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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ross, Swisher Off the Board for Phillies

Earlier today, it was reported that heavily sought corner outfielder Cody Ross had signed a three-year, $26 million deal to play in Arizona.

Last week, the Phillies intense pursuit of Ross was reported. It was known that Ross wanted a three-year deal and the Phillies were willing to go after the 31-year-old left fielder who hit 22 homers, 81 RBIs and had a .267 average and .807 OPS.

Even though the Phillies weren’t in heavy pursuit of Nick Swisher, the 32-year-old switch hitter is close to signing a deal with the Cleveland Indians. They offered him a four-year, $52 million deal, and he is close to signing there.

With Arizona signing Ross, it is possible that Jason Kubel could be available via trade, even more likely than his teammate Justin Upton.

Prospect Report: Jiwan James

CF Jiwan James (Jacqueline Dormer/Republican Herald)

CF Jiwan James (Jacqueline Dormer/Republican Herald)

Position: Centerfield
Age: 23
Prospect Level: Mid-level prospect (9th according to BaseballAmerica.com)
Team:
Reading (Double-A).
2012 Minor League Stats: 111 G, .249 AVG, 14 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 31 RBI, .651 OPS

Season in Review: For one of the top prospects in the Phillies farm system, 2012 didn’t quite measure up to Jiwan James’ past seasons in the minor leagues.

First off, James’ average was the lowest that it has been at any point during his time in the Phillies organization. The Florida native hit a mere .249 in 111 games for the Reading Phillies and only posted a .291 on-base percentage.

The most eye-popping statistic was the drop-off in stolen bases for James. He went from stealing 31 bases with Clearwater in 2011 to only swiping 8 bags in 2012 with Reading. One constant was the fact that James was still being thrown out on almost half of his stolen base attempts. James was caught stealing 16 times in 2011 and 8 times this past season.

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Rosenthal: Phillies Intensify Pursuit of OF Cody Ross

The Phillies are still in need of a corner outfielder, and they are targeting Cody Ross the most to fill that spot.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Phillies are “intensifying pursuit of Cody Ross. Other teams also being more aggressive. Mariners among those that have shown interest.”

Ross is seeking a three-year deal.

Phillies Sign Ex-Nat John Lannan

 

LHP John Lannan

LHP John Lannan

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with left-handed starter John Lannan.

Lannan is a “low-risk, high-reward” move for Ruben Amaro, who said that was the type of player he was pursuing for his fifth starter. Kyle Kendrick will most likely be the fourth starter in the rotation now.

Lannan, 28, has a 42-52 record and 4.01 ERA in his six Major League seasons, all with the Nationals. Last year, Lannan went 4-1 with a 4.43 ERA in six starts.

Lannan’s history against the Phillies is almost infamous. Lannan is 3-13 against the Phillies with a 5.53 ERA in 19 career starts.

But the stat that really stands out are the 11 times Lannan hit a Phillies batter. The most famous was when he plunked Chase Utley in Lannan’s Major League debut on July 26, 2007, breaking his hand. On the next pitch, Lannan hit Ryan Howard and was immediately ejected.

“I don’t think he was trying to hit me,” Utley said after that game. “It kinda got away from him. He’s a young guy. He hit two guys in a row. I don’t think he was throwing at us.”

Phillies Sign RHP Mike Adams

RHP Mike Adams (Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

RHP Mike Adams (Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

According to KRIS-TV of Corpus Christi, TX, a family source confirms that the Phillies have signed right-handed reliever Mike Adams, pending a physical.

The deal is said to be worth $18 million, and is a three-year deal. The third year is a vesting option if Adams pitches 120 innings in 2013 and 2014, with at least 60 of those innings coming in 2014.

Adams, 34, is coming off another solid year with the Texas Rangers. Adams went 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 61 appearances. Adams struck out 45 and had a WHIP of 1.395 in 52 1/3 innings of work.

Adams has a 1.98 ERA over the past five seasons, which is third lowest of any reliever in baseball with at least 153 innings pitched.

The addition of Adams bolsters a weak bullpen that was one of the worst last season.

Quintero Heads List of Nine Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees for Phillies

The Phillies invited nine non-40-man roster players to Spring Training this season.

