Stark On Hamels, Ruiz, Scutaro, Willingham, Pirates

Jayson Stark of has plenty of news in his latest edition of Rumblings & Grumblings.  Let's dive in and take a look..

  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro says that his value assessment on Cole Hamels hasn't changed but he will have to take his other free agents into account this winter.  "But the biggest thing is all the other decisions we have to make…at third base [Placido Polanco], in center field [Shane Victorino], and at right field [Hunter Pence] and catcher [Carlos Ruiz] in two years. And we haven't solved our left-field situation, either," Amaro said.
  • Amaro says that he is high on Ruiz but will consider the club's payroll as a whole before considering a long-term deal.  The GM also pointed out his age (33) and demanding position.  The Phillies hold a $5MM club option for next year on Ruiz, which would put him on the open market  on the verge of his age-35 season.
  • The Phillies GM also seems confident that the club won't be in a position to cave before the deadline and become sellers.  For the Phillies to pull the plug and sell, he says the club would have to "fall out of contention pretty significantly."  
  • The Tigers might want to consider waiting around for the Rockies' Marco Scutaro as a solution at second base.  Clubs that have checked in with the Rockies say they're still at least a month from selling but Scutaro, Rafael Betancourt, and Jeremy Guthrie are all likely to be available when they do.
  • There's been a surprising amount of trade talk surrounding Twins outfielder Josh Willingham but teams that have kicked the tires on him have been rebuffed. 
  • The Pirates are telling other teams that they're likely to approach this deadline like they did last year's, looking to add.  They've indicated that they're likely to trade arms for bats, especially hitters they can control beyond this year. 
  • Meanwhile, potential shoppers wonder if the Pirates are willing to move enough quality to make a splash.  Pittsburgh is hinting that they'll keep James McDonald, A.J. Burnett, and probably Erik Bedard if they have a shot to win.  If that's the case, they'll instead be shopping the likes of Charlie Morton, Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, and prospect Rudy Owens, which won't net them the same kind of return.
  • Despite reports to the contrary, Roy Oswalt never received offers from the Phillies or Cardinals according to Amaro and a source who spoke with the Cards' brass, respectively.  While there was other interest, it seems that this was a one-team negotiation with Oswalt and the Rangers.

27 Responses to Stark On Hamels, Ruiz, Scutaro, Willingham, Pirates Leave a Reply

  1. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    I think Domonic Brown learning Center Field (the Easiest of the 3 outfield positions… if you have the speed) solves some of those issues. (if he can handle it)

    Personally… I don’t want them to resign Shane. His lapses in judgement and overall lack of a baseball IQ are really hurting the team. If they’re going to become a small ball/pre moneyball team (which I’m not a fan of… but whatever gets us offense) they need to get somebody like Michael Bourn to replace him if Dom can’t handle it.

    I still think they resign him. Ruben said today that if the player deserves to be paid, they’ll pay him. With the two Wild Cards and the fact that Roy’s 2014 option in unlikely to vest, or at least is a possibility to not vest.

    Really, 2013 and 2014 are the only tight years. 2015 and beyond, the money starts coming off the books.

    • j6takish 3 years ago

      Center field, easiest position? Okayyyyyyy

      • 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

        For a lot of outfielders CF is the most difficult but if you +speed it actually is easier in some regards.  

      • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

         In terms of routes and the types of things Domonic struggles with… it is.

        You need speed to play it which Domonic has.

  2. DempseyK 3 years ago

    If Neal Huntington waits till the trade deadline to acquire a bat, he should be fired immediately, as should Frank Coonelly.  This management team told the loyal fans that they would spend money and make trades to add the needed talent when we were close to being a contender.  Through 1/3 of the season we have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and we are pissing away all of this AMAZING pitching with a team hitting .204.  Granted some of the players averages will inevitably rise, but some other have been a consistent bust or on a consistent downward trend for longer than just this year.  Bottom line, if you wait until the deadline, you are sending a terrible message to this team and its fans.  And that message is, “WE DONT CARE ABOUT WINNING BASEBALL GAMES”.  A wise man said, “the object of baseball is not winning trades, its winning games.”  Someone needs to explain that to this management team.  This is there 5th year of a 5 year plan.  Put up or shut up.

