Jan 092012
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez

The Phillies actually called the Mariners about Felix Hernandez

While the dog days of winter are just getting underway in the Northeast, in reality it’s barely more than a month until the Phillies head to the sunny south for the start of spring training.

Until then, teams will still be working to fine tune their rosters, with the Phillies no exception.  As such, we’ve compiled some of the most recent Phillies free agent and trade rumors and general news from PSC’s rolling, 250+ page MLB Hot Stove Offseason Transactions thread, diligently updated by our own Barry Jeffrey, Jr (aka Crowhuck on the boards), both through scouring the web for info and via his own personal sources. 

The thread actually contains updates and rumors regarding all MLB teams, not just the Phils.  It’s a great source for both information and relevant conversation. 

Read at your own risk, and don’t forget to check out the PSC Phillies message board for the latest discussion.  These updates cover about the past week and a half, from now to our last update on New Year’s Eve.

* Good news, the Phillies are still looking to upgrade thirdbase and are willing to deal Polanco if a team is dumb enough, I mean wants a gold glove thirdbaseman.  The bad news is, there really isn’t a lot out there that is available and an upgrade right now.

* Blue Jays have re-acquired Jason Frasor from the White Sox for right-handed pitchers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. White Sox are totally tearing it down. Phillies might be able to get Gavin Floyd back for Esposito and Rizzotti at this point.

* Colorado and Seattle have interest in Polanco, so do the Cubs. Colorado wants a place holder for when Arenado is ready. Seattle wants a good glove veteran because they have Kyle Seager and Alex Liddi both young unproven guys at 3rd and they view Figgins as such a bust they will eat $14 of the $15 mil he is owed just to move him and they don’t even want a good prospect for him. Cubs want a glove guy because they think it will help Starlin Castro at short since he won’t feel he has to cover the whole left side of the infield and basically because Jeff Baker and Blake Dewitt are better utility guys than starters and their young infield prospects aren’t ready yet.

St Louis had interest at one point, just because Polanco was so popular there and Freese is injury prone but they brought Schumaker back for much cheaper so they can use Descalso to back up Freese.

Detroit needs 3rd base help too, because Inge has frankly self-destructed but they don’t want to pay what Polanco is being paid this year since Inge is being paid $5.5 Mil for the season and is just as good a glove guy at 3rd as Polanco is.

Oakland wants a 3rd baseman but he don’t meet their requirements of being young and inexpensive.

* One guy I know [the Phillies] have looked at is Juan Francisco of the Reds but not sure he is available. Like I said Chris Johnson, Brett Morel, Gordan Beckham, Luke Hughes, Jack Hannahan, Josh Bell, Jeff Sellars are guys who might be available. Hannahan is pretty much a 4 year younger Polanco, the others are much younger with questions but still have potential.  Don’t forget we do have Wigginton as well. They can still move Polanco for something and just plug him in at 3rd.  Polanco for Rolen actually works money wise. Wouldn’t that be mind blowing.

* Utility IF Willie Harris is working out with [Phillies minor league prospect] Jiwan James, while I don’t put to much into it the Phillies had interest in him a few months ago and they are looking for a 5th outfielder (Harris can also play the infield too).

* With Scott Hairston re-signing with the Mets the Phillies search for a 5th outfielder is now down to guys like Willie Harris, Ryan Spillborghs, Jonny Gomes, and Connor Jackson as inexpensive free agents. Ryan Ludwick, Kosuke Fukudome, and Cody Ross are also available but a bit more expensive options. Scott Podsednik, Dom Brown, Rich Thompson, and Lou Montanez are internal options. Phillies really want Dom Brown at AAA to start the season so he is likely out unless he literally takes charge in Spring training and outright wins the leftfield job altogether. Michael Martinez is another option, one the Phillies fans hope Ruben Amaro doesn’t remember. John Bowker is another but several teams in Japan and Asia were trying to see if they could acquire him from the Phillies so he may not be around very much longer. Manny Ramirez is available and would probably be a zero risk signing but you don’t have him for a number of games and so far the Phillies seem to have had zero interest in him or his antics and the Phillies would like a little defense in their 5th outfielder. That being said however, I would never totally rule out Manny just because of his good relationship with Charlie and if any injuries occur to an outfielder, they might just roll the dice. Especially since they now seem to be stuck with Polanco at 3rd.

* Phillies called Seattle about Felix Hernandez, just to see if he is available (Almost every team has). He isn’t not but Michael Pineda is, Phillies said pass when Mariners said Dom Brown and Trevor May. Mariners did talk Michael Saunders with the Phillies, but Phillies aren’t willing to give up anything of substance for the former top prospect.

* Phillies are keeping in touch with Brad Lidge and the Angels have a peripheral interest in him.

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