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Phillies Working On Deal With Hamels, Other Trade Deadline Notes

Cole Hamels and the Phillies front office are reportedly ‘moving in the right direction’ on a contract extension, according to Jon Heyman. The Phillies have been looking to sign Hamels to a Matt Cain-type extension, while Hamels is looking for much more than that. The Giants signed Cain to a five-year, $112.5 million deal this April. Hamels wants something closer to Johan Santana's $137.5 million and possibly more. He may be able to get over $150 million if he hits the free agent market this offseason.

Here are more trade deadline notes from around Major League Baseball (Click “Continue Reading”):

  • The White Sox have acquired Astros reliever Brett Myers today. Myers, 31, has posted a 3.52 ERA in 30.2 innings this season and was linked to the Mets a few weeks back.
  • The Nationals are looking for a starting pitcher to replace Stephen Strasburg when he hits his innings limit later this season. However, the Nationals aren’t interested in giving up any top prospects.
  • Zack Grainke has been offered an extension worth close to $100 million by the Brewers. However, it doesn’t appear as though he will sign it any time soon, leaving the Brewers in a tough situation. The Braves have been one team linked to Greinke. They will likely be going after a top-of-the-rotation starter over the next week and a half.

Morning Mets Links: 7.17.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”403”] The hero is on his way back![/caption]

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What Will The Rest Of The NL East Be Doing At The Deadline?

Well, it’s not just transaction season for the Mets. The rest of the National League East may also be wheeling and dealing towards the deadline. Here’s a team-by-team breakdown.

Nationals- buyers

With an excellent first half and nowhere to go but up, the Nationals will surely be looking to upgrade their lineup as the trade deadline approaches.

The Nationals’ pitching staff is fine. They’re first in baseball in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against, as well as third in quality starts. They have a dominant rotation and a stellar closer in the back of their bullpen. That’s not what needs help. It’s the lineup that has people questioning the legitimacy of the Nationals.

There are definitely some veteran bats on the market. With Steve Lombardozzi and Michael Morse both struggling in the corner outfield spots, the Nationals could look to add a power bat to a home run-hungry lineup. Who knows? Maybe they could even be involve in the Justin Upton sweepstakes.

Braves- buyers
The Braves will be big-time buyers this summer. With Randall Delgado and Mike Minor struggling this season, their clear weakness is the starting rotation. They did recently get Jair Jurrjens back after a lengthy stint in the minors and he seems to be back to his old self, but they still need another starter or two.

The Braves seem to be looking at an impact player to add to their roster. If they add a starter, it will likely be one of the better ones on the market, such as Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, or Cole Hamels. An ace at the top of the rotation could put the Braves over the top.

Atlanta is another team that could be involved in Justin Upton trade talks. Buster Olney yesterday suggested (on Twitter) that the Braves would be a good fit, as Upton would provide payroll stability and would balance the lineup. He said if the Braves would make a move for Upton, it would be centered around Martin Prado and pitching prospects.

The biggest buyers in the division may just be the Atlanta Braves. They certainly have the pitching and desire to make some big deals.

Marlins- staying put

The Marlins may be stuck in the middle. After making some big-money deals this summer, signing Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes to huge deals, Miami may not be able to afford to acquire too much later this month.

However, with a young nucleus of players and a brighter (f only slightly brighter) future ahead of them, the Marlins probably won’t be sellers either.

There haven’t been too many trade rumors surrounding the Marlins so far and there probably won’t be anytime soon. I epect them to stay put at the deadline and make a run next year.

Phillies- sellers

Oh how the tide has turned! After a terrible first half in which the they fell to 13 games under .500 and 14 games back in the division, the Phillies have no shot at the playoffs this year. They will be sellers.

The Phillies certainly have a lot to dump on their roster. If contract negotiations fail with Cole Hamels, he will surely be traded. They also have Shane Victorino, another upcoming free agent with some value.Both could fetch a decent price in the trade market.

I think the Phillies really got unlucky this year. Had Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay been healthy all season, we would be talking about them as buyers. However, they weren’t and their future is at risk now if they have to deal Victorino and Hamels. Even with a healthy team next year, I doubt they can even make the playoffs without those two returning.

