Results tagged ‘ Ruben Amaro Jr. ’
They meant it.
Polanco, who had sports hernia surgeries after last season, made his Grapefruit League debut today against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. He went 2 for 3 with one RBI. Utley, who has a chronic right knee condition, has not played so far and might not play for at least another week.
“It’s going to be a while yet,” Charlie Manuel said.
Ruben Amaro Jr. said that was part of their original plan.
“We talked about him not playing for the first week or two weeks,” he said of Utley. “We’re going to ease him into it. We know he’ll be ready when the bell rings. We just want to make sure he’s as fresh and as healthy as he can possibly be on Opening Day.”
So Utley is healthy then?
“He seems fine,” Amaro said. “We’re just taking things slowly with him. There’s no reason to start putting the pounding on his knees that typically he would have during this time. There’s no reason to start that process now when we can start it a little bit later on.”
Polanco said he sees benefits to the way he is being handled this spring.
“If you don’t play every day it’s not a problem,” he said. “I don’t have a long swing so it doesn’t really take a lot of at-bats for me to get ready. … I’ve been very happy about the way I’ve been feeling. I haven’t felt anything.”
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:
- April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
- April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
- April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
Reports this afternoon said Howard suffered a setback, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a telephone interview this evening that is not the case.
Howard, however, has developed a seroma from the stitches following his left Achilles surgery in October.
“We don’t view that as a setback or affecting his rehab or anything like that,” Amaro said. “He’s doing real well. His strength is starting to come. He’s doing more baseball activities. You saw him on the field take BP today.”
Amaro said the appointment with Myerson was scheduled days ago.
“If he continues to do more baseball activities, it’s important for him to be seen by the doctor,” he said. “The added benefit of going to see the doctor is he can deal with the seroma that needs to be dealt with. Who knows what the doctor might find, but we don’t view it as a setback. It’s not changing his progress. If something does we’ll let you know.”
Howard is expected back in camp Tuesday or Wednesday.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
“Chad was one of those guys that was available to us at a reasonable price for what he can do,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He has the ability to pitch in the seventh and the eighth. We’ll see where he fits. Charlie (Manuel) and (Rich) Dubee and Chad will decide that, but he’s certainly a guy with a power-sinker and power-slider combination. He was throwing very well at the end of the year. He’s had some battles with consistency, but he clearly has ability and some durability. And those are pretty important elements.”
Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 appearances last season with the San Diego Padres. He had a 1.96 ERA in his final 19 appearances, but also went 4-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 38 appearances on the road compared to 2-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 39 appearances in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.
Can he pitch outside PETCO?
“We looked at it. We saw it,” Amaro said. “We took a look at some of that data and information, but at the end of the day when we discussed it with our scouts we just felt like this type of a risk on a guy was not all that big of a risk. We kind of know what we’re going to get out of him.”
Right-handers hit just .218 with a .537 OPS against him last season, while left-handers had much better success, hitting .320 with an .881 OPS.
“If he’s throwing strikes regularly he’ll do some damage for us,” Amaro said.
Amaro offered some other updates last night at the Philadelphia Sports Writers’ Association dinner, including an injury update on Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell possibly retiring a Phillie. Click here for more.
Next up? The Phillies and Hamels’ agent John Boggs will talk about a multiyear extension.
“We can negotiate with Cole from today through the end of November, and then beyond that to get a multiyear deal done,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. ”Just because we have a one-year deal in place doesn’t mean we can’t do something long term. As far as Cole beyond 2012, that’s something that’s still very much open for discussion.”
Hamels is line for a major payday, but how large remains to be seen.
But think Cliff Lee more than Jered Weaver.
Weaver signed a five-year, $85 million contract extension last summer with the Angels, but Weaver bypassed free agency partly because he wanted to stay in Southern California and play for his hometown team. Weaver and Hamels have remarkably similar career statistics, so it is easy to think Hamels might be paid in that range: Hamels is 77-54 with a 3.39 ERA in 181 career appearances. He has a 1.141 WHIP and averages 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Weaver is 82-47 with a 3.31 ERA in 171 career appearances. He has a 1.165 WHIP and averages 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
But Boggs said this afternoon the Weaver deal is a “non-starter” in negotiations, which I assume the Phillies already know.
“It would be natural to look at that as a comparison,” he said. “Jered signed for his own personal reasons – and I applaud him for that – but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to follow the same standard. Everybody is different. For Jered to sign there it doesn’t mean that’s the template we’re going to follow.”
Lee signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies in Dec. 2010. That certainly seems to be a better measuring stick for Hamels, right?
“Absolutely,” Boggs said. “If you’re this close to free agency, you start to make comparables of what you have the potential of making as a free agent.”
Lee signed his deal at 32. Hamels is 28. It stands to reason Hamels will be looking for a contract worth $20 million or more per season.
Reason to be nervous if you’re a Phillies fan? Not yet. There seems to be genuine interest on both sides to reach an agreement. Finalizing Hamels’ 2012 contract could have been the first step.
