Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Rollins would approve deal to the Dodgers

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins would reportedly waive his no-trade clause to approve a potential deal with the Dodgers, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. It’s unclear whether or not the Dodgers are actively pursuing Rollins, but Heyman indicates “there’s at least some chance” a deal could happen.

The 36-year-old Rollins showed he still has some pop in his bat this season, notching 17 home runs and 55 RBIs to go with a .243 batting average.

The Dodgers, of course, are obviously in the market for a starting shorstop after Hanley Ramirez left via free agency to join the Red Sox. Rollins would seemingly fit the “short-term upgrade” at shortstop that the Dodgers are said to be pursuing, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. However, the Dodgers don’t want to bring in an outside acquisition that could potentially block top prospect Corey Seager whenever he’s deemed Major League ready.

There doesn’t seem to be anything imminent on this front, but it’s at least worth noting that Rollins is willing to accept a move to Los Angeles.

– Paul Casella

Giants join in on Hamels pursuit

All three teams that came up short in their pursuit of Jon Lester are now considering a trade for Cole Hamels, with ESPN’s Jayson Stark reporting that the Giants have also joined the discussions. The Red Sox and Dodgers had already expressed interest in Hamels even before Lester decided to sign with the Cubs.

This is the main reason why the Phillies waited for Lester to sign with a team before committing to any potential deal involving Hamels. They now have three potential contenders all interested in Hamels — an ideal situation for ultimately bringing back the best possible return.

As with much of the starting pitching market, talks figure to develop quickly with Lester now off the board. That said, the Phillies have no timetable in place for moving Hamels and remain focused only on finding the best deal.

– Paul Casella

Twins interested in right-hander Kendrick

The Twins brass in attendance at this week’s Winter Meetings reportedly held a meeting about potentially pursuing free agent starter Kyle Kendrick, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.

Kendrick has posted identical 10-13 records over each of the last two years with the Phillies, while posting a 4.70 ERA in 2013 and a 4.61 mark this past season. He has a 4.42 ERA overall during his eight-year career, which has been spent entirely in Philadelphia to this point.

The Twins are known to be in the market for starting pitching this offseason after their starters racked up an American League-worst 5.06 ERA this past season.

Minnesota has also been linked to a number of other starters this offseason, both on the free agent market and via potential trades. The Twins have been reported to have varying levels of interest in free agents Ryan VogelsongEdinson Volquez, Justin Masterson and Brett Anderson, as well as Francisco Liriano, who ultimately re-signed with the Pirates. They’ve also popped up as a candidate to acquire the Mets’ Dillon Gee via trade.

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Byrd could be an option for O’s

Add Marlon Byrd to the Orioles’ list of potential outfield replacements. Byrd’s name has reportedly been floated as a potential target if the club ultimately elects to turn to the trade market for a new outfielder, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.

The O’s are still pursuing a number of options, both in free agency and via trade, to replace recently departed outfielder Nick Markakis. The club has reportedly reached out to free agent outfielders Nori Aoki and Colby Rasmus, among others. Melky Cabrera remains the top free agent outfielder on the market, though the Orioles don’t appear to be actively pursuing him.

“I think these free-agent possibilities are going to come into play, into focus a little quicker than the trade possibilities,” said Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

Byrd has posted a .277/.323/.476 batting line to go along with 49 home runs and 173 RBIs over the past two seasons between the Phillies, Mets and Pirates. Considering the 37-year-old Byrd is not part of the Phillies’ rebuilding process, he is a prime candidate to be traded this offseason.

In addition to Byrd, the O’s have been rumored to have discussed a potential Justin Upton trade with the Braves, though Duquette denied any such talks on Monday. Baltimore has also been linked to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, though those talks have seemingly died down in recent days.

– Paul Casella

Lester signing could reignite Hamels talks

Though the Phillies aren’t one of the four teams reportedly pursuing Jon Lester, they could be one of the clubs most impacted by his final decision, which is expected to come at some point on Tuesday.

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been floated as a potential backup plan for both the Red Sox and Dodgers, leading Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer to suggest that the Phils could start fielding serious offers for Hamels in the coming days. “The Phillies, a team desperate for outfield reinforcements, could target Joc Pederson in a trade with Los Angeles,” writes Gelb.

The Cubs and Giants, the other two clubs known to be pursuing Lester, could also attempt to engage the Phillies in trade talks if they miss out on Lester.

It’s no secret that the Phillies are trying to trade a number of their big-contract players this offseason, with Hamels’ name popping up most often in rumors. Not surprisingly, teams have been much less willing to take on the unfavorable contract of a player such as Ryan Howard.

The Red Sox have reportedly rejected past offers from the Phillies, but the Phils figure to gain at least some leverage in the aftermath of Lester’s decision. Either way, trade talks should heat back up once Lester is off the market.

– Paul Casella

Don’t Expect Hamels to Go Anywhere

Do not expect Cole Hamels to be traded before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

There has been plenty of speculation recently about his availability, but sources told MLB.com on Tuesday that the Phillies have had no substantive talks with any team about him. That includes the Dodgers. There are multiple reports that the Dodgers and Phillies have been in contact recently, and the Phillies have requested the Dodgers’ top three prospects to make a deal.

