I have been running two blog sites these past couple of months; one’s about the Flyers and the other the Phillies. Last night, I decided to combine them into one website so all my readers can go to one place to read my entries.
The new site is called The Broad Street Scoop. I will no longer post any of my work on Operation Orange Crush or Phillies Phandom. All of my work will be on my new blog, which will feature some Eagles, and college sports when I have time and drive to write about them.
Thank you for reading, and hope to see you check my new blog.
Tom Verducci, a baseball insider for Sports Illustrated and the MLB Network, reports that a baseball source has told him that the Philadelphia Phillies have been “very aggressive” in their pursuit of Roy Halladay, and are the front-runners to acquire the right-hander.
The Phillies are looking for the players that Toronto wants for Halladay, and putting together a package, even if it means they have to add another team into the mix, according to Verducci’s source.
This coming one day after FOXSports.com reported that the Phils are offering a package that includes J.A. Happ and either Dom Brown or Michael Taylor.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies are the front-runners to land Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays along with the Los Angeles Angels.
Rosenthal says a source told him that the Phils are offering a package of young players, including J.A. Happ and one of their top two outfielder prospects, Domonic Brown or Michael Taylor.
The Phillies would “almost certainly need” to clear up some payroll to acquire Halladay, and Joe Blanton is a possibility to be dealt, Rosenthal says; however a source told him that moving Blanton wouldn’t be enough as additional moves would be required.(Check out my previous article about why Halladay to the Phillies makes the most sense)
With the winter meetings coming to a close shortly, Roy Halladay still remains a Toronto Blue Jay. Speculation picked up some steam in the last couple of days as the Phillies have quietly jumped back in the sweepstakes, and Philadelphia is his preferred destination.
The Phillies were the favorites to land him during the regular season before they decided to find an alternative in Cliff Lee, a move that turned out to be the best possible deal considering the circumstances surrounding the soap opera Toronto was running.
Five months later, it appears as if the Phils would still love to get their hands on Halladay; however, there are a few things that would have to fall into place before considering a potential Halladay trade with Philadelphia.
Reportedly, Ruben Amaro Jr. has a spending limit for the 2010 season of around $140 million, and adding Halladay’s $15.75 million salary for this coming season would send the Phillies over their budget, meaning the ownership would have to make Doc an exception.
Or it makes sense of the rumors that Philadelphia is shopping starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who made $5.75 million in 2009 and is set for a raise in arbitration.
Several media outlets have said that the Phillies have let teams know that they would be willing to trade Blanton to free up money to improve the bullpen. It now looks like they could be shopping Big Joe in a precursor move to acquire Halladay.
The only thing left on Amaro’s to-do list is to improve his pitching staff—more importantly, the bullpen. It has been said that the Phillies aren’t willing to pay top money for a top-notch reliever, but would rather take a chance on a bullpen arm with upside.
One has to wonder why Amaro would be looking in the bargain bin for relievers when he has around $10 million left in his checkbook if the supposed budget is accurate. And while we’re in the speculation game, is Amaro planning to break the bank for Halladay?
I wrote a month ago that it would be a good baseball decision to reel in Halladay this winter, and that’s still my thought process at this point of time.
Halladay wants out of Toronto according to former general manager J.P. Ricciardi, and everyone knows that he will not be pitching for the Blue Jays past this season shall he remain on the team come spring training.
His contract expires after this coming campaign, which is another obstacle in a possible trade with the Jays. If the Phillies were to pull the trigger, they would want to talk extension with him considering what they would have to give up.
Jayson Stark quoted an official from a team who has talked with Toronto about acquiring Halladay in the past saying that Philadelphia is where he wants to pitch.
“If he could only pick one place? Oh, Philadelphia,” the source said. “No question. He lives right near their spring training camp. It’s an easy trip down to Florida to get home. They’ve got a great team. And it’s not the pressure of New York—not that pressure bothers him.”
Stark also said that he would be willing okay a deal to the Angels, Red Sox, or Yankees. His source thinks Halladay would approve a trade to either Los Angeles team, but not sign long-term there.
