Philadelphia Phillies Rumors

Philadelphia Phillies trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Rangers Notes: Harrison, Daniels, Hamels, Gallardo

Rangers officials personally informed Matt Harrison that he was going to be traded midway through the Rangers’ game on Wednesday, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.  With rumors of the Cole Hamels trade swirling, GM Jon Daniels didn’t want an awkward repeat of the 2013 situation when longtime Ranger Ian Kinsler only found out he was dealt to Detroit via social media.  Harrison assumed the in-game meeting regarded Hamels, though Harrison thought he was being told that his next start was being pushed a day to accommodate the former Phillie.  Here’s some more from the Rangers…

  • Daniels discussed the Hamels trade and more during an appearance on The Front Office with Jim Duquette and Grant Paulsen on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.  The Rangers first tried to acquire Hamels in 2012 before he signed his contract extension with the Phillies, and talks between the two sides became serious again both this last offseason and this July (Twitter link).
  • The Rangers gave up several prospects for Hamels, though Daniels said it was a necessary price given that the Phillies were taking on Harrison’s contract and also sending $9.5MM in cash to Texas.  “When you’re talking that significant discount financially we understood we had to put a little more talent in the deal,” Daniels said (Twitter link).
  • Daniels also talked about the decision to hold onto Yovani Gallardo (audio link), which was inspired by the Rangers’ desire to make a playoff run, no mandate from ownership to unload Gallardo’s salary and the general feeling that there wasn’t an offer on the table that really intrigued the Rangers.  “It didn’t make sense for us, we didn’t want to pull the rug from under the club,” Daniels said.  “I’d rather have him continue to pitch for us and get the draft pick [if Gallardo leaves in free agency] than get a B- or C-level deal.”  The number of other solid pitchers on the market may have been another reason why a Gallardo deal didn’t materialize, the general manager speculated.
  • In regards to Gallardo’s pending free agency, Daniels said the Rangers will save any negotiations until after the season.

East Links: Valencia, Lucchino, Utley, Espinosa

We’ve already had a collection of NL East Notes and Red Sox Notes earlier today on MLBTR, but there’s always more news flowing out of the two Eastern divisions…

  • The Orioles, Rangers and White Sox are three of the likeliest teams to obtain Danny Valencia, an MLB source tells Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.  Of these clubs, Chicago would have the inside track since they have the higher waiver priority than Baltimore or Texas (presuming, of course, that the four teams behind the Pale Hose don’t put in a claim of their own).  Valencia was rather surprisingly designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and he isn’t expected to clear trade waivers.
  • Larry Lucchino could one day land in the Hall of Fame, but the Red Sox have a very capable replacement for their President/CEO in Sam Kennedy, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe writes.  “This is Sam’s time,” one team source said. “Everybody in the building knows that.”  Abraham writes that there have been internal concerns in the past that Kennedy would leave the Red Sox to become president of another team. Other teams and even businesses outside of baseball have recruited Kennedy over the years.  Now, he’ll stay in Boston as he succeeds Lucchino.
  • The AL East landscape changed at the trade deadline, Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun writes.  The Blue Jays stole all the headlines in the division, but Schmuck believes that the Orioles found better offensive chemistry with their acquisition of Gerardo Parra.  Schmuck also gives his thoughts on the rest of the division, including the Yankees, who apparently hold their farm system’s best talent in very high esteem.
  • Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, an August trade candidate, is making progress on his rehab assignment and could rejoin the big league club soon, as MLB.com’s Nick Suss writes. When he does get back, he’ll go straight to the starting lineup, even if he’s not in Philly for long. “There’s no way I’m just going to let him sit on the bench,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “Because he’s got value and I think he’s got a lot left.”
  • Danny Espinosa has played a big role for the Nationals this season, but with their regular infield starters back, Espinosa is in a playing-time crunch, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Times writes.  His versatility makes him a prime bench piece, however, and as Janes notes, Espinosa could well find regular time again if veterans need a rest or if the Nats suffer further injuries.
  • Despite selling off key pieces at the deadline, Marlins president Michael Hill says there will be brighter days ahead in Miami.  “There’s optimism in South Florida,” Hill told MLB Network Radio (on Twitter). “We feel like we have a great core…We’re looking at an ace in Jose Fernandez and one of the best power hitters in Giancarlo Stanton.”

