Tag:Phillies
Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Phillies reach agreement with Papelbon

By Matt Snyder

Jonathan Papelbon is going to be changing organizations for the first time in his professional career. He has agreed in principle to sign with the Phillies for a four-year contract that approaches $50 million, pending a physical, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The deal was first reported by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Phillies had agreed to a deal with incumbent closer Ryan Madson, but that situation fell apart, and several reports later this past week indicated the deal was never fully agreed upon and that the earlier reports jumped the gun. And when things started to fall apart, the Phillies shifted their focus to Papelbon.

Papelbon, 30, is a four-time All-Star and a much more established closer, with 219 career saves (to Madson's 52). The two pitchers are very similar in age (Papelbon is just under two months younger), but, again, Papelbon has a lot more experience as the ninth-inning guy.

Last season, Papelbon saved 31 of 34 chances with a 2.94 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. A move to the NL should help a bit, though the NL East should prove to be pretty tough next season.

As for Madson, he's left looking elsewhere, as he's surely looking for a closer's job and several teams are seeking an established closer. 

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Phillies 'reconsidering' Madson deal?

By Matt Snyder

Tuesday night, it sounded like Ryan Madson re-signing with the Phillies was on the verge of getting done. Some reports indicated a deal was very close, though some other reports -- including from Scott Miller of CBSSports.com -- said nothing was finalized. Wednesday morning, things got even murkier. Miller is now reporting that the four-year, $44 million deal was agreed upon by Madson's agent, Scott Boras, and general manager Ruben Amaro, but that Amaro needed to get the deal approved by Phillies CEO David Montgomery and that hasn't happened yet (but it might).

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Phillies are now "reconsidering" their options. Rosenthal notes the Phillies had previously talked to Jonathan Papelbon and that it is "unclear" if they'd pursue him again.

Madson, 31, saved 32 of his 34 chances in 2011 with a 2.37 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings. It was his first season as a full-time closer.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:04 pm
 

Madson's deal sets the market for Papelbon



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan Madson has to be pretty happy with the reported four-year, $44 million deal he's set to receive from the Phillies, but he's not the only one. Jonathan Papelbon can't be too torn up by the deal, either.

If Madson is worth $11 million a year, Papelbon -- slightly younger with better stats and more experience -- should be looking at at least $13 million per season.

Hot Stove Season

Of course, there's going to be one less big-money team bidding for his services, but there should due enough out there that allows Papelbon to cash in as the market's top free agent closer.

Madson, 31, has less than a full season of closing under his belt, taking over in Philadelphia after Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras went down with injuries at the start of the season. Madson excelled in the role -- one he didn't do so well in earlier in his career -- recording 32 saves with a 2.37 ERA in 62 appearances. He struck out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings and walked just 16 (eight intentionally). Madson has 52 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 491 career appearances since his debut as a 22-year-old late in the 2003 season.

Papelbon, who will turn 31 later this month, has 219 career saves with a 2.33 ERA, recording 31 saves with a 2.94 ERA in 2011. Papelbon struck out 87 batters in 64 1/3 innings, walking just 10 and recording a WHIP of 0.933. He's also pitched his entire seven-year career in the pressure-packed AL East.

While the Red Sox and Phillies are the two biggest teams in need of a closer this offseason, the Phillies now are out of the market, leaving Boston as the likely frontrunner (as if it wasn't before). The Blue Jays and Nationals are also looking for a closer and could be looking to spend some money. There's another two wild cards -- the Rangers if Neftali Feliz is moved into the rotation and the Marlins depending on who the whole Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo situation plays out.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Report: Phillies 'closing in' on deal for Madson

Ryan MadsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Phillies are "closing in" on a four-year deal with closer Ryan Madson, Jim Duquette of the MLB Network tweets, although a source tells CBSSports.com Scott Miller that "nothing is done," with Madson. Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the sides are talking about a deal worth $44 million and a fifth year option worth $13 million, but does note that it is not yet a "done deal" -- just close.

Duquette also adds that the deal could include a vesting option for a fifth year, as well.

Madson, 31, recorded 32 saves for the Phillies in 2011, his first season as the full-time closer. He has 52 career saves, but only one (2009) with as many as 10 saves. Madson was 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 2011, recording 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings with a 1.154 WHIP.

