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- Red Sox President Larry Lucchino To Be Replaced
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- East Notes: Valencia, Red Sox, Fulmer
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Pat Gillick Rumors
Cole Hamels gave a thumbs-up following a bullpen session this morning, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports, so the ace southpaw is on pace to pitch on Wednesday afternoon against the Yankees. Hamels missed his last start due to a tight hamstring, and while the injury wasn’t thought to be serious, any concerns about Hamels’ health would impact his trade value. Here’s some more from the NL East…
- Phillies president Pat Gillick told reporters (including Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer) that the team will “probably” hire a new club president “somewhere in the not-too-distant future.” Gillick wouldn’t immediately step aside for his replacement, as the plan is to let the new president spend the rest of the season evaluating the roster and club personnel before fully taking over in October. The Phillies face an extensive rebuild, and Gillick admitted that it might take longer than 2017 or 2018 to return to contention, as he estimated when he stepped into the interim role.
- The future of GM Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg are two of the top questions facing the new Phillies president, though Gillick reiterated his support for both men, saying they’re going a “good job” despite the difficulties on the field.
- “Teams weren’t exactly knocking on the door” to acquire Dillon Gee when the Mets designated righty for assignment, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. The Mets put Gee on outright waivers today and plan to send him to Triple-A if he goes unclaimed by Tuesday.
- The Marlins have a logjam brewing in their rotation but president of baseball operations Michael Hill says he won’t be trading from the team’s strength to alleviate it. “We are fortunate we have some players who are flexible, that we can move to the bullpen,” Hill said, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “We have some young players who may have to go back (to the minors).”
- Hill also shrugged off the notion that the Marlins might look to trade veterans such as Martin Prado and Michael Morse before the deadline. “Any pieces that are under control aren’t even considerations to do anything. We aren’t building this team for 2015. We’re building this for ’15 and ’16 and ’17. We’re trying to build a perennial contender,” Hill said.
- In NL East news from earlier today on MLBTR, the Braves signed first-rounder Mike Soroka, and pundits overwhelmingly felt the Braves got the better of their controversial trade with the Diamondbacks that brought Touki Toussaint and Bronson Arroyo to Atlanta.
While new Phillies president Pat Gillick only figures to occupy that role for a year or so — the 77-year-old has expressed no interest in filling the position long-term — his brief tenure could define the next generation for the team, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes.
As Salisbury notes, Gillick has already signed off on an organizational rebuild and the decision to replace longtime scouting director Marti Wolever. Now, Gillick will be tasked with overseeing any structural changes to the Phillies’ front office, including the decision as to who will replace him as the club’s president. Should the team make a change at GM, a new president would likely make that call.
Additionally, Gillick’s successor would oversee any changes made in the dugout. Ryne Sandberg didn’t distinguish himself with his leadership in 2014, Salisbury writes, and some within the organization question whether he’s the “right guy” to oversee the rebuild. Sandberg will be afforded more time to prove himself, but Gillick will be keeping a watchful eye on his skipper as he enters the second season of a three-year contract.
Also of note in the article, Salisbury hears that teams that have expressed interest in Chase Utley this winter have been informed that he is not interested in waiving his 10-and-5 rights, which grant him the ability to veto a potential trade to any club.
The Dodgers and Phillies reportedly had brief discussions regarding Utley and the Winter Meetings prior to the team’s acquisition of Howie Kendrick, but shortly thereafter, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated to reporters that Utley’s desire was to remain in Philadelphia. Utley himself has said as much in the past, but some have speculated that he might eventually warm to the idea of a trade as the Phillies’ rebuild wore on. That apparently has not been the case even after trading Antonio Bastardo, Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd.
Utley, 36, batted .270/.339/.407 in 664 plate appearances last season — his highest total since the 2009 season. He’ll earn $15MM in 2015 — he triggered a $5MM salary increase by avoiding the disabled list — and has three vesting options at the same price on his contract, the first of which will trigger if he reaches 500 plate appearances this coming season.
Today featured some important front office moves for a Phillies club that is facing some significant challenges — albeit with quite substantial resources — in the coming years. The team announced that longtime executive David Montgomery will return from a health-related hiatus to become the organization’s chairman, while current president Pat Gillick will retain that role.
Here’s the latest out of Philadelphia and the rest of the NL East:
- Gillick leaves the impression that he is prepared to stay on board past the coming season, per Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier Times (Twitter links). “I’ll do it as long as it is a challenge to me and [I am] capable of doing it,” said Gillick. “Age is just a number.” The 77-year-old Hall of Fame inductee reiterated that sentiment, and then some, in speaking with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. “I’m going to probably stay in this position as long as ownership wants me to stay in it,” he said. Emphasizing that his prior expectation had been that Montgomery would return to the full-time president’s chair, Gillick said that he is “not really setting a timetable” on his time in office, though he does not expect to be “a long, long-term replacement.”
