Results tagged ‘ J.P. Ricciardi ’

Phillies Shifting Focus to Lee?


cliff lee 01.jpgRoy Halladay
and Cliff Lee remain in play, but what are the chances either is traded to the Phillies before Friday’s Trade Deadline?

Halladay? Fading fast, one source said Monday.

Lee? He is turning into the better bet.

Several sources have said the team’s chances of acquiring Halladay have decreased in recent days, which puts Lee into greater focus. One source said that while the Blue Jays have asked for J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown – a National League Rookie of the Year candidate and the organization’s top pitching and position player prospects, respectively – the Phillies might be able to acquire Lee without giving up Drabek.

But without Drabek, the package for Lee would expand to include more players.

The Indians aren’t believed to be terribly motivated to move Lee, who is a Cy Young winner and who makes just $9 million next season. But clearly there are talks between the two teams. The Indians had a scout in Double-A Reading on Monday to watch Drabek. (The Blue Jays also watched Drabek pitch.)

So what happened with the Blue Jays?

The Blue Jays rejected a counteroffer from the Phillies that included Happ, Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Michael Taylor, right-hander Carlos Carrasco and shortstop Jason Donald, according to ESPN.com. There were reports Monday that talks soured between the Phillies and Blue Jays over the weekend, even turning nasty as the teams differed on fair value for Halladay.

A Phillies spokesman made a point to gather Phillies beat reporters before Monday’s game against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field to tell them there is no animosity between the Phillies and Blue Jays “or any other club that they’re engaged in trade discussions with from our point of view.”

Those words clearly came from Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who is trying to maintain a low profile this week. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has been far more visible and vocal in recent weeks. He told foxsports.com Sunday the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.”

That could be nothing more than posturing while others believe it is just another indication the Blue Jays are not backing off their demands for Happ, Drabek and Brown.

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How Much Is Too Much?

halladay 04.jpgThe Blue Jays want J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.

The Phillies reportedly offered Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Jason Donald.

Is Happ, Drabek and Brown too much to give up for Roy Halladay? Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the Phillies would be getting him for two Octobers instead of one. We’re not talking about a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher here. We’re talking about Roy Freakin’ Halladay. Cy Young winner. Ace. Best of the best.

Two sources said Toronto’s demands are reasonable. So why won’t the Phillies pull the trigger?

They are keeping the future in mind, one source indicated. The Phillies’ rotation today includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Happ and Rodrigo Lopez/Pedro Martinez. If the Phillies get Halladay for Happ, Drabek and Brown, the rotation next season would include Hamels, Halladay and Moyer, who is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA this season. Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, seems like a smart bet to return, although the Phillies already have $95.5 million committed to 11 players next season. Add Halladay into that mix and the payroll jumps to $110.75 million. It seems unlikely, but it is possible the Phillies could non-tender Blanton, who would get a raise from the $5.475 million he is making, if they feel they need to trim some salary to pay Halladay and the rest of the roster. So that’s one starter if Blanton is back, two if he isn’t.

The Phillies can handle one starter. Maybe even two with Halladay and Hamels atop the rotation. But the number jumps to potentially four starters in 2011. There is no guarantee Halladay re-signs with the Phillies. He could leave for the highest bidder. Moyer presumably won’t be back. Blanton will be a free agent after 2010, and he also could leave for the big payday. That leaves Hamels and four vacancies.

The Phillies are considering those things as they consider a package for Halladay. They want to keep Happ or Drabek so they’re a little better equipped next season and beyond.

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Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.” Others agree. One source believes the chances of Halladay being traded are no better than 50-50. Another said he thinks it’s “unlikely” Halladay gets traded.

But one source said the Phillies’ counter offer, which ESPN.com said the Blue Jays rejected, is fair. He considers Happ a “poor man’s Andy Pettitte” and Taylor to be better than Brown. He also pointed out that entering this season many considered Carrasco to be the organization’s top pitching prospect. He also think Donald can be a good everyday player.

Of course, it only matters what Toronto thinks.

