Results tagged ‘ Trades ’

The Top 10 NL East Moves So Far and More Potential Deals

The five teams in the NL East, the Phillies, Braves,  Marlins, Mets and Nationals, have all had busy off-seasons trying to improve their clubs.  Some have been more successful than others.  And some, like the Phillies and Mets, are moving very slowly through the free agent and trade possibilities.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 moves so far within the division and a breakdown of potential future moves for each team.

#10 – Three Relief Pitchers to the Marlins

In mid-November, the Red Sox swapped lefty relievers with the Marlins.  Dustin Richardson went to the Marlins and Andrew Miller landed with the Red Sox.  Miller, previously a highly-touted prospect, was a disappointment in Florida.  He struggled with control and lacked consistency. 

The addition of Richardson is a good move for the Marlins.  At only 26-years of age, Richardson posted a 4.15 in 26 relief appearances in the bigs, although most of his time has been spent in the minors.  This lefty has great potential.  The Marlins hope they can mould him into a solid reliever.

The very next day, the Marlins also acquired two right-handers, Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica.  The Marlins sent Cameron Maybin to the Padres in exchange.  Webb has averaged a 3.19 ERA in two major league seasons while Mujica is going into his 6th season having posted a 3.62 ERA last year.

These three pitchers combined should make a major impact on the Marlins 2011 bullpen.

#9 – Dennys Reyes to the Phillies

The Phillies have agreed to terms with veteran left-hander, Dennys Reyes.  The 33-year-old reliever posted a 3.55 ERA in 59 relief appearances last season for the St. Louis Cardinals.  The Phillies chose not to re-sign JC Romero after Romero struggled with control and left elbow surgery last offseason seemed to alter his mechanics.  Reyes will be counted on to take over for Romero. 

The only other lefty who has had much success with the Phillies in the few past years is Antonio Bastardo.  The Phillies will likely go into the 2011 season with these two left-handed relievers in the bullpen.

#8 – Javier Vazquez to the Marlins

Right-handed starter Javier Vazquez struggled last year with the Yankees, ending the season with a 10-10 record and a 5.32 ERA.  However, Vazquez pitched for the Braves in 2009 and ended with a 2.87 ERA.  A return to the NL East may be exactly what Vazquez needs to get back on track.

The Marlins also like the idea that Vazquez can eat innings for them, which is something they have been lacking.  This 13-year veteran is sure to bring some stability to the Marlins rotation.

#7 – Eric Hinske re-signs with the Braves

The Braves liked Eric Hinske in left field last year, where he made only 1 error in 360 innings.  At the plate, Hinske hit .256 with 11 homers and a .793 OPS.  In 2011, Hinske is likely to serve as a left-handed pinch-hitter who may fill in for Martin Prado from time to time.

#6 – John Buck to the Marlins

Catcher John Buck will enter his 8th major league season with a 3-contract from the Florida Marlins.  Buck had a breakout year in 2010 with the Blue Jays and made the All-Star team for the first time in his career. 

Buck set career highs in batting average (.281), on-base percentage (.314), homers (20) and RBIs (66) with the Jays and also threw out 28% of runners attempting to steal.  The Marlins may have hit a home run with this signing.


107A.jpg#5 – Jose Contreras re-signs with the Phillies

Jose Contreras spent most of his career as a starter until last year with the Phillies where he made a nice transition into a full-time reliever.  Contreras  was one of the most dependable relievers in the Phillies bullpen and as such, the Phillies rewarded him with a new 2-year deal, including an option for a third year.

Contreras went 6-4 with four saves and a 3.34 ERA in 67 games in 2010.  He is able to pitch multiple innings when necessary and can also fill in as a closer.  This gives the Phillies some much needed stability in the bullpen.

#4 – Scott Linebrink to the Braves

There was one more pitching swap this offseason as the Braves sent Kyle Cofield to the White Sox in exchange for another righty, Scott Linebrink.  At 23 years of age, Cofield was moved in favor of experience.  Linebrink is a 12-year veteran who has had a fairly consistent career.  He went 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA as a reliever for the White Sox last year and will be a solid piece in the Braves bullpen.

