Results tagged ‘ trade ’

Lester Gone, Hamels Talks Heat Up

Cole HamelsPhillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called Jon Lester the linchpin of the offseason.

Well, the pin has been pulled.

The Cubs and Lester have agreed to a six-year, $155 million contract, which means trade discussions regarding Cole Hamels are heating up. The Cubs, Red Sox and Dodgers had been most interested in Hamels, but with the Cubs out of the picture the attention turns to the Red Sox and Dodgers, who have the prospects and wherewithal to take the remaining four years and $96 million on Hamels’ deal.

(Hamels’ contract jumps to five years, $110 million if a 2019 club option automatically vests based on innings pitched.)

A source said the Giants also are taking a run at Hamels. They pursued Lester, but finished third in that sweepstakes.

Ryne Sandberg said yesterday the Phillies would have to be wowed to trade Hamels, which is true to an extent. They are not going to trade Hamels for a crop of mid-level prospects. They cannot make the same mistake they made in 2009, when they traded Cliff Lee to the Mariners for Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. The Phillies’ return for Hunter Pence, who they traded to San Francisco in 2012, also has been lackluster.

If the Phillies trade Hamels they have to hit big.

The Dodgers have a couple prospects the Phillies would love to have: infielder Corey Seager (No. 13 in MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list) and outfielder Joc Pederson (No. 15). They might be able to pry away one. A source indicated the Dodgers and Phillies could put together a bigger package to improve the Phillies’ return, and that package could include Jimmy Rollins.

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Phillies Like Valentin

valentinThe Phillies hope Jesmuel Valentin is one of two quality players to join the organization following the Roberto Hernandez trade with the Dodgers.

The Phillies acquired him yesterday as the first player to be named in the deal. The Phillies have until the middle of next month to select the second player, which will come from a remaining pool of three players. Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated they are leaning toward a pitcher.

“We have a pretty good idea of who we want but we’re still waiting to make a decision right now,” he said. “We’ll check on some medical stuff. They’re younger guys. For the situation we’re in and the player we gave up, I think we did pretty well. Even if we had just this guy, we’d be happy with it.”

MLB.com ranked Valentin, who is the son of former big leaguer Jose Valentin, as the No. 13 prospect in the Dodgers’ organization. Selected 51st overall as a supplement pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Valentin was hitting .282 with 22 doubles, nine triples, seven home runs, 47 RBIs and a .785 OPS in 107 games with Great Lakes.

Valentin will report to Class A Clearwater.

“We like the kid,” Amaro said. “He’s got baseball acumen. He’s advanced pretty quickly. He plays short and second; we’ll probably have him play second base for us. Switch hitter. Plays the game well. … We’re not sure if he’s better from the right or from the left side. He doesn’t have a whole lot of Minor-league at bats yet. But he’s all right. He’s someone who handles the bat pretty well. He has a little bit of pop. He’s not a big guy, but has a little pop. He can run. He plays the game right. He plays hard.”

Amaro said there is chance the Phillies could make at least another trade before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline.

Hernandez to Dodgers for Two PTBNL

Roberto HernandezThe Phillies hoped to contend with Roberto Hernandez as their No. 5 starter, but failing that they hoped to flip him to a contending team for a prospect or two.

They believe they accomplished the latter Thursday, when they traded Hernandez to the Dodgers for two players to be named or cash. The Dodgers, who claimed Hernandez on waivers, will pay the remaining $1.5 million on his one-year, $4.5 million contract.

“The fact we weren’t going to be offering him … a qualifying offer or anything like that, we felt like it was a move to help give us some talent in our system,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The Phillies will select two lower-level Minor League players from a pool of players the Phillies and Dodgers agreed upon. Amaro said they will scout those players the remainder of the Minor League season before making their selections.

“I think they’re going to be guys that are going to be down the line,” he said, referring to younger prospects. “But we have some decent reports on them. And listen, they’re down the line. The further down the line, they’re more of a crapshoot.”

Amaro said last week following the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline he did not like the talent offered for his veteran players. While Hernandez certainly was not going to land a top prospect, Amaro thinks the Phillies have enough talent to choose from.

But in the Phils’ minds, if they were going to let Hernandez walk at the end of the season, it made sense to roll the dice and take a shot at it. Other teams have had success with players like this in the past. Sign a player that has struggled, have him bounce back and flip him for talent.

Hernandez posted a 3.87 ERA in 23 appearances (20 starts). He had a 4.89 ERA last season with the Rays.