- While Gillick has obviously earned quite a bit of respect over his years in the game, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News asks whether he really is the right man for to lead a rebuild at this juncture. While moving veteran assets for the best return possible is a straightforward-enough function, says Murphy, it will be much more tricky to make the right decisions in applying Philadelphia’s financial might to acquire the right new talent. Though Gillick oversaw many winning clubs, and adeptly constructed big league rosters, Murphy also points out that the organizations he guided tended not to be set up well for the long haul and that the baseline circumstances (rules, modes of analysis, and the like) were quite different in his heyday.
- The Marlins obviously were interested in adding Ichiro Suzuki as a veteran presence to their young outfield and hopefully getting a late-career renaissance from an all-time great ballplayer, but the club also was interested in his nationality, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. President of baseball operations Michael Hill and president David Samson both emphasized the fact that Ichiro’s Japanese heritage was a factor in his signing. Indeed, the front office traveled to Tokyo to announced the deal. “It’s a bonus he’s a Hall of Famer and a Japanese player,” said Samson, who noted that Miami was one of only two teams (the Reds being the other) that had yet to employ a Japanese ballplayer. (For what it’s worth, Cincinnati has fielded a Korean player.)
- Bringing in veteran reliever Casey Janssen fills the final hole for the Nationals, writes MLB.com’s Phil Rogers. The veteran should slot in nicely in a setup capacity while also providing some insurance in the closer position, says Rogers.
The latest on various NL West clubs…
- Heath Bell told MLB.com's Corey Brock he never heard from new Padres GM Josh Byrnes. Bell noted that he passed on offers of a little more money to take a three-year, $27MM deal from the Marlins.
- The Padres' goal is to fix the eighth and ninth innings this offseason, manager Bud Black told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio.
- The Dodgers are closing in on a minor league deal with reliever Alberto Castillo, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The 36-year-old spent most of the year at Triple-A, posting a 1.91 ERA and 8.1 K/9 in 42 1/3 innings there.
- The Giants are believed to have scheduled a meeting today with Ryan Ludwick's agent Dan Horwits, reports MLB.com's Chris Haft. Ludwick, 33, hit .237/.310/.363 with 13 home runs in 553 plate appearances for the Padres and Pirates this year.
- Phillies senior advisor and former GM Pat Gillick would consider a position as the Dodgers' new president of baseball operations, he told Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times.
- The Padres are getting hits on Chase Headley, Jason Bartlett, and Orlando Hudson, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, who expects one of them to be dealt by spring training. Hudson, who is owed $7.5MM through 2012, would be a pure salary dump, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- The Rockies are lukewarm at best on Hudson, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, who wonders if the Giants' Jeff Keppinger could be a fit. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News says the Giants are looking to get creative on the trade front for outfield and infield help.
- Non-tender candidate Joe Saunders told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert he'd like to return to the Diamondbacks, but the decision is up to the team. About a week ago, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that Saunders has a very good chance of returning to the D'Backs on a two-year deal.
Full Story | 31 Comments | Categories: Alberto Castillo | Arizona Diamondbacks | Chase Headley | Colorado Rockies | Heath Bell | Jason Bartlett | Jeff Keppinger | Joe Saunders | Los Angeles Dodgers | Orlando Hudson | Pat Gillick | Philadelphia Phillies | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants
The Cubs fired longtime GM Jim Hendry today and they’re already thinking about their next permanent general manager. Former assistant GM Randy Bush has taken over in the interim, but he’s not a long-term option, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts says he’s reaching out to 'industry veterans’ and will search for a well-rounded candidate. "We are not running a baseball organization by a computer model," Ricketts said, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (on Twitter). But as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes notes, the Cubs will look to find someone more statistically inclined than Hendry (Twitter link).
Ricketts is looking for someone who will emphasize the farm system, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (on Twitter) and he wants farm director Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken to stay, according to Sullivan (on Twitter). As for specific candidates, Ricketts says he’ll impose silence around the process from here, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter).