The list is headed by free agent catcher Humberto Quintero, who is the top candidate to back-up Erik Kratz while Carlos Ruiz serves his 25-game suspension. Quintero will compete with prospects Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle for that spot.

Quintero, 33, hit .232 in 43 games with the Kansas City Royals last season.

The other eight guys invited to Spring Training are infielders Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Michael Martinez and Pete Orr; catcher Steven Lerud; outfielder Jermaine Mitchell; pitchers Cesar Jimenez and Zach Miner.

Martinez, Orr and Lerud all played with the Phillies during the 2012 season while Blanco spent all of last year with the IronPigs in Triple-A. The rest have not been invited before.

As per the Phillies PR, here is information on the other eight invitees to Spring Training:

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Olney: Ichiro Rejects Phillies Offer; Signs With Yankees

In an interesting report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, the New York Yankees will bring back Ichiro Suzuki for another season.

But what’s interesting about that is that Suzuki reportedly declined a two-year, $14 million offer from the Phillies to sign the one-year deal with New York.

The Phillies are in need of another corner outfielder and the pursuit of Ichiro became a curious one. Ichiro isn’t exactly known for his pop, especially with Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton still out there.

The price tag and years that Ross, Swisher and Hamilton are asking for must be turning off the Phillies. Hamilton is still trying to land a five-year deal somewhere while Swisher and Ross want four and three years respectively.

Suzuki, 39, would have made a nice lead-off hitter, but that would have given the Phillies an outfield of Suzuki, Domonic Brown, Ben Revere and Darin Ruf. The only way that deal would have made sense is if the Phillies then traded Brown for 36-year-old Alfonso Soriano, which would have continued to increase the age of the team.

 

Phillies In Talks With Cubs; Interested in a Brown-for-Soriano Swap

CBS’ Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies are in talks with the Chicago Cubs about 36-year-old outfielder Alfonso Soriano.

The Phillies would send Domonic Brown to Chicago for Soriano, and the Cubs would have to pay a significant amount of Soriano’s salary.

The Cubs are willing to pay up to $26 million of the $36 million owed to Soriano for the remaining two years on his contract.

Last season, Soriano hit .262 with 32 homers and 108 RBIs.

Soriano comes as an alternative if they can’t sign Cody Ross, the most economical choice among free agents. Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton are a little pricier.

Evaluating the Michael Young Trade

It was made official Sunday morning that the Phillies acquired 3B Michael Young and cash from the Texas Rangers for reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.

It was a good fit for both teams, with the Phillies needing a third baseman and Young wanting to continue to compete as he waived his no trade clause to Philadelphia.

“The baseball part was easy,” Young told reporters on Monday in Texas. “I have a great opportunity in Philadelphia, having the opportunity to go from one great team to another. They have a position for me; I was ready for a new challenge. I like a new challenge. As a competitor, I want to see what it’s like. The hard part was my family and what it would be like for them, being away for a summer. But once we embraced that, the baseball part was easy.”

The Phillies filled a huge hole at third for one season, prolonging their search for a more permanent solution at the hot corner. They did so without giving up too much, especially while boasting a deep and rich farm system of pitchers.

Lindblom was acquired in the Shane Victorino trade to the Dodgers before the deadline last season. He didn’t really wow the Phillies coaches, especially in late-game situations where they wanted him to pitch. Lindblom posted a 4.19 ERA in 38 2/3 innings of work in the 8th inning or later during the entire season.

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Phillies Sign RHP Zach Miner

According to Fox’s Jon Morosi, the Phillies have signed right-hander Zach Miner to a Minor League contract, including an invitation to Spring Training.

Miner, 30, hasn’t played in the Majors since the 2009 season. He had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and has pitched in the Tigers farm system ever since.

In 157 Major League games, 35 of them starts, Miner has a 25-20 record with a 4.24 ERA. Last season in 29 Minor League games, Miner posted a 2-0 record with a 2.79 ERA while striking out 23 and walking 22 in 42 innings of work.

Miner isn’t the impact reliever the Phillies are looking for, instead just an insurance piece that could be called up during the season if someone gets hurt, or if Miner performs well with the IronPigs.

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