Results tagged ‘ John Smoltz ’
It’s getting closer.
Roy Halladay could be putting on a Phillies uniform as early as tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Halladay have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $60 million or more, which would keep him in red pinstripes through the 2013 season, sources said. Halladay is taking his physical Tuesday and could be announced at a news conference Wednesday.
The Blue Jays would send Halladay and $6 million to the Phillies for prospects Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis d’Arnaud. The Phillies also would send Cliff Lee to the Mariners for prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. ESPN.com reported that the Blue Jays will send Taylor to Oakland for Brett Wallace.
The Phillies got one of the best pitchers in baseball in Halladay. They also restocked their farm system by dealing Lee.
But that was not the only reason the Phillies traded Lee, who they acquired in July for four prospects. They also needed salary relief as their payroll approached $140 million. Lee will make $9 million next season. Add that to the $6 million the Blue Jays are sending to the Phillies for Halladay, who makes $15.75 million, and the Phillies’ payroll jumps only $750,000.
First baseman/outfielder Ross Gload also is taking his physical Tuesday. The Phillies agreed to a two-year contract with him last week.
Once the deals for Halladay, Lee and Gload are finalized, the Phillies are expected to continue their pursuit for bullpen help. Their top two targets are believed to be Fernando Rodney and John Smoltz.
In fact, it would make more sense to say he has little chance in acquring him.
That is what he said this morning before he left the Winter Meetings. The chances for a big-time move, Ruben?
“I don’t think there’s any likeliness,” he said.
So nothing has changed in the likeliness scale?
“There’s nothing likely. How about that?” he said.
I wrote last night that there is talk at the Winter Meetings that the Phillies are one of the favorites for Halladay, if not the favorite. FOXSports.com reported this morning that the Phillies and Angels are front-runners with the Phillies offering J.A. Happ and Domonic Brown or Michael Taylor. The Phillies also would have to shed some payroll to make room for Halladay’s $15.75 million salary. Joe Blanton could be a casualty there. He made $5.75 million last season, and will receive a raise. But FOXSports.com said the Phillies would have to shed more payroll than that.
That could explain why the Phillies haven’t made much progress on Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre. It sounds like that’s why the Phillies are playing hardball in negotiations. They might need to get them on the cheap to afford Halladay. But why would Park and Eyre agree to that?
If the Phillies would have to give up Happ and Blanton to get Halladay, who would they have to fill in the rotation? Would they go into the season with Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick? Or could they pick up another starter for Blanton? A free agent like John Smoltz maybe?
Fun, fun, fun …
Next up for the Phillies?
Pitching and third base. Reporters had a chance to talk with Ruben Amaro Jr. about those things and more for a few minutes this afternoon at the Bank. Here is a taste of what he said:
On finding starting pitching help: “I would like to try to add some depth there, if we could. Kendrick could be one of those options. Obviously we line up with Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer and possibly Kendrick. We’d like to add some more depth if we could, but pitchers aren’t falling out of trees and I don’t have an unlimited budget so I have to try to work on the other priorities and that’s third base and the bullpen and maybe add some depth (to the rotation) with perhaps a sixth-year free agent … or take a flier or somebody who might give us some upside who may not be on anybody’s radar screen. Try to shoot for a low-risk, high-reward type of a guy. There’s a lot of pitching out there. The quality of it, you just never know.”
On interest in John Smoltz, first reported by ESPN.com: “I guess he’d fit the bill (of low risk, high reward). We’ve talked to several agents about a bunch of different guys. But we don’t talk about specific guys unless we’re signing them. But he would kind of fit the ball, certainly. I’m not sure if that’s a role he wants to play, but we’ve had some discussions with some of those guys who could give us some more pitching depth.”
On where they stand with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre: “It is probably likely that we will not offer (salary arbitration) on either guy. I just think, number one, I don’t know that we want to put ourselves in a position to be tied up money-wise in either player. I think we want to be able to keep our flexibility as far as who we’ll make a run at. And that will financially tie us up, frankly. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to bring them back. We can still sign them back.”
On progress at third base: “I’m optimistic that we can get something done. How quickly kind of depends on the pace of the agent.”
On if they would sign a Type A free agent who is offered salary arbitration (if they did, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in 2010): “It doesn’t necessarily preclude us from moving forward on a guy. We’re going to be picking late again, and I guess the thought is, depending on the quality of the guy and how he impacts our club now and in the future, that’ll impact the decision we make to move forward on it. It obviously has an impact because our goal is to try to develop young players. And losing draft picks doesn’t help, but if you’re signing a Raul Ibanez or a higher level guy sometimes it’s worth making the move.”
Amaro also said left-hander Jamie Moyer is out of the hospital and back in Florida. But he also said Moyer is expected to have surgery on his left knee operation next month. Amaro said it could impact his start of Spring Training, but not the start of the season.