#3 – George Sherrill to the Braves

Continuing to add pitching, the Braves signed lefty reliever George Sherrill, who will be entering his 8th season in the majors.  The one-year deal is a smart one for the Braves as it is fairly low-risk.  Sherrill performed well in 2008 and 2009, but last year, he ran into trouble.  Posting a 6.69 ERA with the Dodgers in 65 games, Sherrill got destroyed facing right-handed hitters who batted .427 off him.

If Sherrill can rebound to his 2009 form, the Braves move will pay major dividends.  If not, they only spent $1.2 million dollars to sign him.  This looks like a winner for the Braves.

#2 – Dan Uggla to the Braves

His name is Dan Uggla and yes, he is now a Brave.  This All-Star second baseman has been tearing up the NL East for five years now.  The Marlins refused to meet Uggla’s demand of a five-year contract and decided to trade him.  They received Omar Infante and left-handed reliever Michael Dunn in exchange.

The winner of this trade may be a tough call.  Uggla, with 33 homers last year, gives the Braves a right-handed power bat.  However,  Infante is a more versatile and solid defender.  Plus, Infante batted over .300 each of the past two seasons.  And with good left-handed relievers hard to come by, Dunn’s 1.89 ERA in 25 games last year looks pretty good.  However, Dunn is a rookie with little experience so the Marlins cannot be sure what they will get out of him.

The worst news about this trade for the NL East is that Uggla remains in the NL East.  The Marlins may have just shot themselves, plus three other teams, directly in the foot.


P6203412B.jpg#1 – Jayson Werth to the Nationals

If anything is certain about this signing, it is that no one saw it coming.  The 7-year, $126 million dollar deal handed to right fielder Jayson Werth is the biggest move made in the NL East so far this offseason.  It may even wind up being one of the top five deals in all of baseball by the time 2011 gets started.

The Phillies could not afford to meet Werth’s demand, who made his first All-Star appearance with them in 2009.  Batting .296 with 27 homers and 85 RBI last year, this five-tool player is a great addition to any team.  However, at 31 years of age, Werth’s 7-year deal may look foolish a few seasons down the road.

Potential Future Moves:  The Phillies

A name you are likely to hear a lot in the coming weeks is Zack Greinke.  In fact, the only NL East team who has not been linked to Greinke is the Mets.  The Royals have made it known that they are willing to part with this right-handed starter for the right price.  Once Cliff Lee signs somewhere, the market for Greinke will certainly heat up.

While Greinke is on the Phillies wish list, they may also be looking at right fielder Delwyn Young.  Having spent the last two years with the Pirates, Young has not exactly been lighting up the batter’s box, hitting only .236 last year.  But the Phillies are still deciding how to replace Jayson Werth.  Young is a possibility, but look for the Phils to fill the spot internally.

Potential Future Moves:  The Braves

Aside from Zack Greinke, the Braves are also rumored to be in talks with lefty reliever Ron Mahay.  While with the Braves the last few months of 2007, Mahay posted a 2.25 ERA in 30 appearances and has since expressed interest in returning to the Braves.

Mahay had surgery near the end of the 2010 season for a torn rotator cuff.  but with left-handers in short supply, the Braves may take a look at re-signing Mahay.


P7266071 Romero cr.jpgPotential Future Moves:  The Marlins

Despite signing a few lefties already, the Marlins are still looking for depth in this area.  Ron Mahay, whom the Braves are looking into, is also a possibility here.  A few other lefties the Marlins may consider are Joe Beimel and JC Romero.  Beimel posted a 3.40 ERA in 45 innings last year and Romero had a 3.68 ERA in 36 2/3 innings.

The Marlins have also been tossing around the idea of signing right fielder Delwyn Young, whom the Phillies expressed interest in as well.

 

Potential Future Moves:  The Mets

The Mets have not made many moves this offseason aside from a few smaller players like catcher Ronnie Paulino and righty DJ Carrasco.  The biggest potential move for the Mets may be simply retaining outfielder Carlos Beltran.  Already signed through 2011, several teams including the Red Sox, have expressed interest in a trade for Beltran.

With budget concerns, the Mets have little room to squeak out any significant deals.  Therefore, the most important move they make may just be retaining players like Beltran, David Wright and Jose Reyes.  The Mets will need to resist the urge to dump payroll if they are to have a chance to compete in 2011.

