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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: free agency

Phillies GM Amaro Discusses Ideal Center Fielder

The Phillies are in need of a new center fielder, and general manager Ruben Amaro is going to target the free agent market for one.

Shane Victorino was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline and John Mayberry Jr isn’t viewed as an everyday center fielder. That leaves Amaro looking for a fresh face, and preferably a right-handed hitting one at that.

“If we can get someone who would give us more balance from the right side, that would be great,” Amaro said. “That’s not necessary, but it would be helpful. We need somebody who can be a plus defender. Defense and pitching is going to win. As always, we saw it again in these playoffs, San Francisco were champions because they caught it and pitched it. Yes, I’d like to add to our offense. But we absolutely have to catch it and pitch it. We can’t lose sight of that as the basis of how we’ll be successful.”

That spells out free agent center fielder B.J. Upton. Upton is an ideal fit, mainly because Upton does a lot offensively and could provide the Phillies with some pop from the right side of the plate.

Either way, the Phillies need to improve in that department big time, and a lot of pressure is on Amaro to do just that.

Corey Seidman has more on CSN Philly.

Phils sign Pierre to minor league deal

The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor league deal, reported Jim Salisbury.

The one-year deal will give the Phillies an extra option for filling out their Opening Day roster. The move could also solidify Domonic Brown’s spot on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster to start the season, depending on his spring of course.

Last season, Pierre hit .279 with two homers and 50 RBIs with the Chicago White Sox. His 50 RBIs were the highest total he drove in since 2001.

In 2010, Pierre led all major leaguers with 68 stolen bases. But last season, he swiped only 27 bags.

Pierre, 34, has been a major leaguer since 2000 and has played for five previous teams: the Rockies, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers and White Sox.

Phillies sign former Nats outfielder Nix

(Getty Images)

The Phillies are looking to fill their void in left field via platoon.

Instead of dropping big bucks on Michael Cuddyer, the Phillies went out and signed Nationals left fielder Laynce Nix, according to CSN’s Jim Salisbury. The signing comes only a couple weeks after they picked up corner infielder/outfielder Ty Wigginton.

The reported length of the deal is two years and is pending a physical.

Nix, 31, is another role player, starting his career in Texas before playing for Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Washington during his nine-year career.

Last season, Nix enjoyed his best season with a .250 average, 16 homers and 44 RBIs. As a career pinch hitter, Nix is hitting .187 (.276 OBP; .269 slugging) with two homers and 40 strike outs in 152 plate appearances.

This is a great move to add depth. First Jim Thome, then Wigginton and now Nix.

The Phillies are adding cheap but high profile players to their bench. Each and every one of them are capable of starting to spell the Phillies every day starters and this is important for the long haul.

This also spells the doom for Ben Francisco, who was never really a top option off the bench. Players like Francisco and Ross Gload never showed the Phillies any true value during the 2011 campaign.

Sources tell TPP that contracts have been offered to Phils free agents

Kevin Kee of “The Philly Phans” has a source within the organization that the Phillies have offered contracts to both Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels.

Kee confirmed his source with TTB directly. All information below is from Kee and his source. More is known, but won’t be released until they are backed up or confirmed.

The Phillies offered Rollins a five-year contract, a deal that he wants, and it looks like he could be back in Philadelphia. It is also believed that Rollins will accept a small hometown discount. (Kee corrected our post: No team will offer Rollins a five-year deal and it’s expected the Phils will be able to get him at a discount and for less years.)

The Phillies also offered an extension to Hamels for a long term contract. A deal should be done before the season starts. Numbers for the deal will be withheld for now but the length should suffice for both sides of the deal.

In regards to back-up catcher Brian Schneider, Cliff Lee special requested the Phillies re-sign the 34-year old.

The Phillies are also still interested in free agent corner infielder/outfielder Michael Cuddyer. They have not offered him a contract yet.

Papelbon inks four-year deal with Phils

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

It looked as though the Phillies were going to resign closer Ryan Madson but the deal seemed to fall apart.

Instead they plucked former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon off the free-agent market. The deal is believed to be worth $50 million over four years.

It also includes a vesting option for a fifth year. The contract could reach $60 million when it’s all said and done.

The deal is the richest in MLB history for a closer. It will surpass the five-year, $45 million pact that B.J. Ryan signed with the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2005.

Papelbon was 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA with 31 saves in 63 appearances this year. He has a career 2.33 ERA and 219 saves over his big-league career.

But did the Phillies sign the right closer?

Read more of this post

Phils re-sign Orr

In the Phils first move of free agency, they signed utility infielder Pete Orr to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Last season, Orr batted .219 (21-for-96) in a handful of stints with the Phils. He provides a good glove and pinch runner off the bench.

Howard will get surgery; What does this mean for Phils?

Phils Ryan Howard stumbles after injuring his left foot leaving the batter's box. He has a torn Achilles and will have surgery (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard felt it as soon as he attempted to leave the batter’s box.

The sharp pain running through his body wasn’t just the end of the Phillies season dribbling to Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto. It was the pop Howard felt in his left foot that dropped Howard halfway down the first base line, leaving him in some of the worst pain during his 8-year career.

The injury was a tear to his left Achilles and it could potentially leave Howard out of the Phillies line up at least until May or June. He will have surgery this off season once the swelling goes down and there is, “no guarantee he will be ready for Spring Training.”

If the Phillies in fact lose Howard for a very long time, there needs to be some serious thought towards filling the 35+ homers and 120+ RBIs that Howard is good for every season.

There will come a handful of times where the Phils will need production from the four-spot in a late-game situation. Howard has provided that spark a handful of times during his career.

So how do you replace that? Howard’s time off could last only a couple months, making the Phillies decision a less drastic one. But there are also risks of set-backs.

Read more of this post

Phils sign former fire baller

In a move to add depth and add a little competition during Spring Training, the Phillies signed former first-rounder Matt Anderson to a minor league contract. Anderson, 34, was drafted first overall in 1997 by the Detroit Tigers and has hit 103 MPH on the radar gun a few times.

Anderson, a right-handed reliever, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2005 with the Rockies and has a career ERA of 5.19.

In a tweet by @RandyJMiller: “Before arm injury, new Phillies reliever Matt Anderson hit 100 mph. After surgery, he was throwing in 80s.”

Phils sign Young, add seven to ST roster

The Phillies signed outfielder Delwyn Young to a minor league contract earlier today. Young, a spare part for the bench, will compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

In four seasons with the Dodgers and Pirates, Young is a .266 hitter with 10 homers and 53 RBIs in 519 at-bats. He’s not a power hitter but is a decent fielder. He’d be more of a defensive replacement than anything. I doubt he’ll make the roster though but could be a mid-season call-up.

Comcast’s Jim Salisbury has more info on the other six players invited to Spring Training.

Phillies sign Romero

J.C. Romero was brought back to the Phillies, signing a $1.1 million deal. It was basically the same contract the Phils offered Dennys Reyes, who wound up not signing with the Phils after failing a physical.

As soon as the season ended for the Phils, their first move made was declining Romero’s option for 2011. This was to either get Romero for much cheaper or to look for a better option. The former wound up being the outcome.

Last season, Romero was 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 60 appearances. The big concern with Romero last season was that he walked 29 batters in 36.2 IP. He’s had control issues in the past but this was a complete low. If he wants to make a difference in the Phils pen next season, he will have to compete with other left-handers, including Antonio Bastardo, who played extremely well at the end of the season.

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