Cafardo’s Latest: Gray, Iwakuma, Red Sox, Padres

The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo recaps the trade deadline moves, evaluates which teams fared well or poorly with their transactions (or lack thereof) and also looks ahead to the August trade market in his latest column.  Some highlights…

  • “Plenty of teams” approached the A’s about a trade for Sonny Gray, though unsurprisingly, Oakland held onto the young ace.
  • The Mariners believe they can re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma (a pending free agent) for one or two more seasons.  For this season, the M’s decided to keep the righty at the deadline, though Iwakuma drew interest from multiple teams.
  • Mike Napoli could be an August trade candidate, as one GM called him “a guy teams want to see a little bit more of” to see if Napoli can heat up at the plate.  The Red Sox first baseman is only hitting .206/.307/.387 with 13 homers over 362 plate appearances.  Boston shopped Napoli prior to the July deadline though the Pirates were the only team known to have any interest.
  • There was some deadline day speculation that the Padres could make a run at Pablo Sandoval, though no deal materialized.
  • The Red Sox pursued Cole Hamels for 18 months but are still looking for a rotation-topping ace as Hamels ended up dealt to Texas.  Cafardo wonders if all this wasted time will hurt Boston, as he feels the Sox could’ve matched or topped the prospect package the Phillies got from the Rangers.  Now, the Red Sox will have to spent far more than Hamels’ remaining salary to obtain an ace this winter.
  • One team evaluator though the Phillies ultimately fared well in their deadline deals for Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere, though “from where they started in their demands to where they wound up, it’s quite a fall. But if you look around at other deals, nobody was giving up No. 1 or 2 prospects. They settled for quantity in some cases, but they got a fair share of quality, as well.”
  • Cafardo was surprised to see the Tigers deal Joakim Soria, “as relievers of this ilk are hard to come by and the Tigers have a history of being unable to identify them. They finally did with Soria and yet they traded him.”
  • The fact that the Tigers entrusted GM Dave Dombrowski with trading Soria, Yoenis Cespedes and David Price could be a sign that Dombrowski may remain in Detroit, Cafardo opines.  The two sides hadn’t made progress on an extension as of early July, though Dombrowski’s last extension to remain with the Tigers (in 2011) wasn’t settled until August of that year.
  • You can add the Nationals to the list of teams that showed some interest in Justin Upton, as Cafardo writes that Washington “considered” a move for the Padres outfielder.
  • Speaking of Upton, Cafardo thinks the Padres could move both he and James Shields in August if the team finally decides they’re out of the race.  I would think an Upton deal would be extremely difficult, since any number of teams would put in waiver claims to block him from going to a rival and wouldn’t hesitate taking on the roughly $5MM remaining on Upton’s contract.  As for Shields, his much longer and pricier contract makes him unlikely to be claimed on waivers, so Cafardo thinks a team like the Yankees could make a move for Shields to upgrade their rotation.


NL East Notes: Marlins, Ozuna, Phillies, Mets

Agent Scott Boras says the Marlins are leaving outfielder Marcell Ozuna at Triple-A New Orleans to potentially delay his arbitration eligibility, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  The agent claims that Marlins players are upset about the situation and this “is not what Marlins fans deserve.” The Marlins, meanwhile, deny that Ozuna is being kept in the minors for financial reasons. Here’s more out of the NL East..

  • Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin is doubtful that new acquisition Matt Harrison will be on the mound in 2015, Matt Breen the Philadelphia inquirer writes.  “I said, ‘I know you feel bad, but we’re looking at you for what we’re about to become rather than this year,’ ” Mackanin said. “Because, we’re really not playing for a whole lot this year.”   Harrison came to the Phillies from Texas as part of the Cole Hamels deal last week.
  • The development of Jorge Alfaro could dictate the final verdict on the Phillies‘ return in the Cole Hamels trade, Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Alfaro, who could miss the rest of this season because of a left-ankle injury suffered June, was labeled “one of the minors’ best catching prospects” recently by ESPN’s Keith Law.
  • Several Marlins players were not happy about the club’s trades last week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. “Can we go home now? Can we go home now? They got rid of everybody,” one prominent player said loudly in Miami’s clubhouse on Friday, according to Jackson. Other players expressed disappointment privately about the roster moves, he writes.
  • In order to open up a roster spot for Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets demoted top prospect Michael Conforto, as Anthony Rieber of Newsday writes.  Conforto previously impressed at Double-A, now he’ll experience Triple-A for the first time.

