Tag:Phillies
Posted on: July 16, 2010 6:50 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 7:38 pm
 

Wigginton, Tejada could be on the move


Several teams are calling the Orioles about Ty Wigginton, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec writes , including the Phillies and Rangers.

Zrbiec writes the Orioles and Phillies have been discussing a Wigginton trade for weeks, but that Philadelphia is also interested in Miguel Tejada. Either Wigginton or Tejada could play third if Placido Polanco is playing second for Chase Utley.

The Rangers have a scout at Camden Yards for Friday's game and could use Wigginton as a first-base platoon with Chris Davis.

The Yankees are also said to have interest in Wigginton.

Wigginton and Tejada are both free agents after the season, with Tejada being paid $6 million this year and Wigginton in the second year of a two-year, $6 million deal.

The fact both are rental players, means the Orioles won't get too much in return, with Zrebiec speculating Baltimore could "do well to get two mid-level prospects" for their lone All-Star.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 14, 2010 11:31 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 11:14 am
 

Nine questions for second half

The first half is in the books, and the NL has home-field advantage in the World Series. Now, all that's left is finding out who changes zip codes at the trade deadline and which teams are left standing in October.

Below are nine questions for the second half to answer ...

Are the Padres for real?

The Padres are currently in first place with a 51-37 record, two games ahead of the Dodgers. However, they're doing so on luck, ranking 22nd in runs scored and with a MLB-leading 3.27 ERA. Their 3.81 xFIP suggest there's plenty of regression to be had, and while that xFIP also tops the league, it's the third biggest disparity in the bigs. And San Diego cannot afford regression in its strength. To stay on top, additional help needs to be brought in. Other questions include the surging White Sox, the sexy-sleeper-who-wasn't-supposed-to-be-this-good Reds and the Mets, who will be bolstered by the addition of Carlos Beltran.

Who will be the biggest name traded at the deadline?

There's always a surprise in store, but the early favorite is Florida's Dan Uggla. The Marlins are sliding out of the pennant race and have a second-baseman making $8 million for the penny-pinchers. Uggla will be a nice commodity as he remains under team control for 2011 is having yet another strong season. The Rockies are closely linked to Uggla, but he could end up on any team -- including suitors who may be eyeing him for third base. Don't rule out Adam Dunn being shipped; the White Sox would love to add him to the fold.

Can the Red Sox and Phillies stay afloat?

Boston and Philadelphia have been rocked by injuries, and while plenty of players have stepped in admirably, one can only get by for so long with replacement parts before feeling the sting. One benefit to players going down with injuries is that both teams will eventually be bolstered by returns, but until then, one of three things will happen: 1) Most players will play over their head, 2) Everyone will begin playing to their true level and 3) Trades to bring in complementary pieces will happen. Going with No. 1 is the most foolhardy thing one could do.

Who will be the next impact player from the minor leagues?

There's been a ton of graduations from Triple-A to the majors lately, and that doesn't figure to change in the second half. Domonic Brown could give the Phillies some offense, while Desmond Jennings could do the same for the Rays. How about Aroldis Chapman coming out of the bullpen breathing fire for the Reds or Jeremy Hellickson strengthening the Rays rotation? Could Brett Wallace help usher in a new era in Toronto alongside new shortstop Yunel Escobar? Or will the promotion of Chris Sale to Triple-A serve as a harbinger for a major-league promotion to help the White Sox stay atop the AL Central?

Are the Orioles this bad?

While the O's were overrated entering the year, no one could have expected a 29-59 record at the All-Star break. Now that they have gotten rid of the chaff (goodbye, Garrett Atkins) and are on the verge of getting Felix Pie back, they should play significantly better to the point where it's questionable if they end up with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011's amateur draft. (Key word: Should.) Cleveland and Pittsburgh have better chances of playing worse than Baltimore. It's hard to imagine the O's remaining pathetic, but in a division where the No. 4 team has a 44-45 record, the going will be tough. Another storyline to follow with the Orioles is who the new manager will be -- all indications point to Buck Showalter.

