Results tagged ‘ Pat Gillick ’

Has the Price Gone Up?

Pat Gillick talked this afternoon about the effect Carlos Beltran‘s trade to San Francisco has on the rest of the market with just four days to go before the trade deadline.

“When somebody goes off the market like Beltran goes off the market, then you say, well, OK, if he’s off the market that reduces the pool out there, so whoever we’re talking to you might have to up the ante because there’s one less guy out there,” he said.

If Gillick is accurate and the Astros are looking for four top prospects, which has been reported, then it seems like the Astros can dig in a little bit more.

Hey, the Giants gave up a top prospect for a two-month rental. You’ll have to give up more for a guy like Pence.

“You have to evaluate what your needs are, what your club has, what this player will do for your club, what you’ll get in return. You have to take all of this into consideration,” Gillick said. “And then probably most of the time with a club like ours you’ve got to be prepared to overpay a little bit. Sometimes to get what you want to have to overpay a bit.”

Will the Phillies overpay for Hunter Pence? It might start with Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. Would you throw in two more top prospects for Pence if that’s the starting price? Or is that too steep for a team that already has the best record in baseball and might be good enough to win the World Series as is?


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Gillick Elected to Hall of Fame

gillick trophy.jpgWe take a break from the How In The World Are The Phillies Going To Replace Jayson Werth story with some news …

Pat Gillick has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The official announcement came around 10 a.m., but I’m just getting a chance to blog about it now because of a news conference and interviews with David Montgomery and Gillick.

You could tell Gillick was emotional before he addressed reporters during the news conference. But his emotions really came through when he, believe it or not, thanked the media for being fair to him over the years.

(See, we’re not that bad.)

“It’s an honor,” Gillick said. “It’s over the hill.”

What would you say were Gillick’s five biggest moves with the Phillies? He told me Thursday they were keeping Charlie Manuel as manager, keeping Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle as assistant general managers, signing Jayson Werth, trading Jim Thome to make room for Ryan Howard and … he couldn’t come up with a fifth, although several times he mentioned trading for Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge, and signing J.C. Romero after the Red Sox released him.

These would be my top five:


The Oswalt Trade

oswalt 3.jpg

Roy Oswalt makes his Phillies debut tonight.

A few thoughts about the trade:

  • It looks like a favorable one for the Phillies, doesn’t it? They get Oswalt through 2011, possibly 2012. They get $11 million to help pay the remaining $23 million on his contract. They did not have to trade Domonic Brown, Jonathan Singleton or Jared Cosart – who Baseball America considers three of the top 50 prospects in baseball.
  • Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Oswalt would be a scary rotation in the postseason, wouldn’t it?
  • Ruben Amaro Jr. redeemed himself for the Cliff Lee trade, although it remains a mistake. Since I’ve been covering the Phillies, I’ve heard Ed Wade, Pat Gillick and Amaro say one thing over and over and over again: You can never have too much pitching. The Phillies never should have traded Lee, but now they have Oswalt at an affordable price for one-plus seasons. That is a nice bounce back.
  • The Phillies said they are confident they are getting a healthy pitcher in Oswalt, who has had a history of back issues. (Those issues have required cortisone injections.) The Phillies should hope so. They also thought they were getting a healthy pitcher in Freddy Garcia, who won just one game for the Phillies in 2007 because of shoulder problems.
  • The Phillies have 16 players under contract next season for $145 million. I’m guessing that means the end of Jayson Werth‘s time in Philadelphia, and any thoughts the Phillies had about bringing back Lee in the offseason. (Lee would like to come back to Philly, for what it’s worth.)
  • The Phillies lose a tremendous guy in J.A. Happ, who always treated me with respect. It’s not easy when you’re an athlete and you’re asked the same questions over and over and over again – especially when some of those questions are questions you don’t like. But Happ never made you feel like less of a person. He seemed to get that we were doing our jobs. I wish him luck in Houston.
  • The Phillies liked outfielder Anthony Gose, who Baseball America ranked sixth in the organization late last year. He’s got a lot of talent. And he’s young. Just like Jonathan Villar. It will be interesting to see how they develop. But take a look at trades the Phillies have made in recent seasons. Not many of those prospects have come back to haunt them. Why? Because the Phillies know their prospects better than anybody (just like some might say the Mariners knew Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez better than anybody).


Sounds like there will be plenty of Phillies fans tonight in DC.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Hey, The Mets Are In Town

phils mets 2007.jpgYour favorite NL East rivalry is back:

Phillies vs. Mets.

To get you in the mood, I found a photo of Shane Victorino jumping on top of Tadahito Iguchi after he scored the winning run in a dramatic 11-10 victory over the Mets on Aug. 30, 2007. The Phillies blew 5-0 and 8-5 leads only to score two runs in the ninth inning off Billy Wagner to complete the four-game sweep.

It’s only April 30, but when the Phillies and Mets open a three-game series tonight at the Bank, the Phillies find the Mets in first place in the National League East.