It’s the thinking that Halladay would want an extension along with the trade from the team who acquires him, and that leaves three teams that he would waive his no-trade clause for: Philadelphia, New York (Yankees, not Mets), and Boston.
Despite rumors of the Sox’ apparent interest in Halladay, it doesn’t sound to me that they are serious about getting Doc. They seem more focused on signing Jason Bay or Matt Holliday than trading away top prospects to meet Toronto’s demands.
The Yankees completed the offseason’s first blockbuster trade yesterday when they acquired Curtis Granderson from Detroit. Though, I wouldn’t count the Bronx Bombers out of the Halladay sweepstakes just yet.
New York still thinks they have what it takes to pry the 32-year-old away from their divisional rival, and lord knows that they have the financial flexibility to add his contract onto the books so there’s always a chance with the Yanks.
And then there were two to dance, and Halos have reportedly offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjas to the Jays; however, there’s speculation that Toronto doesn’t want Major League players in return.
So, by the process of elimination, the Phillies make the most sense for Halladay—and for that matter, Toronto as well. If you look at it from the Jays’ perspective, trading him to the Phils would get him out of the American League.
Alex Anthopoulos finds himself between a rock and a hard place because of the guy he replaced as the GM. Blue Jays fans know that they are going to get less for Halladay now than they would have gotten at the trade deadline.
For Anthopoulos, the best-case scenario is to trade Doc into the National League. Imagine how many pissed-off Jays fans there will be 19 times a year if Halladay is donning a Yankees or Red Sox jersey.
The asking price is what got in the way of a Phillies-Jays trade at the deadline; Ricciardi was asking for an arm and a leg for him, and Amaro wasn’t willing to comply with the demands.
I’m expecting Anthopoulos to ask for the roof again until it gets closer to spring training, and desperation starts coming into play. Halladay told the Jays to have a trade done by March, and that he will not waive his NTC during the season.
You have to think at some point this offseason, Toronto will lower their demands for Halladay in fear of losing him for nothing like they will if they don’t trade him next winter. There have been reports that he will not re-sign with the Jays.
Like I said before, the art of trading is all about leverage and right now, Anthopoulos has absolutely none. Everyone knows he has to trade Halladay, and he will trade him sometime between now and spring training.
It’s only a matter of time before this saga finds its solution, but at the end of the day, Halladay will be wearing pinstripes. The question is, what color looks better on him, red or blue?
According to Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Ross Gload to a two-year contract.
Gload, 33, hit .261/.329/.400 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 230 at-bats last season with the Florida Marlins, who declined his $2.6 million option for 2010.
The left-handed hitting corner outfielder also plays first base, and will be the final piece added to the Phillies bench. Next up on the to-do list: strengthening the bullpen and rotation.
Yesterday, we found out that the Phillies were eying John Smoltz as a low risk, high reward signing to shore up the back-end of the rotation or set up insurance in case Brad Lidge doesn’t right himself.
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Phils have inquired about free agent relief pitcher J.J. Putz. Crasnick also named the Pirates and Astros as other potential suitors along with the Rangers.
Putz suffered a lost season in 2009 while with the New York Mets, appearing in only 29 games before injuring his elbow, which required season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs.
The 32-year-old pitched only 29.1 innings with the Mets, compiling a 1-4 record and a 5.22 earned run average. New York acquired him last year to be their setup man to Francisco Rodriguez.
Just a couple of season ago, Putz was one of the game’s best relievers with the Seattle Mariners. He made the All-Star team in 2007 after putting together a 40-save season with a 1.38 ERA in 68 games.
After having a fantastic 06 season, Seattle rewarded him with a three-year contract extension worth $13.1 million, which had a $9.1 million option, which the Mets obviously declined.
Putz’s agent Craig Landis said that he prefers to be a closer, however he would be open to an eighth-inning job depending on the circumstances such as money, location and chance to win.
The Atlanta Braves signed former Phillies closer Billy Wagner to a one-year contract worth $7-million, which is entirely way too high for a guy who is coming off Tommy John surgery.
