Results tagged ‘ Contract Signings ’

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altheer and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. :-)

The Phils have made several changes towards the end of 2012, which they hope will lead them back into the payoffs in 2013.

Philadelphia_PhilliesFirst off, I would like to take the time to say, Happy New Year’s, folks. Second, sorry for the lack of posts, but, I got too busy with other things to get myself in gear to do new posts. But, I now got the time, and boy, do I have a lot to cover, as the Phils made some wheeling and dealing and small-scale free agent signings which they hope will put them into position to get back into the playoffs this upcoming October.

First, in the Rule Five Draft they picked up outfielder Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks, whom they hope will anchor centerfield in a few seasons, while drafting in the Triple-A Phase of the draft right-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty from the Kansas City Royals organization, while not losing a player to the draft.

On the same day, December 6, they made a trade with the Minnesota Twins, getting centerfielder Paul Revere, in exchange for minor league right-handed pitching prospect Trevor May and, coming as a complete surprise to most, right-handed starter Vance Worley. Revere, who appeared in 124 games for the Twins, batted .294 (150 for 511), hitting 13 doubles and 6 triples, as he scored 70 times, while knocking in 32. He had also stole 40 bases, ranking him third in the AL for 2012, being caught just 9 times. May spent 2012 pitching for the Reading Phillies (now the Fighting Phillies). Worley, who was placed on the disabled list towards the end of the 2012 season, before having an operation to remove bone chips from his elbow, would pitch in 23 games for the Phils before being shut down, all starts, as he collected a 6-9 record, with a 4.20 ERA and a WHIP of 1.51, as he pitched in 133 innings, giving up 154 hits and 69 runs, 62 of which were earned, as he struck out 107 batters, while walking only 47. Sorry to see you go, Vance, and I wish you luck in Minnesota, as long as you don’t pitch against the Phils. And, welcome to the team, Paul. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay here.

Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had made another trade, this one with the Texas Rangers, as they brought in Michael Young to take over duties at third base, in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Lisalverto Bonilla. Michael Young, who has also played first base, second base and shortstop, appeared in 156 games for the former American League Champs (2010-11) batting .277 (169 for 611), as he hit 27 doubles, 3 triples and 8 home runs during the season, knocking in 67 runs, while scoring 79 times. He also walked 33 times. Josh Lindblom, who had started the 2012 season pitching relief for the Los Angeles before being traded to the Phils as part of a trade involving Shane Victorino, appeared in 74 games for both clubs, all in relief, posting a combined record of 3-5 with one save in four save opportunities, as he fielded an ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.35. He pitched in 71 innings, allowing 61 hits and 31 runs to score, of which 28 were earned. He walked 35 batters while striking out 70. Bonilla spent 2012 pitching for Clearwater and then Reading in the Phils’ farm system. Welcome to the team, Michael. I hope that you can help the team via both your bat and your glove, especially the later, as it looks like you may not just be covering the hot corner of third base during the season.

After the two trades, the Phils then made a pair of minor free agent signings, both pitchers, one a reliever and the other a starter. First, they signed to a two-years, $12 million dollars contract, with relief pitcher Mike Adams, formerly of the Rangers, who will be acting as the eight-inning bridge to Jonathan Papelbon, as he plans to take over an inning that was a major problem for the ballclub all season long. For the Rangers, Adams pitched in 61 games, compiling a 5-3 record with a 3.27 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39, as well as collecting a save in two save attempts. He would pitch in 52 and a third innings, giving up 56 hits and 21 runs, 19 of which were earned, as he struck out 45 batters, while walking only 17. The Phils then signed former Washington Nationals’ starter John Lannan, who is to become the Phils’ fifth starter, to replace Worley in the rotation, to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million dollars. Lannan, who had spent his entire career with the Nats, before becoming a free agent, appeared in only six games last year, all of them starts, as he compiled a record of 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a WHIP of 1.44, as he pitched a total of 32 and two-thirds innings, giving up 33 hits and 15 runs, all earned. He struck out 17 batters, while walking 14. During his six seasons with the Nats, Lannan had a win-lost record of 42-52, as he compiled an ERA of 4.01 and a career WHIP of 1.42, as he pitched a total of 783 and two-thirds innings, while appearing in 134 games, all starts. He would give up a total of 820 hits, as opponents scored 393 times, with 349 of those runs being earned. He would strikeout a total of 410 batters, while walking just 296. Welcome to the ballclub, guys. I hope that you two were worth the money spent.

