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SPORTS
July 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Ruben Amaro Jr. grabbed a pack of jalapeƱo sunflower seeds Thursday afternoon and found a spot on the wooden dugout bench. There were three weeks until the July 31 trade deadline and this was a moment for more reality. Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies' closer, made it clear Wednesday night he would welcome a trade to a contender - his partial no-trade clause will not be an impediment - and questioned why players would want to remain on a losing team. "I think that's a no-brainer," Papelbon said.
SPORTS
July 10, 2014 | By Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer
ORLANDO - This is the NBA's silly season, when trade rumors fly. As expected, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie is the most popular guy at the Orlando Pro Summer League. That's what happens when your club is $30 million under the salary cap and teams looking to shed salaries are lining up to make trade offers. "This time of year, there are way more [offers] leaked than real, and way more postured by one team or another than there's any legs to," Hinkie said Tuesday before the Sixers' 92-71 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Amway Center practice court.
SPORTS
July 7, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The incentive to trade Jonathan Papelbon was appealing even before Ken Giles pulled down the brim to his red Phillies hat and confused major-league hitters with his fastball-slider combination. Papelbon, before the 2012 season, signed the richest deal ever awarded to a closer - an anachronistic agreement for a position devalued by the rest of baseball. The Phillies, not surprisingly, explored ways to escape the four-year pact before the second season ended. But Papelbon carried too many red flags, and a trade last summer was never consummated.
SPORTS
July 7, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH - Phillies rightfielder Marlon Byrd was dealt Aug. 27 last year by the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he could be part of another deal this summer. Byrd is among the rumored players on the block by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He is batting .264 with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs after his solo blast in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. Byrd said he wasn't thinking about getting traded this time around. "You think about it a little bit the first time you go through it, but the second time now, you keep playing and are trying to win games for the Phillies," he said.
SPORTS
July 5, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
As Maurice Edu understands it, his recent position change will not be a permanent one. Edu, the Union's standout midfielder, has been temporarily moved to the back line. The experiment started in the U.S. Open Cup and continued in the Union's first Major League Soccer game after the World Cup break, a 3-1 win at New England on Saturday. Interim manager Jim Curtin switched Edu and Amobi Okugo. Edu guided the defense from the center back position, and Okugo returned to his former spot.
SPORTS
July 4, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers re-signed winger Jason Akeson on Wednesday and traded winger Tye McGinn to San Jose. They also added a pair of unrestricted free agents - defenseman Nick Schultz and winger Andrew Gordon - who figure to be spare parts next season. Late Wednesday night, the Flyers also signed unrestricted free agent Zack Stortini, a 6-4, 214-pound forward, to a one-year, two-way deal. Stortini, 28, led the AHL with 299 penalty minutes last season. Yes, it was a busy day for new general manager Ron Hextall.
SPORTS
June 28, 2014 | By Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Sam Hinkie is a gambling man. The 76ers general manager selected former Kansas center Joel Embiid with the third pick in the NBA draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center. The Sixers made the pick after their proposed trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top overall selection fell through. Embiid, who could not attend the draft because of his recent surgery and instead watched from Kansas, told ESPN about watching the draft on TV instead of in person: "It is different.
SPORTS
June 25, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers gained speed and shed some long-term salary obligations Monday when they acquired R.J. Umberger and sent Scott Hartnell to Columbus. The deal of 32-year-old wingers was the first made by new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, who also acquired a fourth-round draft pick in 2015 from the Blue Jackets. Umberger, who started his career with the Flyers, had 18 goals and 16 assists last season as the Blue Jackets returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence. "I feel I have a lot left in the tank," Umberger said.
SPORTS
June 23, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
When it's time to sell, the most valuable player is the one who can bring the most in return. They are the guys whom contending teams want regardless of the salary. They are the players who can single-handedly restock a farm system while possibly bringing some young major-league-ready talent, too. Examine the Phillies' roster, and they have exactly one player with that kind of appeal. Cole Hamels. Would you trade him? Shortly before the Phillies embarked on their surprisingly successful road trip through Atlanta and St. Louis, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked whether he had any untouchables on his roster.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
There was a break between innings during a recent Phillies loss, and David Montgomery looked toward second base from the owner's suite at Citizens Bank Park. That is Chase Utley's spot; it was his when this sparkling ballpark opened, and when the Phillies signed Utley to a two-year contract last summer with three option years, Montgomery imagined it was Utley's until he relinquished it. Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins have started 1,129 games together, the most of all active double-play combinations.
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