Roy Halladay Rumors
The Phillies have made multiple inquiries on the availability of Giancarlo Stanton over the past several months, Major League sources tell Jim Sailisbury of CSNPhilly.com, but have received the same answer as every other team in baseball: Stanton isn't available for the time being.
Salisbury notes that while the Phils lack a deep farm system, they do have plenty of near-MLB-ready arms such as Jesse Biddle, Jonathan Pettibone and Adam Morgan that could be used to headline a Stanton package. Of course, as Salisbury notes, if and when the Marlins decide to listen to offers on Stanton, they may not be keen on trading him within the division. That hasn't stopped the Phillies -- and reportedly the Mets -- from showing interest.
Salisbury writes that the very reason that the Phillies have such great need for Stanton's services could lead the team to be sellers come the trade deadline. Philadelphia outfielders are hitting just .215/.285/.330, which has contributed to their 13-16 record. Here are the highlights from his list of potential trade chips...
- Cliff Lee could become the prize of the July trade market should the Phillies sell. The Red Sox inquired on Lee before the Winter Meetings but were rebuffed. Given their first-place standing, they could look at Lee as a means to push them toward a World Series run.
- Jonathan Papelbon is another expensive piece that the Phils could move, and Salisbury wonders if the Tigers could be interested, given deep-pocketed owner Mike Illitch's desire to win a World Series. Detroit has had bullpen issues all season and recently re-signed Jose Valverde to reprise his role as closer. However, Salisbury reports that the Tigers are one of the team's in Papelbon's no-trade clause.
- Jimmy Rollins could be moved but would have to waive his full no-trade clause in order for that to happen.
- There's a sentiment that the Phillies would prefer to keep Chase Utley than deal him this summer if he remains healthy. Utley will gain 10-and-5 rights in August, Salisbury notes.
- Salisbury also mentions Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Delmon Young as players the Phillies would consider. Halladay's inconsistency and Howard's price tag would be prohibitive factors in any trade talks for that duo.
As we close in on the month of May, let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season...
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013. Prior to Opening Day, the Nats announced that Suzuki would be in a timeshare with Wilson Ramos behind the plate. However, Ramos' hamstring has led to Suzuki starting 16 of the club's 23 games so far in 2013. Ramos is scheduled to rejoin the club on Monday, but if he suffers another setback, Suzuki could have a realistic shot at triggering his '14 option.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has surpassed that mark in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years, but he has just 18 PAs as April comes to a close.
- Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit suffered a PCL tear during the last week of Spring Training, keeping him out of action until at least mid-May. When he returns, he figures to see less action than he did last year thanks to Manny Machado.
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman has 19 games under his belt with 80 plate appearances. He'll be within reach as long as he stays healthy. In 2011, his last full season, Berkman racked up 587 PAs for the Cardinals.
- Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13). So far, Halladay has logged 28 and 1/3 innings through five April starts but the 259 mark remains a longshot. However, it's worth nothing that Halladay has come close to that figure twice in the last six years (2008, 246 IP; 2010, 250.2 IP) and surpassed it once in his career (2003, 266 IP).
- Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season. Myers is expected to miss most of May due to tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow. So far, the right-hander has 21 and 1/3 innings to his credit in 2013.
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has 23 and 2/3 innings so far through the month of April and will make his fifth start of the year tonight against the Padres.
- Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.
It's also worth noting that Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014 with the Pirates, but it can vest at any of three levels, $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM, based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury. It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however. Liriano has yet to take the hill in 2013, but he is expected to make his big league debut on May 10th vs. the Mets.
If you've not yet seen Jean Segura's baserunning misadventures yesterday, do yourself a favor and check out the video and story from MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. As McCalvy and others have noted, Segura's strange travels on the basepaths are reminiscent of a 1911 steal of first by one of baseball's great characters, Germany Schaefer of the Senators. Schaefer was only able to make such a unique play for the hapless Senators that year because they acquired him from the Tigers in 1909. The aging Schaefer was largely a role player in D.C., putting up 5.9 WAR (per Baseball-Reference) over 1909-14, though he did post 3.1 WAR in the season of his famous antic. The man he was traded for, Jim Delahanty, was not only outstanding in the Tigers' 1909 World Series loss, but posted 8 WAR over 1909-12.
