Posts Tagged ‘Boston Red Sox’

Is Cole Hamels The Prize Of The Deadline?

July 21st, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Is Cole Hamels The Prize Of The Deadline? | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Will the Cole Hamels’ next start in Chicago be for or against the Phillies?

Every year, whether it be at the GM Winter Meetings or the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, there’s always that one big name that holds up the rest of the market. This summer is no different and it very well could be Cole Hamels that has become “that guy“. Sure there are sexier names like David Price and Johnny Cueto available, but ultimately they are bigger overpays. First of all, they are rentals. Outside of the Cubs trading for Price, I highly doubt either pitcher will start 2016 with the team they end 2015 with. Second of all, they would be no doubt about it Qualifying Offer candidates, meaning that if they were to stay with their current team and no sign a one-year tender and sign with another team, the current team would be entitled to draft pick compensation in next year’s draft. That being said, the Reds and Tigers are going to be looking for a package that includes additional compensation for losing that draft pick.

The next tier includes guys like Mike Leake, Ian Kennedy, James Shields, and Jeff Samardzija. None are a bad pitcher, but none are tried and tested aces. In fact, not even Price or Cueto have the playoff pedigree that Hamels has. Do I doubt that many teams look to the second tier guys for depth? Any team in the playoff hunt would be crazy not to. Any of these pitchers could easily be an upgrade over what a team currently has, but are any of them worthy of being that go to guy in a one game playoff? They’d definitely keep you in the game, but probably won’t win it for you like Hamels can.

So let’s be honest, there are probably some sleeper teams out there looking at the long-term that don’t get discussed in the “Hamels Sweepstakes”, but the ones most discussed about are the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers, and Orioles. Right off the top, I’d cross off the Orioles just based on the fact that they don’t have much to offer in return. Sure teams like the Pirates, Astros, and Blue Jays have kicked the tires on Hamels, but that seems to be just due diligence. I could be dead wrong, but I highly doubt he ends up in any of those uniforms. I’d probably cross off the Dodgers as well. They have two things going against them. One is that they appear to be trying to pull the “I’m gonna low-ball you an offer just because I’m willing to eat all the remaining contract” card. The other is that, in my opinion, no team is going to trade you a top 30 ranked prospect in all of baseball. So that probably means no Seager and no Urias. Which I’m okay with. Both are great and I wouldn’t say no to either one, but I’m excited with what the Phillies have in those positions.

While in the off-season, my main destination was clearly the Red Sox, my in season target has been slowly drifting towards the Chicago Cubs. With Miguel Montero’s recent injury, I don’t know what the availability of Kyle Schwarber would be, but he’d be my center piece around Mark Zagunis and Billy McKinney. The deal may have to expand due to Chicago’s need behind the dish (Carlos Ruiz anyone?) or involve a third team. Either way, the Phillies need to get this one right.

What if the Phillies don’t end up moving Hamels? Well, simply put, they’d have an increasingly hard time moving him before next July 31st to gain a proper value. With Cueto and Price basically guaranteed to be moved, they’d be the prizes of the offseason with guys like Jordan Zimmermann and  Zack Greinke not falling too far behind. Yeah all of those guys, would cost a lot of years and money, but that’s all they would cost. Not a large contract AND prospects to boot. So at best, Hamels would be the 5th most desirable pitcher this winter.

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“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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Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works

April 28th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports

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It’s been the worst-kept secret in baseball, that the Phillies are in a rebuild mode. Through trading veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd, to making guys like Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon available, Ruben Amaro is trying to make a last-ditch effort to save his job. The season has gotten off to a rocky start both on and off the field, as the trade market for the Phillies have fallen flat. Well, the Phillies luck may be changing.

On Monday afternoon, Nick Cafardo made mention in his article on www.bostonglobe.com, that the Phillies were attempting to get Boston back on the hook for their former brother Jonathan Papelbon.  Cafardo was quoted as saying “Right now, and it may change, we’re not sure the Red Sox have a closer they can depend on. Koji Uehara’s velocity is down about 3 miles per hour across the board with his splitter and fastball. The Phillies are trying to hook the Red Sox on bringing back Jonathan Papelbon.”

This makes sense for both squads on many levels.  Starting with Boston, it helps makes the Red Sox a better team.  First off , Papelbon is not only better than Uehara (even if it’s by a slight margin), but he also solidifies the position better than Uehara would. Secondly, Pap had his best seasons up in “Beantown”. In six seasons as a Red Sox, Papelbon tallied 219 total saves, and averaged a 2.33 ERA over that span.  His strikeout/per-9 inning rate was 10.7 , which is over 1 point higher than his average over three seasons in Philly.

Next, we move to how it would benefit the Phillies.  For starters, they would be clearing an insane amount of money off of their payroll, by removing Papelbon’s $13 Million salary. This would give the Phils more payroll flexibility, and further establish their rebuild.  It would also help pave a clear path for young stud Ken Giles to rise to stardom. Giles has proven many times last season, that he has the stuff of a future elite closer.  Giles would’ve likely served as the Phils closer from opening day, had it not been for Papelbon blocking his path.  A trade would be hugely beneficial to the career of Giles.

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Philadelphia Sports: Phillies Home Opener

April 7th, 2015 by Leo | Comments Off on Philadelphia Sports: Phillies Home Opener | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Well, yesterday was the start of the Phillies season and the home opener this year was against the Boston Red Sox.  It was a beautiful day down at Citizens Bank Park and tons of fans came down to tailgate and celebrate another season of Phillies baseball.  TalkSportsPhilly was on hand  to capture some of the highlights of the day’s festivities, photos are at the bottom of this article.

Unfortunately the Phillies didn’t provide a game suitable to the beautiful weather.  In fact, Boston creamed them in the opener 8-0.  Cole Hamels was on the mound and gave up 4 solo home runs, only the second time in his career in which that happened.  On the other side of the mound Buchholz didn’t allow any runs, only gave up 3 hits and recorded 9 strike outs.  The Phils just did not show up to play and we are hoping for a better game Wednesday night when they play Boston again.

philliesopenerboxscorePhillies Home Opener Photos:

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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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Let The Awkwardness Begin

February 19th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Let The Awkwardness Begin | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

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The circus is rolling into town and we’re officially previewing the entertainment. Cole Hamels has all but asked to leave Philadelphia. He spoke to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and was quoted, “I want to go to a place where I can win again” and “I know it’s not going to happen here.” It truly isn’t amazing how much Amaro has been able to blunder this offseason up. From publicly announcing on sports talk radio that the Phillies would be better off without Ryan Howard to the whole Hamels debacle to just the overall inability properly rebuild initiate a rebuild. The only silver lining to all of this is further proof that the Phillies HAVE to remove Amaro from power by season’s end, if not sooner.

Peter Gammons also recently chimed in on the Red Sox-Phillies rumors, stating that short of the Red Sox pitching situation changing, the Phillies are going to have to reconsider their stance on subsidizing a part of Hamels’ contract. Which is was an expected outcome to everyone outside of the Phillies. Even back at the Winter Meetings, Ken Rosenthal was on MLB Network stating that no matter what the Phillies thought Hamels’ value is, his value is only what other teams are willing to give. As I’ve stated before, if the Phillies are content holding Hamels to the trade deadline, then they should be content in subsidizing $15M at the minimum.

The best part is, this is just the beginning. Hamels is gonna keep getting asked similar questions. Ryan Howard is going to be asked about Amaro’s comments. Jonathan Papelbon will be Jonathan Papelbon. So Spring Training is definitely going to be a three-ring circus and Ruben Amaro will be the ringmaster.

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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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