The Phils have during the month mention that they would like to add a veteran corner outfielder, either via free agent signing or another trade, but it looks like they have the club they want before they enter spring training next month. I’m just hoping this team will improve on their third place finish last year.

The Phils have come to an aggreement with both Cole Hamels and Wilson Valdez, avoiding arbitration with both.

Earlier today, the Phils have announced that Cole Hamels had earlier today signed a one-year contract worth $15 million dollars, thus avoiding arbitration. Hamels, who is the number three-man in the Phils’ starting rotation, in 2011 had a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA, as he pitched in 32 games, all but one of which was as a starter. He pitched in 216 innings, striking out 194 batters, while walking only 44. Hamels threw 10 complete, while pitching four shut outs. Carrer-wise, his record is 74-54 with an ERA of 3.39. Although he would become eligible to enter the free agent market after this season, it is hoped that at some point during the season that the Phils will sign Hamels to a multi-year extension. Let keep our fingers crossed on that people.

The Phils have also avoided arbitration with Wilson Valdez, who had signed a new contract for one season, worth $930,000. Valdez, who had played second base, third base and shortstop, last year appeared in 99 games, batting .249 (68 for 273), with 14 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home runs, while knocking in 30 runs.

That leaves just Hunter Pence to sign to a contract before both sides would have to face an arbitrator. I think that it can be done.

Recent News…

Since the last time I’d written something here, the Phils have come to terms with both Ben Francisco (January 15) for one year for $1.175 million dollars with performance bonuses and with Kyle Kendrick (January 18) for $2.45 million, also for one year, to avoid arbitration with both players, thus having all of their players signed up for at least one season. Last season, 2010, in 88 games (28 of which were starts), Francisco batted .268 (48 for 179), as he hit thirteen doubles and six home runs and knocked in 28 RBIs. He also went .282 pinch hitting (11-39), hitting three doubles and knocking in 7 RBIs. This season, Francisco will be used in a platoon with Dom Brown in right field to replace Jayson Werth, who had during the off-season signed a long term contract with the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, Kendrick last season pitched in 33 games (a career-high), 31 of which were starts, as he went 11-10 with an ERA of 4.73, as he pitched in 180.2 innings and struck out 84 batters (both career highs) while walking 49, who, depending on what the team might do, will either be their long man coming out of the bullpen, or fighting for the fifth starter spot with Vance Worley.

As the Phils prepare for the start of spring training next month in Clearwater, Florida, they are looking at their options, thanks to their present embarrassment of riches with their starting pitching staff, which at the moment consists of Roy Halladay (Ace), Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt (who at the moment are being nicknamed either the Four Aces, R2C2 or the Fantastic Four by the fans) and Joe Blanton, as they decide whether they really need to trade Kentucky Joe to another team that needs a good starter to help give them some salary flexibility, or to just keep Joe, and use him as their fifth starter, knowing that he so far have had a good track record pitching for the Phils during the two plus seasons since they’d gotten him from the Oakland A’s to help them down the stretch towards their 2008 World Series Championship. My opinion is that they should hang onto Blanton, unless he brings in a good righthanded bat that’ll help the team in the line-up. Either way, he would be helping the team, especially as the fifth starter, since he is presently seen as a good third or fourth starter on most teams.

Lastly, Charlie Manuel’s contract is coming up this season. Although it is more than likely that the Phils will give him an extension, Charlie had announced on WIP radio yesterday, when asked about it, that he would like a three year contract, and prefer that he signed the contract extension as soon as possible so that it won’t become a distraction for the ballclub during the season, although he does see himself as signing a contract at some point this season. Me, sign him up as soon as possible Ruben. Uncle Chuck seems to know what he’s doing with the players, and we all know that they like playing for him.