Jul 6

Morning Links: 7.6.12

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”540”] Back and as mediocre as ever![/caption]

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Jul 5

Morning Links: 6.5.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”450”] He’s back[/caption]


Jul 2

Series Preview: Mets Head Home To Try To Bury Phillies

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”646”] Winless[/caption]

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow night at 7:10 at Citi Field.

The Phillies come into this series having lost 9 of 19 games in June. They are now 11 games back of the Nationals for first place in the NL East.

This year, with Chase Utley just coming back and Ryan Howard still injured, the Phillies have relied on a few players to carry them, especially on offense. Luckily for them, Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz are having the best seasons of their careers. Pence has 16 home runs and 46 RBI while Ruiz is leading the league in hitting. Past those two, however, the offense has been scarce for the Phillies.

The starting pitching staff, once revered as the greatest one ever assembled, has not been what it used to be this season. The Phillies have been without Roy Halladay since May 27 and likely won’t have him back until after the All-Star break. Cole Hamels, who was looking like a Cy Young Award candidate early in the season, hit a bump in the road recently and hasn’t been nearly as dominant. Cliff Lee is still winless and has a 4.13 ERA through 13 starts. The Phillies needed the pitching staff to step up to carry them with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out, but that hasn’t happened.

Pitching matchups:

Game 1- Tuesday 7:10

Jonathon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92 ERA)

Game 2- Wednesday 1:10

Chris Young (2-1, 3.30 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13 ERA)

Game 3- Thursday 7:10

R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08 ERA)

Notes:

  • Chase Utley returned this week after missing the first 76 game of the season with a knee injury. He has five hits in 13 at-bats since returning.
  • The Phillies also have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Their 4.57 bullpen ERA is 28th in baseball, just two spots in front of the Mets.
  • The Phillies are one of the most impatient team in baseball. Their 204 walks are 27th in baseball.
  • Brush up on your Cole Hamels knowledge with Ted Berg’s gallery, a must-see whenever Hamels is pitching. It’s hilarious.
  • I don’t mean to get too eager, but a sweep of the Phillies would be devastating for them. With the way the Nationals are playing right now, the Phillies would probably fall another two or three games back if swept. That’s a hole I don’t know they can get out of. If they find themselves 15 games back at the All-Star break, there’s going to be a fire sale in Philly and no one will be safe.

The Phillies Won’t Really Become Sellers, Right?

“My job is to keep all lines of communication open, for the good of the club today and tomorrow,” Amaro said. “I can’t shut any doors down. You try to be creative. And there are a lot of creative GMs out there who have different goals.”

Amaro first mentioned the possibility of the Phillies as sellers to CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury earlier Thursday. It sounded as if he was speaking out of frustration or trying to send a message to his players. But Amaro said he was only being realistic.

“If we continue to play like this and keep dropping out of the race, it’s going to be tough to be buyers,” he said. “The one way we can be buyers is by keeping our heads above water — if we’re five games out, seven games out, within striking distance, then yeah.”

—Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”281” caption=”The future of the Phillies rests on this man’s shoulders (Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)”]Ryan  Howard 2[/caption]

It seems like just yesterday that we were sulking as the Phillies celebrated a World Series championship in 2008. They were led by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, two young stars on the rise, poised to lead the Phillies to greatness for the next ten years. Ryan Howard was the next great slugger, hitting 48 homers and driving in 146 runs that year. They had Brad Lidge, who didn’t blow a save the entire season.

Since then, the Phillies have made a few great runs. In 2009, they fell short in the World Series to the Yankees, losing four games to two. Last year, they blew away everyone with a 102-60 record, but allowed the Cardinals to slip by them in the divisional round.

I didn’t think the Phillies would blow things up so early. However, the entire direction of the franchise has been determined by the health of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Without them, there is little to no chance that the Phillies could muster up another championship run.

What may keep the Phillies from becoming sellers is one man: Ruben Amaro Jr. Amaro is known to be a big spender. He may try to spend his way out of this mess. He was the one who traded for Roy Halladay. He was the one who stole Cliff Lee. And he was the one who dealt for Hunter Pence last season. There is a point where every GM has to realize that there’s no use in desparately trying to put together a team at the deadkinep but where that point is remains to be seen.

