Phillies Aim To Sign Free Agent Closer

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. talked to reporters today at Citizens Bank Park, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News has the transcript.  Highlights:

  • If the Phillies don't re-sign closer Ryan Madson, Amaro will go outside the organization for a replacement, he told reporters including's Todd Zolecki today.  Madson, a Scott Boras client, could be a tough sign.  Amaro said he talked to Madson yesterday, and the righty is excited about free agency.  The Phillies can at least get a couple of draft picks as a consolation prize.  Heath BellJonathan PapelbonJonathan Broxton, Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Frank Francisco, Joe Nathan, and Francisco Rodriguez are also on the free agent market.
  • Amaro said he'd like Domonic Brown to spend another full season in Triple-A (Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer with the tweet).  Brown, one of the game's top prospects prior to the season, hit .245/.333/.391 in 210 plate appearances in the Majors this year.  Most of Brown's starts came prior to the team's acquisition of Hunter Pence.  Amaro says Brown has some work to do in left field, a position that will be an "open competition" for the 2012 Phillies.
  • Amaro does not think Ryan Howard's torn Achilles tendon will impact the team's offseason moves.
  • Free agent signings are more likely than trades.
  • The Phillies are still discussing Roy Oswalt's $16MM option internally.  Amaro says that "might be a tough one."  The Phillies' front office has also internally discussed extending Cole Hamels.
  • The Phillies' payroll is expected to be similar to this year's.

53 Responses to Phillies Aim To Sign Free Agent Closer Leave a Reply

  1. Blue387 4 years ago

    K-Rod in a Phillies uniform would be great, thanks.

    • hscphillyboy 4 years ago

      No ….Gracias……

    • As was Wags in a Met uni.  But hey, at least Wags turned it around.  Too bad he was on the Braves by the time that happened though.

  2. Papelbon on a 1 year deal with an option for 2013

    • tacko 4 years ago

      You think Papelbon would settle for that over an arb offer from the Sox after the year he’s had?

      Papelbon is the best reliever in the market. With his track record, he’ll score at least 3 years at $10 million per.

  3. mgsports 4 years ago

    Some one who’s retired.

  4. Carlos Marmol for Dominic Brown

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Maybe after 2010, but certainly not after 20111 and the extension.

      • I forgot all about that extension. How awesome would a LF- Brett Jackson, CF- Matt Szczur, RF- Dominic Brown combo be?

        • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

          Projections would tend to say pretty awesome. I don’t know that the Cubs need a Dominic Brown. They aren’t exactly starving for outfielders. They need pitching something fierce.

  5. hanrahan for overbeck, galvis and brown

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      No way. They need to get younger not trade their MLB ready players for a closer.

      They have the money to sign one of those guys, no reason to do a trade.

      At this point, I’d hope they’d be smart enough to save their chips for a third baseman. Ruben said in his press conference he doesn’t think Polly is an everyday third baseman at this point. (which is obvious).

      • Dylan 4 years ago

        Do you think a Rollins to 3B move could be made after this year, assuming the Phillies sign him. That would put Galvis at SS and also would enable JRoll to play longer.

        • I have thought for years that Rollins might move to 3B as he aged.  Mainly I was concerned about his range, which has not begun to decline yet.  His arm could certainly handle it.

        • GREG HERBENER 4 years ago

          that’s not something I thought of…but I like it…..I’ve seen enough of Polly the last 2 years….they keep signing these third basemen with a little pop and they have all floundered-David Bell, Pedro Felize and now Polanco….what is the deal with that

          • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

            I saw Youkilis could become available if the Red Sox decide to go young with Middlebrooks. He’d be a guy I’d gut the farm one last time for.

            I wonder if the Phillies would re-engage the Rangers about Michael Young. He doesn’t have the power but he’s the type of hitter Ruben likes.


            As for the floundering third baseman, power at the position wasn’t important when you had a 2nd baseman who would hit .300, hit 30 home runs, and drive in 100. Now that he’s lost his power, its more imperative to get a power third baseman.

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          I think he COULD.

          Question is WOULD he? Jimmy’s a great guy but Michael Young he is not.

  6. WE HAVE BASTARDO..and so many young relievers…throw them into the fire.

    • William Kafer 4 years ago

      For a team that’s about to be contending, hell yeah, throw all of them in.

      For a team that’s one of the favorites to win the World Series for the next 2-3 years, you need stability in your BP. I think you’ll see Bastardo, Herndon, and Stutes start the year in the pen, maybe Schwimmer or de Fratus, but they need to sign at least 2-3 veteran guys with experience.