    • you can’t acquire an impactful bat this early in the season and this far in advance of the trade deadline. its not just not plausable. if they did, they would have to overpay for the return to the other team. AND you want to know the reasoning why? thank Bud Selig for adding those 2 additional wild card spots this year because with pretty much every team still in contention now (even the awful ones like the Royals and Twins), nobody is going to be dishing out pieces this early. way too many buyers, very very few potential sellers

      • Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

        What you just brought up is very interesting. The 2012 Trade Deadline could be a sign of how things will be done from now on.

        However, the Twins have absolutely no pitching. They have to hang it up in the next four weeks.

    • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

      Well part of building a great team is holding unto those blue chippers (Tallion, Cole). So what is left to trade? Anything they do is sort of a lateral move. McDonald is probably the first young ace like pitcher in Pittsburgh in like 10 years, you can’t move him. You could move Burnett and Bedard but then there goes the pitching. The rest of the pieces won’t net anyone special. So if you want a bat you basically cut the pitching s talent in half and your right back to square one. If you want a bat great you might get one, but its not likely to help you compete this year given what its likely to cost. 

      • DempseyK 3 years ago

        We dont need a star type player, even 1-2 borderline starters or bench players that have some sort of offensive ability.  They need to do SOMETHING.  I just dont want to see them stand pat. Improving on AAA guys or Big Leaugers hitting .200 shouldnt require breaking the bank. I am completely against trading Taillion, Cole, or any other pitcher from the MLB roster except perhaps Correia, Morton, or MAYBE Hanrahan. But the 4-5 MLB ready pitchers we currently have in indianapolis can surely yield us something in return that would be an upgrade for at least 1 position.

        • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

          Yeah starters are possible. Just saying stars are pretty
          much completely out of the question.

      • Shane Joseph Thompson 3 years ago

        The starting pool is stacked, the bull pen is stacked AND AAA is stacked…. I say Morton or Correia is going to go IF Karstens returns to form and then I think if he is coupled with say Rudy Owens or Even Tony Sanchez (McKenry is the Catcher of the future and we just spent a second round pick on a catcher) then I think a decent bat can be had. I think Trading Hanrahan would be a bad idea BUT coupled with morton or Correia, I think it could net a big name bat (yankees need pitching, Angels need pitching and both of those teams have bats to spare). Just saying it is possible. But yea, Huntington is right. This far from the deadline nothing big can be done. Granted, McKenry was picked up for practically nothing around this time and he is amazing (getting better now that he has a proper tutor in Rod Barajas). Just saying, patience young grasshopper!

  3. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    If it is true that teams are getting rebuffed when they ask about Josh Willingham, then Terry Ryan may want to think about retiring again. There’s no point in them holding on to their best trade chip when they have no shot at winning in the next couple of years.

    • Bernaldo 3 years ago

      I’m pretty certain that teams are getting rebuffed because no one is talking about giving up real value right now.  Twins are going to ask for two major league or major league ready starters who have top-of-the-rotation ability and maybe a high level infield prospect. Teams aren’t desperate enough yet to gulp hard and meet the Twins price.  Wait until July.   

      • sch1989 3 years ago

        I wonder if the Twins will do something like Correia and one of the Pirates’ top upside arms (Kingman, Allie, etc) for Willingham and Liriano. It’s obvious Liriano needs out of Minnesota since he has been on a downward slide the past two years. Liriano goes into the bullpen and could potentially start if one of our starters start to suck or gets hurt. If Correia and a B prospect don’t work, maybe throw in Rudy Owens who could be in a rotation right now if the position wasn’t so log jammed up. 

        • Bernaldo 3 years ago

          Kevin Correia and a B level isn’t going to do it for Willingham. It will cost a MLB ready A level prospect for sure.  It’s hard to say what Liriano’s real value is right now.  He was dreadful for two months but was dominating against the A’s the other night.  If he re-emerges and is dominant again in June and July, someone will overpay for him. 

          The Twins won’t move Willingham unless they get a high value back.  They have no incentive to trade him unless a team is willing to pay a high price. 

          • Shane Joseph Thompson 3 years ago

            Willingham and Liriano FOR Correa/Morton, Chase D’arnaud and a B prospect plus cash (which the pirates have believe it or not…) D’arnaud is a borderline ready infield prospect and Correa or Morton would provide solid pitching (I see it being Morton because he would be more appealing due to his youth). I think another option would be Willingham and Liriano for Hanrahan but I see that as unlikely.  I feel if Hanrahan is moved it will be to another competitor.