Will Bryce Harper sign with the Nationals?

The signing deadline for prospects is August 16, and many signings will take place around that time. It's hard to imagine Harper turning down an opportunity to get into pro ball right away -- after all, every move of his to date has been with that goal in mind. For Washington's part, there's been a ton of good feelings surrounding the team lately. By failing to sign another young phenom, the Nats' armor would be dented. The move makes too much sense for both sides. The Pirates should ink Jameson Taillon, but can the Dodgers prove everyone wrong that the selection of Zach Lee wasn't motivated by finances? Lee is considered virtually unsignable, and the Dodgers have money woes. Probably not, but it will be just as intriguing a storyline as Harper's decision.

Can anyone hit 40 home runs?

Currently, Jose Bautista leads the majors in homers with 24. He's on pace to end up with 44, but regression to the mean figures to hit Bautista severely in the second half. Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto all rank second with 22, and all have excellent chances of cracking 40 -- but it's far from certain. And if Albert Pujols can get hot -- he's on pace for just his third season with an OPS under 1.000 out of 10 -- watch out. The best chance of anyone? Dunn, if he goes to the White Sox or another park kind to big boppers.

Can the Year of the Pitcher continue?

There have been two no-hitters and two official perfect games (one unofficial) so far on the year. It's an unheard of mark, and will be fascinating to see if the trend can continue. There are plenty of quality pitchers on the mound and hitters have looked overmatched all year long. Which is why baseball could very well see someone not hit 40 home runs in a season. Keep your eye on this list -- one of those may be celebrating on a mound near you.

Pay attention to Josh Johnson of the Marlins as well, who has a scant 1.70 ERA and would be the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2005 (1.87) to have an ERA below 2.00 if he keeps this up.

Who will win the playoff races?

The AL East has quite the three-way battle brewing between the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox. Two are certain to get into the playoffs thanks to the wild card. One will be playing golf in October. While the Red Sox are currently in third place, more advanced standings suggest Boston should be in second place, while the Yankees are just a few key injuries away from their older and productive stars from tumbling off a cliff. The White Sox, Tigers and Twins are locked in their own-three way battle. And don't count the Angels out of the West just yet.

Over in the NL, Atlanta has a nice lead, but the Mets and Phillies refuse to die, the Central has what promises to be an entertaining seesaw battle between the Cardinals and Reds, and the NL West is anyone's game -- well, except for the Diamondbacks. Will a Game 163 be played again this year? With so many tight races, the odds are strong.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 11, 2010 7:09 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 8:08 pm
 

Top Phillies prospect leaves Futures Game

Domonic Brown, the top prospect in the Phillies organization and one of the best prospects in the game, left the Futures Game after feeling tightness in his hamstring. According to the telecast, Brown, an outfielder, felt the discomfort when coming out of the box on an infield single in the first inning. Brown went on to take two more bases at full speed.

Sounds like coaches took him out as a precaution -- the last thing they want to do is get a prospect hurt unnecessarily -- and that it's not going to be a big deal.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Category: MLB
Tags: Phillies
 
Posted on: July 9, 2010 10:19 am
 

AL East teams covet Werth


If the Phillies falter, the American League East is interested in Jayson Werth, the New York Post 's George A. King III reports .

According to the report, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays have all told the Phillies they'd be interested in the outfielder.

The Phillies are 44-40 and 5 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Werth would fill needs for all three teams, but won't come cheap. For the Phillies to concede, it may take a large bounty to make it worthwhile. He can play both corner outfield slots and going to the American League, he'd be able to DH as well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 5:24 pm
 

Four sent scouts to see Oswalt's gem


The other high-profile pitcher on the market, Roy Oswalt, is garnering plenty of attention for his start against the Pirates.

MLB.com's Brian Taggert tweets that scouts from the Dodgers, Phillies, Rays and Mets were in Houston to watch Oswalt. Oswalt didn't disappoint, throwing a complete-game one-hitter. He struck out eight and walked two.