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It also is unlikely the Cliff Lee is traded. One source said it could be easier for the Phillies to make a trade for Lee because the package would be bigger, meaning not Drabek or Brown involved.

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Been hearing a lot about how the Phillies will have more money to spend next season because the Phillies are shedding the payroll of Adam Eaton ($9 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million). Not exactly. The Phillies have 11 players who are signed through next season or beyond. Those 11 players make $78.25 million this season. But because of built-in raises they will make $95.5 million next season. There goes those savings from Eaton, Jenkins and Thome. And keep in mind, that $95.5 million doesn’t the $5 million club option for Pedro Feliz and salary arbitration figures for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, etc.

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Go For It


halladay 0724.jpgShould the Phillies go for it, Cole Hamels?

Should they go get Roy Halladay?

“It depends on if you want to try to win the World Series the next two years because that’s what he’s going to be here for,” Hamels said. “Winning the World Series or at least attempting to win the World Series the next two years will please us, please the organization and please the fans. You can’t really complain about that. I think it would be a step in a good direction.”

Two baseball sources said today that a trade between the Phillies and Blue Jays for Halladay is not imminent, although there are indications a deal is getting close. The Blue Jays are believed to be seeking Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek, Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ and Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Michael Taylor or Single-A Clearwater outfielder Dominic Brown as part of a deal.

A Blue Jays scout watched Lehigh Valley right-hander Carlos Carrasco pitch tonight in Gwinnett, Ga. As the teams work on a package, Carrasco could be included if the Phillies insist on keeping Happ or Drabek.

Jason Donald and Lou Marson also have been mentioned as possible pieces.

Drabek has been deemed The Untouchable, although there are reports the Phillies are open to moving him. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday, “There are some people we would not trade and there are some people we would, and it’s all subject to change.”

Hamels certainly would welcome Halladay. He is one of the best pitchers in baseball and he would make life a little easier for him atop the rotation.

“I think he’s the best pitcher in baseball, and I think he can help out any team,” Hamels said. “He’ll definitely help us. I think we have a tremendous team, and then you add one of the best players in baseball. He doesn’t have an ego, so I think he’d fit in really well in this picture.”

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The Tigers have a scout at tonight’s Phillies game, and the Phillies had a scout at the Tigers game yesterday. The Phillies could be taking a look at Ryan Raburn. Raburn is a right-handed hitter who can play everywhere but shortstop and catcher. The Tigers are looking for starting pitching, although I’m not sure if there is a match … unless the Phillies end up dealing Rodrigo Lopez to make room for Pedro Martinez‘s inevitable arrival.

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Has Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi really stopped talking?

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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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Ricciardi: Halladay Trade Is 'Probably Unlikely'


halladay 0719.jpgRoy Halladay
said last week that he considered his chances to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline to be no better than a coin flip.

If that is true, his chances to be traded to the Phillies are well under 50 percent, although the Phillies remain the frontrunners for him.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said today that a deal must be in place before July 28 and “at this point, it’s probably unlikely that we’ll trade Doc. As you get closer and closer to the deadline, no one’s really stepped up yet, and at that point, I think time starts running out on you. We’ve got to be highly motivated to move him, so we haven’t been highly motivated yet.”

So we’ve got July 28 for Halladay, and July 31 for the rest of the world … if you believe Ricciardi.

This could be nothing more than posturing. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there are players he absolutely will not trade (Kyle Drabek is rumored to be The Untouchable). So Ricciardi said they are unlikely to trade Halladay. It goes round and round. But even if the July 28 Halladay deadline is real, a week is a long time to make something happen. If the Phillies and Blue Jays are close enough to a deal — say they’re haggling over a prospect with the others already agreed upon — I’d be surprised Ricciardi would walk away at that point. Because even Ricciardi acknowledged this is the best time to trade him.

“Obviously, history tells you if a guy’s got more service time for a team, he’s probably going to be more valuable for that team at that point,” Ricciardi said. “So if the offseason comes and someone feels the same way and wants to blow you away, I guess you could get something, but I think history tells you that having a guy for a year and a half is more important than having them for a year.”

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