  7. FacelessGeneralManager 4 years ago

    Dom Brown is really really unimpressive for how much he is hyped up. I really don’t see whats so great about him.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      You must have thought the same thing about Chase Utley and Cole Hamels when they first came up to the major leagues? Utley hit .231 and Cole Hamels had an ERA of 5.00+ at the all star break.

    • I’m a Phillies fan, I watch every game, and travel to Allentown to see games all the time.

      I agree with you.

  8. pap to phillies! he wont get the four yr deal he’s seaking so he’ll be gettable for philly nation.

  9. hscphillyboy 4 years ago

    Heathcliff Slocoumb……or Heathcliff Huxtable……Which ever is available…….

  10. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    I’d love to see Jonathan Papelbon in a Phillies uniform. Only thing that concerns me is the $$$… but that’s with any free agent Ruben signs. He’s the best option and would make this an even better pitching staff. He can go 4+ outs for a save, he can handle pitching in a media market. He’s more of a lock down, more dominant guy than Madson.

    Out of all those names, there’s nobody I’d really feel comfortable giving a 9th inning lead to besides Madson, Papelbon, and Bell. Bell would be my last target given the drop of his k/9.

    • William Kafer 4 years ago

      That’s about how I feel, though I think I’m okay with Nathan as well.

      And I think Lidge on a 1yr + option deal is the mother of all backup options, which scares me.

  11. dc21892 4 years ago

    A lot of people are just assuming Paps will hit free agency. There’s as good a chance Boston meets with him before free agency begins and gives him his 3-4 year deal at the price he wants. Boston wants him around, and unless Paps is looking for completely outrageous money, he’ll likely be back. Even if he does hit the market, he’s competing with a lot of good closers for a job, so he’ll see his stock fall a bit when his leverage is swept from under him.

  12. JPH_GSG 4 years ago

    RAJ loves to take fliers on relievers coming back from injury. I’m thinking this year it will be Johnathan Broxton.

  13. myname_989 4 years ago

    For as many times as we’ve all heard “the Phillies are maxed out;” “the Phillies won’t pay luxury tax;” etc, etc, I think we’ve all learned by now that they’re going to have money to throw around.

    What concerns me the most about Ruben Amaro is his uncanny ability to give free agents more guaranteed years than I thought was possible for a man with a certain amount of common sense. That’s what ends up hindering the Phillies. Not the money. The guaranteed years.

    They’d have been in a much better position last season had they not been saddled with the third year of Raul Ibanez’s deal, and now, heading into this off-season, they’re saddled with the third year of Placido Polanco’s deal. That’s my biggest gripe with Amaro.

    The Phillies are a team that free agents would like to play for. Good fan support. Great pitching. They have pieces already in place with a solid farm system and the resources to win year in and year out.

    They’re not a team that should feel the need to give out extra guaranteed years.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Success begets money begets further success begets additional money.

      As long as the Phillies’ spending is justified with win totals at or around 100, they’ll be able to continue spending.

      Given, the Phillies are probably going to be hurting a few years down the old when age catches up to them, but for now they’ll probably be able to absorb another big one or two.

  14. try to sign Bell if you don’t sign Madson.

  15. closer < good offense

  16. crashcameron 4 years ago

    jeremy bonderman, pat neshek, scott kazmir, cla meredith … invite them all (regardless of who they sign as closer)

    and … domonic brown for chase headley

  17. Hermie13 4 years ago

    Chris Perez for Dominic Brown?

    Tribe needs an OFer and Perez is starting to get pricey.  Could insert Pestano in the closers role and try a cheaper guy (Putnam, CC Lee, etc) in the setup role.

    Tribe and Phillies have hooked up in a few trades lately….

    • NatsTown 4 years ago

      Don’t like that for Tribe. Proven 26 year old Closer for an Unproven 24 year old Outfielder

  18. The Phillies will deal for a good closer, no doubt…  But this is the 2nd straight playoff season that our offense sucked.. We need a better hitter at 3rd base. We need a better backup catcher, a better bench. I think we re-sign Rollins for 3 years plus an option for a 4th. If not, we can sign Furcal until Gavis is ready for us. As for LF – Platoon Mayberry/Brown and if Howard isn’t ready for opening day, then Mayberry at 1st with Fransisco/Brown in LF.