“The goal was to get that out of the way,” Boggs said. “I’m sure down the road we’ll have a conversation about moving forward. We plan on keeping the discussions open. It’s a process.”
Boggs said he hasn’t talked to Hamels about setting any potential deadline regarding negotiations, which some players have done in the past.
“At the end of the day we really don’t have any concrete game plan as far as how long we are going to plan on discussing this,” Boggs said. “That will be decided at some point shortly, or as we get into the process. But there’s definitely a desire to stay. At the end of the day it really depends on the value we place on Cole, and hopefully it coincides with the value the Phillies place on Cole. That’s the reason you have a negotiation. From a basic desire, yes, he’d be more than happy to stay there. He knows the Phillies. He’s homegrown. That’s what we’ll attempt to do, but sometimes things don’t work out if we can’t agree on the value.”
Sources confirmed Monday they are seriously pursuing free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Ruben Amaro Jr. has said the “shortstop situation” is his top remaining priority this offseason, but Rollins is seeking a five-year contract, while the Phillies want him on a three-year deal. Talks between the parties have not progressed and Amaro does not want to be caught flatfooted should they reach a stalemate and Rollins signs elsewhere. That would be especially problematic if the uncertainty surrounding Rollins lingers a couple more weeks and suitable alternatives fall off the board.
The Phillies have a history of not waiting forever in free agency, so they might reach a point where they feel they must move on from Rollins. They signed Jonathan Papelbon before they could reach an agreement with Ryan Madson and have moved quickly with others in the past. But it certainly would be interesting to see what would happen if they reach an agreement with Ramirez before Rollins, who is the face of the Phillies franchise.
It does not seem like an easy decision to make.
Ramirez would play third base, which is why the Phillies have been shopping Placido Polanco, according to FOXSports.com. Ramirez would replace Rollins’ bat in the lineup. Rollins offers more speed, but Ramirez offers more power. He hit .306 with 26 home runs, 93 RBIs and an .871 on-base-plus-slugging percentage last season with the Chicago Cubs. He also has a career .342 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. <p>
So who would play shortstop for the Phillies, if Rollins is not back? It could be Freddy Galvis, who was the organization’s Minor League player of the year. He is hitting .238 with 14 RBIs in 122 at-bats in Venezuelan Winter Ball. Another possibility would be free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who hit .241 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs last season with the Atlanta Braves.
They would be clear downgrades from Rollins, who hit .268 with 16 homers and 63 RBIs last season and plays Gold Glove-caliber shortstop. But Ramirez’s bat would make up for the lost offense. The Phillies also believe Galvis is ready to play shortstop in the big leagues, although his bat likely would be a liability.
But this is a case of one or the other: the Phillies will sign one of them, not both.
Of course, everything can change quickly. The deals for Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in recent offseasons each died on several occasions before becoming official. The same could happen with Rollins. They might seem far apart Monday, but things could close quickly with a productive phone call later in the week.
Sources confirmed the Phillies reached an agreement on a four-year contract with free agent right-hander Jonathan Papelbon, who has spent his first seven seasons in the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies and Papelbon’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, are still finalizing the details of the contract, which is pending a physical.
The deal includes a fifth-year vesting option. CSNPhilly.com reports the deal approaches $50 million.
The agreement caps an interesting week. Talks between the Phillies and Ryan Madson’s agent Scott Boras ratcheted up Monday. There were multiple reports Tuesday the sides had reached an agreement on a four-year, $44 million deal, which Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. denied.
Talks between the Phillies and Madson fell apart and the Phillies finalized their deal for Papelbon.
Thome signed a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Phillies yesterday, and he was asked if he had spoken with his good friend Cuddyer, whom the Phillies are pursuing in free agency.
“We’ve texted a little bit,” Thome said. “We’ve talked. All I can say about Michael is he’s a great player. He’s a winner. He’s a stand-up guy. I know he’s done a lot of great things on and off the field in Minnesota. Anybody that plays in that organization for a long time, their credibility is instantly high. Any team that gets him is going to gain. He’s a great teammate. I would put Michael as one of my top-five, all-time favorite teammates. No question. He’s up there. He’s a winner.”
Did Cuddyer express any interest in coming to Philly?
“I can’t answer that,” Thome said. “Look, every player that
sees the way the Phillies have done things over the last seven or eight years, they’ve set the bar very, very high. Guys around baseball would love to come here. When you win, you create a lot of good things.”
Did Thome encourage his former teammate to join him?
“I could, yes,” he said. “Absolutely. I’m sure we will talk
You can be certain Thome will be talking to Cuddyer, Charlie Manuel and anybody else who will listen (I’m sure Thome can shoot Ruben Amaro Jr. a few texts). Cuddyer makes sense for a few reasons. He is a right-handed bat that can play the corner infield and outfield positions, although my understanding is he isn’t much of a defensive third baseman. He has a career .343 on-base percentage. His .346 on-base percentage this season would have tied for fourth on the team with Ryan Howard. And one would think his offensive numbers would improve moving from pitcher-friendly Target Field to hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. He also is a high-character, high-energy guy, which the Phillies value.
