Results tagged ‘ Jason Donald ’

The Price for the Phillies Rotation

lee is back.jpg

Ruben Amaro Jr. said this week he expects Joe Blanton to remain with the Phillies this season, which means the guy the Phillies slated to be their No. 3 starter in 2010 is their No. 5 starter in 2011. It shows just how much has changed in a year. The Phillies shipped 13 prospects and committed more than $255 million in salaries to have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Blanton in the same rotation at the same time.

I know the Phillies traded away Lee in Dec. 2009, which remains a regrettable trade. But if the Phillies had not traded for Lee the first time and had he not enjoyed his experience here, he would not have taken less money to sign with the Phillies in December. He would have signed with the Yankees or Rangers instead.

Here is a look at the prospects the Phillies traded to make this rotation:

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ROY HALLADAY

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. MLB.com ranks him as the ninth-best catching prospect in baseball. Baseball America considers him the organization’s fourth-best prospect in its rankings. He certainly has the all-around skills to be a frontline catcher. In fact, including d’Arnaud in the Halladay deal gave the Phillies pause because of the dearth of catching depth in the organization and baseball.

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Phils Have Pieces to Land Halladay


Thumbnail image for halladay 02.jpgBaseball insiders agree: the Phillies have what it takes to acquire Roy Halladay.

In an informal poll of baseball personnel this week at the Winter Meetings, folks think the Phillies have as good a chance as anybody of getting him.

“They have the pieces,” one AL executive said. “I would say the Phillies and Red Sox have the talent to make it happen more than the other teams out there.”

“They’ve got the prospects,” a National League scout said. “They didn’t give up anything for [Cliff] Lee.”

The Phillies shipped Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Lou Marson and Jason Donald to the Indians for Lee and Ben Francisco. Baseball America considered Carrasco, Knapp, Marson and Donald among the organization’s top 10 prospects. But they also were not Philadelphia’s best prospects. That designation belongs to Kyle Drabek, Domonic Brown and Michael Taylor, and the Phils still have them.

Some things to consider about a potential Halladay trade:

  • The asking price must drop. The Blue Jays originally asked for Drabek, Brown, J.A. Happ and Anthony Gose. The Phillies balked. And they still would balk, if they asked for that package. It’s simply too much to ask for a pitcher who could become a free agent after the season. “It could come down to the Phillies determining if they can significantly deplete their system for a player they may be unable to retain,” a NL executive said.
  • Can they afford him? The Phillies’ payroll seems to have a budget of around $140 million. They’re fast approaching it. Halladay’s $15.75 million salary would obliterate it. Ownership would need to make an exception for Halladay, or the Phillies would have to move salary to make him fit.
  • Talk at the Winter Meetings that Philadelphia has made Joe Blanton available might not be a coincidence. Blanton made $5.75 million in 2009, and is due a raise. Ruben Amaro Jr. declined comment when asked about reports that Blanton is being shopped, but one source said Tuesday that to get Halladay, the Phillies “would have to move Blanton. And he is on the market, by the way.”
  • But this is more than just the 2010 payroll. It’s about the future. If the Phils trade too many top prospects, they will have fewer options in their system to replace current talent. For example, Jayson Werth is a free agent after 2010. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson will be free agents after ’11. Jimmy Rollins also will become a free agent after ’11, assuming the Phillies pick up his ’11 club option. I know what you’re thinking: prospects are no guarantee. And you’re right. But you can’t trade all of your prospects because if you trade all of your prospects then none of them will hit. And the Phillies can’t just replace Werth, Ibanez, Howard, Lidge, Madson, Rollins and others via free agency. They must have young, inexpensive talent to step in. “At some point … retaining all of their quality players will be difficult,” the NL executive said. “When you reach that point, there has to be depth in the system to cover needs. It’s tough to continuously deal your top prospects, extend payroll and have the ability to recover when the bill comes due.
  • Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said recently that he considered the Phillies and Yankees favorites to land Halladay. One reason is that Halladay lives in the Tampa area, where the Phillies and Yankees hold Spring Training. Halladay has a no-trade clause, but he would waive it for the Philies. “We’re not a Florida team,” Ash said. “I also don’t think he’s looking for a chance to win, he’s looking for a guaranteed win.” Nothing in baseball is guaranteed. But with a rotation that includes Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels, they would be as close as you can get.

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A Look Back at Deadlines Past

gillick and amaro.jpgThe Phillies got Cliff Lee, the Tigers got Jarrod Washburn and the White Sox got Jake Peavy.

Roy Halladay?

The Blue Jays didn’t trade him. It appears Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi overplayed his hand before today’s non-waiver trade deadline. He would not budge from his asking price, and because he didn’t budge he will get less for Halladay in the offseason than he would have gotten today.

Doh.

The Phillies seem to have done a nice job. They got one of just four starting pitchers traded before the deadline — Ian Snell also got traded — without giving up three of their top prospects: Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor. That’s not bad work.

Let’s take a look at the mid-season trades the Phillies have made since they traded Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Rheal Cormier, Ryan Franklin, David Bell and Sal Fasano during their 2006 fire sale. These trades include trades made before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

2009

2008

2007

  • Russell Braynan from the Indians for cash.
  • Julio Mateo from the Mariners for Jesus Merchan.
  • Kyle Lohse from the Reds for Matt Maloney.
  • Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox for Michael Dubee.

2006

The Phillies got Stairs, Eyre, Iguchi, Braynan, Moyer, Conine and Hernandez after the July 31 deadline. I mention that only because the Phillies still could make a move this season. If they do, I’m guessing it would be a utility player.

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Lee, Francisco for Four Phillies Prospects

lee 01.jpgThe Phillies got their Cy Young winner.