Oswalt still has hefty pricetag in a $16 million contract for next season and a club option on another $16 for 2012, plus the remainder of $15 million left on his contract for this season.

That could be an impediment for the Dodgers and Mets, while the Rays' owner, Stuart Sternburg, has said he'll take on more payroll, but they seem to need a bat more than a starter.

The Phillies seem to be wondering if they're going to sell -- rumors swirl that they're shopping Jayson Werth, a free agent after the season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Category: MLB
Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:23 pm
 

Ranking the suitors for Lee


Cliff Lee Is your team in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes?

Chances are -- unless you're a Pirates or Orioles fan, the answer is yes.

An anonymous source tells Newsday's Ken Davidoff that "pretty much every team within five games of the playoffs" has called the Mariners about Lee.

So, if you're counting, that's 17 teams, nine National League squads and eight American League clubs.

Besides the whole 15 games under .500 thing, Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik must feel like the prettiest girl in school.

This is far from a final list, and I could be completely wrong -- but here's a listing of the possibilities in some semblance of an order. Feel free to offer your own favorites.

1. Twins -- still a good possibility, they've got the desire, the prospects (Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks) and with a new ballpark, they also have an influx of cash and urgency to do something special. With Lee, we could have some postseason snow-outs.

2. Mets -- the other New York team is always out there trying too hard -- like your one friend who gets a little too dressed up and has that extra spray (or four) of cologne when you go out. Sadly, he always seems to strike out.

3. Reds -- never underestimate the desire of an owner to make a splash. Bob Castellini is an emotional owner and believes firmly in his town's desire to see a winner and ultimately support it. If the Mariners want corner prospects, the Reds could dangle Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco -- blocked by Joey Votto and Scott Rolen's three-year extension, respectively. There's also Todd Frazier, who can play about anywhere, and pitchers Matt Maloney and Travis Wood, who could be added to the rotation right away.

4. Rangers -- they're not as long of a long shot as you might think. Lee's not about money. It's about prospects, and Justin Smoak is a prospect that would fit perfectly. Roy Oswalt would be costly; Lee is only $4 million for the rest of the season. If money's still an issue, they could sweeten the pot with another prospect. MLB -- the organization -- has a vested interest in the Rangers and they'd likely loan the Rangers the money to make it work. A Rangers team in the playoffs is more valuable to a bidder than one that breaks down in August.

5. Yankees -- the team could go get him, but why rent him now and give up prospects when you've still got a good shot at winning and will just buy him in the offseason, anyway. That way you keep the prospects. But with the Yankees, you've always got to have them in the discussion. They're a courtesy top five, due to the fact they're the Yankees.

6. Rays -- pitching depth isn't a problem in this system, but they have a potential impact bat in B.J. Upton, and a serviceable catcher in Dioner Navarro. A Lee-David Price front of the rotation could be lights-out in a short series.

7. Phillies -- yeah, the Phillies could add the former Phillie, but it would likely cost them Domonic Brown -- who GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn't give up for Roy Halladay. The desire is there, but the prospects may not be.

8. White Sox -- the news on Jake Peavy makes them the highest-riser on the list, plus GM Kenny Williams loves to make a splash, and this would certainly qualify.

9. Cardinals -- despite needs to fill out their rotation, the Cardinals are reportedly looking for bats more than arms. Still, it's tempting to think of a playoff rotation of Lee, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- that would make them a favorite based on "the great" Albert Pujols' offense alone.

10. Tigers -- Detroit could use him, that's for sure. GM Dave Dombrowski has never shied away from a big deal, but it's unclear whether Detroit has the juice in either prospects or cash to get it done.

11. Red Sox -- a lot of needs with all their injures, Lee would be a luxury -- not that they haven't indulged in those in the past.

12. Braves -- Atlanta could certainly use Lee -- who couldn't? -- but they don't seem like a fit in either needs or assets. The Braves, more likely will be crossing their fingers that Lee doesn't land in the NL East, which is still up for grabs.

