Results tagged ‘ Lou Marson ’

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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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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Game Postponed, A Look at the HK Patch

hkpatch.jpgTonight’s Phillies game against the Nationals at Nationals Park has been postponed because of rain.

The makeup date will be announced in the coming days.

Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton will pitch tomorrow night in the series finale against the Nationals, meaning left-hander Cole Hamels, who had been scheduled to pitch tomorrow, will pitch Friday night against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Shairon Martis will pitch for the Nationals.

Phillies catcher Lou Marson had been scheduled to catch tonight. It would have been his first start of the season and second of his career.

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People have been asking how the broadcast schedule will work without Kalas. Here is what it looks like at the moment: Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will be broadcasting all nine innings on the radio. Tom McCarthy will be doing play-by-play for all nine innings on TV. Chris Wheeler will provide color commentary for innings 1-3 and 6-9, and Gary Matthews will provide color commentary for innings 4-6.

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Ruiz On the DL, Marson Is Called Up

The Phillies have placed catcher Carlos Ruiz on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.

Lou Marson has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place.

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Phillies Are Shopping Paulino

Chris Coste probably can breathe a little easier because a couple sources have said the Phillies are shopping catcher Ronny Paulino.

Read the story here.

Paulino has options, so why not just send him to the Minors? Well, it’s probably because Lou Marson is going to be playing every day in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Paulino has more value than a backup up Triple-A catcher, and they’re not going to send him to Double-A Reading, either. So they will try to find some value for him. I can’t imagine they would land anybody terribly impressive in return, but at the very least perhaps they could add depth in the Minor Leagues.

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