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Reports: Phillies Listening on Lee and Hamels

Cliff LeeInteresting start to the morning …

ESPN and CBSSports.com reported the Phillies have told teams they will listen to offers for Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Now why in the world would the Phillies do that? Well, it is important to note that listening is different than trading. But if some team is willing to offer premium talent for Hamels or Lee — and take their entire salary to boot — it would be foolish not to listen.

It would be foolish, however, to trade one of them for a package that does not address numerous and immediate needs. After all, what was the purpose of extending Chase Utley, signing Marlon Byrd and resigning Carlos Ruiz if the Phillies are not trying to win the next couple seasons?

The Phillies better than anybody know the risks of trading a top starting pitcher for young talent. They traded Lee to the Mariners in Dec. 2009 for Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. They also have acquired Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt for prospects that included Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp, Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose.

Have any of those players come back to haunt the Phillies yet?

How certain can the Phillies be that the players they would get in return for Hamels or Lee would make a difference?

(Here are other examples of teams trading top starting pitching and getting very little in return.)

It also must be noted there are obstacles involved in any potential Hamels and Lee talks. First, both have limited no-trade clauses. Second, they are owed a ton of money. Hamels is owed $118.5 million over the next five years, which includes $22.5 million in salary each of the next five seasons, plus a $6 million buyout for a vesting option in 2019. Lee is owed $62.5 million over the next three years, which includes $25 million in salary each of the next two seasons, plus $12.5 million buyout for a vesting option for 2016.

If the Phillies trade either of them the other team must take their salary, which limits potential partners. The Phillies last ate money in a trade in 2005, when they shipped Jim Thome to the White Sox.

There are reasons it makes sense for the Phillies to listen. They have holes everywhere. They need to get younger. They could use the payroll relief. But there are plenty of reasons it won’t happen, too.

Blow It Up? Rollins Knows It Could Happen

Rollins Back at the Top, Halladay Ready to GoJimmy Rollins made his Phillies debut Sept. 18, 2000, when the Phillies stood just 61-86 for the third-worst record in the National League.

Just 15,486 fans watched at Veterans Stadium.

Since then Rollins has helped the Phillies win one World Series, two National League pennants and five National League East championships. He won the 2007 NL MVP Award, four Gold Gloves and made three All-Star teams. But as the Phillies’ record sat at 19-22 following yesterday’s loss to the Indians, Rollins acknowledged the Phillies need to get going quickly because the reality in front of them is not pretty.

“We’ve just got to make sure we do what we need to do before they blow it up,” he said.

You can bet the rest of Rollins’ teammates understand this. If the Phillies don’t turn this around quickly, Ruben Amaro Jr. could hold a fire sale that would dwarf last season’s trades that included Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton. Essentially, these next couple months could be the last time you see the core of Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels together.

“There’s nothing I can do about it, except play a winning brand of baseball,” Rollins said. “And if we don’t win, it’s up to the guys up top, whether they decide to blow it all up and ship us out.”

Read the entire story here.

Lopez Deal Unlikely

It sure sounded yesterday like the Phillies had found a setup man.

Not so fast.

Sources said today a trade that would have sent right-hander Wilton Lopez to Philadelphia for a pair of Minor League prospects had hit a roadblock and is unlikely to happen. Lopez, 29, had been in Philadelphia on Wednesday for a physical.

A deal had been agreed upon, pending Lopez passing his physical, but it appears both teams are going their separate ways.

Lopez, 29, would have been a nice addition to the Phillies bullpen. He went 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves in 64 games in 2012. He became Houston’s closer following the trade of Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox and Francisco Cordero‘s ineffectiveness. But he also spent time on the disabled list in each of the previous two seasons with an elbow injury.

The Phillies could pursue another pitcher in a trade, or they could look to the free-agent market. They have liked right-handers Mike Adams and Brandon Lyon in the past.

Blanton Traded, Lee Claimed

Joe Blanton is gone.

Cliff Lee isn’t going anywhere.

The Phillies placed Blanton on waivers this week, and the Dodgers promptly claimed him. The Phillies had the option of pulling him back from waivers, but instead they shipped him to Los Angeles for a player to be named or cash. The Dodgers will pay the remaining $2.9 million in Blanton’s salary, and the Phillies can get a player back if they want.

CBS’ Jon Heyman reported a team claimed Lee, but Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters today Lee isn’t going anywhere.