- Echoing what we heard yesterday regarding the Rangers' replacement options for the injured Matt Harrison, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com writes that the Rangers have few, if any, external targets worth pursuing. Durrett says the team lacked depth at the start of the year with Martin Perez and Colby Lewis out, leaving the team without attractive internal options to fill in for Harrison. But the market is not promising either. While Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell of the Astros are presumably available, Houston will surely look for a big return at this stage, especially in a deal with a team with which they share a home state and division.
- Roy Halladay of the Phillies had a strong start last night against the Cardinals, holding their big bats to just two hits over seven innings and logging six strikeouts. Halladay, who currently sits at tenth in MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, has followed his disastrous first two starts with two solid outings. The once (and future?) ace could shoot back up the rankings if he can maintain his current momentum.
- It is worth looking back at the details of the soon-to-be 36-year-old Halladay's contract. The deal includes a $20MM option for 2014 which vests if Halladay meets all the following conditions: 225 innings pitched in 2013; 415 innings pitched in 2012-13; Halladay does not end 2013 on the DL. As ESPN's Jayson Stark reported back when Halladay was acquired by the Phillies, the deal does not include any club or player options. Halladay threw just 156 1/3 innings last year and has tossed 22 1/3 to date in 2013, meaning he would need to log another 236 1/3 innings this year. That seems exceedingly unlikely, albeit not outside the realm of possibility: Halladay accumulated 266 innings as a 26-year-old in 2003, his only full-season pace that would make the innings figure achievable. Even Doc's 2010 season, the most recent year in which he led baseball in innings pitched -- Halladay posted a career second-best tally of 250 2/3 -- would have left him short. Accordingly, unless Halladay turns back into the workhorse he was at his absolute career peak, he is destined to become a free agent.
- The Rockies, who stand in first place in the NL West, have called up reliever Josh Outman from Triple-A, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The club optioned Chris Volstad in a corresponding move. Outman came to Colorado last year, along with Guillermo Moscoso, in the deal that sent Seth Smith to Oakland. The Rockies waived Moscoso last November after he threw 50 innings of 6.12 ERA ball in 2012. Outman was even worse, posting a 8.19 ERA over 40 2/3 innings for the Rockies last season. The 28-year-old has been excellent thus far in Triple-A, however, and the club will hope that he can even out the results of the trade. Smith was a useful contributor for Oakland's division-winning run last season, putting up a .240/.333/.420 line in 441 plate appearances. He has been that much better so far in 2013, slashing .405/.479/.619 in his 48 plate appearances.
The Phillies were a .500 team in 2012 after winning five consecutive NL East titles. They enter the 2013 season with a payroll in excess of $150MM and new additions such as Michael Young, Delmon Young, John Lannan and Mike Adams. Here's the latest on the Phillies...
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told the Associated Press that he wants to continue managing the Phillies after the 2013 season (link via ESPN.com). Manuel, who's entering the final year of his contract with the team, said he has no plans to retire. "I'm not ready for somebody to tell me to go home. I'm not ready to quit managing." Ryne Sandberg looms as a possible replacement for Manuel.
- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has drawn positive reviews from scouts this spring, but there are some questions surrounding Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes. Halladay, a potential 2014 free agent, hasn’t looked good in recent outings. “I’ve got to believe he’s just working to get ready at this point,” one scout told Martino.
- Howard "was hobbling around a little and struggled versus good stuff" in the words of a scout. This could become a long-term problem for the Phillies, who owe Howard $105MM through 2017.
Recently, I crunched the numbers on vesting options from the last three years and found that just over 29% of them were triggered. Which players can lock in their 2014 options based on their performance this season? Let's take a look..
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances.
- Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013).
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances.
- Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched.
- Johan Santana, Mets: $25MM option vests with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award.
It's also worth noting that Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014 with the Pirates, but it can vest at any of three levels, $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM, based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.
The Mets are optimistic that they can surprise people in 2013 then spend more liberally starting next offseason. Here’s the latest on their division rivals...