Of course, Thome can talk until he is blue in the face. If the money isn’t right it won’t happen. But if the money is close maybe Thome can push Cuddyer toward Philly.
Jamie Moyer is giving baseball one more shot.
He is going to be continuing his rehab from Tommy John surgery at the Phillies’ Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The Phillies have not signed Moyer to a contract, so he remains a free agent, but he asked the Phillies if he could use their facilities.
“We’re providing him our space in Clearwater and our expertise,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Moyer, 48, went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts in 2010 before he injured his left elbow in July. He tried to rehab the injury without surgery, but it did not go as planned. He had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in December.
Ruben Amaro Jr. certainly could have been bluffing this evening at Dodger Stadium.
He said if Placido Polanco’s sports hernia injury requires surgery and he misses a significant period of time, the Phillies will not look outside the organization for help at third base. He said Michael Martinez and Wilson Valdez will man the position through the remainder of the season, even if it includes a deep run into October.
“They will be the ones who will play,” he said.
Polanco left Saturday’s game in San Francisco because of soreness in his left hip. He flew to Philadelphia yesterday for a MRI exam today. The results revealed a chronic sports hernia injury. He will receive an injection tomorrow and be evaluated Friday.
If the shot does not relieve Polanco of his discomfort he probably will have surgery. Amaro said surgery would not necessarily end his season.
“Our doctors tell us it could be somewhere between three weeks and a month,” Amaro said. “I think we can manage him through it, but we’ll find out more Friday.”
Amaro said he is hopeful Polanco can play through the injury, much like Raul Ibanez played through it in 2009. Amaro added Polanco’s injury does not seem to be nearly as severe as Ibanez’s. Ibanez’s required offseason surgery.
“It’s not an uncommon set of circumstances,” Amaro said. “He actually felt much, much better even before he flew out.”
And here’s a few quotes from a few of the people we heard from last night:
RUBEN AMARO JR.
On why they wanted Pence:
“We tried to address a need we felt was a missing piece. We believe in our offense as it stands. It has been a little inconsistent … not as consistent as it has been in the past. I think this give us a little bit more balance with a hitter from the right side for Charlie’s lineup. But not only that I think we acquired in a lot of ways somebody that is extremely well rounded, the type of player that we’d like to have here in Philadelphia. There are a lot of elements that are involved here, but clearly the way this guy plays, the way he goes about his business, the effort, the kind of teammate he is and the fact we have him under control for not only the end of this year, but for two more years. Those are very big factors for us. His defense is important for us. The fact that he runs well. He’s got speed. He’s a very, very good athlete. There’s a lot of things that factored onto this one.”
On Domonic Brown’s future with the Phillies:
“We believe Domonic Brown is going to be an outstanding Major League Baseball player. He’s kind of learning on the job as we’ve talked about before. He’s done a nice job for us here. It’s not a knock on Domonic Brown by any stretch of the imagination. We believe and hope he’s going to be a Phillie for a long time. I think for us, again, it’s one of those moves we made for the present, but for the future. Certainly, Dom is part of that.”
On having Pence under their control through 2013 being a big factor in this trade:
“It’s a huge element in it. I think control is a good part. If you know the way we operate … I don’t like rentals. I don’t believe in those. I guess there is a time and place to go that route. In this case as in most case, if you look at the trades we’ve made, very few of them were your classic rental. Certainly that’s a huge element for us in that transaction.”
On chances they make another move before Sunday’s deadline:
“We’ll keep our minds open, but right now I’m very comfortable with our ballclub.”
On adding a bat like Pence when they already have the best record in baseball:
“I think our front office knows we’re in a special time here in Philadelphia. We have a good team and if they feel like there’s some room for improvement they’re going to make that move. … Prior to the trade we had a pretty good team. I think adding him, a power right-handed bat can definitely help us.”
On getting Pence when they have the best record in baseball:
“It’s a good feeling, even just knowing they’re out there and they’re trying. Especially being in the position we are. We’re five, six games up and they’re still trying to make us a better team. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I was adamant on trying to come here. You want to be on the team that’s always trying to get better. … I’m really excited. To be on a team that is trying to give you the best chance to win that they can it’s a lot of fun. Even if they didn’t you know Ruben is going to do everything he can to make us better. Just that in itself means a lot. I can’t wait. We’ve got a good team here and when you’re able to add good players to a good team it makes it a lot of fun.”
On any relief he wasn’t traded:
“Uh, I mean, yeah, but anything can still happen. We’ve still got until Sunday. I don’t know. I just hope I’m here. I just hope I’m here and not in Triple-A, but if that was to happen, just go out and play. It’s all I can do.”
On his concern going back to Triple-A:
“Not really concerned, but I would like to be here. That’s the goal.”