Results tagged ‘ Kyle Drabek ’

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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No Drabek, No Halladay? Not Necessarily



drabek 01.jpgRuben Amaro Jr.
has said repeatedly there are untouchables in his farm system — players he absolutely will not trade.

I don’t believe that.

Before Roy Halladay became available, the Phillies had three untouchables: Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Jason Knapp. Trade any of those three for Erik Bedard or Brad Penny? No way. Trade any of those three for Halladay? Sure, let’s talk. SI.com reports the Phillies have drawn a line in the sand on Drabek. They reportedly will not trade him. That might be true. The Phillies love Drabek. A front office official from another team told me last week that he considered Drabek to be the best pitcher at the All-Star Futures Game. Drabek is very good. He has top-of-the-rotation potential.

But not including Drabek doesn’t mean a deal can’t be made. It just means the rest of the package changes, which Ken Rosenthal also writes.

No Drabek almost certainly would mean J.A. Happ is included. It also might mean the Phillies have to include Brown or Knapp. Maybe both.

Could the Blue Jays walk away from an offer of Happ, Knapp, Brown or Michael Taylor and another prospect like Jason Donald? That is a pretty serious package. Brown and Taylor are two of the top 25 prospects in baseball according to Baseball America. Knapp is in the top 50. Happ is a National League Rookie of the Year candidate.

And if the Blue Jays can’t trade Halladay before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, they will have to trade him in the off-season or next season before the trade deadline. And the longer they wait, the less in return they receive because the team trading for him will have him for less time.

No Drabek, no Halladay?

It’s possible, but I believe if the Phillies insist on keeping Drabek, they still have enough talent to make a deal happen. They just might have to give up more talent overall than if Drabek had been included.

And do I make this trade with the Phillies running away with the NL East? Absolutely. Sure, the Phillies can win the NL East without Halladay. But can they win the World Series? That’s the question people should be asking.

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Kyle Kendrick got scratched from today’s start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but Phillies assistant general manager Chuck Lamar said it had “absolutely nothing to do with the trade deadline.”

The Phillies had been considering a roster move and scratched Kendrick in case they needed him to pitch out of the bullpen tonight. Clay Condrey just returned from the DL with a strained oblique. He said he still has some soreness, but that it is “night and day” from how he felt before he went on the DL last month.

An Internet rumor had the Phillies about to trade Kendrick for Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham. That is completely and utterly false, two sources said. The Phillies have called the Nationals about Willingham, just like they have called every team with a righthanded bat for their bench, but no trade is imminent. And as far as I can tell, the Phillies have done nothing more than make the initial call.

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Howard Hits 200, More on Halladay


howard 0717.jpgRyan Howard
 last night became the fastest player in baseball history to hit 200 home runs.

He already ranks eighth on the Phillies’ all-time list:

  1. Mike Schmidt, 548.
  2. Del Ennis, 259.
  3. Pat Burrell, 251.
  4. Chuck Klein, 243.
  5. Greg Luzinski, 223.
  6. Cy Williams, 217.
  7. Dick Allen, 204.
  8. Howard, 200.

But where will Howard end up? The Bill James Handbook 2009 projects players’ career numbers. It gives Howard a 32 percent chance to hit 600 homers, a 16 percent chance to hit 700 homers, a 9 percent chance to hit 762 homers and a 5 percent chance to hit 800 homers.

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The Phillies remain a leading candidate for Roy Halladay. Blue Jays scouts are everywhere these days, but they are especially scouring the Phillies’ Minor League system. If there wasn’t the potential for something to happen, the Blue Jays wouldn’t be there. Of course, keep in mind Halladay said earlier this week he considers his chances to be traded no better than 50 percent. But the Phillies are very much in this game, just like they were last year with CC Sabathia.

The Red Sox could put together a nice package for Halladay, but the Blue Jays seem unlikely to trade him within their division. Other than the Red Sox, the Phillies are one of the very few teams that can put together a package for him. If Halladay gets traded, I expect the Phillies to be right there at the end.

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The Phillies activated right-hander Clay Condrey from the 15-day DL. They designated right-hander Tyler Walker for assignment.

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Outfielder Michael Taylor, who Baseball America ranks the 23rd best prospect in the country, has been promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

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A top scout from another team said Sunday he considered right-hander Kyle Drabek, who Baseball America ranks the 24th best prospect in the country, to be the best pitcher at the All-Star Futures Game. He wasn’t terribly impressed with left-hander Yohan Flande, who also pitched. Flane is 0-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts for Double-A Reading since he went 7-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 13 starts for Single-A Clearwater.

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Charlie Picks Vic to Start

Charlie Manuel just announced his starting lineup for the National League:

  1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  2. Chase Utley, 2B
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Ryan Braun, RF
  5. Raul Ibanez, LF
  6. David Wright, 3B
  7. Shane Victorino, CF
  8. Yadier Molina, C
  9. Tim Lincecum, P

Victorino is starting in place of Carlos Beltran, who is out with an injury. Jayson Werth took Beltran’s spot on the roster, and Victorino took his spot in the lineup.

