June 25, 2014 |
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.
June 23, 2014 |
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.
June 20, 2014 |
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.
June 20, 2014 |
In a historic pact, the city's building-trades unions have agreed to cut their wages and benefits by 20 percent when working on residential construction projects for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA chief executive officer and president, said the pact would, on average, reduce PHA's cost of building a house by $50,000, allowing the public housing authority to increase the number of affordable homes it can build. "This is unheard-of," Jeremiah said Wednesday.
June 15, 2014 |
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in the same difficult situation as many of his counterparts in baseball, not knowing whether to buy or to sell by the July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies entered the weekend 61/2 games out of first place in the National League East and 51/2 games out of a wild-card spot with 98 games remaining. Amaro was encouraged by the three-game sweep over San Diego, but he understands it will take more to convince him that the Phillies are contending than defeating a Padres team that entered the weekend with the third-worst record in baseball.
June 12, 2014 |
The 76ers appear to be targeting Andrew Wiggins with their first pick in the NBA draft. And they may be willing to trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers to get him. The Cavaliers were awarded the No. 1 overall pick at last month's lottery, and the Sixers reportedly have inquired about trading for that pick. The Milwaukee Bucks are second, and the Sixers have the Nos. 3 and 10 picks in the draft, which will be held June 26. But earlier this month, Fox Sports Ohio reported that another team in the top three called the Cavaliers to measure their interest in trading the pick.
June 11, 2014 |
BARRING A MIRACLE - a major miracle of the proportion of, say, unearthing Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Cy Young and Shoeless Joe Jackson - the Phillies should be highly motived sellers in 7 weeks, when baseball's July 31 trade deadline approaches. Since the gory details are on display on a daily basis, either on your TV screen or here in the paper or online after each game, there's no need to waste space on explaining why the Phillies will be sellers, beyond the obvious fact that they are the worst team in the National League.
June 9, 2014 |
CINCINNATI - With the team in free-fall mode and the trade deadline in the not-so-distant future, several veteran Phillies players will almost certainly be the subjects of a flurry of rumors over the next 8 weeks. A fan base eager for change will probably welcome those rumors, hoping they'll advance beyond the rumor stage. But a lesson in trading established, proven veteran talent for prospects presented itself on the daily baseball transactions report yesterday afternoon. Tyson Gillies cleared waivers and was outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster.
June 6, 2014 |
AFTER SUFFERING their seventh shutout in their previous 27 games and with everyone from your barber to a current coach questioning whether the Phillies are even a major league product, the drumbeat to replace Ruben Amaro Jr. as general manager is louder now than any sound emanating from the ballpark these days. Gone are the ebbs and flows of his six-season tenure as the GM, a tenure marked by league-shattering blockbuster trades in both directions, a tenure marked by dozens of minor leaguers being pushed from team to team like poker chips, most becoming little more than tips to a cocktail waitress.