Cubs May Pursue Chase Utley

The Cubs may pursue Phillies second baseman Chase Utley prior to the August trade deadline, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Utley will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow. He would need 251 plate appearances to activate a 2016 option, an exceedingly unlikely event. The former star has struggled this season with a .179/.257/.275 slash. However, a .186 BABIP suggests a rebound is possible. He’s owed about $5MM over the rest of the season. The Cubs would look to have the Phillies cover part of his salary.

An Utley acquisition would provide depth to existing middle infielders like Starlin Castro, Addison Russell, and Javier Baez. If the club lost patience with Castro, they could opt to use Russell at shortstop with Utley filling in at second base. The interest could also be purely for his veteran leadership. The Angels and at least one other team are also considering Utley per Wittenmyer.


Rosenthal’s Latest: Dodgers, Mets, Hamels, Jays, Astros

An elite starting pitcher was a luxury good for the Dodgers, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. That’s why Los Angeles passed on talents like Cole Hamels, David Price, and Johnny Cueto despite possessing the prospect depth to acquire their pick of the litter. Instead, the club flexed its financial might to acquire Mat Latos, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, and Jose Peraza. The biggest piece dealt away by the Dodgers was 30-year-old Cuban infielder Hector Olivera. The utility man has not yet reached the majors after signing a six-year, $62.5MM deal with the Dodgers. A full $28MM of that was in the form of a signing bonus.

Here’s more from Rosenthal:

  • Cynics may find a way to criticize the Mets deadline transactions. Perhaps they didn’t add enough to the payroll or were too small minded? However, the moves for Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Kelly Johnson, and Juan Uribe provided essential upgrades to a roster that was showing signs of stress. GM Sandy Alderson deserves kudos for improving the club while working within tight constraints. To me, this was Rosenthal’s money quote, “Mets fans will not be satisfied –€“ and should not be satisfied –€“ until the team raises its payroll to a level more commensurate with the New York market.
  • Echoing the sentiments of many analysts, both the Phillies and Rangers did well in the Hamels trade. With the Phillies taking on Matt Harrison and chipping in cash, the Rangers will pay Hamels an average of $13MM to $14MM per season if his option vests. They also hung onto top prospects Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara. On Philadelphia’s end, acquiring three quality prospects will do much to bolster their future.
  • The Blue Jays, unlike the Dodgers, are often described as a cash strapped organization. Instead of taking on payroll like L.A., the Blue Jays dealt 11 prospects and Jose Reyes to acquire Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins. They’re 6.5 games back in the AL East and 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot.
  • The Astros also spent their prospect chips for major league upgrades. They made the first deadline strike by acquiring Scott Kazmir then paid a princely sum for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Interestingly, mid-market teams like the Astros, Blue Jays, Mets, and Royals used prospects in their search for October baseball. The Yankees and Dodgers opted to use money or stand pat.

NL East Notes: Mets, Amaro, Braves

The Mets did well with their series of trades before yesterday’s deadline, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin writes. The addition of Yoenis Cespedes significantly improves the Mets’ offense, and while the Mets did give up a fair amount of pitching talent (particularly Michael Fulmer), they have plenty of good young starting pitching and were trading from depth. Here are more quick notes from the NL East.

