Results tagged ‘ Scott Eyre ’

Phillies Looking to Japan?

The Phillies have not signed any Japanese pitchers, contrary to reports.

Japan’s Daily Sports Online first reported the Phillies had signed Shigetoshi Yamakita and Naoyo Okamoto to Minor League contracts. But the Phillies said there have been no signings or agreements with any Japanese players. Could something happen in the next couple weeks? A source said he is unaware of any discussions about any Japanese players.

*

Chad Durbin hails from Louisiana and is throwing a big Super Bowl bash, which is even bigger because he also is celebrating his wife’s 30th birthday.

“This game is a big deal down here and the people down here do know how to throw a party,” he said.

*

Scott Eyre will have an audition on Sirius/XM Radio’s Home Plate channel on Monday night with Joe Castellano. FP Santangelo and Steve Trachsel also tried out recently. I know Eyre has said broadcasting interests him, so it wouldn’t surprise me to hear him on the radio or see him on TV (Comcast SportsNet?) in the future.

*

I’ve got to think the Colts will beat the Saints today. I say that because I do not look forward to the countless shots of Archie Manning and Eli Manning in the stands, and I just know if the Colts are winning they’ll be showing them a lot.

*

A week from tomorrow and I’ll be in Clearwater. I will miss the snow.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available for preorder online everywhere books are sold.

Eyre Retires

eyre.jpgI talked with Scott Eyre this morning and he told me that he is retiring.

He said even if the Phillies had improved their offer — they offered a Minor League deal — he still probably would have retired. Eyre seemed to be in good spirits following his decision, although Eyre always seems to be in good spirits.

Eyre went 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances after he joined the Phillies in an Aug. 2008 trade with the Cubs. He won two National League championships and one World Series.

Not a bad way to go out.

Eyre truly is one of baseball’s good guys. Always friendly. Always helpful. I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word about him. People always ask me, “Who are the good guys on the team?” Eyre is one of them. He really seemed to appreciate that he got to play professional baseball for 13 years, and he seemed to savor every day at the ballpark.

Eyre recalled some of his best moments in baseball:

Favorite moment: “Obviously, the last out of the (2008) World Series. But probably my favorite moment was (Aug. 12, 1998). I got a spot start two days before my oldest son (Caleb) was born. Now I wasn’t the greatest starter. I think I was a pretty decent reliever in my career … but I got a spot start against the A’s. I threw five no-hit innings. We won the game, 2-0. It was me, Keith Foulke, Bobby Howry and Bill Simas. I struck out Rickey Henderson. I was a young kid in 1998, and that was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me. I still tell Caleb, ‘Two days before you were born I had the best start of my career.’”

Welcome to the Big Leagues Moment: “I came up in August ’97 with the White Sox. I made my first start in Anaheim and lost. I made my next start in Seattle, the night before Randy Johnson struck out 19 (on Aug. 8, 1997). The best part is that Jamie Moyer was in the dugout across from me. They just had that game on TV. My son was like, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘Randy Johnson struck out 19 White Sox that day.’ He said, ‘He struck out Frank Thomas?’ I said, “Yeah, Frank Thomas. And Albert Belle and Mike Cameron and Chris Snopek …”

Coolest Moment: “I was with the Blue Jays in ’02 and I came in to pitch at Dodger Stadium for the first time (June 20, 2002). I grew up a Dodger fan. I went to a few games as a kid. I saw Dusty Baker play live as a kid. I got his autograph, and then he was my manager, which was pretty cool. Stuff like that I’ll never forget. I don’t even remember who I faced that day. My dad is like, ‘How do you not remember who you faced?” I was like, ‘Dad, I couldn’t give a crap.’ But the batter hit into a double play. I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I just pitched at Dodger Stadium.’ And as I was walking off the field I was saying to myself, ‘And Vin Scully is saying my name right now.’ I met Vin Scully a couple years ago at Wrigley Field. I went up to the booth and talked to him for about 10 minutes. I told him that story. I don’t know if he remembers that story today, but I do and it’s the coolest.”

I think you can tell that Eyre loved his job, which he did very well for the Phillies.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Amaro's Next Move

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract, and it could be their final move this offseason.

But Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that he still has a left-handed reliever and another starter on his wish list:

Amaro said the Phillies “probably have finished the negotiations” with Scott Eyre, whom they offered a Minor League deal. Eyre was 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008, but he also is coming off elbow surgery. Amaro said the Phillies offered Eyre the Minor League deal for protection from the surgery.