    Our pitchers can’t be forced to pitch a shutout everyday… we need a better offense.
    So – who can we get at 3B?    I’d like to see Amaris Ramirez there. Polanco becomes an expensive backup 3b/2b – but as history has shown, we’ll need the backups and Polanco is a better backup than the .198 Martinez – the rest will fall into place.. remember, we just came off a 102 win season when a lot of players were on the DL a long time.. and if we didn’t lose 8 of our last 12 games, we would have done better.

    It would be nice to see these 2 possible line-ups
    1) Rollins (ss)
    2) Victorino (cf)
    3) Utley (2b)
    4) Howard (1b)
    5) Ramirez (3b)
    6) Pence (rf)
    7) Mayberry/Brown (lf)
    8) Ruiz (c)

    1) Furcal (ss)
    2) Utley (2b)
    3) Pence (rf)
    4) Howard (1b)
    5) Ramirez (3b)
    6) Victorino (cf)
    7) Mayberry/Brown (lf)
    8) Ruiz (c)

    Holliday ~ Lee ~ Hamels ~ Blanton ~ Worley ~ Kendrick
    Paplebon ~ Bastardo ~ Conteras ~ Stutes ~ Herndon ~ and rookies / FA’s

  19. Jim McGrath 4 years ago

    As a Red Sox fan I’m torn between signing Pap, moving Bard into the closer’s role, keeping him as set-up or going after Madson or Bell.

    Pap would look great in a Philly uniform and it may be time for a change for him. There will be a lot of changes in RS Nation after the Sept. Fall–So as a fan I would:
    1. Go after Madson as Closer
    2. Keep Bard as Set-up with Jenks

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Madson’s a great fit for you guys. He won’t be intimidated pitching for the Red Sox, gets lefties/righties out, great mentor for Bard, and can set up if they decide to promote Bard.

      I think the Phillies/Red Sox switching closers is a very likely scenario.

  20. William Kafer 4 years ago

    I honestly can’t see them going after KRod, but everything else seems spot on. I don’t think the Phillies will want to pay Papelbon, as they need to save some money to resign Pence and Hamels after next year. So I think the tier 1.5 guys like Madson and Bell, and the tier 2 guys like Nathan and Cordero make the most sense.

    If it’s me, I want Papelbon, but not at the price he will command.

  21. JST1331 4 years ago

    I would not like to see Papelbon in a Phillies uniform reason being he can be one of the most inconsistent closers in the game. While his numbers may look good on paper he just another Brad Lidge. Obviously Papelbon is better no question, but the guy leaves you in nail biting situations from time to time. Is he a good closer absolutely but I can guarantee someone will overpay and I sure hope its not us.

  22. Tmandolfan 4 years ago

    This is pure fantasy.
    1) Even taking money out of the equation I wouldn’t trade Madson straight up for Papelbon.
    2) Papelbon because he’s been a closer longer will get more money when he signs than Madson will and that also would suggest the Phils would end up with Madson rather than JP.
    3) Madson as the RedSox setup man is completely illogical unless you think the Red Sox will offer him more money than a) the Phillies AND b) anybody else who wants him as a closer.

    If you’re Madson you have zero incentive to go to Boston as a setup guy.
    1) Why play second choice to Bard if you want to be a closer and other teams want you as their closer?
    2) Switch leagues and not know anybody in the clubhouse, the parks, etc.
    3) Take less money.

    File this under: Happening, Not

  23. notsureifsrs 4 years ago



    soria 22
    valverde 22
    papelbon 26
    rivera 28


    marmol 143 (37 meltdowns)
    rivera 142
    k-rod 137 (32 meltdowns)
    cordero 136 (33 meltdowns)
    wilson 135 (36 meltdowns)
    soria 130
    bell 129 (31 meltdowns)
    papelbon 126


    rivera 13
    valverde 14
    soria 16
    papelbon 19


    rivera 14.21
    soria 11.82
    papelbon 11.57

    “while the facts may be otherwise, i insist my opinion is reality”

  24. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Papelbon had a below average 2010 and a merely “good” 2009. He had a couple of years of cardiac-ish status, but by and large he’s been absolutely dominant for most of his career. 2006-2008 and 2011 he was about as close to a guaranteed ninth as you could get short of Rivera and I’d probably make the argument that he outperformed Rivera in each of those four seasons.

  25. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    It’s that way with most closers. Madson isn’t going to cruise like he did this year every year.

  26. Tovy 4 years ago

    Y u so gay

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