Kyle Kendrick Rumors

Phillies Notes: Halladay, Kendrick, Hairston, Stanton

The Phillies saw their streak of five consecutive NL East titles ended by the Nationals in 2012. But, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes there is optimism since the Phillies won 60% of their games after July 31 despite the health issues of Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz, trading away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, and not having a reliable setup man for Jonathan Papelbon. The Phillies, however, enter the new year with several question marks which Zolecki says centers around the health of Halladay and Chase Utley, the continued recovery of Ryan Howard, and how much offense new acquistions Michael Young and Ben Revere will contribute. For more news and notes on the Phillies, Zolecki opened his inbox

  • Zolecki, when asked about the health of Halladay, quoted GM Ruben Amaro Jr. who recently said, "He's going to start throwing off the mound here very shortly. I guess he's working down there with Kyle Kendrick pretty extensively. He's doing well, but we don't know what kind of Doc we're going to get until Doc's down firing in Spring Training."
  • Speaking of Kendrick, Zolecki believes he's a lock for the starting rotation as long as he remains healthy.
  • Scott Hairston would be the best fit to fill one of the corner outfield vacancies. Zolecki notes the Phillies have tried to acquire Hairston in the past. Zolecki also mentioned Alfonso Soriano, who he thinks would slot in nicely hitting behind Utley and Howard.
  • If the Phillies acquire a right-handed outfield bat, look for Darin Ruf to open the season at Triple-A.
  • The Phillies don't have have enough top-tier talent to tempt the Marlins into trading Giancarlo Stanton to the City of Brotherly Love.

Stark On Rays, Volquez, Butler, Phillies

The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors…

  • The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
  • The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.” 
  • The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
  • Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
  • Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
  • The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
  • Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
  • The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
  • The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.

Phillies, Kendrick Agree To Two-Year Deal

MONDAY: Kendrick's contract pays $3MM in 2012 and $4.5MM in '13, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.  The righty can make up to $500K per season in incentives based on starts.

SUNDAY: Kyle Kendrick has agreed to a two-year, $7.5MM contract with the Phillies, the team announced.  The right-hander, avoided arbitration with the club earlier this offseason by agreeing to a one-year, $3.585MM deal. This new contract will cover the 2012-13 seasons, effectively overwriting that previous agreement. Kendrick, earned $2.45MM in 2011 as he posted a 3.22 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 114.2 innings of work. 

The deal buys out two of the 27-year-old Kendrick's arbitration seasons. As a Super Two player, he'll be arbitration-eligible for a fourth and final time following the 2013 season. As a fellow Super Two starter, Jason Hammel's two-year, $7.75MM extension with the Rockies last year likely served as somewhat of a framework for Kendrick and his representation at SFX. Kendrick's deal looks looks a bit more favorable, as he'll earn slightly less money despite the fact that he has a lower career ERA over more innings with more wins than Hammel did when he signed his deal — all factors an arbitration panel would consider heavily.

MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows that Kendrick joins Hammel, Ryan Vogelsong, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Chris Carpenter, and R.A. Dickey as pitchers to sign a two-year extension over the past two years. A look at our Transaction Tracker reveals that this is the fourth multi-year deal given out by GM Ruben Amaro Jr. this offseason. Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, and Laynce Nix all secured multi-year commitments via free agency.

Tim Dierkes and Steve Adams contributed to this post.



Phillies Avoid Arbitration With Kyle Kendrick

The Phillies announced that they have avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.585MM. SFX represents the second-time arbitration eligible right-hander.

As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Phillies now have three remaining arbitration eligible players: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez

Kendrick, 27, posted a 3.22 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 114 2/3 innings last year. He owns a 43-30 career record with a 4.41 ERA in 598 1/3 innings of work since 2007. The Phillies control his rights through 2014.


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:

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Amaro Talks Phillies Offseason

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. talked about the Phillies' offseason at a news conference today, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News and Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer have quotes.

  • Amaro said he wants Jayson Werth back and the Phillies can afford him, but he expects talks to go deep into the offseason.  He'll make contact with Scott Boras over the next 48 hours.  Despite the prolonged timeframe, Amaro seems to want to address the Werth situation first: "We're not going to feel comfortable on anything until we know where we stand on Werth and go from there."  Werth, for his part, said he's "open to anything" but "this is definitely a business."
  • Amaro downplayed Werth's season, saying, "Jayson had a good year. It wasn't an extraordinary year.  He had a tough time with men in scoring position. It wasn't as productive a year as he had in the past."  I wonder if Boras feels the same way. 
  • Kyle Kendrick's work as the team's fifth starter was described as "a pretty good performance," implying that the 26-year-old will be tendered a contract and the 2011 rotation is settled.
  • The Phillies exercised Jimmy Rollins' 2011 option in December of 2009, but his next contract will probably be discussed after the '11 season.

