Results tagged ‘ Waivers ’
“Or a Stanley Cup,” the Canadian-born hockey fan said Saturday from Wrigley Field, where he joined his new Phillies teammates. “It depends on what uniform is on. When you get near the end of your [baseball] playing career, the sacrifices you make, you just want to get a ring and go from there.”
With his hockey career having ended in high school, Stairs embarked on a professional baseball vocation when he signed with the Expos on Jan. 17, 1989. Still playing at age 40, now for his 11th team, the Phillies give him a much better chance of reaching that goal than his former team, the Blue Jays.
“It’s tough leaving Toronto, being Canadian, but when they told me I was going to Philly, I was like, ‘Nice,'” said Stairs, who served as an assistant hockey coach for John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine, during the offseason. “[The Phillies] are a team in the hunt, in a park I enjoy playing in. There’s an opportunity to win, and whatever my role is, is fine.”
That role will mostly be pinch-hitting, though manager Charlie Manuel said he’ll work Stairs in at the corner outfield spots, especially against tough righties. The Phillies will assume the balance of Stairs’ $2.25 million salary for this season and $1 million for 2009. The Jays will receive a player to be named after the conclusion of the World Series, according to Phillies general manager Pat Gillick.
The Phillies had been looking for a left-handed bat since losing Geoff Jenkins on Aug. 23 to a strained right hip flexor, and there’s little chance he’ll return when eligible on Sept. 7. Philadelphia claimed Stairs off waivers, limiting the Blue Jays to one trading partner.
“We lost Jenkins and were short left-handed,” Gillick said. “Consequently, to get an experienced guy who can play some and hit off the bench can’t hurt. We had claimed him, so they either had to make a deal with us or keep him on the roster.”
Motivated by wanting to find a spot for top hitting prospect Travis Snider, Toronto quickly agreed with Philadelphia, but haggled over money and the quality of the player to be named.
None of this matters to Stairs, who has been part of two playoff teams, with Boston in 1995 and Oakland in 2000. He understands that staying loose is important during the final weeks.
“My approach is it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 games out or 100 games up,” Stairs said. “Every day and every at-bat, you have the same approach. At this point, you have to stay loose and have fun. I’ve been on teams before where you get in a race and everyone gets tight.”
Stairs said Thursday that he would’ve liked to finish his career with the Jays and “party down Yonge Street” if they won a World Series. He’ll just have to adjust.
“When you get to be my age, you don’t want to move around as much as I have,” said Stairs, who learned about Philadelphia from former Flyer Mark Recchi. “I’ll have to find a new street in Philadelphia and party down there, maybe look for Rocky Balboa and hang out there.”
Perhaps on Broad Street. (H/T Phillies.com)
So, the hold up was over money? Why am I not surprised. I’m just surprised the Phillies have decided to eat up the balance of Stairs’ contract. Either the idiots are desperate, or they’d finally decided to stop buying on the cheap and to start buying to win. Either way, this vet better help tp get this team moving forward to the playoff.
The only thing missing is the official press release. Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said Friday that he couldn’t comment, though sources have confirmed the acquisition of Stairs for an unidentified Minor Leaguer.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies would send left-hander Fabio Castro to Toronto. Castro, who is 8-4 with a 4.71 ERA this season at two Minor League levels, was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Friday’s game.
Philadelphia didn’t make a corresponding roster move, with a team spokesman saying one would be made before Saturday’s game.
“If you’re guessing that it could be in the state of Pennsylvania,” Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said, “I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong, but, I’m not going to tell you anything else.”
Ricciardi, speaking to reporters at Yankee Stadium before Friday’s Jays-Yankees game, adding that his club hoped to complete the trade by Saturday at the latest.
The Jays designated the 40-year-old Stairs for assignment Thursday to make room for top outfield prospect Travis Snider. The Phillies had been searching for a left-handed hitter off the bench, and intensified that search after potentially losing Geoff Jenkins for the season with a strained right hip flexor.
Stairs is hitting .250 this season with 11 homers and 44 RBIs, and is a career .279 pinch-hitter with 12 home runs. He could join the Phillies on Saturday.
One potential holdup could be money. Stairs signed a two-year deal for $3.25 million in November. He would earn what remains of his $2.25 million salary for this season and $1 million in 2009.
For Stairs to be eligible for Philadelphia’s postseason roster, he would have to be in the organization by midnight Aug. 31.
He would be the second player the Phillies plucked from another club’s waiver wire. Earlier this month, they landed lefty Scott Eyre from the Cubs for Minor Leaguer Brian Schlitter. In seven appearances for the Phils, Eyre has thrown eight scoreless innings. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, all I can say is I hope this guy’s bat will help this team, since they need help badly right now as far as the offense is concerned, especially with Geoff Jenkins possibly gone for the rest of the season. As for whether they have sealed the deal or not, just eat as much of the money he is own by the Blue Jays and get his butt over here. You want to win this division or not? I’m talking to you you silent morons. Just get it nailed down. NOW!!!!
That fresh start will come with the Phillies, who completed their search for an experienced second lefty reliever by acquiring Eyre from the Cubs for Minor League right-hander Brian Schlitter on Thursday.
“I asked how their bullpen was, and if they were just looking for guys, and they said, ‘No, we think you can still pitch,'” said Eyre, who will join the Phillies on Friday. “I said, ‘Great, I’m ready to go.'”
The 36-year-old Eyre appeared in 19 games for the Cubs this season because of stints on the disabled list for left elbow inflammation and a strained left groin, and worked only 11 1/3 innings. He’ll work in a situational role in the middle innings, and replace either Les Walrond or J.A. Happ on the roster.
After nine scoreless innings in his first 14 outings this season, Eyre fell out of favor with Cubs manager Lou Piniella when he allowed nine runs in five appearances, spanning 2 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday, giving the Cubs seven days to trade him or he would become a free agent. He packed up his family in his RV, parked outside of Chicago, and headed to his home in Bradenton, Fla.
Eyre will turn around and drive to Philadelphia from Valdosta, Ga., where the family had reached when informed of the deal. The Phillies will be his fifth team, after the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs.
The last time he was designated for assignment, on Aug. 5, 2002, the Giants claimed him. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 21 appearances with San Francisco, which reached the World Series that year.
The Phillies’ bullpen has thrown the third-fewest innings in the National League this season, a product of the starters tossing the fifth-most innings. Still, manager Charlie Manuel would like some relief for late-inning pitchers Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.
Lefties batted .259 (7-for-27) against Eyre this season, and have hit .244 against him in his career. In his past five seasons, Eyre has appeared in 317 games, the fourth-highest total among Major League lefties. Romero tops that list at 336.
“He’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We’ve been looking for a left-hander for a long time, and think this left-hander can help.”
The Phillies thought that, too, when they pursued him in the winter of 2006, before he signed with the Cubs.
“This is a veteran guy who has had a lot of success,” Amaro said. “He’s had success in the playoffs and he’ll rise to the challenge. He’s been through it, having those kind of experienced guys is helpful. We think he has enough bullets in that 36-year-old arm to help us.” Schlitter was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater, with 58 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this year. He was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hold the phone. They went after him during the off-season, and didn’t get him? Why didn’t…oh that’s right, cheapskate owners. I keep forgetting that. Anyway, I hope he will be the left handed complement to Madson, as he and the rest of the ‘pen needs a break while Gordon and Seanez are still out. Now, who will go? My guess is Walrond, since J.A. Happ can still be used as insurance against either Blanton or Myers going bad, or maybe giving Hamels a possibily needed rest. As I’d said earlier, time will tell.