“It’s not a long recovery.”
A couple quick hits from Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies beat the Rockies, 5-1:
- Cliff Lee became the eighth pitcher in Phillies postseason history to throw a complete game. It was the ninth complete game in Phillies postseason history — Grover Cleveland Alexander threw two in the 1915 World Series — and the first since Curt Schilling threw a shutout in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series.
- Lee’s stolen base in the third inning is the first by a Phillies pitcher in postseason history. He is just the fourth pitcher in baseball history to steal a base in the postseason: Wild Bill Donovan (1908), Billy Loes (1952) and John Smoltz (1991, 1992 and 1995) were the others.
- Jim Tracy on Lee : “He got really, really good as the game went on. To the point where by the third inning, I don’t know if he missed a spot.”
- Lee on pitching in windy conditions. He was asked about getting blown off the mound: “Did I get blown off the mound? … Oh, the wind. I thought you were talking about them stroking me.”
- Charlie Manuel on Lee’s stolen base: “I thought, what in the hell is he doing?”
- Jimmy Rollins made a couple nice catches in foul territory. The first came in the third inning against Dexter Fowler and the second came in the seventh inning against Todd Helton. The seventh inning catch was much more impressive because the wind really changed the ball’s direction. “Dexter’s was pretty much routine,” Rollins said. “I practice that a lot actually. The other one reminded me of the one in the World Series (Game 5) just without the rain. Pedro (Feliz) and I were both breaking back like wide receiver and DB. I saw the quarterback get hit and he didn’t, and I retraced the route and came in on the ball.”
- Jayson Werth has hit safely in 10 consecutive postseason games: (.359, 14-39, four doubles, one home run, three RBIs, eight walks).
- Carlos Ruiz has hit safely in five consecutive postseason games: .438, 7-16, home run, three RBIs).
- The Phillies have won eight consecutive postseason games at the Bank.
- Rollins on the postseason and winning Game 1: “Finally, it’s here. We can finally let the wins actually count for something. You win, it’s one less game you have to win to go to the next round. One down, 10 more to go.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters a few minutes ago at Citizens Bank Park. He would not comment specifically about Halladay, who is available via trade. But he talked about trading for the theoretical stud pitcher. He also said little about Pedro Martinez other than “we are trying to do what we can to add to our club, and if we feel at the end of the day Pedro is going to help us than we’ll make a run at him.”
Question: Can you go out and get a stud pitcher?
Answer: We have some flexibility. A lot of it depends on the player that we’re talking about. But we have some flexibility. It’s not unlimited. And as you know, we have the highest payroll we’ve ever had. We’re well over $130 million, and there is a limit to what we can spend.
Q: Are there untouchable players in your farm system?
A: There are some untouchables in our system. We feel that we’re building a pretty strong farm system. … We have to be prudent about what our future is about. It is important to win now, and we understand the importance of that. But that said, there are players we would like to keep for our future. And I would say they’re not as touchable as others.
Q: But it is a situation where you absolutely would not trade somebody? If the best player in the Major Leagues is available, are there still players you would not consider trading?
A: There are.
(Those players are right-handers Kyle Drabek and Jason Knapp and outfielder Dominic Brown.)
Q: Last year you reportedly finished second in the CC Sabathia sweepstakes …
A: Really? If you’re second, you’re last, I guess.
Q: Are you in better position to make a trade for somebody like a Halladay this year?
A: I think we’re in good position to do some things overall. Like I said, I think our farm system has improved. Again, when you’re talking about doing trades of any type, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We may think our guys are much better than they think our guys are. We’ll try to be aggressive with the right deal. At the same time, we have to be prudent about what some of these moves might impact our future, too.
Q: You understand fans and the manager don’t like to hear that?
A: Oh, yeah, I understand that. The goal is to win this year. There’s no question about that. That doesn’t change. But we didn’t get CC last year and we didn’t get Manny (Ramirez) last year and most of these guys on the field right now are toting rings around.
Q: Would you substract from the Major-League roster to make a trade?
A: The goal is to add, not to subtract. That’s really the goal, so subtracting doesn’t necessarily help us.
Q: If there is a guy you’re pretty sure can help you win a World Series this year, but you’d have to give up a guy you think might be a superstar … is that a tough call to make? Kind of like Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. Is it worth giving up a guy like Smoltz for a World Series?
A: Well, if you can guarantee me that it’s going to win a World Series then probably, yeah. You don’t get a chance to win too many World Series. But that’s the thing. When teams put a really huge investment in a move they expect to win. Some pretty big names got moved last year and while those teams made the playoffs, they didn’t necessarily make for a championship club.
Asked about getting a right-handed bat for the bench, Amaro said, “I’d like to. Do we need to? I’m not sure. We’ve picked up guys like Matt Stairs late.”