Arbitration? What’s that?

With the signing of Carlos Ruiz to a three-year contract worth $8.85 million dollars and the earlier signing of Shane Victorino to a three-year deal worth $22 million dollars, the Phils have signed all four players that were originally arbitration eligible.

Last Friday the Phils announced that they had signed their center fielder, Shane Victorino, to a three-year, $22 million dollars deal, which buys out the final two arbitration years and his first year of free agency. Victorino, who, in 2009, batted .292 with 39 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases, will be with the ballclub until 2012. He and the Phils both hope that he will build on his success in both 2008 and 2009.

Carlos’ deal involved three years worth $8.85 million dollars, with a fourth-year club option worth either $5 million dollars or a $500,000 buyout, plus performance incentives based on games started, pending a physical. As with Victorino, the signing take care of the remainder of his arbitration years plus, possibly, his first year of free agency. In 2009, Ruiz batted .255 with 43 RBIs and a career-high 9 home runs. Although he has batted .246 in four years with the Phils, he is a .303 hitter during the playoffs.

There is also a report that the Phils have signed Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies pitcher Jose Contreras to a one-year deal worth about $1 million dollars, to add him to the presently weak bullpen. Contreras, if he has been signed, will most likely be taking Chan Ho Park’s position in the bullpen as long reliever and spot starter. In 2009, for the White Sox and the Rockies, Contreras went 6-13 with an ERA of 4.92 in 28 games (23 starts), striking out 106 batters while walking 53 in 131 2/3 innings of work. Career-wise, he is 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA.

The Phillies have signed catchers Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to split contracts.

Phillies.com has just announced that the Phillies have just signed catchers Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to split contracts for the present season.

If either man makes the main team, Coste would receive $460,000, while Paulino would get $420,000. If either man is sent down to the minors, they would instead receive $249,000 and $201,330 respectively. This leaves only catcher Carlos Ruiz and lefthander Mike Zagurski, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow as the only men on the Phils 40-men roster who are presently unsigned.

With this move, the Phils could increase their payroll up to $132.5 million for Opening Day, including the $3 million still owed Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox, J.C. Romero, as he will be serving his 50-game suspension and Adam Eaton, whom the Phils will surely drop before spring training is over.

Not too bad. Hopefully the Phillies can leave Clearwater in late March with all of their players happy and well paid.

I knew it, I just knew it: Phillies signs Joe Blanton to a one-year, $5.475 million contract.

Yesterday, when I’d made a reply to Julia of Julia’s Rants about the Phils’ signing of Shane Victorino, I’d mentioned that when Phillies.com talked about what Ryan Howard was asking for and what the Phils said they were willing to give him, the article also mentioned the differences in pay amounts between Chad Durbin and Jayson Werth and the Phils, I told her that I’d noticed that there was not one word said about Joe Blanton, and I’d figured that something was going on, and I’d figured that it meant that the two sides were close to a deal. And, boy was I right, as Joe Blanton have signed an one-year, $5.475 million dollars deal with the Phils.

Blanton, whom the Phils got in a mid-season trade with the Oakland Athletics, had a record of 4-0, 4.20 ERA, in 13 starts for the Phillies, with a combined record of 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA for both the Phils and the A’s, while having a record of 2-0, with a 3.18 ERA in the post-season.

That means five down, with three to go, and I get the feeling that Werth and Durbin will be signing contracts in the next few days since there is very little difference in money amounts between the Phils and the two players. As for Howard, I see him going to arbitration. I just hope that I’m wrong.

What a day….

First, some good news. The Phillies yesterday made it official as they signed reliever Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to a one-year, $2.5 million dollars contract, to pitch for the Phils in 2009, after having past his physical. The right hander, who will be fighting for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation with Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, and minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco, but will more than likely be coming out of the bullpen, has pitched in 378 games, and starting in 280 of them, in a 15 years career as a major leaguer, with a record of 117 wins and 92 loses with an ERA of 4.34. For the 2008 Dodgers, he has appeared in 54 games, all but 5 of them coming out of the bullpen, going 4-4 on the year with a 3.40 ERA.