Madson was coming off a three-year deal worth $12 million. 

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro had said he didn't want to hand over his closing duties to an unproven closer. The team was also rumored to be interested in former Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon, but that may have just been a bargaining ploy by the Phillies in attempting to keep Madson.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Wrong time for Mets to deal Wright

David Wright

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The hot stove sometimes takes a little while to warm up and the first couple of weeks of November are often more of a lukewarm stove -- and the kindling that is a David Wright rumor shouldn't stoke the flames too much.

On the surface, it's the type of rumor that should draw newspaper headlines -- the Mets "listening" to offers on Wright, the fallen star in New York. Sure, the Mets will obviously listen on offers for Wright, they'd be fools not to listen -- especially with a number of teams needing a third baseman.

The Angels, Cubs, Phillies and Rockies could all be searching for a new third baseman. So could the Brewers, Marlins and Tigers. Wright won't be 30 for another year and he already has four All-Star Games, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers on his mantle. There will always be a demand for a player like Wright -- especially in a free-agent market that has just one top-flight third baseman available.

The problem is, now is certainly not the time for the Mets to deal him -- listen, sure, but not pull the trigger. You don't sell low, and right now Wright is low, lower than he's ever been. He's coming off his worst offensive season of his career, hitting just .254/.345/.427 with 14 home runs and missed 58 games due to a stress fracture in his lower back. His 102 games played were the fewest since his rookie year of 2004 when he was called up after the All-Star break. Anyone taking Wright now is doing it for a steal -- and salary relief for the Mets.

A National League executive told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson would have to be "bowled over" to deal Wright this winter. That's unlikely to happen.

Wright will make $15 million in 2012 and the Mets have a $16 million option with a $1 million buyout for 2013. Wright can void that option if he's traded, making him little more than a rental if he's traded during the season. That would hurt his value at the deadline, but nothing like the questions surrounding his health and recent production coming off his pedestrian 2011.

Despite the talks of Wright being on the market, the Mets first move for 2012 was a giant flashing sign saying they'll keep Wright. Last week the team announced that not only will they move the walls in at Citi Field, they'll also lower them. The changes, whether the Mets will say so or not, are meant to help Wright.

In the three seasons since Citi Field opened, Wright has hit just .279/.377/.449 with an average of just more than seven home runs a season at home. At Shea Stadium. Wright hit .318/.403/.555 and averaged 29 homers per season from 2005-08, with at least half of those coming at home. The most he's hit in a season at Citi Field is 12, when he hit 29 total homers in 2010.

"You'd be lying if you said you enjoyed hitting at Citi Field," Wright told ESPNNewYork.com last week. "I don't think anybody would say they enjoyed hitting in such a pitchers' ballpark. I don't think we ever looked at the field and it intimidated us. But obviously it's frustrating at times when you hit a ball good and you don't see the results that you want to see." 

Of course it's not just Wright, Citi Field allowed just 1.43 home runs per game, the lowest in the majors over its first three years. Other Mets can benefit (notably Jason Bay), but the Mets could benefit the most from an increased offensive output from Wright. If Wright flourishes in the new park, then his stock could would be much higher than it is now. If he doesn't put up significantly better numbers, that trade value is unlikely to change from where it is now.

Wright can still be one of the premier third basemen in baseball, but right now he's a .254 hitter with 14 homers -- that with a $15 million price tag doesn't bring back elite prospects. If Wright finds the new Citi Field to his liking, he can be an impact player for the Mets -- and their future. Wright won't be a Met forever, but he should be one on opening day.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Phillies 'in serious pursuit' of Michael Cuddyer

By Matt Snyder

Earlier Friday evening, reports surfaced that Jim Thome had agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Phillies. On the heels of that, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is now reporting that the Phillies are "in serious pursuit" of utility player Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer, 32, has played his entire 11-year career for the Twins. He's played everywhere except shortstop and catcher in a major-league game before (yes, he even has one inning on the hill under his belt), but he's best used at the corner outfield spots or first base. Team that with the fact that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and left fielder Raul Ibanez is a free agent, and Cuddyer appears to be a perfect fit. He could fill in at first base while Howard recovers, if Thome can't handle the position defensively (which is a decent bet), or serve as the everyday left fielder throughout the season.

