feeling tightness for about a week, but aggravated it sliding into home plate in Game 2 of a doubleheader Monday. Brown was scheduled to see a team doctor this evening.
“I think I’m all right,” Brown said.
Brown, who the organization just named its Paul Owens Minor League Player of the Year, said he felt the quad during early hitting.
“I didn’t want to make it any worse, so they decided to take me out of the lineup,” Brown said.
Jayson Werth, who had hit .059 (1-for-17) in his career against Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad, took his place and hit seventh.
Brown is hitting .214 with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs in 30 games with the Phillies. Ruben Amaro Jr. said Brown would have been better served spending more time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but injuries and other roster decisions put the Phillies in position to keep him on the 25-man roster longer than they wanted.
But Amaro said the Phillies have talked with Brown and his agent about playing Winter Ball, which would help him make up for the at-bats he lost sitting on the Phillies’ bench.
“He’s not the perfect, finished product yet,” Amaro said. “He’s got things to learn, things to do, things to improve upon. We’ll see how it goes.”
There is a good chance Brown will be the Phillies’ everyday rightfielder in 2011. Werth will be one of the top two free agent outfielders this fall – Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford being the other — and the Phillies have not had any substantial talks with Werth for months. Werth is looking for new representation, although it is unclear how that might affect future talks.
“That’s possible,” Amaro said, asked of Brown’s chance to be a 2011 starter if there is an opening. “But I certainly won’t anoint him that guy.”