Later that day, the Phillies signed righthanded second baseman Marcus Giles to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training, for $600,000. Although signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2008, he was released by them before the start of the 2008 season. His last full season in the majors was in 2007, where he played for the San Diego Padres for 116 games, going 96 for 420 for a .229 average, knocking in 39 RBIs on 19 2Bs, 3 3Bs and 4 HRs, while scoring 52 runs. In three years in the majors, he has a career batting average of .277, knocking in 333 RBIs on 187 2Bs, 16 3Bs and 76 HRs, while scoring 468 runs. Giles will more than likely, if he makes the team in spring training, be used as the second baseman while Chase Utley continues to recover from hip surgery, and then be used as insurance at second base and their right handed bat off of the bench after Utley’s return.

Now, the bad news. J.C. Romero has been suspended by MLB for the first 50 games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy, inspite of the fact that he has done nothing wrong, while doing every thing that he could to avoid violating the policy, as he took an over-the-counter supplement, bought from a Cherry Hill GNC, that contain traces of a substance that is on the MLB’s do not take policy. My opinion is that this is just flat-out bogus.

Other folks elsewhere have already commented on this, and I’m just going to give my two cents. I consider Romero the victim of bad advice, being told that the new product that he had bought over-the-counter from GNC was at the time okay to take, as the player’s association has told him that everything bought from a nutrition store like GNC was okay, as well as being told by three different nutritionists that it was safe to use, but never being informed that there was actually an illegal substance in it, according to the Center for Drug Free Sports. He only realized that something was wrong when he was told that he had tested positive during a drug test done on him on Aug. 26 in Sept., before, if the time line is correct, being informed that he has failed again on September 19. Romero took immediate action, and stop taking all of his supplements, not know which one has caused the positive reading, thus rating a negative when he was tested again on October 1, before the playoffs, so that whatever was that was in his system has finally passed through. But, he was at the time offered a deal by major league baseball: Admit that you was wrong in taking it and take a 25 games suspension, effective immediately, or, take your chances with arbitration, lose and get a 50 games suspension. Romero, who honestly believe that he has done nothing wrong (as would anyone who is following this very carefully, and without any bias), told them no on the plea, and decided to take his chances with an arbitrator. Sadly, the arbitrator found in favor of MLB, and Romero is now out for 50 games.

This whole thing would be funny, if not for the fact that Romero had done everything he could to not be in this present situation, as he kept asking if the product was safe to use, as did the Yankees’ Sergio Mitre, who also bought an over-the-counter product from GNC, that has also gotten him into hot water, with the same results, and are both now being penalized, and having their good names dragged through the mud because of other people’s mistakes, because these same people have been burned by the steroid era of the 90s and the reaction from the U.S. Congress a few years back. (Yeah, yeah, I know a few of you out there are saying sour grapes, but please read all of the articles on this, before making knee jerk reactions. It took me over a day before I’d decided to write about this, and it was only after reading several articles and seeing the reactions to it on several other blogs, and, for the most part, I am reading that people, in general, think that the two of them are both getting a raw deal.) Yeah, you heard me. This is the MLB trying to tell Congress and the public, see, see, we’re cleaning up our act. Sorry, guys, but for you to convince me, you need to do a whole lot better than this, when it doesn’t look that you’re trying to kiss up to the U.S. Congress. You guys are pathetic.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the Phillies will take advantage of the situation. How? Remember people, Romero will be gone for 50 games, plus how many games he might miss trying to get back into the swing of things, if the Phillies don’t have him pitching in their minor league system to get himself ready. Romero will thus be fresh and ready to go when the second half grind start. I feel sorry for the batters JC’ll be facing if he decides to use it as an opportunity to defend his honor by taking it out on them for the rest of the year. :)

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