I don’t think he, or the Phillies, will go down without a fight.

May 7

Series Preview: Banged-Up Mets Head to Philly

Tonight, the Mets begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”168” caption=”(Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)”]Jimmy  Rollins 4[/caption]

The Mets play the Phillies, who, up until this point, have been unable to get on any kind of a roll. Many thought before the season that due to the injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, as well as the age of Jimmy Rollins, their offense would struggle but no one thought it would be this bad. The Phils are in the bottom third in baseball in runs scored, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Catcher Carlos Ruiz has been their best hitter, which is a little odd considering he is a career number seven or eight hitter.

The decent pitching the Phillies have has been the only thing keeping them alive. Despite Cliff Lee (eho will return on Wednesday) hitting the DL, the Phillies’ staff is in the top ten in baseball in quality starts, WHIP, and ERA. Cole Hamels has been stellar, but luckily will not face the Mets in this series.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Game 1- Tonight 7:05

Jon Niese- Niese finally had a bad start in his last outing in Houston. He went only three innings, but that was due to a desparation pinch-hitting move that Terry Collins made in the fourth inning. Niese allowed five earned on six hits in the start.

Roy Halladay- At 35 years old, Halladay is still going strong this season. He is 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.110 WHIP. He is averaging about seven innings per outing this year.

Game 2- Tuesday 7:05

Miguel Batista- Here we go with Miguel Batista. The 41 year-old has been awful this year, but somehow got the nod from Terry Collins to join the rotation in place of Chris Schwinden. Batista is 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA this year.

Joe Blanton- You would think that you would have an easy go of it against a team’s fifth starter. That’s not the case with Blanton. He threw a shutout against the Braves in his last start, and has been looking good on the mound thus far in 2012.

Game 3- Wednesday 7:05

Dillon Gee- Gee pitched well on Friday against the D-Backs, tossing six innings of two-run ball. He also walked three and struck out six.

Cliff Lee- Lee, who has been suffering from a strained left oblique, will come off the DL on Wednesday to face the Mets in his first start since April 19. In three starts this year, Lee is 0-1 with a 1.96 ERA.

More notes

Ruben Tejada left yesterday’s game with a strained right quad. Tejada hit the DL today and will be replaced on the roster by Jordanny Valdespin.

— Even with Valdespin in the big leagues, we will probably not see much of him. Terry Colins has expressed his liking for Justin Turner. Turner, not Valdespin, will likely get the majority of the playing time at shortstop. I’m not the biggest fan of having Valdespin ride the bench in the majors. I’d much rather have him getting playing time in Buffalo, developing. For those of you wondering, the rule that states a player cannot be recalled until ten days after they were sent down does not apply if they are replacing an injured player.

Ike Davis is hitless in his last four games, going 0-11, which brings his batting average down to .168. Ike has shown signs of coming back to life, only to return to struggling.

Daniel Murphy, on the other hand, had a great series against Arizona. Murphy was 7-12 in the three games, and had two RBI. It’s great to see that maybe Murphy’s fantastic run at the plate last year may not have been a fluke. Terry Collins has moved him up in the lineup in place of Ike Davis.

—Tonight’s and Wednesday’s pitching matchups should be pretty interesting to watch. Both Niese and Gee have pitched well this season. Their ERA’s don’t quite say that, but each of them had one bad outing that basically ruined their ERAs. Other than that, they have pitched well this season. Of course, they will both be going up against two of Philly’s aces, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

—Jonathon Paplebon has been great so far for the Phillies, saving nine games and pitching to a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings pitched. Just something to look out for if any of these games are close.

Phillies Decline Options On Lidge, Oswalt

Lidge actually could be a cheap option for the Mets. Oswalt?… I’m not sure. I think he’s going to be too expensive but we’ll know once the bidding begins I guess.

Thread: Mets (60-68) vs. Phillies (83-44)

Mike Pelfrey RHP (6-10, 4.61)

vs. Kyle Kendrick RHP (7-5, 3.24)

Phils rough up Niese, beat Mets 9-4

Thread: Mets (60-67) vs. Phillies (82-44)

Series Preview: at Phillies

Phillies Acquire Hunter Pence