Results tagged ‘ Derek Lowe ’

Nothing But Air

Much like the winter season, the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas are creeping along slowly for the Phillies.  A whole lot of hot air and that’s about all.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has disclosed that he and his team have met with Derek Lowe and his agent.  That’s the good news.  That bad news is that the other leading suitor for Lowe is the NY Yankees, who have already signed CC Sabathia for 7 years, but seem to still be interested in Lowe.  With the Yankees seemingly unlimited payroll, the Phillies will likely be outbid if this is the case.  Sabathia AND Lowe – that’s just plain greedy!

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In other news, Pat Burrell’s agent came out and told the Courier Post that he believes the Phillies are not at all interested in retaining Burrell.  Agent Ed Hayes was quoted as saying, “I’m hopeful but I’m also a realist, and I’d be surprised…I have not heard anything that would lead me to believe the club wants to have him back.”  Sad news there for Phillies fans everywhere – the GQ Handsome quotient of the team is about to be significantly lowered.  Nothing has been decided yet, but reports are that Burrell wants three years and there is no way Amaro is going to offer that.  Unless Burrell settles for a 1 or 2 year deal, it looks like he’ll be telling the Phils to stick it and move on.

As for an additional infielder, the Jake Peavy / Mark DeRosa rumors have progressed.  The MLB Hot Stove reports that the trade may involve moving Phillies prospects JA Happ, Jason Donald and/or Carlos Carrasco.  Any combination of these players would wind up going to the Cubs, the moved to the Padres with a few other Cubs in exchange for Peavy.  Is your head spinning yet?  I really do not like the idea of losing young players with big potential.  Is DeRosa worth it?  Last year he hit 20 homers with an average of .285 and 87 RBI’s.  He has a lifetime .976% fielding percentage.  Knowing Burrell was going to be a free agent this year, if they intend to sign DeRosa, based on these numbers, the Phillies may as well have kept Aaron Rowand.  They may have saved some money.  DeRosa will not be cheap and may cost us some great young talent.  I’ll be keeping an ear to the ground to see where this goes.

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What Happens In Vegas…

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…will be written here for all to see!  So much for things “staying” in Vegas.  Ruben Amaro Jr. in his new GM role has all eyes on him at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, waiting for him to make his mark on the 2009 Phillies team.  Rumors abound, as they usually do this during the Winter Meetings, but so far, nothing has transpired.  Talks with pitcher Jamie Moyer are slowing down to a near halt…it looks like he is asking for 2 years at about 10 million a year.  The Phillies simply aren’t going to pay that for a guy in his mid-forties.  It is too big a risk.  And as much as we all love Jamie and would like to believe that age is never a factor, it can be.  He showed signs of slowing down towards the end of 2008, but still remained on the active roster all year without an injury.  But if you placing bets on whether this will remain the case for one or maybe two more years, those are odds even the nuttiest Vegas gambler wouldn’t bet on.

The Phillies have been looking at options, in case Moyer decides to go elsewhere.  Randy Wolf, ex-Phillie and Geoff Jenkins look-a-like, has been mentioned.  It is also rumored that an offer has been made to Derek Lowe.  Amaro also mentioned he’d like to add one more arm to an already outstanding bullpen.  Scott Eyre has already been signed to a one-year, $2 million contract extension, so we know he’ll be back, giving us one more lefty to play with in addition to JC Romero.  Ryan Madson may be signed, rather than allow him to go to arbitration, but nothing specific has been mentioned on that one.   Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey are also eligible for arbitration.

Arbitration is going to play a huge part in moves this offseason.  With TEN Phillies eligible, including those mentioned plus Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs, Cole Hamels, Eric Bruntlett and Joe Blanton, salaries for any new additions are going to be at a premium.  Amaro knows he has big money due to some of these guys and has to plan accordingly.  I am hoping none of them will end up being trade bait, so as to keep the core of this team intact.  But you know what sometimes happens with a new GM; they try to make changes, even if they don’t have to, just to put their own personal stamp on the team and separate themselves from the previous GM.  I am really hoping Amaro does not fall into this trap.  It is a mind game and one that is likely to produce bad results.  He needs to do what is best for the team, not for his ego or reputation.

As for a utility infielder, there have been rumors of bringing 31 year-old Nick Punto back to Philly.  With the Twins since 2004, he has played every infield position, except first base, and even some outfield.  Punto has a lifetime average of .252, with a .284 average in 2008, having played in 99 games.  His career fielding percentage is .976 with 49 total errors in 8 seasons.  Honestly, for a guy that does not play every day, that is not so great.  So, I am hoping this rumor goes away…

As for Pat Burrell, that train has come to a stop, at least for now.  It appears Burrell is fielding offers from other teams and so this becomes another case of wait and see.  Even manager Charlie Manuel is asking for a contract extension so he can retire as a Phillie.  Nothing solid on this, other than most expect this deal to be done this week sometime.  So we will wait and see.  And I will keep you posted as things progress this week.

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Where Is The Love?

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Ruben Amaro Jr. is off to a great start; well, a great start in totally confusing and possibly pissing off Phillies fans everywhere!  Amaro & company declined to offer arbitration to ANY of the four eligible players, including Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell.  I expected as much for Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, but the other two are surprising.  By not offering arbitration to Moyer or Burrell, they have just given every other team in Major League Baseball a super incentive to sign them:  If you sign a player who has NOT been offered arbitration, then you do not have to give up any draft picks when signing that player away from his current team.  And in the same respect, the Phillies will get nothing if another team picks up one of our players.  So I ask then, where is the love for Moyer & Burrell?

The other side of this is that if Moyer or Burrell were actually to go to arbitration, they may have gotten salaries beyond what the Phillies want to pay for them.  I guess after getting burned on Ryan Howard’s arbitration last year where he was awarded 10 million dollars, they did not want to take this risk.  But I also think that not offering the arbitration may be sending a signal to these players that management does not mind so much if they do not return to the Phillies; and that may turn out to be a real issue.  It also makes signing new players more difficult.  For example, both A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe (pitchers) were offered arbitration by their teams.  So, the Phillies will lose draft picks if they decided to sign one of these guys.  And since they now gain nothing for losing Moyer to another team, they will be unlikely to sign a guy to replace him, like Burnett or Lowe, who has been offered arbitration.  If they did that, they lose draft picks and Moyer…it’s a double blow.

Last week, the Phillies did sign veteran reliever Mike Koplove; a 32-year old with a career ERA of 3.82 in the majors.  However, they expect him to spend a lot of time in AAA, as he did for most of his career.  So, why do the Phillies sign a 32-year old minor leaguer?  For the same reason they skipped arbitration for Moyer and Burrell this year – the Phillies management are CHEAP.  I guess they figured we won our World Series and that will be enough for the next 28 years.

Now say it with me everyone…take a deep breath and let it out….UUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

Read more at MY OTHER HOME PAGE!  Phillies Phollowers has joined forces with Phightin’ Phils Phorum!  Please check out our new site and bookmark it.

And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!  All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!

Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!

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