But one source said the Phillies have made no such requests because the two teams have not talked that in depth.

The Phillies have made teams aware they would need to be thoroughly impressed to trade Hamels, but talks have never gotten much further than that. Hamels allowed six hits and struck out eight in eight scoreless innings last night against the Mets to improve to 6-5 with a 2.55 ERA. He has a 1.58 ERA (15 earned runs in 85 2/3 innings) in his last 12 starts, entering the night sixth out of 95 qualifying pitchers in ERA since June 1.

A source said the Phillies haven’t gotten particularly close to the finish line in any trade discussions. They have numerous players available, including Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Marlon Byrd, A.J. Burnett and Antonio Bastardo, but some teams believe Ruben Amaro Jr. is under pressure to deal and ultimately will sell low to make a trade. They seem to be waiting for Amaro to cave.

But ownership has not ordered Amaro to shed payroll, which does not force his hand. Players like Hamels, Lee, Papelbon, Byrd and other veterans are signed through at least next season, which means Amaro can try to clear them through waivers next month and trade them before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline.

The Phillies can also wait to try to trade them in the offseason.

It seems the Phillies are prepared for that possibility.

It looks like nobody is going anywhere right now, although everything can change with one phone call before Thursday’s Deadline.

Todd Zolecki

Phillies Take Peek at Tigers Prospect

Phillies scouts are pretty much everywhere these days, watching Minor League prospects from every team that might be a trade partner before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Double-A Reading is playing Erie this afternoon in Erie, and the Phillies planned to have a scout there to watch Tigers right-hander Jake Thompson, who pitched last week in the All-Star Futures Game. The Tigers drafted him in the second round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Thompson, 20, recently received a promotion to Erie after going 6-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 16 starts with Class A Lakewood.

The Tigers are looking for bullpen help and it is well known Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo are available.

Todd Zolecki

Yankees keeping tabs on Phillies’ Cliff Lee

With 80 percent of their Opening Day rotation on the disabled list, starting pitching is a top priority for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman as the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline approaches.

There has been speculation that the Yankees and Cliff Lee could finally be a match after several close calls in the past, with Lee returning to the mound in a 7-4 Phillies loss to the Giants on Monday. Yet the Yankees were “just observers” for that start, the New York Post reported, citing a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.

Acquiring Lee, whom the Yankees chased twice in 2010, could be expensive. Lee turns 36 next month and is due $25 million next season; the Phillies want the acquiring club to pick up a major portion of the salary. Lee would also receive a $12.5 million buyout if a $27.5 million team option is not picked up for 2016.

Lee has missed most of this season with a left elbow strain and hadn’t pitched since May 18. Another potential roadblock is Lee’s no-trade clause. The Yankees are among the 20 teams that Lee can block a trade to, according to FOX Sports.

– Bryan Hoch

Phillies Busy As Trade Deadline Approaches

The Phillies return to action tonight in Atlanta, and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is 13 days away. The Phillies are busy trying to find trade partners for several veteran players, but just because they have players to trade it doesn’t mean they’ll trade them. They’re not pressured to make something happen before July 31. The front office hasn’t been told by ownership to shed payroll no matter what.

Remember, the Phillies can still trade these players before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline or in the offseason.

Let’s repeat that: The Phillies can still trade these players before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline or in the offseason. Especially if they’re not getting much of a return in their current discussions.

A report Sunday had the Mariners hot and heavy for Marlon Byrd, but reports since said their interest has cooled or talks have stalled. Keep this in mind as you read countless reports between today and July 31: 95 percent of this stuff is teams kicking the tires and reporters taking a kernel of information and writing it. For example, when you read a team with a need for starting pitching has inquired about Cole Hamels, don’t say to yourself, “Oh my God! The (insert team here) are going to get Cole Hamels!” Say to yourself, “Well, no kidding! Of course they’re interested in Cole.”

A team expressing interest in a Phillies player and a team actually making a legitimate offer are two totally different things. Maybe the Mariners called the Phillies last weekend and said, “We’d really like Marlon Byrd, but we’ll only give you a marginal prospect for him.” In that scenario, Ruben Amaro Jr. most likely said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and hung up the phone.

A few reminders as the July 31 deadline approaches:

  • The Phillies are absolutely open to trading Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo. The contracts and limited no-trade clauses for Papelbon, Lee, Burnett and Byrd could be stumbling blocks, but I just don’t see the Phillies making deals if they’re only getting a light-hitting outfielder or a middling reliever in return.
  • They would need to receive a huge package of prospects to trade Cole Hamels.
  • Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have 10-and-5 rights and have repeatedly expressed their desire to remain in Philadelphia. The Phillies will listen to offers for Hamels, Utley and Rollins, but they are not going to give them away.

So, yes, the Phillies are not “looking” to trade Hamels. And they absolutely prefer to trade Lee over him. They would welcome a Papelbon trade, and they are willing to part with Bastardo because they have two younger, less expensive left-handers in Jake Diekman and Mario Hollands.

It is going to be an interesting couple of weeks for the Phillies. Like I said, they are active. But like I also mentioned, there are no indications they’re going to just get rid of players, either.

Todd Zolecki

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