Everybody behave themselves!


From what I’ve gathered, most of the local reaction to Ryan Howard’s contract extension has been positive, while many nationally have been critical of it. I talked again with Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick and got their takes on some of the biggest questions surrounding the deal.


I’ll be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday on the Main Concourse behind Section 111 at Citizens Bank Park.


Roy Halladay, Raul Ibanez and Howard answer questions (mostly from kids) during an On Deck reception with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Looking Back at the Abreu Trade

Sanchez0532.jpgThere have been countless moves to get the Phillies to back-to-back World Series.

One of them came July 30, 2006, when the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for Matt Smith, C.J. Henry, Carlos Monasterios and Jesus Sanchez. If you look at the talent exchanged, the trade came out poorly for the Phillies. Smith and Henry are out of baseball, and the Mets selected Monasterios with the seventh pick in December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Only Sanchez remains, but the Phillies are optimistic after converting him from a catcher to a pitcher. In his first season as a pitcher, Sanchez went 10-6 with a 3.44 ERA in 26 games last year for Single A Lakewood. He impressed the Phillies enough that they protected him from the Rule 5 by placing him on the 40-man roster.

But the Phillies made the trade not because they were in love with Smith, Henry, Monasterios and Sanchez. They made the trade because the nucleus they had in place had not won, and Pat Gillick wanted to make a change. They traded Abreu to clear salary and change the atmosphere in the clubhouse.

The trade allowed the Phillies to play Shane Victorino in right field the remainder of the season, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley to assert themselves as leaders in the clubhouse, and indirectly sign Utley and Brett Myers to contract extensions in the offseason because Abreu had been set to make $16.5 million in 2007 with a $16 million club option with a $2 million buyout in 2008.

“It came out all right,” Gillick said. “I’m happy with it.”

Read the entire story here.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and at most Delaware Valley bookstores NOW!

Signs Point to Pedro in Game 2

pedro 0930.jpgIt looks like Pedro Martinez could be pitching for the Phillies in Game 2 of the NLCS.

Charlie Manuel said today that Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ will be available in the bullpen in Games 1 and 2. Cole Hamels is starting Game 1 tomorrow night. Cliff Lee likely would start Game 3, which means they need a Game 2 starter. But the fact Manuel said Blanton and Happ could be used in the bullpen in Los Angeles suggests Martinez will pitch Game 2.

“I hope I (pitch),” Martinez said. “I’m open to do whatever. … It would be special to be able to be part of any game. The playoffs are big. For a person like me, I am not going to get too overexcited, but I still have the same respect for the game and I acknowledge the fact that it’s a playoff game and a great opportunity.”

But is Martinez ready? He threw two innings in a simulated game yesterday, but has not pitched since Sept. 30 and has thrown just four innings since Sept. 19. Rich Dubee said Martinez looked “dandy” yesterday. He said between the simulated game and bullpen sessions, Martinez could be sharp enough to get out hitters.

Manuel agreed.

“I think he’s done enough work that I’m very confident sending him out,” Manuel said. “I think he’s capable of throwing anywhere from like 75 to 90 pitches, maybe 95, maybe even 100. But I think that gets you into the sixth inning or seventh, and I think where we’re at with our pitching and everything, I think that would work. … Yeah, I have confidence in him because I know him. I know the experience that he has. I liked his stuff (yesterday). Dubee and I stood there, and we were talking while he was throwing, and his stuff is there.”

But interestingly, while Manuel and Dubee liked what they saw yesterday, Martinez didn’t.

“I threw on the sides and in the bullpen but that’s not enough,” he said. “I threw two innings of BP yesterday, but that’s pretty much it. I’m going to let Dubee and Charlie make the decision. My two innings of BP were a little bit erratic, wild a little bit.”


It’s strange to see Vicente Padilla starting Game 2 of the NLCS for the Dodgers. I never could have imagined. The Phillies basically gave him away to the Rangers because they considered a poor presence in the clubhouse. Pat Gillick called it addition by subtraction. The Rangers then cut him loose for the same reason this summer. And now the Dodgers are having him start Game 2.

“I don’t know what you’re going to get from Padilla,” Jimmy Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. If he’s good, he’s good. If he’s not, he’s way off.”

Padilla can be rattled, too, somebody mentioned.

“Yeah, he definitely can,” Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. I don’t know what you’re going to get from him. It really depends on how we approach him, if his team scores obviously he becomes more confident. If we get out there early we could probably get in his head and make him throw a lot of pitches.”


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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.”


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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Ibanez vs. Burrell

pat burrell.jpgPat Gillick
addressed Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez yesterday, and he had some interesting things to say.

He said the Phillies tried during the season to bring back Burrell, but Burrell was looking for too much (i.e. money and years, although he said the years concerned the Phillies the most). So the Phillies stepped back, let Burrell walk and signed Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million contract.