“I don’t believe he’ll be a Phillie next year,” Amaro said.

But Amaro said he still will explore opportunities for left-handed relievers because there is some question whether or not J.C. Romero will be ready to start the season. He had elbow surgery in October. He could begin throwing in the middle of the month, but Amaro said Romero is behind closer Brad Lidge, who also had elbow surgery and also might not be ready to start the season.

Free agent left-handers Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are possibilities to take Eyre’s place.

“There is not a lot to choose from,” Amaro said.

There is not much the Phillies can afford, either. Baez will make $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011. That pushes their 2010 payroll to $118.45 million, and that does not include salaries for Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, Ben Francisco, J.A. Happ and others.

Amaro added that Jamie Moyer, who is slated as the team’s fifth starter, also might not be ready to start the season. He is having the meniscus repaired in his right knee Monday. If he is not ready, Amaro said Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched last season in Japan, would be candidates for the fifth starter’s job. And because of the uncertainty surrounding Moyer, Amaro would like to add more depth to the rotation. He said he has talked with the agents for Ben Sheets, Chien-Ming Wang and others, but they seem unlikely to sign unless their asking prices drop significantly. Amaro said he also has spoken to Brett Myers‘ agent, which is noteworthy because Amaro said immediately after the season that Myers would not return.

That said, Amaro said he doesn’t see much likelihood that Myers will be back.

“If we had our druthers, we’ll try to perhaps sign somebody else – one or two pitchers who could fight for one of those jobs,” Amaro said. “Probably a Minor League deal at this point. A player who is anticipating getting a Major League deal and quite frankly the market isn’t out there for them.”

The Phillies have had interest in right-hander Miguel Batista in the past, although it is unclear what the market is for him. Amaro also said he will leave the lines of communication open with Pedro Martinez, although it seems their prices are far apart.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for Bullpen Help

The Phillies continue searching for bullpen help, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said late last week that help would not come until after Christmas.

I know they have been interested in Fernando Rodney, but a source said tonight that talks aren’t serious. The Phillies have had interest in John Smoltz and there also have been reports about interest in Mike MacDougal, but there are indications the Phillies are looking in a different direction.

Chan Ho Park? Amaro said he is unlikely to re-sign.

Scott Eyre? Amaro said he has a better chance to return than Park, but it sounds like the Phillies are holding firm on their offer.

So who is out there? Names to watch include Danys Baez, Miguel Batista and Bob Howry. The Phillies have liked them in the past.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Amaro Downplays Halladay Possibility Again

Thumbnail image for halladay 0719.jpgIt would make no sense for Ruben Amaro Jr. to talk publicly about his interest in Roy Halladay.

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 …

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Lyon Out, Park and Eyre Talks Stalling?

park 3.jpgThe Phillies are expected to leave the Winter Meetings today without any additions to their bullpen. They certainly will not leave with Brandon Lyon, who had been one of their top targets. He agreed to terms late last night on a reported three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Astros.

“We hope we’re making some headway,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday afternoon.

With Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre or other free agents?

“Likely to be outside guys,” Amaro said.

Amaro said Park and Eyre remain in play, although he also said he cannot wait forever for them to agree to terms.

“There’s a possibility we’ll move past them at some point if something doesn’t get done, yeah,” he said.

But Park and Eyre cannot wait forever, either. Eyre, who has decided he wants to play next season, has received interest from at least three other teams, including the Yankees and Astros. While Eyre’s preference is to play in Philadelphia, he is willing to play elsewhere if contract discussions with the Phillies stall.

Park also has no shortage of suitors.

“He loved his time in Philly,” said Park’s agent, Jeff Borris. “He had a tremendous amount of fun playing in the World Series. He would love to come back to Philadelphia, but he’s happy as long as he’s got a Major League uniform on. I wouldn’t characterize our discussions one way or another. I haven’t put any deadlines or restrictions on Ruben. He hasn’t done the same to us. I would say that both parties are working in good faith, but Chan Ho has other options that he has to explore.”

