NL East Notes: MASN, Collins, Phils, Hamels, Bastardo

As baseball’s owners gather in Baltimore to decide upon the next Commissioner, it appears the game’s next steward will find a legal dispute between the region’s two ballclubs — the Orioles and Nationals — waiting for resolution. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports on some details gleaned from court filings, including allegations from Baltimore that the Nationals hoped to use the rights fee renegotiation to render insolvent the jointly owned TV network (MASN) so as to to free the club’s broadcast rights. Today, Kilgore reports (Twitter links) that, based upon filings and already-public information, it appears that the arbitration panel that previously ruled on the dispute awarded the Nationals approximately $55MM in annual rights fees.

Here’s more from the NL East:

  • Mets manager Terry Collins is likely to return next year, reports Jon Heyman of Collins has been at the helm since the 2011 season, and now seems likely to have the chance to try to guide the club through its hoped-for transition from rebuilding to competing.
  • The Phillies‘ rotation may take time to reconstitute, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. When asked if there were any internal options that looked prime to step up to the MLB staff next year, manager Ryne Sandberg could name only Jesse Biddle (who struggled at Double-A this year and is only now returning to that level after a temporary demotion) and, upon prompting from a reporter, recent draft pick Aaron Nola (who just made it to Double-A himself). Meanwhile, Gelb writes that the team is not likely to pursue the top-end arms available in free agency, though could play in the next tier down.
  • Indeed, there is quite a bit of uncertainty in the Phils’ starting five. Cliff Lee‘s availability for next season is still in doubt, Kyle Kendrick will be a free agent, and it remains to be seen whether A.J. Burnett will exercise his player option. And trade speculation has followed the one seemingly sure thing: Cole Hamels, the club’s best trade asset. As Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News writes, Hamels says he wants to pitch for a winner, though he hopes that he can do so in Philadelphia. (With a 20-team no-trade clause, Hamels’s preferences do have a role in any trade discussions.)
  • Turning to the bullpen, lefty Antonio Bastardo — a much-discussed piece of July trade bait who was not moved — could instead be dealt this winter, writes Gelb. Bastardo has had something of an up-and-down year as he approaches his last season of arbitration eligibility. Of course, with his salary rising and the immediate needs of the trade deadline no longer in play, it remains to be seen whether the Phils can extract maximum value for the set-up man.

39 Responses to NL East Notes: MASN, Collins, Phils, Hamels, Bastardo Leave a Reply

  1. hacker13 11 months ago

    Biddle wasn’t demoted per se… he was given a 6 week “mental break” after struggling when he returned to the mound after suffering a concussion. He pitched a few rehab starts in A ball before returning to Reading. Still its hard to see him helping the big league club come next year given how up and down he has been in the minors.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      *after suffering a concussion from a hailstone to the head.*

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      I changed it to “temporary demotion.” Was looking for something I could squeeze into a comprehensible parenthetical.

  2. Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

    If A-Rod comes back next season and would like to play out his contract and regardless of the condition of Cliff Lee’s left elbow, I would like to see Brian Cashman propose the following to Ruben Amaro:

    Zoilo Almonte (or another outfield prospect of Amaro’s choosing), Manny Banuelos, Carlos Beltran, Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Shawn Kelley, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Zelous Wheeler for Marlon Byrd, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon with no cash considerations going in either direction.

    • sflomenb 11 months ago

      No way, don’t want Arod

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        Who is the Phillies 3B right now? Wouldn’t A-Rod have more upside for you as a 3B than Ryan Howard as a 1B? The Yankees could use Howard as an insurance policy for Tex and a DH against RHPs, giving other players the opportunity to DH against LHPs.

        • NCBirdfan 11 months ago

          No one wants A-Rod. He is a declining player with a huge contract and would be a cancer to any team that has him. He would not be an improvement in Philly. The Phillies could get a second-tier player that would fit their needs better than the over-priced A-Rod.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            Howard’s contract is even bigger and is just as declining as A-Rod’s. The fact of the matter is that Howard could fit better in New York and A-Rod could fit better in Philly. Hopefully, A-Rod has spent this past year juicing up in a major way and getting his body back in shape. If so, he might be able to be a productive player for the next three years.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            ARod’s contract is through 2017 (Howard’s got a 2017 team option), and he gets bonus money for HRs 660-763 (he currently has 654).

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            Would anyone who has A-Rod for the next three years complain about paying him his bonuses if he averaged 37 HRs per year? I don’t think so.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Considering the Phillies aren’t going to be legitimate contenders for the division in the next 2 years, and his salary might prevent them from signing a longer-term solution at a position where they don’t have one of the best prospects in baseball… Yes, I think some people would.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            It would be one thing if we were talking about adding payroll, but the Phillies are stuck with Ryan Howard’s terrible contract and the Yankees are stuck with A-Rod’s terrible contract. My argument is that the Yankees could do more with Howard and the Phillies could do more with A-Rod.

            Even if he did not make the Phillies more of a contender, if A-Rod was able to average 37 HRs per year over the next three years, he would still be enough of a draw to more than pay for the cost of his bonuses.

            Also, if A-Rod had 25 HRs by July 31 of next year, the Phillies would have no problem trading him to a contender and making room for one of the best prospects in baseball.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            Why could the Phillies do more with ARod? He hits right-handed, which I guess would help break up the lefties, but so would Ruf, but other than that he brings nothing extra to the table beyond Howard (who’s actually hitting lefties this year), and he has negative name draw, while Howard at least still has some degree of fan nostalgia.

            And if ARod doesn’t hit a ton of HRs, then the Phillies are stuck with a bigger contract for an extra year. There’s really very little realistic upside for the Phillies, since they’re not even clearing salary, and they’re adding a player who would block two of their better pre-arb players from playing in their natural position (I suppose one of them could move to first, but why transition a guy if you don’t have to?).

