November 6, 2014 |
A.J. BURNETT'S decision to turn down a guaranteed $12.75 million from the Phillies - and what could have been as much as $14.5 million if he had reached incentives - was apparently due to the pitcher's preference to play for a playoff-hopeful team in 2015. Through his agent, Burnett, who turns 38 in January, said he plans to pitch next season. Burnett flirted with retirement last winter; this offseason, he wants to land on a contending team. It's worth wondering, then, if other veterans on the current Phillies roster would also rather be elsewhere come Opening Day. On the first day of free agency, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was open to all possibilities as he begins the challenging process of remaking his roster.
November 4, 2014 |
After spring training started last February and A.J. Burnett remained unemployed, the veteran righthander said he sought a deal with a contending team near his Maryland home. The Phillies offered Burnett a large sum of money. That yielded a hernia injury, 18 losses, and a league-leading 96 walks. So Burnett rejected another $12.75 million from the Phillies on Monday by electing free agency over that lucrative player option. For the Phillies, it is a blessing from the baseball overlords.
October 31, 2014 |
THE FREE-AGENT season opens for business with the conclusion of the World Series but doesn't begin to pick up until the first 2 weeks of November. Teams have until 5 days after the conclusion of the World Series - which means Monday night - to make qualifying offers to their own free agents. Those players have another week to mull over accepting those offers; players almost never accept, since the free-agent market is very often far more fruitful. The Phillies will know a little bit more about their own free-agent pursuits - their needs and their budget - when another deadline arrives on Monday.
October 23, 2014 |
WITH UNCERTAINTY on the major league staff and no one in the minor league system expected to compete for a starting job this spring, the Phillies re-signed veteran Jerome Williams last night. Williams, who joined the team in August, agreed to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal. The contract also includes performance bonuses. A native of Hawaii, Williams turns 33 in December. He would have been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series. Williams is likely to compete for one of the final slots in the Phillies' starting rotation when he reports to spring training.
October 17, 2014 |
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
October 10, 2014 |
BUSTER POSEY and Madison Bumgarner. Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal. Eric Hosmer and Yordano Ventura. Manny Machado and Zach Britton. The first two already have World Series rings with San Francisco, the second two helped lead a new wave of Cardinals into another World Series appearance 12 months ago, and the last four are all key contributors to the rousing successes in Kansas City and Baltimore this season. While 26 of baseball's 30 teams have hit the road, those eight players are still playing in the postseason.
October 8, 2014 |
Bill Campbell, a broadcaster who covered some of the greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history, died Monday at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. He was 91, and his career touched parts of nine decades. Mr. Campbell was a broadcaster for the Philadelphia Warriors/76ers, Phillies, and Eagles. Among his most famous broadcasts: the Eagles' NFL championship win over Green Bay in 1960 at Franklin Field and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Warriors - still an NBA record - in 1962.
October 6, 2014 |
THREE KEY PLAYERS Ryan Howard. Just about everything the Phillies want to accomplish this winter hinges on Howard's future. He is owed $60 million. The Phillies will look to trade him, but could an outright release serve as a much-needed olive branch to disillusioned fans? Cole Hamels. Three teams have the prospects and the mind-set to execute a Hamels trade: the Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers. The Phillies will listen, but that does not make such a deal probable. Trading Hamels would admit a rebuild of at least two seasons, something the Phillies are reluctant to push.
October 3, 2014 |
THE DAMAGE is done, but the wounds are fresh from the Phillies' latest battle with irrelevance. The pain for fans will not fade until they know, finally, what moves the Phillies will make to correct consecutive 73-win seasons. It was their worst 2-year run since 1996-97, when managers Jim Fregosi and Terry Francona dealt with the Gregg Jefferies debacle. The pain will linger for quite a while. The players might expect change; ace Cole Hamels said as much after his last start, on Sunday.