*

I know Amaro said yesterday that the Phillies probably wouldn’t get involved in anything big, like a trade for Roy Halladay, but I still think if the asking price drops they will be in the hunt. We’ll see if the price drops.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Winter Meetings: Day 3

Ruben Amaro Jr. met with reporters in the team’s hotel suite in Indianapolis for the final time — oh, I’ll be so sad to leave — and he touched on a few topics:

  • Baseball insiders at the Winter Meetings think the Phillies are in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Amaro tried to quiet that talk, although it’s unclear if he is trying to get people off the Phillies’ trail. He wouldn’t discuss Halladay by name, but asked if they would pursue a big-time starting pitcher who is available via trade (i.e. Halladay) he spoke in generalities. “Is there any way possible? I guess there is,” Amaro said. “Is there a likelihood of us getting involved in something that’s that big? Probably not.” Why not? “Probably more than one or two reasons,” he said. “I’m not going to get into the reasons, but probably more than one or two.” But while he said there is not a likelihood of the Phillies getting involved, is there a likelihood of exploring the opportunity? “I’m not going to get into that,” he said.
  • Yes, the Phillies continue to look for bullpen help. “We hope we’re making some headway,” Amaro said. Does he mean with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre or other free agents? “Likely to be outside guys,” he said. I’m not sure how much of that is posturing or not, but indications are the Phillies have made little progress this week with Park and Eyre. “Right now they are,” said Amaro, asked if Park and Eyre remain in play. “There’s a possibility we’ll move past them at some point if something doesn’t get done, yeah.”
  • Amaro didn’t rule out the possibility of acquiring a relief pitcher via trade. “We’re keeping a couple of balls in the air,” he said.
  • He said it’s unlikely they sign a relief pitcher before the Winter Meetings conclude tomorrow.
  • Amaro wouldn’t say the Phillies have signed Ross Gload, apparently because he hasn’t passed a physical, but he talked about why they would like him … if they were to sign him. “He’s got some versatility because he can play the corner outfield positions and first base,” he said. “He’s a very good first baseman. He’s a very good left-handed bat. We got to see that first hand. He whacked us around pretty good. Our guys have liked this guy for a while.”
  • Amaro reiterated that while they are interested in a talent like Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman, they are not expected to pursue him. Chapman is throwing next week in Houston, and Amaro said they could send somebody there, but more for informational purposes.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Day 1 in Indy

A few more things from the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis:

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance Brad Lige and J.C. Romero will not be ready by Opening Day — they are recovering from elbow surgeries – although he said if they are not ready, it won’t be long after the season starts.
  • Amaro said he is more likely to fill holes on the pitching staff and bench via free agency, although he said the Phillies could get creative and work a trade.
  • Amaro declined comment on a rumor that the Phillies have made right-hander Joe Blanton available to trade to free up money to improve the bullpen, but it seems unlikely Amaro would trade pitching to get pitching. “I’m sure I would at some point,” he said. “It’s kind of like robbing Peter to trade Paul, but if you think Paul is better than Peter than it’s worth it.”
  • Amaro also said he doesn’t “want to mess with our rotation as it stands. But it doesn’t mean we have to make that a hard and fast rule,” he said. “I think it’s more about keeping the options as open as possible. … I’ll put our rotation as it stands up there with pretty much anybody in the National League. The better your rotation is the more heat you can take off the bullpen. I think that’s probably the best way to get a more predictable bullpen.”
  • It sounds to me like Chan Ho Park is the team’s top priority in the bullpen. Amaro met with Park’s agent Jeff Borris on Monday.
  • The Phillies have continued interest in left-hander Scott Eyre, although Amaro said he would be comfortable with rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo or Sergio Escalona in the bullpen next season.
  • The Phillies have been linked to right-hander Brandon Lyon, but one source said Monday the asking price for Lyon remains high.
  • The Phillies already have committed $114.2 million committed to 15 players in 2010. Include the expected raises for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey and the payroll pushes to more than $130 million. That leaves the Phillies with just a few million to spend. “I think we’re going to be just fine with our payroll,” Amaro said. “I don’t think it’s going to change much. We have our limitations. We’re going to be pushing $140 million. It is what it is. It’s my job to figure out a way to make sure this a contending team.”
  • The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to offer contracts to Durbin and Condrey, who are eligible for salary arbitration. Amaro said the Phillies haven’t made a final decision, but “as far as I’m concerned, at least right now, these are guys that we’ll probably count on. But again, a lot of it kind of depends on what happens over these next several days in regards to the other free agents that might be out there.”
  • The Phillies have expressed interest in Brian Giles, although it doesn’t appear talks are serious. “We’ve talked about it a little bit,” said Giles’ agent, Joe Bick. “Philly needs to try to find Brian a spot where there might be more playing time, but it’s certainly something we’ll keep the door open on.”

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Amaro Talks About Pitching, Third Base, Smoltz and More

smoltz.jpgThe Phillies locked up catcher Brian Schneider today, and are expected to lock up infielder Juan Castro on Thursday.

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.”

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 286 other followers