  4. Hamels should have been signed last year, but the Phillies don’t seem to value him like they didn’t value Werth or Madson or even Lee when they refused to negotiate with him and traded him to Seattle for a bunch of junk. 

    • 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

      You mean two relievers that have major control issues and a 4th/5th outfielder is “a bunch of junk”?  For every good thing RAJ does there are 3 or 4 moves that make you shake your head in disgust. 

  5. 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

    Scutaro has struggled a bit at the plate.  I think a return back to the AL would help him.

    • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

       Yeah, get him out of Coors and put him in a place like Seattle where he’ll have the chance to be an All-Star….

  6. bigpat 3 years ago

    I think Pittsburgh needs to really make a splash at the deadline this year, acquiring a bat who can be here for more than one season. If they have to give up a quality prospect not named Cole or Taillon, then do it. I think they would match up well with Kansas City who can use two of our mid level prospect arms and maybe an outfielder like Grossman, Tabata, or Presley in a deal for Billy Butler. I would also check in on Wil Myers.

    If the price is still too high, maybe they should just aim for a cheaper option but that should be their last resort. Someone like Carlos Lee can be had for pretty cheap and sadly would be a tremendous upgrade at 1B and would be a guy who can hit in the middle of the lineup.

    I would be very happy if they end up with Butler or Carlos Quentin, as they are two teams who desperately need starting pitching, if not a fallback option of Josh Willingham, Carlos Lee, Seth Smith, or Brian LaHair could help. I’m just spitballing here, I have no idea who they would be looking to acquire but I’d have to imagine a 1B or corner outfielder would be at the top of their list.

    • Bucn24 3 years ago

      I wouldn’t mind trading tabata at all

    • i think we could trade hammer for a good prospect. then trade the prospect and marte and maybe another piece or 2 to the cubs for castro. then trade for quentin or willingham. then trade for either carlos lee or butler.

      • BeatEmBucs 3 years ago

        Just sell already, Neal. You tried to do the exact same thing last year, and while the Pirates didn’t give up anything, they went on to collapse epically. They could have sold high on Hanrahan last season and possibly have acquired that controllable bat or two for this year and beyond.

        Without looking it up, I would venture to say that no team that has ever ranked 30th in every major offensive statistical category has ever made the playoffs. One bat isn’t going to solve anything, the Pirates need a plethora of sticks. If Bedard stays healthy his value will should be high and Hanrahan will fetch a king’s ransom.

        • i would like to get a shortstop corner outfielder that hits for power and a power hitting first baseman. like one of the each of the following
          ss: castro, alexi rameriz
          of: quentin, willingham
          1b: carlos lee, billy butler

          • Shane Joseph Thompson 3 years ago

            Castro wont happen, Ramirez wont come back to pittsburgh, quentin… ehhhh Willingham makes sense if the price is right (maybe for Morton and a B prospect) Carlos Lee and Butler due to age wouldnt be an improvement over Hague who is hitting well and playing great D. Barmes is playing great D and his stick is heating up plus they have Jordy Mercer who looked very good a few days ago. No, if they add it will be in the outfield or at 3B. Youk makes sense, but IDEALLY Pedro would return to how he was hitting when he hit 5 homeruns in like a week.  Outfielders are available as bait as Starling Marte is damn near ready for the bigs.

      • Shane Joseph Thompson 3 years ago

        That is a terrible idea! When tabata or Pressley gets traded, that opens up room for Marte to come up! Marte, Taillon and Cole arent going ANYWHERE! Hammer for a prospect wont happen, the team is only 2 games back and is beating up on Cincy (a team everyone would agree is rather good). The only team to sweep them is the team that is currently tops in all of baseball… IF Hanrahan were to be traded it would either be a three team deal where the prospect would go to team C and the MLB player would go to us, OR it will be to another competing team that has a bat just sittin around but needs pitching. Also, Castro is a young infielder they have under contract for years…. STUPID for them to trade him! It would be like the Pirates trading McCutchen in the 2010 season! This is the guy they want to build a team around! It would be stupid to trade him. Lee wouldnt be an improvement over Hague at all! production is going to be similar but Hague is young! The only 1B move I can think of that makes sense is Trumbo for Hanrahan!

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