July 7, 2014 |
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.
July 5, 2014 |
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.
July 4, 2014 |
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.
June 28, 2014 |
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.
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.