Phillies Face Multiple Decisions In Offseason

With their 2010 season officially in the books, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki examined the Phillies' decisions regarding both free agency and arbitration this offseason. Here are some highlights:

  • The Phillies and Jayson Werth will both say they have interest in working something out, and while that's probably true, Zolecki agrees with the common belief that Werth will be playing elsewhere in 2011. The Phillies already have $145MM committed to 16 players in 2011, and Werth's probable $15MM+ salary will be too much to add on.
  • J.C. Romero's option will probably be declined due to the left-hander's injury problems and control issues (7.1 BB/9 the past two seasons).
  • Jose Contreras could be this season's Chan Ho Park. Both pitched well out of the Philadelphia bullpen, but in doing so significantly raised their stock. Contreras could be in line for more money than Philadelphia wants to offer. Zolecki does note that Contreras' best friend and fellow Cuban, Danys Baez, is under contract for 2011, so that may help sway Contreras.
  • Chad Durbin is 50-50 on whether or not he'd take less money than he could get on the open market to stay with the Phils. As Zolecki points out, this could be Durbin's only chance to secure a decent multiyear deal.
  • Jamie Moyer, Mike Sweeney, and Greg Dobbs are all unlikely to be brought back.
  • Ben Francisco will almost certainly be tendered a contract, and could platoon with Domonic Brown. Kyle Kendrick is due a raise and could be non-tendered and then re-signed at a more affordable price.

Phillies Outlook For The Week

David Murphy offers up an insight into the Phillies issues this week, stating that the Phillies will likely be far less active than last year, when they signed Raul Ibanez, set their sights on Chan Ho Park, and extended Jamie Moyer. The Phils have already signed Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, and Juan Castro this offseason, leaving general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. with fewer needs during his trip to Indianapolis:

  • Despite locking up Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, and J.C. Romero over the past few seasons, the Phillies find themselves in need of relief help. As we all know, Lidge was dreadful in 2009 and is coming off arthroscopic elbow surgery. Romero is coming off surgery as well and could miss a month of the season. Brandon Lyon is the team's primary target.
  • Amaro has said adding a bench bat is bottom on his list of priorities, as the spot could be filled by recently-signed minor league free agent Dewayne Wise, or prospect John Mayberry Jr. Still, a move shouldn't be ruled out, according to Murphy.
  • In regards to a No. 5 starter, the Phillies haven't ruled out a return for Pedro Martinez, but Murphy feels it is unlikely. While Kyle Kendrick was impressive late in the season last year, an alternative to him and Jamie Moyer wouldn't hurt.
  • Murphy is interested to see the outcome of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday this week, given the Phillies' success there in the past. Perhaps you've heard of Shane Victorino? He turned out to be an OK selection.

Cliff Lee Rumors: Tuesday

11:21pm: Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal at FOX Sports have some new bullet points on the Lee situation, most involving the Dodgers:

  • The Dodgers, Red Sox, Phillies and Angels have all inquired, and the Angels hadn't until the last day or two.
  • The Rangers want a starter, but haven't asked about Lee just yet.
  • The Dodgers have enough prospects to acquire both George Sherrill and Lee, but officials haven't green-lighted giving up too much of their talent.
  • The Dodgers like the idea of getting Lee, as it will likely mean they won't have to depart with Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley in a deal.
  • It's unclear if the Dodgers would deal third base prospect Josh Bell.

10:41pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki gives a rundown of the Phillies' leanings toward Lee. Yahoo's Gordon Edes says that recent Phillies call-up Kyle Kendrick is "one of the pieces expected" to head to the Indians should the Phils commit to obtaining Lee.

9:27pm: Word from Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is that the Phillies are indeed focusing their attention on Lee. The Indians have intimate knowledge of the Phils' system after scouting them for a potential C.C. Sabathia deal last summer as well. However, one source from the Indians says the team is likely "closing up shop" on deals before the deadline. We'll see about that.

4:50pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Phillies and Indians are doing extensive background work on minor leaguers to prepare for a possible Lee trade. The Indians want top pitching that could contribute in the majors soon. Kyle Drabek would appeal to the Indians, but the Phillies have been reluctant to trade Drabek, even for Halladay. 

However, the Phillies may have enough high-upside pitching to meet the Indians' demands without including Drabek.

10:53am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that there's a 25-50% chance the Indians trade Cliff Lee. Here are more details on the Indians' ace:

  • The Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Rays and Rangers all have interest in Lee.
  • If no one offers the Indians multiple prospects, including a high-upside pitcher, they won't deal him.
  • The Indians discussed an extention with Lee this spring, but never made him an offer, so Lee told the team he'll test free agency after 2010 (assuming the Indians pick up his $9MM option for next year).
  • Lee says he understands he might be traded. Unlike Roy Halladay, he has no say in where he ends up, however.

Rockies Hope To Trade Torrealba, Baker

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes today about the Rockies desire to trade catcher Yorvit Torrealba and infielder Jeff Baker.

Torrealba was signed in November of '07 after coming close to a deal with the Mets.  The Rockies had reached the World Series with Torrealba behind the dish, and Chris Iannetta had yet to emerge.  Now, though, the Rox would love to move Torrealba and the $4MM owed to him for '09.  Renck says they shopped him hard this winter but came up empty.  The Rockies like Sal Fasano as the backup catcher and don't have much use for Torrealba.

Baker, 27, hit .268/.322/.468 in 333 plate appearances for the Rockies last year, crushing lefties while struggling away from Coors.  Baseball Prospectus likens Baker to former Padre Archi Cianfrocco, circa 1994.  Baker has spent time at first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field in his career.  Yesterday Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said the Phillies, Astros, and Pirates were interested.  Rosenthal suggested Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick as a possible target for the Rockies, but Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. doesn't see that as a fair trade.  Renck says the Pirates and Astros have interest in Baker while the Yankees, Braves, and Phillies have a need.  Baker is trying to bounce back from elbow soreness this spring.