December 2010

Just want to take the time to say…

A very belated Merry Christmas to
everyone.

Wait, J.C. is back?

The Phils have announced that they have made a one-year deal, pending his passing a physical, with J.C. Romero, for an undisclosed amount of cash.

J.C. Romero, whom the Phils had let go earlier in the off-season, had spent the last three plus seasons (2007-10) with the Phils, going 6-6 with 4 saves and a 2.60 ERA, as he appeared in 213 games, pitching in 148.2 innings, giving up 99 hits and 46 runs, 41 of which were earned, and walking 105 batters, while striking out 123. Last year, in 60 games pitched, he recorded a 1-0 record with 3 saves and a 3.68 ERA, as he pitched 36.2 innings, giving up 30 hits and 17 runs, 15 of which were earned, as he walked 29 batters, while striking out 28.

If he passes the physical, its obvious that the Phils will once again use him as their situational lefty out of the bullpen, hoping that he’ll bounce back from his injuries in 2009-10. I just hope the Phils know what they’re doing.

The deal with Dennys has been called off. What?

The Phils have announced that their $1.1 million deal with Dennys Reyes has been called off, due to a snag, (maybe he didn’t pass his physical?) and he is now back on the Free Agent market.

What this means is that the Phils are once again looking for a main lefty out of the bullpen, to go along with the right handed bat to protect Ryan Howard in the line-up. Great.

I don’t know what caused this, but it if was because Reyes was not fit, I would prefer that it was known now instead of being found out at some point during the regular season, or spring training for that matter.

Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board with the bullpen. But, with the four headed monster of a starting staff, it might not be as bad as it looks right now.

Three Phils win four Gibby awards, as voted by the fans.

Three Phils have received four Greatness in Baseball Yearly or Gibby Awards, as voted by the fans.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz received the Gibby for X-Factor of the Year, because of the way he handled the Phils’ pitching staff in 2010. Roy Oswalt received the Gibby for the Oddity of the Year, as he became the first Phil pitcher, since Brian Wilson in 1971, to play a field position, as he played left field during an extra-inning game against his old Astros team on August 26, 2010. And the final two Gibbies that were won by a Phil went to Roy Hallady, as he was voted the Starting Pitcher of the Year for his record of 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, which included his perfect game performance against the Florida Marlins and for the Postseason Moment of the Year for his No-Hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010.

Dear Santa…

I don’t ask for much, but this is what I want you to give the Phils for 2011:

1) A right-handed outfield bat to help protect Howard in the line-up before the regular season starts (If Ruben can get one before the trade deadline in August, that’ll be fine);

2) More than 101 wins during the regular season;

3) Two 20 game winners (Halladay and Lee, if that’s possible);

4) An MVP for Utley (about time he got one);

and 5) the Phils getting their third World Series Championship.

That’s all I want. Thank you.

He’s bbbbbaaaaaccckkkkk!!!! Phils get back Cliff Lee!

In a move that came completely out of the blue, the Phils have just signed free agent Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract, with a vesting option for a sixth year, beating the New York Yankees, who had offered Lee a six-year deal worth $135 million, with a vesting option for a seventh year, and the Texas Rangers, who had offered him a six-year deal worth $138 million, and with a vesting option for a seventh season. With this move, Lee returns to Philadelphia, after having been traded by the Phils to the Seattle Mariners, almost a year ago, giving the Phils a starting rotation that now have four aces (Lee, NL Cy Young Award Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), that will be haunting the NL, especially the NL East, for at least a year (depending on whether Hamels will be resigned after the season, and if Oswalt decides not to retire after 2012.).

Lee, in 2010, as he pitched for first the Mariners, then the Rangers, went 12-9 with an ERA of 3.18, as he started in 28 games, pitching 212.1 innings, throwing seven complete games, including a shut out, as he struck out 185 batters, while walking only eighteen during the season. In the post-season, he helped pitched the Rangers into their first World Series appearance, before falling to the 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants, as he went 3-2 overall for the Rangers.