That’s not a surprise. Unless the Phillies got knocked out with an offer, the Phillies weren’t going to trade him.

Blanton’s departure leaves five players from the 2008 World Series roster: Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. While working on the The Rotation last year, I asked Blanton how often he gets asked about his home run in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series:

“It gets mentioned a lot. I get a lot of really cool comments. People remember where they were when I hit it, that kind of thing. I get a lot of that: I was sitting in this section. I was at home on my couch. I was at this bar when I was watching the game. People remember where they were when I hit it and they bring it up, which I think is unbelievable. To remember that … that’s pretty awesome.  I get asked about it, but I get more of the I was here stuff: That’s one of my favorite Phillies memories, or that was one my favorite moment of the postseason.”

Watch Blanton’s highlights from Game 4 and his thoughts after Game 5 after the jump …

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Phillies Trade Benny Fresh to Toronto

The Phillies traded Ben Francisco to Toronto today for Minor League relief pitcher Frank Gailey.

The trade is not a complete surprise. The emergence of John Mayberry Jr. and recent signing of Laynce Nix had pushed Francisco deep onto the Phillies’ bench as a fifth outfielder. And with tonight’s midnight tender deadline for salary arbitration eligible players looming, it made some sense the Phillies would move Francisco rather than pay him more than the $1.175 million he made last season.

Francisco’s departure could open the door for veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik, who recently signed a Minor League contract with the team.

Gailey, 26, is a native Philadelphian, attending Archbishop Carroll High School and West Chester University. He split last season with Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire, combing to go 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances. He is 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances.

The Blue Jays selected him in the 23rd round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He is expected to provide the organization depth at the Minor League level.

Francisco, 30, came to Philadelphia as part of the Cliff Lee trade with the Cleveland Indians in July 2009. He hit .259 with 17 home runs and 75 RBIs in 225 games. Francisco’s most memorable Phillies moment will be his last. He hit a game-winning, pinch-hit three-run home run in Game 3 of the 2011 National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Here’s moer on Gailey from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo:

A 23rd-round pick out of the 2007 Draft from West Chester University, Gailey gets to return home to eastern Pennsylvania. A starter in college – his name is all over West Chester’s career leaderboards – he’s been a reliever since entering the pro ranks. He’s moved slowly, though he’s put up decent numbers at every stop, with the exception of his first taste of Double-A in 2011.

Gailey has been forced to move slowly, proving himself at every level, including the Gulf Coast and short-season New York-Penn Leagues, even as a college pitcher. That’s largely because his stuff doesn’t grade out much better than average across the board. His fastball is an average offering, but his breaking ball is below-average. He gets a ton of action on  his changeup, but sometimes it’s too much.

Gailey will pitch out of two slots, sidearm and three-quarters, which can cause problems for left-handed hitters. Lefties in the Florida State League hit just .131 against him in 2011 and if the 26-year-old has any future in the big leagues, it will be as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.

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Phillies Get Bench Help

The Phillies added some bench help before tonight’s waiver trade deadline.

They acquired left-handed-hitting outfielder John Bowker from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named or cash considerations. To make room for Bowker on the 25-man roster, the Phillies optioned right-hander Michael Schwimer to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, they placed Jose Contreras on the 60-day DL.

Bowker will be in uniform for tonight’s game in Cincinnati. He will wear No. 16.

The Phillies had been looking for a bench player for some time. Bowker played just 19 games for Pittsburgh this season, hitting .235 with two RBIs, but hit .308 with 15 homers and 76 RBIs in 415 at-bats with Triple-A Indianapolis.

He has played first base, left field and right field in parts of four big-league seasons with San Francisco and Pittsburgh. He is a .237 career hitter with a .289 on-base percentage and a .390 slugging percentage.

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Phillies Send Santana to Houston as PTBN

The Phillies sent outfielder Domingo Santana to the Houston Astros as the player to be named in the Hunter Pence trade.

Santana, 19, had been playing with Class A Lakewood. He has been assigned to Class A Lexington.

He was hitting .269 with 29 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 32 RBIs and four stolen bases for the BlueClaws. Baseball America had him the ninth-best prospect in the organization before the season.

The Phillies traded right-hander Jarred Cosart, first baseman Jonathan Singleton, right-hander Josh Zeid and a player to be named to the Astros on July 29 for Pence. The Astros had a group of players they could choose as the player to be named before settling on Santana.

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