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A front office official said yesterday he considered Kyle Drabek, if not the best pitcher, one of the top three pitchers at the All-Star Futures Game.

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Drabek on Philly: 'It's a Good Match'


drabek 01.jpgKyle Drabek
is supposed to pitch in the third inning of the All-Star Futures Game today at Busch Stadium.

And he will, if it ever stops raining.

Update: Because of a lengthy rain delay, Drabek pitched the second. He threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one.

Fortunately, I had a chance to talk to Drabek a few minutes before the game. Here is what he said about pitching for the Phillies this season, and hearing his name mentioned in countless trade scenarios involving Roy Halladay.

Question: Some Phillies fans would love to see you pitch in Philadelphia this season, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently you are not an option in 2009. Do you understand that?
Answer: “Coming off Tommy John, they probably want me to get a full season in. I haven’t had a full season yet. But if they would call me up, I think I’m ready. My arm feels great. It gets better every day. I really can’t complain about that. I think my fastball command has gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season. My changeup is still on its way. I’m still trying to figure a few things out, but it’s a lot better than it used to be.”

Q: I’m sure you’ve heard Halladay is available and the Phillies are interested. You’re supposedly one of their untouchables in the farm system. What do you think of your name being floated in trade talks?
A: “The players like to joke about it. They’ll say, ‘We’ll see you in New Hampshire next week.’ Stuff like that. I try not to think about it too much. I try to put it in the back of my mind. I’m really just trying to go out there and compete, so I’ll have a chance to be called up sometime.”

Q: I suppose it’s good to know the Phillies think that highly of you?
A: “It’s great that they like me. I definitely don’t want to get traded. I love the Phillies organization. I’ve been hearing a lot about the fans and I want to meet them.”

Q: What have you been hearing about them?
A: “Just how they know a lot about baseball. Most places, you’ll find some people who know. But all the Phillies fans know baseball. They want to win. I’m a competitor and I want to win, too. It’s a good match.”

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Could It Be Martinez and Halladay?


pedro 2.jpgPedro Martinez
is going to throw one more time for the Phillies in the Dominican Republic.

If it goes well, expect him to sign, possibly next week.

But what does Martinez’s arrival say about the Phillies’ interest in Roy Halladay? Actually, it says nothing. A baseball source told MLB.com last night that signing Martinez will not prevent the Phillies from pursuing Halladay, who the Blue Jays have dangled as trade bait.

If they get Martinez, the source said the Phillies are going to make a run at Halladay, too.

Now how does that work?

Here is one man’s theory: If the Blue Jays require a young Major League-ready pitcher as part of any deal, they could demand J.A. Happ. Having Martinez in the picture — even though nobody knows how he will perform after struggling last season with the Mets — would give the Phillies more depth to consider the move.

Still, Halladay coming to the Phillies remains a long shot. The Blue Jays are going to ask a king’s ransom for him, and you can’t blame them. The Phillies have three untouchables in their farm system (right-handers Kyle Drabek and Jason Knapp, and outfielder Dominic Brown), but I think any of them could be moved for Halladay if the price is right. That price might include Happ.

That should not be surprising. Quite a few big names in the Phillies farm system would have to move to get Halladay.

I’m not sure that will happen.

I’m much more certain that Martinez will.

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Baseball America ranks Brown 17th, Taylor 23rd and Drabek 24th amongst the Top 25 prospects in baseball. Knapp is in the top 50.

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Amaro Talks Halladay, Martinez, World Peace, Etc.


ruben green.jpgRoy Halladay
! Roy Halladay! Roy Halladay!

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.

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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.”

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Halladay on the Move?

halladay.jpgHey, look, Roy Halladay is on the market.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Riccardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that Halladay is available.

“We have to see what’s out there,” Ricciardi said. “I’m not saying we’re going to shop him. But if something makes sense, we at least have to listen. We’re (leaning) more toward listening than we’ve ever been.”

The Phillies are interested in Halladay, and who wouldn’t be? But the price for him is going to be enormous. Rosenthal wrote that the Blue Jays would be looking for a deal like the one the Indians made for Bartolo Colon in 2002, when they got Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips. No question the Blue Jays would be looking for one or more of the Phillies top prospects: Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Jason Knapp — although the Phillies have made it known that those three are untouchable.

Michael Taylor? Jason Donald? Lou Marson? Carlos Carrasco? The Phillies are willing to trade them.

But what if the Phillies have a real shot to land Halladay? What if including Drabek is the difference between making a deal and not making a deal? I understand saying no for a pitcher like Erik Bedard or Brad Penny, but Halladay is a different animal. He not only is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he is signed through 2010 at $15.75 million.

So a trade market that looked remarkably weak just a few hours ago — the Phillies are taking a look today at Pedro Martinez — suddenly got a lot more interesting. And the Blue Jays hold the cards.

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