Posts Tagged ‘Blake Swihart’

“Hollywood” Stalemate

May 5th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on “Hollywood” Stalemate | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

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In the final week of April we found out who the four Cole Hamels candidates were (Cardinal, Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox). We now know that the ideal candidates are the Red Sox and Dodgers, primarily because they have the 2nd & 3rd best farm systems in the MLB, which is an area the Phillies clearly need to replenish.

Both teams can offer highly-touted outfielders and catchers, two areas the Phillies seem to be the most interested in retooling off the bat. All signs are pointing heavily in favor of the Sox because there are still talks in potentially packaging both Hamels and Red Sox ex-closer Jonathan Papelbon.

As mentioned the Sox starting rotation posted the league’s worst ERA in the month of April and continue to find themselves struggling, after being swept by their arch nemesis New York Yankees, this past weekend. Their current closer, Koji Uehara was off to a rough, has turned things around since the first two weeks, however it’s been reported that his velocity continues to decrease, and he also finds himself most likely in the final stages of his career after turning 40 years of age last month.

This may be the perfect opportunity for the Red Sox to re-unite with their highly coveted th (1)closer of the past, who is off to a stellar start. In ten attempts he has recorded five saves with an ERA of .087, 11 K’s and a WHIP of .0.77. Love him or hate him, he’s been phenomenal, unfortunately the Phillies as a whole have not.

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Hamels Watch: Contenders, Expectations

February 20th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Hamels Watch: Contenders, Expectations | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

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Every day that Cole Hamels remains a Phillie, is a game of Russian Roulette. The Phillies need to move what could potentially be the steal of the offseason. It’s garnering more and more national attention, especially after Hamels’ comments about wanting to play for a contender and Philly not being one. Yesterday, MLB.com’s Jim Duquette listed the Red Sox, Cardinals, Padres, and Cubs as the top contenders for acquiring Hamels. The Red Sox were still the favorite with the remaining interested but not seemingly holding him a priority.

To be perfectly honest, the worst thing that happened to Cole Hamels’ value was Billy Beane. Last summer, when Billy Beane sent Addison Russell to the Chicago Cubs as the center piece to a deal for Jeff Samardzija, Amaro immediately got his hopes up for acquiring a super elite prospect for Hamels. The truth is, basically any prospect that is in the top 30 of all players, should basically be forgotten. No on Swihart, Bryant, Russell, and possibly even Henry Owens, depending on your source material. It’s very rare that a top 30 prospect gets moved in any type of deal and for good reason. The risk is too high.

I’ve stated multiple times that with the state of the Phillies farm, they need to focus on a balance between quality and quantity. Instead of focusing on a top 25 ranked player, how about two top 100 ranked players with at least one being in the top 50? With the Red Sox, it’s apparent that Swihart and Betts are off limits, but why not start with Owens and Margot, add Vazquez and Cecchini, and if the Phillies don’t want subsidize any of Hamels’ contract, take back OF Allen Craig. That’s $26.5M guaranteed with an other $12M possible if the Phillies pick up his team option.

The Padres and Cubs seem to be out of the running, in my opinion. While Hedges is great defensively, he hasn’t proven he can be a starting major league caliber catcher. Renfroe hasn’t met a pitch he wouldn’t swing at. I understand why the Phillies balked at that offer. Asking for Bryant or Russell from the Cubs is laughable. Especially if the Phillies asked for the Cubs to pick up all of Hamels’ contract.  Soler is an attractive piece, but has yet to prove he can be healthy for an entire season.

So that leaves the Cardinals. Carlos Martinez definitely has the stuff to be in a major league rotation and St. Louis doesn’t seem to have a spot for him before trading for Hamels. However, Wacha and Wainwright are both coming off of injuries, so who’s to say Martinez doesn’t make that rotation out of necessity. I’d definitely look to center any deal with the Cardinals around Martinez and Piscotty. From there, if you could land a Reyes and/or Gonzales, I don’t see how you could say no.

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Blowing It

February 9th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Blowing It | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

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We finally got to the point where the Phillies saw what everyone else had known for years: it’s over. A rebuild was the only course of action. They finally realized they couldn’t buy their way out of the mess GM Ruben Amaro Jr had created. Long time Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd, and Antonio Bastardo were shipped off for the best returns imaginable (obviously team president Pat Gillick was heavily involved, if not solely responsible for these moves), but the Phillies best trade chip was staff ace Cole Hamels. The Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers, and Rangers were all publicly known to be interested in Hamels, but the Phillies asking price was reportedly astronomical. The Cardinals and Dodgers were looking for a luxury not a necessity and have apparently moved on. The Red Sox, Cubs, and Rangers all acquired pitching and now the Padres and James Shields have reportedly agreed to terms. While the Red Sox have kept in contact, they continue to shoot down all offers that include catching prospect Blake Swihart.

So where does that leave the Phillies? In the same place the Minnesota Twins were when they were in the process of moving staff ace Johan Santana. With suitors dropping left and right, the Phillies return gets worse and worse. Pitchers and catchers report in ten days and if the Phillies think they can just hold out until the trade deadline to move him, they’re setting themselves up for an even bigger let down. Other ace caliber pitchers David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Jordan Zimmermann could all be available at the deadline and will most likely be free agents next winter. God forbid Hamels gets bit by the injury bug in 2015, as that would completely derail the team rebuild. With each passing day, Amaro is risking not only his future, but the team’s as well. At some point Gillick needs to blow out Amaro before Amaro blows his opportunity to cash in his only chip.

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