Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Cueto’

2015 Phillies Offseason Preview: Free Agent Pitchers

November 9th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on 2015 Phillies Offseason Preview: Free Agent Pitchers | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies, Sports

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An interesting off-season lies ahead…..

After one of the worst seasons in Phillies history, there has been a major overhaul in the front office. Andy McPhail has taken over as team president, Ruben Amaro is out as General Manager, and Matt Klentak is in. It’s a new era in Phillies baseball and there is a sudden buzz of excitement swarming over the Philadelphia baseball community.

Arguably the biggest buzz is surrounding the roster overhaul. This season saw the departures of two of the biggest stars that the Phillies have ever had, in Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. Both deals brought back a fair amount of talent, but that’s only part of the battle. There’s also the development of that talent, in addition to other youngsters, and any possible free agent additions that are brought in.

As demonstrated in other sports, not all free agent “splashes” turn out to be good ones. Hell, that’s even been prominent in baseball as of late (Hello, Pablo Sandoval!). So, while many fans are eager for the team to win sooner rather than later….they also need to understand that the Phils have to spend their money wisely. One wrong investment can set an organization back upwards of five years.

This off-season is arguably one of the more pivotal ones in this team’s history. Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are gone and off of the payroll. Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are the two lone Phillies originals from the ’08 World Series team left. The key to this off-season, is for the team to spend their money wisely, while focusing on the development of their prospects.

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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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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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