Cuddyer made the All-Star team for the first time in 2011. He hit .284 with 20 home runs, 70 RBI, 70 runs, 11 stolen bases and an .805 OPS. He has the reputation as a high-character player and would absolutely be a fit for the Phillies. Oh, and if it matters, word is that Cuddyer and Thome are good friends.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 4:33 pm
 

Jim Thome signs with Phillies

By Matt Snyder

Jim Thome spent three seasons in Philadelphia and now he's headed back for one more. He has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies, the team announced Saturday. The contract is worth $1.25 million.

One would expect Thome's role to simply be a left-handed power bat off the bench, as he hasn't played more than a three games in the field in a season since 2005. General manager Ruben Amaro said as much after the signing:

“We’re very happy to be able to bring Jim back to Philadelphia at this point in his career,” said Amaro in a statement.  “He will be an option for Charlie to use off the bench each night and brings a great attitude to the ballpark every day.”

Other than a symbolic appearance at third base to end the 2011 season, he's been either a designated hitter or pinch hitter since 2007.

The interesting thing here is that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is recovering from surgery that repaired his torn Achilles tendon shortly after the Phillies lost to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS (Howard suffered the injury on the final out). Reports have indicated Howard could make it back by opening day but he's going to have to avoid any setbacks and that the timetable still seems pretty aggressive. So perhaps the Phillies try to use Thome at first in the early weeks of the season? It all depends on how much they want his bat in the lineup in comparison with how much defense they're willing to sacrifice. Thome has said that he's going to come prepared to play defense when he reports to camp this spring.

Thome, 41, became just the eighth man in baseball history to slug at least 600 career home runs when he hit No. 600 this past season as a member of the Twins. He was then traded to the Indians -- where he began his career -- in late August. Thome was with the Phillies from 2003-05, but he was only the full-time starter for the first two years. By the third year, Howard had taken over as the starter at first base as Thome battled injuries -- clearing the way for the Phillies to trade Thome to the White Sox after the season. Still, Thome definitely likes the organization.

"Every player sees the way the Phillies have done things," Thome said. "They've set the bar very, very high."

And his relationship with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is really solid.

"Everyone knows my relationship with Jimmy," Manuel said. "But he's not here because of that. He's here to contribute to our team in a positive way, both on and off the field."

The 2012 season will be the 22nd of Thome's illustrious career. He played in the World Series in 1995 and 1997, but still doesn't have a ring. Winning the World Series would seem to fill the only void left in Thome's career.

RELATED: Phillies reportedly "in serious pursuit" of Cuddyer

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

By Matt Snyder

After the Jayson Werth signing last season, we know the Washington Nationals aren't shy about throwing around big bucks in free agency. And just in case you aren't convinced, consider that Ted Lerner is the richest owner in baseball. So it shouldn't be a shock if the Nationals are in on some of the bigger names in the free agent market. Thus, the Friday afternoon rumor -- via Bill Ladson of MLB.com -- that they're interested in former Astros and Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt should come as no surprise.

The Nationals already have four spots on their rotation filled, assuming everyone is healthy and there are no trades involving the foursome of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang. According to Ladson's report, general manager Mike Rizzo wants to add a veteran to sit atop the rotation.

"The type of pitcher we are looking for is a good leader-type of guy that throws a lot of innings, has shown that he can win in the big leagues and really lead our staff," Rizzo said without mentioning any names (MLB.com). "It's not by having the best stuff on the staff, but showing how to be a professional, how to be a winner, how to pitch 200 innings in a season many, many times in a career. That's kind of the guy we are looking for."

Hot Stove Season
The Nats can easily fill the final rotation spot from within the organization if they so choose. Young pitchers with pretty good potential like Ross Detwiler, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock would be legitimate options, but it appears Rizzo doesn't want to wait. After a third-place finish -- the best-ever for the Washington Nationals -- he appears ready to become a contender. And, again, factor in the deep pockets of Lerner. Why take the chance on a youngster when they could just overpay for a proven veteran? Oswalt could fit. He might not be an ace anymore, but Strasburg as a two, Zimmermann as a three, and Lannon/Wang as the four/five guys looks like a pretty deep rotation.

Oswalt, 34, was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139 innings in 2011. He battled back issues and also had a family issue at one point (when a tornado ravaged his hometown). He had thrown at least 208 innings in seven of the previous nine seasons.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com