          • raltongo 11 months ago

            I like your line of thinkin’…thats a pretty large prospect haul coming back to philly in your proposition, though, and I dont think the Yankees would be willing to give up ALL that just to get rid of A-Rod…or maybe they would?

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            The primary goal is to get Hamels. Getting rid of A-Rod would be a bonus.

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            A-Rod is going to average 37 homers?

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            Not likely, but NotCanon was concerned about the bonus money that A-Rod is due and my argument is that if he was able to hit those numbers, which would require him to average 37 HRs per year over the next three years, he would be worth the bonus money.

          • NotCanon 11 months ago

            He needs to hit 6 HRs total before he starts making HR bonuses.

        • NotCanon 11 months ago

          The Phillies’ 3B right now is Cody Asche, young(ish) rookie. Next year it’ll likely be him for half the season, and then Maikel Franco (currently ranked anywhere from 17th-to-52nd-best prospect in baseball).

      • Scott Berlin 11 months ago

        You think teams are lining up to take Ryan Howard?

    • rct 11 months ago

      Why not just have both entire teams switch uniforms?

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        Because I don’t want the entire Phillies team. I just want Hamels and since I don’t have the prospects to get him, I have to be willing to eat unwanted contracts like Lee’s and Papelbon’s.

        • Ron Loreski 11 months ago

          “You can’t always get what you want” – Rolling Stones

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      The ole 10-for-5 swap, with about half a million dollars in salary flying around. Ahh, the classic trades.

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        No school like the old school. Wouldn’t it be fun for a deal like this to get done? Is it an unfair offer?

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          Would it be fun? That’s not a pertinent question regarding a trade.

          Is it an unfair offer? To answer that, I’d have to break it down in pieces. Let’s say that Howard and Papelbon are traded straight up for Beltran and A-Rod (which is about fair in money/performance – slanted a bit in the Yankees favor because of the uncertainty regarding A-Rod, with the possibility of including one of the later 6 “prospects” in here to make it even). And Cliff Lee is traded for Zelous Wheeler and Zolio Almonte (about the return I’d expect for a guy injured – even of Cliff’s caliber). That means that root of the trade, essentially, breaks down to Cole Hamels + Marlon Byrd for Manny Banuelos, Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Shawn Kelley, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino. While those 6 are decent prospects (or MLB conributors in Kelley’s case), I honestly think the Phillies could get a better return for Hamels and Byrd (not in quantity, but quality).

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            Howard and A-Rod should be a wash since the Phillies would prefer to start Ruf over Howard even against RHPs and A-Rod could be a lot better than whomever the Phillies have at 3B.

            A-Rod is actually cheaper than Howard unless he starts hitting HRs at a serious clip again and if that happens, he would be worth the extra money anyway. The Beltran for Byrd swap is intended to counter the difference between the money due A-Rod and Howard. If healthy, Beltran could be even better than Byrd.

            That makes the rest of the deal 8 good to great prospects and the willingness to eat Lee’s and Papelbon’s contracts for Hamels. While other teams might be willing to give up 3-4 top prospects for Hamels, I think that the aggregate quality of what I am offering plus the salary relief far surpasses what any other team would offer.

    • mauryfeldman 11 months ago

      I would love to see this trade just for the fun of it. It could never happen, too many no trade clauses.

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        Beltran is the only player who would balk and if he did, I would just pull him and Byrd out of the deal. The Yankees are not on Hamels no trade list. Lee could be bought off by having his option year guaranteed. Papelbon just wants to close and would love to have the chance to pitch against the Red Sox on a regular basis. If I was able to get this deal done, I would let David Robertson walk this offseason and let Dellin Betances know that he is the closer as soon as Papelbon’s contract is completed if not sooner (if Papelbon falters). Do A-Rod and Howard have NTCs? If so, that would probably nix that part of the deal, which would be a bummer, but it shouldn’t kill the whole thing.

    • anon_coward 11 months ago

      how many of these guys have no trade clauses? i bet a-rod and beltran do
      and no way cashman deals a-rod. if it’s anything like last year, he gave the yankees a nice boost when he came back

  3. pjbthree 11 months ago

    Hamels just listed his house for sale

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      Over two months ago. And his listing agent said he and his wife bought another home in the area in February.

    • raltongo 11 months ago

      and his wife is from Illinois…and they have a house out there in the Midwest also….and there is an apparent mutual interest because the Cubs claimed him and they are not on Hamels’ NT list…but i think the window to get a deal done has passed, hasn’t it? Let’s see if Chicago wants to pony up 3 prospects in the offseason for Hamels…

      • NotCanon 11 months ago

        The window is closed, yes. However, the house for sale isn’t exactly indicative of anything considering he purchased another one in the same development in February.

  4. NotCanon 11 months ago

    Hate to break it to you, but New Yankee Stadium is bandboxier than CBP. Also, considering Howard’s usually a dead pull hitter, the short porch in RF benefits him much more than the fairly-standard wall in LF would ARod.

    Of course, this year Howard’s got weirdly reverse splits against LHP and is going to the left side much more often… But I don’t expect that to last.

  5. Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

    Howard is definitely better suited to hit in Yankee Stadium than A-Rod and A-Rod would definitely hit better in CBP than YS. So what is your point?

  6. NotCanon 11 months ago

    Why would ARod definitely hit better in CBP than YS? It’s farther to the LF wall in CBP than it is in YS. In fact, literally every dimension in CBP is larger than at YS. That would seem to indicate that ARod would be worse in CBP.

  7. Gland1 11 months ago

    Well the first line of the article does say “Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels is selling one of two homes he owns on the same street in Delaware County.”

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