Potential Future Moves:  The Nationals

While the Nationals severely overpaid for right fielder Jayson Werth, they may not be done just yet.  It seems, that like a lot of teams, star pitcher Cliff Lee is on their radar.  And similar to the Werth deal, no one would ever see it coming.  But the Nats appear to have money to burn so Lee may not be out of the question.

Veteran outfielder Randy Winn has also been rumored to be generating interest in Washington.  Also add first baseman Adam LaRoche to their wish list and right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg.  Gregg spent two years in the NL East with the Marlins from 2007 to 2008.  He pitched in 63 games for the Blue Jays last year and posted a 3.51 ERA.  Several teams, including the Nationals, have been courting the reliever.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

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Will Aaron Rowand Return To The Phillies?

The Phillies made two moves on Tuesday that may indicate a few deals are in the works at the Winter Meetings.  Pitchers Jesus Sanchez and Yohan Flande were released from the 40-man roster, likely to make room for a few additions.  One of those additions is rumored to be ex-Phillie Aaron Rowand.


29 Rowand Runs (1)A.jpgRowand has two more years and $24 million left on his contract with the Giants.  After a down year in 2010 and losing his starting spot, the Giants have implied that Rowand is no longer in their plans going forward.  If the Giants are willing to eat most of his salary, Rowand could possibly return to Philly.

Best known for smashing his face against the centerfield wall at Citizens Bank Park to make a game-saving catch in 2006, Rowand was also the leader in the clubhouse and well loved by players and coaches alike.  He was never afraid to call out a teammate who was slacking. This kind of fire is what Charlie Manuel loves about Rowand.  It may also be motivation to bring him back.

In 2007, Rowand had a career year with the Phillies, batting .309 with 27 homers and 89 RBI.  He also made the All-Star team that year.  Since departing for San Francisco, Rowand’s numbers have steadily declined.  At the time, critics said the move to a  larger ballpark might affect his production and that appears to be the case.  On the flip side, a return to the smaller confines of Citizens Bank Park may give new life to Rowand’s bat.

In addition, Rowand will have something to prove wherever he lands.  This is a guy who plays the game hard and takes pride in his performance.  Losing his starting job may have been the kick in the backside he needed. 

Another upside is that Rowand can play either center or right field, just as Jayson Werth was able to.  Neither Domonic Brown or Ben Francisco would likely be effective in center in the event that Shane Victorino is hurt or needs a break.  And right now, Victorino is the only true centerfielder on the roster.  Even if it is just coming off the bench, Rowand could fill that role while Brown and Francisco patrol right field.

Whether or not the Phillies decide to work out a deal with the Giants for Rowand is still unknown.  But if the price is right, Rowand could be a real asset and maybe inject new life into this Phillies team.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Acquire Mike Sweeney

With Ryan Howard on the DL, the Phillies look to bolster their line-up by adding first baseman Mike Sweeney, 37.  He comes to Philly from the Mariners for either cash or a player to be named later.  While Sweeney has not gotten a lot of work this year in Seattle, he is batting .263 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 30 games, including three starts at first base.

sweeney.jpg

Sweeney is a 5-time All-Star, having been selected each year from 2000-2005 while playing for the Royals, who drafted him in 1991.  Sweeney set a Royals record for RBIs in a season with 144 in 2000.  He is a lifetime .298 hitter with 901 RBI’s and 213 homers.

Some more interesting notes about Sweeney: His wife, Shara, is the daughter of Jim Nettles and her uncle is Graig Nettles, both former major leaguers and brothers.  There is also a Philadelphia connection; Sweeney’s first major league home run in 1996 was off of Phillies pitcher, Jamie Moyer.

While Sweeney is in the latter years of his career and has had some back issues, he appears healthy now and should be a nice addition at first base for the Phillies while Howard is out.  On his Sweeney Family Foundation web site, Sweeney’s wife lists one of his life goals as “learning to put the toilet seat down.”  He will need that sense of humor to play in Philadelphia…I wish him luck :O)

 

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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Cliff Lee Joins The Phillies

Lee.jpg

No more worries about Roy Halladay, trade deadlines and who is going where…the Phillies sealed the deal today with Cy Young award winning pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to the Phillies from the Indians sporting a 7-9 record and a 3.14 ERA; his record is tainted though due to lack of run support from a struggling Indians team.  And last year, Lee won the AL Cy Young.  Without giving away either JA Happ or Kyle Drabek, the Phillies made the trade and also received outfielder Ben Francisco who will likely take John Mayberry’s spot on the bench and help to relieve Raul Ibanez.  Off to the Indians are pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Jason Knapp. 