- As Tim Hudson begins the final year on his contract with the Braves, he's hopeful of staying in Atlanta long-term. The right-hander told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he hopes to play for "a while longer" with the Braves. "I think when the day comes when I'm not a Brave or not playing for anybody, it's going to be a sad day around the Hudson house," he said.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said he’s “open minded” to the notion of pursuing a contract extension with shortstop Ian Desmond before the season begins, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). Desmond said he's open to the possibility of an extension, but not in a rush to complete a deal, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The 27-year-old will earn $3.8MM as a first time arbitration eligible player in 2013 following a breakout offensive season.
- Phillies ace Roy Halladay doesn’t sound intrigued by the possibility of hitting free agency this coming offseason, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. The right-hander’s three-year, $60MM contract will expire assuming he doesn’t pitch 259 innings or more in 2013. "I think if I have my druthers I would be here until I'm done," he said. "As good as they've been to me, I think they realize that I would be as good to them as I could be. So going forward, if that that was the case, I really can't see myself playing anywhere else.” Halladay ranked fifth on Tim Dierkes' 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.
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.
In his latest blog post, ESPN's Jayson Stark points out that just five teams have $100MM+ committed to their 2013 payroll right now: the Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers, and Blue Jays. None of those teams appear to be done this offseason either. Here's the rest of Stark's rumors...
- The Phillies have kicked around the idea of a contract extension for Roy Halladay, though GM Ruben Amaro said that "a lot has to do with how he feels and how he performs. So that's a decision and a conversation that would probably have to go into the spring, and maybe into the season."
- The two sides actually had preliminary talks about a new contract that would raise Halladay's annual salary north of $24MM and keep him with the Phillies beyond next season. Talks were shelved when the right-hander's shoulder began to act up, however.
- Stark hears that Josh Hamilton is no longer on the Phillies' list, and Amaro said they "haven't been given a real budget. I know it's not unlimited, but that's not usually how we work."
- Teams continue to check in with the Rays about their starting pitchers, and the asking price for James Shields is in the neighborhood of the five-player package Tampa received for Matt Garza two winters ago.
- Those same clubs don't believe the Mets have really put R.A. Dickey on the trade market yet.
- Rumors swirl that Zack Greinke is seeking a six-year contract, but his agent Casey Close has yet to ask for specific offers.
- Scott Rolen has told the Reds he may play next season, but he isn't ready to make a final decision tweets Stark. The team wants him back in some role.
- Roy Halladay intends to win a World Series in Philadelphia, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports doesn't consider the Phillies a championship caliber team given their age and declining performances. Halladay said he aims to retire as a Phillie -- a more attainable goal in Morosi's view. Because of Halladay's DL stint, he's on track for free agency following the 2013 season unless he completes 225 innings next year and 415 innings total over 2012-13.
- Bryce Harper's historically hot start has caught his teammates' attention, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The 19-year-old outfielder is on track to finish the season with a historically high OPS for someone so young. Harper, who knows fellow top prospect Mike Trout personally, says he'd enjoy playing with Trout -- as long as it's with the Nationals. “I don’t want to leave here, I can tell you that,” Harper said.
- The Nationals announced that they recalled Tyler Moore from Triple-A and placed Carlos Maldonado on the 15-day disabled list.
The Nationals topped the Mets tonight 5-3 behind a solid performance from starter Edwin Jackson. Here's a look at tonight's items out of the National League East..
- Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton admitted to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that the thought of a multiyear deal crossed his mind recently when Adam Jones signed a five-year, $85.5MM extension with the Orioles. However, the rightfielder made it clear that he's not dwelling on it either. "It's not like I'm thinking, 'Tomorrow I'm going to get a call or we're going to have a meeting','" Stanton said. "I really don't care until the time comes. The better I play, maybe the faster they'll want to do something."
- Phillies hurler Roy Halladay likely won't hit the required number of innings to help make his 2014 option vest, but he still hopes to end his career in Philadelphia, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Halladay is set to earn $20MM in each of the next two seasons with a $20MM vesting option for '14.
- The Nationals have held workouts for 16-year-old outfielder Gustavo Cabrera and 17-year-old shortstop Wendell Rijo, two of the top Dominican prospects eligible to sign before July 2nd, a person with knowledge of the situation tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.