  • After the collapse of their trade for Carlos Gomez, Friday couldn’t have worked out better for Sandy Alderson and the Mets, David Lennon of Newsday writes. Not making a deal could have resulted in a “public relations catastrophe,” which the Mets avoided by turning their attention to Jay Bruce and then to Cespedes, finally making a trade right before the deadline.
  • In Philadelphia, meanwhile, Mike Sielski of the Inquirer wonders whether Ruben Amaro might have saved his job with his performance in the Cole Hamels trade. The Phillies got three top prospects in Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro as part of their return for their ace. “In this day and age, teams are much more willing to dole out money than they are prospects,” says Amaro. “The value of the prospects has increased dramatically. I’ve had to make a personal adjustment on that, to understand that a bit better and make the adjustment there. I think we did that with this deal.” Sielski writes that it was also striking that Amaro was the one speaking to the media, and Pat Gillick and Andy MacPhail weren’t present.
  • One player who wasn’t traded yesterday was Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, and he wants to remain in Atlanta, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Gomes also isn’t ruling out that the Braves can contend this year, even after trading a number of players (including Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo) near the deadline. “In 2012, Oakland A’s were 14 1/2 games back in mid-August, and we were in first place for the last four innings of the season,” says Gomes. “[I]ndividual accountability, how we’ve got to play the game — that doesn’t change.”

Reactions To The Cole Hamels Trade

In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Phillies finally traded ace Cole Hamels, sending him with Jake Diekman and cash to Texas for pitcher Matt Harrison, top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, and young pitchers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. Here’s a roundup of reactions to one of the week’s biggest deals.

  • The Giants came very close to acquring Hamels — so close, in fact, that Hamels waived his no-trade rights to allow the Phillies to trade him to San Francisco, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Phillies got a strong return for Hamels, Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com writes. Alfaro looks like the key to the deal for Philadelphia, but the Phillies also got interesting pieces in Thompson and Williams, and they actually can use Harrison as well, even though he’s in the deal partially to offset Hamels’ salary.
  • Philadelphia got “quantity and quality” in the Hamels trade, says MLB.com’s Jim Callis (video link). Callis says Thompson’s slider is, at its best, one of the top sliders in the minors, and Williams has great bat speed and has dramatically improved his plate discipline. Alfaro needs to improve his polish in some areas, but he has terrific tools, including his arm strength.
  • The Phillies could continue trading in August, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. Chase Utley could be a candidate to be dealt, assuming his injured ankle heals and he waives his no-trade privileges. Aaron Harang and Jeff Francoeur are possibilities as well.

AL East Notes: Revere, Orioles, Red Sox, Jays

A look at the AL East..

  • The Orioles came “very close” to acquiring Ben Revere from the Phillies before the Blue Jays swooped in and got him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette said that designating Bud Norris for assignment was “a personal disappointment,” as Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets.  Baltimore explored trades with every team they talked to before DFA’ing him, so they’re not terribly optimistic now, she adds.
  • The Red Sox didn’t make big moves today but GM Ben Cherington says he now has a better sense of what Boston could do in the offseason in terms of trades, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • Rays President of Baseball Operations Matthew Silverman says he will continue to explore waiver deals in August, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s excited to see what he can get out of the newly acquired Ryan Cook, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  “This is a guy that’s been a closer in the past,” Farrell said. “I know that there’s been some change of role out in Oakland. As we did with (recently acquired reliever) Jean Machi to come in and take a look at him, this will be a similar situation.”

Blue Jays Acquire Ben Revere

2:39pm: Revere acknowledges that he’s been traded, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets. Pitchers Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado are headed to Philly in return, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports on Twitter.

1:07pm: The Blue Jays have agreed to acquire outfielder Ben Revere from the Phillies, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports on Twitter. He joins a bevy of other additions heading to Toronto in a busy deadline for GM Alex Anthopoulos.

Jul 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Ben Revere (2) in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 5-4 in the tenth inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Revere owns a .298/.334/.374 slash on the year and while contributing 24 steals. That’s a fairly typical line for the speedy, left-handed-hitting outfielder. As Steve Adams of MLBTR noted earlier today, that brings something of a different element to Toronto’s high-powered offense.

In spite of his running ability, Revere is not generally considered an excellent defensive outfielder. But he has drawn much more positive ratings from both UZR and Defensive Runs Saved in 2015.

For Toronto, Revere could make sense as a platoon partner for Kevin Pillar in center as well as the team’s combination of Danny Valencia and Chris Colabello in left. All of those players hit from the right side of the plate.

The Phillies will pay the remainder of the $1.2MM owed Revere this season, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The Jays can control him for two more seasons through arbitration.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.