Expect Putz and his agent to use Wags contract as a starting point in any negotiations because they have similar cases. Both players are coming off surgeries, and have a strong track history.
If the asking price for Putz is anything close to what Wagner got from Atlanta, you can count the Phillies out of the running. They will not overpay for a relief pitcher, especially one who is coming off a surgery.
Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies have showed interest in 42-year-old free agent pitcher John Smoltz as low risk, high reward signing like they did last year with Pedro Martinez.
Smoltz isn’t the same pitcher he was five years ago, but he showed with the Cardinals last year that he can still be effective despite having a miserable couple of outings with Boston.
The former Atlanta Braves great appeared in eight games with the Red Sox last year, going 2-5 with a 8.32 earned run average in 40 innings before being designated for assignment on Aug. 7th.
He signed with St. Louis after being released by the Sox to start seven games for the Red Birds, and he pitched relatively well. Returning to the N.L., Smoltz went 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA.
His control wasn’t an issue last year with either team as he had very impressive strikeout-to-walk numbers, striking out 33 batters while walking just nine with Boston, and 40-to-9 with the Cards.
Smoltz’s trouble with the Bo Sox was that he was giving up way too many hits and home runs. In 40 innings with Boston, Smoltz gave up 59 hits and nine homers.
With Dave Duncan as his pitching coach in St. Louis, he was able to trim down on the hits and long balls. While playing for the Cardinals, Smoltz allowed 36 hits and three homers in 38 innings.
Smoltzy will be turning 43 in May so he’s on the downside of his career, however the age doesn’t show that he still can’t batters out. Jamie Moyer is 46-years-old, and is still getting it done.
When pitchers get past a certain age in their careers, they have to learn how to use their stuff and trust what they still have. It’s all about location, and utilizing your off-speed stuff rather than your heaters.
At this point in his career, he has to throw his sliders and breaking balls more often rather than falling back on his heater because it’s not that devastating fastball from years ago.
Smoltz isn’t found of Citizens Bank Park so that would be a hurdle in negotiations with the future Hall-of-Fame pitcher, but that will not be the biggest roadblock in signing Smoltz.
There are two major things that could get in the way of snagging Smoltz. The first is will he be willing to accept the role as a reliever, and the second is how much will he be asking for.
In his storied career, he has been both a great starter and a great reliever. At one time, he was among some of the game’s best closers. Will he go back to the bullpen as a seventh or eighth-inning guy?
I think he’s better suited for the ‘pen because he doesn’t have the stuff or the health to give you five-plus innings every fifth day. And for the Phillies, he would be insurance to Brad Lidge.
He fits with the Phils as a reliever in my opinion, however he could also help the team’s depth at starting pitcher. Maybe promise him a chance to earn a starting job like they did with Chan Ho Park.
It’s unlikely that Pedro will be back, and Moyer seems to be a huge question mark so who knows who will be the fifth starter come opening day. So, depth is an issue in terms of starters.
Smoltz showed with the Cards that he can still be a serviceable starter, a guy who can give you five quality innings every fifth day. But can he do it over a full season is still up in the air.
With his past history of greatness, Smoltz may think that he’s due a few million bucks even though he hasn’t done anything other than show that he could be an OK fifth starter in the last couple of years.
The Phillies are in the market for bargain bin type pitchers for both the rotation and bullpen. Rather than overpay for quality, they’ll pay for average, which I have no problem with.
Some fans will have a problem with them looking at players like this because they aren’t “willing to throw out the big bucks,” however to those fans, didn’t they acquire a highly paid pitcher at the deadline?
Great teams are ones who aren’t afraid to take risks like signing a 37-year-old pitcher who missed most of the 2008 season with injury like the Phils did with Martinez.
If the Phillies have proved anything in the last year, the best deal doesn’t always come with the highest price tag. Instead of paying the premium to get Roy Halladay, they gave up less for Cliff Lee.
So, instead of targeting John Lackey or Randy Wolf in free agency, the Phils are looking at John Smoltz-type pitchers. Guys who can be bought for low, and give a high return.
Justin Duchscherer anyone?