After it appeared the Phillies would land Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay before Friday’s Trade Deadline, the Phillies landed Indians left-hander Cliff Lee. Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies and Indians have reached an agreement that would send Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco to the Phillies for prospects Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson.

The agreement is pending a review of medical records.

If it goes well, an announcement could be made later today.

The Phillies improved their rotation and added a much needed right-handed bat for their bench. The Indians get four of the top 10 prospects in Philadelphia’s system, according to Baseball America. The Blue Jays? Well, they appear to have overplayed their hand with less than 48 hours to go before the deadline.

The deal seems attractive to the Phillies for a few reasons:

  • Lee bolsters a rotation that has pitched much better recently. Phillies starters had a 5.27 ERA through July 2, but have a 2.71 ERA since. Lee is the American League’s 2008 Cy Young winner. He is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA this season, and 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA in his last five starts. He had the eighth-worst run support of any American League pitcher this season. That should not be a problem with the Phillies, who have the best offense in the National League.
  • The Phillies got Lee without giving up the three players the Blue Jays had demanded in a deal for Halladay: Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ, Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek and Single-A Clearwater outfielder Dominic Brown. Happ is a legitimate National League Rookie of the Year candidate and Drabek and Brown are the organization’s top pitching and player prospects, respectively. The Phillies also didn’t give up outfielder Michael Taylor, who Baseball America considers a Top 25 prospect.
  • Lee has a $9 million club option for next season, while Halladay makes $15.75 million. That $6.75 million difference will impact the Phillies’ offseason, who have a $5 million club option on Pedro Feliz and expect Joe Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, to get a raise from the $5.475 million he makes this season.
  • Francisco is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs this season. He is an upgrade over outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who is hitting .189 with four homers and eight RBIs.

Of course, who goes into the bullpen? The Phillies have Lee, Happ, Blanton, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and Pedro Martinez on the horizon. It’s a nice problem to have, but somebody is going to have their feelings hurt.

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Is Lee Close?


lee 02.jpgCarlos Carrasco
got scratched from this morning’s 11 a.m. start in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson also are not in the lineup.

Signs point to Indians left-hander Cliff Lee.

“Nothing is imminent,” one source said, although there are those inside the Indians organization who feel a deal likely will happen soon.

But Lee makes sense. Sources have said in recent days that talks between the Phillies and Blue Jays regarding Roy Halladay have slowed to a near standstill. The Blue Jays haven’t budged on their asking price for Kyle Drabek, and the Phillies haven’t budged in wanting to keep him. But while a potential deal for Halladay seems to have faded, I would say a very small chance remains it could happen — only if the Blue Jays realize the Phillies are about to go in a different direction and drop their asking price.

Left-hander J.A. Happ is scheduled to start for the Phillies tonight in Arizona. If he pitches tonight, it means the Phillies could make this trade without giving up Happ or Drabek — both pitchers the Blue Jays have demanded.

Stay tuned on that.

Are Marson and Donald in the deal? Not necessarily. It should be noted that everyday catchers rarely play a day game after a night game, much less an 11 a.m. start. That potentially explains why Marson is out. And I got word out of Lehigh Valley that because Donald is returning from knee surgery, he also had been scheduled to have today off.

But Carrasco’s healthy scratch was the flashing neon sign that a deal is getting close.

A trade is near. Ken Rosenthal said Single-A Lakewood flamethrower Jason Knapp is part of the deal that includes Carrasco, Donald and Marson. It looks like it’s for Lee, but nothing is imminent.

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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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Donald to Have Surgery, Marson on the DL

The Phillies temporarily have lost top prospects Jason Donald and Lou Marson to injuries.

Donald, who has been mentioned in recent trade rumors with the Red Sox for right-hander Brad Penny, is scheduled to have surgery Monday for a torn meniscus in his left knee. He is expected to miss three to four weeks.

Lehigh Valley also placed Marson on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised right foot.

Donald had been hitting .230 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 204 at-bats. He had struck out 52 times and walked just eight. Marson had been hitting .232 with one homer and eight RBIs in 112 at-bats.

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Phillies Following Penny?

penny.jpgA scout for one Major League team said the Phillies have been following Red Sox right-hander Brad Penny, which confirms an ESPN report that the Phillies called the Sox to ask about Penny.

The Phillies reportedly were told it would take Jason Donald to get him.

Penny is 5-1 in 10 starts this season with the Red Sox. But he also has a 5.63 ERA and opponents have .310 against him. Donald would seem to be a steep price for a pitcher who has been getting hit pretty hard. Donald certainly has value after this season as a super-utility player (currently the role Eric Bruntlett holds) or as a third baseman (if the Phillies decide not to pick up the $5 million option on Pedro Feliz). They might be better served keeping Donald and seeing if they can find something better elsewhere, unless Phillies scouts see something the numbers don’t say about him.

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Been getting e-mails about the Phillies’ interest in Tom Glavine and Vicente Padilla. Neither seems to be an option for the Phillies. The Phillies already have a Glavine in Jamie Moyer, and Moyer is healthier than Glavine. And Padilla? Don’t forget the Phillies basically traded him to the Rangers for nothing after the 2005 season. There was a reason for that. They don’t want him back.

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Charlie Manuel made it official: lefty Antonio Bastardo will start Sunday. No surprise there.

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I took a look at why baseball is having so many hip injuries and surgeries. Some interesting theories.

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The Lakers are in the NBA Finals, but it’s hard to tell in LA. Maybe I’m in the wrong neighborhood — I’m staying in Pasadena — but so far I have seen one Lakers jersey and two Lakers car flags since I arrived Tuesday night. That’s it. People here might love the LA, but they don’t show it like Phillies fans showed it last fall.

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