13. Rockies -- they are more likely to fine-tune than to do anything big. GM Dan O'Dowd has prized prospects and is unlikely to mortgage the future for a rent-a-player.

14. Padres -- sure, they're broke and they're pitching well, but there is some reason here. 1. Owner Jeff Moorad has said he'll deal for an arm if he can, and 2. most of the Padres arms are young arms. Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard may not only tire down the stretch, Latos, at least, is on an innings count of 150 to 180 and he's already an out away from 100 innings on the season.

15. Giants -- looking for bats, not arms.

16. Angels -- ditto.

17. Dodgers -- Jamie McCourt is unlikely to give any of her alimony to help Frank out.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:06 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:55 pm
 

Phillies scout Sheets

Ben Sheets Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies had "superscout" Charlie Kerfield take in a Ben Sheets start on Monday night.

Sheets has been a disappointment so far after signing a one-year, $10 million pact with the Athletics. Through 19 starts, Sheets has a 4.89 ERA and his xFIP at 4.45 isn't much better. On the bright side, Sheets is now due roughly $5 million for the remainder of the year and cobbled together a strong start against the Yankees by going 7 1/3 and giving up three runs with no walks and four whiffs.

Even though the Phillies are without Chase Utley and Placido Polanco on offense, GM Ruben Amaro wants to stay focused on pitching.

"I’m always more concerned about pitching," he said. "At the end of the daym our team should be able to handle some losses in the lineup. With the offensive talent we have, we should be able to absorb some losses. But you can never have enough pitching if you want to contend.

"For me, pitching [remains a priority] because we know our infielders will be back."

The Phillies need some rotation depth with J.A. Happ being optioned to the minors after having a poor rehab stint, Kyle Kendrick a fungible No. 5 starter and Joe Blanton struggling to turn his season around. Sheets wouldn't be a silver bullet, but would go a long way in stablizing the rotation in advance of a bullpen that is also struggling to cobble together any measure of consistency.

Then again, it's possible Philadelphia may be sellers at the trade deadline. It all depends how the team performs leading up to the trade deadline. The team is in danger of being swept by the Braves then has to deal with a four-game set against the Reds -- so whether they become buyers or sellers should be pretty clear soon.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2010 1:36 am
 

Phillies won't call up Brown unless he plays

Domonic Brown The Philadelphia Phillies are struggling, but they won't call up their top prospect to provide a shot in the arm.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that GM Ruben Amaro admitted Domonic Brown could help the team later this year, but wouldn't do so unless he plays every day.

Since the outfield is full-up with Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, that won't happen any time soon even though Brown, considered by many the best prospect in the game still in the minors, is banging on the door.

The youngster was recently promoted to Triple-A and has demolished that level to the tune of a .405/.435/.762 line in 46 plate appearances, this after posting a .318/.391/.602 line in 271 PAs for Double-A.

There are three possibilities for Brown to join the team. The first is the most obvious: an injury to a starting outfielder. Brown would be the most logical player to step in, even ahead of backup Ben Francisco and Ross Gload.

Second would be if Raul Ibanez was benched. The veteran was inked to an inadvisable three-year deal prior to 2009. While he was one of the best first-half sluggers for the Phillies, since the second half of 2009 he's been poor. However, Ibanez isn't at the point where he should be benched, and likely won't be until 2011, if then.

That leaves the only remaining option being the departure of Jayson Werth. The Phillies currently are five games out of first and unless they go on a streak soon, will fall too far behind the Braves and Mets what with Chase Utley and Placido Polanco out. That could open up Werth to be dealt at the deadline, which would pave the way for Brown in right.

Otherwise, Brown will have to bide his time until 2011, at which point Werth will most likely have departed as a free agent. If, somehow, the Phillies pull off Werth staying in town, then Brown either becomes trade bait or -- most likely -- Ibanez is sent to the bench.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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