Phillies at the Winter Meeting Live Blog: Day Four
By Mike Lacy
Image Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies have come to an agreement with pitcher Roberto Hernandez:
Obviously, this isn’t the major impact move that many Phillies fans had hoped for, but considering how thin the team’s rotation depth was last season, it probably isn’t a bad idea to get some more major league arms on the roster.
Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings will be held Monday through Thursday this week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. To help fans follow the action, we have created this live blog in which news will be announced and we will discuss and analyze all the moves that take place. It has already been a busy offseason for the Phillies as we’ve seen them re-sign one of their veteran players, sign a free agent outfielder, and make a trade. Despite those moves, the Phillies still have some holes to fill, and general manager Ruben Amaro can usually be counted on to make a big move or two. This has been a fairly eventful offseason for other teams as well. Not only have a few large contracts been handed out, but we’ve also seen some star players get traded. Make sure to keep checking this post for the latest updates as they happen. Our live threads are open to everyone, and we encourage fans to join in on the discussion in the comments field below. We’ll provide our thoughts and analysis on the big (and small) moves of the day, and we love it when visitors do the same. You can comment with a Disqus account, or comment as a guest, but we’d love to hear your thoughts as developments occur throughout the meetings. We look forward to chatting with you.
According to Matt Gelb, the Phillies are unlikely to leave the winter meetings having signed a starting pitcher. Ryan Lawrence suggests that A.J. Burnett might end up in red pinstripes. Jayson Stark says that the Phillies might have interest in pitcher Mitchell Boggs:
I have suggested that the Phillies pursue Matt Garza, but it doesn’t sound like the Phillies have much interest in him:
After the morning brought rumors that the Phillies were looking to trade just about everybody, the afternoon cooled off that burst of excitement. Ruben Amaro and Ryne Sandberg both said that the Phillies were not going to trade either Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels. They both stated that they’re looking to add pieces, and not subtract. Amaro also said that the Phillies would be willing to eat money if the right deal came along. In other baseball news, Mark Trumbo was sent to the Diamondbacks in a three-team trade. Could this be a blueprint for the Phillies to trade Dom Brown? 3:40 PM The Mariners have signed former Brewers first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart to a one-year deal.
"Source: Hart deal with #Mariners compares favorably to Napoli’s first deal with #RedSox: $5M with chance to earn $13M through incentives. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013"
Before the offseason began, Hart was a guy I would have liked to see them take a chance on, but obviously, the Phillies preferred Marlon Byrd. It’s debatable whether or not Hart would have wanted to come to Philadelphia, but assuming that Hart can put his injury problems behind him, that looks like a great deal for the Mariners. The Mariners have had a busy day as they’ve also acquired outfielder Logan Morrison from the Marlins:
"Source: #Marlins trading Logan Morrison to Seattle for RHP Carter Capps — clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 11, 2013"
There has also been some activity within the NL East, as the Nationals have traded for lefty reliever Jerry Blevins. The cost was not cheap though as they had to give up their Minor League Player of the Year Billy Burns:
"Nationals send Billy Burns, their minor league player of the year, to Oakland for Jerry Blevins.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2013"
Scott Boras isn’t one to pass up an opportunity to talk up one of his clients. So when Todd Zolecki asked him a question, he answered:
"Really, when you have breakout young players that teams have control over a long time, I think it’s pretty customary that teams are going to be interested in him,” Boras said. “Again, anybody with 20-plus home run power these days, we’re talking about annually, there’s like 40 of them in the league. That’s a little over one a team. So when you hit 27 home runs like Domonic did, clubs are going to pay attention and try to acquire those assets."
No real big news came out of day one of the meetings. Considering some of the big names that are supposedly on the trade block, that could change in a hurry in day two. If rumors are to be believed, a former Cy Young Award winner and an MVP runner-up could both be available.
The Rays would prefer not to trade David Price, but unfortunately for them, baseball’s financial setup makes it very difficult for them to retain their star players once they approach free agency.
On the other hand, the Dodgers certainly have the financial resources to keep Matt Kemp, but his disappointing performance over the past couple of seasons have made the team investigate unloading him.
The Phillies could potentially be interested in either player. Obviously, Ruben Amaro loves top line starting pitching, and a rotation containing Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Price would be the envy of baseball. However, there are quite a few teams who would love to acquire Price, and it doesn’t seem like the Phillies have the prospects necessary to make such a deal.
Kemp could potentially be a target if the Phillies are truly interested in shopping Dom Brown. However, it sounds like the Dodgers are asking for a “MVP” return rather than a 0.5 WAR in 2013 return.
As for other news, the busiest team in baseball yesterday was the Phillies’ division rival Florida Marlins. They signed outfielder Garrett Jones, finalized the deal with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and are actively shopping outfielder Logan Morrison.
Buster Olney has gotten the rumor mill all fired up by reporting that the Phillies are listening to offers for Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Here’s the link, but it requires an ESPN Insider subscription: Olney
I don’t think that anything will ultimately come of this, but it’s nice to see that Ruben Amaro is at least keeping all of his options open.
In others Phillies news, Peter Gammons reports that if the Phillies do trade Dom Brown, they might try to package Jonathan Papelbon in the deal:
"One club says Phils will attach D. Brown if someone takes Papelbon, use $ for a starter— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) December 10, 2013"
For everyone who was already counting Dom Brown as an ex-Phillie, you might want to slow down a bit. According to Jayson Stark, while the Phillies are indeed gauging interest, they don’t seem to be especially eager to send him away:
"A team that asked #Phillies about Domonic Brown reports they “didn’t seem enthused” about trading him. Looking for 2 or 3 young players back— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 10, 2013"
1:24 PM – It looks like the Phillies haven’t been sitting idly by. They’ve been reportedly discussing Dom Brown trades:
8:30 PM – It is looking more and more likely that the Angels are going to trade Mark Trumbo. Some have speculated that he’d be a good fit for the Phillies, but it is difficult to see how the pieces would line up between the teams.
8:45 PM – According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, the Phillies have contacted the agent for pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo might make some sense for the Phillies as a mid-rotation starter.