While I am thrilled with this deal, and even more thrilled that we did not lose Happ or Drabek, I will miss Marson and Donald.  I had the opportunity to chat with them both over the last few years and they are really nice, down to earth guys.  Not to mention, they are both adorable :O)  Ok, so I guess I will get over it. ;o)

A few more reason this is a GREAT trade; Lee will cost considerably less than Halladay next year; his option is 9 million, where Halladay’s is 15.75 million.  In addition to keeping Happ and Drabek, the Phillies also retained top prospects Dominick Brown and Michael Taylor.  Essentially, the farm system will not suffer.

And a few more odd reasons this is a good trade:

-         Lee’s name is easy to spell.

-         Cole Hamels will get less attention from the media, thus, we do not have to hear as many weird things come out of his mouth.

-         Our bullpen will have someone new to play with :O)  Not sure who that will be yet…

-         Lee looks good in red.

-         Lee is from Arkansas!  Actually, I am not sure why that is good, but maybe he knows President Clinton?  Just a thought…

The final game of the D-Backs series is about to begin…Go Phillies!

Photo: umpbump.com

 

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Blown Away

The Phillies fought through 30 mph winds today in Bradenton against the Pirates; winner?  The wind.  Many, many balls had some help flying over the outfield fence and others simply blew right past the outfielders grasp unexpectedly.  A few guys looked like they may lose their jersey’s as they were blown about in the stiff gusts of wind.  But the only thing the Phillies lost today was the game, 10-4.

Jamie Moyer was not thrilled about the weather conditions as he gave up 11 hits, 7 runs and 1 walk and was even called for a balk when his glove flinched, likely because of the high winds.  Moyer argued with the ump, but to no avail.  Even Brad Lidge ran into trouble when Garrett Jones hit a long fly ball that the airstream helped carry over the fence for a 3-run blast.

P3024896 Howard.jpgRyan Howard did not mind the situation too much; Howard hit a bomb to straight away center field in the 4th inning that some estimate travelled over 500 feet.  It went so far, the ball was completely out of sight; the cameras never picked it up as it went out of the park.  Right before that, Howard had hit a screaming foul ball towards the Phillies dugout, which nailed Geoff Jenkins in the leg as he waited in the on-deck circle.  A brutal shot, Jenkins jumped up and down in pain.  He shook it off and looked to be ok.  As Howard trotted home after the 500 footer, he stopped to greet Jenkins at home plate, gave him a big teddy-bear hug and apologized for whacking him with the foul ball. 

In the 6th inning, some confusion ensued as Eric Bruntlett and Marcus Giles could not seem to decide between the two of them who was covering what area.  A routine ground ball turned into a base hit for the Pirates, as Moyer was not in time to cover first base during the turmoil.  That inning turned into 4 runs for the Pirates and the Phillies fielding resembled something like this:

Today’s Phillies Word of the Day is: Doo-Doo.  Yes, thanks to pitcher Scott Eyre, Phillies fans everywhere were treated to a barrage of “Doo-Doo” remarks in the 7th inning during an interview by Phillies broadcaster, Tom McCarthy.  When asked about his rough outing against the Yankees a few days ago, Eyre responded with, “It was a day where I warmed up and felt like doo-doo and so I pitched like doo-doo.”  And it didn’t end there, folks.  He used the doo-doo remark again when discussing what his next outing may look like.  Let us hope doo-doo does not make any future appearances, unless it is by The Police:

 

Paulino cart.jpg
Fun Fact of the Day
:  Ronny Paulino, who was just yesterday traded to the Giants in exchange for lefty Jack Taschner, has been traded yet again!  The Giants sent Paulino to our NL East rivals, the Florida Marlins, presumably so Phillies fans would not miss him too badly.  Although, Paulino may want to keep the wheels on his cart for now, just in case…

The Phillies will take on the Red Sox tomorrow at 1:05pm!  The game will be broadcast on My PHL 17 – check your local listings.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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