Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Report: Brewers still seeking relief

The Brewers have not been able to swing a deal for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon thus far, so the club is continuing to look at other bullpen options, including Francisco Rodriguez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Sources told Rosenthal that Rodriguez, one of the few big-name free agents remaining on the market, is aiming for a two-year contract. The 33-year-old right-hander saved 44 games for Milwaukee last season, posting 3.04 ERA in 68 innings, with 18 walks and 73 strikeouts while making $3.25 million. He has spent much of the past four seasons with the club, working both as a set-up man and closer.

The Brewers had tried to make a deal with the Phillies for Papelbon, who notched 39 saves with a 2.04 ERA last season and is due $13 million in ’15. He also has a $13 million option for ’16, which will vest if he finishes 48 games this year. Since the Brewers are one of the teams on Papelbon’s no-trade list, he probably would approve a deal only if Milwaukee picks up the option, Rosenthal reported.

That’s just one complication in the negotiations, with the Phillies reportedly willing to eat a significant portion of Papelbon’s remaining contract only if they receive a top prospect in return. Meanwhile, the Brewers offered current closer Jonathan Broxton in the deal as a different way to save money, but the Phillies weren’t interested.

– Andrew Simon

Phillies holding Hamels despite ‘aggressive offer’

As Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently, left-hander Cole Hamels now is expected to be with the club for Opening Day, following an offseason full of trade rumors.

Perhaps the Phillies have been wise to exercise patience in looking for a return that could jumpstart their rebuilding process. On the other hand, it’s also possible the club has been too picky instead of simply taking the best package available now and moving forward.

Amaro has succeeded in trading shortstop Jimmy Rollins and outfielder Marlon Byrd this offseason but so far has not unloaded Hamels, fellow lefty Cliff Lee (coming off an elbow injury), closer Jonathan Papelbon or first baseman Ryan Howard. Of those, Hamels would command by far the best package, considering his track record, strong 2014 (a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts) and age (31).

Yet the chances of a Hamels deal took a dive when the Padres agreed to a four-year contract with free agent James Shields over the weekend. San Diego, one of nine teams not on Hamels’ no-trade list, “wanted Hamels” and “made an aggressive offer” for him, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. But the Phillies, apparently looking for at least one “blue-chip prospect” in return, did not feel they were getting enough to move Hamels and the nearly $100 million left on his contract.

A source told Rosenthal that Philadelphia would prefer to trade with Boston, but the Red Sox are on Hamels’ no-trade list, and so far the club has not been willing to offer what the Phillies want. Therefore, unless something changes, they will go into the regular season with Hamels and take the risk of injury or underperformance hurting his value.

– Andrew Simon

Moncada working out for Padres, mixed reports on interest

Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada is reportedly working out for the Padres on Monday, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

While Passan adds that San Diego “plans to be aggressive” in pursuing Moncada, a source tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock that the Padres might be done with their offseason spending spree after signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million deal on Monday.

As for Moncada, the five-tool infielder is also believed to be receiving serious interest from at least 10 other teams — a list that includes the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, A’s, Giants, Rangers, Cubs, Tigers, Phillies, and Cardinals. The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers have all been mentioned as potential frontrunners to land Moncada at various times this offseason.

Though naturally a shortstop, the 19-year-old phenom can also play second or third base. Along with bolstering the rotation by signing Shields on Monday, the Padres have already added Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton to their outfield corps this offseason.

While Moncada would just be the latest blockbuster move for the Padres this offseason, it’s unclear at this point whether or not the club is willing to spend big on yet another player after signing Shields.

– Paul Casella

Cliff Lee on the move this spring?

It’s been no secret that the Phillies have been trying to move veterans this offseason. They’ve already traded SS Jimmy Rollins and they’re reportedly open to dealing starting pitcher Cole Hamels and closer Jonathan Papelpon.

On Friday, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that lefty starter Cliff Lee could also be on the move as soon as Spring Training, if Lee is healthy.

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported earlier this month that Lee could be a valuable trade chip for Philadelphia around the July 31 Trade Deadline. But it seems possible that the timetable has moved up.

Lee was limited to 13 starts last season because of a left elbow injury. He is owed $25 million in 2015 and has a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016 with a $12.5 million buyout. The option becomes guaranteed with 200 innings pitched in 2015.

– Mark Sheldon

Brewers still considering K-Rod, negotiating for Papelbon

The Brewers are still talking to the Phillies about potentially acquiring Jonathan Papelbon, though Milwaukee is also considering a contingency plan that would involve re-signing Francisco Rodriguez, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The Brewers have been linked to Papelbon for weeks, but Heyman reports that any potential trade continues to be hung up by the Phillies’ desired return. Philadelphia is apparently unhappy with the Brewers’ current offer for Papelbon, who is due  $13 million this season and also has a vesting option for 2016 worth same amount, assuming he finishes 48 games in 2015.