With nine days remaining before the trade deadline, the biggest trade chips in baseball are arguably Carlos Beltran (latest rumors) and Hunter Pence (latest rumors). Here are some other relevant links from around MLB…
- The Nationals are in greater need of outfield depth than infield help or a catcher, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- The Rays pulled B.J. Upton and prospect Desmond Jennings from their respective games, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter). However, Upton says that he has not been traded, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb will undergo surgery on his right shoulder with the intent to pitch again in 2012, according to his agent Jonathan Maurer. This will not be a full surgery of the rotator cuff but it will prevent him from throwing for four months.
- The Tigers would need to eat some salary to move Brandon Inge but teams still believe that the veteran has value, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- The Reds scouted Jason Vargas and Doug Fister when the Mariners visited Toronto this week, a source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Indians team president Mark Shapiro said that he expects the club will make a move in the next ten days, tweets Nick Camino of WTAM 1100.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he’s looking for a bat to insert at the top of the order or in the middle of the lineup. However, the Reds are also open to acquiring pitching, either for the rotation or the bullpen. The Reds have lots of depth, but Jocketty says he “hates” trading prospects.
- Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago hears that Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick is open to a role with the Cubs. Gillick said last week that he's open to taking on a full-time role as a team president at some point in the future.
- MLB talent evaluators tell Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox have a number of players whose prospect status is starting to rise and who could become elite prospects within a year. Though the Adrian Gonzalez deal made a major dent in Boston’s farm system, Speier’s sources say the Red Sox still have secondary prospects who could be valuable trade bait this summer. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks and right-hander Anthony Ranaudo are among the organization’s top prospects.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms that the Red Sox have had exploratory conversations with the Royals about Jeff Francoeur.
Longtime baseball executive Pat Gillick will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next weekend alongside Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar. The former Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies GM reflected on his career and the state of the game on a conference call with reporters this morning. Congratulations in advance to Gillick; here are some highlights from his conversation:
- Gillick, who is now a senior advisor for the Phillies, would like to see Philadelphia add a right-handed bat this summer. Though doing so is not imperative, it's "very important."
- Gillick now provides the Phillies with scouting reports on amateur players on the West Coast and talks with GM Ruben Amaro Jr. about twice per week.
- Jayson Werth's $126MM contract with the Nationals "stunned and shocked" Gillick, who once signed Werth for $850K under considerably different circumstances. The longtime GM says he's not a fan of long-term deals. "It wouldn't have been something I would have recommended," Gillick said.
- Jon Daniels of the Rangers reminds Gillick of himself. "I always considered myself a little adventurous," Gillick said, "and I think Jon and his Texas group are headed in the right direction."
- Gillick says he admires some moves by Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, especially the deal that brought Adam Jones to Baltimore for Erik Bedard.
- Gillick says he doesn't expect to be a GM again, but he would consider becoming a club president in the right situation.
- The Pirates are the surprise of 2011 for Gillick.
The 16-member Expansion Era committee announced they've elected Pat Gillick to baseball's Hall of Fame. From their website:
Pat Gillick spent 27 years as the general manager for the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, winning at every stop along the way, with his teams earning 11 post-season berths and three World Series championships. In his 27 years as GM, his teams finished with a winning record 20 times.
Eleven other men were on the ballot, including George Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller, and Billy Martin.
Saturday morning links…
- Arangure (via Twitter) writes that the A's have agreed to terms with Michael Feliz, a right-hander from the Dominican Republic. The deal, which is still pending a physical and an age investigation, will provide Feliz with an $800K bonus. The Dominican Prospect League website says that the 6'4, 200-pound hurler is 16-years-old.
- Tim tweets that Bobby Kielty is converting to pitching, and that his slider is actually pretty good. The 33-year-old last played in the big leagues back in 2007, when he was still an outfielder of course.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure tweets that the Blue Jays, Rockies, and Rangers are the teams most interested in Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz. Ruiz was recently cleared to sign by the Office of Foreign Asset Control.
- Pat Gillick has returned to the Phillies as a senior advisor to president Dave Montgomery, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun. Gillick was the team's GM from 2006-2008.
- ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to several talent evaluators, none of whom think Omir Santos is equipped to be a number one catcher. If the season started today, Santos would likely be behind the plate for the Mets.
Full Story | 15 Comments | Categories: Bobby Kielty | Boston Red Sox | Colorado Rockies | Hisanori Takahashi | Jose Julio Ruiz | Los Angeles Dodgers | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Omir Santos | Pat Gillick | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
Brendan Bianowicz is back with a bunch of updates to the GM Trade History series. The Excel spreadsheets linked below cover each GM's trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks via tabs along the bottom. It's interesting to see each GM's most frequent trade partner – for example, Omar Minaya has matched up with Larry Beinfest and Mark Shapiro most often in his career.