Burrell turned into a fan favorite late in his Phillies career, but I think Ibanez is an upgrade. Remember that Burrell hit just .215 after the all-star break and just .230 after May 4. He had been 0 for 13 in the World Series before his leadoff double in the seventh inning in Game 5 of the World Series. He was prone to long slumps. He couldn’t run. Charlie Manuel regularly replaced him in left field in the late innings. Now, I’m not saying Burrell isn’t a productive hitter. He averaged 31 homers and 99 RBIs the last four years. That’s productive. That’s very productive. But if it meant signing Burrell to a four-year, $48 million contract mid-season or signing Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million in the off-season, I’d take Ibanez.

Of course, look around. Bobby Abreu just signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Angels. Adam Dunn just signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Nationals.

Didn’t the Phillies overpay for Ibanez?

Hard to say. Gillick said the Cubs were hot after Ibanez, too. I also heard the Angels, Braves and Mets pursued him. Why? Because it seems those teams also considered him the best lefthanded-hitting outfielder on the market. So I don’t think the Phillies could have gotten Ibanez for two years, $20 million like Dunn because I think somebody else would have gotten Ibanez before the price would have dropped on him.

“The Cubs were in it pretty thick,” Gillick said. “It’s funny. When I was over there (in Seattle), Lou (Piniella) didn’t play (Ibanez) a lot. He became a free agent and went to Kansas City. He did well in Kansas City. Even though he didn’t play for us, they had a good relationship. So I thought Lou was in there plugging pretty good with the Cubs on this deal. I don’t think he would have been (available). The Cubs were searching for lefthanded hitting. My opinion would be that I would prefer Ibanez over Milton Bradley. I’d prefer this guy over Milton Bradley just from an injury standpoint. Milton Bradley to me is an American League player who’s a DH, part-time outfielder. He’s not a day in and day out player in the National League.”

Ibanez’s age (he’s 36) doesn’t concern him?

“No, he’s in great shape,” Gillick said. “In my mind he is (an upgrade over Burrell).”


Ryan Howard meets with reporters after his workout today. J.C. Romero meets with reporters tomorrow.

Gillick Likes The Phils' Chances

pat gillick.jpgPat Gillick
, who is serving as an advisor to new general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., met with reporters for about 30 minutes today at Bright House Field, and touched on a variety of topics:

On the Phillies’ chances to defend their World Series championship: “I think we’ve got a good chance.”

On the off-season Amaro had: “I think he’s had a good off-season. Keeping the club together and adding a couple guys, (Raul) Ibanez, Chan Ho Park, etc., I think that’s going to help. Basically, it looks like a club that’s together for a couple, three years, for sure.”

On the Phillies’ estimated record $131.5 million payroll: “It says we’ve got good players. There was a feeling the Phillies wouldn’t pay. I think if the Phillies have talent and the players warrant being rewarded, they’ll pay. It’s just the fact that you want to make sure you hopefully reward the right players.”

On possibly being a GM again, despite his recent retirement: “You never say never, I guess. You don’t know, you know? I think I’d rather do it if something popped up like president of the baseball-side, if they had a split operation of business and baseball, and have a GM working under me. I wouldn’t ever say never.”

On if he thought the Phillies could sign Ryan Howard to a multiyear contract extension: “I would have been pessimistic, but I think three weeks ago Ruben was optimistic we could do something. He had a good feeling about it.”

On if he pushed to sign Ibanez: “Yeah, I did. He fits in our clubhouse. He’s a very positive guy in the clubhouse. He’s probably going to hit for more power in our ballpark than he hit in Seattle. Fundamentally, he’s a very sound player that makes very few mistakes. And he’s a hard worker, maybe to the point where he wants to be perfectionist. He brings a very, very positive approach to the clubhouse. I think he’s going to do well here.”

On if the Phillies could have signed Ibanez for less than the three-year, $31.5 million contract they gave him had they waited: “The Cubs were in it pretty thick. … I don’t think he would have been (available had they waited). The Cubs were searching for lefthanded hitting.”

On if he thought Pat Burrell‘s time had run out in Philadelphia: “We tried during the season to really bring Pat back. I think they had a little more grandeur than we did. We would have brought Pat back, but I think their thinking at that time was a little different than it actually ended up (two-year, $16 million with Tampa Bay). I think their expectation level was a little higher. … We were in different areas. … They were looking for a longer deal than we wanted to do. The length was more of the problem.”

I’ll have more of what Gillick had to say online later.

We Have Landed

OK, I’m in Clearwater.

Flight arrived on time. Bags showed up. So far so good. We’ll be blogging at full speed (whatever that means) come tomorrow. But today it will be an abbreviated version because by the time I arrived most of the players had gone. But the Phillies brass is upstairs right now at Bright House Field holding a meeting where they go over every player in camp. This meeting lasts several hours, and nothing really interesting comes from it. But what is interesting is that Pat Gillick is here. We’re going to try to get a few minutes with him after the meeting breaks. I’m curious to see what he thought of Ruben Amaro Jr.‘s first off-season.


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