Papelbon is coming off another strong season in which he racked up a 2.04 ERA while saving 39 games for the Phils. The 34-year-old reliever has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in nine of his 10 big league seasons and has a 2.37 career ERA overall.

As for Rodriguez, who just turned 33 last month, he’s also coming off an impressive 2014 campaign. He notched a 3.04 ERA and 44 saves for the Brewers, while finishing an NL-best 66 games. Rodriguez also posted a 1.09 ERA over 25 appearances with the Brewers in 2013 before being traded to the Orioles and later re-signing with Milwaukee in the offseason.

– Paul Casella

Papelbon trade talks still alive

The Phillies are in the midst of a rebuilding effort, but the club still has a number of veteran players it would like to move, such as closer Jonathan Papelbon.

While rumors surrounding Papelbon have died down recently, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly that trade talks are still ongoing with at least two teams.

“Things are still alive,” Amaro told CSNPhilly.com. “We’re still having discussion — and not just with one club. … It’s complicated. There are a lot of different factors involved.”

The Brewers and Blue Jays are the two clubs that have discussed a potential deal for Papelbon, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported last week.

A number of factors make trading Papelbon difficult. He will earn $13 million this season and has a $13 million club option for 2016 that kicks in if he finishes at least 48 games this year. Papelbon also has limited no-trade rights, though he told reporters in July that would not be an issue in facilitating a trade.

Papelbon, 34, would help clubs looking for a closer. He had a 2.04 ERA and 39 saves in 43 opportunities last year. His 90.7 save-completion percentage ranked sixth out of 29 qualifying closers in baseball, while his 0.90 WHIP ranked 19th out of 185 qualifying relief pitchers.

The Phillies have a number of moves to make going forward, so Papelbon’s situation is worth monitoring.

–Austin Laymance

Joe Blanton coming out of retirement?

Veteran starting pitcher Joe Blanton is on the comeback trail. The right-hander will hold an open workout and bullpen session for interested clubs on Feb. 4, tweets Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.

Blanton, 34, retired from baseball in April and did not pitch in the big leagues last season. He last pitched in the Majors in 2013 with the Angels, going 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA over 28 appearances, including 20 starts.

Over a 10-year career with the Phillies, A’s, Dodgers and Angels, Blanton is 85-89 with a 4.51 ERA. He’s pitched at least 191 innings in six different seasons.

At this point, Blanton’s best bet to get back to the Majors would seem to be as a fifth starter on a Minor League deal. If he can go to Spring Training with a club, he could have a shot.

–Austin Laymance

Report: Hamels has four primary suitors

Cole Hamels has been on the trading block for months as the Phillies undergo a rebuilding process. So far, that hasn’t resulted in a deal for the ace.

With Spring Training five weeks away for the Phillies, Comcast Sportsnet reports there are four “primary suitors” for Hamels: the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. The Phillies are reportedly looking for two top prospects in exchange for Hamels.

The Phillies would prefer to add a premier catching prospect, according to the report, and have interest in Boston’s Blake Swihart, San Diego’s Austin Hedges and Texas’ Jorge Alfaro.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has repeatedly said the Phillies would only deal Hamels for the right price, one that remains high. It’s possible the club keeps Hamels going into the season and continues to explore trades throughout the year.

“Again, he sits right in the sweet spot,” Amaro said last month. “We can keep him and it would be great for us, and if we feel he can move us forward by moving him, that’s something we can explore as well. As I said, we don’t have any rush to move him or mandate to move him.”

– Austin Laymance

Phillies still shopping Howard, no takers yet

The Phillies continue to shop first baseman Ryan Howard, but apparently have “no takers” at this point, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

The Phils are said to be marketing “what a great person” Howard is, but they’re yet to gain much traction. The 35-year-old Howard, who hit .223/.310/.380 with 23 homers and 95 RBIs last season, is owed $50 million over the next two years.

Given his recent injury concerns and career-long defensive struggles, the Phillies’ best bet might be finding an American League team willing to roll the dice on a veteran slugger. For what it’s worth, the nine teams not covered by Howard’s no-trade clause are the Tigers, Royals, Angels, Mariners, Yankees, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox.

– Paul Casella

Report: Phillies, Wandy agree to Minors deal

The Phillies have agreed to a Minor League deal with veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, CSNPhilly.com reported Saturday. The deal, which the club hasn’t confirmed, is pending a physical.

Rodriguez, who will be 36 this season, made only 12 starts in 2013 and six last year for the Pirates due to injuries. But he was a dependable performer from 2008-12 with Houston and Pittsburgh, going 57-55 with a 3.48 ERA and 2.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Dominican Republic native, a 10-year veteran, is expected to compete for a rotation spot this spring. He’s coming back from a right knee injury that led to surgery last June.

– Andrew Simon

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