The Phils will more than likely have to trade someone(s) to help them better afford their move. There is already rumors flying around that they have been trying to ship off Joe Blanton and or Raul Ibanez as a salary dump, with them willing to pay for part of Blanton’s salary to move him. I do not know if any of them is true, but, if they need to move someone, it should be Kyle Kendrick, not Blanton. After all, Blanton has been a bit more consistant, pitching wise, than has Kendrick, and he would be a lot better backup to the now Big Four than might Kendrick. Whatever does happen, I hope Ruben will know what he’s doing, although there does seem to be some method to his madness.

While I was taking a short break…

It seems that several things had occurred as far as the Phils are concerned.

First, on December 2, the Phils tendered contracts to outfielder Ben Francisco and pitcher Kyle Kendrick to keep them from becoming free agents. Kyle Kendrick will likely be fighting with Vance Worley for the fifth starter’s spot during spring training, while Francisco will be involved in a platoon situation with Dom Brown, as…

on the following Sunday, December 5, it was announced that Jayson Werth had signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Although he was expected to leave, Jayson’s signing with another team within the NL East came as a complete surprise to everyone, including Phils manager Charlie Manuel, as everyone had expected him to sign with an AL team, like the Red Sox or the Tigers. Well, Jayson, congrats on the money, but be prepared for a lot of boos, after being given some respectful cheers the first time you come to town in a Nat uniform. (The Nats? I hope you know what you’re doing Jayson.) As for the Phils’ compensation in draft picks, they will get a player in the draft between the first and second rounds, and then a player from the second round, as the Nats’ first round pick did not fall among the first 15 players of the draft.

The next day, December 6, the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee announced that it had elected ex-Phil General Manager Pat Gillick (2005-2008) to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gillick, who was also the GM for the Blue Jays, who won World Series Championships in 1992-1993, to go along with the Phils’ 2008 World Series Championship, as well as being the GM for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners, in 27 years as a GM, had 11 teams enter the post-season.

The next day, December 7, it was announced that journalist Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News (also formerly on the Philadelphia Bulletin) will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the BBWAA, for 50 years of meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He will be given the award during the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, NY, on July 25, 2011.

Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had signed former Cardinal relief pitcher Dennys Reyes to a one year deal for $1.1 million, with a $1.35 million option for 2012. Reyes, who has pitched in the major leagues for fourteen seasons out of the bullpen, will be joining his eleventh team when he joins the Phils, as he finished 2010 with a 3-1 record with an ERA of  3.55, as he pitched in 59 games, with a save, as he struck out 25 batters, while walking 21. The Phils will likely be using him as their left handed specialist out of the bullpen, to compliment Antonio Bastardo.

On the 9th, the Phils took three players in the Rule 5 Draft, with the first one, Michael Martinez, an infielder, coming from the Nats organization, via their Syracuse Triple-A affiliate. Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. jokingly commented that picking him up was the Phils way of getting back at the Nats for taking Jayson. (I just hope the last laugh ain’t on the Phils with this one.) The Phils would also pick up Chris Frey from the Rockies organization and Justin Friend from the A’s in the minor league part of the Rule 5 Draft. I guess it’ll be a while before we see if any of these guys pan out with the Phils.

Also during the week, the Phils brought Dom Brown back from the Dominican League, as they did not think that he was getting the seasoning that they thought he would need to be ready for spring training. Instead, they plan to do it during spring training itself, to get him ready for the regular season.

Lastly, the Phils had announced on Saturday that shortstop Jimmy Rollins had on Thursday  undergone minor surgery on his left wrist. They also announced that he should be able to participate in spring training next year.

Jayson Werth has declined arbitration.

As has been expected, Jayson Werth have declined accepting arbitration from the Phils, meaning that he is still on the free agent market. Although the Phils will continue trying to sign him (hopefully to an at least three-year deal) contract, if they are unable to do so, they will now be compensated by two future draft picks from whoever does sign him in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, one from the first round, and a sandwich pick between the first and second round, since he is a class-A player.

Well, I guess it is all but a foregone conclusion that Jayson will not be with the ball club in 2011 and beyond. Anyway, wherever you go, Jayson, I wish you luck. Unless you’re playing against the Phils, that is. ;)

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